Sandy Rios told listeners of her radio show yesterday that President Obama is “no friend to Israel,” and even went so far as to suggest that the president is trying to cut off aid to the country while “sending aid to their enemies, the people they are fighting.”
While speaking with conservative writer Sarah Stern, Rios insisted that Obama wants “no aid to Israel, just aid to Hamas.”
Rios, of course, is brazenly misleading her audience, as Israel currently receives more U.S. aid than any other country, far outstripping even nations like Afghanistan.
The case for Obama’s Israel policy begins with record-high levels of Foreign Military Financing (FMF). The Obama administration has increased security assistance to Israel every single year since the president took office, providing nearly $10 billion in aid — covering roughly a fifth of Israel’s defense budget — over the past three years. To put this in perspective, this is about 20 percent higher than the remaining six dozen recipients of U.S. FMF combined. Historic aid levels have been complemented by other steps to ensure Israel’s unrivaled military advantage in the region, including high-level consultation with Israeli officials on U.S. arms sales to the region, operational cooperation to improve Israel’s conventional military and counterterrorism capabilities, and providing Israel with advanced technology, such as the fifth-generation stealth Joint Strike Fighter, to which no other state in the Middle East has access.
Under Obama’s direction, the United States has also deepened defense cooperation aimed at helping Israel address its most pressing security concerns, including rocket and missile threats emanating from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. When then-Senator Obama traveled to Israel in 2008, it wasn’t for a political fundraiser. Instead, he visited Israeli victims of Palestinian rocket fire in the southern town of Sderot, declaring “I came to Sderot with a commitment to Israel’s security.” These were not just words. As president, Obama has championed efforts to provide Israel with $275 million over and above its annual FMF to help finance Iron Dome, an anti-rocket system that has already saved Israeli lives by intercepting approximately 90 percent of projectiles launched against protected areas in the country’s south in the past year.