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All About Palestine X: US Interests in Supporting Israel (1 of 2)

All About Palestine X: US Interests in Supporting Israel (1 of 2)

Palestine. What was once a thriving, culturally, and religiously diverse land, now lies under the military occupation of a racist, colonial regime.  In the early 1900’s, ‘Imperialism’ and ‘Zionism’ merged together in perhaps the greatest conspiracy in human history: to uproot a nation and establish a military outpost in the form of a settler-colony on the shores of West Asia, to serve the British Empire’s interests in the region. 

All About Palestine X: US Interests in Supporting Israel (1 of 2)

Palestine. What was once a thriving, culturally, and religiously diverse land, now lies under the military occupation of a racist, colonial regime.  In the early 1900’s, ‘Imperialism’ and ‘Zionism’ merged together in perhaps the greatest conspiracy in human history: to uproot a nation and establish a military outpost in the form of a settler-colony on the shores of West Asia, to serve the British Empire’s interests in the region.

Note for the reader:
The following 12-part report was completed at the outset of Israel’s 2023-2024 War on Gaza. It covers the history of the Zionist colonization of Palestine from the early 1900’s up until October 7th, 2023. However, the ongoing war is briefly referenced throughout. TMJ plans to release a later report on the current war that will cover the events in great detail.

Written by: Nadia Hojaij and Yahia Hassani | Copy Editors: Zainabrights | Design: Fatima El-Zein


In 1986, then Senator and current US President Joe Biden infamously stated “Were there not an Israel, the United States of America would have to invent an Israel to protect her interests in the region.”

Nearly a century prior, the British Empire sought out precisely the same goal, pursuing an advanced military base to protect its interests in West Asia. Meanwhile, the intellectual force of Zionism desired an ethnocentric country as a “Jewish State,” seeking the support of Great Britain to help achieve their goal. In 1903, the Zionist Congress proposed the Uganda scheme, supporting the plan for a Jewish state in British East Africa. However, the British rejected the idea, suggesting Palestine instead due to its geostrategic location as a crossroads between three continents. The Zionists obliged, beginning mass European migration to Palestine. Britain aimed to control the region’s resources and crucial trade routes, particularly the Suez Canal, to advance its economy and gain easier access to its colonies in Asia and Africa. However, in order to legitimize the settler-colonial project in the post-colonial world, it was presented under the guise of creating a “national home for the Jewish people.” Thus, British Imperialism and Zionism merged together to uproot a nation in order to establish a military outpost in the form of a settler-colony, driven by an ethnocentric political ideology, in the name of self determination for a religious minority. The Zionist entity, known as Israel, is largely considered the last phase of European settler-colonialism. The US took over the project after it inherited the British Empire in the aftermath of WWII. 

Thus, the primary motive behind creating and supporting the Zionist state was to serve, protect, and advance the empire’s interests in the geostrategic and resource rich region of West Asia. 

The US empire is widely considered the strongest empire in human history. Its goal, like previous empires, is to control or influence the world’s economy, resources, and territories overall. West Asia is especially important due to its vital energy supplies and crucial trade routes upon which the globalized capitalist system heavily relies. In addition to exploiting the region’s natural resources (i.e. oil and gas), to control such energy supplies is to control nations’ economies and thus the ability to extort, coerce, and blackmail through it. Even if the empire was self-sufficient for energy, it would still require hegemony over the region to impose its foreign policy globally. 

According to a 2017 report by the RAND Corporation, “The traditional definition of U.S. interests in the Middle East has centered on ensuring the free flow of natural resources and maintaining relationships with key allies and protecting them from external threats, in part to ensure access for U.S. military operations.” Such key allies include the oil rich Gulf and Saudi Arabia in particular – the world’s leading oil exporter – which denominate their oil sales in US dollars.

Since its inception – and despite its unprecedented crimes against humanity – Israel has received unwavering military, economic, and diplomatic support from the United States, without which Israel cannot stand the chance of survival. US support is based on Israel’s role as a colonial outpost to advance US imperialism and neocolonialism in the region. Imperialism refers to the policy of extending a country’s power, authority, and influence through direct means such as military or diplomatic force, while neocolonialism refers to more indirect means such as through economic or political pressure.

