Theodor Herzl, who envisioned and paved the way for the rebirth of Israel as a nation, lent great importance to the forging of alliances and the fostering of friendly relations between the Jewish people and the nations of the world. I am happy and proud that in the fabric of our ties with the nations of the world, the alliance between Israel and the United States stands first and prominent. This alliance is steadfast and stronger than ever, and under President Donald Trump it has reached new heights.
We remember very well that it was the United States, led by President Harry Truman, that was the first country to recognize Israel 71 years ago. Over time, this friendship has grown deeper, and in the past few years, it has proved itself as a close strategic alliance.
We have always shared the common democratic values of liberty and justice, as well as mutual interests. But the big change lies in the fact that Israel is becoming a growing global force in the fields of security and technological innovation.
These impressive achievements are the result of the policies promoted by the governments under my leadership, with the aim of making Israel’s economy free and robust, and to establish our status as a technology and cyber power. At the same time, we are investing considerable resources in securing the superiority of our intelligence apparatus and our military might.
Our growing strength has brought many countries closer, which attests to the deep appreciation they have for Israel’s capabilities. Israel’s flourishing diplomatic relations with nations across the five continents is the result of our exceptional achievements and a policy of fostering and nurturing the strengths that are our advantages.
Particularly noteworthy are the budding ties—both overt and clandestine—between us and leading countries in the moderate Arab and Muslim world. This is a dramatic change that is based on the recognition that partnership with Israel contributes to the security, stability and prosperity of the Middle East.
We lend great importance to our diplomatic relations as a whole, and we know that our alliance with the United States is the cornerstone of these ties. Throughout all my years as prime minister, I have endeavored to bolster these ties, even when disagreements arose on issues such as the peace process and the Iranian issue.
I thank presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama for signing the memorandums of understanding that granted Israel generous military aid. Every Israeli citizen is grateful for this vital assistance, which enhances our qualitative advantage over those who seek our demise.
The U.S. itself benefits from this because a strong Israel helps maintain stability and security in our region, which is important to both us and our friend, the United States.
Over the past two-and-a-half years, I have been working with President Trump to achieve another goal: We are expanding our military-intelligence collaboration and cyber capabilities so as to make our countries safer.
In addition, we have marked a series of historical decisions: President Trump, in a courageous decision, recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. Embassy there. He recently made another welcome and strategically important decision for us when he recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The president also revolutionized U.S. policy on Iran when he decided to withdraw from the nuclear agreement.
Iran, a rogue state that repeatedly threatens to annihilate Israel and strives to possess nuclear weapons, is currently facing significant American pressure, in the form of restored and exacerbated sanctions on its regime.
For over two decades, I have been tirelessly warning about Iran’s nuclear aspirations. I remained steadfast in that even when it meant taking on the world. When I addressed the U.S. Congress in March 2015, I explained at length why the nuclear deal was dangerous to Israel, to the Middle East and to humanity as a whole.
The United States, under President Trump, offers us its unequivocal backing in our efforts to protect ourselves against Iran and our other enemies. The U.S. administration stands as one with Israel vis-à-vis the attempts made by the International Criminal Court to undermine our right of self-defense and lends us its unwavering support in the United Nations as well.
The team the administration has assigned to the peace deal, headed by senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, special envoy Jason Greenblatt and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, has demonstrated an unfaltering commitment to Israel’s vital interests and security needs. I look forward to continuing working with the president to promote security, prosperity and peace for both our countries.
The alliance between the United States and Israel is stronger than ever. To preserve and even bolster it, we need to continue to nurture American public opinion, for all its parts, to fight hostility toward Zionism and the new wave of anti-Semitism that is rearing its head in the U.S., as in Europe, and to continue to enhance our economic and military power and diplomatic standing.
Today, it is clearer than ever: The U.S. has no more loyal ally than Israel, and Israel has no more important and loyal ally than the United States.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom as part of the Israel Hayom Forum on U.S.-Israel Relations series.