Observers of American politics have already said this: the U.S. Government is strongly supportive of Israel. Despite Israel’s socio-political activities against Palestine and Lebanon, the United States continues to funnel economic and military aid to Israel’s coffers. Why does the U.S. support Israel? The reasons may be found in three contexts: historical, religious, and economic.
The historical connections of Israel with the Western countries began after World War I when the British government made promises to two conflicting groups: the Arabs and the Jews. In a correspondence between Husayn bin Ali, the Sharif of Mecca and Sir Henry McMahon, High Commissioner in Egypt, representative of the British Empire, the Arabs were promised by the Allies an independent state in the region now known as Palestine.
However, from a quote in an article in JuniorPolitics.com titled Why Does The US Support Israel?, which was posted on the 29th of December 2008, we learn that in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the British government:
“view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” (Source: Yapp, M.E. (1987). The Making of the Modern Near East 1792-1923. Harlow, England: Longman. p. 290.)
These promises made to two groups by the British and its Allies created the conflict between Palestine Arabs and Israeli Jews. After World War I, the Jews eventually got their own country and the Palestinians weren’t happy about it. Later on, Hamas was formed to terrorize the country of Israel, which was never recognized as a country by the Palestinians.
In a separate article found at Anusha.com, Sam Sloan articulated the reasons why the U.S. Government seems bent on supporting Israel all the way despite the criticisms. According to him, religion and the influence of religious groups on American politics are reasons for the support.
The author’s premise is that the strongest and most influential religious group in America today are the Fundamentalist Christians, primarily the Baptists, and they are united in their support of Israel. Why is this so. The following is the author’s explanation of it:
According to the Bible and the Book of Revelation, chapters 16-21, in order for the Second Coming of Christ to occur, several things must happen. First, the Jews must return to Jerusalem. That has already happened. Then, there will be a series of catastrophic events. The moon will turn to blood. Next, there will be a major battle known as the Battle of Armageddon. Satan will declare war on Jerusalem. He will effect it through the Anti-Christ. The Bible states that part of Jerusalem will be destroyed and pillaged. It also states that when all appears hopeless for the Jews, the Second Coming of Christ will occur. From the ruins a new Jerusalem will arise and all the remaining Jews who were not killed in the Battle of Armageddon will convert to Christianity.
These events all depend on one thing: The Jews must be in control of Jerusalem. The Biblical account of The Battle of Armageddon describes the Jews as bring in Jerusalem. Therefore, if the Jews do not control Jerusalem, Battle of Armageddon and thereafter the Second Coming of Christ cannot occur.
For this reason, the Fundamentalist Christians support Israel. This kind of support also explains why no political candidate can be elected in America who is opposed to Israel.
Yet, in another article, Why does the US support Israel, written by Vashti Kenway for the Socialist Alternative, the American government’s support for Israel is based on its strategic value in the oil-rich Middle East. The Middle East is home to two-thirds of the world’s oil reserves. Control over Middle Eastern oil gives the US leverage over its economic rivals. Therefore political and economic control over the Middle East is crucial to the United States.
Which is true?
Each of these authors have presented very persuasive evidence on the reasons why the US continues to support Israel. The bottomline, perhaps, is that the US needs a strong ally in the Middle East, which is primarily anti-American. The United States is a powerful country and wants to maintain that kind of power. It has vested interests in the Middle East and it wants to protect them – at all costs.