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Israel will get far more than $38 billion under the new deal

 

Israel would get far more than $38 billion under the new deal

A stack of 3.8 billion dollar bills would reach the International Space Station. The new package to Israel will give Israel ten times that much money.

An Israeli official gloated that the package was obtained “despite budget cuts, including defense cuts, in the U.S.”

 

 

In an unprecedented gift of our executive power to Israel, the House has passed for the very first time a law that forces the American president to give Israel a minimum of $3.8 billion per year. We have, in effect, crippled our ability to promote US interests in the Middle East. The new House version is even more generous to Israel than the Senate bill and the 2016 MOU… it amounts to $7,230 per minute to Israel, or $120 per second…

By Nicole Feied

 

The AIPAC sponsored bill that guarantees $38 billion to Israel over the next ten years is a dramatic departure from the deal offered under President Obama’s 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).[1] Passed by the House of Representatives on September 12, 2018, the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 effectively rolls back every limitation that President Obama placed on the amount of aid we give to Israel.

 

In addition, the House version provides Israel even more perks than the version passed by the Senate on August 11.

 

Most dramatically, this new act would eviscerate the ability of President Trump and his successors for the next ten years to withhold United States aid to Israel. Historically, almost every president since Eisenhower has attempted to withhold such aid at one time or another in order to force Israel to the peace table or to stop Israel from committing human right abuses or illegal acts such as taking Palestinian land and giving it to Israeli settlers.

 

In an unprecedented gift of our executive power to Israel, the House has passed for the very first time a law that forces the American president to give Israel a minimum of $3.8 billion per year. We have, in effect, crippled our ability to promote US interests in the Middle East.

 

President Eisenhower was the last American President who managed to use this threat effectively, when he forced Israel to withdraw from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in 1957.

 

Notably, President George Bush Senior failed miserably to make good on his threat to delay aid to Israel when their actions threatened a possible peace agreement with the neighboring Arab countries, complaining that he was “just one little lonely guy” in his battle against pro-Israel lobbyists. (New York Times, 1991 article, “Bush Urges Delay On Aid For Israel; Threatens A Veto.”)

 

Aid to Israel likely to increase even more

 

The second most important effect of this act is in Section 103. While the MOU limits the amount of aid we give Israel to the amount agreed upon, in this case $38 billion over 10 years, Section 103 of the current bill removes all limitations on how much we give Israel. Under the new act, instead of 38 billion being the cap, as Obama stipulated in his 2016 MOU, we must now give Israel a minimum of $3.8 billion per year until 2028.

 

Without a cap, and with incessant lobbying by Israel and her proxies in the United States, the amount we give could conceivably double over the next 10 years. This is a huge coup for Prime Minister Netanyahu and quite a slap in the face to the Obama administration.

 

Section 106 will increase Israel’s access to a war-reserve stockpile by completely removing the limits on how many precision guided missiles we can give Israel. The existing law set a maximum of $200 million worth of arms from the stockpile per year, to be charged against the agreed aid package.

 

The House version of the bill differs from the Senate version, replacing the words “sell” and “sale” to “transfer,” which appears to open the door for more gifts in excess of the $38 billion. To put this in context, a Tomahawk Missile currently costs about $1 million. The media recently lambasted President Trump for using 60 such missiles in Syria because of the high cost.

 

Section 107 calls on the President to prescribe procedures for the rapid acquisition and deployment of precision guided munitions. The House text differs from the Senate version in that it removes all the detailed requirements for Israel to have such rapid acquisition. In the version just passed by the House, there is only one, extremely broad requirement, that Israel is under direct threat of missiles (in Israel’s opinion).

 

Israel can export U.S. arms

 

Section 108 of the Act authorizes Israel to export arms it receives from the U.S., even though this violates U.S. law. The Senate version included a provision calling on the President to make an assessment of Israel’s eligibility before adding Israel to the exemption list.

 

The House version deleted that requirement, and simply orders the American President to grant Israel the privilege. In fact, Israel is ineligible, having repeatedly made unauthorized sales in violation of this Act. The Export Act further forbids granting such an exemption to any country that is in violation of International Nuclear Non-proliferation Agreement, which Israel has refused to sign. Israel is known to be in possession of nuclear weapons, and hence in violation and ineligible for the export exemption. Congress thus reiterates the message that it will force the President to continue funding Israel even when that violates our laws.

