Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preparing for his upcoming visit to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House next week.
On the laundry list for his visit is a request for a $50 b, 10-year military foreign aid package for Israel.
It has been a very long time since Netanyahu was welcomed by Obama to the White House — or invited for any reason, for that matter. White House officials have already told reporters they are receptive to the idea of increasing aid to Israel but are not specifying what or how much.
Also on the agenda are two other issues that have consistently remained areas of contention between the two leaders throughout their terms: Iran and “peace” with the Palestinian Authority.
Netanyahu has told his constituency that he will not limit building within Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria – a key demand by Obama. But quietly it appears the Israeli prime minister has done that very thing several times and may even be doing it again, perhaps at the request of the U.S. to jumpstart talks once more. Who knows?
Regardless, “Israel and America are fundamental and strategic allies that share the same interests and values,” maintained officials on both sides of the Atlantic on Thursday.
Israel receives the most defense aid from the United States than from any other nation at present. That is, when it is not engaged in a war for survival with Hamas in Gaza, when suddenly its combat supplies were frozen by Washington in summer 2014 during Operation Protection Edge as missiles rained down on Israeli civilians.