US Halts Extra $1 Billion Worth Of Military Aid To Israel
Progressive lawmakers in the US congress have succeeded to pressure the Biden administration to reverse a policy that sought to provide Israel with an extra $1 billion worth of military aid.
The Institute for Middle Understanding, a non-profit organization, has described the successful move as “a notable victory” for the Palestinians. In addition to the nearly $4 billion the US government already sends to the Israeli military every year, the extra $1billion worth of military would have enabled the Zionist state with the necessary military capabilities needed to thwart the so-called sabotage attempts of the Palestinians.
Interestingly, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive congresswoman, who has been critical of Israel’s apartheid policies, introduced an amendment to the US defense budget bill, which enables the suspension of at least $735 million worth of Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) to Israel.
Cortez writes: “In this year’s NDAA, I have introduced 7 amendments, including blocking specific US weapons transactions to the Saudi government over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi; as well as the Israeli government over the bombing of Palestinian civilians and media centers.”
President Joe Biden, on the other hand, approved the sale of $725 million in JDAMs to Israel amid Israeli aggression on the Palestinians last May. During the fighting, US President Joe Biden expressed support for Israel, saying “my expectation and hope is this will be closing down sooner than later, but Israel has a right to defend itself.”
President Biden has repeatedly defended Israel on a geostrategic basis. Frankly, this is not the approach of President Biden only—with the exception of John Kennedy—but also the majority of American Presidents. The US, pragmatically speaking, won’t afford to lose Israel, its right hand in the MENA region.
Recent studies show that Israel is among the top receptors of US aid. Arguably, Washington uses foreign aid as a political tool to award allies and punish enemies. In 2019, the US provided Israel with $3.8 billion worth of assistance, according to a recent USAFacts report based on data from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“Israel has received the most U.S. foreign assistance of any country since World War II, at $243.9 billion, adjusted for inflation, and has been among the countries receiving the most aid every year since 1971,” USA facts reveals.
The majority of the US aid goes to the military sector that crackdowns on innocent Palestinians. US hypocrisy is clear in the case of selective assistance as well. Most, if not all, of the US receptors of the American aid, are authoritarian regimes. Saudi Arabia serves as a good example.
The attempts made by the progressives in the US congress entail that the number of pro-Palestine congressmen/women is not shirking but dramatically increasing. Though it would be too naive to say that the US will change its foreign policy towards Israel anytime soon, the efforts of the progressives are still appreciated.