 

NASA

 

Section 201 orders NASA to work with the Israel Space Agency, even though an Israeli space official has been accused of illegally obtaining classified scientific technology from a NASA research project. U.S. agencies periodically name Israel as a top espionage threat against the United States. The section also states that United States Agency for International Development (USAID) must partner with Israel in “a wide variety of sectors, including energy, agriculture and food security, democracy, human rights and governance, economic growth and trade, education, environment, global health, and water and sanitation.”

 

Israel eludes usual military aid requirement

 

All countries except Israel are required to spend US military aid on American goods. This ensures that the American economy benefits to some degree from these massive gifts. (Of course, if americans wished to subsidize these U.S. companies, money could be provided directly to them, and Israel and other countries left to buy their equipment with their own money.)

 

In the past, Israel has spent 40 percent of U.S. aid on Israeli companies, at the expense of U.S. industry. Under Obama’s 2016 MOU, this percentage was to be decreased over the 10-year span, and eventually Israel’s unique right not to spend use U.S. military aid to purchase items from American companies was to be ended. The new Act eliminates this requirement, putting Israeli economic interests before our own.

 

Many in Israel criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu for his aggressive attempts to undermine President Obama’s Iran deal, fearing that it would anger the White House and result in a less favorable aid offer. Analysts were particularly worried about what might happen if Trump were elected, since in 2016 he had said that he expected Israel to pay back the security assistance it receives from the US.

 

Yet just two years later it looks like the Israeli Prime Minister will obtain everything he sought and more. This is not surprising, since Trump, under extreme political pressure, is increasingly pandering to hardcore Israel supporters like billionaire Sheldon Adelson and South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham. (Graham is a top recipient of pro-Israel campaign donations.[2])

 

 
 
 
 

 
Sheldon Adelson is known as the casino mogul who drives Trump’s Middle East policy
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lindsay Graham (R-SC) with pro-Israel billionaires Sheldon Adelson on his right and Haim Saban on his left. LobeLog reported: Over a glass of Riesling Graham described how to finance his campaign: “If I put together a finance team that will make me financially competitive enough to stay in this thing… I may have the first all-Jewish cabinet in America because of the pro-Israel funding. [Chuckles.] Bottom line is, I’ve got a lot of support from the pro-Israel funding.”
 
 
 
 
 
Netanyahu has demonstrated to the world that Israel can continue to act contrary to U.S. interests and still manage to get ever more military aid and greater concessions, greater access to U.S. secrets and technology, and greater control of U.S. foreign policy. An Israeli spokesperson crowed: “The landmark deal was reached despite budget cuts, including defense cuts, in the U.S.”
 

The bill now will go back to the Senate for approval, and then to Trump to be signed into U.S. law.

 

The $38 billion package amounts to $7,230 per minute to Israel, or $120 per second. And that’s before Israel advocates and ambitious politicians in our own country push it even higher.


Nicole Feied is an American writer and former criminal defense attorney, currently based in Greece. Alison Weir also contributed to the article. 


Americans who wish to object, may contact their Congressional representatives here.
Informational cards to distribute about the bill, containing the top image, can be downloaded here


1. The bill was timed to be introduced just before AIPAC’s 2018 annual conference in Washington D.C., so that delegates could lobby their representatives while they were in D.C.

 

2. Lobelog reported in 2015:

 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke bluntly about his plans for raising campaign funds for his prospective presidential campaign in an interview published today on “Washington Wire,” a Wall Street Journal blog. Over a glass of Riesling, according to the account, he answered a series of questions, including how he plans to finance his campaign.

 

He described “the means” as the biggest hurdle facing his potential campaign, adding:

 

If I put together a finance team that will make me financially competitive enough to stay in this thing…  I may have the first all-Jewish cabinet in America because of the pro-Israel funding. [Chuckles.] Bottom line is, I’ve got a lot of support from the pro-Israel funding.

 

The House renamed the bill to honor Miami Congresswoman Ilean Ros-Lehtinen’s long service to Israel. The new name is now officially the “Ileana Ros-Lehtinen United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018.”

