Bush budget launches new Israel aid

The Bush administration launched its new $30 billion defense aid to Israel in its proposed 2009 budget.

The $3 trillion budget, released Monday, includes $2.55 billion in defense assistance for Israel. That will increase in increments until 2013, when it will settle at $3.1 billion a year until 2018.

Israel this year received its final $2.4 billion payment in a $24 billion defense assistance package launched in 1998.

The Bush administration increased the amount partly as compensation to Israel for a planned $20 billion in U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and its Arab neighbors.

The administration defends the overall package as necessary to contain Iranian hegemony and to spur Israel and moderate Arab nations to support Israeli-Palestinian peace.

NEXT STORY