How Long Could Israel Survive Without America?

The importance of the United States to Israel’s national security cannot be overstated.

Washington is usually the first, and often the sole, port of call for strategic consultation – almost always the foremost one, and inevitably the primary means of addressing the challenges Israel faces.

America is the be-all and end-all of most policy deliberations in Israeli national-security decision-making forums.

Some four decades into this “special relationship,” the price of a truly remarkable partnership has been a significant loss of Israeli independence.

Indeed, Israel’s dependence on the US has become so deep that it is questionable whether the country could even survive today without it.

For Americans and Israelis alike, these are controversial assertions. Many Americans are critical of what they perceive to be ongoing Israeli disregard for US policy preferences, and even acts of defiance, despite an entirely asymmetric relationship and vast American aid.

This is particularly true at a time when Israel is led by a hardline government.

Israelis, for their part, do not wish to be this dependent on a foreign power, even one as friendly and well meaning towards Israel as the US, and they view Israel’s ongoing freedom of decision and manoeuvre as vital to its national security.

GettyImages-52969279 Women soldiers are coated in mud and wear branches in their helmets as their infantry instructors' course learns about camouflage during the field craft week of their training May 19, 2005 at an army base near Beersheva in Israel's southern desert, photo distributed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) May 23, 2005. Chuck Freilich writes that as Israel’s international isolation has grown, its dependence on US diplomatic cover has become almost complete. Abir Sultan/IDF via Getty

Total American assistance to Israel, from its establishment in 1949 up to 2016, amounts to approximately $125 billion, a whopping sum, making Israel the largest beneficiary of American aid in the post-Second World War era.1 By the end of the ten-year military-aid package recently agreed for 2019–28, the total figure will be nearly $170bn.

US aid in recent years has accounted for some 3 percent of Israel’s total national budget, and 1 percent of its GDP.2 As such, its termination would require significant belt-tightening and painful cuts to Israel’s already overstretched budget for domestic needs, such as health and education, which would inflame social tensions. It would not, however, pose an insurmountable challenge to Israel’s national economy.

The true impact would be on Israel’s defence budget. In recent years, US aid has constituted approximately 20 percent of Israel’s total defence budget (which includes pensions, and care and compensation for wounded veterans and widows), or 40 percent of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) budget,3 and almost the entire procurement budget.

Termination would thus have a devastating impact on Israel’s defence posture, unless a major reordering of national priorities took place, with profound economic and societal ramifications.

Unlike Israel’s adversaries, who can procure weapons from numerous sources with few political constraints, Israel’s reliance on the US is critical. None of the other major arms producers today – Britain, France, Russia, China – would, or could, replace the US.

Certainly, none would be willing to provide the funding, and, in any event, there is no qualitative substitute for American arms. Indeed, the US is committed by statute to preserving Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME: that is, “the ability to counter and defeat any credible conventional military threat from any individual state, or possible coalition of states, or from non-state actors, while sustaining minimal damage and casualties … including weapons … superior in capability to those of such other individual or possible coalitions of states and non-state actors”).4

Israel apparently enjoys a de facto US security guarantee, an important addition to its own deterrent capabilities at all times, but one which may prove critical in the future, for example, if the nightmarish – but possible – scenario of a Middle East with multiple nuclear actors emerges.

No other country would or could address Iran’s nuclear program, a potentially existential threat for Israel, as the US did, even if there were eventual differences over the means of doing so.

No other country would have helped Israel build a rocket and missile shield, the only one of its kind in the world, or have engaged (reportedly) in joint offensive cyber operations.

The US further provides Israel with a link to its global satellite missile launch surveillance system, which gives it an invaluable extra few minutes of warning time, enabling civilians to take shelter, and the IDF to prepare and take countermeasures.

The military relationship also includes extensive bilateral exercises, allowing the IDF to learn some of the most advanced tactics in the world. Some of the exercises have been multilateral, thereby contributing to the strengthening of Israel’s foreign relations, in some cases with strategic importance.

The US has prepositioned a large store of weapons and munitions in Israel, to which Israel has partial access,5 and the two countries engage in a wide variety of counter-terrorism, homeland-security and counter-proliferation measures. Unequivocal American support for Israel during the 2006 war in Lebanon made it the first military confrontation in the history of the Arab–Israeli conflict in which Israel did not face constraints of ‘diplomatic time’.

The US and Israel conduct unusually close and intensive strategic dialogue and planning. On the Iranian nuclear program in particular, the two countries engaged in a broad, largely unprecedented strategic conversation for some 20 years.

