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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Money Between Israel and USA

One of the first things I hear from people in the states is that Israel costs Americans money and our tax dollars shouldn't go to Israel.

From 1989, the former Soviet Union allowed more than 400,000 Jews to emigrate to Israel. Absorption of these new immigrants was of the highest priority in Israel and of course cost them money, about $50 billion over five years.

By 1972 Congress had funds to help resettle them, and by 1990 lawmakers aproved $400 million in loan guarantees to house them in Israel. These were not grants. Not one penny of US government funds were transferred to Israel. The US just cosigned loans for Israel that allowed it to get better financing from private American banks. They had no effect on domestic programs or guarantees and no impact on taxpayers. Israel has never defaulted on its loans.

Also, much of the money Irael borrows usually is spent in the USA to buy American goods. Each year Israel gives a full detailed report on the expenditure of all US assistance and provides written assurances that it would not direct or settle Soviet Jews in Judea or Samaria. There is no problem with this as the Russian Jews I met all wanted to live in Tel Aviv where the theater or symphonies were playing. They were used to such things in Russia. In 1991 only 1.2 % of Soviet Jews wanted to move to a rural area such as this. Mostly, it's the orthodox or religious Jews who chose to live in these places.

Resource: Myths and Facts by Mitchell Bard, page 243-244.

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