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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

U.S.-Israel Relationship Benefits Americans

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


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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Anonymous (not verified) on April 28, 2011 3:33 PM

This is all very entertaining I must say. How bout this everybody, how bout you start crying out for the Syrian civilians being savagedly shelled for peacefully protesting. Where is your outcry on that humanitarian crisis. Oh wait did amnesty international report on really what is going on in arab represive regimes? I dont think so, because they are too busy focusing on Israel a democracy that for god sakes gives rights to homosexuals, transgendered and women. You know if you were to go lets say a country nearby and you were gay, your head would probably be chopped off?
So maybe we should really start solving the real problems of the world, lets help though who are really in need and not blame tiny Israel for all the worlds ills. Mind you this people, America spends trillions of dollars in the Gulf region for the simple fact that there is little stability and the fact that all those supposed allies of America need their protection. So with that 3 billion dollar in aid given to Israel, Israel decides to defend itself with that. What makes sense, spending trillions of dollars on arab states who support sometimes vacillates or a country that recieves 3 billion dollars to want to defend itself in the face of terrorists who have no problem taking a knife and slicing the throat of children, or strapping a bomb and killing men women and children that have absolutely nothing to do with anything. These are acts of animals not humans. Stop scrutinizing Israel for its lack of human rights and start scrutinizing their neighbors for absolutely no human rights. No democracy is perfect nor is Israel an exception, it has its own social problems that it has to face and deal with. Its kinda of hard to do that when your Governments budget is forced to make 50% go towards the defense of its country to keep its democratic values

James Ellias (not verified) on February 8, 2011 3:36 PM

It's been a while. Good to see you are still writing.
I agree in essence with your article, but I encourage you to think about why Israel is so prosperous. You say that Israel has similar values to our country, namely democracy and free speech. Are those really the fundamental values that we share with Israel?

I would say that the value we share with Israel is that both of our nations respect individual rights. Israel commits errors, but unlike its neighbors who's governments violate individual rights as a matter of course, Israel's laws largely seek to protect those rights.

I don't think it is a coincidence that the freest nation in the middle east is also the most prosperous.

Nice work, I write for Neon Tommy too now, hope to see you write again.

Baron (not verified) on February 4, 2011 3:45 PM

If Mr. Lerner was to withhold the name of the country of this article's focus but leave the facts about its world-changing inventions now used everyday by a wide majority of the world population, you rabid Israel haters would be praising it instead of spitting venom.

It's hilarious how hypocritical Israel haters are. They're fine with boycotting Israeli hummus and items they don't use at all. But when it comes to cell phone and instant messaging technology and Intel computer chips (used in almost all computers these days), they suddenly make up excuses why they don't have to.

The former senior advisor to Ariel Sharon recently made an interesting observation about Israel haters... they're able to spawn so much support because they focus more on the story rather than the message, facts be damned. They're not concerned with factual accuracy; they're concerned more with the emotions and attractiveness/entertainment value of the narrative whether they know it or not. This is why leading Israel-hating figures like Norman Finkelstein and Jimmy Carter have been denied tenure or sued for deliberate deliverance of misinformation for the sole purpose of trying to get other people to hate Israel as much they do.

Finkelstein's own admitted inspirational individuals have called his work "garbage" that's rife with misinformation and half-truths. And this is someone all anti-Zionists look up to. What does that tell you about the principles and values of that kind of community?

When you're as close-minded and prejudiced as these Israel-hating clowns, it's so easy to be presented with a novel's worth of positive information on a country and disregard it all by focusing on and contorting the few negative or ambiguous qualities of that country. You guys love to say that a country's positive achievements does not excuse the negative actions it's made (assuming they are motivated by as much evil as you make them out to be). I know it's hard for you to grasp, but that concept is a two-way street; a country's mistakes do not nullify its positive achievements.

A lot of the people buying into this "apartheid state" crap have never been to Israel. Some have never even left their native countries. I've been there, and to the West Bank. I've seen what it's like. I know. It's nowhere near as apocalyptic as you guys have been taught to think it is. I talked with a Palestinian restaurant owner who was amazed by how emotional people so far-removed from the conflict get over it; he doesn't hate Israel, he just wants shit to quiet down again so he can visit his friends in Israel and have them visit him.

