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Americans tend to overestimate how much foreign aid the U.S. gives to other countries. Many assume that the U.S. gives 25% of their budget to other countries through foreign aid, but in reality that budget is less than 1%, around $40 billion, and is split into three categories: humanitarian, economic, and military. Unlike other countries in the Middle East, U.S. aid to Israel is almost exclusively military aid that functions kind of like “gift certificates.” The U.S. produces military equipment and gives money to other countries, like Israel, to use to purchase equipment from American manufacturers. This helps boost the U.S. economy, creates jobs and strengthens its military relationships with these countries. Some Americans on the progressive left feel that aid to Israel should be conditional, while some Israelis have argued that receiving this aid makes Israel too dependent on the U.S.

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