As Congress Debates Raising Taxes And Cutting Core Programs For Americans, The Obama Administration Builds Israel a $100 Million Air Complex

israel1American citizens are again bracing for a new round of deep cuts into social programs and increases in tax rates. At the same time, the Obama Administration is extending military and non-military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan at the costs of billions of dollars. Now, in addition to billions in aid, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking bids to build a five-story complex for the Israeli Air Force for as much as $100 million. This amount could literally fund thousands of needed science and math teachers around the United States or fund historical programs eliminated due to shortages of a few million dollars in Congress.

The new complex will include classrooms, park benches, and an auditorium. It is the type of construction that we continue to fund in places like Afghanistan under the claim that they simply do not have money for construction. Israel has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world and yet we continue to cut domestic programs while sending hundreds of millions of dollars to other countries like Israel.We now appear to be funding general construction projects so long as they can be defined as a military need for Israel.

Notably, the U.S. contractor hired will be required to supply mezuzahs inscribed with Torah verses, “for each door or opening exclusive of toilets or shower rooms.”

Another problematic U.S. enforced condition is that the employment of Palestinians is strictly prohibited.

I have long been critical of the continued spending of billions in various countries from Iraq to Egypt to Afghanistan to Israel as our citizens face severe cuts in social and educational programs. I fail to understand the sense of priority in such spending even though I obviously understand the powerful lobbying and political pressure that come to bear in Washington. There appears to be no serious scrutiny of our continued spending in these countries and the balancing of our own domestic needs in an economic crisis.

Source: CNN

44 thoughts on “As Congress Debates Raising Taxes And Cutting Core Programs For Americans, The Obama Administration Builds Israel a $100 Million Air Complex

  1. Israel remains the untouchable pork barrel of US politics. Te new third rail, as it were.

    If the obscenity could be somehow communicated and received by the American public — not likely with our media gatekeepers and AIPAC info-overlords and Congressional whores — it might be pitchfork time.

  2. I am a supporter if Israel and I think this is insane. We cannot afford to spend this kind of money to support other governments no matter who they are no matter where they are. This money should be used in the USA!

  3. “the U.S. contractor ”

    While Medicare dangles over the fiscal cliff, corporate welfare reigns supreme.

    While the “entitlement” programs which are requisite components of the social contract are threatened, the programs of the “Entitled” remain unscathed.

  4. The explanation is easy. You must be anti-Semitic and hate Jews, or you would not ask these questions, Professor. (And hold an appreciation of your name on certain types of “watch lists” by certain organizations, foreign and domestic).

  5. CNN) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is receiving bids to build a five-story complex for the Israeli Air Force, or IAF, near Tel Aviv.

    The facility, mysteriously dubbed “site 911,” will be built under the auspices of the Foreign Military Sales program and is expected to cost the U.S. between $25 million and $100 million, according to a solicitation for bids posted on a U.S. government website.

    Only U.S. construction firms are able to bid on this contract, and the deadline for proposals is December 3, according to the notice. The notice, first reported on by The Washington Post, includes structural plans that show the first three underground floors are roughly 41,000 square feet and will include classrooms on Level 1, an auditorium on Level 3 and shock-resistant doors throughout.

  6. There is no known purpose for this building. Somebody in congress put this in an appropriations bill. Israel receives 3 billion in aid a year.

  7. 707 – I am with you on solutions but I have a modification that will have to be accepted by the Very Serious People since it will simultaneously reduce the national debt.

    The guillotine will be placed atop a pachinko like device so that the heads will bounce around and eventually fall into one of 20 numbered buckets at the bottom. People will be allowed to bet on which bucket the head will land in. Winners get half the betting pool the other half goes toward paying down the national debt.

  8. think of it as stimulus and you should be all right with it. After all it is an American construction firm.

    Remember Krugman said we should have a war with little green men from Omega 2 to stimulate our economy. So spending money in Israel should be even better stimulus.

  9. The “fiscal cliff” is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people. It doesn’t exist. Read the US Treasury’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. It’s full of accounting gimmicks, but not the typical ones make to make an entity look solvent. They are made to make the US look insolvent. For example, future entitlement obligations are accounted for as a CURRENT CASH outlay. Also whatever happened to the asset side of the balance sheet?

