In the past three years, Americans have paid more for Israel's defense budget than Israelis themselves, according to the Israeli army's former Chief of Staff.
The United States gave nearly $3.1 billion to Israel this year, making it the number one contributor of American foreign aid.
Israel ranks among the top 30 richest countries in the world, while some of the poorest countries only see a fraction of that amount in US aid.
Because the money is given in a lump sum at the beginning of the year, rather than being distributed in increments, Americans pay interest on the money they borrow to give the aid. According to the Congressional Research Service, “once disbursed, Israel's military aid is transferred to an interest bearing account with the Federal Reserve Bank.” Therefore, the U.S. pays interest on the billions it gives to Israel while Israel accumulates interest on those billions.
Alison Weir of If Americans Knew states there are other areas where the U.S. government spends because of Israel.
With US presidential elections around the corner, each of the two major parties' candidates have made promises to cut spending in order to decrease the staggering US debt of $16 trillion. These include in the public and social services sectors.
Israeli military commander Gabi Ashkenazi, who made the statement during a conference last month, was issued an arrest warrant in 2010 by Turkey for ordering the assault on the humanitarian flotilla, resulting in the death of 9 civilians.
In 2008, a complaint was filed against Ashkenazi at the Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Israeli siege and subsequent bombardment of Gaza.