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Why the U.S. Won't Cut Ties with Israel, No Matter How Extreme Its Government Gets

A thick web of military-strategic ties is at the heart of the US-Israeli relationship.

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•            President Obama asked Congress for $205 million to support Israel’s deployment of the Iron Dome rocket defense system, … in addition to the $3 billion budgetary request the Administration had  already made for security assistance for Israel.

•            In June 2009, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2410, the “Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal years 2010 and 2011”.  This bill, introduced by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), authorizes appropriations to Israel; amends the Arms-Export Control Act to authorize the President to export spare and replacement parts or components of defense items to Israel; amends the Arms Export Control Act to require  the Administration to certify  that an arms sale to another Middle Eastern country does not  threaten  Israel's qualitative military edge (QME);  authorizes appropriations for co-development of  missile  defense projects with Israel, including the Arrow, David's Sling, and Iron Dome systems; and expresses the sense of Congress that Israel has the inalienable right to defend itself in the face of an imminent nuclear or military threat from Iran as well as from terrorist organizations and the countries that harbor them.

That’s what they want to brag about – so maybe they’re not so embarrassed after all. Defense Minister Barak comes to Washington because he’s in charge of Israel’s military – and that’s what the U.S. is interested in.  And boy does that make the work of the pro-Israel lobbies and the arms profiteers easier!

Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, and serves on the steering committee of the US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation. Her books include Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer .

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