Other issues have included, inter alia, the Iraqi, Syrian and Libyan programs for weapons of mass destruction, the situation in Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas, the Palestinian issue and much more. Intelligence cooperation – an area in which the US also benefits greatly from the relationship, but which is critical for Israel – is broad.

On the diplomatic level, too, the US is truly the indispensable nation for Israel, with no alternative for the foreseeable future. The US has used its diplomatic clout in a variety of international forums to protect Israel from an endless array of injurious resolutions regarding the peace process, various Israeli military and diplomatic initiatives and, of particular note, its purported nuclear capabilities.6

No other permanent member of the Security Council would repeatedly use its veto, as the United States has done, to shield Israel from such resolutions, including possible sanctions, even over policies with which it has sometimes disagreed.

Between 1954 and 2011, the US vetoed a total of some 40 one-sided or clearly anti-Israeli resolutions.7

Nothing better demonstrates Israel’s dependence on the US in international forums, where America is often nearly its sole supporter, than the angst and distress it experienced when the US merely abstained, for the first time, from a Security Council resolution condemning the settlements in December 2016.

As Israel’s international isolation has grown, its dependence on US diplomatic cover has become almost complete.

No other country will work so closely with Israel, as the US has for decades, to promote peace with its neighbours, on terms acceptable to Israel. No other country has so persistently and emphatically supported Israel’s demand that a final agreement with the Palestinians provide for its security, recognise Israel’s fundamental character as the nation-state of the Jewish people and reject the Palestinian demand for a so-called “right of return.”

Although the US has long been committed to an Israeli withdrawal from most of the territories it acquired in 1967, it has historically backed Israel’s view that UN Security Council Resolution 242, the bedrock resolution on which all peace negotiations between Israel and its Arab interlocutors have been based, allows for some limited territorial changes, such as inclusion of the “settlement blocs” in Israel.

The US exerted considerable efforts to help build the Israeli–Turkish relationship in its heyday and to revive it in recent years. It has supported Israel’s successful efforts to develop good relations with Azerbaijan, as well as its acceptance in international and regional forums, such as the OECD and the Western European and Others Working Group (WEOG) in the UN.

As part of a policy designed both to build a supporting regional framework for the peace process, and to promote Israel’s regional and international standing, the US has worked to help Israel improve relations with Jordan and Egypt, as well as the Gulf and North African countries.

One effort worthy of particular note was the establishment of Qualifying Industrial Zones in Jordan and Egypt, which had a major effect on Israeli trade with them.

Israel’s vibrant economy is also deeply dependent on the US, its largest trading partner and with whom it enjoys a free-trade agreement, the first the US signed with any country. Israel’s high-tech sector, of which it is justifiably proud, exists and flourishes largely because of the relationship with the US.

Does Israel act independently?

From the vantage point of contemporary readers, it may be surprising to learn that the US–Israeli relationship was actually quite limited and even cool until the late 1960s. It then evolved into a more classic patron-client relationship in the 1970s, and only in the 1980s started to become the institutionalised, strategic relationship that we know today.

For the most part, as a small actor facing numerous and often severe threats, but with limited influence of its own, reliance on the US has become the panacea for virtually all of Israel’s national-security challenges. Israel can and does appeal to other countries, but this is usually of marginal utility, and what the US cannot achieve, Israel almost certainly cannot, so there has often been limited interest in even trying.

Whether on the peace process, in which there has been competition with the Arab side for American favour, the Iranian nuclear programme, other issues of regional WMD proliferation, terrorism, efforts to delegitimize and impose sanctions on Israel, and just about everything else, turning to Washington has been Israel’s primary recourse.

In effect, the US and Israel long ago reached an unwritten understanding. The US provides Israel with massive military assistance, a de facto security guarantee, broad but not total diplomatic support and (previously) economic assistance.

In exchange, Israel is expected to consult with Washington on issues of importance prior to taking action, demonstrate military restraint and diplomatic moderation, even make some concessions, and accord the American position overriding importance.

Israel certainly does act independently at times, probably more often than one might expect in a totally asymmetric relationship such as this. With a few exceptions, however, US policy has been the primary determining factor in virtually all major national-security decisions Israel has made ever since the special relationship emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, and in many cases long before then.

