Today, J Street Vice President for Policy and Strategy Hadar Susskind responded to remarks from House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (VA-07) suggesting that under a GOP-controlled House of Representatives, annual Federal appropriations to guarantee Israel’s qualitative military edge would be “separated out” from the broader foreign aid budget:
J Street unconditionally supports and lobbies for robust U.S. assistance to Israel, and will continue to support such aid no matter what the legislative vehicle. At the same time, J Street opposes separating aid to Israel from the foreign assistance appropriations to other countries for the sake of accommodating right-wing politicians who are ideologically opposed to foreign aid. U.S. assistance to Israel can only maximize our ally’s security when provided in concert with economic and military aid to other countries that enhances stability by fighting poverty and extremism in the region and beyond. Additionally, the foreign operations bill provides funding of U.S. diplomacy led by the State Department, including the Middle East peace efforts necessary to Israel’s future and to regional stability. This move reflects a troubling right-wing willingness to strain the decades-long bipartisan consensus on U.S. support for Israel where doing so serves its own partisan purposes.