Skip to main content

Could Israel have gotten more than $38 billion in security aid?

Responding to criticism by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak over the size of the US security aid secured by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the latter argued that Barak is not up-to-date on the facts.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, September 18, 2016. REUTERS/Dan Balilty/Pool - RTSO8IN
Read in 

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak recently stated that the security aid package — the Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU — signed by the United States and Israel is lousy. Then, in the very midst of yet another combative interview given by Barak to the media Sept. 15, he was asked by presenter Yonit Levy on Channel 2 if his assessment is based on concrete information transmitted to him. Barak answered as if brushing aside an annoying fly: “I have been dealing with this for 30 years from close up, in all the negotiations except for those of the last three years. ... I know exactly how people in Israel and Washington think, and I know that we could have received 4.5 billion [dollars a year for 10 years] and much deeper contact with American intelligence regarding keeping tabs on Iran. Also, [we could have gotten] practical dialogue with [US President Barack Obama] on possible sanctions [against Iran] and even the military option. All this was on the table.”

Levy’s question was a valid one, and the answer given by the former prime minister did not exactly convince the observer that Barak has inside information.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.