Has Israel Grown Too Dependent on the United States?

Cracks are increasingly discernible in the famous “special relationship.” Can they be repaired? If not, could Israel’s national security survive the loss of American military aid?

Mike Pence and Benjamin Netanyahu on January 22, 2018 in Jerusalem. ARIEL SCHALIT/AFP/Getty Images.

Mike Pence and Benjamin Netanyahu on January 22, 2018 in Jerusalem. ARIEL SCHALIT/AFP/Getty Images.

Essay
Feb. 5 2018
About the author

Charles D. (Chuck) Freilich, a former deputy national security adviser in Israel, is a senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center. His book, Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change, is forthcoming from Oxford.


Israel’s relationship with the United States is a fundamental pillar of its national security. Militarily, diplomatically, and economically, American support has for decades been a vital strategic enabler. For consultations on emerging events, Washington is usually Israel’s first and often sole port of call, almost always the foremost one, and inevitably the primary address when planning how to respond to such events. Indeed, Israel’s reliance on the United States is so great today that the country’s very survival is at least partly dependent on it—with, as we shall see, a variety of consequences not all of which are salutary.

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More about: American-Israeli Affairs, Israel & Zionism, Politics & Current Affairs