NEAR EAST REPORT AIPAC'S BIWEEKLY ON AMERICAN MIDDLE EAST POLICY
United States and Israel Strengthen Ties
In recent weeks, governmental agencies in the United States and Israel have strengthened their ties, pledging to work together on common challenges. From space and missile defense to cyber security and agriculture, here are just a few examples of the expanding U.S.-Israel partnership:
The Arrow missile is the only operational system that has consistently proven that one missile can shoot down another at high altitude and speed.
Strengthening the Arrow Missile Shield
The United States and Israel have signed an agreement to upgrade the Arrow II ballistic missile shield in order to enable it to shoot down missiles at a higher altitude. The new Arrow III missile will enable Israel “to deal with the threat of ballistic missiles with long range” and will supply it with “the ability to shoot down weapons of mass destruction outside the atmosphere,” the Israeli Ministry of Defense said in a statement. As the only operational system that has consistently proven that one missile can shoot down another at high altitudes and speeds, the Arrow program has the ability to shield the Jewish state from incoming ballistic missiles, which, in the future, may carry nuclear warheads.
The United States and Israel are cooperating on research to meet the world’s food and fiber needs and address other important agricultural issues.
Cooperating on Agricultural Research
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development signed an agreement in Washington to collaborate on research to meet the world’s food and fiber needs and address other important agricultural issues. The five-year agreement will facilitate cooperative research on key bilateral developmental issues, such as climate change, alternative energy and international food security. “This agreement will facilitate partnerships between scientists in the United States and Israel and further our shared efforts in meeting current and future agricultural challenges with the development of innovative management practices and technologies,” said ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling.
Israel is a world leader in space technology. Israel first initiated its space agency in 1988 with the launch of its own domestically developed satellite.
Working Together in Space
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Israel’s Space Agency signed a joint statement of intent aimed at strengthening the two countries’ cooperation in space activities. The two agencies resolved to develop new joint activities pertaining to Earth and space science, life sciences, space exploration and other areas. Established in 1983, the Israel Space Agency launched its first domestically developed satellite in 1988.
Israel is respected worldwide for its computer-savvy population.
Reducing the Threat of Cyber Attacks
A group of 15 nations—including the United States and Israel—have signed an agreement aimed at reducing the threat of attacks on their computer networks. The agreement, reached at the United Nations, includes recommendations for producing accepted norms of behavior on the Internet as well as ways to safely exchange information and strengthen computer networks globally. Among the other countries that signed the agreement are Britain, France, Germany, Estonia, Belarus, Brazil, India, Italy, Qatar, South Korea and South Africa.