Why America Needs Israel
by Sarah Ann Haves
We hear often why Israel needs America. But, why does America need Israel?
Though Israel is a small nation, it vastly contributes to America’s interests in the Middle East. Israel provides America with security and intelligence that is vital for U.S. military action in the region. Haifa, for example, is a critically significant support port for the U.S. Navy. Because of an important strategic defense cooperation agreement, Israel and the U.S. conduct joint land, air and sea military exercises, which often involve European nations. Furthermore, Israel contributes analysis to the U.S. in regard to the movements of ISIS, with special satellites that cover battle areas, offering coverage that American satellites do not have.
|Israel is the only
in the Middle East
Israel is the only full-fledged democracy in the Middle East, surrounded mostly by unstable countries that are battlegrounds for Islamic extremism. Radical Sunnis and Shiites, close to Israel’s borders, are at enmity with one another and with the Jewish State. They want to dominate the region, but also to weaken Western influence. Israel supplies the U.S. with crucial information based on years of experience and understanding of what these state and non-state actors are capable of. While America has good “signal” intelligence, it lacks the kind of human intelligence (“humit”) in this region that Israel can deliver.
The U.S. has helped Israel with missile defense, providing over a billion dollars for batteries and missiles for the Iron Dome. However, the system was built mainly by Israel’s defense industries and funded by Israel in its early development. To-date the U.S. Congress continues to approve funding for Israel’s missile defense in order to give Israel a qualitative edge over its enemies. Israel, on the other hand, provides the U.S. military with data gathered from using the Iron Dome in two previous conflicts with Hamas in Gaza.
U.S. and Israeli military leaders get along quite well. America often has soldiers on the ground and arms stored in Israel, which gives the U.S. military a forward position, and helps America assess what is going on in the Middle East from a strategic view. Israel’s advanced cyber technology, drones, and enhanced military research and development is valuable for fighting its enemies on the battlefield in modern day wars, and the U.S. has learned immensely from Israel’s deterrence capabilities in the region.
Though the U.S. gives Israel $3.1 billion a year in aid, Israel is required to spend much of that aid on U.S. military arms, which are built by American defense industries, providing almost 70,000 jobs in the U.S.
America enjoys not only strategic cooperation with Israel on defense issues, the U.S. benefits from Israel’s hi-tech industry, as well as its breakthrough’s in energy, science, medicine, agriculture, water management, start-up companies, etc.
There have been real disagreements between the U.S. and Israel, especially regarding the great threat of Iran, as well as the Israel-Palestinian conflict. This has bubbled over from private conversations to public discord between American President Barack Obama, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. There are times that a small state like Israel will stand-up to a super power like the U.S., especially when it comes to decisions about war and peace that affect the survival of the Jewish State.
Israeli leaders seem distracted by words or actions coming from the White House. For example, the French government has wanted to move forward on the wording of a UN Security Council resolution that would define the parameters of a final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, with set timelines in negotiations and deadlines for a two-state solution. It is a strategy for greater involvement of Arab States and Europeans in the peace process, as well. The Obama Administration has not assured Israel that it will use its veto power in the Security Council to defeat such a resolution, which is of great concern to Israeli diplomats and politicians alike. Government leaders in Jerusalem see this White House vagueness as a veiled threat that could hurt Israel’s place among the nations. Israel can only hope that the Obama Administration will continue to provide diplomatic cover to Israel in the U.N. Security Council, and not put un-do pressure on the new Netanyahu government to yield to unrealistic expectations on the Palestinian issue.
is not expected
to meet Obama’s demands.
Netanyahu’s constant public disagreement with the United States over the Iranian nuclear framework keeps Obama from being able to use leverage against Israel on foreign policy issues. Netanyahu sees the potential Iranian agreement as a bad deal that increases the existential threat to Israel. Obama wants to finalize the Iran deal, and he also expects progress on the Israeli-Palestinian two-state solution now rather than later. Netanyahu’s current right-wing coalition is not expected to meet U.S. demands. The deteriorating relationship between the two men is disheartening for American pro-Israel supporters.
As Israel faces increased isolation across the globe, the famous line that has come from the White House, “America has your back” is something that Israelis hope will become a reality.
At the same time, for its own national security interests, America also needs to know that “Israel has your back” in this volatile Middle East region.
“A person who has friends may be harmed by them, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
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Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Ms. Haves is a news analyst, reporting on political, diplomatic, military and spiritual issues in Israel and the nations.