Israel remains the United States’ most important ally in the Middle East, but the foundations of the alliance aren’t what they used to be. This is the perspective of Jacob Shapiro, Geopolitical Futures’ Director of Analysis.
“Remember, the US and Israel were not always close allies,” says Shapiro. “[The] alliance really started in 1967 after the Israelis proved that their military was capable of handling some of those Arab nations around them and Israel became a main Cold War ally of the United States.”
Now that the Cold War is over and new developments (such as the war in Syria, Iran’s rise, and Turkey’s growing influence) are shaping events in the region, Israel’s value to the US isn’t as important.
Shapiro shared his thoughts during an interview in Washington, DC taped during Geopolitical Futures’ annual conference, an event that focused on Donald Trump’s effect on the next four years of American global leadership.
During the election campaign, US President Donald Trump made it clear he was a major supporter of Israel. But, things have changed somewhat since he arrived in office.
“All of this falls under the rubric of you really shouldn’t pay any attention to what Donald Trump says,” explains Shapiro, “and you should forget everything he said during the campaign, and you should forget everything he tweets and everything he’s going to say. So, yes, he said he was unequivocally for Israel. But, we already saw that he chastised them for settlements, and that’s already changed some of Netanyahu’s behavior with settlements. And, he also said that he was going to move the embassy to Jerusalem—he hasn’t done that either. So, Trump says these things—and he was probably doing them to cater to votes—and then when he’s in office, he sees that things are a lot more complex.”
Watch the full interview above.