Raphael Danziger is research and information director at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and editor of Near East Report, and Bradley Gordon is legislative director at AIPAC.

The $3 billion in aid that the U.S. government provides annually to Israel has come to represent the immutability of the U.S.-Israel alliance. But the aid is much more than symbolic; it brings very real benefits to both sides. It serves U.S. security interests by supporting a strategic American ally in a vital but volatile region. It helps with the defense of Israel against the common threats of radical Islam and international terrorism, enabling Israel to act as an effective U.S. ally. It promotes the Arab-Israeli peace process by allowing the Israelis to take greater risks for peace. It helps the government of Israel to absorb hundreds of thousands of immigrants, further enhancing Israel's effectiveness as a U.S. ally. Lastly, the U.S. aid to Israel is provided to a fellow democracy that fully shares the most fundamental values of the American people.

THE UTILITY OF FOREIGN AID

The cold war is over but the world remains a very dangerous place. The United States is now the world's only superpower; if it does not exert international leadership, what country will? No other state has the will or the capability to take on such threats as those emanating from rogue states like Iraq, Iran, or North Korea; nor can any other deal with issues such as the spread of weapons of mass destruction, international terrorism, radical Islam, or international narcotics trafficking. In short, American leadership is essential.

But to play this leadership role, the U.S. government must have the resources necessary to construct a network of allies on which it can rely to help counter dangers quickly and effectively. An adequate foreign-aid program is one of these resources. Americans provide assistance not only because they are a generous people but because it is in their national interest to do so. Foreign assistance is a vital tool in strengthening bilateral relations with allies and helping them better prepare themselves for conflicts.

In particular, whenever an ally can deal with threats that endanger U.S. security interests, that is a far less expensive enterprise than sending in U.S. troops. U.S. arms supplies to the mujahidin of Afghanistan worth only several hundred million dollars led to the defeat of a massive Soviet force in the 1980s. U.S. military assistance enabled Turkey to build a large army that even without the presence of U.S. ground troops deterred a Soviet expansion southward throughout the cold war--at a fraction of the cost the United States by itself would have incurred.

It may surprise many Americans to learn that foreign aid currently represents less than 1 percent of federal spending (compared to 10 percent during the 1950s), making it a remarkably cost-effective way to promote U.S. interests abroad. That nearly 95 percent of the military aid and most of the economic aid are spent in the United States makes it an even better deal.

And if foreign aid makes sense in general, it certainly does for Israel in particular.

U.S. STRATEGIC INTERESTS

The Middle East ranks as one of the most important areas for U.S. interests. Yet, as one of the world's most dangerous regions, its stability is hardly assured. Since the end of World War II, the region has been one of the most volatile flash points in the world, characterized by repeated episodes of large-scale warfare, enormously wasteful expenditures on arms and armies, threats of escalation to involve the major powers, and the disruption of international shipping and commerce.

Israel's role as a U.S. ally in this region is unique. In 1973, for example, a U.S. air lift enabled Israel to defeat the pro-Soviet Egyptian and Syrian armies without deployment of a single American soldier, and at a cost to the United States of only $2 billion. Had American troops been required, the operation would have cost untold lives and many more billions of dollars. As President Reagan wrote in 1979,

"The fall of Iran has increased Israel's value as perhaps the only strategic asset in the region on which the United States can rely. . . . Israel's strength derives from the reality that her affinity with the West is not dependent on the survival of an autocratic or capricious ruler. Israel has the democratic will, national cohesion, technological capacity and military fiber to stand forth as America's trusted ally."1

Nothing has happened in the past sixteen years to detract from the validity of this statement. Quite the contrary, Israel has proved time and again to be indispensable for upholding vital American interests. Through much of the cold war, Israel held pro-Soviet Arab states at bay, helping to constrain radicals from taking over the vulnerable oil-rich Persian Gulf states. In 1981, it destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor, saving American soldiers from having to face a nuclear-armed Iraq in Operation Desert Storm.

The end of the cold war has increased Israel's value to the United States, as the Middle East now holds out great threats and benefits for the United States. Israel is uniquely placed to help the United States deal with these threats.

Nuclear arms. Iran, Iraq, and Libya--all rogue states--have active programs to develop weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical, biological), and have sought to acquire long-range ballistic missiles. The detailed briefing Secretary of Defense William Perry received in Israel in March on Iran's nuclear capabilities points to Israel's intelligence contribution to countering this dangerous threat. Israel would most likely be the first -- although not the only -- target of Iraqi or Iranian nuclear aggression, giving it supreme motivation to help the United States avert that danger. Indeed, Israeli authorities have made clear they will consider direct action if a nuclear threat materializes in Iran or Iraq.

