The Cost of Israel to the American People

‘The Cost of Israel to the American People’ Booklet
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This booklet contains three essays on the cost of our ‘special relationship’ with Israel by retired US Foreign Service officers Richard H. Curtiss and Shirl McArthur, and by renowned economist Thomas R. Stauffer, PhD:

About the Authors

Richard H. Curtiss

Washington Report on Middle East Affars Executive Editor Richard H. Curtiss enlisted in the U.S. Army in World War II, and served as a military correspondent in Berlin, Germany after the war. After earning a B.A. in journalism from the University of Southern California and work on newspapers and for United Press in California, he served as a career foreign service officer with the Department of State and the U.S. Information Agency in Djakarta, Bonn, Stuttgart, Ankara, Beirut (three times), Baghdad, Damascus and Rhodes, Greece, where he headed the Arabic Service of the Voice of America, and in various positions in Washington DC.

During his U.S. government career he received the U.S. Information Agency's Superior Honor Award for his service as Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs in Lebanon during the civil war there, and the Edward R. Murrow award for excellence in Public Diplomacy, U.S.I.A.'s highest professional recognition.

Following his retirement from the U.S. Foreign Service in 1980, Mr. Curtiss co-founded the American Educational Trust in 1982, which produces the award-winning magazine, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

For his work as its executive editor, Mr. Curtiss received 7 awards, including one from Partners for Peace in 1993 and one from the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development in 1995.

Mr. Curtiss has written two books on U.S.-Middle East relations. The first, A Changing Image: American Perceptions of the Arab-Israeli Dispute, was published in 1982 and commended for its objectivity by all three then-living ex-Presidents of the United States, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter. An updated second edition was published in 1986. His second book Stealth PACs: Lobbying Congress for Control of U.S. Middle East Policy has had four editions.

Shirl McArthur

Retired United States Foreign Service Officer Shirl McArthur is a regular contributor to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs specializing in financial analysis.

Mr. McArthur was born in Utah and grew up in Yakima, Washington. He received a BA in Political Science from Washington State College (now University) in 1957. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1958-1963 as a Pilot in the Strategic Air Command.

In 1963, Mr. McArthur joined the U.S. Foreign Service. He served mostly in the Middle East, with permanent posts in Algiers (twice), Baghdad, Kinshasa, Beirut, Kuwait, Riyadh, and Bangkok, as well as TDY assignments to Oran, Tehran, Amman, Tel Aviv/Jerusalem, Sanaa, Manama, Doha, Ubu Dhabi, and Muscat. His final post with the Foreign Service was in Bangkok, where he served as Commercial Attache.

Thomas R. Stauffer, PhD

Eminent economist and engineer Dr. Thomas R. Stauffer served twice in the Executive Office of the president: with the Cabinet Task Force on Oil Import Control and with the Price Commission during the Nixon administration. He also was a consultant to the anti-trust unit of the Federal Trade Commission.

Dr. Stauffer taught economics and Middle East studies at Harvard (1971-1982), the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna (1982-85) and Georgetown University (1985-1989). He also lectured regularly at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute and at the Army and Navy war colleges.

Dr. Stauffer appeared before numerous tribunals and international bodies in Washington, DC and abroad, testifying as an expert in tax, nationalization and regulatory matters, including proceedings at The Hague.

Quotations from the Booklet

“It would be difficult to find two countries more profoundly different in their approaches to basic questions of citizenship and civil and human rights as are the United States and Israel.”

- Richard H. Curtiss

“[T]he nearly $14,630 every one of 5.8 million Israelis had received from the U.S. government by October 31, 1997, cost American taxpayers $23,241 per Israeli. That’s $116,205 for every Israeli family of five.”

- Richard H. Curtiss

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Additional Resources

Congressional Research Service:
U.S. Aid to Israel

Congressional Research Service:
U.S. Aid to the Palestinians

Book – Fallen Pillars: US Policy towards Palestine and Israel since 1945

Palestine Monitor Fact Sheet on US Aid

Times of London Graphic on US Aid

Arms Transfers to Israel: 1993 to Present

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Jewish Virtual Library on US Aid


Council for the National Interest

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

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