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August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘foreign aid’

US Senate Doubles Funding for Iron Dome

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee approved a defense spending bill yesterday (July 15) that will provide $621.6 million for Israeli missile defense, including $351 million for the Iron Dome system that intercepts short-range rockets and mortars. The sum represents a 50 percent increase in funding for the program.

Congress appropriated $235 million to the Iron Dome project last year, as opposed to the White House request for some $176 million, which lawmakers doubled. (Congress often increases funding for Israeli security projects sought by the president.)

The funding is part of the administration’s request of $3.1 billion for military assistance to Israel, the world’s largest beneficiary of U.S. foreign aid. “It works,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., chairman of the subcommittee.

The measure still has to pass the Senate Appropriations Committee, and then a vote in the full Senate. But if it does, funding will be provided beginning this October for Israel’s missile defense programs. The Iron Dome anti-rocket system has been successful in shooting down rockets and preventing Israeli deaths with a 90 percent success rate, an improvement over the 84 percent success rate achieved in Operation ‘Pillar of Defense’.

The IDF deployed its ninth Iron Dome battery this week, after it was scheduled to be prepared only in a few months and was produced in record time.

Too Little, Too Late? US Special Forces Arrive in Iraq

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

A U.S. contingent of 150 special forces has arrived in Iraq as part of its promised military aid in the fight against terror there.

Washington told the Iraqi government it would help the country fight the Sunni Muslim Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL) guerrilla forces who have taken over nearly a third of the country.

The American special forces are intended to help the Iraqi military fight the terrorists, according to a Pentagon spokesperson, who said they had already “begun their work in the field.”

However, it’s questionable whether the aid sent by the U.S. will be adequate to deal with the situation at this point. ISIL forces have taken over nearly the entire northern region and much of the central area as well, in addition to a large swathe of territory along the Iraqi-Syrian border.

U.S. Frees Military Aid to Egypt

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The United States has agreed to release its promised foreign aid funds to Egypt, frozen since former President Mohammed Morsi was ousted a year ago. Secretary of State John Kerry made the announcement during a visit to Cairo two weeks after President-elect Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was sworn into office following May elections.

El-Sisi, who served as defense minister and field marshal prior to his election, has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood — which backed Morsi’s candidacy and which took over the government once he was in office — and terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula.

Officials at the State Department said the mostly military aid, totaling some $1.5 billion, will be used to pay existing defense contracts. Kerry also promised to send 10 Apache attack helicopters, which el-Sisi’s forces will use against terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.

“The Apaches will come, and they will come very, very soon,” Kerry promised at a joint news conference Sunday in Cairo.

Sen. Rand Paul Takes Aim at US Aid to Palestinian Authority

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Republican Sen. Rand Paul intends to introduce legislation next week that would prohibit aid to the Palestinian Authority if it does not explicitly recognize Israel and renounce violence.

The Kentucky senator, who is a strong proponent of cutting foreign aid, including that to Israel, was quoted by The Washington Post as saying, “Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with an entity that does not believe it should exist, and has used terrorist tactics to seek its end.”

Referring to last week’s announcement by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas that his Fatah faction is reuniting with the rival Hamas terrorist organization, Rand added, “Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with an entity that does not believe it should exist, and has used terrorist tactics to seek its end.”

His bill would give the Palestinian Authority five weeks after formal re-unification  to renounce violence and recognize Israel, two conditions that are counter to Hamas’ charter. Abbas has said he does not have to recognize Israel because his predecessor Yasser Arafat supposedly did so. Arafat actually simply acknowledged that the entity of Israel exists.

Abbas, with his miraculous two-tongued mouth, has said he is against violence but backs the right of “resistance,” which is the English translation of the Arab code word for violence.

Abbas also has increasingly praised Palestinian Authority suicide bombers and other terrorists, known to him and his cohorts as “martyrs.”

And why should he go through the motions of recognizing Israel when it is clearly stated on official Palestinian Authority maps that all of Israel, including Judea and Samaria, exists – as Palestine?

