Peace Activist Miko Peled says the United States has been maintaining Israel as the “bully” of the Middle East through billions of dollars of military aid to Tel Aviv.“The current political climate in the US is such that no American politician can refuse anything Israel asks for. The Israeli lobby is so strong in the US that pretty much any request that Israel makes is almost guaranteed to be accepted, ” he said in a phone interview with Press TV on Saturday. Peled made the remarks as American and Israeli officials discuss a surge in the US military aid to Israel as the two sides are in negotiations over a new 10 - year military aid package. Under an existing aid agreement between Washington and Tel Aviv signed in 2007, $30 billion of American taxpayers’ money is currently flowing to Israel, Defense News reported. However, concerned with increasing US arms sales to countries in the region, the Israelis are asking Washington for a surge in its advanced military aid. “Israel is not threatened by anyone right now. In fact, it’s surrounded by countries that either have no military capability or countries that are friendly with whom they have a peace agreement, ” the activist said.
“But Israel continues to build this massive arsenal of arms because they want to maintain its ability to be the bully in the neighborhood, to be the bully of the Middle East, ” he said.“It allows them to attack Lebanon, It allows them to continue oppress the Palestinians, to execute horrific crimes against Palestinians using these arms,” Peled added. The US annual military aid to Israel has been elevated from $2.4 billion to $3.1 billion through 2017 under the existing agreement but the scope of the increase in the US Foreign Military Financing levels demanded by Israel is not clear yet.