The United States and Israel last week signed a new 10-year memorandum of understanding. The Anti-Defamation League hailed the announcement, noting that the new MOU "provides Israel with the largest defense aid package in American history - $38 billion over the next decade." Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) said that "our relationship with Israel should not be up for debate and I'm very pleased the Administration has reached this agreement supporting the Israeli people and their security."
This fact sheet demonstrates that "under President Obama's leadership, the multifaceted cooperation between the United States and Israel has reached unprecedented levels. This is particularly true with regard to the security of Israel. The new 10-year security assistance Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to Israel is the most recent reflection of President Obama's unshakeable commitment to Israel's security."
For more background, read this from Ron Kampeas.
For the first time, funding for Israel's missile defense is included in the MOU. Ambassador Susan Rice pointed out that "as Israel continues to face the threat of rocket fire, this funding will help Israel to further strengthen missile defense systems like Iron Dome. For years, the United States' funding for Israeli missile defense has been subject to the uncertainty of the annual appropriations process. Some years, the amount of missile defense funding has been unclear for months at a time. Some years, it has even declined. With this funding, Israel will be able to count on a steady multi-year commitment. And greater certainty for Israel will breed greater security for Israel."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also lauded the agreement. AIPAC, which does not hesitate to speak out when it disagrees with President Obama, applauded the MOU and commended "President Obama and his administration for forging this landmark agreement."
David Makovsky of the Washington Institute said "the MOU is an important signal of American support for Israel's security in the years ahead -- in fact, the United States has no comparable arrangement with any other country. The agreement is also a message to Israel's adversaries that Washington's support for its ally remains uniquely deep, despite recent policy disagreements."
No administration, Democratic or Republican, has done more to enhance Israel's security than the Obama administration.
Defying the Nazis. More than 150 community leaders, students, scholars, advocates, Holocaust survivors, and refugees gathered last week in the White House to watch an abbreviated version of filmmakers' Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky's new documentary, Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War. Watch the White House panel discussion of the film, chaired by White House Jewish liaison Chanan Weissman.
Donald Trump poses a real danger to Israel. Ilan Goldenberg, who formerly served in the State and Defense Departments, writes that Trump's "approach to the world, unsteady temperament and lack of basic knowledge and preparation pose a threat not just to the United States but also to its closest allies - including Israel."
Trump finally admitted that President Obama was born in the United States. Hillary Clinton said that "For five years, [Trump] has led the birther movement to delegitimize our first black president. His campaign was founded on this outrageous lie. He's feeding into the worst impulses, the bigotry and bias that lurks in our country. Barack Obama was born in America, plain and simple. And Donald Trump owes him and the American people an apology."
The Clinton campaign condemned Donald Trump Jr.'s offensive comments. Trump Jr. said that the media would be "warming up the gas chamber right now" if the media treated Clinton the way it treats Trump.
Sarah Bard, Hillary's Director of Jewish Outreach, said:
The bottom line is this - offensive references to the Holocaust are never acceptable, especially from a Presidential campaign. This is just the latest string of outrageous comments and offensive actions from the Trump campaign. From imposing a Star of David over a sea of dollar bills in a widely shared graphic, retweeting anti-Semitic white supremacists, to remarks he's made using anti-Semitic stereotypes - the Trump campaign has shown us exactly the type of campaign they are running time and time again, and this campaign will continue to hold them accountable.
Not all of Trump's supporters are bigots or anti-Semites. But everyone who votes for Trump is voting for a campaign steeped in bigotry and anti-Semitism and that appeals to the darkest side of the American psyche.
Did you read Garrison Keiller's post about Hillary? Read it if you're sick of politics and just want a dose of common sense.