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The autopsy of US-Israel relationship

The relationships between United States and Israel (Us-Israel) are about to take a new turn reportedly after two different incidents in the last two months.

When United Nations (UN) Security Council adopted a resolution demanding ceasefire in Gaza of Palestine, the US dropped its veto and abstained instead on March.

However, things got bit spicier as the two allies had a phone call this month, where US President Joe Biden indicated to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Washington’s policy regarding the war in Gaza will fundamentally change if Israel doesn’t implement a series of concrete steps to address the humanitarian crisis and protect aid workers, adding that an immediate ceasefire was essential for meeting those aims.

Biden “made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering and the safety of aid workers,” according to a White House readout after the leaders held their first call since an accidental IDF strike on a World Central Kitchen convoy last week that killed seven aid workers.

“He made clear that US policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps,” the White House warned, adding that both recent Israeli strikes on aid workers along with the overall humanitarian situation in the Strip are “unacceptable.”

Now, let us have a deep dive in the relationship that US-Israel have been holding for a long time.

The alliance between the United States and Israel has been characterized by mutual strategic interests, shared democratic values, and deep cultural ties. From diplomatic support to military cooperation, their relationship has endured numerous challenges and evolved over the decades, shaping geopolitics in the Middle East and beyond. Let’s delve into the concrete history of this enduring partnership, drawing from trusted sources to illuminate its complexities and significance.

Foundations of Friendship (1940s-1950s)

In the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust, the United States played a pivotal role in the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. President Harry Truman’s recognition of Israel within minutes of its declaration signaled the beginning of a close relationship. According to the US Department of State, this decision was influenced by various factors, including domestic pressure and strategic considerations in the Cold War era.

Truman’s support for Israel stemmed in part from his sympathy for the Jewish people’s plight during the Holocaust. Additionally, domestic pressure from American Jews and political considerations regarding the emerging Cold War context contributed to Truman’s swift recognition of the newly established Jewish state. The Truman administration’s stance set the stage for future cooperation and laid the groundwork for a lasting alliance.

Strengthening Strategic Bonds (1960s-1980s)

The 1967 Six-Day War marked a turning point in US-Israel relations, with Israel emerging as a regional military power. Throughout the Cold War, Israel became a crucial ally for the United States in the Middle East, sharing intelligence and military technology. Arms sales and military aid increased substantially, solidifying the strategic partnership between the two nations.

During this period, Israel’s military prowess became increasingly evident, particularly after its swift victory in the Six-Day War. The United States recognized Israel’s strategic value as a stabilizing force in the volatile Middle East region. Consequently, military cooperation between the two nations expanded, with the U.S. providing advanced weaponry and financial assistance to bolster Israel’s defense capabilities. This strategic alignment not only served US interests in the region but also contributed to Israel’s security and deterrence against regional adversaries.

Diplomatic Challenges and Peace Efforts (1990s-2000s)

The peace process between Israel and its neighbors, particularly the Palestinians, presented diplomatic challenges for the US-Israel relationship. While the United States remained committed to Israel’s security, successive administrations also sought to facilitate negotiations for a two-state solution. Efforts such as the Oslo Accords and the Camp David Summit reflected this complex balancing act.

In the aftermath of the Gulf War in the early 1990s, the United States intensified its diplomatic efforts to broker peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The Oslo Accords, signed in 1993, marked a significant milestone in Israeli-Palestinian relations, with the United States serving as a key mediator. Despite initial optimism, however, the peace process faced numerous setbacks, including outbreaks of violence and continued disagreement over core issues such as borders, settlements, and the status of Jerusalem. Subsequent administrations grappled with the complexities of the peace process, navigating between support for Israel’s security and the pursuit of a viable two-state solution.

Contemporary Dynamics and Regional Realities (2010s-Present)

In recent years, US-Israel relations have continued to evolve amidst shifting regional dynamics and geopolitical realities. The Trump administration’s decision to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights underscored a deepening alignment on key issues. However, disagreements over issues like the Iran nuclear deal and Israeli settlements have also surfaced, highlighting the nuances in the relationship.

