Infographic: What you need to know about the Israeli army | Interactive News
Last month, when Israel bombed the besieged Gaza Strip for the fourth time in 12 years, the United States approved the sale of weapons worth 735 million U.S. dollars to Israel.Members of Congress and several Democrats criticized the approval Proposed resolution Prevent the sale of Boeing’s precision-guided missiles.
The 11-day Israeli military operation killed at least 253 people in the Gaza Strip, including 66 children. Palestinian armed groups fired rockets in Gaza, killing at least 12 people in Israel.This The United Nations Human Rights Council established a group Investigating possible war crimes committed by both sides, the human rights organization Amnesty International has updated its call Ask the United States to stop selling weapons to Israel.
Gaza is described as the largest open-air prison in the world. Since 2006, Israel has imposed a land, sea and air blockade on its 2.1 million residents. The Israeli army continued its military occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, where they built hundreds of illegal settlements.
Maintaining Israel’s regional military hegemony is the core content of US Middle East policy. This is achieved through the interaction of US funding and Israel’s domestic arms industry.
Here is what you need to know about the Israeli military and munitions industry.
How much did Israel spend on the military?
Israel has a huge military establishment, and citizens over 18 must perform military service. According to a database compiled by SIPRI, a research organization focused on conflict and armaments, the country’s military expenditure in 2020 is 22 billion U.S. dollars. Israel spends approximately US$2,508 per capita and spends 12% of its total government spending on national defense.
Visually, the combination of these indicators shows how much unusual Israel’s weapons expenditures are compared to some of the largest military forces in the world, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Israel is a major global supplier of advanced weapons, including drones, missiles, radar technology and other weapon systems. According to the SIPRI database, in 2020, it is the 12th largest weapon supplier, with arms sales to 16 countries/regions exceeding US$345 million.
How much did the United States spend on Israeli military spending?
The United States is by far the largest supplier of military assistance to Israel. As part of a 10-year record $38 billion agreement signed by former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2016, the country provided a total of $3.8 billion in 2020 . , Israel has also received a large amount of US economic aid and military supplies. As Israel became richer, economic aid that began in 1951 has been phased out and almost cancelled in 2007.
The United States imposes conditions on how to use aid, especially military aid. For example, the Lech Law prohibits the export of U.S. defense supplies to military units involved in human rights violations. However, no Israeli unit has been punished under this law. Similarly, the United States’ financial aid to universities and other Israeli institutions has historically been required to be used within Israel’s pre-1967 borders. This condition was waived during the Trump administration.
In contrast, according to data from the United States Agency for International Development, the United States provided 19 million U.S. dollars in various forms of assistance to the Palestinians in 2020. Earlier, the Trump administration suspended most of its funding to the Palestinian Authority because of his The government promoted a so-called “peace plan” condemned by the Palestinians as one-sided.
Since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, the United States has provided The total aid amounted to 5 billion U.S. dollars. Unlike aid to Israel, Palestinian aid has many conditions.For example, according to Taylor Force ActIf the Palestinian Authority pays any “payments to encourage terrorist activities”, economic aid will be cut off. The Biden government has stated that it will resume aid to the Palestinians, but the total aid will still be a small part of the aid provided to Israel.
According to its domestic laws, such as the 2014 US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, Washington is also obliged to protect Israel’s so-called “quality military advantage”, which means that Israel should maintain its military advantage over its neighbors in the region. This law guarantees Israel’s access to advanced American weapons. US officials also regularly discuss regional defense sales with Israel to ensure that their allies are not at a military disadvantage.
U.S. support for Israel began when Israel declared its independence in 1948. The U.S. was one of the first countries to recognize Israel. Soon after, the United States began to provide economic assistance to the new country, and to a lesser extent military assistance.
However, military assistance Israel increased significantly after the Six-Day War in 1967 When Israel defeated the neighboring Arab army and began to occupy the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza.The bias towards military financing since 1967 means it represents Nearly 80% Among all the assistance provided by the United States.
For a long time, Israel has been regarded by American lawmakers as an ally to help protect American strategic interests in the Middle East. Initially, this included containing the Soviet influence in the region. According to the US Congressional Research Service, Factors that continue to provide military support Including common strategic interests, “U.S. domestic support for Israel” and “common commitment to democratic values.”
U.S. funding for Israel is usually and still a bipartisan affair, provided by the Democratic and Republican governments.In the past two decades, the assistance of the United States to the Israeli army increased Although Israel’s military operations in Gaza in 2008/2009, 2012 and 2014 have resulted in the deaths of more than 3,500 Palestinians. In these three wars, about 100 Israelis were killed.
