UNITED STATES-ISRAELI RELATIONS AND SECURITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST, 2008-2015

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ABSTRACT

The historical ties between the United States and Israel is a crucial factor in determining the United States Middle East policy. The policy thrust of successive American leaders in the Middle East has been to preserve the state of Israel and help it to maintain military and economic advantage over her neighbors. However, the relationship between the present American Administration and her Israel counterpart has been strained over disagreements on the best strategy to adopt in confronting the challenges facing Israel in the region. Therefore, this study explored the American-Israeli relations as it affects the overall security in the Middle East between 2008 and 2015 in the context of the following questions: (1). Is the strained relationship between United States and Israeli Governments the cause of the instability in the Middle East? (2). Is the Obama administration’s Middle East policy undermining the security of Israel? The data from this study was collected largely from secondary sources. Qualitative/descriptive method of data analysis was used. The paper argued that the myriad of crisis that engulfed the Middle East from 2008-2015 can be attributed to the strained relationship between the United States and Israel. The study recommended that parliament in both countries should work closely to resolve areas of differences between the two countries in the overall  interest of Israel in particular and Middle East in general.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page
Table of Contents
Abstract

CHPATER ONE: Introduction
1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of the Problems
1.3 Objectives of the Study
1.4 Significance of the Study

CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review
2.1 American-Israeli Relation and Security in the Middle East
2.2 Obama Administration’s Middle East Policy and Security of Israel
2.3 Summary of the Gap in the Literature

CHAPTER THREE: Research Methodology
3.1 Theoretical Framework
3.2 Hypotheses
3.3 Research Design
3.4 Methods of Data Collection
3.5 Methods of Data Analysis
3.6 Logical Data Framework

CHAPTER FOUR:  United States-Israeli Relations and Instability in the Middle East
4.1 Diplomatic Relations and Human Security in the Middle East
4.1.1 United States-Israeli Relations: Historical Analysis
4.2 Israeli Settlement Expansion and Attacks by Terror Organizations
4.3 Peace Process and Israeli-Palestinian Relations
4.3.1 List of Middle East Peace Proposals

CHAPTER FIVE: Obama Administration’s Middle East Policy and the Security of Israel
5.1 United States Nuclear Agreement with Iran and Threat to Wipe out the State of Israel
5.2 United States Military Assistances to Israel and Israel Wars in the Middle East
5.3 United States Inaction in Syria and the Rise of ISIS in the Middle East

CHAPTER SIX: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
6.1 Summary
6.2 Conclusion
6.3 Recommendations
Bibliography 

CHAPTER ONE
1.1   BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
            Since Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948, The United States have been its closest friend and ally whom Israel depends on for political inspiration, financial aid, military assistance and diplomatic support. In the same vein, America has viewed Israel with a special appreciation for its democratic tradition, remarkable economic development and its determined struggle against its hostile neighbors. America’s support for the aspiration of the Jewish people dates back to the colonial period when John Adams in Levine (2015:17) said “I really wish the Jews in Judea an independent nation for, as I believe the most enlightened men of it have participated in the amelioration of the Philosophy of the age”. In the same vein in 1833, Emma Lazarus the poet wrote that “Palestine should be a home for the homeless, a goal for the wanderer, an asylum for the persecuted and a nation of the denationalized”. This poetic dream of 1833 was given a huge boost with the Balfour declaration of 1917 which stated that the British government would facilitate the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.
            The American Congressional Resolutions of 1922 and 1944 passed an endorsement of the Balfour declaration with the Legislatures in 33 states representing 85 percent of the population, with Governors of 35 states, 54 United States Senators and 250 Congressmen signing petitions to the President in that regard. All these led to the United Nations General Assembly setting up the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), to investigate the cause of the conflict in Palestine and proffer a solution for its resolution. This Special Committee after months of intense negotiation and lobbying from interested parties finally recommended partition in which both the Jews and Arabs will be given sovereignty in their separate state.
Ayoob (1981) observed that with UNSCOP recommendation Israel declared its Independence and the United States was the First nation to grant de-facto recognition to the new Jewish State – 11 minutes after the proclamation. This recognition is not without resentment from many countries especially the Arab world as Bruce (2008) observed that Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Jordan mounted a joint attack against Israel the next day. This attack led to 13-months war which the new Jewish state survived with American support. This support was expressed by President Harry Truman on May 26th, 1952 when he declared “I have Faith in Israel before it was established; I have faith in it now. I believe it has a glorious future before it – not just another sovereign state but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization”.
This recognition and support for Israel has been a consistent theme in statements by American Presidents since Truman. In fact, it is like an unwritten law in the United States of America that every Presidential aspirant or candidate must pledge to ensure that America stands by Israel at all times. President Richard Nixon, in an address to the American-Israeli public affairs committee (AIPAC) on June 20th, 1970 asserted that “United States stands by its friends and that Israel is one of its friends”. His successor Gerald Ford, on assumption of office on August 9th, 1974, reaffirmed this support when he stated “Our commitment to the security and future of Israel is based upon basic morality as well as enlightened self-interest. Our role in supporting Israel honours our own heritage”. Similar commitments were made by President Jimmy Carter, Ronald Regan, Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama. President Obama was more emphatic with his own commitment and support for Israel during the visit of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu on 18th May, 2009 when he stated as follows:

We (America) stand with Israel as a Jewish democratic state because we know that is born of firmly held values that we as Americans share: a culture committed to justice, a land that welcomes the weary, a people devoted to Tikkun Olam we are going to keep standing with our Israeli friends and allies.

However, the Obama administration, despite the above commitment, have since inception in 2008 not been best of friends with his Israeli counterpart led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over conflicting ideas as regards the best approach to ensure the security and development of Israel while at the same time ensuring that Israel’s neighbor’s rights and liberty are respected at all times, the Obama administration is unhappy over a host of Israel policies ranging from settlement expansion, Iran’s nuclear issue, and the quest for Palestinian state while Netanyahu’s government openly expresses contempt for Obama’s understanding of Israel’s problem and politics of the Middle East.
            Goldberg (2014) observed that the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu’s government has moved towards a full blown crisis adding that the bond between the United States and Israel is now worse than it has ever been and stands to get significantly worse. Collinson (2015) argued that the disconnect between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is about a lot more than personal chemistry to deep ideological divide and a sharply conflicting world view. David Makosky, a former adviser of Secretary of State, John Kerry on Middle East, in trying to explain the reason for the deteriorating relations stated that “each one is convinced that the other does not get the other side’s core interests. To Jeremy Ben-Ami, President of J. street a liberal pro-Israel advocacy group in Washington, “it is a fundamental disagreement over policy and it reflects the underlying world views that are held, not only by two men, but by the two camps in each country. These issues include Israel’s refusal to halt settlement expansion in some of the disputed territories, disagreement over the best strategy in dealing with Iran’s quest for nuclear power. While the United States favors negotiation with Iran, Israeli government feels that Iran cannot be trusted to keep the agreement signed by the super powers plus Germany (P5 + 1)
            The bonds between the United States of America and Israel have been described as “unbreakable” despite the glaring and worsening disagreement between the two states. The level of violent conflicts and crisis in the Middle East now is unprecedented like the civil war in Yemen, conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

            Therefore, this study seeks to analyze the United States – Israeli relations and security in the Middle East,between the period, 2008-2015.....

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