Dirty politics…but I hope it puts things in perspective.
By: Matthew Yglesias
What drives the overwhelming congressional support for Israel that’s such a striking element of American politics? For some members, it’s genuine passion. For others, it has to do with public opinion. But another real consideration that’s rarely discussed in daylight is fundraising. Memos written by consultants working for Michelle Nunn, the Democrats’ candidate in Georgia, and leaked to National Review in an effort to make Nunn look bad lay it out.
This excerpt, in particular, is a great window into how it works:
American Senate defence subcommittees approves a new bill, which provides $621 million for Israel’s Iron Dome System. This bill solidifies the US’s stance on this conflict, proving that they value Israel’s safety over Palestine’s.
Senate defense subcommittee approves new spending bill providing $621 million for Israeli missile defense.
The US Congress is showing tangible support for longtime ally Israel as Gaza militants fire rockets, backing a measure that would double the amount of money for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee approved a defense spending bill on Tuesday that would provide $621.6 million for Israeli missile defense, including $351 million for the Iron Dome system that intercepts short-range rockets and mortars. In the latest hostilities between Israel and Hamas, Iron Dome has been successful in shooting down rockets and preventing Israeli deaths.
“It works,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat and chairman of the subcommittee.
Since 1988 and the early days of US-Israeli cooperation on missile defense, presidents have proposed a specific amount for the program knowing full well that members of Congress will increase the funds, especially after they hear from Israel.
Overall, the defense bill would provide $549.3 billion for the fiscal year beginning October 1. The bill spares several of the weapons programs that the Pentagon had proposed scaling back or eliminating, including the A-10 Warthog, the close air support aircraft and the USS George Washington aircraft carrier.
Durbin emphasized research and development within the military. The bill would provide $25 million to fund a competition to develop a new domestic rocket engine. Durbin said reliance on a Russian-built version made no sense.