    Look at the cafr reports from anywhere State , local, national. they all have trillions in assets
    just go here.

  10. I think the figure is that the U.S. spends more on defense than the total expenditure of the next fourteen nations……combined. The Military/Industrial Complex is alive and well. It has controlled the national debate on defense and foreign policy since the Cold War. As the Professor opines, this is an example of money that could be used to rebuild our infrastructure and care for our own citizens, yet it is spent to build infrastructure in foreign nations in the service of U.S. companies that will employ foreign citizens. That this is never a topic of conversation in the national media, nor an issue raised by most politicians of either party, illustrates the grip the MI Complex has and probably the lack of power that any President has to stop it.

  11. I too am generally a supporter of Israel, but sending money to other nations, particularly rich(ish) ones, is economic suicide for America.
    But that rule goes to all the other freekin hopped up nations with their hands out. And the worst part of it is they consider it an entitlement, not the voluntary gift that it is from our federal govt.

    They take this money, and still act haughty and obnoxious to our national expectations. Why send money to unappreciative entities even?

    We are in dire need of our own taxes, money and resources, and yet here we are sending shtloads of cash overseas.

    Our govt suffers from cognitive dissonance, a form of institutional insanity, only because it is the govt it can do this by edict and preemptive right, yet the people of America suffer for it.

    I could stomach purely humanitarian aid – food, medicine, water purification, peace corp type things. But when it becomes building their infrastructure, supplying them with munitions and facilities, that truly goes five levels too far.

    Yet the wound keeps flowing our national lifeblood out to undeserving, unappreciative countries.

  12. 1) In my humble opinion rich industrialized countries have a moral obligation to give a minimum of help to the poorest developing countries.
    But even if you disregard morals: very poor states are a source of unrest, transnational crime (including piracy and terrorism), illegal immigration, and so on. Just as it is destabilizing to let the gap between the very poor and the very rich become too big inside a society, so it is in the community of nations.

    2) If you bomb a country ‘back to the stone age’ you’ll have an obligation to help them rebuild. If you can’t afford that, then stop bombing people.

    3) In the current situation (Israel is wealthy, an attack from a nation state is very unlikely) Israel has IMHO outgrown the need for *general* military aid in the form of money (cooperation is a different matter). You could probably make an argument for some financial help in some rare, very specific cases (e.g. Iron Dome arguably).

  13. @RS, there is no “guns or butter” debate anymore. The “guns” side of the equation is a given, steady state, and increasing, budget category.

    The GDP has grown so since such debates were salient that it is possible for the pols to hide the obscene growth of military spending (perhaps the last time was Vietnam – back in the day when we actually had military buildups, not constant war footing). Now, when someone cries “deficit, defitcit” there is never a question that the military should take a hit, but that the domestic, social program side must be “brought into line”.

    Personally, I would rather have most social programs, including with attendant issues of efficient management, than another uneeded and Wall St/MIC-coddling defense program. Te social programs are always the ones needing to ‘justify’ their existence; with the military, their existence — including size and bloat — is generally assumed.

    But we can’t talk about that in our ‘center-right’ country because ’91`1 changed everything’.

    Budgets and programs could be brought under control but for the conspiracy of political calculus in the 21st century, and the political-miitary-K Street-corporate-financial revolving door.

  14. Are we getting closer to the point the public does not fall for or tolerate cutting needed services ( police, teachers, libraries etc ) every time the government wants to raise taxes? Corporate subsides, wallstreet bailouts and runaway military spending must have a limit.

  15. I’m really not understanding how we can have a 16 trillion dollar debt and be financing wars. My thought–if you can’t afford it, you can’t make a war! Especially with the war price tags nowadays. I must just not understand money though. Ron Paul was the only politician who agreed with this, and of course everyone thought him to be nuts!

    As an ex single mother (kids are grown now), if I couldn’t afford something I didn’t buy it. I may have given a homeless person a few bucks now and then, but I didn’t finance and buy things I couldn’t afford. So I’m just NOT understanding how just because the big guys are ‘government’ they can spend millions and billions and trillions, when they supposedly are WAY in the hole!

