The United States and Israel alliance is a tremendous benefit to both countries. Whether the connection is in homeland security, democracy or defense, the relationship between the two nations is vital. The U.S.-Israel relationship is a strategic asset for either country and benefits each in a variety of ways. Conversely, breaking this relationship would be morally inexcusable and strategically catastrophic for the United States.

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Israel’s strategic objective is to maintain its safety in a region surrounded by other entities that attempt to disturb that safety. On the contrary, America’s strategic objective is to maintain a prosperous economy and continue to be a powerful political entity. The U.S.-Israel relationship allows both countries to achieve these initiatives, as the U.S. provides Israel with a backbone in a strong ally, while Israel cooperates in free trade with the U.S. and helps to stimulate our economy.

The U.S. and Israel face common military threats. The common enemy is radical Islam — namely, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and many other factions. These entities embody radicalism and violate human rights on a regular basis. They aim to destroy modernization and disturb progressive and civil negotiations of peace.

They do not want peace.

The U.S. cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran. If it were to happen, the most destructive weapon built would fall into the lap of an already unstable territory and that would be disastrous. This is a risk neither America nor Israel can compromise with, and so allying with each other improves both countries’ objective of security. We saw how devastating religious fanaticism can be in Sept. 2001.

In addition, the two countries share common values in democracy, human rights, freedom of speech and freedom of press. These are values that some in America may take for granted, but areas surrounding Israel like Iran, Syria and Afghanistan work to deny their people these rights. Israel must serve as the bastion of freedom and human rights in the Middle East, and that requires the support of the United States. Of course, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad famously said “We do not have gay people in our country.” We cannot stand idly by against ignorant human rights violators.

Israel provides America with stability. Seeing that Israel is in between three continents — Europe, Asia and Africa, it provides the U.S. with a set of eyes on the other side of Earth. America is the most powerful country on earth, but every nation — no matter how strong — still needs a steady ally.

Maybe the most vital aspect of the deep-rooted relationship between the U.S. and Israel is the cooperation in defense. Not only do the countries share magnitudes of intelligence and technology, but history has shown that what begins in Israel usually transpires to America. For example, suicide bombings had occurred in Israel for years before 9/11 occurred in America.

When it comes to homeland security, Israel outmatches any other country. With border security, security against biological terrorism and airport security, Israel has proven beyond effective at protecting its citizens. How America can learn from these techniques is a tremendous asset to America, who shares the same terrorist enemies.

Around the world, several bodies of detractors seek to delegitimize or demonize supporters of this profound relationship. This should only encourage the supporters to make the relationship stronger and deeper. Winston Churchill described democracy as “the worst government besides all of the other ones.” America and Israel must continue to support and ally together so that they can continue their beacon of democracy, justice, human rights and freedom.

Jeremy Ely is a fourth-year UCSB undergrad.