Herzog Urges Early Deal for U.S. Military Aid

YERUSHALAYIM -

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog has told a delegation of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations that, contrary to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s view that he might have to wait for the next U.S. president, Israel should agree to a military aid package as soon as possible.

“We need to preserve our qualitative military edge, which requires coming to terms with the [Obama] administration as fast as possible,” Herzog was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as telling the Jewish leaders on Tuesday. “It is vital that we keep that edge. We have to be ready to present our case on the international front.”

According to a Defense News report, the current U.S. offer would start at an annual $3.8 billion in 2018, and grow incrementally until the total over the 10-year period reaches more than $40b. Israel has requested $5 billion annually.

Herzog accused Netanyahu of causing damage to the vital bilateral relationship.

“I think Obama contributed dramatically to the well-being and security of Israel,” Herzog said. “We have to be willing to work intimately with Obama without a condescending attitude. That was my main criticism of Netanyahu.”