One of the most volatile political issues within the United States is Washington's consistent support for the state of Israel. Proponents of that support argue its necessity based upon the notion that Israel is a Middle Eastern democracy that shares American values and is surrounded by hostile states. Critics, on the other hand, argue that consistent U.S. support of Israel is a liability, as the huge American aid to Israel effectively subsidizes a foreign state when that money could be used for social or military programs at home.

Further, the support creates a situation where the U.S. is perceived to follow hypocritical policies by supporting a state that regularly ignores the decrees of the United Nations and has a questionable human rights record in regard to its treatment of its rebellious Palestinian population; such critics also frequently argue that this support is primarily due to a strong pro-Israel lobby within the United States. While both of these arguments -- that of the proponents and that of the critics -- have valid points, they skirt the main issues.