As the record-large 10-year US military aid package to Israel is set to go into effect, Israeli MPs are lobbying the Trump government to make substantial changes. In particular, they object to the made-in-USA rules.
The $38 billion aid package is to be spent on US-made equipment. This has been a common way to make foreign aid politically safe, as it means that money is ultimately going to US arms makers who have a lot of influence.
Israeli officials, however, see this US armament as a problem for their economy. The Israeli Knesset Finance Committee is estimating that 22,000 Israeli jobs would be lost if the US doesn’t just send Israel the money straightaway and let them spending on Israeli-made arms.
Yet this was the agreement all along, back to when President Obama got the Israeli government to finally, grudgingly agree to accept $38 billion worth of equipment. While President Trump has suggested the aid couple end up being even bigger, as part of a desire to throw more arms at Israel, the desire to keep growing US weapons exports means he’s probably not going to be eager to send Israel the cash instead.
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