Sen. Lindsey Graham, who oversees the U.S. foreign aid budget, on Friday told a conference call arranged by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs that Israel made a mistake by signing the agreement with the Obama administration, saying that a new U.S. president would have been more generous.
Even before the ink was dry on the new 10-year, $38 billion defense agreement between Israel and the United States, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina threw down the gauntlet and promised to fight the Obama administration over key elements of the deal, including its size. Mr. Graham wants Congress to approve billions more.
“Here is what I would tell Bibi: ‘When members of Congress come to Israel, you do a great job talking about the State of Israel’s needs and threats. Well, don’t tell us about all those needs and when we try to help you, you pull the rug from under us,'” Graham said in a conference call with American Jewish community leaders. “I think that is bad for Israel.”
Graham said there is ample support in Congress among Republicans and Democrats for providing Israel with more military aid. And a new U.S. president, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, would be more generous too, he said on a conference call arranged by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.
"I do think it's important that even a president like President Obama, who many of us don't see as a good friend of Israel, is willing to increase the aid - that is a milestone," said Michael Makovsky of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. "I just don't think it's enough. I think this should be seen as a floor for military aid to Israel, not a ceiling."
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