Whither the American-Israeli Alliance?

The pro-Palestinian lobby in Washington believes itself being close in years to a strategic breakthrough and that the Biden administration may be the last pro-Israel Democratic adminstration in US history. Political Anti-Zionists are however always notoriously optimistic about destroying Israel and its relations with the world.

This is a serious misreading of the US-Israel special relationship. There is a caricature description according to which Washington supports Jerusalem because of domestic “Jewish lobbying” in the US. While Israel is strategically dependent on US support, the US is also critically dependent on Israel. The mutual interdependence makes it unlikely that even a Democratic president who is more critical of Israel would terminate or condition support for the Jewish state. Why is this so? A US president is commander in chief and devises US foreign policy and as such is responsible for protecting and promoting US strategic interests worldwide and disrupting the US-Israel relationship would cause serious, even irreparable harm to US strategic interests around the world. Beijing is eager to align with Jerusalem instead of Washington and such a rearrangement of global power relations would no doubt be a devastating blow to the US in its rivalry with China over global hegemony. The Palestinians of course would gain absolutely nothing from China becoming the new main ally of Israel. The efforts by the pro-Palestinian lobby in Washington to undermine the US-Israel special relationship through domestic pressure does not in any way benefit the Palestinians. If anything, the pro-Palestinian lobby is undermining the pursuit of US national interests.

The notion that America does not support Israel because it is in the interest of the US but because the Jews want it is an Anti-Semitic canard. Rather, US Jews have for decades been instrumental in articulating the US national interest in supporting the Jewish state. AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is influential only because it articulates American interests but does not have even near the clout to impose anything against the US national interest.  

The US-Israel special relationship has grown stronger and stronger in recent decades and is likely to deepen and broaden in the decades to come even as American Jewish domestic support for Israel decreases with increasing assimilation among American Jewry. The strategic relationship has grown stronger and is likely to grow even stronger because of common interests and not because of ostensible “special interests” in the United States whether Jewish or Evangelical.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization

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