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

(Aid Wasted on Israel In Millions of Dollars)

Year

Military^

Economic*

Refugee Resettlement°

ASHA**

All Other†

Total

TOTAL

94,792.790

30,897.0 1,708.2

162.075

15,592.635

134,764.080

1949

       

100.0

$100.0

1950

           

1951

 

0.1

   

35.0

$35.1

1952

 

63.7

   

22.7

$86.4

1953

 

73.6

     

$73.6

1954

 

54.0

   

20.7

$74.7

1955

 

41.5

   

11.2

$52.7

1956

 

24.0

   

26.8

$50.8

1957

 

26.8

   

14.1

$40.9

1958

 

24.0

   

61.4

$85.4

1959

0.4

19.2

   

33.7

$53.3

1960

0.5

23.9

   

31.8

$56.2

1961

 

24.5

   

53.4

$77.9

1962

13.2

45.4

   

34.8

$93.4

1963

13.3

45.0

   

29.6

$87.9

1964

 

20.0

   

17.0

$37.0

1965

12.9

20.0

   

32.2

$65.1

1966

90.0

10.0

   

26.8

$126.8

1967

7.0

5.5

 

1.0

10.2

$23.7

1968

25.0

   

6.0

75.5

$106.5

1969

85.0

     

75.3

$160.3

1970

30.0

   

12.5

51.1

$93.6

1971

545.0

   

2.5

86.8

$634.3

1972

300.0

50.0

 

5.6

125.3

$480.9

1973

307.5

50.0

50.0

4.4

80.9

$492.8

1974

2,482.7

50.0

36.5

3.3

73.8

$2,646.3

1975

300.0

344.5

40.0

2.5

116.0

$803.0

1976

1,500.0

700.0

15.0

3.6

144.5

$2,363.1

1977

200.0

735.0

15.0

4.6

32.9

$987.5

1978

1,000.0

785.0

20.0

5.4

12.4

$1,822.8

1979

1,000.0

785.0

25.0

4.2

98.8

$1,913.0

1980

4,000.0

785.0

25.0

4.1

331.9

$5,146.0

1981

1,000.0

764.0

25.0

2.0

222.4

$2,013.4

1982

1,400.0

806.0

12.5

3.0

29.0

$2,250.5

1983

1,400.0

785.0

12.5

3.1

5.0

$2,205.6

1984

1,700.0

910.0

12.5

4.1

5.0

$2,631.6

1985

1,700.0

1,950.0

15.0

4.7

7.0

$3,676.7

1986

1,722.6

1,898.4

12.0

5.5

25.0

$3,663.5

1987

1,800.0

1,200.0

25.0

5.2

10.0

$3,040.2

1988

1,800.0

1,200.0

25.0

4.9

13.5

$3,043.4

1989

1,800.0

1,200.0

28.0

6.9

10.7

$3,045.6

1990

1,792.3

1,194.8

29.9

3.5

414.4

$3,434.9

1991

1,800.0

1,850.0

45.0

2.6

14.7

$3,712.3

1992

1,800.0

1,200.0

80.0

3.5

16.5

$3,100.0

1993

1,800.0

1,200.0

80.0

2.5

20.9

$3,103.4

1994

1,800.0

1,200.0

80.0

2.7

14.5

$3,097.2

1995

1,800.0

1,200.0

80.0

2.9

19.5

$3,102.4

1996

1,800.0

1,200.0

80.0

3.3

64.0

$3,147.3

1997

1,800.0

1,200.0

80.0

2.1

50.0

$3,132.1

1998

1,800.0

1,200.0

80.0

   

$3,080.0

1999

1,860.0

1,080.0

70.0

   

$3,010.0

2000

3,120.0

949.1

60.0

2.8

 

$4,132.0

2001

1,975.6

838.2

60.0

2.3

 

$2,876.1

2002

2,040.0

720.0

60.0

2.7

28.0

$2,850.7

2003

3,086.4

596.1

59.6

3.1

 

$3,745.2

2004

2,147.3

477.2

49.7

3.2

9.9

$2,687.3

2005

2,202.2

357.0

50.0

3.0

 

$2,612.2

2006

2,257.0

237.0

40.0

 

0.5

$2,534.5

2007

2,340.0

120.0

40.0

3.0

0.2

$2,503.2

2008

2,380.0

0

40.0

3.9

 

