Israel yesterday officially submitted to the US its request for $10 billion in special economic and military aid.
Prime Minister's Bureau director Adv. Dov Weissglass and Ministry of Finance director general Ohad Marani presented the formal request in their meeting with US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
Sources inform “Globes” that Weissglass and Marani submitted a flexible request for an emergency package to Rice, with three possible compositions.
As their first preference, Weissglass and Marani asked for $4 billion in special military aid for the war against terrorism and to prepare for a US attack on Iraq, and $6 billion in US guarantees for commercial bank loans.
Weissglass and Marani’s second preference was a package including a $3 billion military grant and $7 billion in guarantees. This alternative is considered the most likely gain approval.
The third possibility, which Israel finds less attractive, is a $2 billion military grant and $8 billion in guarantees.
The presentation of the three alternatives is what prevented a White House announcement agreeing in principle to the Israeli request for a special aid package.
The method of presenting the request was designed to achieve the following three goals:
- To enable the US to decide by choosing which alternative it prefers.
- To give the US administration the flexibility to take changing circumstances and the political possibilities, including the views of the US Congress, into account during the expected 4-6 months required to gain approval for the request.
- To give Israel room to compromise.
The Ministry of Finance said that the talks with Rice “were friendly, and Rice promised that the administration would address the request in the coming weeks.”
Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on November 26, 2002