- Written by Josh Ruebner, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Josh Ruebner, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
- Published: 20 April 2011 20 April 2011
Last week, Congress finally got around to finalizing the 2011 budget, which included a record-breaking appropriation of $3 billion in military aid to Israel (not including an additional $415 million in Pentagon funding for joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense projects).This money was the third installment of a ten-year Memorandum of Understanding signed by the United States and Israel to provide Israel with $30 billion in U.S. military aid from 2009-2018, an annual average increase of 25% over previous levels.
It is well-known that Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid and that U.S. weapons provided to Israel make the United States intricately, deeply, and comprehensively complicit in Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians. However, until now, the extent of U.S. weapons transferred to Israel and the direct relationship between these weapons and Israel’s killing of Palestinian civilians has been difficult to detail.
Not any longer. To coincide with Tax Day, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation launched a new website: How Many Weapons to Israel? to catalogue and quantify the types, values, and quantities of U.S. weapons transferred to Israel between 2000-2009. Even for someone like myself who works everyday to challenge U.S. military aid to Israel and follows the issue closely, the results of our research are eye-popping. The sheer magnitude of weapons given to Israel is staggering; the devastation caused to Palestinians by these weapons is heart-breaking. Our research shows that during the past decade, the United States provided Israel with more than 670 million weapons and related equipment, valued at nearly $19 billion, through three major weapons transfer programs. In our database, we detail more than 500 different weapons categories, along with the value and quantity of each type of weapon transferred to Israel.
How Many Weapons to Israel? paints a disturbing picture of the extent to which the United States is saturating Israel with weapons. Take just one example: in the last three years alone, the United States has provided Israel with enough ammunition (47 million pieces) to kill every Palestinian in the Occupied Territories more than ten times over! What a truly frightening thought.