The US views Israel as a conspiracy headquarter and ‘stabilizing’ force for its hegemony in the region – both militarily and through soft war strategies essential to “color revolutions” – which acts to destabilize entities that threaten US interests. Such interests are largely centered around US ability to; maintain a dominant military presence worldwide available for rapid deployment, secure the global reserve currency of the ‘petrodollar,’ influence global financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank, propagate multinational corporations including Big Oil and Big Tech, advance the military-industrial complex, counter the Islamic Revolution of Iran and ‘Resistance Axis,’ and curb a growing multi-polar world that includes organizations such as BRICS and infrastructure projects such as China’s “New Silk Road.”

Such interests mostly benefit America’s ruling class or “1 percent” – consisting of politicians, bureaucrats, corporate executives, financiers, moguls, and other billionaires – who do not represent the interests of the majority of Americans. According to a 2017 report by the Institute for Policy Studies, three individuals owned more wealth than the bottom half of society – about 160 million Americans. According to a 2020 article by Bloomberg, the 50 richest Americans were worth as much as the poorest 165 million. According to 2021 Federal Reserve reports, the top 1% of US households owned more than 31% of the total wealth. According to 2022 Federal Reserve reports, the top 10% of US households owned 74% of the total wealth, while the bottom 50% owned only 2%. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United States has the highest poverty rate among the world’s 26 most developed countries.

Although unwavering US support for Israel is largely driven by perceived strategic interests, another major factor includes wealthy pro-Israel lobbying groups that have pervasive influences over various American institutions from politics, media, entertainment, education, and religion. 

Part X and XI of this report will focus on America’s perceived strategic interests in supporting the Zionist entity, while Part XII will cover the powerful Israel Lobby – including Evangelical Christian Zionism.

Oil, Gas, and Trade

In 2023, US politician and presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., stated “Israel is our ambassador, our presence, our beachhead in the Middle East. It gives us ears, eyes, intelligence, and capacity to influence affairs in the Middle East.”

The Middle East, or West Asia, contains some of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves which are vital to the global economic infrastructure. Additionally, West Asia is home to some of the world’s most crucial trade routes which are critical to global energy security. They include Egypt’s Suez Canal, Yemen’s Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and Iran’s Strait of Hormuz. The Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, accounts for 9% of total seaborne traded oil and about 8% of global liquified natural gas trade. According to the World Economic Forum, about 30% of the world’s shipping container volume passes through the Suez, equalling about 12% of all global traded goods. The Suez is at the opposite end of the Red Seas’ Bab el-Mandeb strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Arabian Sea. The Bab el-Mandeb strait nearly matches the Suez in the volumes of oil, gas, and goods that pass through and is a crucial choke point for globe trade. Like the Suez, its closure would force tankers to divert around the southern tip of Africa, increasing transit time and shipping costs. The Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea, is considered the world’s most important oil transit route. The strait accounts for about one-third of total global seaborne traded oil and more than one-quarter of global liquefied natural gas trade.

In 2010, a geological survey found an enormous gas field off the coast of Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. The gas field, dubbed “The Leviathan,” is one of the largest off-shore natural gas discoveries in the world, making the Israeli entity an evermore strategic outpost for US interests in the region – albeit in times of stability.

Cold War

In 1962, US President John F. Kennedy told Israeli Foreign Minister Golda Meir, “The United States has a special relationship with Israel in the Middle East, really comparable only to that which it has with Britain over a wide range of world affairs.”

During the Cold War, US nuclear power was matched by the Soviet Union, creating a balance of forces that ruled out a third world war due to the potential nuclear fallout that could destroy the entire planet. However, it did not prevent local and regional wars, as the struggle to maintain spheres of strategic influence was fought around the globe.

In 1948, the US was the first country to recognize the Israeli colonization of Palestine as an official state, while the Soviet Union was second to follow three days later. As the Cold War commenced, West Asia became a key battleground between the hegemonic super powers. 

