In Shift, Netanyahu Now Seeks Aid Deal Before Obama Leaves Office

Lindsey Graham Told Netanyahu Obama's Terms Were Fair

by Jason Ditz, March 31, 2016

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has for months seemed very resistance to signing a new 10-year aid package with the Obama Administration, with officials suggesting he believed he could get even more money by waiting until 2017 for Obama’s successor.

That appears not to be the case, however, and several Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – SC), have reportedly told Netanyahu the offer is a fair one, and in line with budget limitations, leading Israeli officials to say they believe Netanyahu now wants to get the deal done before Obama goes.

The theory is that, after years of acrimony between Netanyahu and Obama, having them both sign off on the aid deal would remove some of the partisan rancor that is suddenly surrounding Israel within the US, and sell Democrats on the idea that nothing has really changed.

The alternative could be a huge problem for Netanyahu, if a Republican wins and offers a similar, or even slightly better deal, and he signs it, enforcing the view that the Likud leader is an ally to the Republicans first and foremost.

At the same time, some Israeli officials say they are concerned that making a deal with Obama could free the US president up to not veto upcoming UN Security Council measures, while falling back on the aid package as proof he is sufficiently pro-Israel.

Either way, Israel will be securing yet another record large 10-year military aid package, and the real question is whether Obama will be able to take credit for convincing Netanyahu to take America’s money, or if that will go to his successor.

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