US Interests in the Middle East

May 1st, 2012

Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts is a paramount foreign policy interest of the United States. As the United States withdraws troops from Iraq, works to stabilize Afghanistan and pursue a resolution to the crisis with Iran, strengthening alliances in the region to create stability and protect the United States is essential. Restoring America’s image in the international arena is a top priority for Washington. Toward that goal, the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, particularly through a regional, comprehensive approach, is critical for the United States.

On the other hand, another interminable or failed peace process only depletes America’s credibility and strategic relevance abroad. The urgency on the ground requires a final-status agreement and cannot be stalled by unrealistic preconditions, political maneuvering, and processes that leave core issues unsettled. This would undermine Israel’s future as a democracy and a national home for the Jewish people and compromise America’s interests in the region. The United States, therefore, should lead a peace effort that serves its own interests.

The United States is Israel’s closest ally and it is always important to demonstrate that it will stand with its allies when they are under threat. Ensuring Israel’s security from both local and regional threats is in America’s best interest. It is also in the interest of both Israel and the United States to honor similar values-systems, including the tenets of democracy, justice, and equality. America best serves our historic friendship with Israel when it is actively working to resolve conflicts and advance peace, which ultimately ensures Israel’s existence and security in the Middle East. An Israel at peace with its neighbors is both a US and Israeli interest. Israel has an interest in a strong and reinvigorated American role in the world, and the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is part of securing that.

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