    Jobs have dried up, unemployment is insane (and the numbers are lots higher than they admit), infrastructure is crumbling, the homeless are all over the place, they’ve coined a new buzzword to help us realize how desperate the situation is, but there is ALWAYS money (HUGE money) for wars, or complexes, or anything they want to do. This is INSANE!!!!

  16. The only sensible part about this story is that only american companies can bid on the work. However, we do have to rein in “gifts” like this to countries that already receive billions in aid from us. Israel does not need this “gift” from us to defend themselves or sustain themselves.

  17. “Millions for defense, but not once cent in tribute!”
    Who said that? I can agree with Israeli defense. But money for so called Aid to all of those pirate countries that spit on us?

  18. Of course we must shell out to defend Israel! It is our mini-me, or vice versa, and there is no question. We don’t even need no stinkin defense treaty. Our alliance is stronger than that. Got it, STRONGER than that. No daylight. Now carry on.

  19. Mike you may be working from old info – the US spends more on defense than the entire rest of the world. We could cut DoD 50% and still be spending as much as the combined spending of every other nation on Earth.

  20. One would think that there would be something illegal about continuing funding a regime that is in constant violation of UN security council resolutions. If we are against funding Hamas, why not Israel also? Hopefully all sides responsible for violations of int’l law will now be brought to justice at the ICC/ICJ w/ the new status at the UN for Palestine.

  21. Frankly,


    Have you ever seen a Japanese pachinko parlor? Don’t have experience of any others I assumed that it was for rinsing all thoughts from the mind, like meditation, only mechanically aided..

    Your idea is perfect. Shall we start with teabaggers and continue with RCC priests? Your choice.

  22. “the US spends more on defense than the entire rest of the world. We could cut DoD 50% and still be spending as much as the combined spending of every other nation on Earth.”


    Thanks for the update. Makes it even worse doesn’t it? Therein lies the “Budget Deficit”.

  23. Shano,

    Great link. My quick and dirty math adds that up to $890 Billion spent, for the top 10 defense contractors alone, since 2006. This is what Military/Industrial complex means.

  24. William F.

    Don’t be difficult or the AIPAC will come for you. There is the UN and then there is domestic politics, and then there is the play acting on the ME drama to keep the money rolling into the coffers of the MIC. Add WOD, Prisons for profit, the striving for 100% saturation of the surveillance system, and a few yet unknown drain sinks and we are still not ready.

    Next week the inbuilt tracker thought surveillance unit. Just waiting for the biodriven battery. They tried solving it with proteins, but the germs ate it up. So if you see lots of folks running around with wires coming out, then you know why.

  25. Hillary Clinton just gave them a 600 million dollar bribe to get them to stop bombing Gaza. this money is to ‘improve’ their missile defenses- the ‘Iron dome’ project. Maybe we just give money to Israel in order to trade war technology.
    I saw films of Israel using White Phosphorus weapons, illegal weapons, this past go round in Gaza. The same weapon we used in Faluja. (sp)

  26. Shano,

    I saw the video and I’m not surprised. I’m a Jew and yet I would get the same treatment from these Fundamentalist Jews if I showed up with a camera crew. This is not an excuse for them, because as fundamentalists they are almost by definition intolerant. However, the title of the video was misleading, to wit: “How the Jews Treat Christians in Israel”. A rather global title, for the actions of a very specific sect, wouldn’t you say/ Also did he identify himself as Christian? Did they ask? I ask these question knowing that they would have the same attitude towards me in the same situation. Had he decided to do interviews in a non-fundamentalist area do you think he would have gotten the same reaction? I think not. I must say that I find the wording of the title somewhat peculiar. Being in Israel one could safely say he was trying to talk to Israeli Fundamentalist Jews. More Jews live in the U.S. than in Israel. That is why Jewish citizens of Israel are called Israeli’s. So he might have titled his video “How the Israeli’s Treat Christians in Israel”, but that would have been counter-factual. I hope you understand the nuance of what I’m trying to get across, while in no way justifying the behavior of those he wanted to interview.

