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Thursday, July 23, 2009

IDF 'mulls' effect of US military aid freeze

On Tuesday, the State Department said that it was 'premature' to discuss imposing sanctions on Israel. And on Thursday, the IDF is 'mulling' the possible effects of a freeze in American military aid.
On Tuesday night, senior Defense Ministry and IDF officers gathered in Tel Aviv for a discussion on US-Israeli relations, during which they discussed new Pentagon regulations regarding the way Israel can use the almost $3 billion in military aid it receives from the US.

According to defense officials, the Pentagon informed the Defense Ministry that the foreign military financing (FMF) needed to be used strictly for weaponry and defense-related projects. In past years the Pentagon had made exceptions and allowed the IDF to purchase nonessential items such as covers for trucks, uniforms and even food for soldiers.

During the discussion, the officials also discussed the possibility that the US would cut the FMF due to the political tension between the countries or because of the global financial crisis.

The discussion in the Defense Ministry came just hours before a State Department spokesman said at a press briefing that it was still "premature" to talk about financial sanctions against Israel for its refusal to freeze settlement construction.

Israeli defense officials said it was possible to interpret the remark as meaning that now it is premature, but that at a later date sanctions might be realistic.
Which of course was exactly what Deputy Secretary Wood meant in the State Department briefing on Tuesday (there was a report yesterday at Arutz Sheva that discounted Wood's statement - I believe that's wishful thinking). Go back and watch it again (2:15 to 7:00) if you've forgotten what he said.
Israeli diplomatic officials, on the other hand, completely discounted the likelihood that the current disagreements with the US would lead to punitive sanctions against Israel.

"This is nonsense,"one official said, responding to the State Department spokesman's answer to a query on the matter.

"This US Administration believes in dialogue until the bitter end" the official said. "There is no way that at the same time it wants to engage with the Iranians, it is going to take sanctions against Israel. It just doesn't make sense."
Does it make sense that instead of worrying about Iran developing nuclear weapons, the administration is worried about Israel building 20 apartments in Sheikh Jarrah? Which one did Obama spend more time worrying about last week?
The official said there was no concern at this time in the Foreign Ministry that Washington would use this weapon, especially since its pressure on the Arab world to take gestures toward Israel is not bearing any fruit, but no one is talking about potential sanctions against the Arab world for not positively responding to the US president.
I hear crickets chirping....

The good news is that France and Russia are plotzing to develop weapons with us, so the IDF believes it has an alternative source if necessary.

What could go wrong?


At 10:12 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The IDF could begin producing a new plane at home. And the government should show any opponents the door. Had the Lavi been built in the first place, Israel would not be worrying today about a potential cutoff of US military aid.

What could go wrong indeed

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Ashan said...

I strongly believe that Israel and Japan should, together, invest in the development of a new generation of fighter aircraft and other heavy military craft and weaponry. They have the best of both worlds - superior electronics, high-tech weapons delivery systems, electro-optics. Both countries have superb manufacturing capabilities. Both Japan and Israel are allies snubbed by the US and had the F-22 cut out from under them. They also understand the threats lined up against them.

At 3:44 PM, Blogger MUSHI said...

Totally agree with Ashan.
It's time for Israel to start builiding it's own weapons and stop depending on other countries.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger LB said...

This 'aid' is only good for the American economy. Israeli economy would be stronger and more of a threat to American defense contractors were it truly independent. I recall a recent $12 billion deal...


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