Environmentalists Against War
Home | Say NO! To War | Action! | Information | Media Center | Who We Are

 

 

Record $38 Billion US Military Deal Leaves Israel's Supporters Wanting More


September 16, 2016
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Barak Ravid / Haaretz & Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com

US and Israeli officials have signed a military aid package which will see the US give Israel $38 billion worth of equipment over the next decade -- the largest single military aid package in US history. US officials were quick to insist it could rise even further "in case of emergency."

http://news.antiwar.com/2016/09/14/us-signs-record-38-billion-military-aid-deal-for-israel/

US Signs Record $38 Billion Military Aid Deal for Israel
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

(September 14, 2016) -- US and Israeli officials today signed a military aid package which will see the US give Israel $38 billion worth of equipment over the next decade. This is by far the largest single military aid package offered in US history, and US officials were quick to insist it could rise even further "in case of emergency."

President Obama had sought to finalize the massive deal for over a year now, with the Israeli government repeatedly resisting accepting the offers, in hopes of bumping the amount up even further. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's camp has urged Israel not to accept the pact, suggesting he'd give Israel far more they waited.

While acrimony between Obama and Netanyahu did have some in the Israeli far-right government eager to wait just to spite Obama, there was also growing concern that if Israel refused to take $38 billion from Obama it would further politicize the issue of Israeli aid within the US.

Under the deal, the US agrees to provide $3.8 billion annually, and Israel promises not to ask Congress for more money without the White House's permission. Israel can continue to ask for more money for "cyber defense" as well as tunnel warfare.

The other big change from the last deal is that it will force Israel to slowly taper off the amount of US aid used to buy equipment from Israeli companies, ensuring that a larger percentage is earmarked for well-connected US arms makers.



US, Israel Sign Historic
10-year, $38-billion Military Aid Deal

Barak Ravid / Haaretz

Before signing aid deal with Israel, US says could increase budget in case of emergency. The deal does not prevent Israel from requesting Congress for aid on issues such as tunnels or cyber defense development. Netanyahu: Israel, US have differences from time to time, but those are within the family.

The United States and Israel signed a defense aid agreement on Wednesday that promises Israel $38 billion over 10 years, from 2019 through 2028.

"We affirm today the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel, " US National Security Adviser Susan Rice said at the Washington ceremony.

"On behalf of President Obama, we are all thinking of and praying for President Shimon Peres, Israel's national treasure, " Rice continued. "Since 2009, the US provided almost $24 billion in military aid to Israel, " she said, adding that "we are proud that no other administration has done so much to enhance Israel's security."

"We can't know what will happen in the next 10 years, but we do know that the US will always be there for Israel," Rice said.

Israel’s Acting National Security Adviser Jacob Nagel spoke after Rice, saying that "Israel does not take the military aid package for granted."

US President Barack Obama issued a special message after the deal was signed, stressing that it demonstrated the US's commitment to Israel's security in word and deed.

"Both Prime Minister Netanyahu and I are confident that the new MOU will make a significant contribution to Israel’s security in what remains a dangerous neighborhood," Obama said. "The continued supply of the world’s most advanced weapons technology will ensure that Israel has the ability to defend itself from all manner of threats."

"It is because of this same commitment to Israel and its long-term security that we will also continue to press for a two-state solution to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite the deeply troubling trends on the ground that undermine this goal," Obama continued.

"As I have emphasized previously, the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine. Ultimately, both this MOU and efforts to advance the two-state solution are motivated by the same core US objective of ensuring that Israelis can live alongside their neighbors in peace and security."

Senior US administration officials told Haaretz that in the event of an emergency, such as a war, the United States would be prepared to consider increasing the budget for missile defense systems beyond what is promised in the agreement, as it has done in the past.

The defense assistance pact, which has been negotiated intensively since November 2015, was signed at the State Department in Washington by Nagel and US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, Jr.

Also present at the signing ceremony were US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer.

The following are the main points of the agreement:

* Israel will get $3.8 billion dollars annually, $500 million of which will be allocated to developing missile defense systems.

* Israel commits not to approach Congress for additional budgets for missile defense systems. In the event of an emergency, Israel can request additional budgets for missile defense systems, but only if the administration agrees to it.

* The agreement does not prevent Israel from asking Congress for additional aid on security issues, such as the fight against tunnels or the development of cyber defense systems.

* Once the agreement goes into effect, there will be a gradual phasing out of Israel’s right to use 26 percent of the American aid to buy equipment from Israel defense industries.

