By Hanley, Delinda C.
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs , Vol. 30, No. 6
The Council for the National Interest (CNI) Foundation held a May 23 press briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on the topic "Questioning Military Aid to Israel." CNI board member Peter Viering introduced the speakers, who discussed the real costs of U.S. military aid to Israel in terms of tax dollars, technical transfers (including by stealth), and diplomatic standing in the Middle East.
Karen Kwiatkowski, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel with an MA from Harvard and a Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America, described "complex and incestuous" relations between military communities in Israel and America. Kwiatkowski said she is amazed that by pumping a few million dollars into American political campaigns, Israel can manage to get promises for $30 billion of military aid in the midst of economic meltdown in the United States.
CNI president Alison Weir gave a brief rundown of Israel's efforts to dictate U.S. foreign policy and overrule both military and diplomatic experts who presumed to put American interests first. The U.S. provides Israel, a country of 7 million the size of Vermont, with $8.2 million a day. In addition, the U.S. will purchase Israeli aircraft and other military goods-like made-in-Israel cluster bombs that don't explode-with additional U.S. tax dollars. The indirect cost of Israel is much more.
"One very good reason why Israel should not receive billions of dollars in military assistance annually is its espionage against the United States," Philip Giraldi, CNI's executive director, said."The reality of Israeli spying is indisputable," charged Giraldi, a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer. "Israel always features prominently in the annual FBI report called 'Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage. …