Understanding American support for Israel

American support for Israel has grown progressively. After the Strategic Alliance of the Reagan Administration and President Clinton’s political sympathy for the Israeli society and Rabin’s policy, different factors are at stake with the George W. Bush Administration: both countries’ biblical foundations, a religious sympathy that goes beyond American Judaism, solidarity with liberal institutions, and above all a radical rejection of terrorism. International considerations and electoral constraints are concurring to define a very substantial alliance. Nevertheless, regarding the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, American views are not so distant from European ones. These include supporting the ‘two States’ solution, withdrawal from almost all the occupied territories, a special status for Jerusalem. Yet, in the current circumstances, that is to say the occupation in Iraq and the electoral year, it is dubious to foresee an American support for a multilateral settlement, which would expose the United States to Israeli criticism and to terrorism from the radical Palestinian movements. – Summary AFRI-2004