In 1975, the US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, secretly brokered a deal in which the United States of America guaranteed Israel’s oil supply in the event of a crisis. The 1975 Israel-United States Memorandum of Understanding (see the full text below) required the United States to maintain an oil reserve for Israel and guarantee the shipping of that oil to Israel in times of emergency. This deal has cost the United States more than a hundred billion dollars since it was first enacted. The most troubling aspect of this deal was not the cost however, but the stipulation that in case of an oil emergency in which both the US and Israel needed oil, the US would give its oil to Israel. Section 3 (b):
If the oil Israel needs to meet all of its normal requirements for domestic consumption is unavailable for purchase in circumstances where’ quantitative restrictions through embargo or otherwise also prevent the United States from procuring oil to meet its normal requirements, the United States Government will promptly make oil available for purchase by Israel in accordance with the International Energy Agency conservation and allocation formula as applied by the United States Government, in order to meet Israel’s essential requirements. If Israel is unable to secure the necessary means to transport such oil to Israel, the United States Government will make every effort to help Israel secure the necessary means of transport.
This is oil that would have been used to heat homes during the winter, power ambulances, and provide the fuel for tractors to farm America’s agricultural lands. To put this into perspective, in the event of an oil crisis, the fuel that Americans would need to heat their homes, get them to work, and produce food would go to Israel. This agreement very well could have starved tens of thousands of Americans in order to save Israelis if an oil crisis would have taken place.
President Nixon seriously doubted whether Kissinger could be impartial on Middle East policy saying, “Anybody who is Jewish cannot handle” Middle Eastern policy. He was proven right in 1973 when Kissinger purposefully withheld news of Israel’s attack on Egypt and Syria during the Yom Kippur War for three and a half hours so Nixon would not intervene in the conflict. Kissinger then tried to cover up his treason by telling Nixon’s Chief of Staff to lie to the media and say that Nixon was informed immediately after the attack. This unfortunately was a pattern. On October 7, a telephone transcript between Nixon and Kissinger revealed that Kissinger was purposefully keeping relevant information from Nixon regarding Soviet perspectives on Middle East policy. And on October 23, Kissinger secretly drafted a letter to the Soviet leader without Nixon’s consent, and even raised America’s military readiness level to Def Con 3 without discussing it with the president.
Although the US gave up some extremely costly and strategic concessions as a result of Kissinger’s 1975 memorandum, there was absolutely no tangible benefit for the United States of America in the agreement. As a result of these facts, the 1975 Israel-United States Memorandum of Understanding was kept secret from the American people. In fact, the only reason the agreement is even known today is because the New York Times uncovered the agreement, which forced the government to quietly put it into the Congressional records. The 1975 Israel-United States Memorandum of Understanding was quietly renewed in 1979 for another 10 years, and may still be in effect today. Given the governments propensity to keep this arrangement secret, it is impossible to find out if it was secretly renewed for a third or fourth time. This treasonous pattern of sacrificing American interests for Israeli interests has not been altogether uncommon in American politics.
Most Americans are unaware of the fact that the US guarantees much of Israel’s public debt. For the financial layman, if Israel defaults, Americans will be on the hook to pay off their debt. And what does America get out of this arrangement? Absolutely nothing. These guarantees are part of the $15-$20 billion that the American government gives Israel every year in indirect and direct aid. This money has continued to flow during the 2008 financial crisis, even while growing numbers of poor Americans are living in abject poverty. To compound matters, Israel is in little need of aid, having weathered the financial storm better than almost any nation on the planet and maintaining its status as a wealthy country with more than 10,000 millionaires. One could argue that Israel is also one of the least deserving countries to receive this aid with their treatment of the Palestinians closely resembling the South African apartheid. As unbiased former CIA officers like Michael Scheuer and authors like Mearscheimer and Walt acknowledge, not only does the US-Israel relationship provide absolutely no strategic benefit to America, it actually hurts America’s standing around the world. If sacrificing the economic prosperity and security of Americans for the citizens of another nation isn’t treason, it would be hard to imagine what would qualify.
