Direct challenge

US House Committee saves Israeli aid in foreign aid cut

By Ran Dagoni, 21 July 11 12:13

The US House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday cut the Obama administration’s $51 billion 2012 budget request for the State Department and foreign aid by $6.4 billion, but kept unchanged the $3 billion in military aid for Israel.

Commentators say that the committee vote is a direct challenge to President Barack Obama. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives is trying to limit Obama’s freedom of action in handling foreign policy and to minimize US contributions to international organizations – especially the UN. An Israeli source told “Globes” that the Foreign Affairs Committee slashed foreign aid for the Palestinians, Egypt, Lebanon, and Yemen, until the President certifies that these governments are “not directly or indirectly controlled by a foreign terrorist organization”, and eliminated military and civilian aid altogether for Pakistan, until the Secretary of State certifies Pakistan’s cooperation in the war on terror and the effectiveness of civilian programs.

The Republican majority in the House means that the bill will be easily passed. However, the Democratic majority in the Senate has its own version of the foreign aid and State Department budget bill. The Senate version gives Obama the freedom of action that the House is trying to take away. The joint Senate-House committee will have to reconcile the two versions, and the final version will undoubtedly remove the House clauses limiting the administration.

Bipartisan support for Israel keeps US military aid intact a year after Congress ratified the US-Israeli agreement that formalizes US aid for Israel through 2018. Under this agreement, US aid will increase by $150 million to $3 billion in fiscal year 2012, which begins on October 1, 2011. Aid will increase by another $150 million in fiscal year 2013, and stay at this level until 2018. The bill explicitly includes aid for specific programs, such as anti-missile programs.

The statement by House Committee chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Republican – Florida) says, “The U.S.-Israel alliance is vital to the safety and security of both nations, and this bill continues Congress’s bipartisan commitment of fully funding security assistance for Israel.”

The House bill is strongly pro-Israel, in both operational measures, which stipulate funding levels for Israel, in measures against Arab states, and in declarations. The statement says, “The bill reaffirms support for Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital by requiring that Jerusalem be identified as Israel’s capital on relevant US Government documents, and requires the Executive Branch to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem by the start of 2014. It also expresses Congress’s opposition to the Arab League Boycott of Israel. The bill states that it shall be US policy to uphold the reassurances provided by the President of the United States in an April 2004 letter to the Prime Minister of Israel, which reassured US support for secure, defensible borders for Israel and for Israel’s qualitative military edge, and stated that it is unrealistic to expect negotiated final borders to parallel the pre-1967 lines.”

Other clauses stipulate as follows:

  • Prohibits further security assistance to Egypt until the President certifies that the Government of Egypt is not directly or indirectly controlled by a Foreign Terrorist Organization; is fully implementing its peace treaty with Israel; and is actively destroying tunnels used to smuggle materials into Gaza.
  • Prohibits further security assistance to Lebanon until the President certifies that no members of Hezbollah hold policy positions in any ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the government.
  • Prohibits further security assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until the President certifies that no members of Hamas hold policy positions in any ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the government; that the PA is dismantling the extremist infrastructure in Gaza and West Bank; that the PA is actively halting anti-Israel incitement; and that the PA recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com – on July 21, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000666327&fid=1725 or http://bit.ly/qbP8JH or http://tinyurl.com/3cn8mv2

Related Posts

Shock and anxiety syndrome The disproportionate value of Israeli life By Belen Fernandez, 22 Dec 2012 13:03   Following the conclusion of Operation "Pillar of Defenc...
Patronizing myths die hard Arabs Give Neocons a Reality Check By James Zogby, 04/16/11 09:44 AM ET ... While much of what has come to be known as "the Arab Spring" remain...
Terror, terror, terror, terror A word of advice about the Middle East – we’ve reached the ‘tipping point’ with cliches By Robert Fisk, Sunday 23 December 2012   Rememb...
Who of us has clean hands? Why torturers film their handiwork By Robert Fisk, Saturday 26 November 2011 ... When prisoners were brought to Saddam Hussein's intelligence s...
Quelle horreur! Syrian war of lies and hypocrisy By Robert Fisk, Sunday 29 July 2012   Has there ever been a Middle Eastern war of such hypocrisy? A war o...
According to the dictionary   I place an ear on the belly of this moment I hear wailing I place it on another moment - the same! - Sinan Antoon, Iraqi poet ...
As this nonsense continues Who cares in the Middle East what Obama says? By Robert Fisk, 30 May 2011 ... This month, in the Middle East, has seen the unmaking of the Pres...
Fit the battle Which chapter from the Book of Joshua? By Yitzhak Laor, 01:37 19.05.11 ... Between 1949 and 1956, in what Israel calls "retribution operations,...
Mahfouz’s prophesy Note:  Raouf is a dear friend.  It is very likely our paths crossed in Lebanon, in the early 1960s.  We reconnected, after more than 30 years, on the ...
Grovelling to Netanyahu The 'invented people' stand little chance By Robert Fisk, Saturday 14 January 2012 ... Thank goodness we don't have to hear Newt Gingrich for a...

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2011/07/26/direct-challenge/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.