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U.S. foreign aid to Israel: 2012 congressional report

Israel is currently the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign aid since World War II. Although aid to Israel began in 1949 with a $100 million bank loan, large-scale U.S. assistance for Israel increased dramatically throughout the several Arab-Israeli wars in the 1960s and 1970s.

A 2012 report by the Congressional Research Service, “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,” characterizes the historical financial relationship, types of military spending and current trends.

Among the highlights of the report are:

“The historic political changes occurring in the Arab world and the ongoing security challenges posed by Iran and its allies may affect the U.S.-Israeli aid relationship,” the report notes. “Some U.S. leaders perceive increasing threats to Israel, particularly from Iran and its Lebanese Shiite ally Hezbollah, and therefore may advocate for additional funding for programs such as short and long range missile defense. Others, who may also strongly support Israel’s security, also may see an opportunity for Israel to respond to empowered public opinion in neighboring Arab countries like Egypt through diplomatic means, especially by reenergizing peace initiatives with the Palestinians, and therefore may seek aid packages that offer incentives for this behavior.”

Tags: security, war, Middle East

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By April 26, 2012

Conflicts , Security, Military , U.S. Foreign Policy