At first, US support for Israel was not unequivocal, but based more on the sheer strategic calculation of overtaking the British colonial yoke that was waning. For instance, during the 1956 Suez Crisis – when Israel invaded Egypt in consort with Britain and France – the US forced all parties to retreat, leading the way for US control and to prevent a wider Cold War conflagration. The Suez Crisis confirmed that the old colonial powers – Great Britain and France – had been superseded by the US and USSR as the world’s predominant geopolitical forces. However, the US began to see Israel as a useful tool for curbing Soviet influence, Arab Nationalism, and any other anti-imperial movements in West Asia. The US used diplomatic, economic, and military support to weave Israel firmly into the anti-Soviet camp. The US-Israel relationship really began to flourish after the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel expanded its occupation into Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, proving its advanced Western-backed military to be far superior than any combination of less-equipped Arab armies. After the 1967 War, US aid to Israel increased by 450%. After the 1973 Yom Kippur War, US aid increased by another 800%. US aid continued to increase as Israel continued to make itself an attractive ally – with its aggressions, invasions, and occupations across the region – serving its functional role on behalf of US imperialism. Especially as the US was bogged down in other wars around the world, particularly Vietnam, and later Iraq and Afghanistan. 

With no real opposition to Israel at the time, America slept on its excess expansionism. 

Otherwise, Israel going beyond the borders set by the imperial powers did not necessarily act within the higher interests of the imperial forces. Ultimately, the US is not interested in Zionist expansionism, as it creates more adversaries and thus the need for more costly intervention. For instance, the war in 1973 was a direct result of 1967, and the “Resistance Axis” emerged as a direct result of Israeli adventurism across the region – particularly its invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

In 2014, a historic National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel “Special Relationship examined its negative impact on the American people. The symposium included speakers and attendees – ranging from military, diplomatic, intelligence, academic, governmental, research, and economic experts, as well as former and current members of Congress – who provided an in-depth and multifaceted analysis into how US-Israeli relations are in fact damaging to America. Such damages are largely related to the resistance movements on the ground, having successfully thwarted the imperialist plans in the region. This has led to sustained losses in the trillions of dollars, without any outcome but despair for imperialist domination and a deteriorating quality of life for the American people.

Foreign Aid

In 1986, during the same Senate meeting, Biden stated “I think it’s about time we stop – for apologizing for our support for Israel. There is no apology to be made. None. It is the best $3 billion investment we make.”

Since its creation, the Zionist entity has been the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign military, diplomatic, and economic aid. This makes Israel bound to the supreme American interests. Such assistance is continuous despite Israel’s unprecedented war crimes, human rights abuses, and violations of international law. Total US financial aid to Israel is approximately one-third of the American foreign-aid budget, even though Israel comprises only .001 percent of the world’s population. According to an extensive report by the Congressional Research Service, between 1946 and 2023, US aid to Israel amounted to an estimated $260 billion in American taxpayer money (2021 inflation-adjusted dollars)

In 2008, an amendment to the 1968 Arms Export Control Act (AECA) codified a law mandating the US to always protect Israel’s “Qualitative Military Edge.” In 2016, the US and Israel signed their third 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on military aid, covering fiscal years 2019 to 2028. Under the terms, the US pledged $38 billion in military aid, amounting to $3.8 billion per year. Military aid is contingent for Israel’s survival as a militarized entity that was turned into a country and built upon suppression. Without the settlers’ sense of heightened security, the colonial entity cannot survive.

Furthermore, Congress often authorizes additional aid packages for various direct and indirect assistance programs. In 2022 for example, legislation passed provisions to disburse a total of $7 billion on behalf of Israel, amounting to nearly $20 million per day. US endowments are especially striking considering Israel is already one of the richest (and smallest) countries in the world with the 14th largest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. 

According to a 2003 detailed report by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, the indirect or consequential costs to the American taxpayer as a result of Washington’s blind support for Israel far exceed the amount of direct US aid to Israel, amounting to nearly $3 trillion (in 2022 dollars). Such figures are accumulated from war time support, oil crises, and the billions of dollars spent on purchasing ‘peace for Israel’ from neighboring countries – like Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey – often in the forms of military and economic aid. Moreover, these figures do not include the billions of dollars which Israel receives in donations and investments from private American-Zionist donors, nor does it include the billions of dollars which Israel benefits from that are spent lobbying pro-Israel policies, interests, and public opinion. As important as direct aid is controlling public perception, aimed at maintaining political, social, and cultural support across various American institutions, and at subduing the millions of Americans in poverty so they don’t rise up against such a scandal.

