Report: ‘Buy U.S.’ clause for military aid costs Israel billions

Special to

JERUSALEM — Israel has been losing billions of dollars through
accepting military aid from the United States, a report said.

The Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies asserted that Israel loses
through the U.S. military assistance program. In a report, the institute
said the lion’s share of American aid, which reaches $3.2 billion, has been
spent in the United States.

Israeli F-15s.
Israeli F-15s.

“U.S. aid is a net loss for Israel and Israel would be better off without it,” the report, authored by Yarden Gazit, said.

The recent report said Israel has not been allowed to use U.S. aid to develop or product indigenous systems. Instead, Israel has spent billions of dollars on U.S. combat platforms and equipment not required by the military.

“The ‘buy U.S.’ requirement causes Israel to buy defense products at a high price, sometimes even products Israel may not need,” the report said.

The institute estimated that Israel’s defense industry loses up to $750
million through U.S. military aid. American law requires that nearly 75
percent of military assistance be spent in the United States.

The report said U.S. aid to Israel was meant primarily to benefit the
American defense industry and justify massive U.S. arms exports to Egypt,
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council states. Gazit said Israel
must spend more than $2 in military expenditure to counter every dollar in
U.S. military aid to Egypt.

Gazit also warned that massive U.S. military aid could harm Israeli
efforts in such countries as China and India. He said the Israeli military
use of U.S. systems undercuts the defense export drive by the Jewish state.

“It hurts Israeli industry’s reputation on the international market and
may cause a loss of sales,” the report said.

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