Israel, U.S. formally sign new defense agreement

By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent

Israel and the United States signed Thursday a Memorandum of Understanding on the new American defense package for Israel. Under the new aid agreement, the U.S. will transfer $30 billion to Israel over 10 years, compared with $24 billion over the past decade.

The aid deal signed at represents a 25 percent rise in U.S. military aid to Israel.

Israel is slated to receive the first pay out in October 2008, amounting to $2.55 billion. That sum will grow each year by $150 million, until it reaches $3.1 billion in 2011.

In addition, the agreement permits Israel to convert into shekels 26.3 percent of the aid money, thereby enabling it to procure defense equipment from Israeli companies. The rest of the aid must be used to purchase equipment from American military industries.

“There is an axis of cooperation between Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas that is responsible for the violence in the region,” said Burns at a press conference following the signing. “A strong and secure Israel is an American interest.”

Congressional approval still needed

August 16, 2007 | 2 Comments »

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2 Comments / 2 Comments

  1. Quite apart from the math not adding up, I am wondering whether the deal proposed for Congressional approval is being put forth as an all or nothing deal. If it is, what happens to Israeli support if the Congress refuses to arm Saudi Arabia?

    Secondly, assuming this deal goes forward in one way or another, will the deal be binding on the next administration?

    Thirdly, it appears that this arms deal for Israel contains certain conditions that limit Israel’s options as to the use these arms can be put. I wonder whether the Bush deal puts the Saudis under similar and equivilent restraints and if so whether the Bush administration has incorporated into the deal American power to ensure the Saudis strictly comply?

    Nicholas Burns of the State Department says that it is in American interests to have a secure Israel. One should be circumspect of Burns’ sincerity.

    Current and past policies of the American government were the product of policy initiatives from the State Department, many of which were Burns’ brainchild which have pushed Israel to make compromises and concessions that suited American interests far more then they served Israel’s and have given a very great many Israelis and Jews worldwide to feel insecure about Israel.

  2. $30 billion for Israel. $53 billion for the Arabs.

    Somehow the math doesn’t add up.*

    * unless you’re part of the US military industrial complex.

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