Support Assistance for Israel and Foreign Aid

The United States has long defined Israel’s survival and security as important to its national interests. Accordingly, America provides Israel—the sole democracy in the Middle East—with annual security assistance to help it defend itself, by itself, against mounting threats across the region.

Please urge your members of Congress to cosponsor the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 5141 and S. 2497)—authored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Coons (D-DE) and Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL).

This bipartisan bill seeks to ensure Israel has the means necessary to defend itself, by itself, against a range of growing and emerging threats. Additionally, please urge your members of Congress to support $3.3 billion in security assistance to Israel and $500 million in cooperative missile defense funding for fiscal year 2019, as called for in the 2015 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding on security assistance.

Key Points

Why is U.S. support crucial to Israel’s security?

Annual security assistance to Israel is the most tangible manifestation of American support for the Jewish state. This assistance primarily takes the form of funding for Israel to purchase the arms needed to defend itself from its adversaries. Israel faces serious threats on its northern border from Iran’s growing presence in Syria and Hezbollah’s army in Lebanon. Israel continues to face significant challenges from Hamas in the Gaza Strip, ISIS in the Sinai and Iran’s looming nuclear program. Israel also faces other emerging threats—such as cyber, ballistic missiles and drones. In response, Israel has been forced to strengthen its armed forces and spend more on defense as a percentage of GDP than any other nation in the industrialized world.

How does investing in Israel benefit the United States?

In an increasingly uncertain Middle East, Israel is the one stable democratic ally upon which America can consistently depend. Cooperation between the two countries in intelligence, homeland security, missile defense and counterterrorism has helped the United States meet its growing security challenges. And as a result of their strong friendship, the Israel Defense Forces and the U.S. military share technologies and techniques that greatly benefit both nations.

What is QME?

Qualitative Military Edge (QME) is a core element of American policy to maintain Israel’s ability to counter and defeat any credible conventional military threat, while sustaining minimal damages and casualties. In 2008, Congress wrote America’s long-standing commitment to Israel’s QME into law and required the president to continually access whether Israel’s QME is being maintained.

Why Does American Security Require a Robust Foreign Aid Budget?

A robust foreign aid budget is an essential element of America’s national security strategy. Disproportionate cuts to the foreign aid budget will weaken America’s leadership role in the world. At just one percent of the federal budget, foreign aid is a cost-effective and relatively small investment that saves U.S. taxpayer money by helping prevent more costly wars, crises and disasters.

How Can I Get Involved?

Please urge your members of Congress to cosponsor the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 5141 and S. 2497). This bipartisan bill seeks to ensure Israel can defend itself, by itself, against the growing threats it faces. Authored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Coons (D-DE) in the Senate and Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) in the House of Representatives, the legislation supports full funding of security assistance to Israel as outlined in the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding on security assistance. Please urge your members of Congress to support $3.3 billion in security assistance to Israel and $500 million in cooperative missile defense funding for fiscal year 2019, as called for in the U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding on security assistance.

Contact Congress

Please urge your members of Congress to support the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018.

 

Take Action