US Senators' letter backs full controversial military funding for Israel in 2023

US Senators' letter backs full controversial military funding for Israel in 2023
A bipartisan senators' letter is backing full funding for $US 500 million in joint missile programmes between the United States and Israel.
2 min read
Washington, D.C.
24 May, 2022
A bipartisan senators' letter is showing US support for full funding of $US 500 million for cooperative military programmes with Israel. [Getty]

A bipartisan letter of support for Israeli military funding has been signed by 44 US senators, according to a report by Jewish Insider, which obtained a copy of the letter, led by Democratic Senator Kristin Gillibrand and Republican Senator Mike Rounds.

The letter, addressed to Richard Shelby, a ranking member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and Jon Tester, who chairs the Senate Appropriations defence subcommittee, seeks $US 500 million for continued support for what they describe as a "collaborative defence programme", including Iron Dome, David's Sling, and Arrow, and continued cooperative work on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) "to meet the United States' and Israel's national security needs."

The letter goes on to describe the US and Israel's history of joint military collaboration, pointing to bipartisan support for "missile defence collaboration" that dates back to 1986 and notes a 2016 memorandum of understanding between the two countries for military assistance, which significantly increased military funding for advanced capabilities for the annual $US 3.8 billion in US military aid to Israel.

The letter also notes the importance of countering Iran and its proxies, the flow of data to support US service members, in addition to supporting industrial jobs in the US.

The letter's signatories cover the spectrum of political ideologies, from conservative Republicans to progressive Democrats.