The Special Relationship with Israel: Is It Worth the Costs? | Middle East Policy Council
The Special Relationship is an unofficial term often used to describe the political, diplomatic, Although the "Special Relationship" between the U.K. and the U.S. was perhaps most memorably emphasized The Special Relationship was " soured" during the Arab–Israeli War of when Nixon failed to inform Heath that. and special relationship between Israel and the United States is multifaceted to Britain's decision to end Jewish immigration into. Palestine, sealing off. During his famous “Iron Curtain” speech in , Winston Churchill described the alliance between the United States and Britain as a “special relationship.
The initial post-Cold War test of Israel as a strategic asset came induring the first Iraq war. As a regional ally, Israel proved worse than useless. Bush was building against Saddam Hussein. The United States diverted Patriot missile batteries to Israel to keep it on the sidelines, leaving its own forces more vulnerable.
A New Strategy for Securing the Realm. In his recent book Israel and the Clash of Civilizations, Jonathan Cook traces these recommendations to themes worked up by several right-wing Israeli strategists in the s.
As Oded Yinon, an Israeli journalist and former senior Foreign Ministry official, put it in a essay, The total disintegration of Lebanon into five regional localized governments is the precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and the Arab peninsula, in a similar fashion. The dissolution of Egypt and later Iraq into districts of ethnic and religious minorities following the example of Lebanon is the main long-range objective of Israel on the Eastern Front.
Iraq can be divided on regional and sectarian lines just like Syria in the Ottoman era. There will be three states in the three major cities. The neocons interpreted these strategies as not only good for Israel, but good for America. However, as an examination of a public record, where ideas emerging from both Israeli and neoconservative discourse reflect and build on one another over time, it is extremely suggestive. It helps to explain the seemingly inexplicable: Whereas in the Soviet Union, the United States had one strategic enemy in a relatively stable contest for global dominance, it now faces opponents on many fronts.
First, there is the price of terrorism.
The Tie That Binds America, Britain and Israel
American backing of Israel has been a major, if not the sole, factor in making the United States a target of Muslim terrorists. This is invariably what such terrorists say, whether in custody or at liberty, and no one has explained plausibly why they would misrepresent their motivations. Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the attack on the World Trade Center, mailed a letter to several New York newspapers demanding that the United States cut off aid to Israel.
After his arrest, he told agents that he felt guilt over American civilian deaths but his desire to stop the killing of Arabs by Israeli troops was stronger. Osama bin Laden began inserting references to Palestine into his public statements in No other issue shapes the regional perception of America more fundamentally than the issue of Palestine. In a recent debate with Chas W. Arab governments will support U.
They are voiced without fear of ridicule, the instant response that would have greeted a claim that the political feelings of Czechs or Poles or Chinese or anyone else living under politically unfree conditions could be discounted as inconsequential.
Over the last decade, cities in Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza have been ripped apart by U. While mass antiwar protests broke out across Europe, there were none in Israel, where When Israelis talk, Americans listen.
When Israelis want to circulate their views, they have an access to the opinion pages of elite newspapers and slots on network news shows that leaders of no other foreign country can dream of.
If Israeli leaders had voiced similar sentiments, it is inconceivable the invasion would have taken place. In its wake, Israelis and American friends of that country have worked overtime to rewrite history and absolve Israel of any responsibility for the disaster.
But, even if it were likely that Israel preferred the United States to attack Iran, Israeli leaders lobbied energetically for a war against Iraq. The weak Saddam regime was low-hanging fruit, after all.
This marks an interesting turnabout. A top selling point of the special relationship has long been that Israel did not need U. Now that doctrine, implicitly abandoned with the Israeli campaign for an American war on Iraq, has been tossed out the window. Hence it is calling on its only real ally, the United States, to do the job. Polls indicate that Americans remain reluctant to fight Iran over any cause other than an Iranian attack on U.
Andrew Grotto has examined some of the scholarship that underlies these claims as an analyst at the Center for American Progress. His findings are instructive. The articles claiming a religious basis for the Iranian desire for apocalyptic martyrdom frequently cite one another in a kind of circular footnoting that gives the impression of serious scholarship. Another frequent source for the wilder claims about Iran is a work by an MEK member an anti-Iranian-regime group labeled terrorist by the U.
The Logic of an Israeli Obsession. He added that none of the five believed Iran was an imminent threat: Instead, such prestigious publications as The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post and The New Republic are helping to disseminate a tendentious misrepresentation of Shiite theology shared by neither Israeli nor Western experts.