The treason does not stop there unfortunately. The Israel lobby in America, AIPAC, was largely responsible for America’s disastrous war with Iraq, as former AIPAC officials later admitted. A reasonable person must come to the conclusion that the Iraq War was unquestionably for Israel’s security. Saddam Hussein had no weapons that could reach the US, or close ties to terrorists that would have been willing to perpetrate a major attack on the US. Many Americans foolishly believe the Iraq War was for oil, but America produces 50% of its own oil and gets the vast majority of the rest from Mexico, Canada, Venezuela, and Nigeria. If the US wanted energy security it could have spent 1/50th of the money it spent invading Iraq and built an oil pipeline from Canada. As most knowledgable Middle East experts will admit, Israel was extremely supportive of an American war with Iran, and the same man responsible for the 1975 oil guarantee, Henry Kissinger, advised George W. Bush to commit more troops to the effort.
While it is understandable for Kissinger to have an affinity for his fellow Jews in Israel, it was unacceptable for him to use his political position to sacrifice the energy security of America for Israel. For that matter, it is wholly unacceptable for American members of AIPAC to lobby their government to give America’s resources to another nation, or to lobby for a war on behalf of another nation. These people should be held accountable for their actions.
Israel-United States Memorandum of Understanding
(September 1, 1975)
The United States recognizes that the Egypt-Israel Agreement initialed on Sept. 1, 1975 (hereinafter referred to as the agreement), entailing the withdrawal from vital areas in Sinai, constitutes an act of great significance on Israel’s part in the pursuit of final peace. That agreement has full United States support.
1. The United States Government will make every effort to be fully responsive, within the limits of its resources and Congressional authorization and appropriation, on an ongoing and long-term basis, to Israel’s military equipment and other defense requirements, to its energy requirements and to its economic needs. The needs specified in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 below shall be deemed eligible for inclusion within the annual total to be requested in fiscal year ’76 and later fiscal years.
2. Israel’s long-term military supply needs from the United States shall be the subject of periodic consultations between representatives of the U.S. and Israeli defense establishments, with agreement reached on specific items to be included in a separate U.S.-Israeli memorandum. To this end, a joint study by military experts will be undertaken within three weeks. In conducting this study, which will include Israel’s 1976 needs, the United States will view Israel’s requests sympathetically, including its request for advanced and sophisticated weapons.
3. Israel will make its own independent arrangements for oil supply to meet its requirements through normal procedures. In the event Israel is unable to secure its needs in this way, the United States Government, upon notification of this fact by the Government, of Israel, will act as follows for five years, at the end of which period either side can terminate this arrangement on one year’s notice.
(a) If the oil Israel needs to meet all its normal requirements for domestic consumption is unavailable for purchase in circumstances where no quantitative restrictions exist on the ability of the United States to procure oil to meet its normal requirements, the United States Government will promptly make oil available for purchase by Israel to meet all of the aforementioned normal requirements of Israel. If Israel is unable to secure the necessary means to transport such oil to Israel, the United States Government will make every effort to help Israel secure the necessary means of transport.
(b) If the oil Israel needs to meet all of its normal requirements for domestic consumption is unavailable for purchase in circumstances where’ quantitative restrictions through embargo or otherwise also prevent the United States from procuring oil to meet its normal requirements, the United States Government will promptly make oil available for purchase by Israel in accordance with the International Energy Agency conservation and allocation formula as applied by the United States Government, in order to meet Israel’s essential requirements. If Israel is unable to secure the necessary means to transport such oil to Israel, the United States Government will make every effort to help Israel secure the necessary means of transport.
Israeli and U.S. experts will meet annually or more frequently at the request of either party, to review Israel’s continuing oil requirement.
4. In order to help Israel meet its energy needs and as part of the over-all annual figure in paragraph 1 above, the United States agrees:
(a) In determining the over-all annual figure which will be requested from Congress, the United States Government will give special attention to Israel’s oil import requirements and, for a period as determined by Article 3 above, will take into account in calculating that figure Israel’s additional expenditures for the import of oil to replace that which would have ordinarily come from Abu Rudeis and Ras Sudar (4.5 million tons in 1975).
(b) To ask Congress to make available funds, the amount to be determined by mutual agreement, to the Government of Israel necessary for a project for the construction and stocking of the oil reserves to be stored in Israel, bringing storage reserve capacity and reserve stocks, now standing at approximately six months, up to one year’s need at the time of the completion of the project. The project will be implemented within four years. The construction, operation and financing and other relevant questions of the project will be the subject of early and detailed talks between the two Governments.
5. The United States Government will not expect Israel to begin to implement the agreement before Egypt fulfills its undertaking under the January 1974, disengagement agreement to permit passage of all Israeli cargoes to and from Israeli Ports through the Suez Canal.