American tax-payers often protest such government spending that could be much better allocated for domestic needs – such as the rising costs of healthcare, housing, and education – rather than sent abroad to prop up an apartheid regime. According to 2022 reports by the US Census Bureau, nearly 38 million Americans were living in poverty and over 26 million were without health insurance for the entire year. According to 2023 reports by the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, over 653,000 Americans were homeless. According to 2023 reports by the Federal Reserve, Americans owed $1.6 trillion in student loans.

In November 2023 – during Israel’s 2023-2024 War on Gaza – Congress approved an additional $14.3 billion in military aid for Israel’s cataclysmic bombing campaign on the besieged enclave. In April 2024, President Biden authorized another $26 billion. In the war’s first three months alone, Israel dropped more than 45,000 bombs on Gaza weighing more than 65,000 tonnes. The weight of explosives were equivalent to four “Little Boy” atomic bombs that the US dropped on Hiroshima. 

As for Israel’s nuclear program, the Zionist entity has always maintained a policy of deliberate ambiguity regarding its possession of nuclear weapons. According to its policy of nuclear opacity, Israel acknowledges nothing factual about its nuclear status, activities, and capabilities. While a small research reactor located at Soreq Nuclear Research Center in central Israel is under facility-specific IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards, the Negev Nuclear Research Center near the city of Dimona is not under IAEA safeguards and inspectors are not allowed to enter.  According to the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Israel is widely believed to possess at least 90 nuclear warheads and has produced enough plutonium for 100-200 more. 

The Zionist regime is the only state in the region that refuses to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NFT) and has not signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). In order to maintain its nuclear superiority in the region, Israel destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981, bombed Syria’s nuclear facility in 2007, and continues to be at the forefront of undermining Iran’s nuclear development program through system sabotages and assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. Israel regularly urges Atomic agencies to inspect, pressure, and halt Iran’s nuclear enrichment, despite Iran’s program continuously demonstrating to be peaceful. The Zionist regime was vehemently opposed to the Obama Administration’s Iran Nuclear deal and has constantly lobbied the US to attack Iran, while at times threatening to do so itself. 

Additionally, the US holds veto power in the UN, which it has used over 46 times to provide diplomatic cover for Israel’s aggressions, war crimes, and violations of international law. The US often stands isolated globally at such international forums, where it almost always votes against UN resolutions condemning Israel, while the rest of the world overwhelmingly votes otherwise.

During Israel’s 2023-2024 War on Gaza, the US vetoed numerous UN Security Council resolutions demanding an immediate ceasefire and voted ‘against’ multiple UN General Assembly resolutions calling for the same. For a ceasefire resolution to be accepted, it would have to be forwarded by the US or its allies under their terms and conditions.

Image Source: John Penney/Passblue

Military Base

In 2007, Biden told Shalom TV, “Israel is the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East…Imagine our circumstance in the world were there no Israel, how many battleships would there be, how many troops would be stationed.”

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 which brought the Cold War to an end, the US expanded its efforts for global dominance – mainly via NATO. As reported by investigative journalist Ben Norton of the Geopolitical Economy Report, in 1992, the US National Security Council clearly outlined such policies, which included; “[The United States’] goal is to preclude any hostile power from dominating a region critical to our interests, and also thereby to strengthen the barriers against the reemergence of a global threat to the interests of the U.S. and our allies. These regions include Europe, East Asia, the Middle East/Persian Gulf, and Latin America. Consolidated, nondemocratic control of the resources of such a critical region could generate a significant threat to our security.” In 2004, the US Government published its National Military Strategy, which served “to focus the Armed Forces on maintaining US leadership in a global community that is challenged on many fronts,” affirming the goal is “Full Spectrum Dominance – the ability to control any situation or defeat any adversary across the range of military operations.” 

According to the Overseas Base Realignment and Closure Coalition (OBRACC), the US has over 750 military bases spread across 80 countries worldwide, including in apartheid Israel and at least 38 other host countries led by dictatorships, monarchies, and other undemocratic regimes. US foreign bases amount to 75-85% of the world’s foreign military bases. The few other countries that have foreign bases – such as the UK, France, Russia, and China – total between 100-200 bases combined. Foreign bases cost the American taxpayer over $80 billion annually on maintenance and personnel. Many US military analysts, veterans, scholars, advocates, and organizations from across the political spectrum argue such funding could be much better spent on domestic needs and that closing such bases would actually improve national and international security.

