Israel: Background and U.S. Relations
Congressional research rept.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The initial section of this report provides information and analysis on the July 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict. Since Israels founding in 1948, successive U.S. Presidents and many Members of Congress have demonstrated a commitment to Israels security and to maintaining close U.S.-Israel defense, diplomatic, and economic cooperation. U.S. and Israeli leaders have developed close relations based on common perceptions of shared democratic values and religious affinities. U.S. policy makers often seek to determine how events and U.S. policy choices in the Middle East may affect Israel s security, and Congress provides active oversight of executive branch dealings with Israel and other actors in the region. Some Members of Congress and some analysts criticize what they perceive as U.S. support for Israel without sufficient scrutiny of its actions or their implications for U.S. interests. Israel is a leading recipient of U.S. foreign aid and is a frequent purchaser of major U.S. weapons systems. The United States and Israel maintain close security cooperation predicated on a U.S. commitment and legal requirement to maintain Israel s qualitative military edge over other countries in its region. The two countries signed a free trade agreement in 1985, and the United States is Israel s largest trading partner. For more information, see CRS Report RL33222, U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel, by Jeremy M. Sharp. Israel has many regional security concerns. By criticizing the international interim agreement on Irans nuclear program that went into effect in January 2014, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may seek to give Israel a voice in an ongoing negotiating process in which it does not directly participate.
- Government and Political Science