Sequestration Budget Cuts Would Slash Aid to Israel

Kerry Says Across-the-Board Cut Would Hurt U.S. Interests

Across the Board: Secretary of State John Kerry said sequestration cuts would slash aid to Israel, and defended foreign aid as an effective use of U.S. resources.
getty images
Across the Board: Secretary of State John Kerry said sequestration cuts would slash aid to Israel, and defended foreign aid as an effective use of U.S. resources.

By JTA

Published February 20, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Sequestration could lead to cuts in military assistance to Israel, Jordan and Egypt, Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress.

“Under sequestration, our security assistance accounts would face an approximately $500 million reduction, undermining our efforts around the world to prevent conflict and protect our national security,” Kerry wrote in a Feb. 11 letter to Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “An over $300 million cut to our Foreign Military Financing account could lead to reductions in military assistance to Israel, Jordan and Egypt, undermining our commitment to their security at such a volatile time.”

Sequestration, which kicks in March 1, refers to congressionally mandated across the board cuts of about 8.5 percent, designed as an incentive to get Congress and the White House to agree on a budget.

However, an impasse between Obama and his Democratic allies in the Senate and the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives means that the deadline is likely to pass without an agreement. It is not clear which cuts would come first.

Jordan and Egypt receive military assistance as part of their peace agreements with Israel.

The Obama administration has defended maintaining the assistance to Egypt, noting that it continues to abide by the peace treaty despite its new Israel-hostile Islamist government.

Kerry defended U.S. foreign affairs spending on Wednesday against a backdrop of looming budget cuts, saying it protects U.S. security and creates jobs.

Speaking ahead of across-the-board U.S. budget reductions set to begin on March 1, Kerry argued that the slightly more than 1 percent of the federal budget that Washington spends on foreign affairs pays dividends in national security and growth.

“Foreign assistance is not a giveaway. It’s not charity. It is an investment in a strong America and in a free world,” Kerry said at the University of Virginia, which was founded by Thomas Jefferson, the first U.S. secretary of state.

He said the vacuum left by U.S. retreat from the world could foster failed states that become bases for attacks on the United States, whereas foreign aid can help other nations become customers for U.S. goods and sympathetic to American values.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.