The Trump administration pursued a distinctly pro-Israel agenda, marked by unprecedented gestures of support for the Jewish state. These included the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that symbolized American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Additionally, the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights further solidified its backing of Israeli interests in the region. Despite these gestures, however, the relationship faced strains over policy disagreements, particularly regarding the Iran nuclear deal and the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The alliance between the United States and Israel stands as a testament to shared values, strategic interests, and enduring friendship. From the formative years of Israel’s independence to the complexities of modern geopolitics, this relationship has weathered challenges and adapted to changing circumstances. As both nations navigate the complexities of the 21st century, their partnership remains anchored in a commitment to security, democracy, and shared prosperity.

Throughout history, the United States and Israel have demonstrated a remarkable ability to collaborate in pursuit of common goals, despite occasional differences and disagreements. Whether in the realm of security cooperation, diplomatic initiatives, or cultural exchanges, the bonds between these two nations continue to deepen and flourish. Looking ahead, the US-Israel alliance is poised to play a crucial role in shaping the future of the Middle East and advancing shared interests on the global stage.

Meanwhile, an article published in Vox claimed that American public support for Israel has historically been high, though it’s starting to shift.

Supporting Israel has also historically been incredibly politically popular in the US, bolstered by a well-funded pro-Israel lobby in Washington. However, that public support has markedly waned in recent years, particularly among Democrats, who marginally supported Palestinians over Israelis in a March 2023 Gallup poll for the first time.

Some argue that the benefits of the US’s relationship with Israel do not justify their moral and literal price.

As the United States and Israel look to the future, several factors are poised to shape the trajectory of their relationship in the coming days.

Leadership Transitions and Policy Shifts

With each new administration in both the United States and Israel, there is the potential for shifts in priorities and approaches to key issues. As demonstrated by past instances, changes in leadership can lead to fluctuations in the dynamics of bilateral relations. The recent transition from the Trump administration to the Biden administration in the US and the potential for future leadership changes in Israel could introduce new elements into the relationship.

Regional Developments and Security Challenges

The volatile landscape of the Middle East continues to present complex security challenges for both the United States and Israel. From the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions to ongoing conflicts in neighboring countries, the region remains a focal point for strategic considerations. As such, cooperation in areas such as intelligence-sharing, counterterrorism efforts, and military assistance is likely to remain central to US-Israel relations.

Diplomatic Initiatives and Peace Efforts

Efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process may influence the dynamics of US-Israel relations in the future. While achieving a comprehensive peace agreement remains a daunting task, diplomatic initiatives aimed at promoting dialogue and reconciliation could impact how both nations navigate their relationship with the Palestinians and other regional stakeholders.

Economic and Technological Collaboration

In addition to security cooperation, economic and technological collaboration between the United States and Israel is expected to continue expanding. Israel’s vibrant tech sector, known as the “Startup Nation,” offers opportunities for partnership in areas such as innovation, cybersecurity, and renewable energy. Closer economic ties can serve to deepen the multifaceted nature of the bilateral relationship, fostering mutual prosperity and innovation.

Evolving Geopolitical Realities

The shifting geopolitical landscape, including the rise of new global powers and changing alliances, may necessitate recalibrations in US-Israel relations. As traditional geopolitical fault lines evolve, both nations will need to adapt their strategies to navigate emerging challenges and seize opportunities for cooperation in an increasingly interconnected world.

In the midst of evolving global dynamics, the relationship between the United States and Israel is poised to undergo further transformations in the coming days. While the foundations of mutual strategic interests and shared values remain strong, future developments will inevitably shape the contours of this pivotal alliance.

Navigating through leadership transitions, regional security challenges, diplomatic initiatives, economic collaboration, and geopolitical shifts will require continued dialogue, flexibility, and strategic foresight from both nations. By harnessing the strengths of their partnership and embracing innovation, the United States and Israel can address emerging challenges and seize opportunities to advance shared interests in the 21st century.

As history has shown, the US-Israel relationship has endured and thrived amidst various trials and tribulations. Looking ahead, the commitment to mutual security, democracy, and prosperity will continue to serve as the bedrock of this enduring alliance, ensuring its resilience in the face of an ever-changing world.

 

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