Losing Sight of America’s Own Needs, GOP Senators Look to Add Over a Billion to Aid Package Israel has Accepted

September 21, 2016

With the announcement that they will seek to add over $1.5 billion to the levels agreed to in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently reached between the United States and Israel, a group of Republican senators has again made clear that there is no limit to the extremes to which they will go in using the US-Israel relationship to score partisan points.

The MOU provides Israel with $3.8 billion in military aid per year for ten years – a total sum of $38 billion. That is the largest pledge of military assistance ever made to any country in our nation’s history. It is a monumental testament to the United States’ commitment to Israel’s security, successfully negotiated between the administrations of President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu. And yet it simply isn’t enough for Kelly Ayotte, Lindsey Graham, Mark Kirk, John McCain and Marco Rubio.

These senators have decided that no action taken by the President can ever be good enough, and that no amount of aid, or demonstrations of support and solidarity, can ever be sufficient. When Senator Graham referred to the largest military aid pledge in our history as “nickel and dim[ing] Israel,” and accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of “pull[ing] the rug from under” Congress, he made it clear that he and his colleagues have lost all sense of proportion and reality.

These senators should take a look around at the many problems facing our nation, like our aging and crumbling transportation infrastructure, our struggling education system, and the tens of millions of Americans living in poverty. Is giving Israel $1.5 billion more than its own government agreed to really the best use of those funds?

The constant search for new ways to score political points on Israel shows a shocking lack of regard for Israel’s actual challenges and needs or the needs of the country which these officials have actually been elected to represent.  

Senators Ayotte, Kirk, McCain and Rubio all face tough reelection fights this fall against candidates whose support for Israel is based on substance, not stunts. We believe that voters can tell the difference.