US ambassador to Israel warned State Dept not to increase scrutiny of the country’s military aid: report

US ambassador to Israel warned State Dept not to increase scrutiny of the country’s military aid: report
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The U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, told the State Department in October that it should not increase scrutiny of aid to the Israeli military, Politico reported.

At the time, the State Department had recently asked U.S. embassies in the Middle East to more closely examine U.S. military assistance to the region’s governments.

In an email to his colleagues at the State Department, Friedman said that the new guidelines should not be extended to Israel.

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“Israel is a democracy whose army does not engage in gross violations of human rights,” Friedman wrote, according to Politico.

He added that Israel “has a robust system of investigation and prosecution in the rare circumstance where misconduct occurs” and said it would go against U.S. national interests to limit Israel’s access to military equipment, Politico reported, based on access to State Department emails.

Politico reported that the State Department wanted to ensure that the department wasn’t violating U.S. laws that prevent aid from going to foreign militaries that violate human rights.

Democrats have questioned whether the Israeli military  — which gets $3.1 billion annually from the U.S. — might have violated human rights in their ongoing conflicts with the Palestinians.

The Israeli military gets more money from the U.S. than any other foreign military.