Knesset passes Governance Law
The US House Foreign Affairs Committee slashed foreign aid for the Palestinians, Egypt, Lebanon, and Yemen.
The US House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday cut the Obama administration's $51 billion 2012 budget request for the State Department and foreign aid by $6.4 billion, but kept unchanged the $3 billion in military aid for Israel.
Commentators say that the committee vote is a direct challenge to President Barack Obama. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives is trying to limit Obama's freedom of action in handling foreign policy and to minimize US contributions to international organizations - especially the UN. An Israeli source told "Globes" that the Foreign Affairs Committee slashed foreign aid for the Palestinians, Egypt, Lebanon, and Yemen, until the President certifies that these governments are "not directly or indirectly controlled by a foreign terrorist organization", and eliminated military and civilian aid altogether for Pakistan, until the Secretary of State certifies Pakistan's cooperation in the war on terror and the effectiveness of civilian programs.
The Republican majority in the House means that the bill will be easily passed. However, the Democratic majority in the Senate has its own version of the foreign aid and State Department budget bill. The Senate version gives Obama the freedom of action that the House is trying to take away. The joint Senate-House committee will have to reconcile the two versions, and the final version will undoubtedly remove the House clauses limiting the administration.
Bipartisan support for Israel keeps US military aid intact a year after Congress ratified the US-Israeli agreement that formalizes US aid for Israel through 2018. Under this agreement, US aid will increase by $150 million to $3 billion in fiscal year 2012, which begins on October 1, 2011. Aid will increase by another $150 million in fiscal year 2013, and stay at this level until 2018. The bill explicitly includes aid for specific programs, such as anti-missile programs.
The statement by House Committee chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Republican - Florida) says, “The U.S.-Israel alliance is vital to the safety and security of both nations, and this bill continues Congress’s bipartisan commitment of fully funding security assistance for Israel."
The House bill is strongly pro-Israel, in both operational measures, which stipulate funding levels for Israel, in measures against Arab states, and in declarations. The statement says, "The bill reaffirms support for Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital by requiring that Jerusalem be identified as Israel’s capital on relevant US Government documents, and requires the Executive Branch to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem by the start of 2014. It also expresses Congress’s opposition to the Arab League Boycott of Israel. The bill states that it shall be US policy to uphold the reassurances provided by the President of the United States in an April 2004 letter to the Prime Minister of Israel, which reassured US support for secure, defensible borders for Israel and for Israel’s qualitative military edge, and stated that it is unrealistic to expect negotiated final borders to parallel the pre-1967 lines."
Other clauses stipulate as follows:
- Prohibits further security assistance to Egypt until the President certifies that the Government of Egypt is not directly or indirectly controlled by a Foreign Terrorist Organization; is fully implementing its peace treaty with Israel; and is actively destroying tunnels used to smuggle materials into Gaza.
- Prohibits further security assistance to Lebanon until the President certifies that no members of Hezbollah hold policy positions in any ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the government.
- Prohibits further security assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until the President certifies that no members of Hamas hold policy positions in any ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the government; that the PA is dismantling the extremist infrastructure in Gaza and West Bank; that the PA is actively halting anti-Israel incitement; and that the PA recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 21, 2011
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011
You comment was recieved and soon will be published.
Load more comments
The Knesset seat electoral threshold will rise to 3.25%.
US transfers $429m for Iron Dome
The funds are for procurement of the short-range missile interceptor systems.
Gov't set to approve Israel-US tax pact
The economic social cabinet will soon approve the information sharing agreement with the US IRS.
Netanyahu: We won't abandon housing front
The prime minister promises to be as active on economic as on diplomatic problems.
Republican claims on Israel missile cuts unfounded
Republican allegations that Obama has reduced funding to joint US-Israeli missile defense programs are inaccurate.
Israel and California sign R&D agreement
The agreement covers water, cyber security, energy and storage technology.
Truth is proving stranger than folktale as Turkey's spins out of Prime Minister Erdogan's control.
Prof. Zvi Eckstein supports NIS 3.30-3.40/$ floor rate
The former deputy Bank of Israel Governor is the first senior figure from the financial system to advocate a floor rate.
2014 will be year of change
Forces reshaping the Middle East are coming to a head, with Russia taking a close interest, and the West seemingly indifferent.
Gains and losses for Middle East secularists
Recent developments in Egypt, Syria and Turkey have clarified some issues, and obfuscated others.
Developing robots for warfare
Israeli research sees the future battlefield dominated by robots and unmanned devices.
Geneva changes Middle East strategic map
As the consequences of the nuclear agreement with Iran emerge, regional powers are scrambling to adapt.
Egypt has no time to lose
Unless economic reforms are introduced quickly, the country is liable to relapse into Islamic extremism.
Strange goings on in Turkey
Two recent decisions by Turkish prime minister Erdoğan make it look as though he is losing his grip.
See you in six months, Rouhani
Israel may look isolated over the nuclear deal with Iran, but the cards could yet fall its way.
China is changing
The Third Plenum of the Communist Party of the Peoples' Republic of China marks a turning-point in all areas of Chinese life - with consequences for Israel.
French gov't proposes building 2 Tel Aviv light rail lines
The Green Line from Herzliya to Holon and the Purple Line from Kiryat Ono to Tel Aviv would cost NIS 30 billion to build.
Israel's factious coalition looks wobbly on Iran
Besides US opposition, the state of Israel's government makes an attack on Iran unlikely.
Budget cuts threaten 10,000 defense industry jobs
Senior executives warn many factories are in danger of closing due to the drying up of defense ministry's orders.