Over 120 campus leaders recently signed a statement featured in the Daily Bruin showing their support for the U.S.-Israel Relationship. Among the students who signed are members of our student government, presidents of student organizations, and leaders of athletic teams and Greek organizations. I am proud to attend a university like ours that overwhelmingly supports the rapport that the U.S. and Israel share.
In signing the statement, UCLA campus leaders showed an understanding in national and international affairs. They know that there is a symbiotic relationship between the United States and Israel that is key in maintaining stability and creating innovations throughout the world.
In an increasingly dangerous world, it is essential for the United States to maintain its relationship with Israel, the only other stable democracy in a sea of autocratic dictators who abuse human rights and challenge the safety of not just Israel, but the United States as well. And because Israel and the U.S. share common interests, it is imperative to cherish their alliance.
Security and stability have been part of the defense relationship between the two countries since 1967, when Israel’s military might proved successful. That military cooperation between Israel and the United States was formalized in 1983, bringing about meetings with high-level representatives of each country ever since, where issues of crucial and mutual importance are discussed. In these meetings, Israel helps the United States with intelligence gathering, development of military weapons, and other defense mechanisms.
Israel has the possibility to gather information on terrorism, radical Islamic movements, and weapons proliferation, as its geographical location is beneficial—it’s located at the heart of the Arab world. The United States, while fighting two wars with those three issues at the heart of the cause, benefits greatly from the good relations with Israel. Israel’s strategic position can teach the U.S. a lot about Islamic radicalism, weapons, and terrorism without the need of an intelligence agency in the Middle East.
But aside from intelligence gathering, key to the benefits of the relationship between the United States and Israel is the innovation of weapons used in war. Through mutual collaboration, the two countries developed the unmanned drone, an aerial device capable of carrying out imagery intelligence, battlefield observation, and other useful services during times of war. The drones prevent casualties by diminishing the risk of soldiers who would have otherwise have gone to the troublesome areas to check conditions. These unmanned drones have been very useful to the United States throughout Operation Iraqi Freedom, with over 600 reconnaissance, target acquisition, and surveillance missions.
In addition, the collaboration of Israel and the U.S. has resulted in missile defense technology, protecting Israeli security and giving the U.S. an advance warning in case of a strike for its own missile shield. The combination of American and Israeli military innovation also created armored plating to protect U.S. tanks, making them less prone to destruction and making it safer for soldiers. Israel has also developed a first-care bandage that saves many lives and is used by the American forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The above-mentioned examples are just a few of the products that emerged from the collaboration of the U.S. and Israel. Their relationship is mutually beneficial, and as such, both countries need to treasure it. The current chaos in the Middle East proves that Israel is the beacon of stability and democracy in the region. Perhaps, it is best to hear it from a more convincing source, someone with classified knowledge: General Petraeus, former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, “Israel has been, is and will be an important strategic ally of the United States.”
UCLA students demonstrated that they truly think like leaders in signing the statement in support of the U.S.-Israel relationship. They clearly understand the benefits that result from the cooperation and collaboration between the two countries.
Class of 2012