SWI NEWS: Saturday, February 12 2011 8 AdarI,5771
Samaria Jews Appeal to PM, 'Barak is Creating Security Chaos'
'Egypt losing control of Sinai to Beduin'By YAAKOV KATZ 02/13/2011 01:48
Experts Warn: Arab Protest Buyoffs may Prolong Poverty
US to give Egypt $1.3b in military aid in ‘11By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER 02/13/2011 02:13
RELATED: Obama welcomes commitments from Egypt's army Pro-Israel activists decry GOP senator's call to cut aid Under the aid bill, Israel is also to be fully funded with the $3b. in military aid it is due in 2011 under a memorandum signed by the two countries, as well as with increases to missile defense programs proposed last year, totaling $415m. Of that, $205m. will be a first-time allocation to the Iron Dome short-range missile defense program, with the balance going to the Arrow long-range system and David’s Sling medium-range project. In addition, the Palestinian Authority is set to receive $552m., despite questions from some GOP members, including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, about the utility of that aid, and whether the current Palestinian leaders are committed to peace. Military aid to Lebanon, however, would only be approved in the event that the secretary of state determines it is “in the national interest of the United States,” according to Granger’s statement. “The spending priorities in the bill reflect the fluid and tenuous situation in the Middle East,” Granger said. “Volatility in the region highlights the importance of reaffirming our strategic partnerships and commitments. The events in the Middle East have a direct impact on the safety and security of the United States and our allies.” The assistance package covers foreign aid funding through the end of the 2011 fiscal year, since Congress did not succeed in passing a bill last session to cover the whole year. The previous Congress did, however, pass a threemonth budget, due to expire on March 4, which continued 2010 funding levels and therefore did not include the new missile defense allocations or the memorandum’s increase in Israel aid from $2.77b. to $3b. Some Democrats had expressed concern that Israel would not receive its full funding, and criticized more broadly the GOP push to cut the foreign aid budget. The high funding levels of aid to Middle Eastern countries stand in contrast to many other aspects of the foreign operations budget, which was cut by 21 percent overall – or $11.7b. – from what the White House originally requested for 2011, according to Granger’s office. Altogether, it was reduced by $3.8b. from the 2010 level to $44.9b. this year. The cuts include freezing State Department salaries, scaling back contributions to the United Nations and rescinding unspent appropriations, Granger’s office said. The new proposal must be approved by the full House as well as by the Democrat-controlled Senate before being sent for US President Barack Obama’s signature.