Terrorism. Terrorism originating in the Middle East reached America's shores in a major way in February 1993, with the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. Israeli law-enforcement authorities work closely with their American counterparts to track Middle Eastern terrorism; Israel's skills, location and environment make its information on this threat of unrivaled value.

Islamic radicalism. Islamic extremists have murdered thousands of civilians in Algeria and threaten to take over the country, they have also murdered foreign tourists in Egypt and terrorized Israelis. Having lost over 120 lives last year to terrorists of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizbullah, Israel stands at the forefront of the battle against this scourge. Israel invests vast resources to fight radicalism, making the country a major partner for the United States.

Oil and gas. The steep decline of oil production in the former Soviet Union has enhanced the importance of Middle Eastern oil. Israel continues to play an significant role in preventing the loss of Persian Gulf oil and gas to radicals, be they Islamic or secular. The conservative Arab regimes there face the same threats as Israel -- nuclear weapons in Iran and Iraq, terrorism, and Islamic radicalism. Israel's battle against these forces is instrumental to preserving regional stability, without which the conservative Arab regimes cannot last.

In addition to this specifically Middle Eastern role, Israel maintains a direct and close strategic cooperation with the United States that has been immensely useful to the U.S. armed forces. It provides facilities for the storage and maintenance of U.S. matériel for American or Israeli use in a crisis situation at a key location. Should American military forces need to deploy in the Middle East, Israel has strategically located facilities to help support American forces operating in the eastern Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, southern Europe, or the Suez Canal.

Indeed, the quality of Israeli facilities and military manpower is unsurpassed for its maintenance assistance, realistic training, and joint exercises with U.S. armed forces. Israel can regularly provide target ranges and training centers as well as expertise in fighting in extreme heat and desert conditions, advantages the U.S. armed forces have for many years made use of through joint training maneuvers with the Israeli armed forces.

Moreover, Israel has the most competent armed forces in its theater. Its military technology and qualitative advances have contributed importantly to American capabilities. During Desert Storm, the U.S. Air Force successfully relied on Israeli-designed Pioneer unmanned reconnaissance aircraft and Israeli-made conformal fuel tanks that extended the range of its F-15 fighters; in addition, the highly successful Tomahawk cruise missiles included Israeli-made components. Today, the Pentagon is procuring Hunter reconnaissance drones produced by a joint U.S.-Israel partnership for use by the army and marines; American and Israeli scientists are working together to develop the Arrow, one of the world's most advanced tactical anti-missile missiles; and the U.S. Air Force is using Israel's AGM-142 HAVE NAP missile (a highly accurate standoff attack weapon) to enhance the B-52 bombers fleet for conventional missions. U.S. officials publicly acknowledge the benefits that the Arrow program has brought to America's ballistic-missile defense efforts. General Malcolm O'Neill, director of the Pentagon's Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, recently explained that data gathered during Arrow tests has helped the U.S. Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) program, especially regarding sensor technology.2

Israel also has great value to the United States as a port of call and training ground for U.S. troops. Utilizing local port and training facilities of capable allies such as Israel becomes more important as the U.S. defense budget shrinks, the number of U.S. naval vessels declines, and regional force-projection requirements increase.

Israel's effectiveness as an American ally is directly related to U.S. aid. Without this military assistance, Israel would be forced to decrease its defense budget by nearly a third, seriously undercutting its military capabilities. The effects on Israel's critical defense-related research-and-development activities, which receive a significant proportion of their funding from the U.S. aid, would be particularly grievous. And the repayment of Israel's old military debts through U.S. economic aid saves Israel from further large cuts in its military budget. Without America's assistance to Israel--and the political support underlying it--Israel would be hard put to preserve an effective military deterrent to regional aggression, and the United States would be unable to count on Israel for the many benefits of the strategic alliance between the two countries.

ISRAEL'S SECURITY

A reduction in U.S. aid would erode Israel's qualitative military edge, without which the Israelis would risk a deterioration in their ability to defend themselves. That would undermine Israel's effectiveness as a U.S. ally.

