Snap-O Fact #86
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ACTIONS TOWARD ISRAEL SPEAK LOUDLY; HIS GOP CHALLENGER'S WORDS TO FREEZE FOREIGN AID AT 'ZERO' ABANDON SUPPORT OF A KEY ALLY
President Obama made a promise during his 2008 campaign that he would be committed to continuing and expanding US military support for key ally Israel and has kept that promise since coming to office in 2009, despite the economic downturn that he inherited, and in the context of spending cuts being made almost everywhere in the U.S. Budget. The 2010 Federal Budget allocation for Israel included $2.78 billion in direct support with $3.148 billion in loan guarantees, assistance which represented the first installment in a 10 year U.S. commitment of foreign aid to Israel. The 2010 military support was up $2.55 billion from Fiscal Year 2009 and also included an additional $305 million for the Israeli Iron Dome Defensive Missile Shield. On December 24, 2011, President Obama signed a bill providing the largest “foreign military funding” allocation to Israel in history. In addition to the annual $3 billion commitment for 10 years as per the Memorandum of Understanding, the U.S. would provide Israel with additional $236 million in 2012 to help with their development of 3 missile defense systems: “Arrow-2, “David’s Sling” and Arrow-3. As such it makes it the biggest funding for the joint US-Israel missile defense programs.
In addition to financial support by the Obama Administration, the U.S. and Israel have expanded their military cooperation, holding a series joint military exercises in 2009, and in 2010 with a record number of American troops. The August 2010 exercise, held in the Negev with 200 US Marines and Israeli soldiers was described as being the biggest U.S.-Israeli joint infantry exercise ever held. The October 2010 missile-defense exercise between the U.S. and Israeli militaries, brought in more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers, making it the single biggest U.S.-Israeli joint military exercise in the two nations' histories.
So as you can see through his actions President Obama has proven he is a true friend of Israel and is committed to its survival.
Ditz, Jason. “Obama Approves $30 Billion in Military Aid to Israel over Next Decade.” Antiwar.com, December 18, 2009. Web.
Levinson, Charles. “U. S., Israel Build Military Cooperation.” Wall Street Journal, 14 August 2010. Web.
Mozgovaya, Natasha . “Obama Signs Bill That Includes Added U.S. Military Assistance to Israel.” Haaretz, 24 December 2011. Web.
Johnson, Bridget, “The World from The Hill: Appropriators sound support for Israel missile defense.” The Hill, 09 January 2011. Web.
Contrast Obama’s 10-year foreign aid commitment to Israel with his GOP challengers Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. At the October 18, 2011 GOP debate Ron Paul stated that all foreign aid should be cut to zero. When asked if such cuts should also apply to Israel, Paul said, “I would cut all foreign aid. I would treat everybody equally.” He said: “That foreign aid makes Israel dependent on us…They should have their sovereignty back.” (Ron Pauls's statements about cutting off foreign aid to Israel are long known as are the statements of his son, newly elected Tea Party Senator Rand Paul (R- Kentucky). Mitt Romney & Rick Perry agreed with Paul’s statement on freezing foreign aid at “zero,” adding their own qualifier: Israel, like everyone else would have to justify its need to the US each year in order to qualify for foreign aid, with Perry insisting that Israel is “. . a "special ally" that would ultimately get "some substantial level" of aid "but it makes sense for everyone to come in at zero and make your case." Gingrich also agreed with the "start at zero" idea without explicitly mentioning Israel, but naming instead Pakistan which would have to prove itself worthy of receiving any U.S. foreign aid. The approach backed by Paul, Romney and Perry would, in effect, scrap our financial commitments to a key ally in the Middle East — a commitment most Americans expect our Presidents to keep. It would also abandon the long held GOP commitment of support for Israel.
Winkler, Amanda. “Ron Paul: US Aid to Israel Must Stop.” The Christian Post, 19 October 2011. Web.
“Paul wants to end aid to Israel.” Times Union, 19 October, 2011. Web.
Streeter, David. “GOP Debate Roundup: Perry’s, Romney’s Israel Aid Starts at Zero.” National Jewish Democratic Council, 12 November 2011. Web.
(Note: The Site provides a chronology of Obama support for Israel.)
Sundb, Alex. "Perry: My Foreign Aid Budget Starts at Zero." CBSNews, CBS Corporation, 12 November 2011. Web.
Ball, Molly. "What We Learned at the Foreign Policy Debate." The Atlantic Magazine, 13 November 2011. Web.
"Romney: Don't cut Israel aid." Yahoo News!, 13 November 2011. Web.
Benen., Steve. "Romney targets foreign aid." Washington Monthly, 13 November 2011. Web.