Israel: Background and Relations with the United States [January 7, 2010]   [open pdf - 492KB]

"Since 1948, the United States and Israel have developed a close friendship based on common democratic values, religious affinities, and security interests. U.S.-Israeli bilateral relations are multidimensional. The United States is the principal proponent of the Arab-Israeli peace process, but U.S. and Israeli views differ on some issues, such as the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, and settlements. Israel and the Bush Administration enjoyed particularly close relations. The latter and Congress supported Israel's 2006 military campaigns against Hezbollah and Hamas and its 2008/2009 offensive against Hamas as acts of self-defense. Shortly after taking office in January 2009, President Obama stated that he considers Israel to be a strong ally of the United States. Yet relations have sometimes appeared strained as Administration officials and the Netanyahu government have differed markedly over how to resume the peace process. The United States and Israel concluded a free-trade agreement in 1985. Israel is a prominent recipient of U.S. foreign aid and the two countries also have close security relations. Other issues in U.S.-Israeli relations include Israel's military sales, inadequate Israeli protection of U.S. intellectual property, and espionage-related cases. See also CRS Report RL33530, 'Israeli-Arab Negotiations: Background, Conflicts, and U.S. Policy', by Carol Migdalovitz, and CRS Report RL33222, 'U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel ', by Jeremy M. Sharp."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33476
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