The threat. Progress in the peace process has not translated into a reduced threat to Israel. The armed forces of the Arab world and Iran outnumber Israel's eight-to-one in manpower, seven-to-one in tanks and armored fighting vehicles, and more than four-to-one in aircraft. Radical regimes throughout the Middle East seek weapons of mass destruction, along with delivery systems such as ballistic and cruise missiles. The Arab states and Iran place orders for billions of dollars in new weapons each year and have tens of billions of dollars still in the pipeline from past years. By the turn of the century, Israel may well be faced with as many as two thousand such missiles under the control of hostile states. The destructive power of these weapons, even if armed only with conventional warheads, would be devastating.

Iran and Syria offer two examples of the Middle East's continued military build-up. Iran is rapidly becoming the most serious threat to stability in the Middle East and is swiftly developing the means to strike Israel. Iranian rearmament and military expansion started at the beginning of the 1990s and remain top priorities of Tehran. Western governments have estimated that Iran could produce a nuclear device in five to ten years--sooner if key technologies are imported or stolen from abroad.3 U.S. intelligence sources have publicly described Iran as also having active chemical and biological weapons programs.4 Iran is on the verge of acquiring a new, accurate, intermediate-range missile from North Korea, the Nodong, which will for the first time give Tehran the means of reaching Israel with these deadly weapons. Some reports indicate prototype missiles may have already arrived in Iran for test flights.5

Syria won a financial windfall of almost $3 billion in payment for its nominal military contribution in the Kuwait war. The country's military spending went up by 31 percent in 1994,6 and as much as a third of Syria's military budget is going into modern weaponry. As a result, Damascus fields armed forces totalling over 400,000 troops. Syria's arsenal includes more than 4,500 modern tanks and some 600 combat aircraft. In short, the regime of President Hafiz al-Asad alone has more troops, tanks, aircraft, and artillery than Israel does.

Syria's new arms are of higher quality than in the past, and for several reasons. Soviet-bloc weaponry was often delivered without the sensitive components and subsystems judged too secret to export; but today, Russia's financial plight largely outweighs such concerns; frontline systems now offered for export include the T-80 tank and S-300 air defense anti-missile system. Further, Syria has taken delivery, via Iran, of as many as 150 extended-range North Korean Scud-C missiles, more than doubling the size of its ballistic missile arsenal. These missiles can carry chemical weapons. Israeli intelligence analysts estimate that Syria will be able to produce its own Scud-Cs within two years. The accurate SS-21 missiles increase Syria's first-strike attack capabilities against such key Israeli installations as air bases and mobilization points. Damascus also retains an interest in obtaining M-9 intermediate-range missiles from China.7 And lastly, the European Union in November 1994 lifted its arms embargo on Syria, which may allow Damascus to upgrade some weaponry with Western components.

The American role. Given these threats, U.S. assistance has so critical an impact on the security of the Jewish state that for Israel's qualitative edge to be maintained, the U.S. government must continue the current levels of security assistance. Even with a full U.S. aid package, Israeli planners will find it difficult to preserve their country's security, in part because the real value of American aid has declined by more than a third since 1985 owing to the rising costs of U.S. weapon systems.

Israel's defense requirements exceed available budgetary resources. Israeli military expenditures were 17.3 percent of GNP in 1986, but only 9.1 percent in 1993, reflecting major cuts in defense spending.8 At an economically challenging time of absorbing hundreds of thousands of immigrants and cuts in its defense budget, Israel must constantly upgrade its defenses against a conventional or unconventional attack by the rapidly growing Arab armies and Iranian threat.

While Israeli military planners have attempted to make cuts without eroding Israel's narrow margin of safety, reductions of this magnitude have, inevitably, added to the element of risk in many areas and eroded Israel's vital margin of security. Over the last ten years, budgetary allocations for critical areas such as training and defense research-and-development have been reduced by roughly two-thirds; in 1995 alone, they were cut by $28.3 million.9 The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has had to make hard choices to afford the level of security necessary for dealing with emerging threats. It has postponed some programs to pay for such top priorities as F-15 aircraft. The IDF also faces the choice of canceling important projects or stretching them out over extended periods, thus driving up their ultimate cost. For example, Israel recently decided not to proceed at this time with the purchase of a sophisticated early-warning radar system. The effects of recent years' defense budget cuts will continue to be felt for years to come.

