For decades, the United States and Israel have maintained strong relations based on several factors, including a mutual
commitment to democratic values, historical ties dating from US support for the creation of Israel in 1948, and shared strategic goals
in the Middle East.
The United States was the first nation to recognize the Jewish State when it declared independence on May 14, 1948, and provided
support to Israel from its beginning. Two decades later, in 1962, a security relationship developed between both nations. Israel
began buying arms from the United States but did not receive any direct military aid until the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Today, any
security assistance that the United States gives to Israel is given in the interest of deterring America and Israel’s shared enemies in
the Middle East region.
In 2016, the US and Israel signed their 10-year Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU on Military aid under President Barack
Obama, with overwhelming majorities on both sides of the aisle. It covered FY2019- FY2028. Under the terms of this MOU, the
MOU pledges to provide Israel with $ 38 billion in military aid ($33 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grants plus $5 billion in
missile defense appropriations). However, each year, this is subject to congressional appropriation.
American security aid to Israel seeks to target the following pillars of policy:
1. Qualitative Military Edge (QME) The United States has committed to helping Israel maintain their qualitative military
edge. This means the tactical, technological, and other advantages that allow the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to deter
threats that may be greater in number than themselves. In 2008, the US Congress wrote their commitment to Israel’s
QME into law. The law requires the President to always continually assess if Israel’s QME is being maintained.
2. Security Assistance: US Foreign Aid represents less than 1% of the federal budget and is a critical part of promoting
American Interests worldwide. The United States does not give Israel economic assistance but does send military aid.
These funds are used to purchase the arms required to defend itself from the numerous enemies surrounding Israel.
How the aid we send strengthens America:
The Middle East, without a doubt, is one of the most volatile regions in the world. Israel is an outpost, or “island,” of democracy in
the region. Therefore, our strong relationship through the years has made Israel an ally in the region, which the United States can
count on. The US and Israel cooperate in an extensive range of areas, such as homeland security, counterterrorism, and
intelligence. The following are some other ways that the continued partnership benefits the United States:
1. Of the over 3 billion in security aid given to Israel annually, 74% of those funds must be spent on the acquisition of
US defense equipment, services, and training. Thus, Israel in turn supports jobs in the United States.
2. Our partnership with the Israelis has yielded numerous technological advancements in both military and civilian
sectors. Both the US and Israel share tactics, techniques, and technologies. The military of both nations has greatly
benefited. The cooperation has led to both the development of the Iron Dome Missile Defense System, David’s Sling, and
our US army has purchased two Iron Dome systems from the Israelis. Another technological advancement that was
shared with the US and saved countless American lives in combat zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq is the “Israeli
3. Located within Israel is one of the United States’ largest War Reserves. The War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel
program was established in the 1990s. Weapons and equipment that are owned and managed by the US are stored in
Israel for use by the United States military.
With an increasingly vocal minority spreading mistruths about the US-Israel strategic partnership in recent years and US aid to
Israel, it is important to continue to spread the truth and ensure that the US-Israel relationship continues to be strong. A strong
partnership will ensure a safer America.

Israeli flag blowing in the wind