Although the media isn’t telling Americans, a bill to give Israel a massive aid package is before Congress. The Senate, where it has 72 sponsors, is expected to vote on it this week. The bill also mandates that NASA work with Israel’s space agency, despite charges of Israeli espionage.
Jewish Insider reports that the U.S. Senate is expected to vote this week on a $38 billion aid package to Israel. This would be the single largest military aid package in U.S. history (text and sponsors below).
The money, which would be given to Israel over the next 10 years, is the equivalent of $23,000 for each Jewish Israeli family of four.
[To take action on this go here]
The bill has moved forward despite the fact that most Americans already feel the U.S. gives Israel too much money.
The bill also requires NASA to work with the Israel Space Agency, despite accusations of Israeli espionage – In 2015 a Caltech scientist revealed that the Chair of Israel’s National Committee for Space Research had illegally acquired classified information. The alleged espionage and theft largely took place at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a top NASA research and development center.
Violates U.S. law
It appears that giving Israel this money would violate several U.S. laws:
• It would violate two amendments to the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act, known as the the Symington and Glenn Amendments, that ban support for countries engaged in clandestine nuclear programs. (More information here.)
• It would violate the Leahy Law, which prohibits aid to countries guilty of human rights violations.
In the past Israel has used U.S. aid in ways that violated the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), which prohibits re-export of U.S.-origin defense and dual-use technology, which Israel has repeatedly done. Israel has also been charged with using U.S. weaponry illegally.
Despite this – and despite the fact that Israel has killed 150 and injured 16,000 Palestinian men, women, and children in the past four months – the aid bill has 71 co-sponsors: 36 Democrats and 35 Republicans.
The bill is being heavily promoted by AIPAC, which pioneered it, and other pro-Israel organizations.
Among the co-sponsors are some progressive Senators, including Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, even though polls show that only 19 percent of liberal Democrats support Israel over Palestinians.
Despite the record breaking quantity of money, almost no mainstream U.S. media have informed Americans of the bill.
The bill is also making its way through the House of Representatives. It will become law when both the Senate and the House have passed it.
The aid package was first negotiated by the Obama administration, which largely submitted to Israeli demands. The Forward reported at the time: “When Yaakov Nagel, Israel’s acting national security adviser, was tasked with heading the team negotiating a new 10-year military aid package with the United States, Prime Minister Netanyahu set forth the guidelines: ‘If you reach $3.5 billion a year, you’ll get a gold medal,’ Nagel recalled Wednesday, hours before signing the agreement in Washington. ‘If you get $3.3 billion you’ll get a silver medal; and if you get $3.1 billion you’ll get the bronze.’”
Sen. Coons, Christopher A. [D-DE]*
Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA]
Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT]
Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD]
Sen. Capito, Shelley Moore [R-WV]
Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY]
Sen. King, Angus S., Jr. [I-ME]
Sen. Bennet, Michael F. [D-CO]
Sen. Murphy, Christopher [D-CT]
Sen. Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI]
Sen. Cortez Masto, Catherine [D-NV]
Sen. Hassan, Margaret Wood [D-NH]
Sen. Schumer, Charles E. [D-NY]
H.R.5141 – United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.
(a) Short Title.—This Act may be cited as the “United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018”.
(b) Table Of Contents.—The table of contents for this Act is as follows:
Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Appropriate congressional committees defined.
Sec. 101. Findings.
Sec. 102. Statement of policy regarding Israel’s defense systems.
Sec. 103. Assistance for Israel.
Sec. 104. Extension of war reserves stockpile authority.
Sec. 105. Extension of loan guarantees to Israel.
Sec. 106. Joint assessment of quantity of precision guided munitions for use by Israel.
Sec. 107. Transfer of precision guided munitions to Israel.
Sec. 108. Modification of rapid acquisition and deployment procedures.
Sec. 109. Eligibility of Israel for the strategic trade authorization exception to certain export control licensing requirements.
Sec. 201. United States-Israel space cooperation.
Sec. 202. United States Agency for International Development-Israel enhanced partnership for development cooperation in developing nations.
Sec. 203. Authority to enter into a cooperative project agreement with Israel to counter unmanned aerial vehicles that threaten the United States or Israel.
Sec. 301. Statement of policy.
SEC. 2. APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES DEFINED.
In this Act, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means—
(1) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate; and
(2) the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.
Congress makes the following findings:
(1) In February 1987, the United States granted Israel major non-NATO ally status.
