Middle East

Nov 20, 2012

Defence bill mounts for Israel when it can least afford it

Both sides of the latest military conflict in the Middle East are spending big to defend their turf, despite promises from Israel to cut spending to pay for social reforms. Crikey intern David Donaldson reports.

We are all too familiar with the human cost of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza — the death toll has now passed 110 — but less frequently discussed is the huge monetary cost.

Much discussion recently has centred on the successes of Israel’s relatively new Iron Dome anti-rocket system, a source of pride for many Israelis for its high rate of success at blocking missiles from Gaza. But at up to $80 million per battery and $62,000 to $100,000 for each interceptor missile, the system doesn’t come cheap.

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2 thoughts on “Defence bill mounts for Israel when it can least afford it

  1. Richard Scott

    You’ve fallen into the first trap of budget analysis by comparing GDP and budget share of defence spending, by comparing the 1986 budget share (17%) with the 2011 GDP share (6.5%) – apple to orange. By my 5 minute google, 2011 budget share is about 20% – and that’s just the overt number. Military pensions, public safety and general spookery probably take it higher again. That supports your general argument much better – and there would have to be some serious questions about sustainability.

  2. Sandifeet

    Very informative article from David. Is this where the bankers money is going to play war games with real lives?
    More Austerity needed for Israeli citizens, while the next generation become hardheads or refuseniks?
    Oldboys & their toys, they are getting too expensive. Hope so

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