Great ExpectationsrnHow Uncle Sam Fathers Big Families in the Third Worldrnby Virginia Deane AbernethyrnForeign aid, like other forms of aid, is a subsidy that distortsrnchoice. The distortion takes many forms; for exanrple, aidrnis sometimes put to uses unintended by the giver; it also lets thernrecipient pursue activities below their real cost. Since PresidentrnHarry Truman launched the foreign-aid crusade, U.S. economicrnaid to developing nations has totaled about $300 billion.rnThis subsidy has encouraged other nations to make choicesrnthey might not otherwise have made.rnU.S. foreign aid has been doled out for economic developmentrnin poor nations and also to military allies. However, sincernmoney is fungible, U.S. funds directed toward one purposernsometimes enable countries to pursue policies and projects thatrnmight otherwise appear unaffordable. The economic and militaryrnaid provided to Israel over several decades has directly orrnindirectly defrayed much of the cost of Israeli settlements in occupiedrnterritories. U.S. aid to Israel has run between three andrnsix billion dollars annually since President Jimmy Carter signedrnthe Camp David accords. In 2000, Israel will receive 26 percentrnof all U.S. foreign aid, or $4.02 billion dollars. This pastrnwinter, Israel made an additional $64 billion in U.S. aid a conditionrnof withdrawal from the Golan Heights.rnMany Israelis and supporters of Israel in the United States believernthat peaceful coexistence in the Middle East is impossiblernVirginia Deane Abernethy is a professor emeritus of psychiatryrnat the Vanderhilt University School of Medicine and the authorrnof Population Politics: The Choices that Shape Our Futurern(Insight Books).rnso long as Israel expands its settlements in occupied territories.rnNumerous international agreemeirts signed by Israel sincern1990 call for its withdrawal from occupied territories and anrnend to new settlements. Nevertheless, the view that Israel mustrnreach an accommodation with its Muslim neighbors in order tornachieve lasting security has scarcely been a deterrent to expansion.rnNew housing construction exceeds the well-publicizedrndemolitions of existing Israeli commurrities.rnSettlements in the occupied territories, and their attendantrnsecurit)’ needs, are a significant drain on the Israeli treasury,rneven though the country is the sixth most powerful militaryrnpresence and the 17th wealthiest in the world. Funds expendedrnon settlements are not available for other desirable publicrnuses. The competition for funds between military and expansionistrnprograms on the one hand, and popular domestic programsrnon the other, would become more acute if foreign aidrnwere reduced. The heightened awareness of the necessity tornchoose among desirable goods might strengthen the resolvernand influence of the peace-for-land faction within Israel, whereasrncontinuing aid at current levels probably undermines therngoal of securing Israel’s peaceful future.rnThe elimination of poverty and hunger in Third Worldrncountries is another widely shared goal that is not beingrnachieved through current means. For half a centiiry, quantitiesrnof aid have been funneled to the Third World through nongovernmentalrnorganizations, bilateral agreements, the WorldrnI3ank, and the International Monetary Fund—to little effect.rnNeed persists. The World Bank and the International Mone-rn16/CHRONICLESrnrnrn