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The Complex Dynamics of U.S. Support for Israel in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

US-Israel ties, the Middle East peace effort, and the Jewish-Zionist debate have been subjects of research for many years, but the complex factors that contribute to American support for Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remain little known.

Zionism had its beginning in the late 19th century as a political and philosophical movement with its main aim being the establishment of a Jewish homeland to be situated in Zion, otherwise termed as the land of Israel. Zion, in this regard, takes its origin from the Hebrew Bible, connoting Jerusalem and Israel as the spiritual and ancestral home for the Jews.

A widely noted and violent anti-Semitic outburst, which culminated in the conviction of Alfred Dreyfus, and during this time also earlier pogroms in Russia and other European countries, were the driving factors that accelerated the Zionist movement. Zionism was influenced by leaders such as Theodor Herzl, who believed that a Jewish state would solve the issue regarding the "Jewish Question."

Jewish self-determination and the establishment of a sovereign Jewish state in their ancestral homeland form the foundation of Zionism. Zionists spread the vision that Jews had to return to their motherland and establish a new country, which would be their national homeland, thus creating an idea of nationality and unification among all Jews around the world.

Zionism reached its climax when the State of Israel was created in 1948. From then on, Zionism has developed as a flexible and multi-dimensional movement, combining different approaches based on ideologies, religious beliefs, and political orientations. This diversity is clearly seen in the debates between those Zionists who uphold the concept of a secular and democratic Jewish state, and their counterparts who underscore religious connections to the land of Israel that are deepened with their Bible readings.

Some of the common criticisms about Zionism usually raised are that this ideology has violated the rights of Palestinians and brought about displacement, occupation, and discrimination. Such issues as the displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian people, and the perpetuation of the conflict in the region are argued by them.

In whole, Zionism is a contentious concept that revolves around historical, political, and ideological elements, focusing on the Israel-Palestine conflict with an interest in peace and justice in the Middle East.

According to the general definition, "Jewish" as a term is mostly used in reference to people, culture, religion, and customs associated with Judaism, which is a monotheistic faith of the Jewish people. Judaism is one of the oldest religions known to humanity with over two thousand years of history.

According to its essential nature, the basis of Judaism lies in the faith in one God and the following of certain religious beliefs and commandments that have been defined within the Hebrew Bible, which is also called the Tanakh, or even with some other sacred books like the Talmud. The core values in Judaism are monotheism based on ethics, justice, compassion, community, and family bonds.

Jewish identity is broader than religious beliefs. Jewishness also relates to feeling a sense of belonging to a specific ethnic and cultural group. Peoplehood is mainly linked to shared ancestry, history, language (Hebrew), and traditions. Throughout the history of human civilization, the Jewish nation has divided into several distinct communities spread around the globe, yet they have maintained their interconnectedness as part of the larger Diaspora community.

Jews have had to contend with many challenges, conflicts, and incidents in history, including persecution, deportation, and the most horrible genocide of them all, the Holocaust. However, even though these trials, their cultural life and identity have remained resilient, demonstrating features like resilience, adaptability, as well as commitment to maintaining heritage and tradition.

Nowadays, the Jewish identity has become a multi-dimensional concept which includes not only religious observance but also culture and ideology. There are several communities that belong to this religion in different parts of the world; however, they are more numerous in Israel, the United States, Europe, and even elsewhere.

As a whole, the expression "Jewish" has a significance that is profound and intricate, capturing not only the religious beliefs but also cultural perspectives, as well as historical dimensions that embody the vast history of Jewish identification and inheritance.

The Israel-Palestine dispute remains an unbroken part of international politics, with its old roots related to religion, history, and geography. The basis of this conflict is the role played by the United States, which has always sided with Israel, often at the expense of Palestinian rights. Determining the logic behind U.S. support for Israel demands us to delve into a dense fabric made from a delicate blend of historical narratives, strategic alignment, political calculus, converging value systems, and ever-evolving international dynamics.

The bond between the United States and Israel can be traced back to the events following World War II and the Holocaust, which had a profound impact on American sentiments towards Jews and the desire for a Jewish state. In 1948, within minutes after Israel declared itself independent, America recognized this newborn country as an individual state on Earth. This strong action of solidarity led to a friendship that has stood firm through years of changes in government policy and international turbulence.

By its strategic interests, Israel has come to play a key role in relation to the United States, even when it comes to the region that is always tumultuous, which is the Middle East. Its military capabilities, intelligence abilities, and democratic values make it a dependable ally for advancing US interests in the area. In addition, Israel acts as a fortress protecting both countries from the shared hazards of terrorism, Iranian dominance, and regional uncertainty. Moreover, given Israel's geographic positioning in relation to the Middle East, it becomes quite convenient for America's military operations and intelligence collection activities there.

AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups play an outsized role in shaping US foreign policy. These organizations have significant political influence, utilizing their substantial financial resources to sway lawmakers, policymakers, and public sentiment. Both major political parties often depend on support from pro-Israel voters and contributors, which leads to a bipartisan agreement to maintain close ties with Israel. Consequently, US backing for Israel has evolved into one of the pillars of its foreign policy, frequently bridging partisan gaps.

The Israel and United States relationship goes far beyond geopolitical calculations as both of these nations have common cultural, religious, and ideological affiliations. Fundamentals of democracy, freedom, human rights, and the rule of law, which form the basis for both countries, serve as the solid foundation for their relationship. Moreover, there is a large Jewish community living in America who share deep emotional and cultural connections with Israel. The shared values, along with the cultural linkages, have created an even stronger bond between these two nations, resulting in strong support for Israel within American society.

The USA, in international forums including the United Nations, has been staunchly defending Israel against any sort of criticism and sanctions by using its veto power at the Security Council to prevent the adoption of resolutions that could be seen as unfavourable to Israel's interests. This unswerving assistance has contributed to the boost in Israel's confidence in its role at the world level and underpinned its belief about the US as an unwavering partner.

However, despite the unwavering partnership between the U.S. and Israel, criticism and public scrutiny have not spared U.S. backing for Israel, as evidenced by the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. According to critics, US pro-Israeli bias has undermined its role in negotiations as a neutral arbiter and empowered Israeli policies, including settlements in occupied areas. Additionally, others see America's support for Israel as a violation of Palestinian rights and their sovereignty, thus perpetuating the cycle of violence and destruction in this part of the world.

The future prospects of the Israel-Palestine conflict are not yet bright, with the United States remaining the most significant role player in how peace initiatives and regional stability will evolve. Even though the Americans' support for Israel is deeply rooted, there have been mounting requests that a more balanced approach should be taken that takes into account the valid issues and goals of both Israelis and Palestinians. For achieving a fair and lasting resolution to this conflict, there must be continued diplomatic efforts, the necessary give-and-take from both sides, and shared international action.

Conclusively, American support for Israel in the Israel-Palestine conflict is a highly intricate matter defined by historical, strategic, political, and cultural considerations. Despite the enduring bilateral relations between these nations, there are profound challenges and imbalances that need to be acknowledged to achieve harmony and justice in this area. A resolution to one of humanity's longest-lasting problems will only be possible with a deep comprehension of these influences.

Written By: Md.Imran Wahab
, IPS, IGP, Provisioning, West Bengal
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9836576565

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