On February 13th, the President released his FY 13 Budget Proposal. Contained in that proposal is a rock solid commitment to Israel's security. Informed by our ongoing high-level security dialogue with key Israeli defense and intelligence officials, the President has requested unprecedented support for Israel, even in a challenging fiscal climate.
Our overall security assistance to Israel has gone up every year since 2009, with $3.1 billion requested for 2013-a $25 million increase from 2012, which fulfills the commitment made in our ten year Memorandum of Understanding. This is the latest manifestation of what Prime Minister Netanyahu has called "unprecedented" bilateral security cooperation. This includes ensuring Israel's Qualitative Military Edge, multiple joint military exercises, joint program development, and the additional $650 million dollars President Obama sought and obtained over the last four years to support Israel's Missile Defense on Arrow, David's Sling and the Iron Dome defense systems.
Our budget requests and engagements with Congress will continue to take into account consultations with the Israeli government and their needs.
Jarrod Bernstein is the Director of Jewish Outreach at the Office of Public Engagement.