245. Aid to Israel much greater than stated

Myron Meadow’s letter of Jan.1 is full of misleading statements. The most outrageous one is about U.S aid to the Palestinians Authority and to Israel.

Contrary to what Mr. Meadow wrote, not a penny is given to the Palestinian Authority. The money is earmarked for specific projects and provided indirectly through non-governmental organizations.

Mr. Meadow thinks that Israel only gets $2.8 billion in aid and that all the money is spent in the U.S. The $2.8 billion is the usual yearly give away; 25% of the military portion of this aid ($1.8 billion) is in fact spent in Israel, not in the U.S. There are additional goodies that Mr. Meadow chose to overlook.

Congressional Research Service estimates that Israel receives tax-free about $1 billion annually through philanthropy, equal amounts through short- and long- term commercial loans, and around $1 billion in Israel bonds.

Also, over the past few years, the U.S. provided Israel with $625 million to develop the Arrow missile; $1.3 billion to develop the Lavi aircraft (now cancelled); $200 million to develop the Merkava tank; $130 million to develop the high energy laser anti-missile system; $1.2 billion to fund the Wye agreement; and $200 million in anti-terror assistance. Furthermore, The Washington Post of Nov. 26, 2002 reported that Israel requested an extensive new economic package: $10 billion in loan guarantees and $4 billion in military aid, on top of the usual yearly give away.

Israel has excelled in the art of milking the U.S taxpayers.

January 8, 2003