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Re "Loans" To Israel: They're Never Paid Back

Letter re "loans" to Israel. In a "nut shell" they're never paid back.
Letter: U.S. loans to Israel

The Washington Times
30 November 2002

The article "Israel seeks military aid increase" (Nation,
Wednesday), which tells of an Israeli request for loans and grants
totaling $14 billion, mentions that Israel never has defaulted on a
loan. Friends of Israel never tire of saying that Israel has never
defaulted on repayment of a U.S. government loan, but it would be
equally accurate to say Israel has never been required to repay a
U.S. government loan. The truth is complex, and designed to be so by
those who seek to conceal it from the U.S. taxpayer. Most U.S. loans
to Israel are forgiven, and many were made with the explicit
understanding that they would be forgiven before Israel was required
to repay them. By disguising as loans what in fact were grants,
cooperating members of Congress effectively exempted Israel from the
U.S. oversight that would have accompanied the loans. Initially,
Israel was expected to pay the interest and eventually begin
repaying the principal on loans. But the so-called Cranston
Amendment, which has been attached by Congress to every foreign-aid
appropriation since 1983, provides that economic aid to Israel will
never dip below the amount Israel is required to pay on its
outstanding loans. In short, whether U.S. aid is extended as grants
or loans to Israel, it never returns to the U.S. Treasury. The total
since 1949 exceeds $84 billion. Saying that Israel never has
defaulted on a loan is a partial truth, but part of it is quietly