On March 1, if the White House and Congress do not reach a deal, the automatic budget sledgehammer known as the “sequester” will cut $1.2 trillion out of government spending, equally divided between domestic programs and the military.
These cuts would be devastating but, at this point, they could very well happen.
Here is my question? Will AIPAC succeed in getting an exemption for Israel programs, the largest item by far on the foreign aid side?
Already AIPAC’s cutouts on the Hill are getting ready to save Israel’s aid. At the Hagel confirmation hearing last week, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) who combines Chuck Schumer’s zealousness in serving AIPAC with utter ignorance of foreign policy, asked Hagel point blank if he would ensure that Israel’s aid would be kept at current levels if the sequester takes place. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) has chimed in on the devastating effects sequestration would have on poor Marylanders and on Israel.
Our commitment to Israel and its security is unprecedented and unwavering. U.S. security assistance to Israel in the annual foreign aid and defense appropriation bills are the most tangible manifestation of American support to one of our strongest allies. These critical funds are especially vital during this time of tremendous turmoil in the Middle East, particularly as Iran is aggressively working to acquire a nuclear-weapon capability. Indeed, our military and intelligence cooperation with Israel has never been closer.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, and, in this time of turmoil, we count on Israel as a strong, stabilizing force in that region. With the on-going civil war in Syria, an uncertain government in Egypt and the growing threat of a nuclear Iran, America’s support for Israel must continue.
This is not the time to financially cripple our own nation or that of our allies. Too many nations are watching for any weakness in our national resolve or lack of support for our allies. I believe sequestration would be a self-inflicted wound that would not only endanger our nation’s economic recovery, but also jeopardize our prestige and influence in the world.
The usual AIPAC blah blah,
It is hard to believe that AIPAC would dare exempt Israel from cuts that are going to impact every American or that it will exempt the IDF from cuts that will affect the US Armed Forces. Or that it will preserve the largest item in the foreign aid budget intact thereby forcing proportionately larger cuts on USAID programs to combat hunger, illiteracy and poverty in Asia, Africa and the Americas.
On the other hand, AIPAC is shameless and so are their wholly owned subsidiaries in Congress.
Let’s keep an eye on this. Letting AIPAC know that we are watching might prevent its latest run on the bank.