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Monday, June 29, 2009

$2.775 Billion in US Aid Supports Israeli Nuclear Weapons Program

By Grant F. Smith
President Barak Obama’s fiscal year 2010 budget request for $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel is proceeding smoothly through the Congress.
On June 17, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs held a “mark-up” session on the budget. The subcommittee came under pressure from an antiwar group that sought to suspend or condition foreign aid over Israel’s use of US weapons which left 3000 Palestinians dead during the Bush administration. The subcommittee held its session in a tiny Capitol room denying activists and members of the press access. The budget quickly passed and is now before the full House Appropriations Committee.
Israel enjoys “unusually wide latitude in spending the [military assistance] funds,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Unlike other recipients that must go through the Pentagon, Israel deals directly with US military contractors for almost all of its purchases. This gives the US based Israel lobby, particularly the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an influence multiplier on Capitol Hill. Large contractors proactively segment military contracts across key congressional districts to make them harder to oppose. As contactors and local business interests fight for Israel’s favor, AIPAC can turn away from shepherding the massive aid package to dedicate considerable resources toward Iran sanctions. LinkHere


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