America Gives Israel a $38 Billion Gift Certificate for Weapons

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Special relationship.Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The United States signed a massive security aid agreement with Israel on Wednesday, pledging $38 billion to the Israeli military over ten years, making it the largest such agreement in American history.

The package consists of $33 billion in foreign military financing funds and $5 million earmarked for missile defense. Under the agreement, the Jewish State will only be allowed to spend this aid on its domestic military industries for a brief period, after which the funds will only be redeemable at American defense firms. Israel’s desire to use American aid as a stimulus for its own arms-makers was a long-running conflict in negotiations, according to Reuters. The deal also bars the Israeli military from spending funds on fuel, and prohibits Israeli diplomats from lobbying Congress for additional funds during peacetime.

The agreement comes as the Netanyahu government continues to pursue the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, in defiance of the U.S. State Department, which has condemned the activities as “provocative,” “counterproductive,” and “deeply concerning.” In July, State Department spokesperson John Kirby said that the recent acceleration in settlement construction “systematically undermines the prospects for a two-state solution.”

One could argue that providing the government behind that acceleration with the largest aid agreement in history does the very same.