On matters pertaining to major military operations, Israel virtually always accords primacy to the US position, and it does so on most diplomatic issues as well. In 1967, at a time when US–Israeli relations were still quite limited, the Israelis only went to war after president Lyndon Johnson informed them that he would not be able to fulfil the earlier US commitment to open the Straits of Tiran, which Egypt had closed to Israeli shipping, and arguably provided an “amber light” for Israeli action.

In 1973, the primary reason Israel refrained from conducting a pre-emptive strike, even once it had become clear that an Egyptian and Syrian attack was imminent, was the fear of the American response.

Israel only launched the 1982 Lebanon war after at least partially convincing the US of the need for a large scale military operation, a process which took the better part of a year.

In 1991, Israel refrained from responding to Iraqi missile attacks largely due to American pressure. The American demand that Israel refrain from attacking Lebanon’s civil infrastructure during the 2006 war left the IDF without a viable military strategy, and was one of the primary reasons for the difficulties Israel encountered.

Concern over a potential lack of support by the incoming Obama administration led Israel to terminate the 2008 operation in Gaza earlier than intended.

Israel’s decision to refrain from a strike on the Iranian nuclear programme, even though it considered it an existential threat, is a particularly important example of the primacy it accords the US position, and especially of the need for American support for major military action.

American opposition was not the only factor in Israel’s calculus, but it was certainly a decisive one. Some also question whether there was any viable military option available and thus believe that the nuclear deal, negotiated by the US, was actually the least bad outcome for Israel – again demonstrating its dependence on the US, even in the face of existential danger.8 Israel’s reported strike against a covert Syrian nuclear reactor in 2008 was conducted only after intensive consultations and with considerable US support.9

The Israeli strike on the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981 is typically cited by critics as the pre-eminent example of independent Israeli military action. The US was not apprised of Israel’s operational intentions, but the issue had long been on the agenda and was discussed intensively at senior levels.

On the peace process, too, the American position has had an enormous impact on Israel’s positions, if not quite as decisively as on military matters.

With the important exception of the initial Oslo Agreement, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres closely coordinated with the United States on Israel’s positions in the negotiations with the Palestinians and Syrians in the early 1990s.

Ehud Barak met with Bill Clinton just days after assuming office to gain American support for his highly ambitious plan for achieving peace with both the Palestinians and Syrians within a year. He then spent the following year in extraordinarily close consultation with Clinton, meeting with him on a number of occasions and often speaking with him and other top American officials a number of times a day.

Indeed, Barak’s entire strategy and bargaining posture at the Camp David Summit in 2000, and again prior to the “Clinton Parameters” later that year, was predicated on maximal alignment with the US.

In 2005, Ariel Sharon closely coordinated with the US on Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. In fact, it was American preferences that led to his decision to fully withdraw from Gaza and dismantle all of the settlements there as well as four in the West Bank.

Ehud Olmert, similarly, closely coordinated with the US on his positions, both at the Annapolis Conference and in regard to his far-reaching proposal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2008.

The only areas in which Israeli governments have truly taken independent positions in recent decades relate to the future of the West Bank, primarily the issues of Jerusalem and the settlements; in the past the Golan Heights; and, under Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran.

It is important to stress that an overwhelming majority of the Israeli electorate is deeply attached to Jerusalem, which it views as the very heart of Judaism and Israel’s renewed statehood.

The settlements are of supreme ideological importance for about one-third of the electorate, a large, highly motivated and very well-organised minority, and almost all Israelis share a deep-seated concern about the security ramifications of a possible future withdrawal from the West Bank.

As for the Golan Heights, there is an overwhelming public consensus in Israel that the territory is critical to its security. Iran, for its part, is viewed by the entire political spectrum as an existential threat, or one that is potentially so.10

There is a common thread to these cases of Israeli independence – they are all matters either of existential consequence, or of great ideological importance for the Israeli electorate.

Unless one expects total Israeli subservience, it is appropriate for Israel to set its own course on such matters. Even in purely practical political terms, no leader in any democracy could afford to take such deep public sentiment lightly.

Furthermore, even the most right-wing premiers have refrained from annexing the West Bank, generally done their best to minimise differences with the US and imposed restraints on settlements.

Even Netanyahu, who was embattled with the US like no other premier, agreed to a ten-month settlement freeze at the beginning of his premiership and reigned in settlement activity thereafter. Most other premiers pursued policies that were closely aligned with those of the US, and Rabin, Barak and Sharon even greatly exceeded American expectations.

Israel can still respond on its own to limited events on its borders, but most military and strategic issues beyond that, and almost all important diplomatic ones, require prior consultation and, in practice, adherence to the American line. Disagreements on the settlements and the status of Jerusalem have obscured the broader reality: that in most cases Israel does accord clear primacy to American policy. The current Israeli government is the exception to the rule.

