NEW YORK, Sept. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC praised the U.S. and Israel for signing a milestone Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that upgrades and extends for another ten years the current military aid program.
"Bravo to the Administration for achieving this path-breaking agreement with Israel," said AJC CEO David Harris. "The MOU demonstrates once again America's steadfast commitment to Israel's security and to the enduring bonds between Washington and Jerusalem."
The MOU provides for $38 billion in U.S. military aid to Israel over a decade, starting in 2019. Part of the annual $3.8 billion in assistance, $500 million, will support Israeli missile defense. Previous U.S. aid was critical in supporting the development of Israel's state-of-the-art Iron Dome anti-missile system.
Significantly, Israel will spend increasing amounts of the military assistance in the U.S., beginning at the current rate of about 75 percent of the aid and rising to a full 100 percent by the conclusion of the MOU. This will be a boon to the American defense industry.
"Strategic cooperation between the U.S. and Israel has long been a critical component of the U.S.-Israel relationship built solidly on shared interests and values," said Harris. "The vital assistance provided by the MOU will reinforce that bilateral cooperation, and assure Israel's qualitative military edge against very clear threats to both Israel and the U.S. in the most volatile region of the world."
Addressing the AJC Global Forum in June in Washington, President Obama's National Security Advisor Susan Rice said the MOU would be "the single largest military assistance package – with any country – in American history." She emphasized at today's signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., that the "MOU underscores the U.S. will always be there for the state of Israel and the Israeli people – today, tomorrow, and for generations to come."
Thomas Shannon, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and Jacob Nagel, acting head of Israel's National Security Council, signed the MOU. "This agreement is a great blessing for the State of Israel in the coming year," Nagel said.
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SOURCE American Jewish Committee