...The process by which Israel obtains aid – through the
activities of a vast domestic lobby it helped establish
– reveals why the funds it extracts from taxpayers
should not be compared to equally troubling military
alliance expenditures. A $ billion, 14,000 employee,
353,000 volunteer Israel affinity nonprofit ecosystem
has been built in the United States to provide Israel
with the support that following America’s own interests
would not. The approaching annual spectacle of thousands
of AIPAC lobbyists subtly threatening to withhold vast
amounts of campaign contributions from members of
Congress if they don’t provide billions in unconditional
taxpayer-funded aid – portrays an entirely accurate
picture about the means through which it is obtained.
This Israel lobby-driven process and lack of reciprocity is why US aid to Israel cannot seriously be compared to mutual expenditures – equally unpopular and in need of reexamination – with treaty-bound US allies. More
. humanitarian assistance has become more subject to foreign policy demands, and in some cases it has become militarized. Independent Non-Government Organization (NGOs) working through USAID (a branch of the . State Department) have typically delivered worldwide humanitarian aid independently of American foreign policy. However, as Elizabeth Ferris reported in a recent Brookings Institution article, . military commands have begun their own humanitarian assistance programs in areas where they are conducting military operations. Therefore, army commanders can leverage humanitarian assistance to gain military advantages.