Israel: Background and U.S. Relations
Congressional Research Service Washington United States
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Since Israels founding in 1948, successive U.S. Presidents and many Members of Congress have demonstrated a commitment to Israels security and to close U.S.-Israel cooperation. Perceptions of shared democratic values and religious affinities have contributed to strong bilateral ties. The question of Israels security regularly influences U.S. policy considerations regarding the Middle East, and Congress provides active oversight of executive branch dealings with Israel and other actors in the region. Israel is a leading recipient of U.S. foreign aid and a frequent purchaser of major U.S. weapons systems. By law, U.S. arms sales cannot adversely affect Israels qualitative military edge over other countries in its region. The two countries signed a free trade agreement in 1985, and the United States is Israels largest trading partner.