(2) On August 16, 2007, the United States and Israel signed a ten-year Memorandum of Understanding on United States military assistance to Israel. The total assistance over the course of this understanding would equal $30,000,000,000.
(3) On July 27, 2012, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–150; 22 U.S.C. 8601 et seq.) declared it to be the policy of the United States “to help the Government of Israel preserve its qualitative military edge amid rapid and uncertain regional political transformation” and stated the sense of Congress that the United States Government should “provide the Government of Israel defense articles and defense services through such mechanisms as appropriate, to include air refueling tankers, missile defense capabilities, and specialized munitions”.
(4) On December 19, 2014, President Barack Obama signed into law the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 (Public Law 113–296) which stated the sense of Congress that Israel is a major strategic partner of the United States and declared it to be the policy of the United States “to continue to provide Israel with robust security assistance, including for the procurement of the Iron Dome Missile Defense System”.
(5) Section 1679 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (Public Law 114–92; 129 Stat. 1135) authorized funds to be appropriated for Israeli cooperative missile defense program codevelopment and coproduction, including funds to be provided to the Government of Israel to procure the David’s Sling weapon system as well as the Arrow 3 Upper Tier Interceptor Program.
(6) On September 14, 2016, the United States and Israel signed a ten-year Memorandum of Understanding reaffirming the importance of continuing annual United States military assistance to Israel and cooperative missile defense programs in a way that enhances Israel’s security and strengthens the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
(7) The 2016 Memorandum of Understanding reflected United States support of Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grant assistance to Israel over the ten year period beginning in fiscal year 2019 and ending in fiscal year 2028. FMF grant assistance would be at a level of $3,300,000,000 annually, totaling $33,000,000,000, the largest single pledge of military assistance ever and a reiteration of the seven-decade, unshakeable, bipartisan commitment of the United States to Israel’s security.
(8) The Memorandum of Understanding also reflected United States support for funding for cooperative programs to develop, produce, and procure missile, rocket, and projectile defense capabilities over a ten year period beginning in fiscal year 2019 and ending in fiscal year 2028 at a level of $500,000,000 per year, totaling $5,000,000,000.
SEC. 102. STATEMENT OF POLICY REGARDING ISRAEL’S DEFENSE SYSTEMS.
It shall be the policy of the United States to provide assistance to the Government of Israel in order to support funding for cooperative programs to develop, produce, and procure missile, rocket, projectile, and other defense capabilities to help Israel meet its security needs and to help develop and enhance United States defense capabilities.
SEC. 103. ASSISTANCE FOR ISRAEL.
(a) Authorization Of Appropriations For Israel.—Section 513(c) of the Security Assistance Act of 2000 (Public Law 106–280; 114 Stat. 856) is amended—
(1) in paragraph (1), by striking “2002 and 2003” and inserting “2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, and 2028”;
(A) by striking “equal to—” and inserting “not less than $3,300,000,000.”; and
(B) by striking subparagraphs (A) and (B).
SEC. 104. EXTENSION OF WAR RESERVES STOCKPILE AUTHORITY.
(a) Department Of Defense Appropriations Act, 2005.—Section 12001(d) of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2005 (Public Law 108–287; 118 Stat. 1011) is amended by striking “after September 30, 2018” and inserting “after September 30, 2023”.
(b) Foreign Assistance Act Of 1961.—Section 514(b)(2)(A) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2321h(b)(2)(A)) is amended by striking “2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018” and inserting “2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.”.
SEC. 105. EXTENSION OF LOAN GUARANTEES TO ISRAEL.
Chapter 5 of title I of the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2003 (Public Law 108–11; 117 Stat. 576) is amended under the heading “Loan Guarantees To Israel”—
(1) in the matter preceding the first proviso, by striking “September 30, 2019” and inserting “September 30, 2023”; and
(2) in the second proviso, by striking “September 30, 2019” and inserting “September 30, 2023”.
SEC. 106. JOINT ASSESSMENT OF QUANTITY OF PRECISION GUIDED MUNITIONS FOR USE BY ISRAEL.
(a) In General.—The President, acting through the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, is authorized to conduct a joint assessment with the Government of Israel with respect to the matters described in subsection (b).
(b) Matters Described.—The matters described in this subsection are the following:
(1) The quantity and type of precision guided munitions that are necessary for Israel to combat Hezbollah in the event of a sustained armed confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah.
(2) The quantity and type of precision guided munitions that are necessary for Israel in the event of a sustained armed confrontation with other armed groups and terrorist organizations such as Hamas.
