Israel–United States relations

international relationship between Israel and the United States

Since the 1960s, the United States has been a strong supporter of Israel. It has played a key role in the promotion of good relations between Israel and its neighbouring Arab states—notably Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt—while holding off hostility from countries such as Syria and Iran. Relations with Israel are an important factor in the U.S. government's overall foreign policy in the Middle East, and the U.S. Congress has placed considerable importance on the maintenance of a supportive relationship.

Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign aid: up to February 2022, the US had provided Israel US$150 billion (non-inflation-adjusted) in assistance. In 1999, the US government signed a commitment to provide Israel with at least US$2.7 billion in military aid annually for ten years; in 2009 it was raised to $3 billion; and in 2019 raised to a minimum of US$3.8 billion. Since 1972, the US has also extended loan guarantees to Israel to assist with housing shortages, absorption of new Jewish immigrants and economic recovery. Moreover, the United States is Israel's largest trading partner; two-way trade totaled nearly $50 billion by 2023.


  • Mr. Speaker, Perhaps the greatest challenge Israel and the United States face at this time together is the Iranian nuclear program. Let there be no doubt: Iran does not strive to attain nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Iran -- Iran is building nuclear capabilities that pose a threat to the stability of the Middle East and beyond. Every country or region controlled or infiltrated by Iran has experienced utter havoc. We have seen this in Yemen, in Gaza, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Iraq. In fact, we have seen this in Iran itself, where the regime has lost its people and is suppressing them brutally. Iran has spread hatred, terror, and suffering throughout the Middle East and beyond, adding fuel to the disastrous fire and suffering in Ukraine.
  • On June 8, 1967, during the Six-Day War, the Israeli military attacked the USS Liberty, an American spy ship which had been monitoring Israeli transmissions about the conflict. Intercepted Israeli communications indicated that the goal was to sink the Liberty and leave no survivors. Warplanes and torpedo boats had already killed 34 and wounded 174, when Halbardier slid over the Liberty’s napalm-glazed deck to jury-rig an antenna and get an SOS off to the Sixth Fleet. The Israelis intercepted the SOS and broke off the attack immediately. In effect, Halbardier prevented the massacre of all 294 onboard. Still, the infamy of the attack on the Liberty was two-fold. First, the Liberty, a virtually defenseless intelligence collection platform prominently flying an American flag in international waters, came under deliberate attack by Israeli aircraft and three 60-ton Israeli torpedo boats off the coast of the Sinai on a cloudless June afternoon during the six-day Israeli-Arab war. Second, President Lyndon Johnson called back carrier aircraft dispatched to defend the Liberty lest Israel be embarrassed, the start of an unconscionable cover-up, including top Navy brass, that persists to this day. Does all this have relevance today? Of course. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu understands that there is little that Israel could do that would earn the opprobrium of the U.S. Congress or retaliation from the White House, whether it’s building illegal settlements or slaughtering civilians in Gaza. The Israelis seem convinced they remain in the catbird’s seat, largely because of the Israel Lobby’s influence with U.S. lawmakers and opinion makers.
  • Nearly all the words and phrases used by the Democrats, Republicans and the talking heads on the media to describe the unrest inside Israel and the heaviest Israeli assault against the Palestinians since the 2014 attacks on Gaza, which lasted 51 days and killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children, are a lie. Israel, by employing its military machine against an occupied population that does not have mechanized units, an air force, navy, missiles, heavy artillery and command-and-control, not to mention a U.S. commitment to provide a $38 billion defense aid package for Israel over the next decade, is not exercising “the right to defend itself.” It is carrying out mass murder. It is a war crime.
  • We have negotiated one of the most complicated issues of the last hundred years. We are grateful to the United States for its support and leadership. We are grateful to both President Clinton and Secretary Christopher for their crucial role. We appreciate the Egyptian role and the Norwegian encouragement, the European involvement and serious contribution [for] the Asian support and blessing. May we now have the right to say to other people in conflict: "Don't give up. Do not surrender to old obsessions and do not take fresh disappointments at face value." What we did others can do as well. Mr. President, we are determined to make the agreement with the Palestinians into a permanent success. Israel would consider an economic success of the Palestinians as though it were its own; and I believe that a newly-achieved security will serve the aspirations of the Israelis and the necessities of the Palestinians. Gaza, after 7,000 years of suffering, can emancipate itself from want. Jericho, without her fallen walls, can see her gardens blossom again.
  • Anziska quotes the Israeli intellectual Amos Oz: “After Lebanon, we can no longer ignore the monster, even when it is dormant, or half-asleep, or when it peers out from behind the lunatic fringe … It dwells, drowsing, virtually everywhere...” ... Anziska reminds us that America has always shared responsibility for the lopsided competition between Israel and the Palestinians... The US has been complicit in far too many of...[Israel's] useless “victories”.