The sum is colossal. During the decade 2019-2028, the United States has agreed to provide Israel with military assistance of $ 38 billion. According to the State Department, it is the “biggest bilateral military aid in the history of the United States.”
The MoU was to be formally signed in Washington, Wednesday, September 14, by Yaakov Nagel, advisor to National Security Advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Thomas A. Shannon Jr., US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. The deal seals again the strategic alliance between the two countries, despite the appalling personal relations between their leaders, Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu, and the development of settlements in the West Bank that the US has regularly condemns without consequences.
The agreement in force to date, which expires in 2018, provides Israel with approximately $ 3.1 billion in annual aid. Besides this formal aid, the US also provides substantial aid to Israel for different projects like the missile defense system “Iron Dome”.
“Israel could have assumed these programs alone, but it would take much more time because of the heavy decision-making process and the fiscal burden,” said Uzi Rubin, who led the development of the Arrow system against long-range missiles from 1991-1999.
Under the new memorandum, the White House has also imposed some concessions to Israel. The latter will no longer be directly involved in negotiating with Congress to get extensions, unless under special circumstances, in times of war.
“It gives us less flexibility, but it allows us to better plan our needs in advance,” explains Reuven Ben Shalom, former director of the North America Branch in the Planning Directorate. “I am relieved and grateful vis-à-vis the American people. The legacy of Obama will be to strengthen the security of Israel, with an unprecedented level of military cooperation and intelligence.”
Israel’s first concern is the unprecedented arsenal accumulated by Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia sponsored by Iran, which has 100,000 rockets with increased accuracy.