There is no doubt that the world we left in 2019 is far different than the one that we are seeing in 2020, and not just due to the global pandemic that is continuing to take its toll upon people around the world. While the United States is beginning to wind down its quarantine efforts, many Israelis are wondering how the COVID-19 epidemic will affect the future of US-Israeli relations.
One pressing and immediate concern is that of foreign aid, of which the American government typically provides Israel with billions of dollars of foreign aid funding each year. The United States contributes more money towards foreign aid to Israel than it does for any other nation, signalling a deep friendship between the two countries as well as indicating the USA’s active and alert presence in the Middle East.
At a time when Israel’s government seems to finally have come to a temporary conclusion surrounding the fraught political elections, taking away that crucial foreign aid could spell issues for Israel’s economy and military might, which relies upon aid for many of its military installations and projects. But the US economy does not seem as though it will support excessive government spending during this time, so it’s unlikely that Israel can rely upon that money for the foreseeable future.
Another change that may occur due to COVID-19 has to do with the upcoming presidential election. Even if President Donald Trump is reelected, there is no guarantee that this varying administration will not veer off from the current course of positive and diplomatic US-Israeli relations. Another possibility is that Democratic frontrunner and former Vice President Joe Biden will oust Trump as the next POTUS, which could spell many different futures for diplomatic relations. If Biden is elected and follows in Obama’s footsteps regarding his Israel policy, for instance, there could be major changes to the diplomacy between the two countries.
There are many unknowns for the future, the least of which is how the US elections will play out as well as Netanyahu’s plan to begin annexing holy sites in July, and it remains to be seen what ripple effects these events will have upon international diplomatic relations. While things may be relatively stable at the moment due to the current global pandemic, both the United States and Israeli may be in for a rude awakening when global business can begin once again.
The strength of the friendship between these two countries will always be strong, but the amount of support that each gives to the other will always vary based upon the current political climate of each nation. Instead of letting this pandemic pull us apart, let’s instead band together and ensure that the citizens of each nation know that they both care deeply about the other. Despite everything else that is happening in the world at the moment, it’s clear that the bond between the United States and Israel won’t be broken, even in the midst of a global pandemic.