In recent months, questions have been raised about why Israel aid doesn’t seem to be enjoying the same public support as assistance given to Ukraine. Israel, despite being a significantly smaller country, receives over 25 times the amount of US aid as Ukraine and is often held up as a model of democracy. So why isn’t Israel aid as popular as Ukraine aid?
The main reason for the disparity is likely due to the political dynamics that have developed between the US and these two nations. The US has long held deep economic and military connections to Israel, and this has led to US relations with the country being seen in a largely positive light. Consequently, most US citizens view assistance to Israel as a justifiable use of US resources.
In contrast, the US relationship with Ukraine has been tumultuous in the past several years, and this has resulted in much higher levels of public scrutiny and skepticism. Tensions between the US and Russia reached a boiling point in 2014 when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, and this heightened feeling of unease has resulted in a less positive view of US involvement with Ukraine. This in turn has colored the public’s perception of US aid to Ukraine – leading to hefty criticism from those who feel that the money should be used elsewhere.
Ultimately, the lack of support for Israel aid compared to Ukraine aid is likely due to both the positive history of US-Israel relations, and the negative feeling towards US involvement in the Ukraine crisis. Until public opinion can be shifted in favor of US aid to Israel, it is unlikely that the amount of public support for this assistance will come close to levels of support similar to what Ukraine is receiving.