America’s Bond with Israel – its history and its current challenges
Polls show that American public support for Israel has increased significantly in the past fifteen years to some of the highest levels ever. Yet, among Democrats, especially progressives, support for Israel has been declining. These contradictory tendencies have played out in the political relationship between the two countries as well. While the relationship between Barack Obama and Bibi Netanyahu has been deeply strained by personality and policy differences, the two countries also recently signed an unprecedented Memorandum of Understanding, which guarantees $38 billion in American military aid to Israel over 10 years.
In this episode of America Abroad we explore these conflicting tendencies in America's relationship with Israel. We examine why the American people have been so strongly supportive of Israel, and whether America's powerful bond with Israel may diminish in the coming years. We look back at the history of the US-Israel relationship and the sources of support for Israel among the American public, from Jewish Americans, to pro-Israel lobbying groups, to evangelical Christians. We also explore the ways in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is causing an erosion of support in certain facets of American society.
Is America's bond with Israel based above all on strategic interests, common values, or American domestic politics? And will societal changes in America affect the relationship in the future? The answers on this episode of America Abroad.
Elliott Abrams: Senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Jeremy Ben-Ami: President, J-Street
Josh Block: CEO and President, The Israel Project
Steven M. Cohen: Sociologist and research professor, Hebrew Union college
Trent Franks: Congressman of Arizona's 8th congressional district
Ilan Goldenberg: Middle East Security Director, Center for a New American Security
Jill Jacobs: Executive Director, T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
Richard Land: President, Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina
Tzipi Livni: Former Foreign Minister of Israel and Chairman of the Hatnuah party
David Makovsky: Senior fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Michael Makovsky: President and Chief Executive Officer, The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
Yousef Munayyer: Executive Director, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
Aaron David Miller: Vice President for New Initiatives, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Robert Nicholson: Executive Director, Philos Project
Michael Oren: Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, serves as Deputy Minister for Diplomacy under Benjamin Netanyahu
Dennis Ross: Counselor, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Served as the special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton
Jonathan Schanzer: Vice President of Research, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Shibley Telhami: Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, University of Maryland