(3) The resources the Government of Israel can plan to dedicate to acquire such precision guided munitions.
(4) United States plans to assist Israel to prepare for sustained armed confrontations described in this subsection as well as the ability of the United States to resupply Israel with precision guided munitions in the event of confrontations described in paragraphs (1) and (2), if any.
(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 15 days after the date on which the joint assessment authorized under subsection (a) is completed, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that contains the joint assessment.
(2) FORM.—The report required under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified annex.
SEC. 107. TRANSFER OF PRECISION GUIDED MUNITIONS TO ISRAEL.
(a) In General.—Notwithstanding section 514 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2321h), the President is authorized to sell such quantities of precision guided munitions from reserve stocks to Israel as necessary for legitimate self-defense and otherwise consistent with the purposes and conditions for such sales under the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.).
(b) Certifications.—Except in case of emergency, not later than 5 days before making a sale under this section, the President shall certify in an unclassified notification to the appropriate congressional committees that the sale of the precision guided munitions—
(1) does not affect the ability of the United States to maintain a sufficient supply of precision guided munitions;
(2) does not harm the combat readiness of the United States or the ability of the United States to meet its commitment to allies for the transfer of such munitions; and
(3) is necessary for Israel to counter the threat of rockets in a timely fashion.
SEC. 108. MODIFICATION OF RAPID ACQUISITION AND DEPLOYMENT PROCEDURES.
(a) Requirement To Establish Procedures.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 806(a) of the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 (10 U.S.C. 2302 note; Public Law 107–314) is amended—
(A) in paragraph (1)(C), by striking “; and”;
(B) in paragraph (2), by striking the period at the end and inserting “; and”; and
(C) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
“(3) urgently needed to support production of precision guided munitions—
“(A) for United States counterterrorism missions; or
“(B) to assist an ally of the United States under direct missile threat from—
“(i) an organization the Secretary of State has designated as a foreign terrorist organization pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189); or
“(ii) a country the government of which the Secretary of State has determined, for purposes of section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. 4605(j)) (as in effect pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act), section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2371), section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2780), or any other provision of law, is a government that has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.”.
(2) PRESCRIPTION OF PROCEDURES.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall prescribe procedures for the rapid acquisition and deployment of supplies and associated support services for purposes described in paragraph (3) of section 806(a) of the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, as added by paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection.
(b) Use Of Amounts In Special Defense Acquisition Fund.—Section 114(c)(3) of title 10, United States Code, is amended by inserting before the period at the end the following: “or to assist an ally of the United States that is under direct missile threat, including from a terrorist organization supported by Iran, and such threat adversely affects the safety and security of such ally”.
SEC. 109. ELIGIBILITY OF ISRAEL FOR THE STRATEGIC TRADE AUTHORIZATION EXCEPTION TO CERTAIN EXPORT CONTROL LICENSING REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Findings.—Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Israel has adopted high standards in the field of export controls.
(2) Israel has declared its unilateral adherence to the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Australia Group, and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
(A) the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, signed at Geneva October 10, 1980;
(B) the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, signed at Geneva June 17, 1925; and
(C) the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, adopted at Vienna October 26, 1979.
(4) Section 6(b) of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 (22 U.S.C. 8603 note) directs the President, consistent with the commitments of the United States under international agreements, to take steps so that Israel may be included in the list of countries eligible for the strategic trade authorization exception under section 740.20(c)(1) of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations, to the requirement for a license for the export, reexport, or in-country transfer of an item subject to controls under the Export Administration Regulations.
(b) Report On Eligibility For Strategic Trade Authorization Exception.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that—
(A) describes the steps taken to include Israel in the list of countries eligible for the strategic trade authorization exception as required under 6(b) of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 (22 U.S.C. 8603 note; Public Law 113–296); and
(B) includes what steps are necessary for Israel to be included in such a list of countries eligible for the strategic trade authorization exception.
(2) FORM.—The report required under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified annex.
SEC. 201. UNITED STATES-ISRAEL SPACE COOPERATION.
(a) Findings.—Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Authorized in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) supports and coordinates United States Government research in aeronautics, human exploration and operations, science, and space technology.
(2) Established in 1983, the Israel Space Agency (ISA) supports the growth of Israel’s space industry by supporting academic research, technological innovation, and educational activities.
(3) The mutual interest of the United States and Israel in space exploration affords both nations an opportunity to leverage their unique abilities to advance scientific discovery.
