On Feb. 9, President Barack Obama submitted his fiscal year 2017 budget to Congress, including $3.1 billion in security assistance for Israel. This funding is in accordance with the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the United States and Israel.
Today, Israel faces an unprecedented array of threats stemming from the growing instability gripping the Middle East. These challenges require Israel to significantly increase its defense expenditures. America must continue to help ensure that Israel has the resources to respond decisively to threats ranging from Hezbollah in the near term to a potentially nuclear-armed Iran in the longer term.
The current MOU expires in 2018, and discussions between the two allies are underway on the terms of a new agreement. On April 25, 83 senators, led by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), sent a bipartisan letter to the president calling for a quick conclusion of a new MOU with Israel that includes robust levels of security assistance. Please thank your senators
that signed the letter.
On May 13, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Kay Granger (R-TX) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) introduced a bipartisan resolution (H. Res. 729
) that expresses support for a swift conclusion to a new, expanded MOU. Please urge your representative to support this bipartisan measure. Please also continue to urge your members of Congress to support full funding for security assistance to Israel this year—$3.1 billion—and for an increase in future aid to ensure the Jewish state’s growing defense needs are met.