Regarding the surge in US military assistance in 2003, Stephen Zunes, a professor of political science at the University of San Francisco, pointed out that this increase was “part of the overall increase in US arms transfers to the Middle East and US military spending”. In 2001, Al Qaeda attacked the United States, the US-led war in Afghanistan and invaded Iraq.
“U.S. aid to Israel has always been mainly related to how Israel assists in advancing U.S. strategic goals, rather than Israel’s security needs,” he told Al Jazeera.
Regarding the surge in U.S. military assistance in 2000, Zunes pointed out that in the 1998 Wye River Memorandum, the U.S. agreed to increase aid to Israel “in exchange for [relatively minor] Israel’s concessions in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks”.
“Since the budget was proposed the previous year, this is the first budget after the meeting, so it may be the result,” he said.
Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign military financing (FMF)-the program provides grants and loans to U.S. allies obtain “U.S. Defense Equipment, Services, and Training.” According to data from the Security Assistance Monitoring Agency of the International Policy Center, a think tank based in Washington, DC, in the past two decades, 55% of all FMFs in the United States have been dedicated to Israel, more than the rest of the world combined.
These figures do not reflect other indirect forms of military assistance. For example, the U.S. military has a large “emergency” weapons stockpile in Israel.The current valuation is US$3.4 billion, The Israeli military can use this cache in emergency situations.
South Korea has similar arrangements. These arrangements were originally intended to facilitate the rapid deployment of American forces. In fact, for Israel, they are an additional layer of defense, allowing the Israeli army to quickly acquire ammunition and weapons during the conflict. Unlike other FMF recipient countries, according to the latest US-Israel Defense Memorandum of Understanding, Israel can use FMF funds to purchase products from local companies until 2028.
Israeli military products import and export
Historically, Israel’s arms imports far exceed its exports. However, the SIPRI database shows that in the past ten years, exports have continued to exceed imports.
According to Neve Gordon, a professor at Queen Mary University of London, Israel has used Palestine, Lebanon and Syria as “a showcase of products developed by the Israeli military-industrial complex.”
“This is extremely important for the export industry, because manufacturers of weapons and surveillance systems can claim that they have been used in combat situations and their effectiveness has been tested,” Al Jazeera said.
Israel imports weapons entirely from Western countries. Between 1950 and 2020, 83% of its imports came from the United States. In contrast, 23% of its exports go to India, and its exports have a wide range. Controversially, Israel continues to export products to the apartheid government of South Africa.
The two countries sign a confidentiality agreement Defense agreement In 1975, in order to circumvent the global trade embargo imposed on South Africa due to its apartheid policy.
According to the SIPRI database, from 2015 to 2020, Israel’s main arms export markets accounted for India (43%), Azerbaijan (16%), Vietnam (10%) and the United States (4%) as a percentage of the total. India is the largest buyer of Israeli weapons in 2020.
Since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, relations between the two countries have flourished. Since then, an Indian diplomat has been documented, advocating the use of the “Israeli model” in Indian-controlled Kashmir, referring to Israeli settlements in the Indian-controlled Kashmir region. Occupy the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Human rights organizations accused the Indian army of abusing power in Kashmir, including intimidation, torture, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrests of Kashmiris. In 2019, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called for a formal investigation of these allegations.
“Not a dollar”-calling for an arms embargo
Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists have Long-lost It opposes the imposition of an international arms embargo on Israel and believes that military cooperation with foreign governments and companies will help Israel maintain its occupation of the Palestinian territories.
In accordance with the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls for a non-violent, people-led movement to pressure Israel to end the occupation and provide equal rights and the right to return to the Palestinians, Israel uses military power “To maintain the illegal system of occupation, colonialism and apartheid.”
Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International have asked U.S. President Biden to reconsider the recent decision to approve the sale of weapons to Israel when “human rights and international humanitarian law are violated every day.”
Several progressive US lawmakers also called on the Biden administration to provide conditions for US aid to Israel. US Congresswoman Betty McCollum introduced a bill that would prohibit Israel from using US aid to detain Palestinian children, destroy Palestinian property, and continue to annex occupied Palestinian land.
“A U.S. taxpayer’s dollar should not be used to violate the human rights of the Palestinian people living under Israeli military occupation,” she told Al Jazeera earlier last month.