Lindsey Graham Is Sponsoring a US-Israeli Defense Treaty That Would Shield Israel From Consequences of Striking Iran

Lindsey Graham Is Sponsoring a US-Israeli Defense Treaty That Would Shield Israel From Consequences of Striking Iran by Mitchell Plitnick for Check Point Asia

Trump presents a golden opportunity for an agreement that any other President would reject

“Iran would correctly see the United States as taking a big step toward setting up an Israeli attack on its territory”

Editor’s note: The idea is that should the US come under an attack that represented an “existential threat” Israel would be there to defend it. Nah, just kidding. The calculation is that Trump presents a golden opportunity for an agreement that any other President would reject. One that would be useful to Israel in acquiring US intelligence and shielding it from the bulk of Iran’s retaliation should Israel decide to strike its nuclear facilities.


The staunchly militaristic Jewish Institute for the National Security of America(JINSA) has proposed a mutual defense pact between the United States and Israel. JINSA frequently publishes papers and analyses around strategies that it would like to see pursued by the United States, Israel, or both, but this one is a little different. In this case, JINSA has enlisted Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to help them sell the idea in both Israel and the United States.

Graham is a long-time member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and one of the most consistently outspoken hawks in the Senate, especially on the Middle East. His foreign policy voice is influential even when his party is in the minority, and it is particularly impactful now, because of his close relationship with President Donald Trump. Although Graham has had a hot-and-cold relationship with the mercurial president, in recent months he has largely remained in Trump’s good graces by duly fawning over him, and has gained access to Trump’s ear as a result. 

Graham is also very connected in Israel, where his staunch support for every Israeli policy and action—the more draconian, the better—has made him many friends in the government of Benjamin Netanyahu. All of this comes together to make Graham the perfect salesman for JINSA’s proposed agreement. And Graham seems like a very eager helper.

Speaking on a JINSA conference call Tuesday, Graham said the proposed agreement would be a treaty that would protect Israel in case of an attack that constituted an “existential threat” that was more than Israel could confidently handle. [Has there been any talk how it would benefit the US?] An “existential threat” is defined as the use of weapons of mass destruction, a surprisingly overwhelming attack, an attack that threatens to cut off Israel’s air or sea communication and travel, an attack that threatens to alter the balance of power in the region against Israel, or any other incident “that gives rise to an urgent request from the Government of Israel.”

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