The U.S. to Raise Military Aid to Israel

Despite expectations that the Obama administration will pressure Israel to accept a two-state solution and implement practical measures, the U.S. administration has sent signals that aid to Israel will, in fact, be raised. At the same time, the budget also imposes harsh conditions on the Palestinian Authority in order to receive aid.

According to the Israeli daily, Haaretz, the budget proposed to Congress for 2010 includes $2.775 billion in aid to Israel, compared to $2.5 billon budgeted for 2009. This is more than a 10% increase in total U.S. aid to Israel.

The budget also includes an increase in the assistance to the production of weapons systems, such as the missile Hetz-3.

The U.S. Congress proposed to raise the amount of aid to Israel for the development of the Hetz-3 missile—the Arrow “Interceptor” in English—from $30 million to $37.5 million. Israel considers continuous support in the development of this anti-missile missile a victory for the Israeli security establishment.

Hetz-3 is a theater missile defense (TMD) system first built by Israel and the United States. It was specifically designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles on a national level.

The Hetz-3 intercepts its targets high in the stratosphere and is in direct competition with similar systems developed in the United States. Lockheed Martin’s THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) also intercepts ballistic missiles, but also has the capability to intercept targets coming from further distances.

The U.S. budget proposed to congress for year 2010 also calls for the administration to respect Israel’s claims on Jerusalem. This contradicts international law, which does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied territories of East Jerusalem. It also contradicts the Oslo Agreements, which defines all of Jerusalem as a territory to be discussed during the final stages of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

The proposed budget prohibits the establishment of new U.S. offices, departments, or agencies in East Jerusalem for conducting official government business with the Palestinian Authority. Moreover, the proposed budget stipulates that U.S. officers should not meet representatives of the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem, including its occupied areas.

All assistance to the Palestinian Authority is left to the discretion of the U.S. Secretary of State (currently Hillary Clinton), who is empowered to determine and certify to Congress that the PA recognizes Israel, is prepared to fight terrorism, and is ready to end the state of war with Israel.

Finally, the budget imposes a boycott on the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, prohibiting any form of assistance to this institution.

No conditions regarding developments on the peace process or recognition of an independent Palestinian State were imposed on Israel.

Find a copy of the budget here.