Republican Senator: Next President Should Rescind MOU With Israel and Give Jewish State a Better Deal
President Barack Obama’s successor in the White House should nix the recently signed ten-year Memorandum of Understanding on US military aid to Israel and negotiate a new one that is more favorable to both countries, a Republican senator said on Wednesday.
Speaking to an Orthodox Union delegation visiting Washington, D.C., Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas called it a “constitutional affront” that the MOU included a stipulation that Israel return to the US any extra funding provided by Congress over the levels set in the deal.
“This is not an agreement that the Senate has ratified or Congress has blessed,” Cotton said. “It is an agreement between two current heads of state. And I believe that as soon as we have a new president, we should rescind that agreement and give one that is better for Israel and better for the United States.”
On Tuesday, as reported by The Algemeiner, four Republican senators announced plans to revise the MOU.
Speaking at the same Orthodox Union luncheon as Cotton on Wednesday, Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland praised the MOU. “What is particularly noteworthy in it is that we now have a baseline referendum of understanding on the missile defense needs of Israel,” he said. “Missile defense cooperation between the US and Israel has saved numerous lives in Israel.”
Turning to Iran, Cardin, who opposed the nuclear deal reached last year between six world powers and the Islamic Republic, said, “Clearly, it remains the No. 1 threat in that region. We recognize that…and we are going to continue to make sure that we do everything to prevent Iran from ever becoming a nuclear weapons state.”
One way to ensure this, Cardin said, was to “extend and strengthen” the Iran Sanctions Act.
The Maryland senator went on to talk about the threat posed by antisemitism, which he said was on the rise, including in the US.
“The most important thing that this Congress can do is strengthen our laws against BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement),” he said. “We’ve got work to do right here in the US to fight against the antisemitism that we see on our college campuses.”