Recently I was challenged to show what America gained from its relationship with Israel. The list is long. This is what I came up with in about a minute:
- Israel takes part of the American defence burden in the Mediterranean. The late General Alexander Haig, who was NATO’s Supreme Commander and US Secretary of State, defined Israel as “the largest, most battle-tested and cost-effective US aircraft carrier, which does not require a single US boot, cannot be sunk and is located at a most critical area. If Israel did not exist, the US would have to deploy a few more real aircraft carriers to the eastern flank of the Mediterranean, costing $20 billion annually, which has been spared by the Jewish State.”
- Supplies military and anti-terrorist intelligence. The intelligence cooperation between Washington and Jerusalem is one of the cornerstones of the strategic alliance between the two states.
- Battle tests American systems and improves them. For example, Israel is responsible for over 600 modifications in the current generation of General Dynamics’ F-16 fighter aircraft.
- By consistently winning Israel advertises the US product. I suspect many of Israel’s bitterest critics would be happy for America to sell less but that is another topic.
- 80% of the aid must be spent in America which translates as a subsidy American industry.
Then there are the one time events like ending Saddam Hussein’s nuclear bomb program and blocking him reaching the Mediterranean to resupply. Put a price on that.
That is only the military side. Virtually every major American hi tech company does R&D in Israel.