6. The United States Government agrees with Israel that the next agreement with Egypt should be a final peace agreement.
7. In case of an Egyptian violation of any of the provisions of the agreement, the United States Government is prepared to consult with Israel as to the significance of the violation and possible remedial action by the United States Government.
8. The United States Government will vote against any Security Council resolution which in its judgement affects or alters adversely the agreement.
9. The United States Government will not join in and will seek to prevent efforts by others to bring about consideration of proposals which it and Israel agree are detrimental to the interest of Israel.
10. In view of the long-standing U.S. commitment to the survival and security of Israel, the United States Government will view with particular gravity threats to Israel’s security or sovereignty by a world power. In support of this objective, the United States Government will in the event of such threat consult promptly with the Government of Israel with respect to what support diplomatic or otherwise, of assistance it can lend to Israel in accordance with its constitutional practices.
11. The United States Government and the Government of Israel will, at the earliest possible time, and if possible within two months after the signature of this document, conclude the contingency plan for a military supply operation to Israel in an emergency situation.
12. It is the United States Government’s position that Egyptian commitments under the Egypt-Israel agreement, its implementation, validity and duration are not conditional upon any act or developments between the other Arab states and Israel. The United States Government regards the agreement as standing on its own.
13. The United States Government shares the Israeli position that under existing political circumstances negotiations with Jordan will be directed toward an over-all peace settlement.
14. In accordance with the principle of freedom of navigation on the high seas and free and unimpeded passage through and over straits connecting international waters, the United States Government regards the Straits of Bab el Mandeb and the Strait of Gibraltar as international waterways. It will support Israel’s right to free and unimpeded passage through such straits. Similarly, the United States Government recognizes Israel’s right to freedom of flights over the Red Sea and such straits and will support diplomatically the exercise of that right.
15. In the event that the United Nations Emergency Force or any other United Nations organ is withdrawn without the prior agreement of both parties to the Egypt-Israel agreement and the United States before this agreement is superseded by another agreement, it is the United States view that the agreement shall remain binding in all its parts.
16. The United States and Israel agree that signature of the protocol of the Egypt-Israel agreement and its full entry into effect shall not take place before approval by the United States Congress of the U.S. role in connection with the surveillance and observation functions described in the agreement and its annex. The United States has informed the Government of Israel that it has obtained the Government of Egypt agreement to the above.
Addendum on Arms
On the question of military and economic assistance to Israel, the following conveyed by the U.S. to Israel augments what the memorandum of agreement states.
The United States is resolved to continue to maintain Israel’s defensive strength through the supply of advanced types of equipment, such as the F-16 aircraft. The United States Government agrees to an early meeting to undertake a joint study of high technology and sophisticated items, including the Pershing ground-to-ground missiles with conventional warheads, with the view to giving a positive response. The U.S. Administration will submit annually for approval by the U.S. Congress a request for military and economic assistance in order to help meet Israel’s economic and military needs.
Assurances to Egypt
1. The United States intends to make a serious effort to help bring about further negotiations between Syria and Israel, in the first instance through diplomatic channels.
2. In the event of an Israeli violation of the agreement, the United States is prepared to consult with Egypt as to the significance of the violation and possible remedial action by the United States will provide technical assistance to Egypt for the Egyptian early-warning station.
Accord on Geneva
1. The Geneva peace conference will be reconvened at a time coordinated between the United States and Israel.
2. The United States will continue to adhere to its present policy with respect to the Palestine Liberation Organization, whereby it will not recognize or negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization so long as the Palestine Liberation Organization does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and does not accept Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. The United States Government will consult fully and seek to concert its position and strategy at the Geneva peace conference on this issue with the Government of Israel. Similarly, the United States will consult fully and seek to concert its position and strategy with Israel with regard to the participation of any other additional states. It is understood that the participation at a subsequent phase of the conference of any possible additional state, group or organization will require the agreement of all the initial participants.
3. The-United States will make every effort to insure at the conference that all the substantive negotiations will be on a bilateral basis.
4. The United States will oppose and, if necessary, vote against any initiative in the Security Council to alter adversely the terms of reference of the Geneva peace conference or to change Resolutions 242 and 338 in ways which are incompatible with their original purpose.
5. The United States will seek to insure that the role of the co-sponsors will be consistent with what was agreed in the memorandum of understanding between the United States Government and the Government of Israel of Dec. 20, 1973.
6. The United States and Israel will concert action to assure that the conference will be conducted in a manner consonant with the objectives of this document and with the declared purpose of the conference, namely the advancement of a negotiated peace between Israel and its neighbors.