Jul 26 2016

Graham on Israel and Defense Memorandum of Understanding

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on news Israel and the Obama Administration will begin negotiating a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on military assistance next week. Graham has strongly pushed for additional defense funding for Israel.

“Recent press reports about the MOU negotiations between the Obama Administration and Israel are creating great concern on my part.

“I wish President Obama would be as hard on Iran as he has been on Israel. Now is not the time to be nickel and diming Israel. It’s time we show mutual enemies like Iran that the relationship between the United States and Israel has never been stronger.

“I just returned from a visit to Israel where Prime Minister Netanyahu and his team indicated there were growing threats from Iran, Hezbollah, and others. Iran has already provided hundreds of precision-guided missiles to Hezbollah which are game-changers when it comes to Israel’s security. I continue to believe the need for additional assistance to protect Israel from these threats is clear.

“I sincerely hope Israel will not capitulate to the demands of the Obama Administration and Susan Rice who, in my view, does not understand and appreciate the threats Israel faces from Iran and other bad actors in the region.

“I fear the Obama Administration will also pursue changes which hurt Israel’s long term security and in turn, American national security.

“The Obama Administration is seemingly insistent that we phase out terms and conditions beneficial to Israeli home-grown defense industries. A significant number of these cutting-edge technologies find their way back into American defense weapons and save the lives of American troops.

“The Obama Administration’s approach to the negotiations creates an odd situation – America will be phasing out support to Israeli defense industries and disallowing the IDF to use American support to purchase fuel, while at the same time enriching the Ayatollah’s military capability by phasing in sanctions relief. That’s not a good combination for Israel or the United States.

“I will monitor these negotiations very closely. I believe there remains strong bipartisan support in support of additional assistance to Israel. I fear these decisions may end up being penny-wise, pound foolish.”



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