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End military aid to Israel

America should stop sending military aid to Israel: it doesn’t need it.

Since becoming President in 2017, Donald Trump has done much to reverse the policies of Barack Obama. However, he has continued his predecessor’s support of Israel through the sending of military aid. In 2016, Obama negotiated with Israel a military care package of a staggering $38 billion to be delivered over the next 10 years. The Guardian, a British publication, described it as “the largest military aid package from one country to another in the annals of human history.”

Washington officials have stated that the Trump administration has remained committed to this deal. Indeed, according to the Jerusalem Post, a further $75 million has been pledged since then. I believe this military aid package is unnecessary and a shameful waste of taxpayers’ money. It should be stopped.

America has long regarded Israel as a strategic ally in the Middle East. The United States advocated for creation of the state in 1948 and the two nations have kept close ties ever since. Israel’s neighbors have historically been incredibly hostile to its existence, and the country has been attacked many times in the past. Israel, however, has been successful in fighting off these invasions by maintaining military superiority over its enemies. This has been partially thanks to American support, which in the past was important to Israel’s military and therefore survival. This is not the case anymore.

In the past decades Israel has developed its own formidable arsenal to ensure its security. It has a modern army and advanced defense systems to protect it from missile and ground assaults. It is one of nine nuclear powers in the world, currently in known possession of 80 warheads. No other country in the Middle East has any nuclear weapons (Although Iran is trying to develop them).

Israel’s military superiority has made it a regional superpower. It should not fear for its security as nation as it easily outmatches its rivals. So why is America supporting its ally more than it did before, rather than less? Israel is fully capable of protecting itself.

Moreover, the 38 billion taxpayer dollars that the U.S. government has unnecessarily pledged could be spent on better causes at home. According to The Hill, poor distribution of the government budget has meant that many domestic agencies are currently underfunded. They need that money more than Israel does.

I personally believe that such money would best be used to help provide the average American with better access to drug treatment. This would help to combat the growing opioid epidemic, one of the most pressing concerns this nation faces.

America’s military aid to Israel is a bad investment, and worse when you look at the better alternatives.

James Walter is a student at Southern Oregon University.