Why Does Israel Need U.S. Aid, Again?

It’s hard not to say that Israel is winning the war in Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces have made almost uninterrupted progress through the strip; the effects of the Dahya doctrine are on full display. The immortal Bibi on Thursday presented his plans to his cabinet for the long-term Israeli occupation and administration of Gaza. Israel’s victory is already treated as a given. 

And no wonder—a nuclear-armed industrial state with a peacetime GDP in the ballpark of a half trillion dollars was never going to be seriously challenged by a militia presiding over a ruined city with a peacetime GDP in the ballpark of half a billion dollars, no matter how many of Israel’s malevolent neighbors were giving the group backing. The threat of invasion from the Arab states, such as it was, has receded almost completely.

Indeed, this war underlines with dark, terrible strokes of the pen that Israel is the success story of the Middle East. It is a Western-style nation-state that, in a single human lifetime, has gone from metal shacks and third-hand Czech weapons to one of the wealthiest, robust countries in the world. Israel now truly stands on its own feet.

So why are we in a big hurry to send them military aid? They don’t especially need it—they’ve transformed Gaza into rubble quite admirably without American help. They don’t seem especially to want it—the immortal Bibi, unlike certain other wartime heads of state, is not visiting DC on a regular basis to rattle the collection plate. Perhaps that latter isn’t much of a surprise. Back in his National Review days, Kevin Williamson—not a name you see cited around here often!—pointed out that American military aid to Israel is really a money-go-round for Boeing, Raytheon, and the other big boys in the American military–industrial complex. It’s hard to get really excited for company scrip, no matter how much you’re given. And, corporate welfare aside, it is difficult to see what vital American interest is served by handing out money we don’t have.

Speaker Johnson’s hapless efforts to pass spending legislation have included pushing a failed standalone Israel aid package without Ukraine or Taiwan funding. Separating out the various nations who receive the American dole makes some sense, but these nations receiving aid should be a question, not a premise—especially wealthy nations already all but guaranteed victory in their highly asymmetrical wars.

The post Why Does Israel Need U.S. Aid, Again? appeared first on The American Conservative.

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