The newly-released full text of the “Memorandum of understanding” (MOU) signed between Israel and the Obama administration granting billions in “aid” to the Jewish ethnostate has revealed “escape clauses” which the White House never released, and which will allow Israel to bypass limitations on additional funding and spending on U.S. military contractors.
The MOU was released after a Freedom of Information request made by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) in Washington D.C.
According to a statement released by IRmep director Grant Smith, the September 14, 2016, MOU pledged $38 billion in “security assistance” to Israel over a ten-year period.
“However, the Obama administration claimed two key differences on its MOU web page,” Smith wrote.
“First, Israel is not allowed to lobby Congress for hundreds of millions in additional funds from its embassy and US affinity organizations.
“Second, more of the ten-year allotment must be spent on US military contractors rather than inside Israel.”
However, he continued, a study of the text of the written agreement—which the White House never released and which was only finally released to IRmep just before Christmas 2016, revealed it contains “escape clauses” which “make such limitations unlikely.”
Furthermore, Smith continued, the “most worrying” part of the MOU is that it “dangles Israel a blank check if it launches war on its neighbors, while continuing to provide the IDF with the free food and fuel it would need to sustain such a conflict.”
“Detailed annual aid schedules and escape clauses within the MOU appear to refute claims that more of the package must absolutely be spent in the United States, in contrast to a September White House announcement,” Smith wrote, quoting the White House as follows:
Off shore Procurement (the arrangement under the current MOU through which Israel has been uniquely permitted to spend 26.3 percent of its annual FMF package within Israel on non-U.S. products) and Israel’s use of FMF funds to purchase fuel—means that Israel will spend more funding, as much as $1.2 billion per year, on the advanced military capabilities that only the United States can provide. The acquisition of additional U.S.-produced capabilities and technology provide the best means to ensure Israel preserves its Qualitative Military Edge (QME).
“The Obama administration cites the discontinuance of ‘anomalies’ such as aid funding Israel’s export-driven arms industry and facilitating Israeli purchases of US commodities, rather than high-tech US military hardware,” Smith continued.
“However, under the new MOU, up to 28 percent of total funds could be spent in Israel over the life of the agreement.
“That is because Israel could insist on receiving 100 percent of missile defense funds—rather than the recommended 50 percent—in ‘production memoranda of agreement’ for such systems.
“Further, if only $1.2 billion per year are spent on ‘advanced military capabilities’ from the US as mentioned in the MOU, it would allow Israel’s “purchases” of low value-added US commodities, such as food and fuel, to be $1.2–2.1 billion per year.”
Put another way, Smith said, “Israel could ‘gear up’ for military conflicts by spending 52 to 64 percent of its ‘aid’ allocation sourced from the US on food for the IDF and fuel for ground vehicles and aircraft.”
It is often argued that this “aid” to Israel benefits U.S. military contractors, but, as IRmep research shows, these U.S. companies “have inconsequential direct Israel revenues.”
Under the new MOU, the possibility of the U.S. companies in question even receiving anything at all is “in doubt, because the MOU is silent whether U.S. based subsidiaries of Israeli military contractors, such as IAI North America and Elbit Systems of America, count as ‘Israeli’ or ‘U.S.’ vendors.”
Smith added that it was “troubling” that the new MOU, “like its predecessor, continues to permit lavish subsidies for basic supplies—food and fuel—core to the offensive needs of the IDF, rather than the purely high-tech “defensive” infrastructure touted by the White House.”
“At its worst, the MOU could incentivize Israel to engage in offensive war, in order to be permitted to lobby congress for funding framed as ‘key to its survival.’ In the MOU, Israel pledges not to seek additional funding ‘except in exceptional circumstances…such as in the event of a major armed conflict involving Israel.’”
Furthermore, Smith said, the “MOU is silent on whether Israel is allowed to seek additional funding if it is clearly the aggressor. The only requirement is that it is ‘jointly agreed by the US administration and Israel’ that there are indeed ‘exceptional circumstances’ that demand MOU limits be broken.”
As Smith concluded, in the “decades spanning Israel’s existence since 1948, military conflicts have been much more the rule than exception.”
IRmep filed a lawsuit in federal court in August 2016 to block U.S. foreign aid to Israel and claw back aid illegally delivered since 1976.