Mon, 08 Apr 2024 Feature Article

Balancing Act: Navigating the Complexities of the US-Israel Relationship amidst Geopolitical Challenges

Balancing Act: Navigating the Complexities of the US-Israel Relationship amidst Geopolitical Challenges

The United States has wielded its influence to block UN Security Council resolutions aimed at securing a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict on three occasions. However, in March, the Biden administration opted not to veto the latest ceasefire resolution, allowing it to pass through abstention. This decision was partly motivated by Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s persistent refusal to heed the White House’s calls to minimize civilian casualties and facilitate aid delivery to Gaza amidst a looming famine.

Relations between the Biden administration and Israel faced strain when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) inadvertently struck and killed seven workers from the World Central Kitchen (WCK). While Netanyahu admitted fault and the IDF’s chief of apologized for the grave mistake, some Western voices are urging the US, UK and other allies to cease arms sales to Israel. However, these calls often overlook criticism of Hamas, the instigator of the conflict, and neglect efforts to pressure them into accepting a ceasefire.

While figures like Nancy Pelosi advocate for halting arms sales to Israel, former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson cautions against such measures. Nonetheless, the Biden administration’s stance towards its staunch ally, Israel, could prove perilous. By refraining from vetoing resolutions and taking a more critical stance, the US risks emboldening Hamas and potentially allowing Israel’s enemies, like Hezbollah, to escalate attacks.

Israel heavily relies on the US for support across historical, political, economic and strategic domains. Withdrawal of US support would have far-reaching consequences, including military assistance and security implications. The US provides crucial aid, including advanced weaponry and intelligence sharing, enhancing Israel’s defense capabilities against regional threats such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Furthermore, US political cover in international forums shields Israel from diplomatic isolation and scrutiny.

Economically, Israel benefits from substantial US aid, investment and trade advantages. Withdrawal of economic support could disrupt Israel’s economy, impacting employment, investment and technological innovation. Moreover, US-Israel relations play a stabilizing role in the volatile Middle East, countering common adversaries like Iran and fostering regional stability.

Internally, US support for Israel enjoys bipartisan backing but could fuel domestic political divisions and debates over foreign policy priorities. In Israel, perceived weakening of US support may embolden hardline factions, hindering peace efforts and exacerbating social tensions.

Richmond Acheampong is a communication expert, consultant, independent journalist and columnist. He holds a PhD in Journalism. He can be contacted through [email protected]