These reductions in Israel's defense resources make the U.S. Foreign Military Financing of $1.8 billion a year a vital component of Israel's ability to defend itself. In particular, it helps in upgrading Israel's air force--whose margin of superiority over its adversaries remains the cornerstone of Israel's security doctrine--particularly through the acquisition of additional fighter aircraft. Thus, the U.S. government has provided fifty surplus F-16 fighters and ten Blackhawk helicopters to the Israel air force. Without American help, how will Israel pay approximately $2 billion for the twenty-one advanced F-151 jet fighters it needs to deal with the potential threats of the twenty-first century?

THE PEACE PROCESS

Every American president since Richard Nixon has actively pursued the elusive goal of a peaceful end to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Arab-Israeli peace process promotes three key U.S. foreign-policy objectives: greater regional stability, containment of radical forces and states, and security of the flow of Persian Gulf oil. These bring enormous political, economic, and strategic benefits to the United States.

Another Arab-Israel war would risk disruption of the stability of the entire region, with a possible involvement of U.S. forces and an interruption in the supply of Middle East oil. Ending the Arab-Israeli conflict helps weaken such radical states as Iran, Iraq, and Libya; for as long as the conflict persists, the radical states can continue to exploit it to put pressure on pro-Western Arab moderates seeking accommodation with Israel. In this way, the peace process curbs some of the most dangerous post-cold war threats to American security. Bringing stability to the Middle East also reduces the threat of terrorism against Americans, expands Middle Eastern markets for U.S. exports, and provides new opportunities for U.S. investments.

Now, for the first time, a possibility exists to resolve peacefully the core issues of this conflict. It is easy to forget the astounding progress that has taken place since 1993, and how quickly what was once hardly imaginable has become routine. The U.S. commitment to Israel's security, as reflected in aid to Israel, was indispensable in making it happen. As the administration states,

"Recent gains must be secured by continued United States commitment and support for the peace process. . . . The commitment of this Administration to Israel's security is strong and unshakable. Our assistance is intended to strengthen a free and democratic Israel as well as to facilitate a negotiated peace and stability in the region."10

Israel necessarily takes major security risks in the pursuit of peace. It is being asked irrevocably to give up tangible assets--strategic territories it captured in the defensive war of 1967--in return for intangible, revocable peace treaties. The success of the peace process heavily depends on a sustained U.S. policy of minimizing those risks. As President Clinton told the Israeli people in Jerusalem last October 27: "Now that you are taking risks for peace, our role is to help you to minimize the risks of peace. I am committed to working with our Congress to maintain the current levels of military and economic assistance."

Support for aid to Israel to bolster the peace process enjoys bipartisan support in Congress. Senators Robert Dole and George Mitchell coauthored a letter to Prime Minister Rabin on May 4, 1994, which ninety-two senators signed: "As you work for peace and reconciliation, please know that we will continue to do our best to provide Israel with the economic and defense assistance it needs, because we believe a just and lasting peace can only succeed if Israel is strong and secure."

The continued U.S. commitment to Israel's security as reflected in the aid to Israel will continue to be vital to moving the peace process along. Prime Minister Rabin's peace policies entail not only security risks but domestic political risks, for he has clearly made moves that are ahead of Israeli public opinion. He recognized the PLO before the Israeli public was prepared for such an action; public opinion only supported his move after the fact. Recent poll results underscore the boldness of those moves, as he has come under heavy criticism from the opposition Likud party, demonstrators, and journalists.

To take additional risks for peace, Rabin needs the solid support and encouragement of the United States. This shows the Israeli public both the benefits of his peace policies and that they can count on American support. Israeli skepticism being based primarily on security concerns, the U.S. government, through its financial aid, military ties, and diplomatic support, can reassure Israelis as they contemplate the risks that peace entails. U.S. aid to Israel also signals to Arabs that the relationship with Israel is rock-solid. The more Arab negotiating parties see that the United States cannot be decoupled from Israel, the more likely they are to negotiate with Israel seriously, and not wait for Washington to "deliver" Israel.

Any reduction in aid could endanger the peace process. The Israeli public and Arab parties alike would conclude that the U.S.-Israel bond may be eroding. This perception would undermine the Israelis' confidence in their American partner and reduce the Arab incentive to negotiate seriously with the Israelis. Most important, it would be virtually impossible to persuade the Israeli public to accept such territorial concessions at a time of cuts in U.S. assistance to Israel.

IMMIGRANT ABSORPTION

As a result of the successful efforts by the U.S. government in winning the freedom of Jews in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere, more than a half million Jews have immigrated to Israel since 1990; that's the equivalent of the United States's admitting more than 25 million immigrants in five years. Israeli planners expect the country to receive an equal number in the next five years, for a total population increase of more than 20 percent during this decade.

