Report: Israel Seeks More Funding From The U.S.

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Israel is reportedly seeking a 50 percent increase in military aid from the United States and has requested a long-term deal that would grant them up to $45 billion through 2028.

In 2007, Israel and the U.S. signed a $30 billion foreign military financing (FMF) deal. Though not all of that money has been used, the deal will expire in 2017. An anonymous security source told Defense News that Israel wants “$4.2 billion to $4.5 billion” annually in the next agreement.

Last week, the House Appropriations' Defense subcommittee drafted its 2016 bill and included $487.5 million for U.S.-Israel defense programs. In recent years, the U.S. has allocated nearly $500 million for anti-rocket and missile defense initiatives in Israel.

Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported that the U.S. and Israel have begun "preliminary, unofficial contacts regarding special American military aid" due to persistent turbulence in the Middle East, including the threat of Iran, according to Defense News.

"Israel has always fought its own battles and has never asked American troops to fight on its behalf,” Howard Kohr, chief executive officer of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), told the House Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations. "Instead, it has requested U.S. assistance to supplement the tremendous resources Israel already invests in its defense budget."

Kohr also said Israel may have to spend $160 billion on defense in the next decade due to the "accelerated military investment fueled by the oil revenues of Israel's Arab neighbors.”

"The military hardware, including American-built advanced fighter aircraft, vertical takeoff aircraft, naval vessels and armored troop carriers, that Israel must acquire over the next decade to maintain its [legislatively mandated qualitative military edge] is far more sophisticated and expensive than previous Israeli purchases from the United States," Kohr said.

Kohr also argued the American dollars in Israel could help the U.S. economy. "AIPAC strongly believes that the broader U.S. foreign aid budget, which includes security assistance to Israel — nearly 75 percent of which comes right back to the United States through the purchase of U.S.-made aircraft and other equipment — is an essential component of America's national security strategy,” he said.

Sources: Defense News, GlobalResearch / Image via Israel Defense Forces/Flickr