THE MYTH OF ISRAELS DEPENDENCE ON THE UNITED STATES*
By Prof. Paul Eidelberg
IsraelNationalNews.com -February 7, 2006
1. So long as Israel believes its dependent on the U.S. for its survival, Washington will continue to mediate
the Israel-Arab conflict to the disadvantage of the Jewish state.
2. American and Israeli politicians are ever saying that the shared moral values the U.S. and Israel is the basis
of their friendly relationship. Ariel Sharon often said that his friendly relationship with President George W.
Bush was Israels greatest strategic asset. No wonder Sharon repeatedly engaged in unilateral concessions to
Israels Arab enemies! But this obviously renders Israelis servile and undermines the security of their
3. Now, contrary to conventional wisdom, Israels military and economic dependence on the U.S. is a myth.
Some years ago Joseph Sisco, former Assistant Secretary of State, told Israeli author Shmuel Katz, "I want
to assure you, Mr. Katz, that if we were not getting full value for our money, you would not get a cent from
us." American foreign policy-makers are pragmatists, not moralists. U.S. aid to Israel is animated by national
self-interestpious platitudes to the contrary notwithstanding. Israel is and has been America\'s biggest
4. According to Gen. George Keegan, former chief of U.S. Air Force Intelligence, while Israel annually
received $1.8 billion in military grants from the U.S. between 1974-1990, Israeli aid to America was worth
between $50-80 billion in intelligence, research and development savings, Soviet weapons systems captured
and transferred to the Pentagon, and testing Soviet military doctrines up to 1990, when the USSR collapsed.
5. Moreover, the bulk of the $1.8 billion Israel currently receives in military aid must be spent in the U.S.,
where it provides jobs for an estimated 50,000 American workingmen. It should also be noted that Israel
would not need this amount of military aid were it not for huge American arms sales to Saudi Arabia and
Egypt. U.S. military aid to Israel creates a demand for, and the purchase of,
tens of billions of dollars worth of U.S. weaponry by these and other Arab states.
6. American arms manufacturers have a vested interest in opposing any reduction of military aid to
Israeland so do their representatives in Congress. Directly and indirectly, Israel has enriched a welter
of American corporations. For this reason alone, American congressmen, irrespective of their attitude toward
Israel, will oppose cuts in military aid to the Jewish state. And as world leader in software and avionics, Israel
has many corporate friends in the USA.
7. Mention should also be made of Israels medical research contribution to the U.S. And then there are the
thousands of Israeli-educated engineers and scientists that live and work in the U.S. and have contributed
countless billions of dollars to the American economy!
8. As for the $1.2 billion Israel receives from the U.S. in "economic" assistance, it does not go into building
up Israel\'s economy. Most of the money is used to repay pre-1974 loans for military hardware. It has been
reduced by $120 million a year beginning in 1998, so that it is now negligible. By the way, Israeli economists
across the political spectrum agree that U.S. aid to Israel has reduced the productivity of this country. Israel
would have its own fighter aircraft were it not for myth of its dependence on the USA.
9. But now consider Israels strategic contribution to the U.S.
a. Ever since 1971, when Israel first received significant amounts of aid from the U.S., the Jewish state has
helped secure NATO\'s southern flank.
b. In 1970, at Washington\'s behest, Israel prevented a Syrian invasion of Jordan. By protecting Jordan from
this client of the former Soviet Union, Israel thwarted Moscow\'s ambitions in the Middle East. (By the way,
it would be naive to think that Russia has permanently abandoned its historic objectives in this region.)
10. Furthermore, Israel would not have been financially indebted to the U.S. had she not withdrawn from the
Sinai. By so doing Israel lost a $17 billion infrastructure, including her most sophisticated air bases, as well
as Israeli-developed oil fields which, by now, would have made the country energy-independent. Israel has
had to spend more importing oil than she has thus far received in U.S. "economic" assistance. It was as if the
United States beggared Israel to display American "charity."
11. The question arises: What prevents Israel\'s political leaders from telling the truth about this grotesque state
of affairs? Do they fear the loss of $1.8 billion in military aid? Perhaps this was true in 1985, when Israels
Gross Domestic Product was $24.5 billion. But today, when Israels GDP is almost $150 billion, the $1.8
billion is only 1.2% of its GDP. Given even a much smaller GDP, $1.8 billion cant be deemed indispensable
for Israel\'s survival. if Israel had a government that was not steeped in corruption, it could
dispense with American "charity" entirely! All it would have to do is clamp down on tax-evasion. Or if the
government granted a moratorium to big tax evaders and lowered taxes, this would increase capital investment
and make Israel another Singapore!
12. But all this is known to Israeli politicians. If so, why do they perpetuate the myth of Israels dependence
on the U.S.?
13. According to contemporary political science, the dominant motivation of politicians is the desire for power
and prestige. (This is precisely how nine out of ten Israelis view Israeli politicians!) It follows that Israel\'s
ruling elites may have a personal interest in fostering the myth that their country\'s survival depends on U.S.
aid. This conclusion gains credence from the fact that no Israeli government has undertaken serious steps to
liberate Israel from its supposed dependency.
14. Like other political elites, Israels want the people to feel dependent on the government. Influenced, no
doubt, by Israels precarious situation, many people in this country want a
strong leader, even if he is corrupt. Sharon exploited this tendency. As already mentioned, he repeatedly said
that his friendly relationship with President Bush is Israels greatest strategic asset. This could not but make
the people feel all the more dependent on Sharon himself. Stated another way: by fostering the myth of
Israels dependence on the U.S., Israeli prime ministers can the more readily manipulate and control the
15. At the same time, the myth of Israels dependence on the U.S. is also used by Israeli prime ministers
as an excuse for their caving in to American pressure.
16. All this substantiates what I have long called forRegime Change. This will require the compete
overhaul of Israels system of governance, beginning with democratizing the mode of electing the legislature;
replacing the corrupt system of multi-cabinet government with a popularly elected president; and
democratizing the method of ap! pointing the Supreme Court. These democratic reforms will empower the
peoplethe key to making Israel a truly independent and sovereign stateyes, and even a Jewish one!