The US-Israeli Special Relationship
Strategic interests largely benefitting Israel, not shared values, are at issue. Washington doesn’t provide the Jewish state more aid than all other nations combined because of historic binding ties.
On March 25, 1948, Harry Truman met secretly with Chaim Weizmann (Israel’s first president). He pledged support for the future Jewish state. Minutes after midnight on May 15, 1948, America was the first country to extend recognition.
A special relationship began. Thereafter it’s grown financially, politically, militarily, diplomatically, and counterproductively. Israel clearly benefits. America loses more than it gains. Serious reassessment is long overdue.
On many issues mattering most, the Israeli tail wags the US dog, whether or not Washington’s interests are served.
Both countries threaten world peace. United they endanger humanity. On February 9, 2010, an Intelligence Squared debate resolved: “The US should step back from its special relationship with Israel,” saying:
“Israel believes America’s special relationship is vital. It is, certainly, to Israel. But what about for the US? Israel has no oil, enemies in many places, and a tendency to defy Washington when it perceives its own interests to be threatened, which is not infrequently.”
Does America’s relationship do more harm than good? Is it time to step back and reconsider? These and related issues weren’t resolved. Raising them publicly served a purpose.
A packed New York University student union showed people want answers they haven’t gotten. Together these pariah states menace humanity. Breaking up is long overdue.
In their book titled “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy,” John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt argue that Israel is “increasingly a strategic liability….It is time for the United States to treat Israel not as a special case but as a normal state, and to deal with it much as it deals with any other country.”
Doing so “means no longer pretending that Israel and America’s interests are identical, or acting as if Israel deserves steadfast US support no matter what it does.”
James Petras said “(t)he US-Israeli relationship is the first in modern history in which the imperial country covers up a deliberate major military assault by a supposed ally.”
He referred to the 1967 USS Liberty attack. Israel bombed and strafed it. Dozens of US seamen were killed. Around 170 were wounded. The vessel was heavily damaged. Israel got away with murder. It wasn’t the first or last time.
From then to now, the relationship strengthened. Today more than ever it threatens world peace. Managed news perceptions conceal it from public view. It’s time to reveal what’s been denied too long. It’s time to cut ties and move on.
On May 9, greater cause emerged. The US House passed HR 4133: United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012. It went to the Senate for consideration.
It “express(es) the sense of Congress regarding the United States-Israel strategic relationship, to direct the President to submit to Congress reports on United States actions to enhance this relationship and to assist in the defense of Israel, and for other purposes.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R. VA) introduced it. He had 304 co-sponsors. It passed 411 – 2. Nine didn’t vote. Another nine voted present.
John Dingell (D. MI) voted “Nay.” So did Ron Paul. Passage “will lead to war,” he said. More on his comments below.
On May 9, US sovereignty lost another round. Netanyahu is a global menace. HR 4133 facilitates his belligerence. Chances for war on Syria and Iran increased.
Israeli weapons aid insurgents against Assad. Its satellite images claim Iran’s developing nuclear weapons. Known facts belie contentions. Netanyahu hypes the threat. Congressional allies support him. More ammunition came on May 9.
AIPAC praised the bill’s passage. Rising regional threats warrant it was claimed. “America and Israel must further enhance their strong security relationship in this dangerous environment.”
“Cooperation with Israel strongly supports American security interests.”
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) also “strongly praised” the bill’s passage.
“This bipartisan legislation reaffirms and strengthens the deep military and security relationship between the United States and Israel, and reflects the bi-partisan consensus of the US Congress that this relationship must continue to thrive.”
“It also reaffirms Israel’s right to defend itself against threats and reiterates America’s unshakable commitment to Israel’s security, recognizing that a secure Israel will always be in America’s national interest.”
Ron Paul disagreed. On the House floor, he said:
“Mr. Speaker: I rise in opposition to HR 4133, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, which unfortunately is another piece of one-sided and counter-productive foreign policy legislation.”
“This bill’s real intent seems to be more saber-rattling against Iran and Syria, and it undermines US diplomatic efforts by making clear that the US is not an honest broker seeking peace for the Middle East.”
“The bill calls for the United States to significantly increase our provision of sophisticated weaponry to Israel, and states that it is to be US policy to ‘help Israel preserve its qualitative military edge’ in the region.”
Sovereign nations should handle their own security issues. US taxpayers shouldn’t underwrite others. Neither should America’s military.
The bill states US policy “reaffirm(s) the enduring commitment of the United States to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish state.”
America’s committed to protect its own security, not “guarantee the religious, ethnic, or cultural composition of a foreign country.”
“More than 20 years after” Soviet Russia dissolved, HR 4133 seeks new reasons to maintain NATO’s “anachronistic alliance: the defense of Israel.”
The bill wants Israel more involved in NATO, “including an enhanced presence at (its) headquarters and exercises.”
It’s a “dream” act “for interventionists and the military industrial complex.” Paul wants NATO “disbanded not expanded.”
“This bill will not help the United States, it will not help Israel, and it will not help the Middle East.” It facilitates greater regional interventionism at a time there’s already too much. “It more likely will lead to war against Syria, Iran or both.”
Paul urged House colleagues to vote Nay. Only John Dingell agreed and did so.
The stronger US/Israeli ties bind, the more likely global war approaches. Israel’s a strategic liability for America, the region and world.
Neither reflects democratic values. Allied with Israel, the US is more vulnerable to attack and more likely to embroil the world in conflict. Both reflect the worst of the other. With these type allies, who needs enemies.
Each lacks moral standing. Neither respects human rights. Both are the world’s main offenders. Pointing fingers elsewhere can’t hide truths too glaring to deny.
Successive administrations in both countries have abusive track records enough to make some despots blush. Destructiveness between them made the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
What’s in it for America by giving Israel more? How do US people benefit? They’ve got a right to rage about lavish aid to Israel at a time they’re asked to sacrifice.
Middle East polls reflect hostile Arab street US sentiment. When asked how best Washington can improve its standing, responses overwhelmingly say change regional policies and stop supporting Israel.
Growing numbers of Jews oppose Israeli policies. American ones want a relationship this destructive ended.
So do millions of people worldwide. An alliance based on militarism, belligerence, racism, and human rights abuses is crucial to end, not support. Doing it before it’s too late matters most.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected].
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.