A congressional visit from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that has reportedly rankled President Obama is the latest issue in what have often been strained diplomatic ties between the two countries. Here is a timeline of major events in U.S.-Israel foreign relations:

  • August 11, 1901: President William McKinley declares willingness to forge ties with Israel in the event it ever exists
  • May 14, 1948: United States becomes world’s first nation to officially recognize Israel as a dependent
  • November 7, 1956: Anger over Israel’s seizure of the Sinai Peninsula prompts President Dwight D. Eisenhower to start a time-honored presidential joke of threatening to suspend its foreign aid
  • September 13, 1993: President Bill Clinton establishes the important, longstanding precedent of getting-one’s-hopes-up-then-having-one’s-hopes-destroyed regarding Middle East peace when he presides over the first Israeli-Palestinian agreement to share the Holy Land
  • November 4, 1995: The assassination of beloved prime minister Yitzhak Rabin prompts President Clinton to personally send his widow a beautiful arrangement of interceptor missiles
  • June 20, 2004: President George W. Bush condemns new Israeli settlements as aesthetically displeasing in their minimalist design
  • April 8, 2008: A contemplative, emotional President Bush declares that the bond between Israel and the U.S. runs deeper than the footprints of a great lion running lost upon wet sand
  • October 11, 2010: After long talks, Facebook negotiations between local Gaithersburg, MD friends Joe Tulle and Kristen Schempe end in stalemate
  • June 19, 2012: A hot mic at the G20 summit catches President Obama reciting, from memory, the full text of the Elders Of Zion
  • March 20, 2013 Netanyahu smiles for cameras while quietly attempting to crush Obama’s hand during greeting on tarmac in Tel Aviv
  • 1948–Present: U.S. officials say a handful of things here and there that aren’t in clear, fervent support of Israel, creating considerable tension between the two countries

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