US Aid Deal Would Make Israel Promise Not to Lobby Congress for More

Netanyahu Reportedly Unhappy With $40 Billion Offer

by Jason Ditz, April 18, 2016

Though Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists that he wants to finalize another 10-year aid deal with the United States before President Obama leaves office, he is reportedly unhappy with the US offers on the matter.

The main US proposal is said to offer Israel $40 billion over 10 years, starting with $3.7 billion this first year and increasing steadily over the lifetime of the plan. While this is roughly in the ballpark of the amount of money Israel wants, the no-lobbying condition attached appears to have irked Netanyahu.

Under that deal, Netanyahu would pledge not to lobby the US Congress for any increases in foreign aid above and beyond the aid increases already built into the plan for the duration of the 10-year plan. The US offered an alternative without the lobbying ban, but this deal is only worth $34 billion over 10 years.

Netanyahu was said to have been previously inclined to wait until after the November election, believing Obama’s successor would give more. Some Israeli analysts, however, have cautioned that a Republican victory might not mean a significantly different offer, and would further politicize Israel in the US. With Netanyahu already clashing repeatedly with Obama, cementing Israel as an exclusively Republican issue could be costly to Israel in the long run.

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