04 Jan Israel–United States relations
$3 billion per year- that is how much the USA has been offering Israel in the form of military and economic aid, as a mark of bonhomie that has lasted for more than 4 decades. And it is not only because of the pleasant relations that the citizens, as well as the administrations of two countries, have shared over the years. Israel being an embattled democracy, allows the US to fortify its footprint in the Middle East.
It was only after Israel came through victorious in the 1967 Arab War, that the US and Israel’s strategic and diplomatic ties began to prosper. The American aid helped Israel in the Arab invasion and allowed the US to view Israel as a critical buffer against the Soviet influence in the Middle East. And now, playing the role of US’ biggest democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel assists the US in spanning its influence across in the same region.
However, the financial as well as the military aid offered by the US to Israel now only forms 1 percent of the entire economy of the most developed nation in the Arab world. Also, Israel’s current military budget usurps Syria and Egypt’s by miles and that of Iran as well. With qualitatively better military equipment and nuclear weapons at its expense, Israel has managed to secure its borders effectively and maintain an atmosphere of calmness and peace, as far as the country itself is concerned.
The defense cooperation between the two countries has reaped the rewards for both sides. With Israel procuring cutting edge military warfare and engaging in joint exercises with US navy seals, the superiority of Israel’s defense forces have an unquestionable advantage in the Middle East region. And in turn, the usage of the very same equipment purchased from the American contractors helps the United States to further improve upon the technology and the Homeland security. Transactions like these thereby generate employment for millions of Americans.
But financial and diplomatic gains for US and Israel has resulted in grave losses for the Palestinians. President Trump’s approval of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem has further dented the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) ambitions to free the Gaza-West Bank region from the enforced Israeli settlements. Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) repressive combative regime has resulted in 289 Palestine casualties out of which 56 have been children. Israel’s current policy towards its immediate neighbors goes entirely against US’ stance on human rights and is a brazen violation of the same. The blood spurred in the current Israel-Palestinian conflict has marred the US administration’s hands indirectly.
President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal has taken other nuclear heavyweights like UK, France, and Germany by surprise. But at the same time, it has ascertained Israel of US constant backing against Iranian nuclear threat. With economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the US, its economy has dwindled in recent months and therefore makes it impossible to enhance its atomic warfare. US administration has therefore struck two bull’s eyes with a single arrow: by isolating Iran from the global arena and making Israel – the technological as well as an industrial torchbearer of the Middle East.
The US has also vetoed against the sanctions imposed on Israel in the UN conferences which are an indication of how strongly the US considers Israel its strategic and military ally. But at the same time, such measures by the US goes against its stance of championing Human rights.