Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and their staff members, render honors during the playing of the national anthem during an honor arrival ceremony in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 24, 2011. Defense Department photo by Cherie Cullen (released)
Congress has approved missile defense money for Israel to the tune of $200 million.
According to The Washington Free Beacon:
Congress approved $200 million in funding for Israel’s critical missile defense programs as part of the annual U.S. defense spending package, according to a review of the legislation that was approved earlier this week.
The National Defense Authorization Act, the sprawling yearly spending bill, allocates $108 million to Iron Dome, Israel’s chief defense against rocket attacks from Hamas and other Iran-armed terror group. This funding will allow Israel to procure the components necessary to keep Iron Dome operating in the face of mounting regional threats. Some of that money will also make its way back to the United States since the system relies on components made in America.
David’s Sling, which is designed to intercept enemy planes, drones, and ballistic missiles—such as those fired by Iran—is slated to receive $30 million. The Arrow 3 Upper Tier Interceptor system, which is capable of destroying a ballistic missile in space, was given $62 million. The funding for all of these defense systems will provide a future bulwark against Israel’s enemies, which continue to develop their own advanced weapons primarily with Tehran’s assistance. The money will also help Israel maintain Iron Dome and its other systems after they were severely strained in May of this year, when Hamas fired thousands of rockets at civilian targets during a several week period of violence.
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R., Colo.), who spearheaded the funding initiatives and ensured they remained in the final version of the NDAA, told the Washington Free Beacon that it is important to prioritize Israel’s missile defense in the face of mounting Democratic opposition to such programs. House Democrats on the party’s leftward flank have become increasingly vocal in their oppositions to U.S.-Israel security cooperation. Reps. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), two of the House’s most vocal anti-Israel antagonists, have sought to block military aid to Israel and have brought many other Democrats to their side in recent years.
This is a big win for Israel-US relations and a loss for Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib who are opponents of Israel.