U.S and Israel Partners in Crime

Yossi Schwartz, the ISL the section of the RCIT in Israel/Occupied Palestine, 07.04.2023

Is Israel an American outpost?

When Shimon Peres was the President of Israel, he said that: “For our existence, we need the friendship of the United States of America. It doesn’t sound easy, but this is the truth,” he added. It’s not easy for a client state to admit that its own survival depends on a global patron.” [1]

Does it mean that Israel is an outpost of American imperialism? If this is true the White House makes the decisions for Israel. However, the growing tension between Biden’s administration and the government of Netanyahu shows that the USA does not control the Zionist state but Israel is a Junior ally of American imperialism.

As a matter of fact, even before the last crisis with President Biden, Israel began to examine whether the time had not come for Israel to prepare itself for a day of distancing in its relations with the United States and initiate a gradual and cautious disengagement from dependence on American military aid, as it used to do in the past with civilian aid. [2]

U.S. Aid to Israel

Over 170 billion dollars The USA has transferred to Israel since its establishment and assisted it in hundreds of distressed events, while at the same time, in hundreds of other events, Israel had to consider the American position and pressure. The list of cases in which Israel acted against the wishes of the White House is short.

In spite of the tension between the two imperialist states, for now, there is no breaking of providing arms on the part of the Americans that continue the close military cooperation. The radar facility that was placed in 2008 in the south of Israel, near Dimona, remains intact. It consists of two separate towers, 400 meters high that are reinforced with thick iron cables.

In 2016, the US helped promote and finance sophisticated tools capable of locating, mapping and destroying six attack tunnels that Hezbollah dug in South Lebanon. The USA invested about 178 million dollars in this project, and Israel about 450 million.

The Americans also have warehouses in Israel, some of them underground, containing equipment, missiles, and other types of ammunition with an estimated value of about 2 billion dollars. According to William Arkin, a former intelligence analyst in the US Army, and the author of the book “Code Names”, there are at least five secret bases where ammunition, vehicles, military equipment, and even a large field hospital. They are intended for Israeli and American use in an emergency, but subordinate to the American command. This reality is also not going to change whether Netanyahu visits the US soon or not.

What does the U.S. gain?

For America, Israel is a laboratory for combat conditions, where planes, tanks, missiles, and other armaments are tested. Yoram Ettinger, who was in contact with the leaders of the US aerospace industry while he served as an envoy at the Israeli Embassy in the US, once heard from them that no less than 700 upgrades were added to the F16 aircraft following Israeli advice and experience. When this profit is quantified in dollars and time, it is found that it is a saving of billions of dollars and between 10 and 20 years of research and development.

More US Aid

More than 60 years ago, American President John Kennedy tried to delay the development of the Israeli nuclear project. In exchange for the delay, the USA transferred defensive weapons to the IDF for the first time. Military aid intensified after the 1967 War and during the Yom Kippur War with the “Air Train”. In 1982 the American Secretary of State, General (retired) Alexander Haig, defined Israel as “the largest American aircraft carrier in the world, which cannot be sunk, which is not on board Even one American soldier, and that it is located in an area vital to American national security.”

Since then, the military ties between the two countries have expanded and branched out further. The main beneficiary of them is Israel, which receives annual military aid from the US in the amount of 3.8 billion dollars. Since its founding, Prof. Eitan Gilboa, an expert on the US at Bar-Ilan University and a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, found that the US has transferred to Israel over 170 billion dollars: about 118 billion military aid, and the rest – economic (civilian) aid. About 25 years ago Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to give up civilian aid and it was gradually reduced, until in 2008 it stopped completely.

The scope of US military aid to Israel is not the highest in the world. Gilboa, who compared the scope of US aid to Israel with US spending on the allies in other parts of the world, found that countries where the US maintains dozens of thousands of soldiers receive much more. Thus, for example, American military aid to Japan reaches 27 billion dollars a year; to Germany 21 billion dollars, and to South Korea 15 billion dollars. The defense of Europe costs the United States about 36 billion dollars every year. “Military aid to Israel is significantly lower,” Gilboa explains, “because Israel does not ask for American soldiers to fight for it.”

“The US military contribution to Israel’s security,” he emphasizes, is not limited to weapons. “Beyond the supply of modern and advanced weapons, and the joint development of new weapons, the two countries hold joint offensive and defensive military maneuvers, sometimes in cooperation with countries such as Great Britain and Germany. Together they thwart nuclear threats and maintain close intelligence cooperation. In two key areas,” clarifies Gilboa, “Israel’s dependence on the US is total: purchases and development of advanced weapons, and the neutralization of the acute anti-Israeli activity in international organizations.”

Nearly 50 times, the US vetoed anti-Israeli decisions taken by the Security Council and more than once prevented sanctions against it. This umbrella of protection stood out, especially in the case of the UN Human Rights Council.

A large part of the aid budget is currently directed to the purchase of F35 fighter jets and aerial refueling planes. “Israel and the USA,” Prof. Gilboa who is considered an expert on American-Israeli relations said, “are full partners in the development and production of multi-layer defense against missiles. This is a short-range ‘Iron Dome’, a short- and medium-range ‘David Slingshot’, and three generations of long-range ‘Arrow missiles. About half a billion dollars of the annual aid is allocated to ‘missile defense’ projects.”

