In a move that is virtually unprecedented in US politics, top Donald Trump adviser on Israel David M. Friedman gave an interview to Israel’s Channel 2 urging the nation not to accept any military aid deal from President Obama, and rather to wait until after the election.
Friedman argued that Trump would “in all likelihood” increase Israel’s military aid “dramatically.” This is a major shift from Trump’s own stated policy, which is that nations like Israel should have “pay big league” amounts in return for US military aid.
It also runs counter to Republican Senators’ calls for Israel to accept an Obama deal on the grounds that the deal wouldn’t be markedly changed post-election. Indeed, many have expressed concern that Israel being seen to “wait out Obama” would significantly harm their position in the US, and further cement the growing perception that Israel is a political issue in the US.
This same argument has been prevalent in Israel, as many aides have pushed Netanyahu to accept Obama’s aid package, rumored to be in the $35 billion range, instead of risking Israel’s status as a “bipartisan” US policy on the off chance they might get more from his successor.