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Ex-ambassador urges rethink on US military aid amid Iron Dome controversy

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22.09.2021

It’s time for Israel to reconsider the military aid that it receives from the United States, Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador in Washington during the Barack Obama administration, told The Times of Israel on Wednesday, after progressive members of the US Congress succeeded in removing Iron Dome funding from a government spending bill.

“I think it’s very important that we begin a process of rethinking and restructuring our aid from the United States, the way the US aids us militarily,” he said.

“It does call for soul-searching and serious long-term strategic thinking.”

Oren, a noted academic and author, said that military aid to Israel being used increasingly as a tool against Jerusalem by left-wing Democrats could be seen as a “strategic vulnerability” for Israel, which could have dangerous consequences for the Jewish state.

Israel’s leaders must consider whether being seen as vulnerable to pressure from American legislators lines up with its attempt to project an image of a powerful, self-sufficient state that can defend itself.

“There are also costs to US aid,” he said.

Oren called for “more cooperative” avenues for US aid to Israel: “For example, the US and Israel could create a joint cyber defense initiative. The United States would actually be shoring up its own security.”

At the same time, he wasn’t optimistic that there would be a major change in Israel’s approach to US aid, citing the Israel Defense Forces’ concerns with securing funding, and figuring aid into their budgeting plans.

“When........

© The Times of Israel


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