Foreign Relations

Should the U.S. end its special relationship with Israel?

The United States and Israel have enjoyed a close and amicable trading and political relationship since its inception in 1948, however, people are now questioning whether or not the United States should continue its special relationship with Israel.

Rise of the Issue

The United States was the first nation to recognize Israel as a country in 1948 and became an ally to this new nation. Throughout the decades, the complex relationship between America and Israel continues to influence the global issues in the Middle East and beyond. 

Conflicts like the Six Day War in 1967 and the 1973 War have seen Washington come to the aid of Israel to help fight its enemies. Israel receives billions of dollars each year from the U.S. and has also received military supplies, solar thermal energy maneuvers, and even microprocessors from technological centers like Silicon Valley to benefit the country, to the point where Israel has now fostered somewhat of their own Silicon Valley. America’s alliance doesn’t come without any negative consequences. America’s involvement in the 1973 War led the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) to issue an embargo against the U.S. and others, increasing the cost of oil by 300%.

Overall, the debate of whether or not the U.S. should end its special relationship with Israel involves looking at the economic, political, and military collaboration of the two nations.

Issue Timeline


President Truman Acknowledges Israel as a Nation

President Truman becomes the first world leader to recognize Israel as a new country.


President Eisenhower Suspends Aid to Israel

President Eisenhower removed aid from Israel due to their involvement in capturing the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt.


America Joins Israel in Six-Day War

American forces joined with Israel to help fight against the Arabic states for six days.


Veto at UN

The U.S. vetoed a UN resolution declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal.


Jerusalem Recognized as Capital

The Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the U.S. embassy opened in the city in 2018.


Recognition of the Golan Heights

The Golan Heights, Syrian land illegally occupied by Israel, was recognized by Washington as a part of Israel making the U.S. the first to do so globally.


U.S. and Israel Sign Joint Declaration

Washington signs with Israel a declaration extending a 10 year $38 billion defense package between the two nations.

Micro Issues


International Relations

While components believe that the U.S. and Israel alliance is good for economic and political interests, others believe that it hinders America’s ability to reach out to other nations.



While its proponents believe that the Judeo-Christian heritage is what brings America and Israel together, opponents believe that America and Israel’s shared heritage isn’t a qualifier to continue the relationship between the two nations.


Israel’s Security

Some people think that America’s alliance with Israel has protected Israel from their regional enemies, but other people believe that the alliance puts Israel in more danger of being attacked by Israel’s neighbors.


Middle East

Proponents believe that America and Israel’s shared interest in democracy bodes well for the future of Middle Eastern relations, while opponents believe that neither the U.S. or Israel have any actual interest in establishing democracy and peace in the Middle East.

Pro Arguments


America’s alliance with Israel initiated the Arab Oil Embargo.

America taking Israel’s side in the 1973 War between Israel and its neighbors prompted OAPEC to place an oil embargo on the U.S.. As a result, Americans faced a shortage of fuel.


Changing position towards Israel.

Israel’s legitimacy has gradually been called into question. With Amnesty International recognizing the nation as an apartheid state and global movements supporting Palestinian liberation gaining traction, some say it could be wise for Washington to reconsider their special relationship with Israel.


America’s reputation is tarnished throughout the Middle East.

The more that America gets involved in conflicts in the Middle East and takes Israel’s side, the more Arab and predominantly Middle Eastern countries have disdain towards America. This makes it harder for America to foster alliances with other surrounding Arab nations and promote their interests in the region.


Advocating for Israel as a state could undermine the tenets of democracy.

America’s advocacy for Israel conflicts with the idea that everyone in a particular state or nation should be treated fairly and equally, which is the central tenet of democracy. Showing favoritism towards a particular state, while overlooking their undemocratic practices, undermines the idea of democracy, and makes Washington appear hypocritical.


America’s support of Israel puts them at odds with the United Nations.

The United Nations doesn’t always see eye to eye with the U.S. when it comes to conflicts in the Middle East. The UN believes America gives Israel free rein to mistreat and subjugate the Palestinians. In fact, the U.S. has blocked dozens of resolutions from the UN that are critical of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, further damaging Washington’s image on the world stage.

Con Arguments


The U.S. and Israeli governments collaborate to create sophisticated military technology.

The United States and the Israeli governments have created military technology such as the Arrow Missile Defense, which was implemented to detect, track, and destroy oncoming tactical ballistic missiles.


The Israeli government supplies defense materials to the U.S. government.

Israel is the global leader in defense technologies. As a result, Israeli exports of defense technologies to the United States market have increased dramatically, making it an important asset in Washington's defense capabilities.


U.S. and Israel’s cooperation on technology is crucial to Silicon Valley’s success.

IT Research and development centers in Israel produced Silicon Valley’s most valuable and innovative microprocessors, which accounted for 40% of the revenue from Silicon Valley.


Israel’s water conservation and solar energy projects help aid the U.S. economy.

Israel recycles more than 80% of its wastewater and has come up with techniques to preserve wastewater. Israeli leaders are helping to build a solar plant in California to help increase the amount of solar thermal energy produced in America, as a way to improve sustainable development and maintain economic competitiveness.


U.S. and Israeli alliance has contributed to American security.

Israel relies on the protection and efficiency of the U.S. national security to protect them from attacks from their enemies and to help bolster a strong relationship between the two nations.