In OBRACC’s “Drawdown” report, which illustrates the many dangers and problems associated with overseas bases, Professor David Vine writes “These bases are costly in a number of ways: financially, politically, socially, and environmentally. U.S. bases in foreign lands often raise geopolitical tensions, support undemocratic regimes, and serve as a recruiting tool for militant groups opposed to the U.S. presence and the governments its presence bolsters. In other cases, foreign bases are being used and have made it easier for the United States to launch and execute disastrous wars, including those in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. Across the political spectrum and even within the U.S. military there is growing recognition that many overseas bases should have been closed decades ago, but bureaucratic inertia and misguided political interests have kept them open.”

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the US spends more on its military than the next 10 countries combined. Since WWII, and even prior, the US has remained in perpetual war, conflict, and military operation all over the world. Such campaigns have led to the deaths of millions, including over 1.3 million people in Korea and over 3.1 million in Vietnam. According to a research study by the Watson Institute at Brown University, US post-9/11 Wars have led to the deaths of over 4.5 million human beings, displaced another 38 million, and cost an estimated $8 trillion. 

In 2023, US politician and presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., stated “Israel is critical because it’s a bulwark for us in the Middle East. It’s almost like having an aircraft carrier in the Middle East.”

The Israeli entity serves as the US’s largest military base in the region, representing American “battleships,” “troops,” and “aircraft carriers” from which the US can direct its campaigns. Israel is an ardent partner in US wars, conflict, and military operation, playing a crucial role in threatening, attacking, and destabilizing independent state and non-state actors that are determined to defy US dictates. 

In an interview with the Geopolitical Economy Report, distinguished economics professor Michael Hudson stated “America is not giving all this money to Israel because it loves Israel, but because Israel is the military base from which the United States can attack Syria, Iraq, and Iran and Lebanon. So it’s a military base. And of course, it can frame this in terms of pro-Israeli, pro-Jewish policy, but this is only for the public relations view of the State Department.”

Israeli military campaigns are fueled, financed, and supported by the US in order to serve perceived US interests. Further, Israeli aggressions allow the US to evade direct responsibility on the international stage, where the US provides diplomatic cover through its veto power in the UN. The expansionist settler-colonial project of Zionism, with aspirations to expand as far as “from the Nile to the Euphrates”, is an essence, the expansion of US imperialism in the region.

During Israel’s 2023-2024 War on Gaza, the US continued to resupply the Zionist entity with  thousands of armaments for its scorched-earth policy on the besieged enclave. By April 2024, the US approved more than 100 separate military sales for Israel which have so far killed over 34,000 Palestinians – including over 14,000 children – displaced over 1.7 million others, and destroyed over 60% of Gaza’s housing units.

Shared Principles, Ideas, and Values

In 2022, during a meeting with Israeli President Herzog, Biden stated “I’ll say this 5000 times in my career – the ironclad commitment the United States has to Israel, based on our principles, our ideas, our values; they’re the same values.”

Historically, the US relied on a so-called “twin pillar” strategy to protect its interests in the region, using two repressive monarchies in Saudi Arabia and Iran as its local guardians. However, after the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979 – which ousted the US-backed Shah monarchy – the US lost one of its main pillars. Thereafter, Israel became an increasingly important asset for serving US interests in the region. The Islamic Revolution confirmed that despite how much military, intelligence, and diplomatic support the US provided the Shah or any monarchy, it would still be susceptible to overthrow by the nation’s indigenous people. Whereas with an investment like Israel – which supposedly shares the same “principles, ideas, and values” as the US – an Israeli revolution against US interests is inconceivable and contradictory to the essence of its very existence. Israel was created as an extension of Western imperialism and is existentially dependent on US support. Further, the Zionist regime prides itself as a democracy, like the US, despite its evident apartheid system against Palestinians. Also, Israeli citizens are not composed of indigenous people who could potentially develop anti-imperial or anti-colonial sentiments (excluding the minority Palestinian-Israeli citizens). Rather, Israel is a colonial entity itself, consisting of settlers mostly from Western nations where they hold dual citizenship. The first generation of Israeli leaders were mostly European, while the recent generation has been mostly American. Current Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu grew up in Philadelphia and studied at MIT and Harvard, while his predecessor, Naftali Bennet, has family roots in San Francisco. They both supposedly renounced their American citizenships in order to become Israeli politicians. 