$2,423.9

2009

2,550.0

0

30.0

3.9

 

$2,583.9

2010

2,775.0

0

25.0

3.8

 

$2,803.8

2011

3,000.0

0

25.0

4.2

 

$3,029.2

2012

3,075.0

0

20.0

3.0

 

$3,098.0

2013

3,100.0

0

15.0

3.8  

$3,118.8

2014

3,100.0

0

15.0

3.052  

$3,118.05

2015

3,100.0

0

10.0

3.075  

$3,113.08

2016

3,100.0

0

10.0

   

$3,110.0


2017
 
3,175.0 0 0   600.735 $3,775.740

2018
 
           

2019
(requested)
 
3,300.0       500.0 3,800.0

TOTAL

94,792.790

30,897.0

1,708.2

171.027

15,592.635

134,764.080

 ^ Military aid: 1959-1973 (Loans); 1974-1984 (Loans & Grants); 1984-Present (Grants)


* Economic aid is combination of grants and loans. Israel stopped receiving economic aid of any sort in 2007


° Refugee resettlement aid is earmarked for the Jewish Agency/United Israel Appeal to help transport and resettle immigrants in Israel. It was primarily used to help Soviet immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s. Tody it is used for Ethiopian immigrants.


** This is funding allocated to American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA)


† Includes Food for Peace (loans & grants); Export-Import Bank aid; Housing Loans; Cooperative Development aid; missile defense; and, others.


# Includes $1.92 billion in regular military assistance and $1.2 billion for implementation of the Wye Agreement.

 

Loan guarantees are not considered foreign aid so the $7.9 billion in guarantees have been excluded from this table (see Loan Guarantees for Israel [table]). This table also excludes funding for certain other projects the CRS does not consider foreign aid, such as the $180 million for the research and development of the Arrow missile.

 

 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

New U.S. Law Obliges Americans to Pay Unlimited Billions to Israel

 

In what has been described as an “unprecedented gift of executive power to Israel,” the US Congress has passed for the very first time a law that forces the American president to give Israel a minimum of $3.8 billion per year - without limitation and no matter what Israel does.

(The New Observer)

 

 

Passed by the House of Representatives on September 12, 2018, the “United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018” rolls back any limitations that the US places on the amount of “aid” American taxpayers must hand over to Israel.

 

The bill states in “Sec. 102. Statement of Policy) that it “shall be the policy of the United States to provide assistance to the Government of Israel in order to support funding for cooperative programs to develop, produce, and procure missile, rocket, projectile, and other defense capabilities to help Israel meet its security needs and to help develop and enhance United States defense capabilities.”

 

According to a review of the law published by the If Americans Knew group, the AIPAC-lobbied law, introduced by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), whose maternal grandparents were Sephardic Jews, originally from the Ottoman Empire, who had been active in Cuba’s Jewish community, and Ted Deutch (D-Florida), whose grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Belarus, the bill is “even more generous to Israel than the Senate bill and the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding and “amounts to $7,230 per minute to Israel, or $120 per second.”

 

 The If Americans Knew review adds that the bill “guarantees $38 billion to Israel over the next ten years” and “is a dramatic departure from the deal offered under President Obama’s 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

 

“Most dramatically, this new act would eviscerate the ability of President Trump and his successors for the next ten years to withhold United States aid to Israel,” the review continued.

 

“Historically, almost every president since Eisenhower has attempted to withhold such aid at one time or another in order to force Israel to the peace table or to stop Israel from committing human right abuses or illegal acts such as taking Palestinian land and giving it to Israeli settlers.

 

“President Eisenhower was the last American President who managed to use this threat effectively, when he forced Israel to withdraw from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in 1957.”

 

The review added that the “second most important effect of this act is in Section 103. While the MOU limits the amount of aid [the US] give[s] Israel to the amount agreed upon, in this case $38 billion over 10 years, Section 103 of the current bill removes all limitations on how much [the US] give[s] give Israel.

 

“Under the new act, instead of 38 billion being the cap, as Obama stipulated in his 2016 MOU, [the US] must now give Israel a minimum of $3.8 billion per year until 2028.

 

“Without a cap, and with incessant lobbying by Israel and her proxies in the United States, the amount we give could conceivably double over the next 10 years,” the review said.

