Almost unnoticed, the United States Congress finally approved the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership, concluding two years of political wrangling with the Obama administration and within both houses of Congress. The passing of the act can be regarded as an impressive achievement for Israel and its friends on Capitol Hill. It can only be regarded as an upgrade in cooperation on a range of security and civil issues. The legislation is not finalized until the American president signs it, which will create a real dilemma for him. At a time when tensions between the leadership of both countries are on a knife-edge, this piece of legislation leaves President Obama in a very tricky situation. Signing the bill will send a clear message to those who accuse him of a lack of commitment to Israel’s long term security. However, it leaves with him reduced leverage vis-à-vis Israel if he decides for another push to bring peace between Israeli and the Palestinians, most probably the last for him as a president. One doubts, in the light of the overwhelming defeat of the Democrats in the recent mid-term elections, and the fact that the bill enjoyed bi-partisan support, that President Obama will even contemplate not supporting the new bill.
The vote on the new Israeli-American strategic act was a powerful demonstration of support for IsraelYossi Mekelberg