Israel’s arms industry and surveillance tech development is the major driving force of its economy—and it largely has the U.S. to thank.

by Matene Toure, Prism

The United Nations (UN) Security Council voted 14-0 last month to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for the remainder of Ramadan and for the unconditional release of all hostages. The U.S. abstained from voting—even after pushing to replace the word “permanent” with “lasting” regarding the length of the ceasefire agreement.

The mainstream media treated this decision as a watershed moment, in part because it led the office of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel a trip to Washington, D.C. However, just days before the March 25 ceasefire vote, the U.S. government passed a bill that further defunds the UN agency that aids Palestinians, while also approving the $3.8 billion the U.S. sends to Israel each year. Also in March, President Joe Biden quietly sent new arms packages to Israel, undermining the growing reports of rising tension between Biden and Netanyahu.

facial recognition and mass surveillance

None of this increased and covert aid to Israel should come as a surprise. One of Israel’s most influential and ardent backers, of course, is the U.S. In 1986, then-state Sen. Joe Biden called Israel “the best $3 billion investment we make.” Under the Biden administration, the U.S. has provided Israel with billions in taxpayer funding and more than 100 weapons transfers since Oct. 7.

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