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Policy Summary

Military relations between Israel and the United States have remained close year after year. This union portrays a mutual interest in security throughout the Middle East. This was confirmed this Sunday as President Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss Iran and a number of other international issues. The White House released an email statement reading, “The leaders discussed the threat from Iran, as well as other critical bilateral and regional issues”. Reuters reported, “Relations between Iran and the United States have worsened since last year when Trump pulled out of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and re-imposed sanctions on the country.”

Analysis

During the Obama Administration’s time in the White House, U.S.-Israel relations took a significant hit. In many ways, the Trump administration has created a sentiment of good will between the two nations. It began with the controversial choice to position the American embassy to Jerusalem as a reassuring nod that the city was the capital of the Jewish state. Eventually this led to the State Department announcing that it will no longer regard Israel’s settlements in the West Bank as “illegal”, although the UN has indeed deemed them as so.

This new sense of mutual kinship between the two countries has been further strengthened by Israel’s increasingly bolstered alliance with Saudi Arabia. Israel and Saudi Arabia creating these ties greatly benefits the U.S. First, the two are arguably the United States’ most crucial allies in the Middle East. Secondly, both nations are also leading purchasers of arms made in the U.S. Lastly, the two nations are predicted to band together to work to impede  Iranian expansionism in the area. All of these reasons result in a very pleased Trump Administration.

However, it has been made clear by Iran that they are not turning a blind eye to the union. Hossein Salami, the Head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, made the statement in a televised speech, making sure not to mince his words. “We have shown restraint … we have shown patience towards the hostile moves of America, the Zionist regime (Israel) and Saudi Arabia against the Islamic Republic of Iran … but we will destroy them if they cross our red lines,” he said in response to the developing multi-national ties.

Recently, Iran has proudly claimed responsibility for the September attack on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facilities. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned that he believed Iran was devising “additional attacks.” The Prime Minister employed the international community to put pressure on the state of Iran and to “support Israel when it is acting against this aggression.” The United States involvement with Saudi Arabia and its patent  favoritism toward Israel, while shunning Palestine, has only heightened current tensions with Iran. Where these potentially deadly tensions will lead to has yet to be seenn

Engagement Resources:

  • Peace Action places pressure on Congress and the administration through write-in campaigns, petitions, internet actions, grassroots lobbying, direct lobbying, electoral campaigns and direct action for issues such as international relations
  • Alliance for Middle East Peace works for peace in the Middle East, specifically between Israelis and Palestinians, by securing and scaling up funding to expand trust-building interactions between Palestinians and Israelis.
  • United Nations Peacekeeping’s (UNTSO) military observers have remained in the Middle East to monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating and assist other UN peacekeeping operations in the region to fulfil their respective mandates
  • The Foundation for Middle East Peace promotes a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through education and advocacy.

 

This Brief was posted by USRESIST NEWS Analyst  Erin Mayer

Photo by Mariam Soliman

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