Conference of Presidents Says Formal Decision by Obama Administration Objecting to Congressional Increase in Funding for Israel’s Missile Defense Systems “Very Troubling”

New York, NY

Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (COP) today called the Obama Administration decision to formally object to a proposed increase in funding by Congress to Israel for missile defense “very troubling” and “a disturbing departure from the prior practice of this and previous administrations.”

In a statement, Stephen M. Greenberg, Conference of Presidents Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, said:

“In a time of escalating threats to Israel from the arsenal of more 150,000 missiles and rockets supplied by Iran and stockpiled by Hezbollah, including sophisticated precision guided weapons capable of targeting hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians in major population areas in Israel, the belligerent threats to Israel posed by Iran’s ongoing development and testing  of its long range missiles in blatant violation of internationally imposed restrictions  and the ever present peril of renewed rocket and missile attacks on Israel from Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza, the decision by the Obama Administration to oppose the overwhelming bipartisan Congressional support for increasing Israel’s ability to defend its people is very troubling. 

President Obama and senior U.S. military leaders have repeatedly acknowledged that assuring Israel has the necessary military resources to counteract missile and rocket assaults at a time of increasing instability in the Middle East promotes U.S. national security interests in the region. Israel's missile defense systems have also provided a valuable contribution to America’s own missile defense program and security.

 

The public and formal objection to Congress increasing the budget for Israel’s missile defense is a disturbing departure from the prior practice of this and previous administrations. This could risk emboldening the forces of terror and instability and heighten concerns among friends and allies of the U.S. in the region.

 

We urge the Administration to promptly reconsider its stand.

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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