The United States has finalized a $38 billion dollar package of military aid to Israel over the next 10 years. Originally Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked for $45 billion, however President Obama refused and the two settled for $38 billion. The U.S. will provide Israel with $3.8 billion a year over the next decade to help Israel finance its various militant expenditures. A quarter of the money will allow Israel to invest in its own arms industry, as the nation has become a big name in arms exporting, even competing with American firms.
With the U.S. coming close to $19.3 trillion dollars in debt, is this the best we can do with our money? Another important question to ask, is this package signaling Israel that the U.S. will support them financially no matter what boundaries they cross? And should U.S. dollars really go toward expanding Israel’s arm industry?
Ilan Goldenberg, the director of the Middle East Security Program, says “The fact that Obama and Netanyahu are able to get this done even when they don’t agree on a lot of things and they don’t have a very good personal relationship is a very strong signal that this is a vital alliance and each side recognizes it transcends politics and personalities.”
However, to me this package seems to highlight critiques of Mr. Obama that claim he is a ‘diplomatic doormat.’ Just in the last weeks, Israel’s Prime Minister released a video accusing Palestinian leaders of promoting ethnic cleansing by raising concern at recent Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Obama chastised Netanyahu for the video, but days later signs a $38 billion dollar aid package? That doesn’t seem like much of a chastisement to me.
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