Former Mayor of New York Rudolph Giuliani offered the Israeli government some unsolicited advice during a trip to Israel: wait for the next U.S. administration to sign a new 10-year aid deal - the so-called Memorandum of Understanding.
“I’d wait for the next president,” Giuliani said during an interview with journalist Sharon Kidon on Israel’s Reshet TV on Sunday. “You’re going to do better with the next president. Any president would be better than Obama.”
According to Giuliani, Hillary Clinton “would not be particularly good for Israel” because “she would cave in to the left wing of her party” and “keep her administration very much to the left” to prevent a progressive challenger like Senator Elizabeth Warren from running against her in a 2020 Democratic primary. Nonetheless, the former Republican presidential candidate and supporter of Donald Trump suggested, Clinton will be “better than the worst president for Israel, who is Barack Obama.”
“And Trump will be a lot better for Israel,” Giuliani added.
Current negotiations over the the long-term security aid package have been ongoing since November 2015.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated on Thursday that the talks near conclusion.
“I hope that we’ll conclude a new memorandum of understanding for the invaluable American support for Israel’s defenses for the next decade,” Netanyahu said in remarks at the U.S. Embassy’s 4th of July annual reception in Tel Aviv. Adding, “I’m deeply grateful for the political and military support America has given Israel over the years.”
President Reuven Rivlin, who also spoke at the event, expressed hope for a quick end to the negotiations over the military aid agreement. “I want to thank the American people — on both sides of the aisle — for years of financial, diplomatic, and military support, and for helping us carry the burden of defense,” he said. “Looking to the future, I hope that an agreement on this important issue will be reached as soon as possible.”
On Friday, National Security Adviser Susan Rice sent a joint letter to Congress with the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Shaun Donovan, updating lawmakers on the MOU talks. “Our commitment to Israel’s security is such that we are prepared to provide a substantially increased assistance package, even though we are operating in an especially challenging budgetary environment, with the harmful spending cuts known as sequestration set to return in fiscal year 2018,” they wrote in the letter. “We are offering Israel a package that represents a substantial increase over the current MOU in both nominal and real terms, even while the overall Missile Defense Agency budget — one of the two accounts from which assistance to Israel is drawn — has declined 7.5 percent from 2006 to 2015.”
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