Continuing the discussion of Israel as the country of choice is of fundamental importance for a deeper critical analysis of the region. As noted earlier, Israel is an important strategic partner of NATO, from which it can be concluded that the country is of crucial importance to the European community. This statement is also true concerning the environmental protection mechanisms that Israel implements. More specifically, Israel is a party to more than ten international environmental programs. These include the familiar agreements such as the Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol and Nuclear Test Ban and the lesser-known but equally essential programs such as Biodiversity, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, and Ozone Layer Protection (The World Factbook, 2021). To put it another way, the Israeli government takes a responsible attitude to all multiple environmental threats and takes decisive action by entering into Agreements and Acting as a proactive participant.
The interest in protecting the environment, it is fair to say, is not abstract, but on the contrary, has good reasons. Israel is a coastal state in the Middle East with access to the Mediterranean Sea. The relatively limited area of the state (21,937 square kilometers), combined with the pressures of other countries, is causing the depletion of freshwater supplies and the reduction of valuable arable land resources. Current environmental threats include intensive air pollution by industrial products and automobile emissions and groundwater contamination from community activities. More specifically, particulate matter emissions for Israel were 19.46 micrograms per cubic meter, exceeding WHO quality standards (WHO, 2018). In addition, desertification as a consequence of declining freshwater supplies and rapid climate change threatens soil fertility and becomes an issue for the region’s food security. For example, only 23.8% of local land is used for agriculture, while 69.1% is classified as other: deserts and fields without the potential to produce crops. In an attempt to remedy this situation, Israeli authorities and private farmers make massive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which in the long run negatively affect the acidity of the soil and the purity of the groundwater.
In terms of international relations with the U.S., Israel is an important strategic partner of the country. According to the US Bilateral Relations Fact Sheet, “Israel has no greater friend than the United States” (US DOS, 2021, para. 1). This statement is a motto for Israeli-American relations because the history of their interaction makes the essence of this relationship clear. Thus, the US first recognized Israel in 1948 and Jerusalem as the capital in 2017: primacy on the global stage must make sense to strengthen the relationship. The US certainly supports the Israelis in promoting a peaceful conclusion in neighboring Muslim countries through open statements, humanitarian aid, and the initiation of international Acts like the Abrahamic Agreement. Additionally, it should be emphasized that the US cares about Israel’s military security and takes current conflicts and developments into account. Thus, there is the Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries, according to which the US government allocates to Israel about 4 billion dollars every year for strengthening border defense and developing joint programs for missile defense. This also includes strategies to borrow experience and exchange military personnel through educational practices.
There are also strong economic ties between the two countries, with an annual turnover of over $50 billion in goods and services (US DOS, 2021). The reliability and strength of this relationship are enshrined in multiple historical Agreements and Acts, which regulate the order of economically beneficial exchange for both countries. There is also an annual working group between the US and Israel to address current economic issues and strategic planning for bilateral policy.
US DOS. (2021). US relations with Israel. DOS. Web.
WHO. (2018). Ambient (outdoor) air pollution. WHO. Web.
The World Factbook. (2021). Israel. CIA. Web.