Just the Facts: U.S. Support of Israel

  • The Obama-Netanyahu Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) increased U.S. military aid by 27% per year.
  • It increased U.S. military aid to Israel to $3.8 billion per year, up from $3 billion per year.
  • Congress has gone beyond this, allocating more than $100 million per year to Israel’s missile defense and anti-tunneling programs, bringing total U.S. aid to over $3.9 billion per year.
  • Prior to 1971, Israel received a total of only $277 million in military aid, all in the form of loans.
  • In contrast, President Biden just restored $235 million in U.S. aid to Palestinians, in 2021.
  • The U.S. provides over $8.5 million of military assistance to Israel PER DAY.
  • The U.S. has used its veto power 44 times to block UN Security Council resolutions seeking to hold Israel accountable to international law.
  • The most recent vetoes were to block a resolution condemning Israeli violence against protestors during the Great March of Return and a resolution concerning U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
  • The MOU agrees to withhold part or all of U.S. funding to any UN specialized agency that acts against the national security interest of the U.S. or one of its allies, including Israel.
  • The U.S. stopped financially supporting UNESCO, which it co-founded after WWII, in 2011 after Palestine was granted full membership.
  • The U.S. and Israel then quit UNESCO completely in 2019.
  • The U.S. also cooperates with Israel on scientific research, particularly in energy.

This week’s Just the Facts comes from:

Learning More

  • To better understand some of the possible problems with U.S. military aid to Israel, read the section called “Aid Restrictions and Possible Violations” starting on page 25 of “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel” from Congressional Research Service.  ​
  • To go deeper, we are developing an extensive list of Additional Resources at the bottom of this week’s entry as well as a YouTube playlist on the subject.