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Response To Common Inaccuracy: US-Israel Relationship is Harmful

Inaccuracy: The U.S. relationship with Israel threatens our national interests as it alienates important Arab allies the U.S. needs for access to oil and for support against Middle East-based extremists, or to stop Iran’s development of nuclear weapons capability.

Response

U.S.-Israel relations do not jeopardize relations with others in the region. The U.S. enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with its Arab allies, who have overriding national interests in maintaining their close relations with the U.S. They are an important source of energy resources for Americans, while the U.S. provides them with crucial military and political support.

For U.S. allies such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia, internal pressures dictate how much support they can show for any U.S.-led coalition against Islamic extremist organizations or against rogue nations such as Iran – regardless of Israeli policies or involvement. Because of internal threats from Islamic extremists in their own populace, these nations generally do not provide too much public assistance – for example, using their countries as takeoff points for U.S. military actions – lest they antagonize these anti-American extremists. At the same time, given the threat Islamic extremist terrorist organizations pose to the Jordanian, Saudi and other Arab and Muslim regimes, they are supportive of the U.S. effort against Al Qaeda and other extremist groups.

As for support for American efforts to stop Iran’s march to nuclear weapons capability, Arab regimes across the Middle East feel deeply and directly threatened by Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons. These regimes fear that a nuclear-armed Iran will shift the power dynamics and spark a nuclear arms race in an already volatile region.  These fears were revealed clearly in a number of Wikileaks documents in which leaked  diplomatic cables quoted high level officials from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar expressing grave concern about Iran’s nuclear program and calling on the U.S. to take action to stop it. 

America’s Arab and Muslim allies recognize that support for U.S. efforts against Middle East-based extremists and to stop Iran’s nuclear program is in their interest. U.S. policies towards Israel, and Israel’s policies and actions have little bearing on these overriding interests.

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