US military aid and Israeli sanctions…?

I read a few articles a while ago about the continued building of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory and wanted to look a bit further into one of the main reasons why they are able to continually defy international law under full view of the international media and community.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11968304 (sanctions for illegal settlement building)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/10/former-eu-tougher-stance-israel (illegal settlement building)

Military funding and spending is part of most countries budgets but the Israeli case is different, in that the percentage of GDP spent on the military is roughly 7% of GDP which is far higher than most other countries. They also received a substantial fraction of their budget from the United States.

http://wrmea.org/component/content/article/245-2008-november/3845-congress-watch-a-conservative-estimate-of-total-direct-us-aid-to-israel-almost-114-billion.html (with figures tables)

The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs carries information on a range of topics concerning that area of the planet. I’ve found some figures on the site which are interesting.

2000-2008 = more than $26 Billion in military aid from USA to Israel.

$4.8 Billion in 2008, half of which was military aid.

In 2009 – (US) $14.3 Billion in total Israeli military expenditure (which equals a massive 7% of total GDP! Most countries are between 1-3% of GDP, but the States also stands out as being high, at 4.3% of GDP)

2008 – (US) $2.3 Billion in military aid (according to the Wikipedia figures)

So, roughly 16% of their total military budget comes from the US Government.

The thing is, in comparison, USA military spending at more than $663 Billion, is equal to the combined total of the next 17 countries spending, down to Greece in the Wikipedia table!

There is little point in the USA on the one hand providing massive funding to the Israelis but with the other trying to resolve the disputes in a non-partisan manner. They lack credibility and are also providing the conditions which will sustain the terrible state of conflict in that region.

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Middle East peace talks begin…

Possibly the longest running and most harmful conflict since the end of the Second World War. It’s impacts reach around the world and are a beacon of strength for terrorism and mistrust everywhere. A symbol of human weakness and base animal instincts, overriding reason and compassion.

So, Obama steps into the ring and picks up the chalice… A ray of light in a sea of sadness…

During the opening speeches yesterday:

‘The Israeli prime minister then turned to the Palestinian leader and said: “President Abbas, you are my partner in peace.” He added: “We cannot erase the past but it is in our power to change the future.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/02/middle-east-peace-talks-begin

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