(4) In 1996, NASA and the ISA entered into an agreement outlining areas of mutual cooperation, which remained in force until 2005.
(5) Since 1996, NASA and the ISA have successfully cooperated on many space programs supporting the Global Positioning System and research related to the sun, earth science, and the environment.
(6) The bond between NASA and the ISA was permanently forged on February 1, 2003, with the loss of the crew of STS–107, including Israeli Astronaut Ilan Ramon.
(7) On October 13, 2015, the United States and Israel signed the Framework Agreement between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States of America and the Israel Space Agency for Cooperation in Aeronautics and the Exploration and Use of Airspace and Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes.
(b) Continuing Cooperation.—The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall continue to work with the Israel Space Agency to identify and cooperatively pursue peaceful space exploration and science initiatives in areas of mutual interest, taking all appropriate measures to protect sensitive information, intellectual property, trade secrets, and economic interests of the United States.
[Editor’s note: A Caltech scientist charged Israel with illegally acquiring classified information.The alleged espionage and theft largely took place at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a top NASA research and development center.]
SEC. 202. UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT-ISRAEL ENHANCED PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION IN DEVELOPING NATIONS.
(a) Statement Of Policy.—It should be the policy of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to partner with Israel in order to advance common goals across a wide variety of sectors, including energy, agriculture and food security, democracy, human rights and governance, economic growth and trade, education, environment, global health, and water and sanitation.
(b) Memorandum Of Understanding.—The Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development is authorized to enter into memoranda of understanding with Israel in order to enhance coordination on advancing common goals on energy, agriculture and food security, democracy, human rights and governance, economic growth and trade, education, environment, global health, and water and sanitation with a focus on strengthening mutual ties and cooperation with nations throughout the world.
SEC. 203. AUTHORITY TO ENTER INTO A COOPERATIVE PROJECT AGREEMENT WITH ISRAEL TO COUNTER UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES THAT THREATEN THE UNITED STATES OR ISRAEL.
(a) Findings.—Congress makes the following findings:
(1) On February 10, 2018, Iran launched from Syria an unmanned aerial vehicle (commonly known as a “drone”) that penetrated Israeli airspace.
(2) According to a press report, the unmanned aerial vehicle was in Israeli airspace for a minute and a half before being shot down by its air force.
(3) Senior Israeli officials stated that the unmanned aerial vehicle was an advanced piece of technology.
(b) Sense Of Congress.—It is the sense of the Congress that—
(1) joint research and development to counter unmanned aerial vehicles will serve the national security interests of the United States and Israel;
(2) Israel faces urgent and emerging threats from unmanned aerial vehicles, and other unmanned vehicles, launched from Lebanon by Hezbollah, from Syria by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, or from others seeking to attack Israel;
(3) efforts to counter unmanned aerial vehicles should include the feasibility of utilizing directed energy and high powered microwave technologies, which can disable vehicles without kinetic destruction; and
(4) the United States and Israel should continue to work together to defend against all threats to the safety, security, and national interests of both countries.
(c) Authority To Enter Into Agreement.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The President is authorized to enter into a cooperative project agreement with Israel under the authority of section 27 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2767), to carry out research on, and development, testing, evaluation, and joint production (including follow-on support) of, defense articles and defense services, such as the use of directed energy or high powered microwave technology, to detect, track, and destroy unmanned aerial vehicles that threaten the United States or Israel.
(2) APPLICABLE REQUIREMENTS.—The cooperative project agreement described in paragraph (1) shall—
(A) provide that any activities carried out pursuant to the agreement are subject to—
(i) the applicable requirements described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of section 27(b)(2) of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2767(b)(2)); and
(ii) any other applicable requirements of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.) with respect to the use, transfers, and security of such defense articles and defense services under that Act;
(B) establish a framework to negotiate the rights to intellectual property developed under the agreement; and
(C) include appropriate protections for sensitive technology.
SEC. 301. STATEMENT OF POLICY.
It is the policy of the United States to ensure that Israel maintains its ability to counter and defeat any credible conventional military, or emerging, threat from any individual state or possible coalition of states or from non-state actors, while sustaining minimal damages and casualties, through the use of superior military means, possessed in sufficient quantity, including weapons, command, control, communication, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities that in their technical characteristics are superior in capability to those of such other individual or possible coalition states or non-state actors.
Calendar No. 519
To amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Arms Export Control Act to make improvements to certain defense and security assistance provisions and to authorize the appropriations of funds to Israel, and for other purposes.
July 17, 2018
Reported with an amendment