Barak: Netanyahu gambled over the US military aid—and lost
Former prime minister says Netanyahu's 'reckless gamble' over the aid deal will result in the cancellation of vital defense projects in Israel and the loss of thousands of jobs; Likud: 'We're still waiting on the US aid Barak said we'd get when he withdrew from Lebanon.'
Former prime minister Ehud Barak leveled harsh criticism against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday evening, accusing him of having made an unsuccessful "gamble" in his management of Israel's relationship with the United States.
"After the signing of the American military aid agreement for the coming decade, the magnitude of the damage caused by Netanyahu's reckless gamble will come to light," Barak said during an event organized by the left-wing political movement Darkenu.
"Instead of receiving $4.5 billion per year—which was both plausible and expected just one year ago, shortly after the signing of the nuclear agreement with Iran—Israel will receive $3.8 billion. Even these funds will only be given on the condition that Israel agrees to refrain from demanding any additional funding from Congress."
Barak went on to say that because of Netanyahu's gamble, "vital projects will have to be halted or cancelled altogether, resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs in the (Israeli) defense industries."
The former prime minister went on to accuse Netanyahu of interfering in US politics.
"Instead of having an open and candid dialogue behind closed doors with the president (about the Iran agreement), as any other prime minister would've done, we've witnessed Netanyahu's flagrant interference in American politics, intruding into the domestic partisan dispute," Barak said.
"Netanyahu has done all this despite the predictable failure of his actions, and now must face the concrete costs of this failure. Such unforgivable negligence," he added.
The Likud party said in response, "When it comes to military aid from the US, Barak should be the last one to talk. While Prime Minister Netanyahu is about to sign an unprecedented aid agreement with the US, which amounts to almost $40 billion, we're still waiting for the $1 billion in US military aid that Barak promised we'll receive during his hasty withdrawal from Lebanon."