July 16, 2019

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$550 million budgeted for joint US-Israeli cooperation in missile, tunnel, drone defenses


I received this email from NORPAC, a pro-Israel lobby group:

President Trump signed into law [Monday]  the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, the U.S. defense budget bill for the coming Fiscal Year.

Included in this bill are provisions to authorize $500 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation and up to $50 million for U.S.-Israel counter-tunnel cooperation. It authorizes funding for both R&D and procurement for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 missile defense systems. These programs enable Israel to defend its citizens while advancing America’s own missile defense capabilities.

These funds are in addition to the $3.3 billion in security assistance as part of the U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 (S. 2497) which passed in the full U.S. Senate two weeks ago.

I admit to mixed feelings about much of the US security assistance to Israel, as we have seen the Obama administration use that as a set of “golden handcuffs” to stop Israel from acting in its own best interests. Israel should set a strategic goal of weaning itself off of much of that aid.

However, cooperation with the US on defense systems that can also help the US in defending itself is a very worthy cause and this story is a reason to celebrate how close the US is to Israel.

The Act itself is some 2,000 pages long but it also includes joint US-Israel projects to find ways to defend against aerial drones and to determine what weapons Israel might need in a future war with Hezbollah.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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