The relationship between the United States and Israel should be realized as different and unique in its own rights since both parties are distinct in their own way, gaining political, economic, and cultural independences that influenced and continuous to influence so many others. It can be said that for such a small country, Israel has acquired importance far beyond its size, not only politically but socially and culturally. It is apt to say that, today the United States is the lone superpower, carrying vast military might, capable leaders wielding economic and cultural strengths enabling vast influences of unparalleled scope.
Owing to the distinctness of both parties, it will be astonishing to note if a relationship forged between this two did not possess certain distinctness as well. A variety of events both done and only as a result of circumstances, envelope this US-Israel relationship. Both carrying slack/criticism and praise for forging such a strong tie that transcends all political, moral/ethical, social and cultural bonds. This paper attempts to investigate the relationship between the two countries and how it was developed and sustained all throughout the years.
And the answer the pressing question of its survival in the recent changing strata of economy, cultural and political powers and perspectives. Roots: The US-Israel relationship began in 1948 when President Truman of the United States readily acknowledges the sovereignty of the Jewish state, but despite this it is evident that the US did not truly acknowledge Israel by adapting a neutrality act that prevented sale or transfer of military weapons to Israel (Cristol, 2002). It can also be realized that Israel formed a closer relationship with France rather than America (Leiber, 1998).
But despite these primary dimensions the progression of the American-Israeli connection was far from steady progressions. It can be said that the relationship at first was neutral at most and aid to Israel was slow, whether it be economic or military assistance. This relationship was slow in coming, it took many steps before an actual relationship was formed. A budding military relationship started when President Johnston started selling military weapons to Israel around 1965-66.
Reinforced by Israel success with its military efforts against other nations, particularly that of the Soviets, American analysts started to realize that Israel has become a major regional power capable of aiding them in their Mediterranean and Middle East efforts. Israel’s defeat of the Soviets and its subsequent aid to the US in the form of information regarding Soviet weaponry and tactics were significant in the US military efforts in Southeast Asia and during the Cold War.
The intensifying war, the Cold War to be precise, also intensified US-Israel relationship, as the US looked to Israel to be its stable, reliable ally in the region and as Israel responded as such, the relationship strengthened. Israel in turn was recognized as a “strategic asset” rather than simply being an ally (Steinberg, 1998). Israel was very much in the thick of the Iran arms sales as well as becoming the channel to funnel US arms to Central America.
The US and Israel share common goals, passions and advocacies, the special relationship between Israel and the United States has come to rely on deep-seated factors, Sharing a commonality that enabled them to work together includes. Democracy. Both Israel and the United States hold democracy and liberty with the highest consideration. Note the fact that Israel is the only democratic country in the Middle East. Immigration. Not unlike the United States, Israel’s population is that of immigrants. Welcoming the embracers of Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement.
While, the United States, the land of greener pastures, immigrants consists mostly of those wanting to work in the US, seeking higher pay and better work environment. Economy. Both Israel and US economies value free market. Each committing to competitiveness, international trade liberalization support and multilateral trading. Education. It can be noted that both countries exhibit high regard for good education for its citizens. Both nations firm believers of education as an integral part in shaping a nations future thru proper education of its young.
A mutual support system. Israel was also one of the first to support the US in its efforts to enhance security by cooperating with the US Department of Homeland Security for development of initiatives to enhance such, also supporting the US in many of its endeavors with the United Nations as the US continues to bring aid and assistance to its Israeli counterpart. This framework shows many areas of partnership that enabled US-Israel relations to grow in proportion and depth. But like any other relationship, this forged relationship did not come without problems and strains.
Relationship strains came in the form of American pressure on Israel to withdraw its forces in the Sinai Peninsula. Israel’s role in the Suez operations in 1956. The AWACS being sold to Saudi Arabia, the Lebanese Massacre of Palestinians in 1982 and the intifada. All bearing strain on the relations between US and Israel. It can be surmised that sometimes differences in opinions and goals can sometimes bring in strain to a steady friendship but it is duly noted too that the bond of this relationship is very deep and rooted, it will not be easily deferred and it remains to be so.
FOREIGN POLICY It can be surmised that these two nation forge a cooperation that is surprisingly balanced, if you weigh it against a range of international issues. The Unites States continues to be Israel’s power patron, with the US backing Israel financially and politically even to the point of strain with other allies. It can be seen that Israel shows its allegiance to the US by voting with the Americans in United Nations General Assembly votes 95% of the time, even in consideration of other countries recognized as close to very close American allies.
It will be noted that through the years, Israel has supported the US, even to the extent that they are the only ones behind the US. This support can be deemed blind and maybe one of the reasons for the US continued alliance with this country. Continuing U. S. Support – strategy wise There may be a strategic and logical reason for US continuing support of Israel, it is noted as follows: ? Israel has effectively stopped victories by radical nationalist movements in not only Lebanon and Jordan, but in Palestine as well. ? Syria, a known ally of the Soviet Union for many years, has been kept in check by Israel.
? Predominant air force in their region is Israel’s Air Force ? It can be realized that the many and frequent wars engaged by Israel provided an actual testing ground for US weapons, and usually against its major counterpart the Soviet Union. ? That in order to support unpopular movements and regimes, Israel has become an American channel in providing military assistance, weapon sales to Islamic Republic of Iran, military junta of Guatemala, the Nicaraguan Contras, and the likes. ? Not only once did the Israeli intelligence assist US military operations in covert and intelligence gathering operations.
? Israel’s intelligent military has developed missles and weapons capable of annihilating the Soviet Union and not only once did it assist the US military in the research and development of new weapons, jet fighters and defense systems more capable of protecting the state. Conclusion It may not be a match made in heaven, but mutually working for each other and benefitting from it, it may well be as close as it can get. Many believes that the US support for Israel range from insane to absurd to illogical and even outright dumb.
The special relationship forged by US and Israel is a mixture of causative factors that enabled this relationship to flourish including historical memory, regional security and stability considerations, the US national interest, religion and communal ties. It can also be partly due to personal rapport and friendships built by heads of the states. Although it is understandable that not many understand this ties, especially when they see the very people, Americans are supporting, killing and salvaging a great many people they believe to be enemies.
They tend to think of it as utter hypocrisy. But it has to be believed that many great American presidents supported and aided Israel and one cannot surmise their actual reasons behind it, but it can be surmised that ultimately US Officials think of the nations interests and being privy to private/confidential information may have led them to continue their support for Israel despite how it is seen by the public for in the end, it’s still the nations general welfare that they are after.
Cristol, J (2002) When did the US and Israel become allies. History News Network. Online retrieved 21 Feb 2008 from http://hnn. us/articles/751. html Leiber, R. (1998) U. S. -Israel relations since 1948. Meria Journal 2(3): 11-20 Steinberg, G. (1998) Israel and the United States: can the special relationship survive the new strategic environment? Meria journal 2(4): 61-81