  27. The fundamentalist Jews are similar in some ways to the fundamentalist Sharia-motivated Muslims; how they treat ANYBODY is often appalling. Unless, of course, they find that they have REASON to be courteous…

  28. yea, I have a lot of contact with fundamentalist Jewish people in my field of business. My SO is Jewish and has terrible conflicting feelings about Israel.
    The family background is one of fleeing Spain, getting abducted by Pirates, settling in Brazil then coming to America. My Huguenaut relatives fled France for religious reasons. All these radical religious people have caused so much sorrow in the world.

  29. The Corps is also seeking a contractor for another secret construction project in Israel in the $100 million range to awarded next summer.
    -Walter Pinkus, Washington Post

    “What’s the purpose of Site 911? I asked the Pentagon on Tuesday, and the Corps on Wednesday said that only an Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman could provide an answer.

    This may be a trend-starter. The Corps is also seeking a contractor for another secret construction project in Israel in the $100 million range to awarded next summer. This one will involve “a complex facility with site development challenges” requiring services that include “electrical, communication, mechanical/
    HVAC [heating, ventilation, air conditioning] and plumbing.” The U.S. contractor must have a U.S. secret or equivalent Israeli security clearance for the project, which is expected to take almost 21 / 2 years to complete.

    That sounds like a secure command center.

    The purpose of Site 911 is far less clear.”

  30. The 911 in my interpretation (spontaneous) would refer to the effect of 9/11 and not what happened literally there. The shock of having the unhardened command center destroyed would cripple both militarily Israel as well as psychologically. Hardly likely that these measures are needed for a command center. But gifts are gifts. A careful siphoning and Bibi and friends are rich. Surely a dip sack filled with diamonds must be safer and quicker.

  31. Why aren’t the Republicans demanding cutbacks somewhere else to make this fiscally “neutral”? opps. bad thought. It would be another excuse to cut education or medicaid or something else that we need.

  32. Israel is expanding settlements as fast as they can, even in the face of widespread condemnation. One thing I really dislike about Israel is the destruction of farmlands for no reason, the destruction of centuries old olive trees, just to deny the poor any way of supporting themselves.

    Yes, I am critical of Palestinian leaders as well. This Israeli policy of destroying nature, bearing trees and crops is just so vile for a former farmer like me.

    A friend from Israel sent me this link. I have a few friends in Israel who are adamantly against the policies of their country:

  33. Shano,

    Getting personal without permission, where approximately do you live in AZ and what is your business? And why fundamentalist jews? Curiosity only.

    Do you know what a quincenario is? Well, my friend, a non-jewish mother to a jewish hebrew teaching 14 year old in Tucson, got invited to one today., ie the son got invited. The girl and he are on the school debating team and they kinda got interested over the weekend debate trip to Phoenix.

    I don’t have much family, so I borrow from others. :-)

  34. I live in the middle of the state between Flagstaff & Phoenix and work in industrial metals. oh yes, the Mexican coming out party….it is considered to be a great honor to be invited to this party. They will have a real tamale, no doubt, with a single olive inside- it could not be the Christmas season without them.

  35. Beautifully engraved card with onionskin between. And it came to him today. So mom will me her tonight. She is not waiting for the q party to come out with him apparently. Hope I see some fotos.

    Both families come from Douglas, and lived practically as neighbors although it was the cousins who moved to Tucson on the Cabalcava side. On the Rubin side, they had and have ranches on the Mexican side, alongside Romney’s grandpere.

    What a history, especially for someone whose ancestors were originally gaol prisoners forced to go and run plantations (as one history relates), and then settle in the hills of Appalachia.

    More another time. Soon one AM here.

  36. I, too, am a supporter of helping America first, but when impolite people show their antisemitism (by opposing what Izzy wants), i say it’s high time we
    just let BiBi run both countries, OH. He already IS? How bout that.

  37. idealist, I have spent a lot of time in Sonoita & Portal. One of the most beautiful places in the US. I always think, thank god for Geronimo- he saved that territory from settlement long enough to keep it preserved.

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