But for all of Sen. Rand’s grand plans, his bill might carry as much weight as a Palestinian Authority  agreement since it would take effect only after a Fatah-Hamas unity government is formed, and that will take place anytime between six months and never.

It doesn’t matter because Paul’s real intention is to win support from the Jewish voters, especially those with money.

His anti-foreign aid policy has won praise from Americans fed up with Uncle Sam for going deeper into debt while spending their tax dollars for little things like the failed war in Iraq, the failed war on Taliban and the general failure of trying to buy Muslim love with money, which has brought nothing but trouble to the Middle East.

In a visit to Israel last year, he said the time has come to stop chasing bad investments with bad investments, even if it means cutting aid to Israel.

“It will harder to be a friend of Israel if we are out of money. It will be harder to defend Israel if we destroy our country in the process,” he said in Jerusalem. “I think there will be significant repercussions to running massive deficits … you destroy your currency by spending money you don’t have.”

He added, “I’m concerned that some of the weaponry that we are currently giving to Egypt may one day be used against Israel.”

Isn’t it weird that President Barack Obama never thought of that?

Paul’s theory is that cutting military aid to Israel actual is good for Israel since it will make Israel more self-dependent, especially when it comes to responding to attacks.

“I don’t think you need to call me on the phone to ask permission for what you want to do to stop missiles from raining down on you from Gaza,” he said.

Paul also made it clear that that the first targets of foreign aid cuts would be Pakistan, Egypt and other peace-hating countries where Obama his “reached out” to engage them, although it is not clear in what he actually is engaging them except in Russian Roulette with a weighted ball.

Bill Would Link Funding for Palestinians to Incitement

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

A bill introduced by the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee would link assistance to the Palestinian Authority to its efforts to stop incitement.

Under the bill presented Wednesday by California Republican Rep. Ed Royce, the president would have to determine that the Palestinian Authority “no longer engages in a pattern of incitement against the United States or Israel; and is engaged in peace preparation activities aimed at promoting peace with the Jewish State of Israel.” The president would have to re-certify compliance every six months.

“As Secretary of State John Kerry engages in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, Congress will make it clear to the Palestinian Authority that continuing anti-Israel incitement to violence through PA-controlled media outlets must cease,” Royce said in a statement.

The United States earmarks about $400 million annually for the Palestinian Authority.

House Spending Bill Restores Aid to Israel to $3.1 Billion

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Funding to Israel was restored to its pre-sequester level of $3.1 billion in the spending bill the U.S. House of Representatives passed on Wednesday. Aid to the Palestinian Authority was conditioned on its not running to the United Nations for recognition.

The $1.1 trillion bill passed Wednesday is the result of a deal brokered last month between Democrats and Republicans who have struggled for months to compromise on spending bills. It restores about half the cuts mandated by the sequestration, the across-the-board 8 percent cuts which by law kicked in last March when Congress failed to agree on a budget.

Also in the bill is $268.7 million in funding for U.S.-Israel cooperative anti-missile programs, not considered assistance because Israel contributes to the programs.

The bill also links the approximately $400 million the Palestinian Authority receives in annual assistance to programs against incitement, and cuts off aid to the Palestinians if the PA take further steps to secure statehood recognition at international bodies.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee praised the passage.

“These funds fully meet America’s commitment in the U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding, helping our democratic ally meet critical defense needs during this period of heightened regional instability,” it said in a statement.

The Senate is due to consider the spending bill later this week.

US Shutdown Suspends Military Aid to Israel

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

The Obama administration’s $3.2 billion annual military aid has been suspended due to the U.S. government shutdown over the debt ceiling. The sum for 2104 was to be transferred to Israel on October 1, but this is not the first time budget crises in the United States have delayed aid to Israel.

“We are not talking about a specific step regarding Israel,” Israel’s Minister of Economic Affairs to the United States, Eli Groner, told Globes. “There is no budget for most government activities because there is no Budget Act or decision for a continuing resolution for ongoing financing for the coming financial year, and that includes the budget for foreign aid.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-shutdown-suspends-military-aid-to-israel/2013/10/06/

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