In 2012, Netanyahu told President Obama, “We are you, and you are us.”

Furthermore, the reasoning behind why the British Empire planted the Zionist state in the heart of the Arab and Muslim world – along with drawing up separate Arab states and propping up repressive monarchies subordinate to Western powers – was to reinforce the original Sykes-Picot ‘divide and conquer’ strategy for the region. The Zionist state – consisting of mostly Western Jews, loyal to Western powers, and armed with the world’s fourth most powerful military – creates a major ideological, cultural, and military wedge that prevents the indigenous Arab or Muslim world from ever potentially uniting. Such a unification – based on a shared culture, language, and religion, along with vast resources and strategic waterways – could potentially create an independent financial, economic, and military superpower before which the world’s great powers would be humbled. 

In 1964, American civil rights leader, Malcolm X, wroteThe number one weapon of 20th century imperialism is Zionist dollarism, and one of the main bases for this weapon is Zionist Israel. The ever-scheming European imperialists wisely placed Israel where she could geographically divide the Arab world, infiltrate and sow the seed of dissension among African leaders and also divide the Africans against the Asians. Zionist Israel’s occupation of Arab Palestine has forced the Arab world to waste billions of precious dollars on armaments, making it impossible for these newly independent Arab nations to concentrate on strengthening the economies of their countries and elevating the living standard of their people.”

Additional social, cultural, and religious factors that contribute to the shared “principles, ideas, and values” between the US and Israel include: US Christian Zionism which constitute a major pro-Israel voting bloc; sentimental attachment with Israel’s propagated so-called democracy; historical identity experiences with building a nation based on the expulsion of the lands indigenous people; guilt for Western anti-semitism and fear of its accusation; and the widespread Islamophobia and racism towards Arabs that is stoked and weaponized in American society.

Economist Michael Hudson adds “[The US] supports the Israeli military, not the Israeli society or the culture, and has nothing to do with Judaism at all. This is pure military politics, and that’s how I’ve always heard it discussed among the military and national security people. So you want to be careful not to be taken in by the cover story.”

The US establishment is not inherently “pro-Zionist.” Like US support for its other allies around the world – including repressive monarchies, dictatorships, and other undemocratic regimes – US support for Israel is based primarily on its perceived strategic interests and not on any moral commitment to the Zionist entity, its dream “from the Nile to the Euphrates,” nor the Evangelical belief of precipitating the second coming of Christ.

In 2014, Biden addressed the Jewish Federation of North America, stating “We will never, ever, ever abandon Israel, out of our own self-interest.”

Global Reserve Currency

In the post-world war period, old colonial powers were forced to retreat due to the awakening of indigenous peoples who demanded independent nation-states. Old colonial powers were also expired and weak after centuries of enforcing colonialism over large geographies. However, colonialism was swiftly replaced by a new form of economic neo-colonialism. Thus, direct control by advanced capitalist countries was reinstated by the collective exploitation of the neo-colonial world, primarily through the corporate coup takeoff that was to stop the ability of nations enacting sovereign policy. This was reinforced by the military power of Western nations, especially the US, which aimed to create a world environment favorable to US multinational corporations. With the traditional gold standard becoming unsustainable, the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference between the allied nations ushered in a new world economic order, establishing the US dollar as the new global reserve currency.

Involved countries pegged their currencies to the US dollar and pegged the US dollar to the price of gold (at $35 an ounce), allowing global currencies to become exchangeable. The US was responsible for maintaining the price of gold and its inventory in case other countries wanted to redeem their dollars for gold. Organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank were created, both headquartered in Washington DC, tasked to oversee the system’s stability and to provide post-war reconstruction funding respectively. However, by the 1970’s, the system began to collapse due to an unnatural combination of US stagnant economic growth, high unemployment, and high inflation – referred to as ‘stagflation’ – largely influenced by the costly War in Vietnam. Many countries began losing confidence in US power, prompting mass requests to redeem their dollars for gold. However, due to international currency circulation, there were three times as many dollars held abroad as the US was capable of redeeming in gold. In response, to protect the US’s remaining gold reserves, President Nixon went against the Bretton Woods agreement and declared the US would no longer exchange dollars for gold, ending what remained of the gold standard.


