Barak: Netanyahu-Obama fight cost Israel $4.5b


Lindsey Graham of SC says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could have gotten a better deal if he had waited until President Barack Obama left office. And a new USA president, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, would be more generous too, he said on a conference call arranged by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

"Israel will receive $3.8 billion a year - an important contribution to our security but far less than what could have been obtained before the prime minister chose to blatantly interfere with U.S. politics", Barak wrote in the Post op-ed.

While National Security Advisor Susan Rice insists the aid deal is separate from the issue of a two-state solution, others consider Obama's statement a not-so-subtle message.

Graham's main objection is a letter he says Israeli officials signed promising to give back any money that Congress appropriates above the amount negotiated in the deal.

"I love him - in Israel", said one woman, in the video, posted on Facebook by Israel Army Radio.

Graham, a hawkish, pro-Israel Republican from SC, told reporters September 14 that the 10-year, $38 billion pledge was too little and the White House wrongly sought to stop Congress from adding to it. Under the previous arrangement, Congress approved funds for Israel's "Iron Dome" missile defense system separately and on an annual basis.

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The U.S. and Israel signed the agreement Wednesday after months of negotiations conducted amid the tension between the two nations created by the nuclear deal with Iran. Graham said he also pushed for a $300 million hike in the foreign military financing account. We are not going to be bound by that.

To solve the crisis, Netanyahu offered the White House a pledge, that Israel would not lobby Congress for additional funds beyond those agreed in the new aid package without the White House's consent.

Graham said there is ample support in Congress among Republicans and Democrats for providing Israel with more military aid.

"We can adjust these numbers, but it's usually done in consultation with the administration", Cardin said.

Graham suggested that Netanyahu's decision to sign the agreement was influenced by internal Israeli politics. However, "Graham wasn't persuaded", Nagel said. However, starting in the sixth year, Israel will gradually wean itself off of this special aid - known as offshore procurement - so that by the end of the agreement, all FMF funding will be spent in the United States.

3 years ago, Barak was in the government alongside Netanyahu.