RAMALLAH, Feb 15 (JMCC) - The Obama administration delivered a budget request to Congress Monday that included a record $3.075 billion in military aid to Israel.
The administration's proposal was criticized by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a coalition of 350 organizations lobbying for a change in US policy towards Israel
With the United States facing an ongoing budget deficit and an unsustainable debt, it is difficult to believe that President Obama would actually request an increase in US military aid to Israel, stated Josh Ruebner, the group's advocacy director, especially given the fact that Israel misuses US military aid to commit systematic human rights abuses of Palestinians in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.
Ruebner went on to call for a moratorium on US weapons transfers to Israel.
Funding for Israel has long been considered sacrosanct in Washington, where the pro-Israel lobby is extremely powerful.
But speaking to the press last month, Republican Senator Rand Paul called for an end to US military aid to Israel. Republicans are proposing deep cuts to the US budget in order to cut back on a deficit forecast to be in the range of $1.48 trillion to $1.65 trillion just this year, or 9.8 percent to 10.9 percent of US GDP.
A Republican bill making its way through the House of Representatives would cut State Department and USAID budgets by some 16 percent this year compared to 2010 at a time when political uncertainty reins in the Mideast following Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's ouster.