Monday, June 08, 2009

US Ties to Israel

American relations to Israel have long been considered not only just a valuable alliance by most Jews, but the absolute rock of Israel's very survival as a state. Surely, a survey of American Jews would reveal at least 90% convinced that US aid and political support is not only critical to Israel's survival, but the ONLY reason Israel is able to exist at all.

By such measure, Israel is simply a charitable, non-profit donation entity under the oversight of the US government. It's true sovereignty, in fact, remains rather blurry even for most Jewish supporters of Israel, who often believe Israel is obliged to act as any Jewish Federation receiving large donations - thankful, and willing to ultimately bow to what the donors want, and, if not, the funds will be cut off and they will no longer be able to survive.

I find the labeling of Israel as just another large Jewish non-profit agency incredibly inaccurate and condescending, and as a result have come to believe that perhaps having an administration more antagonistic towards Israel, as Obama's seems to be, may, in the long run, end up beneficial in pushing Israel in the direction of achieving authentic independence.

The fact of the matter is Israel is much more self sufficient than so many inflated Americans and nervous Israelis would have us believe. America gives Israel a paltry (by today's standards) $5 billion per year in aid. In return, Israel gives the US highly beneficial technology and intelligence, plus often does America's bidding in absorbing and confronting islamic terror. When taking everything into account, America is in many respects more dependent on Israel than Israel is of America, but, alas, perception is the rule, and Jews everywhere still see America as the parent nation without which Israel would surely be wiped off the map.

Sadly, the same dysfunctional perception exists in Israel, too. Come election time, the majority of voters will only choose candidates that they feel will please America, and not necessarily in their own independent self interests. They are terrified that should someone get elected that America doesn't approve of they will suddenly face another Holocaust without the parent US administration coming to the rescue as the savior.

The problem with such dependency on the US is that America's interests are often times counter to what actions and policies are best for Israel, often placing them in risky security predicaments, emboldening and empowering their enemies, and leaving them judged by the arabs as neutered, powerless and vulnerable as a result.

So, what is best for Israel, then? For starters, America needs to consider Israel an ally, not a country with a "special relationship". If Israel is attacked, well, then America needs to react the same as they would if Canada or Britain were attacked, i.e. with unconditional support for their response, not moral equivalence.

U.S. pressure on Israel to concede to their worst enemies under threat of blackmail may be all well and good with rich liberal donors, whose inflated egos lead them to believe they are the ones making Israel possible, like it's some kind of PBS documentary about Jewish life, but it's not good for the Jewish State and puts millions of Jewish lives in peril.

Time for Israel to start make decisions for themselves, like adults, and for America to begin treating them like friends, not dependents.



  1. I agree with most of what you said. As I've written numerous times before, what we have now is a patron-client relationship whose end is long overdue.

    Your last sentence, however, is problematic.

    "Time... for America to begin treating them like friends"

    No, no. That is exactly what got us here in the first place. As you mentioned yourself, states have interests, that run counter to the interests of other states. What will they do when that happens? Self-interest will prevail, because never, ever have friends - states only have interests.

    The first step is to stop using phrases like "the US-Israel relationship" and "bonds that cannot be broken" etc. etc. That is because friends do tell each other what they think the other should do. Tough love is something friends do. But we are not friends - but allies, and it's time to saying - and acting - like it.

  2. Reasonable criticism, LB. My intention with the word "friends", was as adults who share many common strategic interests. Parents can't befriend children, they have a hierarchical relationship, which, sadly, is how the America/Israel relationship works today.

  3. I hate to say it, but I think there's a vested interest in the status quo that goes beyond mere political demagoguery and religious sentiment, and even beyond national interest. There is a great deal of money to be made, on both sides, by keeping the Israelis and Palestinians at each others throats, and that money would dry up pretty quickly if this madness were ever put an end to. They don't want to end it, they just want to keep it contained, with allowances for a few convenient eruptions from time to time.

  4. Pagan, you have an interesting perspective, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was some truth in it...

  5. Israel exists by virtue of HaShem and HaShem alone. It is a major chillul HaShem for Israel to accept US charity. Israel is a strong country and is very self-sufficient. The US helps Israel not out of generosity but out of a strategic necessity.

    אנחנו מאמינים בני מאמינים ואין לנו על מי להשען אלא על אבינו שבשמים

  6. madze - the u.s. will abandon israel. it is stated time and again in the minor prophets and in our own book of revelation that ALL nations will come against israel in the end of days. i have to assume we are either part of the "ALL" or we don't count in such matters.

  7. madze - check out this article on the holocaust museum shooter. leftists are trying to blame him on the right! he was hitler incarnate!

  8. Nanc, the left does not differentiate between conservative and white supremacist. Propaganda and libel is there specialty.


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