Israeli-US relations are an important factor in U.S. policy in the Middle East, and Congress has placed considerable emphasis on the maintenance of a close and supportive relationship. The main vehicle for expressing support for Israel has been foreign aid; Israel currently receives about $3 billion per year in economic and military grants, refugee settlement assistance, and other aid. Israel is not economically self-sufficient, and relies on foreign assistance and borrowing to maintain its economy. Since 1976, Israel has been the largest annual recipient of US foreign assistance, and is the largest cumulative recipient since World War II. In addition to US assistance, it is estimated that Israel receives about $1 billion annually through philanthropy, an equal amount through short- and long-term commercial loans, and around $1 billion in Israel Bonds proceeds.
What might appear to be massive largesse, however, helps economically support a country which has steadily supported the US in the region and world and also serves a leader in innovation in many fields such as medicine, military electronics and other crucial areas of technological development which may not be able to take place in the US for a variety of reasons. This book presents the current situation in a relationship that is mutually useful and at the same time sometimes cantankerous.