Why is the alliance with Israel so important to the United States/US-Israel Relations - Research Paper Example

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Israel is considered as one of the strongest allies of the United States of America in the world. According to a report from the Congressional Research Service, the “Israeli-U.S. relations are an important factor in U.S. policy in the Middle East, and Congress has placed considerable emphasis on the maintenance of a close and supportive relationship” (Mark 1)…
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Why is the alliance with Israel so important to the United States/US-Israel Relations
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Download file to see previous pages relations are an important factor in U.S. policy in the Middle East, and Congress has placed considerable emphasis on the maintenance of a close and supportive relationship” (Mark 1). As such, the United States played the key role in the state-building of Israel for the last six decades by providing the latter with political motivation as well as supporting it in all financial, military and diplomatic aspects (Bard). Because of this deep friendship with a small Arab country, political analysts, historians and policy makers are intrigued on the real reason behind the importance of this alliance to a superpower like the United States. Though the United States maintains that the friendship with Israel is brought about by their long history from the initial involvement of the former in providing a Jewish homeland to assist the survivors of the Holocaust in 1948 that eventually evolved into a strong partnership, many still believe that the strategic location of Israel in the Middle East, which is greatly beneficial for the presence of the United States in that part of the world, explains their tight knit alliance (Lewis 370). Traditionally, the alliance of the two countries has been explicated by the United States as a form of moral obligation, common strategic interests and shared cultural and political values (Eisenstadt and Pollock). The main assistance given to Israel is in the form of foreign aid like economic grants and refugee settlement assistance, among others. The U.S. Congress even ensures the maintenance of this close pact by emphasizing the significance of Israel in U.S. policies in the Middle East and by observing the aid that the U.S. makes available to the other and other concerns in bilateral relations (Mark 4). The resilience of the special relationship between the United States and Israel for the past fifty years is such an interesting phenomenon that the latter is treated with higher importance than other old allies or nearer neighbors of the former. To further describe their closeness, Lewis noted, “American presidents of both parties (United States and Israel) routinely pledge unqualified support for Israel’s security as do overwhelming bi-partisan majorities in both houses of the U.S. Congress; yet there is no overall treaty of alliance between the two countries” (364). Complicating Issues Although the special relationship between the United States and Israel is deeply rooted, several critical issues hound its alliance. First, the United States maintains its campaign for the peace process among the conflicting countries in the Middle East where Israel’s involvement is critical. President Bush supported the proposal of Prime Minister Sharon of a unilateral withdrawal from other claimed territories on April 14, 2004. “The President also agreed with Sharon’s position that future boundaries between Israel and a Palestinian state should recognize the realities of Israeli settlements” (Mark 6). The second issue involves the strategic cooperation between the United States and Israel. While the two countries are allies, there is no mutual defense agreement materialized between them. Several motions to strengthen their ties were established over the years. On November 30, 1981, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Prime Minister Sharon and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger to create a basis for the cooperation between the U.S. and Israel opposing the Soviet Union. Another agreement was established in 1988 and 1989, giving Israel privilege in bidding contracts from the Department of Defense and giving them leasing authority in military supplies and equipment from the U.S., respectively (Mc Connell). The third concern is regarding the economic ties between the Unite ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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