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U.S.-Israel Relationship Benefits Americans

Jonathan Lerner |
February 3, 2011 | 12:49 p.m. PST

Contributor

Israeli biopharmaceutical company called Kamada is creating a new inhalable version of a protein replacement drug to treat Apha-1 Antitrypsin, which has the potential to save thousands of lives. (Photo by Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Creative Commons)
Israeli biopharmaceutical company called Kamada is creating a new inhalable version of a protein replacement drug to treat Apha-1 Antitrypsin, which has the potential to save thousands of lives. (Photo by Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Creative Commons)
Almost four weeks ago, gunshots rang out in an Arizona parking lot, leaving 19 shot— six fatally. In the following weeks, our country mourned those who lost their lives and prayed for the recovery of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the target of the shooting. However, one small but important hero in this tragedy has not been acknowledged. A six-dollar compression bandage, developed by the Israeli army.

The bandage, a part of a field trauma kit assembled by SWAT team medic David Kleinman, helps to stop bleeding and accelerate the process of blood coagulation that is essential to ensuring survival of trauma victims. First responders to the tragedy reached for this indispensable bandage “over and over at the scene,” Kleinman said.

These bandages are among the many technologies that have developed out of a mutually beneficial U.S.-Israel relationship. Along with reactive armor tiles and unmanned aerial drones, these bandages are used in Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure the well-being of our soldiers. In the civilian world, collaboration in airport security, border protection and the safety of our food supply keeps Americans safe within our borders. In short, Israel is a strategic ally to the United States due to the flow of innovative technology in the military and civilian realms. This alliance keeps American citizens healthier, safer and better able to respond in a crisis.

Information sharing between American and Israeli intelligence agencies is crucial to combating terrorism and other security threats facing the United States. Organizations like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah present a threat to both countries while the threat of a nuclear Iran looms large over both nations. America and Israel stand strong together against these challenges, cooperating to develop strategies that prevent acts of terrorism and reduce the threat of Iran’s growing weapons capabilities.

Beyond defense, Israel is a leader in alternative energy and electric cars. Considering the importance of energy independence in a world reliant on politically volatile regions for oil and gas, these technologies are an essential part of America's long-term security.

In addition, Americans benefit from medical devices and telecommunication methods developed in Israel. Text messaging and AOL instant messaging were both developed in Israel. In medicine, cameras contained in pills can examine the intestines to spot precancerous growths, leading doctors to remove them before they become harmful. In fact, Israel is the home to the most startups outside of Silicon Valley. Israel is only second to the U.S. in companies listed on the NASDAQ exchange. This innovative spirit benefits the United States by ensuring a strong economic alliance.

Further, America and Israel share common values. Democracy and the accompanying vocal criticism of government are a part of both cultures. Instead of stifling opposition like so many other countries in the Middle East, Israel has a strong record of protecting the rights of minorities and basic human rights. As recent unrest in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen has shown, Israel remains, by far, the most stable ally America has in the region. While these countries are attempting to move away from dictatorships, the inherently unstable nature of nascent governments make them poor choices as long-term allies.

Over the past 63 years, Israel has remained a steadfast ally to the United States. Through the examination of the exchange of technology and information between the two nations, it is clear that the U.S.-Israel relationship serves America strategically. Israeli technology and intelligence will continue to save lives both in the Middle East and back on our home soil.



 

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