Largest military aid package to Israel in US history delayed by White House

 

Whereas US Ambassador Dan Shapiro said the US aid package demonstrates US commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region, President Obama is delaying the signing of the agreement due to a conflict with the US Senate, that thinks it’s inadequate.

By Itamar Eichner

 

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said that the US will be singing its largest ever aid package to Israel, and that the aid package will cover all of Israel’s security needs until 2029.

He was speaking at the opening of the 15th World Summit of International Institute for Counter Terrorism at the Herzeliya Interdisciplinary Center on Sunday.

“The next decade of American military support for Israel is spelled out in a Memorandum of Understanding our countries have been discussing in recent months. “The new agreement with Israel will guide our military assistance until 2029,” National Security Advisor Susan Rice told the American Jewish Committee a few months ago, “and will be the single largest military assistance package—with any country—in American history,” the Ambassador said in his speech.

He went on to describe that the US will continue to help Israel maintain its qualitative edge in the region by providing the Jewish state with next generation fighter jets, helping to finance anti-missile technology, and investing in tunnel detection technology.

According to the Washington Post, the White House is delaying the signing of the agreement due to a conflict with the US Senate, chief amongst them South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (R).

US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) & Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. – GPO Screenshot

Graham is leading the fight in Congress to increase the amount of US aid to Israel to $3.4 billion.

Graham was quoted as saying “the Israeli prime minister told me the administration is refusing to sign the (memorandum of understanding) until I agree to change my appropriation markup back to $3.1 billion,” Graham said. “I said, ‘Tell the administration to go F themselves.’

“I’m offended that the administration would try to take over the appropriations process,” Graham said. “If they don’t like what I’m doing, they can veto the bill. We can’t have the executive branch dictating what the legislative branch will do for a decade based on an agreement we are not a party to.”

 

View original Ynet publication at:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4853615,00.html

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