Republican Jewish Coalition posts web ad accusing Obama of cutting
missile defense aid to Israel. Democrats point to large cut in US
missile defense program
WASHINGTON – In the latest effort to use Israel as a partisan wedge
during the 2012 election year, the Republican Jewish Coalition
released on Sunday an internet video against US President Barack
Titled "Security" the video bashes Obama for cutting $6 million in
missile defense aid to Israel. The ad accuses Obama of seeking
to "weaken Israel´s security just when it needs it the most".
However, the ad ignores the fact that Washington increased security
aid to Israel for 2013. There is also no reference to the fact that
the US missile defense program was also cut by $700 million.
"President Obama´s rhetoric have you believe he´s doing all he can
for Israel´s security. In reality he wants to slash American support
for Israel´s critical defense," RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks
says in the ad.
The Obama administration has recently asked Congress to budget $99.8
million for Israel´s defense systems in 2013, a $6 million cut
compared to 2012´s $106.1 million. However, the $6 million cut is
only a small part of the overall $700 million cut in the US missile
defense development program.
In spite of the cut, the overall security aid to Israel will be
increased in 2013 by $250 million, reaching $3.1 billion according to
the US-Israel security aid agreement. Republicans, on their part,
wish to depict Obama as disregarding Israel´s security and are
calling on the public to urge the White House to withdraw the cut.
Historically, US presidents and congressmen of both parties supported
defense aid to Israel for the most part. In recent years Congress
doubled the aid requested by the White House, and is expected to do
so again this year.
During his tenure, President George W. Bush signed a 10-year security
aid deal with Israel, an agreement still respected by Obama. The $205
million aid package for the development of missile defense systems
was pushed by Obama, with the hope of expediting the deployment of
National Jewish Democratic Council President David Harris said that
under President Obama the largest-ever military aid package for
Israel was made in a time of a difficult budgetary climate.
"This is yet another example of how President Obama continues to
stand with Israel," Harris said.
He argued: "This is the President who initiated the building of the
Iron Dome missile defense shield and secured the funding to make it a