Is Israel Top Military Aid Recipient?

There is more than one way to calculate U.S. foreign aid.

It has become a rhetorical staple for many—in the progressive left, among the libertarian and isolationist right, and among anti-Israel obsessives—that Israel benefits disproportionately from U.S. military aid and assistance. In the wake of a ten-year $36 billion deal negotiated by the Obama administration in its final months, The Atlantic tackled the subject:

Voters, however, have more mixed views on this kind of support. While more than 60 percent of Americans were more sympathetic to Israel than the Palestinians in a 2016 Gallup poll, sympathies differed along partisan lines, with around half of Democrats being more sympathetic to Israelis versus nearly 80 percent of Republicans. In a separate Brookings poll, roughly half of Democrats who responded said Israel has too much influence on the United States government. Boycott, divest, and sanction movements, which call on organizations in the United States and abroad to cut their financial ties with Israel, have long been popular on college campuses, although somewhat marginal; this year, however, they got a boost from the Black Lives Matter movement, which included statements against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in its recently released policy platform. In general, young Americans are far less sympathetic toward Israel than their older peers: A 2014 Gallup poll found that only half of those aged 18 to 34 favored Israel in the Israel-Palestine conflict, “compared with 58 percent of 35- to 54-year-olds and 74 percent of those 55 and older.” Bernie Sanders, who was extremely popular among young people during the Democratic primary season, controversially criticized Israel, winning “applause and cheers” from the audience at one debate for saying, “If we pursue justice and peace, we are going to have to say that Netanyahu is not right all of the time.” All of this creates an odd backdrop for a historic military-spending deal….

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Is Israel Top Military Aid Recipient?

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