Before its establishment as a state, Israel sought a positive relationship with the United States.

As a small country, with a small population in relation to its much larger and hostile neighbors, Israel sought a powerful ally that could provide diplomatic, economic and military support. During the Cold War, Israel became a close ally of the United States and in 1983 that friendship evolved into a strategic relationship. With an unravelling of turmoil, the spread of nuclear weapons, advent of terrorism, and local insurgencies, Israel’s reliability as a friend is part of America’s strategic interest. While Washington and Jerusalem do not differ on the common democratic bonds that tie them closely, leaders in both countries have often differed on several issues. These have included Israel’s access to a nuclear weapon, the level and timing of force Israel uses to protect its citizenry, and disagreements about how Israel manages its relationships with its Arab neighbors, particularly the Palestinians. The American people have repeatedly endorsed strong support for Israel’s well-being, with a particularly large segment of Christian America supporting that view. Most American Jews and members of Congress have developed a particular closeness to Israel and its people. Vast amounts of scholarly, archival, and popular materials exist in describing the texture of the US bi-partisan relationship with Israel.

Documents

1948 US Government’s Position on the Future of Palestine
1969 Rogers Plan
1974 US – Israel MOU – Monitoring of Sinai I agreement
1975 US – Israel MOU – Future of Golan Heights
1975 US – Israel MOA –  Dealing with Future Negotiations
1977 US – Israel Working Paper on Conference Procedures
1981 US – Israel MOU – Strategic Cooperation Agreement
1983 President Reagan and Prime Minister Shamir on Bi-lateral Cooperation
1988 US – Israel MOU – Joint Military/Political Cooperation
1991 U.S. Memorandum of Agreement to Israel on the Peace Process
1996 US – Israel MOU – Expansion of Joint Strategic Cooperation
2011 Defense Secretary Panetta outlines core of US-Israeli relations
2012 US-Israeli Enhanced Security Cooperation Act
2013 President Obama Address to the Israeli People
2014 United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Agreement
2015 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Address to the US Congress
2016 Remarks by US National Security Advisor Susan Rice at the American Jewish Committee Global Forum
2016 Secretary of State John Kerry’s Remarks about the Middle East and Arab-Israeli Negotiations
2017 President Trump’s Speech Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

Videos

Dennis Ross and Ken Stein, “From Truman to Obama: the Past, Present, and Future of US-Israel Relations,” August 15,
2016.


Harry S. Truman
Chaim Weizmann presents President Harry S. Truman with a Torah Scroll on May 25, 1948
JFK
President John F Kennedy and Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, New York, May 1961
JFK
(L-R) Miriam Eshkol, Lady Bird Johnson, PM Eshkol and President Lyndon B. Johnson pictured at the White House June 1, 1964. Photo: National Photo Archive of Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Washington in September 1975
American Secretary of State Caspar Weinberger and Israeli Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon
American Secretary of State Caspar Weinberger and Israeli Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon at the Pentagon, May 25, 1982
PM Shamir and President George H.W. Bush
PM Shamir and President George H.W. Bush pictured at the opening of the Madrid Conference October 30, 1991. Photo: Walla News Israel
PM Rabin and President Bill Clinton
PM Rabin and President Bill Clinton pictured at the White House July 25, 1994. Photo: White House/Callie Shell
Condoleezza Rice
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Israeli foreign Minister Tzipi Livni at the signing of the US- Israeli Memorandum of Understanding on weapons to Gaza on January 16, 2009.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama during the President’s trip to Israel in March 2013
Donald Trump and PM Netanyahu
President Donald Trump and PM Netanyahu pictured at Trump Tower in New York September 25, 2016. Photo: GPO Israel/Kobi Gideon