America: Align yourself with your strategic allies

America is confronting significant challenges and turmoil at home and abroad, including severe partisan tensions domestically, collapsed governments and regime changes in the Middle East, the existential threat of a nuclear Iran, and uncertainty about Egypt’s future.

To counter the instability spreading across the Middle East and fallout in the rest of the world, it is crucial that America align itself with strategic allies whose friendship enhances its security and well-being. One such partner is Israel.

America’s interests align with Israel’s when it comes to addressing current conflicts, and the U.S.-Israel relationship has been one of the most unwavering and mutually beneficial in history. In an era when radicals and terrorists are emerging from bunkers to be named heads of state, America needs to embrace Israel and her loyalty to democracy and freedom.

The value of the U.S.-Israel alliance is hardly confined to foreign affairs. The close bond spans disciplines as varied as business, science, and advanced technology. American companies like Intel have major research and development operations in Israel. Israel also invented valuable technologies used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, including unmanned drones and medical bandages. In fact, it was an Israeli wartime bandage that helped save Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona.

Unfortunately, this tiny country, which has been in a state of emergency since its inception, has been forced to develop expertise in the fields of homeland security and counter-terrorism. Israel provides countless strategic and technological resources to the United States and to the rest of the world. Many American airports utilize Israeli aviation security techniques to prevent terror attacks, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection has adopted similar best practices. Israel’s innovations are constantly being employed, often out of sight, in order to keep America safe and secure.

The truth is that this special bond exists not only between the governments and leaders of these two nations, but also between the two peoples. In the final analysis, what sustains this strategic partnership is a shared understanding between Americans and Israelis about the meaning of democracy and freedom. It is this commitment to common values that forms the basis of an alliance that is more than six decades strong with no end in sight.

Rachel Bandler is a member of the Class of 2013 and President of MIT Students for Israel