Could Israel survive without America?

Desperate times call for desperate measures and, in extremis, Israel might be able to “tough it out,” virtually alone, in a globalized world. Israel survived, even thrived, without significant US support during its early decades; the strategic circumstances it faces today, though still severe, are far better; and it is far stronger militarily and economically.

Perhaps it could survive. There is no doubt, however, that this would be, at a bare minimum, an infinitely tougher existence, far less secure and much poorer – an existence no one in Israel, including the right, wishes to return to. In realistic political terms, it would be almost impossible.

Overall support for Israel in the US remains high, but political and demographic trends already under way are likely to have a deleterious impact on the relationship in the future.11

One of the primary sources of American support for Israel has been its historically bipartisan nature. In recent years, however, even before the dramatic confrontation over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal greatly accentuated the problem, Republicans and conservatives have become far more supportive of Israel than Democrats and liberals.

There is nothing wrong with rising support for Israel on the right – but the loss of support on the left, and the identification of Israel as a partisan issue, should be of deep concern.

A decline in support for Israel has also taken place among young Americans, who are significantly less likely to sympathise with Israel today than the American public as a whole, primarily due to the Palestinian issue. The medium- to long-term consequences may be significant, as these young people, already important as voters, gain positions of influence.

A similarly problematic process is under way among young Jewish Americans, whose sense of Jewish identity generally, and identification with Israel, is far weaker than that of their elders.

Low birth rates, intermarriage and assimilation undermine the strength and support of the Jewish community, the irreplaceable bedrock of support for Israel in the US. The Hispanic population, already the largest minority group in the US today, and the religiously unaffiliated, the two groups among whom support for Israel is the lowest, are both growing rapidly.12

Some Jewish-American and Israeli critics believe president Obama to have been less friendly towards Israel than his predecessors. This is a debatable contention, but to the extent that it was true, the real question is whether Obama was an exception, or heralded a long-term trend, possibly obscured by Trump’s election.

Obama was a product of an American generation that came of age with a very different conception of Israel than its predecessors and greater sympathy for the Palestinians.

Trump may or may not prove more friendly to Israel. The crucial question is how Israel should position itself for an era, not of actively hostile presidents, but of ones who may lack the instinctive warmth and support of many of their predecessors.

It is important to stress that Israel is unlikely to ever “lose” the United States. The political and cultural foundations of the relationship are sufficiently strong so that a US abandonment of Israel is virtually unthinkable.

Moreover, the US is deeply invested in Israel’s existence and security, and the strategic relationship has become so institutionalised, that it would be difficult for the US to simply walk away. Israel can thus count on long-term American support for its security.

But the degree of support may change, and even a marginal change would have profound ramifications for Israeli national security.

What should Israel do?

In these circumstances, a responsible and forward-looking Israeli national security strategy would formally define the “special relationship” as one of its fundamental pillars, and Israel would do everything possible to maintain close strategic dialogue and coordination with the US.

The American consideration must usually prevail in Israeli decision-making and few issues should be allowed to mar the relationship. Where fundamental differences do exist, Israel must do everything it can to minimise friction.

To this end, Israel should work very closely with the new Trump administration to reach common understandings and positions on a number of major issues. Doing so, of course, is not entirely up to Israel and may be complicated by the somewhat mercurial nature of the new administration.

First and foremost, agreement is necessary on how to go forward on the peace process with the Palestinians, or in the absence of realistic prospects for progress at this time, the means of managing and containing the conflict.

At a minimum, Israel should seek an understanding whereby the US would recognise Israel’s right to settle in the settlement blocs and Jewish neighbourhoods of east Jerusalem, in exchange for a halt to all other settlement activity. In reality, this has been American policy since the Clinton administration, and should now be given renewed formalisation.

Secondly, restoration of a common position on Iran, and especially its ongoing nuclear aspirations, is essential. This would include agreed measures for assessing whether Iran remains in compliance with the nuclear agreement, shared definitions of what constitutes significant violations, the measures to be adopted to bring Iran back into compliance in the event of a violation, and possible responses should it fail to do so, including credible military options.

Most of all, it is vital that agreement be reached on the means of ensuring that Iran never crosses the nuclear threshold, even after the deal expires, such as through a follow-on international agreement. The means of addressing Iran’s malign regional role, both through bilateral and other measures, also require special attention.

