Where else in the Mideast do you find a nation that does not burn American flags but Israel? Israel is basically an aircraft carrier on land for the US. That is why it is useful. Saudi governments, the Gulf states government are friendly to the US but the populations there despise the US. In Israel, Israelis are dear friends of the US and that is why the relationship is valuable, and not to mention the valuable intel Israel provides the US.
UN: At least 1,332 Iraqis killed by violence in July (AP)
from the article: Obama reassures Israel, while taking a step back from the Middle East