Wed Jan 20, 2016 08:30AM
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of the United States Congress in the House chamber on March 3, 2015, warning the American lawmakers of the danger of a nuclear agreement with Iran. (AFP photo)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of the United States Congress in the House chamber on March 3, 2015, warning the American lawmakers of the danger of a nuclear agreement with Iran. (AFP photo)

The United States provides Israel with a “staggering” amount of military and economic assistance because politicians from both dominant political parties are tied to the Israel lobby and need its support to get elected, says an international lawyer.

“The amount of aid that Israel gets from the United States is extraordinary. It is possibly as much as $10 billion a year,” Edward Corrigan told Press TV on Wednesday.

“Officially, it’s $3.6 billion, but there’s much more than that, that comes from other channels,” he continued.

A high-level American delegation is expected to travel to occupied Palestine next week to work out the final details of a new 10-year military aid package.

The delegation, composed of members of US National Security Council, will hold meetings with Israeli military staff, Israeli media reported Tuesday.

On top of the agenda is the technical details of an approximately $41 billion 10-year military package, the Haaretz newspaper reported, citing a source involved in the talks.

Washington is currently providing Tel Aviv with $3.1 billion in military assistance annually and the new deal would likely increase that amount to $4.1 billion. Israeli officials have urged Washington to increase the aid to $5 billion.

The current aid is separate from the nearly $500 million in annual US funding for Israel’s missile system programs in recent years. It is also on top of the US military equipment held in Israel, which is valued at $1.2 billion.

Corrigan said that “Israel doesn’t need this aid” as it faces no “existential threat.”  

“The issue is that the Republican Party is very pro-Israel and so is the Democratic Party because they are very much tied to the pro-Israel lobby… and the money that comes from pro-Israel groups,” he noted.

“Most of the elected politicians are in fact dependent upon money donated by pro-Israel groups and that means that the Congress and the Senate are very strong supporters of Israel,” the analyst said.

As to why Israeli officials are demanding an even larger military aid package, Corrigan said that “they want to be by far the strongest and dominant military power in the area so they can do what they want.”

He called it “ironic” that Israel continues to enjoy the unequivocal backing of Washington while it tries to “manipulate” American foreign policy in the Middle East.