Two major Israeli news sources are reporting concern among the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) over possible cuts in U.S. defense aid.
The U.S. currently gives $3.3 billion to Israel each year. That figure is set to increase to $3.8 billion in 2018. Though President-elect Donald Trump has pledged firm support for Israel, some Israelis are concerned that campaign statements he made about foreign countries paying a bigger share of their defense budgets may include Israel.
However, President-elect Trump has firmly committed his support to Israel, and any reduction in foreign aid would have to pass through a very pro-Israel Congress, making this scenario highly unlikely.
Still, with the Middle East already roiling with conflict, a cautious senior IDF officer expressed concern that cuts in Israel’s security assistance would put additional strain on their military. The IDF is in the midst of a major restructuring that senior officers expect will bring a smaller, though ultimately better trained, equipped, and prepared army. Thousands of reserve and career soldier positions will be eliminated, saving billions of shekels in salaries and pensions.
While facing these concerns, the Jewish state is also dealing with multiple threats:
- A raging Syrian civil war that could boil over the border
- Russian involvement in Syria, including the deployment of advanced Russian-developed anti-aircraft missile systems
- The smuggling of sophisticated conventional and chemical weapons from Syria to Lebanon for use by Hezbollah against Israel
To show just how scary their situation is, the Israeli military recently released a map of southern Lebanon on which it had marked Hezbollah positions, infrastructure, and armaments along a section of the Israeli border.
Hezbollah is believed to have an arsenal of more than 100,000 rockets, missiles, and mortars aimed at Israel—including about 700 long-range, high-payload weapons that are capable of taking down entire buildings in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, wreaking havoc at Israeli military bases and killing thousands of civilians.
According to the Times of Israel, the map shows more than 200 towns and villages that Hezbollah has made into operations bases. It also indicates there are more than 10,000 potential targets inside Israel in the event of a new war with the terror group.
This map leads to two unmistakable conclusions:
First, Hezbollah continues to arm itself for future conflict with Israel.
Second, Hezbollah is embedding among civilian Lebanese populations along the Israeli border—near schools, hospitals, homes—as protection against Israeli retaliation.
With that kind of threat along their borders, it’s easy to see why Israel is concerned about a possible reduction in security aid from America. Though President-elect Trump has a long friendship with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—and promises to steadfastly defend the Jewish state—he may face pressure to reduce foreign aid even to Israel.
In light of this, may I ask for your partnership in prayer as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, Yeshua (Jesus)?
Let’s first thank God for our own safety and that of our friends and family. Then, ask Him to protect His people in Israel who live, every day, under the threat of destruction. Let’s also pray that President-elect Trump will act in the best interest of our long-time ally Israel.
Thank you so much for your prayers for Israel. Thank you also for your support of Jewish Voice Ministries. As we minister to Jewish people throughout the world, give aid to the lost and scattered tribes of Israel, and share the Good News of Yeshua wherever we go, we realize we can’t do this work without you. We appreciate your generous gifts to support what God has called us to do.
Thank you again for your faithful support
of both Israel and Jewish Voice Ministries. I wish you God’s richest blessing, and the happiest of holiday seasons.