Israel in talks with US for aid in case of existential threat - report

“I think it is important to send a signal in the 21st century: If you are intending to destroy Israel, you have to go through us, and it will not turn out well for you.”

By
September 2, 2019 22:14
1 minute read.
US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington in March.

US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington in March.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Advisers to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump are in contact about a possible US commitment to come to Israel's aid in case of an existential threat, Haaretz reported on Monday.

According to the report, Netanyau is looking for a dramatic gesture from the US president to help boost him at the polls on September 17.

In March, just two weeks before the last election, Trump announced US recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a move widely seen at the time as a pre-election gift to Netanyahu.

Over the last few months, there has been some talk about a US-Israel defense treaty. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham first broached the idea in June, saying at a gala dinner hosted by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) that he wanted Israel to be added to a long list of countries with whom the US has treaty obligations.

“I think it is important to send a signal in the 21st century: If you are intending to destroy Israel, you have to go through us, and it will not turn out well for you,” he said.

Though there is not time before the elections to finalize and get such an agreement passed, the idea under discussion – according to Haaretz – is to issue a joint announcement about the start of negotiations over such a treaty.

Graham discussed the idea of a treaty when he was in Israel in July. Politically, this is something that could benefit both Netanyahu and Trump in their upcoming electoral battles: Netanyahu in securing yet another diplomatic gift from a friendly administration, and Trump in giving something to Israel that will go down well with his Evangelical base.

The idea of a treaty is one that has been discussed on and off for several decades, and while on the surface it would appear to be a significant diplomat achievement, there have consistently been voices raised saying that it would not necessarily be good for Israel, since it would limit the country’s operational freedom.


Related Content

September 15, 2019
Riga – the hub of the Baltic Way

By BUZZY GORDON