(JNS.org) Jewish leaders from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations called on Congress to fully restore funding for U.S.-Israel missile defense programs that was recently slashed in President Barack Obama’s 2015 budget proposal.
According to the 2015 budget, the Israeli Cooperative Programs—which include the missile defense programs Arrow II, Arrow III, and David’s Sling—will receive $96.8 million, a reduction of nearly $200 million from the previous year’s budget, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Additionally, Israel’s highly successful Iron Dome system will see reduced funding as part of a separate deal following the conclusion of a three-year agreement with the U.S.
Congress must “restore full funding for the very successful groundbreaking joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense program,” said Robert Sugarman, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman, of the Conference of Presidents.
The dip in funding is part of an overall reduction in the U.S. defense budget proposed by the Obama administration.
“While we recognize the budgetary pressures, it is especially important this year as the United States and Israel face a proliferation of long and short range missiles in the hands of terrorist organizations and rogue states. The seizure this week of a ship carrying the Iranian supplied advance missiles destined for Gaza and Sinai terrorists underscores the urgency and immediacy of expediting the development of missile defense systems,” Sugarman and Hoenlein said.