Thirdly, Israel should seek understanding with the Trump administration on the ramifications of the Syrian crisis, and hopefully the terms of its future resolution.

The US is focused today on ISIS, and Israel recognises that this is the primary immediate issue. It should, however, seek to persuade the new administration that an Iranian-dominated Syria and Iraq are an even greater long-term threat to both Israeli and American interests, and that this should be the primary focus of bilateral attention once the ISIS threat has been further eased.

To this end, Israel should encourage the US to accept a heightened, long-term, Russian role in Syria, and probably the need for additional inducements, in exchange for Russian willingness to curtail the Iranian/Hezbollah presence there and cooperation on the nuclear deal. In war-torn Syria, Russia is a stabilising factor.

Fourthly, renewed hostilities with Hezbollah or Hamas are probably just a matter of time and the two sides should seek advance agreement on the nature of Israel’s military responses.

Additional areas of consultation should also include preservation of the long-term viability of the Hashemite Kingdom in Jordan and the Sisi government in Egypt, two essential pillars of regional stability, as well as how to address broader trends of change in the region, including dangers to the stability of other important actors.

In the long term, Israel, like any sovereign state, should seek to achieve maximal independence, but it must make peace in the meantime with the reality of its dependence. In practical terms, this means aligning Israel’s policies to those of the US to the extent it can, and pursuing the closest possible strategic relationship, while at the same time maintaining those elements of self-reliance that are fundamental attributes of Israel’s defence doctrine, including robust military and strategic capabilities. It also means continuing to build close ties with other countries and world powers, both as an objective in its own right, and for those cases where Israel’s interests differ from those of the US, as long as they do not materially harm them.

Israel, for example, did not fully embrace the American position regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, which strengthened its relationship with Moscow, without ill effect to the US.

To truly reset the nature of the relationship, there is a more ambitious, dual track approach that Israel could take. Israel should consider a multi-year phase-out of US military aid beginning in 2029, at the end of the next ten-year aid package.

By that time, approximately 50 years will have passed since the massive aid programme began, a symbolic date that might prove to be a possible turning point. Time will tell, of course, and the decision would be subject to Israel’s strategic and economic circumstances.

Before then, however, Israel should seek a formal defence treaty with the United States. In truth, Israel does not currently need such a treaty for military reasons, and it will not in the future, unless Iran goes nuclear – possibly even then – or other Middle Eastern nuclear powers emerge.

Instead, the primary reason for seeking the treaty is to cement the long-term future of the “special relationship,” at a time when Israel’s standing in the US may have passed its peak. Previous administrations were reluctant to provide a guarantee of this sort and will likely be even more hesitant to do so in the future, so the Trump years may prove to be a last chance.

Moreover, a defence treaty might constitute the kind of security assurance and strategic “carrot” that could increase the willingness of a highly sceptical Israeli electorate to accept the risks, and dramatic concessions, necessary for peace with the Palestinians.13

Conclusion of the treaty would ideally be tied to propitious or pressing circumstances, such as advanced peace talks or an emerging nuclear threat, or in exchange for the phase-out of military aid proposed here – but Israel should pursue it regardless at any opportune time in the coming years.

Should a formal treaty prove unattainable, Israel should seek to give concrete meaning to its already heightened strategic status under the 2014 “US–Israel Strategic Partnership Act,” which has yet to be translated into practical policy.14

For Israelis, brought up on an ethos of national self-reliance, the reality of dependence is difficult to accept and rubs against their every instinct, as well as their various strategic interests.

The US is a generally reliable patron, which does try to live up to its commitments, but it has failed Israel on a number of important occasions. These include, to cite just a few, Johnson’s failure to open the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping in 1967, Richard Nixon’s intentional delay of the military airlift in 1973, George W. Bush’s inability to deal with the Syrian nuclear reactor himself in 2007, Obama’s disavowal of the 2004 Bush letter to Sharon and, debatably, the nuclear deal with Iran.

In some of these cases, Israel was forced to take action on its own, demonstrating the imperative of maintaining its independent capabilities and not putting all of its eggs in one basket, the overall reality of dependence notwithstanding.

At least to some extent, acts of Israeli independence should be viewed today not as signs of disregard for, or defiance of, the US, but as an indication of the maturity of the relationship and the success of American policy.

US support has built a strong and prosperous Israel, increasingly confident of its security and existence – the true long-term objective of the ‘special relationship’ – and therefore able to take independent positions on issues of vital importance to it. Israeli independence may not always sit well with the US, but it is a healthy sign of a more normal relationship. After all, the US has differences with other close allies, too.

