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'America's ultimate ally'

'America's ultimate ally'
Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, explained the importance of the relationship between the two countries at The American Legion's Washington Conference. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)

Washington Conference

The American Legion's Washington Conference, held annually in our nation's capital gives our organization's leadership a chance to meet with elected officials to discuss legislative initiatives and priorities important to Legion members and their families. Learn more »

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, says that support for Israel among the American public is at the highest it’s been since the first Gulf War. But the reasons that the relationship between the two countries has always been special are simple, Oren told The American Legion during the organization’s Washington Conference Feb. 25.

Similarities between the two countries in four key areas – spirituality, government, military and commercial – are what have brought the two countries together for decades and what keeps the relationship as strong as it is, Oren said.

“Since 1948, the spiritual connection between Israel and America has been very deep,” said Oren, who was born in the United States to a career military officer and later served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces. “This is the most religiously observant country in the industrialized world. More Americans attend a church every week, or a mosque or a synagogue than in any other industrialized country, and spirituality plays a big role in the formation of American foreign policy. (Religion) has been instrumental in the background of many American presidents who come from faith-backed backgrounds to have a very strong connection to (Israel). That’s true for a great chunk of the American people as well.”

The fact that Israel is a democracy also solidifies the bond. “(Israel) is the only functioning democracy in the entire Middle East,” Oren said. “We have assured rights. We have a representative government. We have a separate judiciary. We have a declaration of independence which draws its language directly from the (U.S.) Declaration of Independence. We have a country where nobody is above the law.

“Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has a memorial for 9/11. It’s the only country in the Middle East that has a memorial for John F. Kennedy. We have a memorial for Martin Luther King in Jerusalem, and we actually commemorate Martin Luther King Day in Israel. We have not one, but two exact replicas of the Liberty Bell.”

A military alliance that took shape in the 1960s is, “greater and deeper than any military alliance America has had with any foreign nation in this post-World War II period,” Oren said. That includes the selling of U.S. arms to Israel, as well as a strong working relationship between the intelligence communities in both countries.

The final piece to the relationship puzzle, Oren said, involves the commercial side of things.

“Israel is America’s 20th-largest customer in the world,” he said. “We’ve surpassed Argentina, Russia, Spain (and) Ireland. We’re the 12th-largest export destination. We’re a high-tech giant. We have more start-up companies than any country in the world except the United States. Israel is a major commercial partner of the United States.

“Does this mean we agree all the time? Guess what – we don’t. All the disagreements notwithstanding... our positions are far closer today than any time in the past.”

That relationship will continue into the future, Oren pledged.

“We are in a profoundly unstable period in the Middle East,” he said. “There is turmoil throughout our entire region. In the face of all of this chaos, there’s one country that is stable, that is secure, that has a citizens’ army... that’s larger than the British and French armies combined. We have a robust economy. We have a democracy that has never known a second of non-democratic rule.

“And we are a country that is unequivocally, unreservedly, unabashedly pro-American. You will never see an anti-American demonstration in the streets of Israel. Israel is not just America’s ally. Israel is America’s ultimate ally, and we’re going to stay that way.”

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Richard Baca

May 19, 2014 - 12:47am

Question to the American Legion: Is it true that the USS Liberty Veterans Association has been denied their request to put a booth at the 2014 American Legion Convention?

PNW Guerrilla

March 2, 2013 - 10:05pm

Does anybody remember the prolonged Israeli air attack upon the USS Liberty? They murdered many U.S. sailors and injured plenty more in broad daylight! The ship was flying an extra large "storm flag", on that date. Some say Israel is our best friend in the Middle East. Well, guess what - we never had any serious enemies over there until the State of Israel (not to be mistaken for our 51st State!) was established in 1948. No other foreign lobbyists can even begin to compete with those working for AIPAC (Anal Israelis Puppeteering America's Congress). The influence they have over our politicians should concern every patriotic American. In my opinion, our longstanding alliance with - and subsidation of - Israel is the reason thousands of innocent Americans were murdered on 9/11, with thousands more lost in the justifiable pursuit of terrorist in Afghanistan, as well as the unjustifiable (and totally unnecessary) invasion of Iraq. Even now, our military is gearing-up to do more of Israel's dirty work in Iran. Canada and the British Commonwealth have consistently proven to be America's true ultimate allies, while parasitic Israel has proven to be America's ultimate manipulator. I'm not an anti-Semite. I'm an anti-parasite. But, if anyone wants to call me a hater or whatever, let the labels flow! I will never allow the false and pretensive doctrine of "political correctness" to muzzle me or prevent me from sounding an alarm to protect my fellow Americans...

Dadbug

February 28, 2013 - 5:22pm

If Israel is our Ultimate alley, then why do the Jews pay good money to get Jews working the the US Government to steal US secrets and give them to Israel? The Pollards -- husband and wife -- are clear cut examples of this. Pollard worked for the Navy and copied Top Secret documents and gave them to the Jews in Israel for money. If that wasn't bad enought, even though the Jews in Israel running this spy operation were caught, Israel is constantly pushing the US to release the Pollards' release so they can move to Israel, receive medals for their service, and live out their lives on a Jewish pension! This is just one of many, many instances where Israel only cares for US money we give and US blood we spill for their existance. With friends like this we don't need enemies!

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