May 14, 1947; Britain officially left Palestine, ending its mandate. On the same day, the Jewish National Assembly from Tel Aviv announced the establishment of the state of Israel in the heart of Palestine. Hours after the announcement, the United States recognized Israel as an independent state.
That’s where US-Israeli relations began. Then for seventy long years, from the United Nations to every corner of the globe, wherever Israeli interests lie, America is the bulwark, the unequivocal supporter of Israel.
As a form of support
After World War II, Israel topped the list of countries receiving aid from the United States. In 2020 alone, US military aid to Israel was 3.7 billion. In Bangladeshi rupees the amount is more than thirty thousand crore rupees. Not only that, by 2026, the amount of aid will stand at 36 billion dollars. Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Barack Obama signed an agreement in 2016 to confirm Israel’s massive military aid.
Since the founding of the United Nations, the United States has used its veto power a total of 64 times, 43 times in favor of Israel and against the Palestinians. The United States recently (May 2021) called for a ceasefire and called for a ceasefire to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union have criticized Israel’s actions in violation of international law, the United States has remained silent on the issue. Thus, they have been staunch supporters of all Israeli repression of the Palestinians. And that’s why many say that America’s relationship with Israel is not a bilateral one, but America’s one-sided policy towards Israel.
Why this blind support?
Now the question is – why does America support Israel so unequivocally? Why does the US always indulge in Israel in all its activities against international law? Why do they change their rhetoric about Israel violating human rights? What is its historical context? What is the geopolitical controller? Let’s find out.
The hasty mystery of recognition
Roosevelt, then President of the United States, died in 1945, a month before the end of World War II. Harry Truman was vice president at the time. After Roosevelt’s death, Truman took over the presidency. He was the President of the United States at the time of the establishment of Israel. As mentioned earlier, the establishment of the state of Israel was announced in May 1948. And in November of that year, the US presidential election.
This was the first election for Harry Truman after Roosevelt’s death. The election was a key factor in Truman’s recognition of Israel within hours of its establishment. Because for him, both the Jewish vote bank and the money fund were important. Yet many in the president’s advisory council, including then-Secretary of State George Marshall, oppose recognizing Israel because the US administration feared it would lose Arab support. Even then, there are two other reasons behind the last-minute recognition of Truman to Israel, in addition to the election factor. First, the influence of Truman on his Jewish friend and business partner, Edward Jacobson, and second, his latent desire to establish a loyal non-Muslim state in the Muslim-majority Middle East.
The Cold War factor
Although the British won World War II as part of the Allies, the sun set on the British Empire as a superpower. The conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union began over who would be the new leader of the world. The Cold War began. The world is divided into two blocks.
America became desperate to strengthen its own bloc. To that end, they immediately recognized Israel in order to establish an agent state of their own in the Middle East and to reduce Soviet influence there. For the same reason, they unequivocally supported all of Israel’s actions during the Cold War. Israel also worked hard for the United States to prevent the rise of socialism in countries like Syria, Jordan and Egypt.
The honeymoon of relationships; Where to start
Although the United States recognized Israel as the first country, it did not openly support Israel in the beginning. The United States has adopted this policy for fear of increasing Soviet influence in the Arab world, given its oil reserves and its geo-strategic importance. Significant changes took place in the scene after the 1967 war. In this war, the combined forces of the Arabs were defeated by Israel.
The United States then realizes that the weak military power in the Middle East does not need to attract the attention of the Arab countries. Since then, they have been working hard to protect Israel. One study found that in just 30 years after 1978, US aid to Israel increased by about 450%.
American public opinion, PR machine charisma
The most significant aspect of American foreign policy is its unwavering support for Israel. Without the support of the people as a democracy, the United States could never have maintained such a unilateral policy of support for Israel. The majority of American voters are more pro-Israel than pro-Palestinian. According to a Gallup poll, about 75% of Americans support Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.