[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) welcomed today’s announcement that the Obama Administration has secured a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help ensure Israel has the military aid and edge necessary to prepare for, respond to, and defend against threats in the Middle East. Throughout negotiations between the U.S. and Israel, Blumenthal has been an outspoken supporter of a renewed, strengthened MOU to provide for security assistance to our nation’s greatest ally in the Middle East.
“This historic military aid agreement – the largest ever – helps assure that Israel remains secure and stable in an increasingly dangerous neighborhood. Our support for Israel is clear and unquestionable,” Blumenthal said. “This agreement helps ensure that Israel’s military superiority – its qualitative edge – will be unchallengeable. The goal should be that Israel as a vital ally and partner has both strategic and tactical resources to defeat any aggressor. The agreement must be regarded by Congress as a floor, not a ceiling – and should be supplemented by additional support year to year. I will continue fighting to ensure that Congress provides necessary support to this vital ally – which serves above all the national interests and strategic military goals of the United States.”
As a Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Blumenthal has raised the need to renew the MOU with Israel numerous times during committee hearings by directly engaging Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. Blumenthal has also called attention to the issue on the Senate Floor, speaking out about the importance of ensuring that Israel remains a secure, stable, and independent state.
In April, Blumenthal joined U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) urging the Administration to quickly conclude a strengthened MOU to provide Israel with the resources it needs to defend itself. Full text of the letter is available here.
In November, Blumenthal and U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) led a group of sixteen Senators in urging President Obama to prioritize a new, strengthened MOU in anticipation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington. Full text of letter can be viewed here.