Hamas’ Violent Incursion Exposes Wastefulness of U.S-Israel Aid

As the largest recipient of foreign aid post-WWII, Israel has crafted an ostensibly first-rate security and intelligence sector. But to what end?

Zach Salcido
4 min readOct 11, 2023

Hamas’ abhorrent attacks on Israeli citizens in the recent days caught the country’s intelligence sector completely off-guard, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians and the kidnapping of hundreds more. Despite being America’s largest recipient of financial aid totaling nearly $4B annually, Israel has a history of profound intelligence failures that result in the substantial bloodshed of their own people.

In his recent article titled “Israel’s Shocking Intelligence Failure,” Ken Klippenstein, a reporter at The Intercept, detailed the Israeli intelligence sector’s complete failure to correctly identify and anticipate the threat of an attack by Hamas:

When asked how the ragtag militant group was able to catch the Israeli military off guard, Israeli army spokesman, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, replied simply: “That’s a good question.”

It doesn’t stop there. As Ken shows, Israel is a serial offender of intelligence failures. Hamas’ recent attacks were likely planned intentionally on the 50th anniversary of similar attack on Israel by Egyptian and Syrian forces on October 6, 1973. Israeli intelligence erroneously concluded that movement of these troops was merely a training exercise, and the attacks resulted in the removal of Israeli forces in the Sinai and Golan Heights.

These repeated failures tend to beg the question, how can this be possible when the United States sends the country now nearly $4 billion in aid every single year? Some have posited the notion that Netanyahu knew of and “allowed” the attacks in a nefarious plot to secure and advance Israel’s security and military state. Israel simply doesn’t need an attack by Hamas to garner military aid and support, as is evidenced by the United States continuous and unabashed support both in dollars and in rhetoric. This rhetoric is, of course, echoed by the rest of the western world.

And what does Israel do with this nearly $4 billion in aid that it gets from the U.S? The short answer is on the Iron Dome, as well as an extensive and oppressive military regime in the West Bank, equipped with high-end facial recognition technology called Red Wolf and AI-powered turrets. The Israeli Defense Forces, at the behest of the Israeli government, facilitates an open-air prison in the occupied West Bank. Plainly stated, Israel is and has been participating for decades in the ethnic cleansing of the region. Openly in violation of international and U.S laws, Israel not only achieves impunity in the international realm but also enjoys unconditional and continuous enrichment of their apartheid state. Don’t take my word for it- In 2021, one of Israel’s largest human-rights organizations, B’Tselem, published a position paper labeling Israel’s activity in the West Bank as apartheid.

Israel maintains complete control over the electricity and water supply in Gaza, resources the Israeli government is now heavily restricting in violation of international human rights laws. All commerce in and out of the West Bank is heavily regulated and scrutinized by the IDF. Many Palestinian reporters have routinely documented the violent and systemic removal of Palestinians from their ancestral homes, sequestering off over 2 million people to a mere 25-mile stretch of land. The Israeli press itself openly calls for the genocide and complete removal of the Palestinian people. To the extent that it exists today, the complete subjugation of Palestinians would not be possible without the significant intervention of the American planners. And if it needs to be said, the overwhelming majority of the Palestinian population does not espouse the ideology of Hamas.

The American investment in the Israeli project is not only a waste of taxpayer dollars, as evidenced by the historical ineffectiveness of its intelligence sector, but it also created as an inevitability the formation of extremist organizations who are dedicated to opposing their imprisonment and subjugation. Therein lies the paradox of fascist regimes, as its own machinations eventually unravel its very legitimacy as a nation-state. A population living under the thumb of a settler neocolonial regime is bound, if not morally compelled, to act with equal force as that which meets it. And no matter the magnitude of Hamas’ resistance, the asymmetricality with which Israel exerts its force means Hamas could never approach the omnipotent force that shapes the lives of all Palestinians in the West Bank.

In this way, America’s systematic facilitation of the Israeli security and intelligence state necessitated violent ends. One is left to consider the circumstances in which a population is subjugated and terrorized to the degree that violent extremism seems to be the only recourse, absent any support from the western world or much of anyone at all. Instead, the West has essentially unanimously agreed to support the oppressors in the form of billions of annual dollars and myriad other forms of support.

The United States, with zero semblance of a healthcare or national transportation system, has better things to spend money on. Indeed, one need not look far to discover America’s own violent colonization of its homeland, and perhaps conclude simply that Birds of a Feather Flock Together. But just as the innocent Ukrainians displaced by violent conflict deserve liberation, so do the Palestinian people.



Zach Salcido

Oregon Law student. Interested in writing about politics, public policy, and law.