The United States and Israel will sign on Wednesday a new military aid plan that will give Israel the biggest package on defense and security than any other country in the Middle East region.

Israel will receive a total of $38 billion, according to Reuters and several Israeli media.

The agreement, the result of a ten-month negotiation period guarantees the military advantage of the first US ally in the region until the end of the next decade.

The signing of the new agreement ends a period of a poor relationship between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Obama and Netanyahu have clashed in recent years in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians and the pact to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

Disagreements between the two leaders have reached a personal level. Obama saw as an affront that Netanyahu tried to torpedo the nuclear agreement, with a speech in the US Congress, as well the fact that he supported his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, in the last presidential elections.

The signing of the document is proof that, behind the antipathy between the two leaders in the Obama years, the relationship between the US and Israel is still strong, perhaps more than ever.

The previous agreement, signed under the presidency of Republican George W. Bush, included a package of $30 billion over a period ending in 2018.

Obama raised the amount that must be distributed in ten years after congressional authorization, although the $38 billion, $3,8 b billion per year, do not reach the $45 billion that Netanyahu had requested.

One of the conditions that the US has for the new agreement is that Israel will use the money to pay for military equipment from American companies or companies where the US government has an interest, in other words, members of the military industrial complex.

Israel, unlike other recipients of US aid, can choose to spend some of the money it receives from Washington in its own military industry.

According to Reuters, which provides details of the agreement, 2020 will mark the beginning of a  decrease in the proportion of aid to Israeli manufacturers, which right now is 26.3%. The money will then be redirected to US manufacturers.

Another condition of the agreement, according to advanced details, is that Israel will commit to not ask for more money to Congress during the term of the plan.

Support for missile defense, which Congress passed as a separate chapter of military aid, is now included in the agreement.

Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of US aid since World War II: $124.3 billion in current US dollars, according to the Congressional Research Service. Obama will leave the White House in January having preserved this legacy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

The middle class that vanished

  One of the giants of the South experiences the highest rates…

The TB pandemic that nobody sees, but that kills millions a year

  31.8 million people will have died by 2030 if tuberculosis is…