From1948 through 2016 the United States has provided Israel $120.472 Billion in foreign aid that includes $83. 4359 Billion in military aid that continues at the rate of $3.1Billion per year. In 2018 it is scheduled is set to increase to about $38 billion over the next decade.
The first amendment to the United States Constitution states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." Appropriations for Foreign Aid and Military defense are laws passed by Congress. A wall has been erected between the US Government and Religions. As stated by The Supreme Court in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947):
"The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and State."
Israel is a religious entity, a modern Theocratic State. Israel has declared itself to be so. In its declaration of independence, it declares it is "Jewish state," a term that appeared in the United Nations partition decision of 1947 as well. The related term "Jewish and democratic state" dates from 1992 legislation by the Israeli Knesset. Since its establishment, Israel has passed many laws which reflect on the Jewish identity and values of the majority (about 75% in 2016) of its citizens.
All religious and personal status matters in Israel are determined by the religious authorities of the recognized confessional communities to which a person belongs. There are Jewish, Muslim and Druze communities and nine officially recognized Christian communities. During the period of the British Mandate of Palestine, after World War I, the High Commissioner established the Orthodox Rabbinate, comprising the older Turkish Rishon LeZion to which was added an Ashkenazi (European Jew) Chief Rabbi. This was recognized collectively as the religious authority for the Jewish community. In 1921, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi and the Sephardi Chief Rabbi were named
In 1947, David Ben-Gurion and the religious parties reached an agreement, which included an understanding that matters of personal status in Israel would continue to be determined by the existing religious authorities. This arrangement has been termed the status quo agreement and has been maintained despite numerous changes of government since. Under the arrangement, the Mandate period confessional system would continue, with membership in the Jewish community being on the basis of membership of a body called "Knesset Israel", which was a voluntary organization open to Jews. In 1949 the Knesset became the parliament of modern Israel. It consists of 120 members elected every four years. The majority of members are Jews although there have been Arab members since its founding in 1949. The majority of the Arabs in Israel are Muslim but some are Christian or Druze.
It is the Rabbinate which defines a person's Jewish status, and hence membership in the Jewish confessional community and the reach of its jurisdiction. It applies a strict halakhic, [Jewish law and jurisprudence, based on the Talmud] interpretation as to membership of the Jewish community. .
In part 2 we will explore in greater depth how Israel is really a modern Theocracy with a nod towards Democracy and why all support by the United States appears to be in violation of the First Amendment. We present these articles this in reliance on our basic laws to provide broadly acceptable path to disentangling us from any support of the religious wars and aggression in the middle east and anywhere.