In the long term, resolution of the Palestinian issue, or even significant progress towards that goal, would be one of the most effective means possible of lessening Israel’s dependence on the US. It would greatly reduce Israel’s international isolation; pave the way to more cooperative relations with some Arab states; make it harder for Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas and other rejectionist actors to pursue their aggressive agendas; and lead to dramatic economic growth.

Gratuitously provocative Israeli behaviour, such as announcements of new settlement activity immediately following visits of senior American leaders, have fanned the flames of disagreement. That said – and without in any way belittling the impact of such acts for the US, or the importance of the settlements issue itself – such behaviour is in truth a product of petty Israeli domestic politics, and not the result of decisions of strategic intent.

The very fact that the subject of this article needs to be raised at all, however, should give great pause to Israel’s leaders. Those blithely advocating an approach independent of Israel’s superpower benefactor – as some did, irresponsibly, during the quarrel over the Iran nuclear deal – should be careful what they wish for.

Charles D. ‘Chuck’ Freilich is a former Israeli deputy national security advisor, and a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center. He is the author of Zion’s Dilemmas: How Israel Makes National Security Policy (Cornell University Press, 2012) and Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2017).

Notes

1 Jeremy Sharp, ‘US Foreign Aid to Israel’, Congressional Research

Service, 10 June 2015, p. 29; Jim Zanotti, ‘Israel: Background and US Relations’, Congressional Research Service, 1 June 2015, p. 34.

2 Author’s calculation.

3 The defence budget encompasses the budget for both the IDF and Ministry of Defense, including pensions, care for veterans and the wounded, support for widows, and more.

4 Sharp, ‘US Foreign Aid to Israel’, p. 2.

5 See ibid., p. 15; Amos Harel, ‘US Army to Deploy Emergency

Equipment Worth $800 Million in Israel’, Haaretz, 11 January 2010; and Haaretz staff, 6 May 2001.

6 Avner Cohen, The Worst Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010), p. 32; Avner Cohen and Marvin Miller, ‘Bringing Israel’s Bomb Out of the Basement’, Foreign Affairs, September/October 2010, pp. 30–44.

7 Author’s calculation. Depending on how one counts, the total is between 38 and 41.

8 Barak Ravid, ‘Israel Demands Powers Publish All Secret Agreements With Iran’, Haaretz, 21 August 2015; Amos Harel, ‘Obama’s Iranian Dream’, Haaretz, 3 September 2013; Amos Harel, ‘The Isolation of He Who Digs In’, Haaretz, 18 October 2013; author’s interview with Dennis Ross, Cambridge, MA, 14 April 2016.

9 Condoleezza Rice, No Higher Honor, (New York: Crown, 2011), p. 708;

Robert Gates, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War (New York: Knopf, 2014), pp. 171–7; Elliott Abrams, ‘Bombing the Syrian Reactor: The Untold Story’, Commentary, 1 February 2013.

10 Anat Kurz and Shlomo Brom, ‘Strategic Assessment for Israel 2013– 2014’ (Hebrew), Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv, 2014, p. 163;

Yehuda Ben-Meir and Olena BagnoMoldavsky, ‘The Voice of the People:

Israeli Public Opinion on National Security’ (Hebrew), Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv, November 2012, p. 28; Shlomo Brom and Anat Kurz, ‘Strategic Assessment for Israel 2015–2016’ (Hebrew), Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv, 2016, p. 106.

11 See Dana H. Allin and Steven Simon, Our Separate Ways: The Struggle for the Future of the U.S.–Israel Alliance (New York: Public Affairs, 2016).

12 Owen Alterman and Cameron Brown, ‘American Public Support for Israel

Changing Direction’ (Hebrew), Strategic Assessment, vol. 15, no. 4,

January 2013, pp. 7, 11; Jonathan Rynhold, The Arab–Israeli Conflict in American Political Culture (New York:, Cambridge University Press, 2015) pp.

59, 85, 87, 89, 146, 150; Dov Waxman, Trouble in the Tribe: The American

Jewish Conflict Over Israel (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016), pp. 55, 134, 232; Elliott Abrams, ‘If American Jews and Israel Are Drifting Apart, What’s the Reason?’, Mosaic, 4 April 2016.

13 See also Allin and Simon, Our Separate Ways, Chapter Eight. 14 Zanotti, ‘Israel: Background and US Relations’, pp. 29–30.

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