With the coronavirus pandemic putting the US in potential economic crisis, Israeli officials are keen to get as much military aid out of the Americans, and as quickly, as they can. The requests seek the aid delivery well ahead of schedule, and potentially double the agreed amount.
Israel is expected to present this as their own coronavirus-related need, with some officials saying that since US aid tends to be spent heavily on US arms, produced in US factories, it should be easy to present it as domestic spending, not foreign aid.
A lot of officials are at least reasonably sure that this will work enough that Israel’s aid isn’t in serious threat, despite the US economic woes, but some are saying this isn’t a good time to try to ask for more, and risk making the aid into a political issue at a time when a lot of people have their hands out.
Some experts are saying Israel should hold back the requests, and with the possibility that the US may consider foreign aid cuts across the board, that Israel shouldn’t ask for any exemptions.
Israel’s position, as it so often is, seems to be divided between the assumption that they can always squeeze a little more out of the US, and concerns that if they press the US at the wrong time, they may risk starting a longer-term rift for what could be a protracted period of economic weakness.
This article was originally featured at Antiwar.com and is reprinted with permission.