Foreign aid, which represents less than one percent of the federal budget, is a crucial tool in promoting American interests around the world.
Foreign affairs spending is vital to advance our country’s security, economic and humanitarian interests and preserve America’s leadership worldwide. It is a tool for spreading liberty and democracy. That is why such a broad array of faith, business and humanitarian organizations continue to advocate for a strong foreign affairs budget.
Now that Israel has developed into an industrialized economy, in FY2008, Israel stopped receiving economic assistance from the United States, maintaining only military assistance to promote its security. In 2007, the Bush Administration and the Israeli government agreed to a 10-year, $30 billion military aid package. For the agreement’s sixth year in FY2014, President Obama has requested, as outlined in the agreement, that Congress appropriate $3.1 billion in aid to Israel.
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 75% of U.S. aid in the U.S. to purchase military equipment.
US aid to Israel is designed to maintain Israel’s “qualitative military edge” over neighboring militaries. Consequently, Israel is able to pursue state-of-the-art technological advancements and these military innovations, in turn, help save the lives of American troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere due to our unique strategic relationship.
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 vital region of the world. Israel must be prepared to confront the challenges of a potential nuclear-armed Iran, military buildups by the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezballah and growing regional instability and uncertainty. Aid has proved crucial to Israel to protect itself. 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.
A strong commitment to deepening the US-Israel strategic partnership is crucial at this hour of uncertainty in a volatile region. US aid to Israel is an investment in innovation for both countries. Security assistance and support for US-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.