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Eric Cantor working for a budget seperation Photo: AP
Eric Cantor working for a budget seperation Photo: AP
 
 

Pentagon in charge of aid to Israel?

Republicans considering transferring Israeli security aid budget from State Department to Pentagon, in order to ensure it continues while enabling them to stop money flow to other countries

Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: 10.25.10, 17:33 / Israel News

WASHINGTON - In the days leading up to the United States Congress mid-term elections, senior Republicans are contemplating transferring the annual foreign aid responsibilities, provided these days to Israel from the State Department's foreign aid budget, to the hands of the Pentagon.

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According to advocates of this proposal, disconnecting Israel from the foreign aid's law will guarantee the continued support while also allowing the Republicans to take control of the foreign aid budget and the money flow to other countries.

 

Israel is the biggest beneficiary of US foreign aid in its current formant. A couple of years ago, the Bush administration approved a 30 billion dollar aid budget to Israel, spreading out over a decade.

 

Since signing their peace agreement back in 1979, Israel and Egypt have received most of US foreign aid budget, which is approved every year by each of the Two Houses of Congress.

 

Eric Cantor, the only Jewish Republican serving in the US House of Representatives, has recently told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), that the House of Representatives, headed by the Republican Party, will work towards stopping the American aid to countries who do not operate according to American interest.

 

This means that there is a possibility that the House of Representatives will not approve the foreign aid budget submitted by the Government.

 

Israel is looking into it

 

Cantor said that a big part of the US dilemma surrounding this issue is due to the fact that Israel is part of the overall foreign aid budget, and not a separate one. He goes on to mention that hopefully some kind of separation can be made when it comes to the tax payers' money going to Israel.

 

Only eight days before the congress mid-term elections, there seems to be a growing chance of a power shift from a Democratic to a Republican majority in the House.

 

Cantor explains that taking Israel out of the Sate Department's annual budget will allow the US to continue protecting the security aid given to Israel, even if the rest of the foreign aid budget will be frozen due to a conflict between the Democratic president and a Republican House of Representatives.

 

If the Republicans win the upcoming elections, there will be more Tea Party right-winged representatives supporting tax cut-backs and strict foreign aid policy. Some of them have already stated that they intend to vote against foreign aid.

 

Israeli officials are looking into the issue, even if at this point it's only a proposal and not a practical discussion. Such a separation in the foreign aid budget might not be good for Israel, and may tie her down more when it comes to American interest and hurt her independence.

 

 

 

 

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