Furthering Our Relationship With Israel

“Our special nations share so much: a pioneering spirit; basic rights and freedoms, including religious freedom and pluralism…. We stand for the unbreakable bond between our two great nations, rooted in our shared traditions of freedom and equality.”

-Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, March 2, 2020

Secretary Pompeo will travel on May 13 to Israel, where he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Speaker of the Knesset Benny Gantz in Jerusalem to discuss U.S. and Israeli efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as security issues related to Iran’s malign influence in the region.

THE U.S.-ISRAEL PARTNERSHIP, COUNTERING IRAN, AND PROMOTING REGIONAL STABILITY

  • The United States  prides itself on being the first country to recognize Israel as an independent state on May 14, 1948, when President Harry Truman issued a statement of recognition following Israel’s proclamation of independence on the same date.
  • President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017, and the U.S. Embassy to Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14, 2018.
  • The United States stands with Israel in countering Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the region. We cooperate closely with Israel to counter Iran and work to resolve regional crises in a manner consistent with U.S. and Israeli national security interests.
  • The United States supports Israel’s right to defend itself and is a partner to Israel in the face of Iran’s  continued support  for  designated terrorist groups such as Hizballah  in Lebanon  and Hamas  in  Gaza.

U.S.-ISRAELI ECONOMIC TIES ADVANCE PROSPERITY IN BOTH OF OUR NATIONS 

  • The United States is Israel’s largest single trading partner. The U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement, signed in 1985, serves as the foundation for expanding trade and investment between our two countries.
  • The U.S.-Israel economic and commercial relationship is anchored by bilateral trade of close to $50 billion in goods and services annually.
  • Israel is home to more than 2,500 U.S. firms employing some 72,000 Israelis, while Israel is a top-15 foreign direct investor in the United States and supports an estimated 19,200 American jobs, according to the Department of Commerce.
  • The 34th meeting of the U.S.-Israel Joint Economic Development Group, the annual economic policy dialogue, was held on October 23, 2019 in Washington. This meeting facilitates economic cooperation between the U.S. and Israel and gathers more than 80 U.S. and Israeli officials together at the U.S. Department of State.

U.S.-ISRAEL MILITARY PARTNERSHIP

  • The United States is committed to Israel’s security and supporting its right to defend itself. The level of U.S. support to Israel is unparalleled. Under our 10-year Memorandum of Understanding, we provide $3.8 billion annually in security assistance to Israel.
  • In addition to financial support, the U.S. and Israel maintain a high level of defense cooperation including joint military exercises, military research, and weapons development.
  • The United States and Israel have enhanced their cooperation in fighting terrorism through the Joint Counterterrorism Group and a semi-annual Strategic Dialogue.

VISION FOR PEACE

  • The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate peace, and we will do what we can to help this cause. President Trump’s  Vision  for Peace  is detailed, realistic, implementable, and meets the core requirements of both the Israeli and Palestinian people.
  • This Vision is just the first step and provides the basis for historic progress toward peace. The United States hopes this Vision will lead to direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

U.S. AND ISRAEL BOAST STRONG EDUCATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND EXCHANGES

  • Through our people-to-people programs, the United States supports a rich array of cultural, educational, and professional exchange programs with Israel. These educational and cultural exchanges create future Israeli and U.S. leaders in technology, academia, business, politics, science, and the arts with a deep and nuanced understanding of the United States and of Israel.
  • Israel boasts more  than 12,300 alumni of State Department-sponsored educational and cultural exchange programs.
  • Since 1956 the U.S. and Israeli governments have partnered in supporting a binational Fulbright commission, sending approximately 3,300 Americans and more than 1,300 Israelis on a variety of Fulbright exchanges.

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