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It's Not Just Critics of Israel Who Want to Cut U.S. Aid

An Iron Dome battery in southern Israel
An Iron Dome battery in southern IsraelPhotograph by Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

One of the very few bills that landed on President Obama’s desk this week, after Congress left for its annual summer recess, was one authorizing $225 million in additional funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system Israel has been using to intercept rockets fired from Gaza. The bill passed the House last Friday, 395-8—as clear an expression of unanimity as it’s possible to find today on Capitol Hill.

Yet some of Israel’s strongest supporters have recently been calling for cuts in the $3.1 billion annual military aid that the U.S. supplies to the Jewish state. That puts them on the same side as some of Israel’s strongest critics, though for opposite reasons. The pro-Israel argument for reducing American aid is that Israel would have more freedom to act is it pleases if it didn’t have to answer to Uncle Sam. “The experience of the Obama years has sharpened the perception among pro-Israel Americans that aid can cut against Israel by giving presidents with bad ideas more leverage than they would otherwise have,” Noah Pollak, the executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, told the Daily Beast in an article published last month.