The unwavering support that America extends to Israel has raised eyebrows globally, irrespective of one's stance on the Israel-Palestine issue. Despite championing liberal democracy, the US not only defends Israel's human rights violations and apartheid against Palestinians on various platforms, including the UN, but also contributes to these actions by providing advanced weaponry and defence technology.
It's noteworthy that nearly every Israeli receives around $500 million as US defence aid annually, even though Israel is among the world's top 30 largest economies, according to the 2022 IMF report. Analysts and policymakers worldwide express curiosity about this close relationship, with a common observation that Israeli lobbies significantly influence American policies, either directly or indirectly.
Various Israeli individuals and corporations hold significant influence within key institutions in the US, with their primary objective being the protection of Israel's rights and interests, particularly in supporting an environment conducive to the acceptance of Greater Israel. Platforms, such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Christians United for Israel (CUFI), and The Weekly Standard actively work towards these goals and exercise substantial control over social discourses.
Various Israeli individuals and corporations hold significant influence within key institutions in the US, with their primary objective being the protection of Israel's rights and interests, particularly in supporting an environment conducive to the acceptance of Greater Israel
Pro-Israel outlets often suppress criticism against Israel's interests, with watchdogs like the ADL closely monitoring the press and media. Groups, such as Campus Watch, exert control over university debates and campus discussions. Individuals who dare to address topics like the Palestinian settlements and the feasibility of a two-state nation face smear campaigns, often labelled as anti-Semitic or Holocaust sympathisers.
In 2006, advertisements were circulated urging people to protest against publishers and Jimmy Carter, the former President of the US, for his book 'Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid’. Various programmes and interviews featuring John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt discussing their book, 'The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy’, were either not aired or cancelled under pressure from pro-Israel lobbies.
In such circumstances, critical voices on such a crucial conflict are often stifled, leading to profound implications for American politics and its policies.
Both Democrats and Republicans exercise caution when discussing Israel. Various lobbying groups offer platforms and narratives to presidential candidates, aiding them in elections by managing political offices, influencing media coverage, and providing essential financial support for the electoral process. This influence extends beyond the presidency to senators and congress members, who may either benefit from or face threats from Jewish groups. Speaking out against Israel or criticising its policies is viewed as a risky move, and politicians generally seek to avoid such situations.
Consequently, individuals in the Capitol strive to present themselves as loyal and sympathetic to Jews and Israel, recognising that control over media and politicians translates to significant influence in policymaking.
Officially, America not only opposes Jewish settlement in occupied territories and the cessation of Gaza and the West Bank but also recognises pre-1967 status. However, Washington has struggled to exert influence on Israel in this regard, primarily due to the interference of pro-Israeli groups. These lobbies invest significant efforts in keeping anti-Israeli sentiments at bay within the Capitol.
Bill Clinton has asserted that one of the significant factors behind America's invasion of Iraq, considered its biggest strategic blunder, was the influence exerted by Jewish and Israeli politicians to dismantle Saddam's regime. Barack Obama reversed his decision to appoint a seasoned figure in foreign relations as his adviser due to protests from the Jewish community.
Beyond interest groups, the concept of Christian Zionism further compels America to provide protection to Israel. Christians believe that God has promised the establishment of a Jewish state, with Jerusalem as its capital. For Christians, facilitating the realisation of this promise is a paramount duty.
Besides, it is ingrained in American policy that it will act as a bulwark of democracy and its universalisation. Liberal notions play a profound role in public opinion. But both states, the US and Israel, are deemed as ‘Flawed Democracies', according to the 'World Democracy Index-2023,' issued by The Economist – for subduing the basic fundamentals of democracy, like freedom of speech and the rule of law. Hence, democratic narratives may act as a prudent measure to strengthen their relations but are primarily based on false claims and illusions that have nothing to do with reality.
Further, the Pentagon assigns considerable importance to Israel owing to its strategic implications. Israel has historically been a key ally of the West, a role that gained significance during the Cold War and intensified in the post-Cold War era, especially after the onset of the War on Terror.
American think tanks express the view that radical Islam poses a potential threat to the US. Samuel Huntington, in his book 'Clash of Civilizations', issued a warning to the West by identifying a fault line between Christianity and Islam.
Acknowledging these vulnerabilities, a stronger and more advanced Israel is deemed crucial in the heart of the Middle East, given its role in protecting American and allied interests. There is not only economic and military support provided to enhance Israel's position but also to destabilise Muslim states.
In the future, the cordial relationship between these two states is anticipated to endure and strengthen with the changing dynamics of the geostrategic landscape. The question remains: can this collaboration contribute to peace and stability in the Middle East?
Most political commentators anticipate that the ongoing quagmire will persist. Israel faces challenges in realising its vision of Greater Israel, especially with half of its population being Muslims. At the same time, the acceptance of a two-state solution seems unlikely, as it poses the risk of unifying and strengthening its arch-rivals, Palestinians, in its vicinity. Therefore, the innocent and stateless people are expected to endure further suffering, with the international community acting as mere spectators.