Trump spending cuts leave military aid to Israel untouched

Israel can rest easy: The spending cuts axe being wielded by US President Donald Trump has so far spared military aid to Israel. Israel is due to receive $3.3 billion under the 2020 budget proposal that the White House sent to Congress yesterday.

The aid to Israel is set out in a memorandum of understanding signed by President Obama in his last year in office.

The relevant clause in the section “Department of State and Other International Programs” of the budget document states: “The Budget fully supports the U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding and includes $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing grant assistance to bolster Israel’s capacity to defend itself against threats in the region and maintain its qualitative military edge.”

The clause goes on to state: “The Budget also fully supports the U.S.-Jordan Memorandum of Understanding and the U.S. diplomatic and security partnership with Egypt. The Budget includes a Diplomatic Progress Fund, which would allow the United States to incentivize and take advantage of diplomatic openings and opportunities to advance the Nation’s foreign policy priorities as they arise. This Fund provides flexibility to respond to improved engagement from governments for which the Budget has not proposed specific bilateral funding, such as non-security assistance for the West Bank and Gaza, should diplomatic progress be achieved in support of U.S. objectives and regional peace.”

Read More: Globes