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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why America needs Israel more than Israel needs America

I like this one. I really like this one.
Around this time last year I was sitting in a conference room in Jerusalem among a gaggle of journalists listening to a talk by historian Michael Oren, who is now Israel’s ambassador to Washington. When one of your standard-issue, just parachuted-in, indignant Euro journos asked the inevitable question about how long Israel could continue to “defy” the United States (Israel is always “defying” on something or other according to these types) given the country’s “dependence” on US aid, Oren shrugged laconically, made a bit of an amused moue and said, “Look, two billion ain’t what it used to be”.

He then went on to suggest that, now more than ever, the US may need the relationship - even its dispensing of dollars - more than Israel does. Oren reminded the crowd that by long-standing, tacit agreement Israel turns right around and spends most of the two billion in the “company store”, i.e. in the US arms industry, thereby keeping Americans who work at places like Lockheed in jobs. He pointed out that the US economy was floundering while Israel’s was smoking, that Israel had even recently stepped in to buy large blocks of dollars in an effort to prop up the currency so that American tourists could keep buying trinkets at the Dead Sea, and that the US, having decimated its own security services, was heavily dependent on foreign intelligence services like the Mossad.

So how much does Israel need America? I think we may be on the brink of a shakedown, a clarification of the US/Israel relationship, and the relationship will be based on terms that a power-mad President Obama isn’t going to like very much. For a variety of reasons, including that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes Israel has its back to the wall and has nothing to lose, Israel really is going to “defy” the US this time. Especially if Obama continues to make unreasonable demands and offer no concrete incentives for cooperation (such as an assurance he will be a steady partner against Iran.)
Not to mention all the intelligence sharing, weapons testing and technological development (military and civilian) that the US gets from Israel. No, this is not a one-way relationship. And the Obumbler is wrong to try to treat it like one.


Read the whole thing.


At 7:31 AM, Blogger Findalis said...

The left forgets that from the late 70s to the early 90s it was Israel who tested out many of the US's weapons. Plus where do they think they received all those Soviet weapons from?


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