Mar 31, 2010
We don't need the US money
Avi Trengo, in a piece published in Ynet, has written a response to Thomas Friedman saying just that.
Read the full article...
In a recent interview, Friedman accused Israel of misusing American money precisely when the US needs it more than ever to boost US employment. Many foreign journalists believe that the Jewish People exists here only because of America’s money. When they are told that the Israeli economy’s scope is hundreds of billions of dollars a year and that US aid constitutes a miniscule portion of it, they refuse to believe it.Of the $3 billion handed over by the US annually, only $690 million are transferred to Israel in practice. The rest – 75% of the aid – remains in the US and constitutes an indirect government subsidy to US arms manufacturers – Boeing, Lockheed, McDonnell Douglas etc. – thereby enhancing US employment.
Israel’s acquisitions in the US are far greater than the American grant. Just recently we read about a $1.8 billion acquisition of Hercules aircraft from Lockheed. Does Friedman think there are no other global cargo plane manufacturers? Moreover, as result of the US grant, Israel has given up on the development of weapons that would compete with America’s military-industrial complex. In addition, Israeli developments were integrated by American manufacturers, thus saving the lives of US troops on the battlefield.
Friedman must also be aware of the tens of thousands of Israeli engineers – the finest scientists, educated through investment of billions – who brought their know-how to Silicon Valley. This constitutes a huge contribution to the US economy. A CEO of a Silicon Valley company who admitted that he seeks Israeli employees told me there is no better background than Israeli education and chutzpah, coupled with a few years in the IDF, in order to produce “Yankee ingenuity.”