Israel and the United States: Friends, Partners, Allies


 Israel and the United States: Friends, Partners, Allies

Jerusalem’s Liberty Bell Garden was created in 1978 in honor of the U.S. Bicentennial. A replica of Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell is mounted in the center of the park.
(Israel National Photo Collection)

The friendship between Israel and the United States runs deep – shared values, economic partnership, strategic cooperation, humanitarian assistance and cultural ties.

Only eleven minutes after Israel declared its independence in 1948, President Harry Truman recognized the new Jewish State. Since this time, all the leaders of the United States have expressed their support for the State of Israel, and the people of both countries have continually nurtured, promoted and developed their shared values and interests.

The goal of this publication is to celebrate the relationship between Israel and the United States.

Embassy of Israel
Washington, D.C.

Selected Excerpts:


Israel and the United States are both democracies that hold liberty in the highest regard. Moreover, Israel is the sole democracy in the Middle East.

As democracies, both Israel and the United States are committed to freedom, equality and tolerance for all people regardless of religion, race or gender. Freedoms of conscience, speech, assembly and press are embedded in the fabric of both American and Israeli society. While Israel was established as a homeland for the Jewish people, Israeli society is a mosaic of many peoples including Jews, Arabs, Druze and Circassians. All Israeli citizens enjoy full and equal rights.


Like the United States, Israel is in large part a nation of immigrants. Israel has welcomed newcomers inspired by Zionism, the Jewish national
liberation movement.

The United States has played a special role in assisting Israel with the complex task of absorbing and assimilating masses of immigrants in short periods of time. The United States worked with Israel to bring Jews from Arab countries, Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union to Israel, and has assisted in their absorption into Israeli society.


The cornerstone of the vibrant U.S.-Israel economic relationship is the 1985 Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the first FTA ever signed by the
United States. Over the last 20 years the FTA has enabled a sevenfold expansion of bilateral trade. Israel has become one of the largest trading partners of the U.S. in the Middle East and Israel’s prime export destination is the United States.

The Israeli and American economies share common commitments to a free market, competitiveness, active support of international trade liberalization and of the multilateral trading system.


An astonishing 70% of Israel’s exports are in the high-tech sector. Per capita, Israel has more high-tech startups, scientists, engineers, civilian research and development spending, venture capital investments and patents registered in the United States than any other country in the world.

Strategic Cooperation

The U.S. and Israel are engaged in extensive strategic, political and military cooperation. This cooperation is broad and includes American aid, intelligence sharing, joint military exercises, and a mutual commitment to defending democracy. American mil tary aid to Israel comes in different forms, including grants, special project allocations
and loans. Approximately 75% of this aid is spent in the United States, providing American jobs, buttressing the American defense industry, and generating econom growth.

Israel was one of the first countries to cooperate with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in developing initiatives to enhance homeland security. In this framework, there are many areas of partnership, including preparedness and protection of travel and trade.


Israel is one of only eight countries in the world to develop, produce and launch its own satellites. Israeli scientists have participated in
NASA projects and both countries have benefited from cooperative research.

When NASA launched the space shuttle Columbia on January 16, 2003, the seven crewmembers on board included the first Israeli astronaut, Col. Ilan Ramon. After a successful two-week mission, the Space Shuttle Columbia tragically exploded over Texas during re-entry, killing all the crew members. Despite this tragedy, Israel and the United States intend to continue to work together to expand the frontiers of science.


Israeli culture is unique in its diversity and creativity. The growing exposure of Israeli culture in the United States has helped introduce Americans to an overlooked side of Israel and its people.


With the long-standing Jewish belief in the primacy of education, it is not surprising that education in Israel is a fundamental value recognized as the key to the future. As in America, Israeli education
is built on strong values: love of the land and the principles of liberty and tolerance.

Partnerships between American and Israeli universities are very common, enabling the two countries to share their knowledge, brainpower, and research capabilities. Many Israeli universities collaborate with American universities on research. These partnerships have led to great advances in science and technology, as well as Nobel Prizes for Israeli and American scholars.