On December 13, 2014, Congress approved $3.1 billion in security assistance for Israel as part of the fiscal year 2015 omnibus appropriations bill. The assistance represents the seventh year of a 10-year agreement to provide the Jewish state with the necessary resources to defend itself amid rising threats in the region.
The bill included a total of $619.8 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense programs, with $351 million designated for Iron Dome. The remaining $268.8 million is allocated for cooperative programs, including David’s Sling, Arrow-2 improvements, and Arrow-3.
U.S. security assistance to Israel in the annual foreign aid bill is the most tangible manifestation of American support, especially during a time of tremendous turmoil in the Middle East. American aid is a vital component of U.S. commitments to ensure that the Jewish state maintains its qualitative military edge over its adversaries.
It is also critical that the United States maintain a robust overall foreign aid budget. To preserve America’s safety, security and prosperity, the United States must remain engaged in the world and have the resources to do so successfully. A strong foreign aid budget enables us to support key allies like Israel, pave the way for Washington’s diplomatic efforts, spur our job-creating exports and help prevent unstable areas from becoming breeding grounds for terror.
Fulfilling a 10-Year Agreement
In 2007, the United States and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Israel that pledged $30 billion in U.S. security assistance to Israel over a 10-year period, beginning in 2009. The passage of $3.1 billion for Israel in fiscal year 2015 fulfilled the seventh year of that pledge.
Ensuring Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge
The 10-year agreement embodies America’s commitment to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge over its adversaries on the battlefield.
Confronting Growing Threats
Though America clearly faces a tough budgetary environment, American security assistance is vital in helping Israel meet the growing challenges of a region in turmoil, a potential nuclear Iran, Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza, and a resurgent Hezbollah in Lebanon armed with more than 100,000 rockets and missiles.