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Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz expressed concern Sunday that U.S. financial difficulties would affect Israel’s economy.

“We are very worried about the financial difficulties in the U.S., and I hope they won’t hurt us,” he said at the weekly Cabinet meeting.

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Steinitz’s comments came after Obama on Friday night ordered $85 billion in automatic, across-the-board cuts, called sequestration, after Congress failed to reach a compromise on deficit reduction.

U.S. government agencies must cut $85 billion from their budgets through Oct. 1, much of it coming from the Defense Department.

The cuts are sure to affect military aid from the United States to Israel, with estimates of cuts as high as $300 million, including affecting funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system.

Participants in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference, which opened Sunday, are expected to lobby members of Congress during a visit to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to retain Israel’s $3.1 billion in military aid for 2013 and 2014, as well as some $211 million in additional funding for Iron Dome.

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1 COMMENT

  1. The sequestration is madness and sheer insanity. Because the Republicans are united in not being willing to close loopholes that would add even a dime of taxes to the wealthiest Americans many Jews in the US and other Americans will see programs they depend on cut. The US Economy will suffer greatly as at least 700,000 jobs wil be lost at a time when our economy, while recovering from the greatest recession since the Great Depression, is still fragile.

    There is a far better approach. We could invest in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and in education, research, and renewable forms of energy, creating many good jobs, bringing in additional tax revenues and reducing the need for unemployment and other benefits, thereby creating a far better economic future.

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