Foreign aid, which represents less than one percent of the federal budget, is a crucial tool in promoting American interests around the world.
Israel no longer receives economic assistance, but does receive significant military assistance to promote its security. In FY2015, Congress appropriated $3.1 billion in military aid to Israel.
Foreign affairs spending is vital to advance our country’s security, economic and humanitarian interests and preserves America’s leadership worldwide. American security and prosperity, and its ability to fight global extremism, hinge on having the resources to successfully engage in the world, support key allies like Israel, and to help prevent unstable areas from becoming breeding grounds for terror. That is why such a broad array of faith, business and humanitarian organizations continue to advocate for a strong foreign affairs budget.
Foreign aid creates jobs in the United States and boosts our economy. By law, nearly all U.S. assistance must be spent on American-produced goods. Israel spends nearly 75% of U.S. aid in the U.S. to purchase military equipment.
Aid to Israel promotes stability and democracy in the Middle East. The United States has an ongoing strategic interest in supporting Israel – a stalwart democratic ally, with whom it shares many core values, including a commitment to democracy and a rejection of extremism and terrorism in a strategic and volatile region of the world.
U.S. military aid has proved crucial to Israel to protect itself. For example, in recent years the U.S.-funded Iron Dome has helped protect millions of Israelis from Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist rockets and keep casualty rates low.
Moreover, history has shown that American aid, particularly military assistance, which keeps Israel strong, is the primary ingredient in bringing Israel’s neighbors to the peace table.
US aid to Israel is designed to maintain Israel’s “qualitative military edge” over neighboring militaries. Security assistance and support for U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation have led to the creation of groundbreaking programs such as the Iron Dome Rocket Defense system and the Arrow Program. This cooperation boosts the efforts of both countries in areas like missile defense, homeland security and counterterrorism and helps both countries to protect their troops and citizens at home and abroad.