How the U.S. Gains from the Israel Alliance

(JTA) David Pollock and Michael Eisenstadt - When two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon in April, doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital were well prepared for the aftermath. Two years earlier, Israeli medical experts had helped update the hospital's disaster response plan to deal with mass-casualty incidents, including how to distribute the wounded to hospitals and methods to locate fragments deep in wounds. On the day of the bombing, Alastair Conn, Mass. General's chief of emergency services, said, "We asked the Israelis to come across and they helped us set up our disaster team so that we could respond in this kind of manner." Israel's training of Boston first responders spotlights one of the many ways the U.S. has benefited from bilateral cooperation with Israel. The strategic logic that first brought the two countries together to fight Soviet influence and counter radical Arab nationalism during the Cold War endures amid the current challenges of political Islam and violent extremism. Israel has contributed to American security through counterterrorism cooperation, intelligence sharing and the development of such innovations as unmanned aerial vehicles and missile defense. At the same time, Arab ties with the U.S. have boomed in the past decade. Arabs are coming to the U.S. as students or visitors in record numbers; anti-American street protests have fallen dramatically since the start of the Iraq war in 2003; and defense cooperation with most Arab countries is closer than ever. Just as important, public opinion in every Arab or predominantly Muslim country polled has turned sharply against al-Qaeda. The writers, senior fellows at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, are the authors of Asset Test: How the United States Benefits from Its Alliance with Israel.

2013-06-24 00:00:00

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