These new immigrants are enormously expensive to absorb due to the vast expansion of infrastructure they require. Housing, transportation, education, job training, and job creation all require money. Israel's government spent approximately 20 percent of its 1993 budget ($6.8 billion) on absorption--up from 7.6 percent ($2.5 billion) in 1990. Financial contributions from world Jewry and the U.S. government have expedited and eased the absorption process for the current wave of immigrants. Lacking this external support, Israel would not be able to absorb so many newcomers at one time without extremely high rates of unemployment and low rates of economic growth. Given the narrow margins of Israel's defense, the resultant weakening of its national fortitude could seriously jeopardize its security.

While spending a large amount of its own money for the initial subsistence and resettlement needs of new immigrants, the government (under both Likud and Labor) has decided to leave to the private sector the basic task of integrating the newcomers into the economy. The results have been impressive. Since 1990, some 386,000 new jobs have been created in Israel. Of this total, 357,000 jobs, or 92 percent, are in the private sector. As a result of private-sector job growth, unemployment in Israel has dropped into single digits during the past few years. While unemployment and underemployment of new immigrants is still among the country's most pressing economic problems, successful job creation is easing the transition for these newcomers. Some 140,000 more immigrants had jobs in 1994 than in 1991.

This success in private-sector job creation for the immigrants has been aided by two major factors. First, the U.S.-backed economic-reform program has encouraged business expansion and, thus, new job opportunities. Secondly, the U.S. loan guarantee program--at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer11--has had significant effects on Israel's economy. Initially, in 1991, when it appeared the United States would not provide guarantees, private foreign banks virtually froze lending levels to Israel. Upon passage of the guarantees in 1992, international banks showed much more interest in the Israeli economy, and today more banks lend to Israel than ever before. Private investment in Israel, in other words, follows directly from American public trust in Israel. Passage of the guarantees also sent a signal to other Western states; following America's lead, European governments provided their own immigrant absorption aid packages. These funds also helped the Israeli government resist domestic pressures that it take the primary responsibility for absorbing immigrants.

The loan guarantees' most important effect, however, was to send a message to Jews in the former Soviet Union. When the loan guarantees were stalled, Israel's ability to provide new immigrants with jobs was constrained, causing concern among potential immigrants and leading to a temporary halt of immigration. Since the passage of the guarantees, immigrant unemployment in Israel has been cut in half and immigration has increased again.

A portion of U.S.-guaranteed loans are used to enlarge Israel's infrastructure -- roads, airports, electricity, and so forth. However, most of the funds raised through the guarantees are used to expand the pool of low-interest investment capital available to Israeli businesses. It is estimated that each new job created in Israel requires $50,000 of investment. Easier access to this capital by businesses allows the economic absorption of the immigrants to be driven by the private sector.

By helping Israel in this way, American money helps serves American interests. The more successfully Israel absorbs its immigrants, the healthier its economy and the greater its strength. Such strength renders Israel an effective ally.

Israel's heroic efforts to turn immigrants from the former Soviet Union into productive citizens reminds us that it, like the United States, Israel is a country of immigrants, most of whom have fled oppression. Providing refuge is only one of many values Israel shares with the United States.

SHARED VALUES

Israel shares with the United States a deep commitment to democracy and human rights, a particularly remarkable trait given its neighborhood. The country has enemies on two of its borders, more further away, and faces threats from a wide range of extremist groups, especially the Islamic radicals.

Despite these problems, Israel enjoys a "free" rating in the Freedom House survey of "Freedom Around the World" for 1995; not a single Arab country enjoys that rating.12 Israel ranks 19th among the United Nations's 185 member states (and first in the Middle East) on the United Nations Development Program's "human development" scale for 1994.13

Israel's democratic nature makes it a particularly suitable recipient of U.S. assistance. As then presidential candidate Bill Clinton stated in September 1992,

Our relationship would never vary from its allegiance to the shared values, the shared religious heritage, the shared democratic politics which have made the relationship between the United States and Israel a special, even on occasion a wonderful, relationship. Our support of Israel would be part of all those shared things.14

Quite simply, Americans feel more comfortable with the provision of U.S. aid to democratic states than with furnishing assistance to authoritarian regimes. But there are more tangible benefits to such aid as well. Whereas the constancy of U.S. alliances with authoritarian countries depends on the longevity (and whims) of unelected leaders, alliances with democracies are inherently stable. This is particularly true in the case of Israel, where affection to the United States is nearly universal; indeed, Israel is the only Mediterranean country where American sailors proudly wear their uniforms on shore--and are warmly welcomed by the public.