 

“Section 106 will increase Israel’s access to a war-reserve stockpile by completely removing the limits on how many precision guided missiles [the US] can give Israel. The existing law set a maximum of $200 million worth of arms from the stockpile per year, to be charged against the agreed aid package.

 

“The House version of the bill differs from the Senate version, replacing the words ‘sell’ and ‘sale’ to ‘transfer,’ which appears to open the door for more gifts in excess of the $38 billion.

 

“To put this in context, a Tomahawk Missile currently costs about $1 million. The media recently lambasted President Trump for using 60 such missiles in Syria because of the high cost.

 

“Section 107 calls on the President to prescribe procedures for the rapid acquisition and deployment of precision guided munitions. The House text differs from the Senate version in that it removes all the detailed requirements for Israel to have such rapid acquisition.

 

“In the version just passed by the House, there is only one, extremely broad requirement, that Israel is under direct threat of missiles (in Israel’s opinion).

 

“Section 108 of the Act authorizes Israel to export arms it receives from the U.S., even though this violates U.S. law. The Senate version included a provision calling on the President to make an assessment of Israel’s eligibility before adding Israel to the exemption list.

 

“The House version deleted that requirement, and simply orders the American President to grant Israel the privilege.

 

“In fact, Israel is ineligible, having repeatedly made unauthorized sales in violation of this Act. The Export Act further forbids granting such an exemption to any country that is in violation of International Nuclear Non-proliferation Agreement, which Israel has refused to sign.

 

“Israel is known to be in possession of nuclear weapons, and hence in violation and ineligible for the export exemption. Congress thus reiterates the message that it will force the President to continue funding Israel even when that violates [U.S.] laws,” the review continued.

 

“Section 201 orders NASA to work with the Israel Space Agency, even though an Israeli space official has been accused of illegally obtaining classified scientific technology from a NASA research project.

 

“U.S. agencies periodically name Israel as a top espionage threat against the United States.

 

“The section also states that United States Agency for International Development (USAID) must partner with Israel in ‘a wide variety of sectors, including energy, agriculture and food security, democracy, human rights and governance, economic growth and trade, education, environment, global health, and water and sanitation.’

 

“All countries except Israel are required to spend US military aid on American goods. This ensures that the American economy benefits to some degree from these massive gifts. (Of course, if Americans wished to subsidize these U.S. companies, money could be provided directly to them, and Israel and other countries left to buy their equipment with their own money.)

 

“In the past, Israel has spent 40 percent of U.S. aid on Israeli companies, at the expense of U.S. industry. Under Obama’s 2016 MOU, this percentage was to be decreased over the 10-year span, and eventually Israel’s unique right not to spend use U.S. military aid to purchase items from American companies was to be ended.

 

“The new Act eliminates this requirement, putting Israeli economic interests before [America’s].

 

“An Israeli spokesperson crowed: ‘The landmark deal was reached despite budget cuts, including defense cuts, in the U.S.’

 

The bill now will go back to the Senate for approval, and then to Trump to be signed into U.S. law.

 

 

 

 _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Netanyahu touts Israel for surpassing Japan in GDP per capita

 

 

Israel enjoys GDP per capita of $42,120. In contrast, Japan's GDP per capita is $40,850.

By Max Schindler
June 11, 2018
 
 
japan israel
Visitn Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, January 18, 2015. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) 
 
 
Israel has officially surpassed Japan when it comes to gross domestic product per capita, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, a sign that the Jewish state is evermore affluent.

Israel enjoys GDP per capita of $42,120 – which is calculated by dividing the country’s total economic output by its number of people.
 
 
In contrast, Japan’s GDP per capita is $40,850.

Netanyahu’s remarks, made at a Likud party faction meeting, signal that the country’s growing economic clout and its booming hi-tech industry is overtaking, on a per-capita wealth basis, Japan’s vaunted consumer electronics and automobile manufacturing.

It’s yet another sign that Israel’s economy continues to outperform other peers in the West, including in the United States and the eurozone.

The world average for GDP per capita is $11,730, according to the International Monetary Fund, while advanced economies enjoy an average gross domestic product per capita of $48,970.

The prime minister added that unemployment was at an all-time low, or at 3.7% in February 2018. Many economists deem it a state of “full employment” – when the economy is such that all eligible people who want jobs can get one.
 