No longer tied to a fixed amount of gold, the dollar’s value plummeted, hurting many oil-exporting nations along the way due to the oil-contracts that were priced in dollars. Coupled with enmity towards continued US support for Israeli aggressions in the region – particularly US military aid to Israel during the 1973 War with Egypt and Syria – the Arab members of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), including Saudi Arabia led by King Faisal, declared an oil embargo on the US. The idea was to impose pressure on the West to pressure the occupation entity. The 1973 Oil Crisis caused oil and gas prices to skyrocket, further exacerbating stagflation in the US, while causing a surge in profits for Saudi Arabia. The US considered military action to seize oil fields in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE, before negotiations lifted the embargo in 1974. King Faisal was then assassinated in 1975. Further, the US-brokered Camp David Accords in 1978 ended hostilities between Israel and Egypt, who became the first Arab nation to normalize relations with the Zionist entity. However, following the success of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran – and subsequent anti-imperial/dictatorial/monarchical sentiments across the region, including uprisings within Saudi Arabia and Iraq – growing mutual dependence led Saudi and the US to negotiate the Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation. The US offered Saudi Arabia regional security, through direct military protection and arms deals, while Saudi Arabia offered the US economic security, through selling its oil only for US dollars. Additionally, Saudi oil revenues would be ‘recycled’ back to the US through weapons sales and business deals with American companies, who would be contracted to improve the Kingdom’s military, technology, and infrastructure

Thus, the ‘petrodollar’ was born; defined as crude oil export revenues that are denominated in US dollars as opposed to the currency of the oil-exporting country. Simply, they are US dollars earned for the sale of oil. According to an essay by the Yale Review of International Studies, “This relationship extended into a number of diplomatic objectives for both countries, especially when it came to Saudi Arabia assisting the United States in its covert goals,” which “demonstrate the closeness between the US and Saudi Arabia in the immediate years after the Iranian Revolution.” Such covert goals include the spread of Saudi’s Wahabist doctrine to spread sectarianism – thereby undermining Iran and the resistance line – as well as Saudi’s open financing of Saddam Hussain’s US-Backed Iraq invasion of Iran in 1980.

In 2018, US President Donald Trump at a campaign rally stated, “We protect Saudi Arabia…You [King Salman] might not be there for two weeks without us. You have to pay for your military.”

In 2018, US Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox News, “If it weren’t for the United States they’d be speaking Farsi in about a week in Saudi Arabia.”

According to a report by The Committee for Monetary Research and Education, “the placement of petrodollar surpluses of the Arab oil exporting nations in the United States may be regarded politically as hostage capital. In the event of a major political conflict between the United States and an Arab oil-exporting nation, the former with all its military power can confiscate or freeze these assets or otherwise limit their use. It can impose special regulations or at least use regulations for a time, in order to attain certain political, economic, or other goals.” adding “governments placing their petrodollar surpluses in the United States may lose part of their economic and political independence. Consequently, the more petrodollar surpluses are placed in the United States by a certain oil-exporting nation, the less independent such a nation becomes.”

OPEC and other oil-exporting countries, including Russia and Norway, were compelled to follow in exporting oil in US dollars due to the dollar becoming the world’s most widely accepted currency – needed for international trade and finance. The dollar’s global prestige stems from the US status as the world’s largest economy backed by military power. Because petrodollars are denominated in US dollars, their purchasing power is dependent on US inflation rates. Therefore, any factors that affect the US dollar will in turn affect petrodollars to the same degree, causing significant implications in global economy and politics. With many countries relying on the petrodollar system, the US leverages such power to enforce its foreign policy – which includes security for Israel – through measures such as sanctions and trade embargoes. The petrodollar extended the dollar’s global preeminence and re-established its role as the global reserve currency, allowing the US to maintain its economic, financial, and military hegemony over the world.

Global Financial Institutions

In 2010, Biden told Israeli leaders “Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there’s simply no space between the United States and Israel.”