By law, Israel's institutions guarantee fundamental civil liberties for all citizens, Jew and Arab alike. Other than Turkey, it is the only country in the Middle East with meaningful free elections; a free press; checks and balances to prevent and correct abuses of authority; extensive protection for the rights of individuals and minority groups; freedom of religion; basic equality for women; and other safeguards and rights that are typical of a free society. Israel's Equal Opportunity Law forbids discrimination on account of sex, marital, or parental status. Employers are legally required to pay female and male workers equally for equivalent tasks. Israel is one of the few states in the world--and the only country in the Middle East other than Turkey--to have in modern times had a woman head of government. Like the United States, Israel guarantees religious freedom for adherents of all faiths. Israel is the only country in the Middle East consistently to uphold unfettered freedom of assembly as a vehicle for promoting change. Israel's judicial system, based on the British legal tradition, protects the rights of the accused. The right to a hearing By an impartial tribunal with representation by counsel is provided for by law and carried out in practice. The judicial system is independent, and is effectively insulated from political interference. The Israeli Supreme Court functions with a degree of independence similar to the US.

Like the United States, Israel maintains a free-enterprise system. In recent years, Israel has rapidly privatized state-owned enterprises, and has provided major incentives for Israeli and foreign investments in the private sector. Lastly, unlike other states in the region, Israel permits all of its residents freely to leave the country whenever they choose to do so. There are no legal or economic impediments to emigration.

All this said, Israel is not perfect, as Israelis themselves acknowledge (and have the freedom to acknowledge). But its human-rights and civil-liberties record remains far and away the best in the Middle East--as it has been for nearly half a century. This makes Israel an attractive--and valuable--beneficiary of American foreign aid.

CONCLUSION

Although the absolute amount of U.S. government aid to Israel is substantial, it is one of the most cost-effective investments that Americans make in support of their international interests; this is especially true because virtually the entire annual $1.2 billion economic aid returns to the United States in the form of debt repayment, while $1.325 of the $1.8 billion annual military aid must by law be spent in the United States, creating tens of thousands of American jobs. By comparison, U.S. expenditures in support of European allies in NATO are still many times the size of the aid to Israel: While the U.S. defense budget is divided functionally, not regionally, roughly 40 to 50 percent--or $80 to $112 billion--can be estimated to directly or indirectly support American defense commitments to Europe.15

The reduction or elimination of U.S. aid to Israel would undercut the vital U.S.-Israel relationship and thereby make it more difficult to achieve U.S. objectives of over four decades standing. Because aid to Israel contributes to stability in a key region full of real threats to U.S. security, it is hard to see a place where U.S. foreign assistance fulfills its mission more or is better spent.


1 The Washington Post, Aug. 15, 1979.
2 At The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, July 13, 1995.
3 Secretary of Defense Perry, National Press Club, Jan. 5, 1995. 4 Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey, Senate Testimony, Feb. 24, 1993. 5 Iran Brief, Dec. 5, 1994, p. 2. 6 The Military Balance, 1994-1995 (London: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 1995), p. 139. 7 Defense Week, July 4-10, 1994. 8 U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 1993-1994 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1995) p. 68. Because Israel's GNP grew during that period, this translates into budgets (in constant 1993 dollars) of $8.3 billion in 1986 and $6.2 billion in 1993.
9 Defense News, Jan. 30, 1995.
10 Resources, Plans, and Policy, Office of the Secretary of State, International Affairs (Function 150) Budget Request, FY 1996, Feb. 6, 1995, p. 29.
11 Israel's current foreign debt situation is very favorable, so the government should have little trouble paying back its loans. The growth of exports and overall increases in the GDP will more than make up for the additional annual foreign-debt payments, assuring that Israel's foreign debt will be easily served.
12 Freedom Review, Jan./Feb. 1995, pp. 15-16.
13 United Nations Development Program Human Development Report, 1994 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), p. 129.
14 Address to Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, New York, Sept. 24, 1992.
15 Seymour Melman cites $80 billion per year as the level of U.S. annual spending on European defense in "Preparing for War (Against Ourselves)," The New York Times, June 26, 1995; Judith Papachristou in a Jan. 20, 1995, letter to The New York Times pegs this figure at $112 billion. The actual level of support varies from year to year; also, estimates vary depending on variables included.