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
______The new aid to Israel package will provide $23,000 each year to every family in Israel... __________
 
 
 
MEANWHILE IN AMERICA...
 

Homeless in US: A deepening crisis on the streets of America

 

 

 ___________________________________________________________________-

 

Why Does the United States Give So Much Money to Israel?

The two countries just signed a new military-aid deal—the biggest pledge of its kind in American history.

It have may seemed inevitable, but the record-setting moment is also rife with irony.

 

 

U.S. and Israeli officials sign an unprecedented military-spending deal in Washington, D.C. on September 14, surrounded by a portrait of Thomas Jefferson and American and Israeli flags.

 

U.S. and Israeli officials sign an unprecedented military-spending deal in Washington, D.C., on September 14.

 

The United States and Israel have made it official: The two countries signed a new 10-year military-assistance deal on Wednesday, representing the single largest pledge of its kind in American history. The pact, laid out in a Memorandum of Understanding, will be worth $38 billion over the course of a decade, an increase of roughly 27 percent on the money pledged in the last agreement, which was signed in 2007. The diplomatic and military alliance between the two countries is longstanding: Even prior to this week, Israel was, according to the Congressional Research Service, “the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II.” In many ways, Wednesday’s deal seemed predestined.

 

Yet, it’s also ironic. Barack Obama has a notoriously cold relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—as my colleague Jeffrey [JEW} Goldberg wrote in The Atlantic’s April cover story, “Obama has long believed that Netanyahu could bring about a two-state solution” to the Israel-Palestine conflict “that would protect Israel’s status as a Jewish-majority democracy, but is too fearful and politically paralyzed to do so.” Nonetheless, Obama will leave office having out-pledged all of his predecessors in military support to the country Netanyahu now runs.

 

Aid to Israel is among the only static issues of this U.S. election season. While the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has made somewhat mixed statements on the Israel-Palestine conflict, he has also made strongly worded promises to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Israel. For her part, the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, has consistently touted her support for Israel, including during her time as secretary of state.

 

Voters, however, have more mixed views on this kind of support. While more than 60 percent of Americans were more sympathetic to Israel than the Palestinians in a 2016 Gallup poll, sympathies differed along partisan lines, with around half of Democrats being more sympathetic to Israelis versus nearly 80 percent of Republicans. In a separate Brookings poll, roughly half of Democrats who responded said Israel has too much influence on the United States government. Boycott, divest, and sanction movements, which call on organizations in the United States and abroad to cut their financial ties with Israel, have long been popular on college campuses, although somewhat marginal; this year, however, they got a boost from the Black Lives Matter movement, which included statements against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in its recently released policy platform.

 

In general, young Americans are far less sympathetic toward Israel than their older peers: A 2014 Gallup poll found that only half of those aged 18 to 34 favored Israel in the Israel-Palestine conflict, “compared with 58 percent of 35- to 54-year-olds and 74 percent of those 55 and older.” Bernie Sanders, who was extremely popular among young people during the Democratic primary season, controversially criticized Israel, winning “applause and cheers” from the audience at one debate for saying, “If we pursue justice and peace, we are going to have to say that Netanyahu is not right all of the time.”

 

All of this creates an odd backdrop for a historic military-spending deal. No matter how bad the relationship between the two countries’ top leaders, no matter who gets elected to the White House, no matter how loudly some voters voice their opposition or how charged the underlying ideological debate: The United States has pragmatic reasons to keep providing large sums of money for Israel’s military.

 

There are straightforward explanations for why this particular deal got done. Politically, the spending package was partly a response to the nuclear deal that the United States and other world powers finalized with Iran in July of last year, and which Obama hailed as cutting off Iran’s pathway to nuclear weapons for more than a decade. Netanyahu was harshly critical of that agreement, which he called a “historic mistake” that would ease sanctions on Iran while leaving it with the ability to one day get the bomb. “Even with the deal in place, and taking the nuclear-weapon capability of Iran off the table at least for the next 10 to 15 years, there are still considerable destabilizing activities that Iranians are pursuing in the region that are not consistent with U.S. or Israeli interests or objectives,” said Melissa Dalton, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The new money is an attempt to pacify Israeli concerns about continued threats from Iran, she added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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