With Israel’s function as a military outpost to protect US influence over the region’s vital energy supplies and crucial trade routes, such influence grants the US authority over the global economic infrastructure. Such authority safeguards the US dollar’s prestige as the world’s global reserve currency, which also provides the US significant leverage over the world’s major financial institutions. Such leverage allows the US to impose its foreign policy both regionally and abroad. 

Recently, Wikileaks released a 2008 US military manual which describes major global financial institutions – such as the World Bank, IMF, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) – as “financial weapons” and means of “economic warfare” in which the US can use “measured and focused financial incentives or disincentives to persuade adversaries, allies, and surrogates to modify their behavior at the theater strategic, operational, and tactical levels.” The manual states how the US government can take action to “open, modify, or close financial flows” through “pervasive influence to international and domestic financial institutions regarding availability and terms of loans, grants, or other financial assistance to foreign state and non-state actors.” 

The World Bank and IMF are notorious for stipulating their monetary support on political conditions. Both institutions are based in Washington D.C. – where the US holds significant influence as their largest shareholder – and are key in governing global economic policy. According to an article by the Harvard Political Review “The IMF has been the target of many accusations of neocolonialism. While traditional colonial practices involved the subjugation of countries through military and political dominance, neocolonialist states leverage the pulls of conditional loans, cultural hegemony, and economic superiority to sway another country’s foreign policy — generally under the pretense of economic assistance. Hence, although the asymmetries in power are more tacit, neocolonialist nations retain control over other countries through continued financial dependence or sizable political influence. In the IMF, wealthy states carry much of this power; in fact, the US alone holds so many votes that it has an effective veto over any of the IMF’s policy decisions, many of which involve interventions in economically stricken countries.”

Because there is “no space” between the US and Israel – which serves as America’s “ambassador,” “best investment,” and “greatest strength” in the region – security for Israel is a major political condition stipulated by the US through such financial institutions. According to a 2003 report by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs “The U.S. share of recent multilateral aid to Turkey from the IMF and World Bank can be estimated at $7 billion. It can be argued that this money was made available to Ankara as a result of U.S. pressure, intended to reward Turkey further for its alliance with Israel and as an incentive for further cooperation against Iraq.” 

Historically, Egypt has been the second highest recipient of US foreign aid after Israel, particularly after it normalized relations with the Zionist entity in 1979 – becoming the first Arab country to do so. The stability of a collaborating Egypt is critical for Israeli security. Egypt – a country with a population of around 111 million people on the border of occupied Palestine – has a rich history of resisting Zionist colonialism before it normalized relations. The vast majority of people in the Arab and Muslim world – including Egypt – continue to view normalization with the Zionist entity as treasonous and a major betrayal to the Palestinian cause. Thus, there exists a constant concern for the Egyptian population – and populations of other Arab regimes that normalized, especially neighboring Jordan – potentially rising against their government for its support of Israel. The US hopes to avoid such pressure on its Arab vassals. Severe economic instability could plunge Egypt into civil unrest, political uncertainty, and potential revolution that could be disastrous for US and Israeli interests in the region. Especially if the Egyptian government is replaced by one that severs relations with the Zionist entity and resists US imperialism; as was the case with the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Due to Israel’s 2023-2024 War on Gaza and other austerity measures, Egypt’s ailing economy increasingly suffered, causing the value of its currency to plummet. In response, the IMF boosted Egypt’s loan program with a “comprehensive” $8 billion support package. The UAE – a fellow normalizer with Israel – also pledged $35 billion to help stabilize Egypts economy. Further, the European Union announced an $8 billion aid package to Egypt. With Israel’s devastating bombing campaign largely aimed at making Gaza uninhabitable and expelling Palestinians into neighboring countries, many political analysts believe such financial support has been largely aimed at convincing Egypt to acquiesce to such a project. At the war’s outset, the US offered Egypt debt relief in return for accepting Palestinian refugees. Moreover, such funding aims to induce Egypt into complying with Israel’s war effort in general. For instance, the Egyptian government did not overly protest Israel’s May 2024 invasion of Rafah and subsequent occupation of the “Philadelphi corridor” –  the supposed demilitarized buffer zone along the border between Gaza and Egypt – which violates the 1979 normalization deal between Egypt and Israel.

The piece you just read is a part of a larger report on Palestine.


  1.  What Price Israel, Alfred Lilienthal, Pages 148-150

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