Thursday, July 27, 2006

Israel won't ask U.S. for special war aid


"Israel will not make a request for special U.S. aid for the war in the North, according to senior government sources.

The decision not ask the Americans for additional help was made in spite of the tremendous pressures on the budget, and in spite of the fact that for the first time in many years the budget framework may be exceeded in 2007.

There were three reasons behind the decision not to ask the U.S. for additional aid. First, the failure last year to obtain any special aid for the disengagement from Gaza − which initially stood at NIS 1.15 billion. This failure showed that the Americans − with their own enormous budget deficits − were in no hurry to pass further aid for Israel, even when the cause was justified.

Another reason is that Israel does not want to be seen as begging for a handout. There are serious worries that this would harm Israel's economic image in the world; after years of presenting Israel as a strong and stable economy, and an attractive destination for foreign investors.

The third reason, and probably the most important, is that Israel wants to start negotiating with the U.S. over future aid − and it wants to start off from a position of strength."

No comments: