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May 6, 2016 7:41 am

Thousands in Israel Could Lose Jobs With New Obama Demand Attached to Military Aid Package, Industrial Official Warns

avatar by Lea Speyer

President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu pose with soldiers in front of an Iron Dome battery. Photo: IDF.

President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu pose with soldiers in front of an Iron Dome battery. Photo: IDF.

Thousands of Israelis could potentially lose their jobs should a new demand by the Obama administration attached to its military aid bill be accepted, an Israeli industrial official told Globes on Wednesday.

According to the report, President Barack Obama is now stipulating that Israel use the aid it receives from the US to purchase weapons and systems from US arms companies only, diverting funds away from Israel’s own industries.

“Agreement by Israel to the US administration’s plan will deal a critical blow to the Israeli defense industries, reflected in the loss of thousands of jobs in Israel to the US,” Shraga Brosh, the president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, told Globes.  

Israel receives an annual military aid package from the US totaling $3.1, which it now seeks to increase to $4 billion, as part of “the framework of compensating Israel for the nuclear agreement between the US, the West and Iran,” the Globes report said.

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Brosh said Israel’s total defense exports over the last year totaled $5.7 billion and amounted to 13 percent of all industrial exports.“If the state accepts the US president’s demand, instead of Israeli industry continuing to grow and stand in the forefront of global technology, dozens of production lines and entire plants will be closed down, thousands of employees will be laid off, and the state will lose its security independence,” he said.

Instead of Israel becoming self-reliant in financing and developing new weapons and technologies, “Israel will have to rely on foreign countries, which may or may not supply it with essential weapons systems, such as Iron Dome and David’s Sling,” Brosh warned.

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