Rocky Relations

Devon Abner, Reporter

Benjamin Netanyahu Prime Minister of Israel. Friend or Foe? According to Wikipedia, America’s relation with Israel is critically important to the United States government and its overall policy in the Middle East. Congressional support for Israel is primarily in foreign aid. Since 1985, the US has annually provided nearly $3 billion in grants to Israel. Israel has also been the largest annual recipient of American aid from 1976-2004, aid in excess of $121 billion, not inflation-adjusted since World War II. With the money given to them 74% must be spent on purchasing US goods and services.

In the early 1940’s, World War II was fought in Europe, and more than six million Jewish people were killed in the Holocaust. After the war, many Jews emigrated from Europe to their religious homeland in the Middle East. In 1950, a law was adopted by the Israeli government named the Law of Return. This law states “Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh (a Jewish immigrant).” The religion status of Israel is 75.1% Jewish, 17.4%, Christian 2%, Druze 1.6%, and 3.9% are “other” according to CNN. In 1967 The Six Day War occurred and showed the international community that Israel had a big military and could hold their territory and fend off the enemy. This war showed the U.S. that Israel could be a reliable ally.

The conflict dates back to the 19th century, when Palestine was a multicultural and peaceful place. In the 19th century, Palestinian demographics were 86 percent Muslim, 10 percent Christian, and 4 percent Jewish. During the 1800s, a group known as Zionists decided to to colonize in Palestine. Zionists represented an extremist minority. This group’s goal was to create a homeland for the Jewish people. The extremist group also considered other locations like Africa or America. The peace that was strong slowly degraded as more Zionists settled in Palestine, where the indigenous people became alarmed.

Israel 1947

In 1947 the U.N (United Nations) intervened. Instead of supporting the “self-determination of peoples” (this means people being able to create their own government and state), the UN opted for a medieval strategy by allowing an outside power/force to divide up people and land in Palestine. According to the an article entitled “A Synopsis of the Israel/Palestine Conflict” found on, “Under considerable Zionist pressure, the UN recommended giving away 55% of Palestine to a Jewish state – despite the fact that this group represented only about 30% of the total population, and owned under 7% of the land.”

The current Israeli-Palestinian Conflict dates back over 100 years and America is clearly allied with Israel, such an alliance has been tense of late, because of everything going on in the Middle East.