But you guys will never believe that; Israel is evil, Israel has always been evil, and Israel always will be evil. Anything that proves the contrary is clearly a forgery, a lie, inaccurate, irrelevant, or biased. There's always an excuse.

God help you.

Anonymous (not verified) on February 4, 2011 3:29 PM

Ana Cosma:
"numerous human rights violations, thriving sex trafficking industry, allowed human slavery, denial of basic freedoms, the right to food, right to water, etc"

Slavery? Sex trafficking? My God, Ms. Cosma, are you insane??? Or do you willingly swallow every new bit of contorted half-truths the Arab world shits out each day?

Israel is supplying their ENEMIES - the governments in the West Bank and Gaza - with food, water, power, and supplies. The only reason Gaza was able to build water parks, luxury restaurants, beach resorts, and strip malls is because Israel CHOSE to supply the Gazans with what they needed despite their hatred for Jews. From a basic human standpoint, willfully helping your enemy is an unthinkable thing to do.

ZMan: Really? The US doesn't benefit from an alliance with Israel? Mr. Lerner here just provided an entire article's worth of proof to the contrary, and there's still much more proof out there. Yet you just brush it all off as if you're not using Israeli technology (Intel Chip, anti-virus software) on your computer as you read this comment this very instant.

Do you have any evidence besides taking sides with a sick and twisted religious zealot who orchestrated the mass murder of over 3,000 innocent civilians for no other reason than to kill as much as possible? Or is that the kind of thing you poor gullible kids admire?

Zman (not verified) on February 4, 2011 1:23 PM

This is a pile of crap.. The United States does NOT benefit from being allied with Israel.. The main guy behind 9/11 said the US support of israeli in Israeli's brutality was the main motivating factor that drove him to do what he did. If you think it helps the United States to supply Israeli with weapons that are used to salughter thousands upon thousands lebanese and palestinians.

Matt C. (not verified) on February 4, 2011 2:53 PM

Oh so because some Islamic thug who lives in a cave with goats said he hates Israel we should too? As for Lebanon's citizens it's clear you have a short term memory. I wonder if someone sent rockets into your town if you'd have the same POV. Lebanon's support for Hezbollah led to the 2006 conflict. Your Hezbollah heroes hid with children and put their live ammunition with civilians. You're barking up the wrong tree.

Ana Cosma (not verified) on February 4, 2011 12:11 PM


Sure, Israel is a functioning "democracy," and it does contributes to the global economy just like any other nation. However, I don't think that anyone can remotely benefit whatsoever from Israel's numerous human rights violations, thriving sex trafficking industry, allowed human slavery, denial of basic freedoms, the right to food, right to water, etc. These are very real issues that are reported on every day, and the United States has made little to no tangible effort to improve the rights of lesser-represented Israeli and Palestinian citizens. Meanwhile, thousands of children are dying in Gaza and the West Bank as a result of water borne illnesses directly caused by Israeli hoarding of clean water supplies and over-use of the main aquifers and b) a lack of proper sanitation and infrastructure materials allowed into the area (See Amnesty International's report on the issue) . Too bad you can't just stick a bandage on all of Israel's other problems.....

Matt C. (not verified) on February 4, 2011 2:48 PM

Tell me, Neon Tommy, is it a policy for your staff to attack contributions from students? If Ana Cosma is the same Emilia Ana Cosma who works for Neon Tommy then your J school is failing student journalists. Since when does news paper staff attack contributions? This site is extremely left wing as it is. Way to get people to contribute! Next time include a disclaimer saying that anything remotely pro Israel or pro America is not welcome on the site.

As for your "argument" it is clear you have no idea of what self interest or self preservation means- or even an understanding of the Middle Eastern region. Thousands of people killed? When? The population in the West Bank and Gaza are growing exponentially. Maybe you've been too busy supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to have read about the grad rockets sent by Gaza terrorists that almost killed people celebrating a wedding in the south of Israel. Should the Israelis refrain from reacting to deliberate acts of war? Probably, in your warped view. Food and water supplies? Israeli taxpayers subsidize tons (I mean that literally) of food and medicinal supplies a week. Israel turned over Gaza to the Arabs and got a barrage of missiles. I can tell how *peaceful* the Arabs are. The fact is that Israel is the biggest refugee camp for Jews from all over the world. Most who are from the Middle East and were treated like dogs under Arab regimes. Too bad you can't stick a bandage over you mouth.

Thank you Jonathan for you article.