A Reminder: U.S. Pays One Quarter of Israel’s Defense Budget

Wednesday, March 04, 2015
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

With Capitol Hill abuzz over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s appearance before Congress this week, there is no time like the present for a refresher on how much the American taxpayers spend on Israel’s defense.


If it wasn’t for Washington’s longtime commitment to bolstering the Israel Defense Forces, Netanyahu and Israeli lawmakers would have a serious shortfall on their hands.

After all, the U.S. funds about 25% of Israel’s annual spending on its military, thanks to $3 billion a year in aid.


“Since it was founded in 1948, Israel has become the largest single recipient of U.S foreign assistance — a total of $121 billion, almost all of which has been in the form of military assistance,” Brandon Ward wrote at Journalist’s Resource, citing a 2014 Congressional Research Service report (U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel [pdf]).


Among the items funded by the United States is Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. The 2015 budget allows $175.9 million for the system on top of $234 million in 2014 and $704 million in the years before that, according to the report.


The really big-ticket item is a purchase of 19 F-35 fighter planes financed with a $2.75 billion grant. The planes were supposed to have been delivered this year, but problems with the F-35 program have pushed the delivery date to 2016 or 2017.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

U.S. Foreign Aid To Israel: 2014 Congressional Report (Journalist’s Resource)

U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel (by Jeremy M. Sharp, Congressional Research Service) (pdf)

Supreme Court Rulings Open Loopholes for Water Polluters (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

When Israelis Kill Gaza Civilians, They do so with Weapons Provided by U.S. (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

U.S. Aid to Israel Equals $4.9 Million a Day for 64 Years (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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