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Monday, April 22, 2013

U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel

Jeremy M. Sharp
Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs

This report provides an overview of U.S. foreign assistance to Israel. It includes a review of past aid programs, data on annual assistance, and an analysis of current issues. For general information on Israel, see CRS Report RL33476, Israel: Background and U.S. Relations, by Jim Zanotti.

Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $118 billion (current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance, although in the past Israel also received significant economic assistance. Strong congressional support for Israel has resulted in Israel receiving benefits not available to any other countries; for example, Israel can use some U.S. military assistance both for research and development in the United States and for military purchases from Israeli manufacturers. In addition, U.S. assistance earmarked for Israel is generally delivered in the first 30 days of the fiscal year, while most other recipients normally receive aid in installments. In addition to receiving U.S. State Departmentadministered foreign assistance, Israel also receives funds from annual defense appropriations bills for rocket and missile defense programs. Israel pursues some of those programs jointly with the United States.

In 2007, the Bush Administration and the Israeli government agreed to a 10-year, $30 billion military aid package spanning from Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 to Fiscal Year 2018. During his March 2013 visit to Israel, President Obama pledged that the United States would continue to provide Israel with multi-year commitments of military aid subject to the approval of Congress. P.L. 113- 6, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (informally referred to as the full-year Continuing Resolution or CR) provides the full FY2013 Administration request for Israel of $3.1 billion in FMF, of which Israel is permitted $815.3 million in Off-Shore Procurement. The Act also provides for $479.736 million in joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs, including $211 million for Iron Dome, $149.679 million for David’s Sling, $74.692 million for Arrow III, and $44.365 million for Arrow II.

For FY2014, the Administration is requesting $3.1 billion in FMF to Israel and $15 million in Migration and Refugee Assistance. The Missile Defense Agency’s FY2014 request for Israeli Cooperative Programs is $95.782 million, including $52.607 million for Arrow III, $32.512 million for David’s Sling, and $10.663 million for Arrow II. The Department of Defense also is requesting $220 million in FY2014 Procurement, Defense-wide funds for Iron Dome.

Recent legislation on U.S. foreign assistance to Israel proposed in the 113
th Congress includes:

  • H.R. 938 (S. 462), the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013—a bill that would, among other things, exempt Israel from regulations that require it to obtain U.S. permission to sell some American-controlled technology to third countries. The bill also would extend the authorization of U.S.-Israeli energy cooperation, among other things. 
  • H.R. 1130, the Iron Dome Support Act— a bill that would authorize the procurement of the Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system.

Date of Report: April 11, 2013
Number of Pages: 34
Order Number: RL33222
Price: $29.95

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