Futile Military Financing

by Chris Toensing | published April 3, 2013

One of the more regrettable things that Uncle Sam does with your tax dollars is sending $3.1 billion in military aid to Israel every year. He’ll be doing that until 2018 -- and probably after, unless Americans decide enough is enough.

When President Barack Obama traveled to Israel in March, he was keen to “reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations” and “to restate America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.” Over the years, Washington has displayed this resolve in several ways. One of the most consequential has been the continuous stream of taxpayer dollars that has kept Israel armed to the teeth and reduced the prospects for Middle East peace.

US Corporate Ownership of Israeli Military Industries

by Sheila Ryan
published in MER144

US Corporation: AEL Industries, Inc.
Israeli Corporation: Elisra Electronic Systems (formerly AEL Israel)
Financial Relationship: AEL owns 58 percent of Elisra.
Military Products: Electronic warfare systems; telephone switching equipment. In 1984 approximately 50 percent of sales were for export. Awarded Israel Defense Prize in 1983 for collaboration with the Israeli navy on computerized battle systems. [1]

US Corporation: Astronautics Corporation of America
Israeli Corporation: Astronautics CA
Financial Relationship: Subsidiary.

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Rubenberg, Israel and the American National Interest

by Edward Danforth
published in MER151

Cheryl A. Rubenberg, Israel and the American National Interest: A Critical Examination, (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1986.)


Imagine a planet which two superstates dominate after global wars have crippled other contenders. Then assume their rivalry delimits a decisive zone where they compete -- a region so situated, so booty-laden and so volatile that each adversary defines that region as “vital” to its own security.

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Editor's Bookshelf

by Joel Beinin
published in MER151

Although the Congressional investigating committee did everything in its power to minimize Israel’s role in the Iran-Contra scandal, the hearings and their fallout did suggest that Israel played a major, and very likely initiating, role in the sordid affair. This and other matters skirted by both the Tower Commission and the Congressional committee are examined by Jonathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott and Jane Hunter in The Iran-Contra Connection: Secret Teams and Covert Operations in the Reagan Era (Boston: South End Press, 1987).

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US Military Contractors in Israel

by Sheila Ryan
published in MER144

Over the past two decades, a combination of factors has significantly reoriented the Israeli economy toward military production -- weapons for Israel’s military and for export to juntas, minority regimes and dictators around the world.

Israeli officials justify this development of military industries and arms export markets on the need for independence from foreign suppliers and the consequent need to lower the per-unit cost to the Israeli military. Israel now appears to be the largest producer of armaments in the Third World. [1]

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Israel's Private Arms Network

by Bishara Bahbah
published in MER144

Arms and military goods have become Israel’s main export item, to the tune of well over $2 billion per year. [1] Israel has exported arms to more than 60 countries and an undetermined number of armed groups worldwide. A peculiar feature of Israel’s arms business is that up to one third of sales are conducted by a network of private dealers who net commissions of between 5 and 25 percent for their services.

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Viral Occupation

Cameras and Networked Human Rights in the West Bank

by Rebecca L. Stein | published March 20, 2013

When Israeli security forces arrived in the middle of the night at the Tamimi house in Nabi Salih, the occupied West Bank, the family was already in bed. The raid was not unexpected, as news had traveled around the village on that day in January 2011: Soldiers were coming to houses at night, demanding that young children be roused from sleep to be photographed for military records (to assist, they said, in the identification of stone throwers). Bilal Tamimi, Nabi Salih’s most experienced videographer, had his own camcorder at the ready by his bedside table when he was awoken by the knock on the door.

Exporting Nuclear Triggers

The Strange Case of Richard Smyth

by Richard Sale , Geoffrey Aronson
published in MER146

Richard Smyth, indicted in May 1985 for illegally exporting nuclear trigger devices to Israel, is now a fugitive. In August 1985, two days before he was scheduled to appear in court, Smyth and his wife sailed his boat to Catalina Island, off the coast of southern California, and disappeared, forfeiting his $100,000 bail. Some US intelligence agents believe Smyth was murdered. Other reports now place him in Israel. “There was no way Israel could afford an appearance by Smyth in court,” said one US operative.

"You Have to Prove to the Palestinians That You Are Serious About Peace"

An Interview with Arie Arnon

by Zachary Lockman
published in MER146

Arie Arnon has been a leading Israeli proponent of political negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, and opponent of the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and Golan. He is currently a member of the Progressive List for Peace, and teaches economics at Beersheva University. Zachary Lockman interviewed him in Jerusalem in February 1987.

What was your political outlook before the June 1967 war?

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The Politics of Social Welfare

The Case of East Jerusalem

by Dori Aronson
published in MER146

On June 27, 1967, Arab East Jerusalem was annexed to the State of Israel. With the annexation, 120,000 residents of the Arab sector were joined with the Jewish citizens as equal residents under Israeli law of the united city of Jerusalem.

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