Republican Senator Lindsey Graham in the way of U.S.-Israel military aid deal

According to reports in the Washington Post, the agreement on the military aid package that Israel is to receive from the U.S. has not been signed yet due to the opposition of one person – Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who insists that Israel receive a larger aid package.
Netanyahu, Obama and the Iron Dome. Archives Photo Credit: GPO / Channel 2 News

Following the reports of disagreements between Washington and Jerusalem with regards to the military aid package Israel is to receive from the United States, it was revealed last night (Sunday) that the agreement between the sides has yet to be signed due to one person – Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. According to the reports in the Washington Post, Israel and the U.S. had already agreed on the details of the aid package several weeks ago but Graham, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the foreign affairs budget, has impeded the signing of the agreement.

According to the report, Graham insisted that Israel receive more than the amount allocated to it by the White House. The Republican senator noted that the administration asked Netanyahu to talk to him in order to promote the signing of the agreement to which he responded that the U.S. administration could “go to hell.” Graham explained that Netanyahu has stated that Israel is willing to sign the agreement as is but has not asked him to give up his demands in front of the White House.

Opposes the agreement. Graham Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Meanwhile, the White House has demanded that Graham refrain from promoting an alternative military aid package from the U.S. Congress. Graham has already drafted a bill that opts to give Israel 3.4 billion dollars next year, more than the amount the White House has negotiated. Graham discussed the issue with Netanyahu and clarified that the U.S. Congress is not committed to the agreement with the White House to which Netanyahu replied by stressing that Israel needs the money because “the threats are real.”

“We can’t have the executive branch dictating what the legislative branch will do for a decade based on an agreement we are not a party to,” Graham claimed in his defense. One of the main issues in dispute is the funding of Israel’s missile defense systems, which the White House has asked to include in the current agreement rather than in an outside deal.

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