In a time of heightened security risks in the Middle East, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Coons (D-DE) back a bi-partisan bill to provide Israel with $3.3 billion in annual aid. The aid was approved at the end of the Obama administration, but never voted into law. Last year the aid became entangled in a larger bill that would punish cities and states for taking part in the boycott, divest, sanction (BDS) movement against Israel.
The larger bill never gained traction as many legislators thought it infringed on free speech.
The co-sponsored bill is a standalone provision that Rubio and Coons introduced after President Donald Trump ordered a drone strike that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani and Tehran retaliated with a missile attack on an Iraqi base housing U.S. soldiers.
The bill would put into law a “Memorandum of Understanding” reached between Israel and the Obama administration from four years ago that was the biggest pledge of U.S. military assistance made to any country.
Given Israel’s position in the Middle East, as the only democracy and the nation that others, including Iran, have pledged to wipe off the face of the planet, now could be a good time to lend them our support.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Dan Grebler)