Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
U.S. Taxpayer Money Goes to Israel
By Martin Mann
Since the post-World War II era, every federal administration -- and every Congress -- has misled American taxpayers about the real cost of protecting, arming and nurturing Israel from the hardscrabble, mendicant statelet it was in Presi dent Harry Truman's day into the saber-rattling nuclear regional superpower of today.
That conclusion emerges inexorably from documents and confidential U.S. government files made available by highly placed diplomatic sources in New York City.
Among Washington national security bureaucrats and congressional leaders, it was considered taboo to question the multiple liabilities assumed by the federal budget in order to extend military, economic, diplomatic and political support over the years to the fledgling Zionist ministate and its increasingly powerful lobby in the United States.
In the fall of 1977 -- to quote a symptomatic example -- the late George Ball, then serving as undersecretary of state, wrote an aide-memoire for the State Department's congressional liaison office, noting that "extensive" deployment of the U.S. Sixth Fleet and logistical support units in the Mediterranean was undertaken "in compliance with classified [White House] directives for the surveillance and possible interdiction of hostile attempts to breach Israel's exposed littoral."
Ball noted that these offshore naval maneuvers to protect the ministate, led by a U.S. attack carrier task force, in volved "unbudgeted costs that will apparently rise to some $1.6 billion for the next FY [fiscal year]."
What turned Ball's memo into a "sting er" was the concluding passage that noted the Navy's unforeseen expenses will bring "the [U.S.] assistance allotted to Israel this year to approximately $11 billion in the aggregate."
That eye-popping amount was several times more than the officially acknowledged sum total of handouts Israel was supposed to receive at the time, and it might have caused a public furor if leaked.
But pro-Israeli Washington national security officials intercepted and hastily suppressed the memo. Congress cooperated in the cover-up.
Ball, though a distinguished American diplomat, paid for his indiscretion. He "resigned" soon afterward and died without ever holding public office again.
"Just how many billions we have spent on Israel may never be known," said Alvin Polmar, a former congressional auditor. "Many of these budget entries have been disguised under misleading line items or hidden as 'black' national-security expenditures."
The public accounting federal authorities have made of these giveaways are "skimpy and misleading in more than one respect," warned this knowledgeable inside SPOTLIGHT source.
According to the official statistics, between 1949 and 1997, U.S. taxpayers have donated a grand total of $84.8 billion to Israel.
But that figure does not include the $14 billion Israel has drawn from Washington in loan guarantees during this period, noted Richard Curtiss, a former senior U.S. foreign service officer.
"And if you calculate what the U.S. had to pay in interest to borrow this money to give to Israel, the cost to U.S. taxpayers rises to $134.8 billion. That's more than a hundred thousand dollars -- $116,205 to be exact -- for every Israeli family of five," noted this knowledgeable observer.
In constant 1999 dollars, adjusted for inflation, the giveaways to Israel total just about $300 billion.
Nor do the figures above begin to include the myriad indirect financial liabilities unquestioning support of Zionism has imposed on Americans: The staggering costs of frequent deployments and UN "peacekeeping" operations in the Middle East, the Arabian peninsula and the Gulf, the spikes in oil prices, the interminable international squabbles, and so forth.