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June 07, 2009

Gideon Levy's $30 Billion Error

On Planet Ha'aretz, Israel receives $30 billion in defense aid annually from the Americans. Now, while some might be ecstatic or scared at this very handsome sum (depending on your perspective), here on planet Earth the figure is much less.

The ever-reliable Gideon Levy wrote Thursday:

Yes, there is no Israel without America -- not only the $30 billion annual defense aid . . .

Also, for the benefit of Israel's Hebrew speakers, who still might be living on Planet Earth, Levy disabuses them in their own language.

But for those who might rely on official U.S. government statistics, such as those published in U.S. Agency for International Development U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants report (also called the "Greenbook"), the U.S. gave Israel $2.34 billion in military aid in 2007 (the most current year listed) and $2.2578 billion in 2006.

While the online version of the English article now refers to just "$3 billion annual defense aid," the English and Hebrew print editions have yet to run a correction. And the error still stands on the Hebrew Web site.

Posted by TS at June 7, 2009 07:10 AM


The costs of the Iraq and Afghan wars (direct costs alone, about $900 billion and running) and the staggering costs of bailing out giants like AIG and GM, have suddenly made the figure for military aid to Israel seem paltry. You can't get up too much indignation in America about $3 billion, most of which gets cycled back into U.S. defense contractors anyway. Expect more of these order-of-magnitude "errors."

Posted by: Martin Kramer at June 7, 2009 08:38 AM

Oh a half a billion here, three-quarters of a billion there - why quibble over change? The US should treat Israel as a true ally or KEEP their money. This 2.3ish billion is mainly used to purchase American made military equipment and keep people at work in the US airplane factories. The use of this so-called "aid" to manipulate Israel into agreeing to the suicidal policy of giving the Arabs Judea and Samaria must stop.

Posted by: evelyn at June 17, 2009 02:11 PM

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