WASHINGTON—J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami applauded the inclusion of $3.075 billion in aid to Israel in the government spending bill for FY2012.
“The decision to provide a record $3.075 billion to Israel this coming year is an important affirmation that a strong and vibrant US-Israel relationship based on shared values and goals is a core American interest,” said J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami.
The government funding bill, anticipated to be passed by the House and Senate today, and signed into law by the President this weekend, provides vital assistance to Israel.
“In addition to promoting common interests in the security, economic and strategic spheres, continued aid to Israel is particularly critical as the US works in collaboration with the Mideast Quartet to diplomatically reengage the Israelis and Palestinians in the achievement of a viable two-state solution,” said Ben-Ami.
“At a time when Israel is being asked to the take significant steps for peace, Israelis should have no doubt that the United States is fully committed to their security,” Ben-Ami said. “Maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge gives it the confidence to move forward on a solution based on land for peace.”
US military assistance to Israel has reach an all-time high under President Obama. The administration is also responsible for securing an extraordinary appropriation of $200 million last year to help Israel purchase and install the Iron Dome missile defense system, which is already protecting Israeli civilians from terrorist rockets.
Aid also serves to foster an honest and open conversation between the United States and Israel where interests diverge – including the airing of disagreements in public when appropriate and necessary.
J Street played a central role last spring in building support for a congressional letter to President Obama in support of the Administration’s efforts to maintain current levels of foreign aid to Israel. The letter, authored by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) was signed by 116 members, including nearly 60 percent of the Democratic caucus.