If multibillion-dollar weapons deals are any measure, Israel and the US have never been closer.
This past week, despite a reported personal rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the US and Israel signed a pact that contains the largest pledge of military assistance to a single country in US history. The ten-year agreement will provide $3.8 billion of aid yearly to Israel — up from the $3.1 billion awarded to Israel in the countries’ previous decade-long deal.
In justifying the largesse, commentators and officials have pointed to the threat of a resurgent Iran and ISIS. The deal, National Security Advisor Susan Rice said at a press conference, “will ensure that Israel has the support it needs to defend itself.”
Yet the diplomatic platitudes are less illuminating than a statement Netanyahu made a year ago at the Knesset: “I am asked if we will forever live by the sword,” the prime minister said, then gave his answer: “Yes.”