* When the agreement goes into effect, Israel will immediately stop using 14 percent of the American aid to buy fuel for the Israel Defense Forces.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement thanking US President Barack Obama, his administration, Israel's friends in Congress and the American people for their bipartisan support of the aid agreement. He noted that the signing of the deal demonstrates the relationship between Israel and the US is strong and stable.

"This doesn't mean we don't have disagreements from time to time, but those disagreements are within the family," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu said the disagreements have "no effect whatsoever on the great friendship" between Israel and the US, adding that the friendship expressed in the agreement will greatly help Israel continue to fortify its strength over the next decade.

The prime minister said that support for Israel crosses party lines in the US, adding that many in the US understand that investment in Israel's security strengthens stability in the unstable Middle East, serving both Israeli and US security.

* Once the agreement goes into effect, there will be a gradual phasing out of Israel’s right to use 26 percent of the American aid to buy equipment from Israel defense industries.

* When the agreement goes into effect, Israel will immediately stop using 14 percent of the American aid to buy fuel for the Israel Defense Forces.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement thanking US President Barack Obama, his administration, Israel's friends in Congress and the American people for their bipartisan support of the aid agreement. He noted that the signing of the deal demonstrates the relationship between Israel and the US is strong and stable.

"This doesn't mean we don't have disagreements from time to time, but those disagreements are within the family," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu said the disagreements have "no effect whatsoever on the great friendship" between Israel and the US, adding that the friendship expressed in the agreement will greatly help Israel continue to fortify its strength over the next decade.

The prime minister said that support for Israel crosses party lines in the US, adding that many in the US understand that investment in Israel's security strengthens stability in the unstable Middle East, serving both Israeli and US security.

One of the most significant disputes during the bilateral negotiations related to the America demand to stop the arrangement that allowed Israel to spend some 40 percent of the American aid to buy equipment from Israeli defense industries and to buy fuel for the IDF. The senior American officials noted that Israel used around $1.2 billion of the annual aid for these purposes instead of buying advanced weaponry from the United States.

''That amounts to a whole squadron of F35 over 10 years,'' said one of the US officials. ''Now that's going to go towards building a further arsenal of state-of-the-art US equipment, while simultaneously supporting US industry and jobs. It's a win-win for Israeli security and the US economy.''


Philip Giraldi on Israel Getting the
Biggest US Aid Package In History

Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com

(September 15, 2016) -- US National Security Advisor Susan Rice met with her Israeli counterparts yesterday to sign an historic aid deal that will see $38 billion dollars shipped from US taxpayers to the Israeli military. In a press conference, Rice claimed that, "[t]his MOU is not just good for Israel—it's good for the United States. Our security is linked . . . ." Today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report is joined by former CIA officer Philip Giraldi to discuss how closely "linked" is US national security with Israeli security. Also, we discuss what a huge boon this will be for US defense contractors, who will supply all the military items to Israel:




Senator: $38 Billion Israel Aid Deal Not Enough
Says Even More Money for Israel 'A Signal' to Iran

Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

(September 14, 2016) -- In the 48 hours leading up to Israel and the US agreeing on a record $38 billion military aid deal, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) began to push hard against it, suggesting Congress could give Israel and even bigger aid package, and telling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Obama could "Go F*** himself" if he didn't like the larger aid.

Israel, ultimately, accepted the Obama deal, and also promised not to seek additional funds from Congress. That doesn't mean Graham has given up, however, and he's insisted Congress isn't bound by this new deal, and free to give Israel all the extra billions they feel like.

Sen. Graham now says he intends to introduce a $1.5 billion additional aid deal for Israel just for this year, suggesting that Congress would be free to keep throwing similar "emergency supplementals" at Israel every year if they want to, and saying he believes there's a lot of support for it.

Graham also said give Israel more money would be a great way to "send a signal to the ayatollahs" in Iran, and that whenever the Iranian government does something the US doesn't like they should expect more money to be sent to Israel.

It remains to be seen how much support there is in Congress for this new bill, despite Graham's confidence, and many of the usual lobbyists for such aid may fear that its passing so soon after the Obama deal would hurt Israel's credibility, after promising not to lobby for such funds.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

back

 

 

Stay Connected
Sign up to receive our weekly updates. We promise not to sell, trade or give away your email address.
Email Address:
Full Name:
 

 

Search Environmentalists Against War website

 

Home | Say NO! To War | Action! | Information | Media Center | Who We Are