The U.S. helped to repel the Goldstone report after the murder of civilians during Operation “Cast Lead”. The US prevented the transfer of the report to the Criminal Court in The Hague, for the purpose of filing lawsuits against Israeli commanders and political leaders responsible for war crimes. A few years later, she blocked and torpedoed another report by the council, this time following the “Steel Cliff” operation and the establishment of a commission of inquiry into Israel’s conduct in the face of the “Marches of Return” of the Palestinian refugees on the Gaza border.

Over the years, the United States has come to the aid of Israel several times: during the Yom Kippur War, the United States operated an air train to Israel carrying essential military supplies that had run out of IDF warehouses. It even declared a nuclear alert, to deter the Soviets, who were then supporting Syria and Egypt. During the Gulf War, the USA placed batteries of Patriot missiles in Israel to protect against the Iraqi missiles. They were activated by American soldiers (in retrospect it turned out that they were not effective – PS). As long as Israel follows the policy of ambiguity in its nuclear issue and does not officially admit that it possesses nuclear weapons, America refrains from forcing Israel to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The High Criminal Court tried to act against Israel and also against the USA. In 2019, for example, his chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, asked to be authorized to open an investigation into “war crimes” allegedly committed by Israel in the West Bank. Bensouda also asked to investigate Americans accused of committing war crimes in Afghanistan. The US stated in response that this is a tribunal that lacks legitimacy, authority, responsibility, and transparency, and that is tainted with corruption. It clarified that if it dares to discuss accusations against Americans and against people from the allies, including Israel, it will take severe sanctions against the prosecutor and her people and against the judges, including the cancellation of visas for staying in the US, confiscating funds and putting them on trial in the US. “The US even threatened,” reveals Gilboa, “that if the court arrests American citizens, it will release them by force.” Thus, the activity in The Hague was halted. Prof. Gilboa explains that “the problem with the reports of the UN Human Rights Council was that they not only blackened Israel’s face but were also intended to produce an evidentiary infrastructure for prosecuting Israeli leaders at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.”

The Price Israel Pays

The little price that Israel has paid to the U.S. for three decades now, is not building two strategic neighborhoods in Jerusalem: Atarot in the north of the city, and the one that is supposed to connect Jerusalem to Meme Adumim (E1). Over the years, it has frozen construction in other areas in Jerusalem and Yosh, pledged to the US several times not to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, and recently Netanyahu refrained from appointing Bezalel Smotrich as Defense Minister, also because the Americans vetoed it.

In 2000, at the request of the US, Israel had to cancel a deal with China worth a billion dollars, for the supply of “Falcon” systems. The cancellation resulted in a severe crisis with China. In the late 1980s, the U.S. applied pressure to stop the Halvea project, an Israeli fighter plane whose development was partially funded by American aid funds and which was supposed to compete with the US aircraft industry. A few years ago, Netanyahu, in coordination with the US, removed Israel’s opposition to the sale of advanced F35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, in exchange for diplomatic relations and open security and economic cooperation between the two countries.

Nevertheless, Israel began to examine whether the time has arrived for Israel to prepare itself for a day when its relations with the United States will change and it starts a gradual disengagement from American military aid.

The Fear

One of the scenarios that apparently necessitates a renewed examination of the nature of the relationship with America concerns the possibility that one day, maybe in ten years, a Democratic president from the progressive wing of the party will be in the White House, who will control, even partially, the Senate and Congress, and will seek to reduce and even completely stop, aid the military to Israel. How will Israel conduct itself in the face of such a president, and in the face of public opinion, some of which, already in today’s USA, is turning its back on Israel? How will it respond to brutal pressure, many times more severe than the one Israel faces today? What will it do if the American President demands that Israel retreat back to the 1967 borders? Evacuate half a million Israelis in the West Bank and the 220,000 who already live today in East Jerusalem? Withdraw from the Golan? At the current level of Israel’s security dependence on the US, it will be very difficult for Israel to refuse such a president, and if it decides to refuse, it will pay a high price for it.

The fear of such a day pushes the Zionist leaders to try and gradually stand on their own, even if it is a process that will take years. However, until recently Netanyahu and the security establishment officials refused to even discuss the possibility of reducing this aid. Now, as mentioned, a certain change is taking place; At the moment – at the level of thinking and reference only.

Major General (Ret.) Uzi Dayan, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Head of the National Security Council says: “My basic concept was written many, many years ago by a sage: ‘If I don’t have myself – who will I have?’ It is possible to reduce, and we should strive to reduce, the security dependence on the USA by strengthening our military industries. Already today there are certain components in which we must not depend on the Americans. These are cyber systems and electronic warfare envelopes that those who sell them to you can incorporate components into them that will make the operation not It’s up to you. It’s a very sensitive matter, in which we must insist with the Americans on Israeli components.” [3]

Down with all the imperialists!

For a Palestine red and Free from the river to the sea!


[1] https://www.cato.org/commentary/israels-post-american-future

[2] Nadav Sheragahi https://www.israelhayom.co.il/magazine/hashavua/article/13903963

[3] Ibid

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