A committee of the US Congress designated $217.2 million of US tax money to a joint military venture between the US and Israel – this is in addition to the annual $3 billion in direct aid and $3 billion in indirect aid provided by the US to the Israeli government.The Defense Appropriations Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives approved the measure earlier this week, which provides support for a joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense system known as ‘The Arrow’ and David’s Sling’. The missile defense systems are allegedly meant to repel potential Iranian missile attacks on Israel, though their effectiveness as defense systems has been questioned by military experts, some of whom say the project is destined for failure.

The amount designated by the US Congress for the project is $95.7 million more than the amount requested by US President Barack Obama for the project, and indicates the extreme support for Israel within the US Congress, that even at a time of budget cuts for health, education and welfare, the Congress would see fit to donate a record amount to military support for Israel.

Congressman Steve Rothman of New Jersey, who helped push the funding through, told reporters, “This is only the latest example that when it comes to defense, military, and intelligence cooperation, the relationship between the U.S. and Israel has never been stronger.”