Date published: March 10, 2011
Journal code: JWEX
JERUSALEM (JTA) - Israel may ask the United States for $20 billion more in security aid, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told The Wall Street Journal, to help manage threats arising from the recent uprisings in the region.
Barak called the region's popular uprisings "a movement in the right direction," but said Israel was concerned that Iran and Syria would come late to the unrest.
He added that he feared public pressure could push new leaders in Egypt away from the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. Still, Barak said he believes that Egypt will respect the pact with Israel "for the time being."
"The issue of qualitative military aid for Israel becomes more essential for us, and I believe also more essential for you," Barak told the Journal, meaning the United States. "It might be wise to invest another $20 billion to upgrade the security of Israel for the next generation or so."
He added that "a strong, responsible Israel can become a stabilizer in such a turbulent region."
America allocates about $3 billion a year in military assistance to Israel.