US President Donald Trump’s demand that Congress appropriate money to build a border wall resulted in the longest federal government shutdown in history— because Congress refused to support the idea—but at the same time, enthusiastically funds and supports Israel, which has a wall that dwarfs Trump’s wildest dreams.
The US Congress provides Israel with $10.5 million in military aid each and every day, according to the Congressional Research Service’s report “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,” written by Jeremy M. Sharp, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, dated April 10, 2018.
This means that the US Congress authorized According to the, the United States gave Israel $3.1 billion for Fiscal Year 2018 in direct bilateral military aid (also referred to as Foreign Military Financing or FMF).
Congress also authorized $705.8 million for “joint” U.S.-Israel missile defense programs (designed to protect Israeli territory from potential outside threats), bringing total military aid to Israel to more than $3.8 billion per year.
In September 2016, the United States and Israeli governments signed a new ten-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) where the U.S. pledged to give Israel $38 billion in military aid ($33 billion in FMF grants plus $5 billion in missile defense) over the course of 10 years (FY2019 to FY2028).
The report continues, ” Annual FMF grants to Israel represent approximately 18.5% of the overall Israeli defense budget. Israel’s defense expenditure as a percentage of its Gross Domestic Product (5.4% in 2015) is one of the highest percentages in the world.”
Contrary to ordinary U.S. policy, Israel has been and continues to be allowed to use approximately 26% of U.S. military aid to purchase equipment from Israeli manufacturers. According to CRS, “no other recipient of U.S. military assistance has been granted this benefit.”
The report adds that the FY2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act, provides the following for Israel:
$3.1 billion in Foreign Military Financing, of which $815.3 million is for offshore procurement;
$705.8 million for joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense projects, including $92 million for Iron Dome, $221.5 million for David’s Sling, $310 million for Arrow 3, and $82.3 million for Arrow 2;
$47.5 million for the U.S.-Israeli anti-tunnel cooperation program;
$7.5 million in Migration and Refugee Assistance;
$4 million for the establishment of a U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in energy and water technologies;
$2 million for the Israel-U.S. Binational Research & Development Foundation (BIRD) Energy program; and
The reauthorization of War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel (WRSA-I) program through fiscal year 2019.
The Israeli border wall, when finally finished, will have a total length of 708 kilometers (440 miles), 85 percent of which runs deep into the occupied West Bank, slicing away at least 9 percent of that territory and de facto adding it to Israel.
The US Congress apparently sees no contradiction in supporting Israel and its wall, and not supporting Donald Trump and his wall. This is, of course, because the Jewish lobby—in this particular case, the “left wing” Jewish lobby, which controls Congress through the Democratic Party, will always ensure that their interests are paramount before anybody else’s.