Kenneth W. Stein
The US–Israeli relationship is complicated, dynamic, multidimensional, and enduring. From initial American governmental opposition to the present, Washington has become Israel’s most trusted ally. Rooted in common bonds, entrenched military sharing, and valued strategic interests, the association has also greatly influenced the shaping and sustenance of American Jewish identity. Four factors have influenced the relationship’s evolution: (1) deep American Jewish involvement in the American electoral system; (2) American government impatience with regularly objectionable Arab state behavior toward Washington; (3) a US imperative to contain threats to the region’s politics and states, including the Cold War, Islamic radicalism, and Iranian adventurism; and (4) how Washington retained its perceived need not to alienate Arab oil-producing states. The evolving relationship is explained in three time periods: distance after World War II, the unwavering embrace of Israel’s security from the1960s onward, and deep disagreements with that sustained embrace seventy years later.