By Blake Ingram, Contributing Writer

The United States and Israel have been close allies since Israeli independence in 1948.  Despised by many nations and under threat by its neighbors for most of its history, Israel has welcomed U.S. support and the U.S. has gladly offered it. It is safe to say that the U.S. is Israel’s closest ally and Israel is undoubtedly America’s strongest and most stable ally in the ever increasingly turbulent Middle East. While relations between the two have generally been cordial throughout the years, they have recently become more and more strained. In fact, many news outlets consider relations to be at an all-time low.

The primary sources of these tensions revolve around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Iran nuclear deal.  The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extremely complex, involves multiple wars and has been going on for decades. The State of Israel was created in 1948, under a United Nations plan that had set aside land for both Israelis and Palestinians. However, the day after Israel declared independence, before the plan could even come into full-effect, a coalition of Arab nations invaded Israel. After this war, and a series of others, Israel wound up occupying land that was originally promised to the Palestinians. That is more or less where the conflict stands today. Obviously, it is much more complicated than that, but it would take books upon books to fully explain.

The most widely accepted answer to this problem is the two-state solution. It proposes the establishment of both an independent State of Israel and an independent State of Palestine. This is where the tensions between the U.S. and Israel arise. The Obama administration is a proponent of the two-state solution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged and retracted his support of a two-state solution multiple times. Even if Israel and Palestine could agree on a two-state solution, it is doubtful they could both agree on where their borders should be, especially concerning Jerusalem. The reason this is causing tension in U.S.-Israel relations is because America does not think Netanyahu is doing enough to pursue a peaceful solution while Israel fears its closest ally is beginning to turn on it.

More recently, however, is the disagreement between the U.S. and Israel on the Iran nuclear deal. The United States has agreed to the deal while Israel vehemently opposes it. Israel is concerned that, even with the deal, Iran will still eventually develop a nuclear weapon with which it will then threaten or even attack Israel with. The United States is convinced the deal will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, at least for the immediate future.

In fact, many news outlets consider relations to be at an all-time low.

Although these are only two issues, they are two huge issues that could have serious repercussions for both Israel and the United States, not to mention the world as a whole. Unfortunately, with neither Obama nor Netanyahu being too fond of the other, it is unlikely that the two nations will make legitimate reparations in their relationship anytime soon. Even with disagreements, though, it is hard to imagine the United States and Israel ever abandoning one another.