|When Israel was founded in 1948, the United States was the first nation to recognize Israel as a sovereign state. Since that time, the United States has stood staunchly by Israel as its closest ally in the Middle East. This strong bond was founded on the common interests the two nations share in the region and the shared values of the Israeli and American people. |
Israel remains the leading recipient of U.S. foreign military financing (FMF), receiving security assistance funding, shared technology, and funding for missile defense programs and systems, including support for Iron Dome, Israel's short-range anti-rocket system. The U.S. has also assisted with the development of Israel's David's Sling, their long-range missile defense system, and served as a longstanding proponent of Israel's right to defend itself. These systems have helped protect Israelis from rockets fired by terrorist groups, like Hezbollah, at Israeli civilian targets.
More recently, however, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to a joint session of Congress, a rare split has occurred in relations between the U.S. and Israel. The White House refused to meet with the Prime Minister during his visit, citing the approaching Israeli election. Following Prime Minister Netanyahu's campaign statement (which he later clarified) on Palestinian statehood and his subsequent re-election, the White House announced it was reconsidering policy towards Israel, and could withdraw its unwavering support for Israel at the United Nations.
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