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Israel needs our help, not political games over security funding

The U.S. House on Tuesday failed to pass a stand-alone bill for additional security aid for Israel. President Joe Biden threatened veto it, preferring instead to have it lumped with legislation that included dozens of other topics such as southern border security, Ukraine, Taiwan and more.

Republicans and many Democrat members of the House say it was important enough to stand on its own. But fourteen Republicans joined a majority of Democrats in defeating the bill.


Locally, Missouri Democrat Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and Democrat Sharice Davids (who represents Johnson County, Kan.) both voted against it. They were joined by antisemitic Democrat Congresswoman Cori Bush of St. Louis. All Missouri and Kansas Republicans voted in favor.

Cleaver has often been a supporter of Israel while Davids typically votes with the so-called “Squad.” Many expected as much from Davids but Cleaver was a true disappointment.

The failure to pass the aid package puts millions of lives at risk, including overseas American service personnel who rely on Israeli military technology for protection. Failure also makes it more difficult for Israel to rescue the 10 Americans still held captive by Hamas in Gaza.

The bill called for about $17.6 billion in military aid for Israel and for the replenishment of U.S. defense systems. About $4 billion would have gone to replenish Israel’s missile defense systems and $1.2 billion to counter short-range rockets and mortar threats from Gaza, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria.


Granted, foreign aid is a hot topic among voters as they see needs here at home.  People wrongly assume that because Israel is a modern country filled with the latest technology and a lifestyle similar to that of Europeans and North Americans, they are a “wealthy” country.

They are not, and regardless of the standard of living of Israelis, the country deserves the support of the American people.

The U.S. rightly provided aid to our allies in opposition to a common enemy in the past. Our aid to Great Britain prevented a Nazi invasion and allowed them to fight alone until Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Germany and Japan declared war on America.

As for Israel, it is the only functioning true democracy in the Middle East and the only nation that shares the same Western values as America.

Israel spends 4.5% of their gross domestic product on defense, higher than the U.S. and all countries in the world except for four Arab nations and, as of 2022, Ukraine.

And Israelis are footing the bill. The burden for each Israeli, from the youngest to the oldest, comes to $2,630 each year in taxes. More than any citizen of any nation in the world contributes to their own defense, except for Qatar which is hostile to Israel. More than what each American contributes to its defense. Most of the aid currently goes to replenish Israeli military stockpiles.

It also develops new missile defense systems which they share freely with America.

READ: Vast majority of Arabs support Hamas actions

Israel is currently fending off missile from four areas. More than 15,000 missiles have rained down on Israeli cities and towns since the Oct 7 Hamas invasion. The technology Israel developed has done a great job protecting civilians. Israel has also shared that technology with the United States and their missile defense systems currently protect American troops in South Korea from missile attacks from North Korea. Israel’s military is also seen as a deterrence to ISIS and the Assad regime in Syria. That deterrence helps U.S. troops stationed across the region, including in Syria.

Israel is also our first defense against terrorism in the region. Israel shares intelligence with the U.S. and even Arab nations like Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others.

The U.S. typically gives just $3.5 billion per year to Israel in the form of aid. Most of that is returned to the U.S. to purchase American-made weapons systems that support American jobs.

To put that in perspective, here’s what Americans spend on the following items:

$70-80 billion: Lottery tickets

$100 billion: Sports

$260 billion: Alcohol

$66 billion: Snacks

$82 billion: Streaming services

Why does that matter?

The amount the United States gives to Israel in the form of grants pales in comparison to the value we as a nation receive from it. From protecting our soldiers overseas, the missile defense systems Israel gives us, intelligence, and new inventions that make the world a better place.

More importantly, Israel is fighting America’s battle against terrorists in the Middle East and its own right to exist as a nation.

Political leaders should be ashamed of playing politics with Israel’s safety. Too many lives are at stake.

–Dwight Widaman | Editor, Metro Voice

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