US must not give Israel a blank check

Patrick Seaman, Staff Writer

In 2012, Israel’s defense budget was around $15 billion. $3 billion of that budget came from the United States. Overall, Israel receives the second highest amount of aid from the United States. Israel is irrefutably in a state of war, the justice of which is being debated in this piece, but the United States should not be setting the precedent of support for administrations that perpetuate war. It is high time that the United States cuts foreign aid, reserving economic aid for countries that are in desperate need and eliminates all foreign military lending. The United States cannot afford to have its assets tied up in blood money any longer.

Last week, Israel asked the United States to up its defense aid package to $5 billion a year in 2017, making a $50 billion payout by the time the contract would expire. This request comes in light of the appointment of Israeli Chief of Public Diplomacy, Ran Baratz, who called President Obama a modern day anti-Semite, and claimed Secretary of State John Kerry had the mental capacity of a twelve-year-old. The continued U.S. military support of an administration that disrespects and insults high-profile government figures is embarrassing. Israel currently is ranked 19th in the U.N. Human Development Index, and outguns its neighbors by a heavy margin. Israel does not need the level of foreign aid that it receives from the United States. However, the support of Israel is not as big an issue in and of itself as is the level of interest that the United States exercises over the Middle East, and the world as a whole.

The money that the United States spends on foreign aid may be negligible in the grand scheme of things, but it is representative of the overall trend of spending far too much time and resources invested in interests abroad rather than focusing on the issues at home. Furthermore, the United States simply cannot continue to have the military presence that, aid-based or troop-based, it currently possesses. U.S. actions continuously tread the line between intervention and infringement upon sovereignty, and foreign aid is a symptom of the lamentable U.S. focus on foreign affairs rather than internal matters.

The United States needs to begin the slow, tedious and yet necessary withdrawal from foreign interests, both militarily and economically. This is not to say that the United States shouldn’t play any role in international affairs or diplomatic relations, but the current level of U.S. entanglement in foreign affairs and international politics cannot continue. Step one, stop funding Israel’s military expenditures. From there, the United States must pursue a policy of disentanglement and focus on domestic matters and infrastructure.


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Email Patrick Seaman at [email protected]



  1. Nice for you to try to speak of the #billion Us dollars going to Israel per year, due to the fact that a Peace deal with Egypt is part of the Bargain.

    If Israel is giving the Sinai back to Egypt and will be less secure for it, the agreement was for Egypt to receive 2 billion and Israel 3 billion.

    Peace is risky if YOU do not support peace and the costs associated with it, how do you expect people who were put into ovens 70 years ago to take a chance with a population who wants to do the same.

    Please be balanced when you are trying to write about a complex issue while being a College journalist.

    Thank you.

  2. Do you know that the US gave $500,000,000 to Lebanon last year…and that country is controlled by Iran VIA Hezbollah.

    Hezbollah killed over 200 US marines in 1983 and 90 French Peacekeepers as well.

    Iran killed about 1,000 US soldiers via IED in Iraq in the past 5 years….

    Context is important, so please be a journalist and not a useful Idiot.

  3. Relying on the UN for objectivity? Who are you kidding?

    For the last hundred years the best and brightest of the civilized world have been engaged in the business of peace. In the days before the Nobel Peace Prize became a joke, it was expected that scientific progress would lead to moral progress. Nations would accept international laws and everyone would get together to replace wars with international conferences.

    Instead technological progress just gave us better ways to kill each other. There have been few innovations in the moral technology of global harmony since Immanuel Kant’s “Perpetual Peace” laid out a plan to grant world citizenship to all refugees and outlaw all armies, invasions and atrocities with the whole shebang would be overseen by a League of Nations.

    That was in 1795 and Kant’s plan was at least more reasonable than anything we have two-hundred years later today because it at least set out to limit membership in this body to free republics. If we had done that with the United Nations, it could conceivably have become something resembling a humane organization. Instead it’s a place where the dictators of the world stop by to give speeches about human rights for a show that’s funnier than anything you could find eight blocks away at the Broadway Comedy Club.

  4. A moral voice at the United Nations, No, A room full of liars and lovers of self. Self-serving monsters who subject others to barbarism and tyranny. The home of apologists for barbarism where human rights are judged by the very evil doers who cover for each other’s deeds and double standards. The anti-free, the bloated dictators, the wacko islamists. If you want humanity you came to the wrong place.

  5. Israel should also withdraw immediately from the United Nations (whose full name seems more accurately to be UNAI, the United Nations Against Israel) and help found a robust league of democracies, a new body where human rights violators don’t preside over human rights councils and where blocs of Islamists and communists don’t dictate to progressive republics. The UN might have arguably been the greatest endeavor man ever embarked upon; instead, it is a tiresome farce run by malevolent circus clowns. This is one club to which the Jew, and the Jewish State, should not belong and not wish to belong.

  6. Thank you Patrick. Disregard the silly people who have poor reading comprehension like “Jerry” or vile and odious Hasbara trolls like “arafat.”

    Know this, most American Jews support an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine by the rogue state of Israel. It has gone on long enough. It is a blood libel for these crazy wingnuts to continue to claim that Ethnic Cleansing, land and resource theft and the shooting of Palestinian kids as sport is a Jewish value.

    One day trolls like “Jerry” and “arafat” will be looked upon as the war criminals of old, and they need to be on notice that the International Criminal Court is looking for both of them. Anyone who continues to incite violence on either side is subject to appear before the ICC according to the prosecutor.

    I would dearly love to see “Jerry” and “arafat” in the dock at the Hague where they belong. They are anti-Jew anti-Semites to claim that the world’s Jews support Ethnic Cleansing of indigenous people. It’s going to stop because now real American Jews are rising up to stop it.

    — Proud supporter of Jewish Voice for Peace

  7. @Jerry: Do you have sources for this country being responsible for so many U.S. deaths? Also, last I checked, unlike Syria, Lebanon is still its own sovereign country, and NYU has many Lebanese international students, please be very careful how to sling accusations without backing them up.

    Regarding Israel, well…two words: no comment.


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