Obama, Netanyahu Agree to Replace $30 Billion Arms Deal With ‘Substantially More’

Obama Praises Israeli 'Self-Defense' Against Palestinian Unrest

President Obama and Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu struck a hawkish tone in their high-profile White House meeting today, talking up massive increases in military aid for Israel while Obama praised Israel’s government for its use of “self-defense” in the ongoing crackdown against Palestinian unrest.

Long-standing disputes between Netanyahu and Obama seemed to be all but forgotten today, with Obama seemingly ready to endorse anything and everything Israel’s far-right government is doing, a fact which led Netanyahu to term it “one of the best” meetings they’d ever had.

While most of the public narrative between the two was the usual self-congratulatory comments about the inherent greatness of the US-Israeli relationship, the nuts and bolts of the talk appear to have centered on the increase in military aid, one which both sides agreed to expedite.

A 10-year, $30 billion military aid package signed under the Bush Administration is set to expire soon, and Obama made clear a new decade-long package was a “top priority,” with experts saying the talks are expected to put in place a package worth “substantially more” than the expiring one.

Israeli officials have made no secret their intention to get a massive increase above the previous deal, with the most recent talks late last week suggesting Netanyahu was looking for at least $50 billion over the next 10 years. US officials had previously suggested the deal would be in the $36-$37 billion range.

In addition to the new decade-long package, the US and Israel are also negotiating a one-off deal as “reparations” for Israel’s objections to the Iran nuclear deal, a package which itself is expected to be worth several billion dollars.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.