News / Middle East

US Government Shutdown Will Delay Military Funding for Israel

A member of the U.S. House of Representatives walks down the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington at nightfall September 30, 2013.
A member of the U.S. House of Representatives walks down the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington at nightfall September 30, 2013.
— The partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government means there is no money for foreign military assistance, delaying support for long-time allies like Israel.

Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that because there is no federal budget for the new fiscal year, there is no funding for foreign military financing, international military education or peacekeeping operations.

"The State Department's ability to provide military assistance to Israel and other allies in the timeframe that is expected and customary could be hindered, depending on the length of the shutdown," she said.

Support for Israel is a potent political issue for U.S. lawmakers, with many Republicans critical of President Barack Obama for not visiting Israel during his first term and for not taking a hard enough line with Iran, which Israel sees as its greatest threat.

How The Shutdown is Affecting Services

  • About 800,000 federal workers furloughed
  • The military's 1.4 million active-duty personnel remain on duty, their paychecks delayed
  • NASA is furloughing almost all its employees
  • Air traffic controllers and screeners staying on the job
  • Federal courts continue to operate
  • Mail deliveries continue since U.S. Postal Service is not funded by tax dollars
  • Most Homeland Security employees continue to work
  • Most veterans' services continue because they are funded in advance
  • National Parks and Smithsonian museums closing
A political group supporting 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney used footage of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in one of its television commercials, with an off-screen narrator saying: "The world needs American strength. Not apologies."

At the State Department, Harf said the number of personnel furloughed so far has been relatively small, focused primarily on programs with year-to-year funding, such as a boundary waters commission and the inspector general's office.

"Every day that the government is shut down, we have to take a look at the numbers. And we have to take a hard look at competing priorities and our programs around the world. And every day that this goes on longer, there will be things we can't do. There will be ways that we can not go overseas and promote our interests," said Harf.

Secretary of State John Kerry is on a trip to Asia, where he will now represent the president in Malaysia and the Philippines. Obama has postponed visits there because of the partial government shutdown.

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 03, 2013 1:50 PM
Obama did not postpone his trip to Malaysia and the Philippines because of the shutdown; he did so because they are not predominantly muslims. Elsewhere he has said he'll still travel to Indonesia, so can't you spot the difference? Can someone repeat the quote to Mr. President "The world needs American strength. Not apologies." Not that he's been astute even in making the apologies.


by: Dr. Hanz from: Germany
October 02, 2013 10:16 PM
in military terms, Israel and the US are identical. the support for Israel on both of the US political divide is as solid as it ever was. the consensus in German Intelligence is that cuts in Military education will hinder the US far more than it will Israel... who is the major supplier of the most reliable intelligence and also analysis.
Even in the unlikely event that the US jettisoned Israel completely, Germany, Russia, and China are eager to step into the breach and tap the Israeli brain power. still, America know how to appreciate talent... and they are not about to let go of the golden goose...

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 03, 2013 1:41 PM
But president Obama thinks with Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Arab League that the best thing to happen to USA is to jettison Israel. Could be his major reason for allowing the stalemate, otherwise the required concession wouldn't hurt as much as the shutdown if Mr. President did not have anything to achieve by it, even though he makes it look like the Republican intransigence is to blame for it.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid