by Joel B. Pollak 5 Mar 2014, 10:25 AM PDT
In the same week that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) intercepted a Gaza-bound shipment of Syrian missiles from Iran, President Barack Obama is asking Congress to reduce U.S. funding for Israel's missile defense programs by $200 million, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
In a press statement reacting to the news, Republican Jewish Coalition executive director Matt Brooks said: "Today, the Israelis captured a ship carrying missiles from Iran destined for Gaza and earlier this week a rocket fired from Gaza fell in the Ashkelon region of Israel. The threats to Israel are real, constant, and serious. This is clearly not the time to step back from our support of Israel and her defense. Yet President Obama proposes significantly cutting U.S. funding for joint missile defense projects with Israel at this dangerous time."
In the past, the White House and the Obama re-election campaign had used funding for Israeli missile defense as a talking point to fend off criticism of his confrontational policies towards Israel, arguing that President Obama has achieved unprecedented security cooperation with the Israeli military.