Israel

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Group.png Israel   Sourcewatch
Israel US.jpg
Formation 14 May 1948
Type nation state
Location Middle East
Subgroups • Military Intelligence Directorate (Israel)
• Mossad
Interest of Jane Biran, Blue Star PR, Sasha Bratwa, Conservative Friends of Israel, Jonathan Cook, HonestReporting, J Street, Alison Weir
SubpageIsrael/Assassination
Israel/Borders
Israel/Defence Ministry
Israel/Defense Forces
Israel/Espionage
Israel/President
Israel/Samson Option
Israel/Violations of Lebanese sovereignty
Renewing the Memorandum of Understanding in September 2016, whereby the American taxpayer agreed to pay Israel $38 billion over a 10-year period

On 14 September 2016, US Under-Secretary of State Tom Shannon and Acting Israeli National Security Adviser Jacob Nagel signed a new 10-year memorandum of understanding for $38 billion in US military aid to Israel.

A signing ceremony — described as “low-key” by the Washington Post — was held in the State Department’s Treaty Room. Ceremonial protocol revealed not only why such a memorandum of understanding (MOU) cannot be subjected to much public scrutiny, but also the identities of the main constituencies pushing for such aid in the face of growing opposition.

The attendees were either State Department special guests invited to fill the arced row of chairs in the Treaty Room, or members of the news media responding to a last-minute notification posted on the State Department’s website. The rules for news media were strictly enforced. There were to be no questions asked of officials — such as Nagel or US National Security Adviser Susan Rice — before or after their speeches. Reporters were also kept from asking questions of the many special guests who filed in from an elegant annex. They were marched from a private passageway, relieved of cell phones, and kept behind a rope line at the back of the room. Numerous State Department minders were on hand to keep the press in line.

It quickly became clear that pro-Israel activists made up the large contingent of the special guests. “I want you to meet…he’s from the Conference of Presidents! [of Major American Jewish Organizations]!” went one introduction. Jonathan Greenblatt, the new head of the Anti-Defamation League, entered the room with quiet intensity, less effusive than his predecessor, Abraham Foxman, who headed the organization for 28 years before stepping down in 2015. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), ejected in June amid controversy as chair of the Democratic National Committee, only to immediately be named Hillary Clinton’s honorary campaign chair, flitted among her numerous admirers across the Treaty Room. Only a handful of low-ranking uniformed military personnel were on hand, ignored by most of the special guests and mainly serving at the very end as props for an official photo opportunity.

After a perfunctory speech by Rice claiming an “unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security” and assertion that “our security is linked” without explaining how, and additional comments by Nagel, the MOU signatures were inked at a long table. The leather portfolios passed between signatories seemed too thin to contain the actual MOU. Shannon and Nagel cast what seemed to be almost furtive glances at the audience as press and State Department video cameras rolled and shutters snapped.

The new MOU succeeds the George W. Bush administration’s 10-year (2009-2018) $30 billion MOU. Under that agreement, Israel used 26.3 percent of its U.S. aid to build up its own domestic export-oriented military industrial complex. It also used MOU aid to purchase U.S. commodities such as military rations, diesel and aviation fuel. Israel and its U.S. affinity organizations then lobbied and extracted hundreds of millions more from Congress each year in additional “short fuse” emergency funds for missile defense. The U.S. taxpayer shelled out $1.3 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome system, with additional ad hoc allocations for Israel’s Arrow-3 and David’s Sling systems.

The complete contents of the George W. Bush MOU — like its Obama administration successor — remains a mystery. Neither has been publicly released. The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum — responding to a FOIA request — confirmed that the expiring MOU was “approximately 675 pages”, but shows no eagerness or haste to release it. The State Department has not responded to a FOIA request for the current MOU, which is likely even lengthier and more complex, or for a complete list of MOU ceremony invitees. According to the MOU 'Fact Sheet' released by the White House, Israel will now be prevented from lobbying Congress for additional missile defense aid, may no longer spend MOU dollars on commodities such as fuel, and the huge subsidization of Israeli military contractors will gradually sunset.

However, the MOU must still be funded by Congress. As an executive order mandating Foreign Military Financing, a Foreign Operations Appropriations Act must be passed each year by Congress and signed into law by the president before spending on new military hardware can commence. The appropriation is likely to be included in an omnibus spending bill in December.

Key members of Congress heavily supported by pro-Israel donors and PACs, have already proclaimed the MOU caps on addition funds “unconstitutional”. Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (SC), Kelly Ayotte (NH), John McCain (AZ) and Ted Cruz (TX) have already rejected the principle of limitations by filing measures to provide Israel with $1.5 billion in military aid in addition to MOU commitments.[1]  

Sub-Pages

          Page Name          SizeDescription
Israel/Assassination46,449
Israel/Borders29,726Israel's borders are unusual in having changed several times in living memory. Israel currently borders Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan and the West Bank in the east, the Gaza Strip and Egypt on the southwest.
Israel/Defence Ministry48
Israel/Defense Forces9,158
Israel/Espionage12,178
Israel/President212
Israel/Samson Option24,577
Israel/Violations of Lebanese sovereignty14,130

 

Events

EventDate
2006 Lebanon War12 July 2006 - 14 August 2006
Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism2 July 1979 - 5 July 1979
 

Groups

GroupDate
Likud
Mossad13 December 1949 - Present
Taglit Birthright
 

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Related Quotation

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PageQuoteAuthorDate
Daniel Pipes“There can be either an Israel or a Palestine, but not both. To think that two states can stably and peacefully coexist in the small territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is to be either naive or duplicitous. If the last seventy years teach anything, it is that there can be only one state west of the Jordan River. Therefore, to those who ask why the Palestinians must be deprived of a state, the answer is simple: grant them one and you set in motion a chain of events that will lead either to its extinction or the extinction of Israel.”Daniel PipesApril 1990


References