Israel and the United States are often allied on many matters, including the United States support for the creation and existence of Israel. This is just one point which connects the two countries, despite being on opposite sides of the world. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast Israel and the United States as nations. This analysis will provide an overview of each state, followed by a SWOT analysis and a conclusion.
The United States is a collection of semi-autonomous states with collective national interests determined at a national level, with this agreement formalized in the U.S. Constitution. This has helped to drive economic growth and business, which is a defining feature of the priority of the government and the population. The stability of the United States has been threatened by its internal monetary and financial policies, such as what occurred in the 2007-2008 Great Financial Crisis. It has also been threatened by internal divisive politics, which has produced great conflict between Democrats and Republicans, or liberal and conservative points of view.
With a very strong military and international relations policy, it seems unlikely that the United States would be taken over by a hostile state. The United States also has considerable allies which depend on the country for trade, and many nations actually use the American dollar as their national currency. The division of Americans between political ideologies also manifests as different states being either “red” (conservative) or “blue” (liberal). At various times in recent history, there have been calls for secession by various states, notably Alaska and the western states of California, Oregon and Washington (Pavkovic & Radan, 2016).
The state of Israel is a parliamentary democracy, but at the root of its creation and symbolism is the idea of a homeland for the Jewish people based on historical events. These historical events include both the historical record which indicates that this area was once the Jewish territory, of importance to Christians because it is discusses as the Jewish lands at the time of Jesus (Milton-Edwards, 2018). Another important historical event was the attempted annihilation of all Jews by the Nazis in the Second World War (Milton-Edwards, 2018). This led to concerns by the Allies in that war that Jewish people should have their own state where they could collectively protect their interests. At the time, the area defined in the Christian Bible as being Jewish territory was located within British controlled Palestine. The Allies, with the help of the British member, therefore had the capacity to create a temporary Jewish state (Milton-Edwards, 2018). When the British left the area, Israel simply asserted its own existence (Milton-Edwards, 2018).
Israel faces constant danger, although this may have the effect of strengthening rather than weakening stability because of the continued need for vigilance and security in the face of a common enemy. That common enemy that is faced by the population in Israel (which today includes a minority Muslim and Christian population) are terrorists from the surrounding Middle Eastern nations (Beauchamp, 2018).
The strength of both the United States and Israel is in its international alliances. Both nations are well respected on the world stage, with considerable support from powerful international organizations. They each have strong economic basis and institutions. The weakness of both states is due to the sentiment of much of the Islamic nations in the Middle East in relation to Americanization, and the carving out of a Jewish state in what was Palestine (Milton-Edwards, 2018). The opportunities for the United States an Israel are diplomacy, and continued attention to security. This would follow the current approach, which is to defend internal security against Muslim terrorists through attention to borders and assessment of incoming travellers, while also engaging in combat outside of that territory such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The main threat for both the United States and Israel is terrorism. This is very different from conflict between nations, as there is little regard for law, diplomacy or the processes of the state as terrorist groups are removed from formal governance and its institutions.
The threat for each nation is the common enemy of Muslim-backed terrorists. For Israel, the security threat is far greater because of its geographic position in the Middle East, surrounded by angry populations that resent the assertion of an American-backed Jewish state in their traditional territory. For America, the threat of terrorist attack is also real. The opportunity is for both nations to continue to build alliances and positive relations with other countries to increase their balance of power.
- Beauchamp, Z. (2018). Why are the US and Israel so friendly? Vox. Available from: https://www.vox.com/cards/israel-palestine/united-states
- Milton-Edwards, B. (2018). Contemporary politics in the Middle East. John Wiley & Sons.
- Pavkovic, A., & Radan, P. (2016). Creating new states: theory and practice of secession. Routledge.