The misrepresentations then bounce around the American media echo chamber, acquiring the status of received wisdom. Precisely as in the run-up to the Iraq War, an element of right-wing Israeli discourse has managed to carve for itself a privileged spot in the American political dialogue. What began as a struggle between Zionist settlers and Palestinian Arabs became in a conflict between Israel and the neighboring Arab states.
It has now been transformed into a battle between Israel and the larger Muslim world. The surrounding Arab states now pose no serious military challenge to Israel.
Special Relationship - Wikipedia
Iraq has been shattered and may not recover for a generation. Iran, long an ally of Israel, is now a foe. So, apparently, is Turkey. Turkish leaders, long allied with Israel and the United States, have expressed public solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza.
To the extent it succeeds, the United States will have fewer friends and more enemies. Finally, we must consider another cost, one not easily measured in terms of blood and treasure.
It is hard to miss that anti-Muslim bigotry is becoming embedded in American political culture, and Israel and its supporters are playing a substantial role in generating it.
But bigotry has not had a mainstream sanction in the United States since the civil-rights movement. That is no longer the case. The American political environment now contains several well-funded institutions devoted to painting everything having to do with Islam in the worst possible light.
It comes from conservatives like the prominent Republican Newt Gingrich, and from liberals like Alan Dershowitz. Much of it is purely Zionist in motivation: But unlike that idea, the notion that the United States benefits from Israel seems extraordinarily far-fetched. What is in the special relationship for Americans?
It is obvious what is in it for Israel. First, large amounts of foreign aid, though Israel is by any standard a rich country. Second, privileged access to the arsenals of the most advanced armed forces in the world. Third, the support of American diplomacy, to spare Israel from the brunt of international condemnation or sanctions for its actions. Some of the minor, but far from trivial, milestones of the relationship — the Lavon Affair, the sinking of the USS Liberty, the Jonathan Pollard case — make it evident that Israeli leaders do not regard the United States as an ally at all.
The affection implicit in the special relationship flows in one direction only. They ranked Israel dead last among allies for intelligence cooperation with the United States. The same story noted that American counterintelligence officials, pointing to aggressive Israeli spy operations on U.
S soil, ranked only Russia and China as more serious intelligence threats. Surely domestic politics accounts for a good deal of the explanation. But there is another, strategic, reason that is seldom mentioned publicly.
This is indisputable; it is the point James Forrestal made to President Truman more than 60 years ago. And what is the greatest threat to stability?
Well, says Roth, it is Israel itself.
The Special Relationship with Israel: Is It Worth the Costs?
As a result, any suspicion on the part of its leaders that the United States is backing away from it might incite Israel to behave more aggressively than it already does. Roth is asserting that the principal ally of the United States in the twenty-first century — its main source of strategic advice, the nation whose leaders have an unequaled access to American political leadership — is not a rational actor.
The United States is in the position of a wife whose spouse is acting erratically.
The only conclusion one can draw is that the special relationship would now be very difficult to exit, even if Israel had no clout whatsoever within the American political system, even if the United States desired emphatically to pursue a more independent course.
I submit that this argument has long been internalized by those U. It is the principal reason no major American figure has ever advocated simply walking away from Israel. We will send you a free copy upon request—see the back cover of this magazine for details.
You can see from newspaper headlines that these three nations are now in the midst of an astonishing free fall from their former positions of world dominance. Coinciding with this precipitous decline in world power and influence is the unraveling of the relationship that once bound these three brothers so tightly together. The Prophet Isaiah described this dramatic unraveling, which occurs just before the latter-day appearance of the prophesied Messiah.
These three Israelite nations—which have maintained such strong and durable alliances through generations—were prophesied, in our day, to forsake their special alliance and to engage in furious strife and contention with one another. That is happening before our eyes. This relationship has been rapidly deteriorating since the beginning of the year.
Barely a month into office, U. Afterward, as a parting gift, Obama presented Brown with a dvd collection of 25 Hollywood movies.
The Tie That Binds America, Britain and Israel | ddttrh.info
The dustup between the two countries in June over the Guantanamo detainees certainly attests to that. Even as the United States and Britain exchange blows with one another, there remains one common goal that both of them share: In the speech, President Obama said the historic bond between the U. In fact, Jewish aspirations for statehood not only predate the Adolf Hitler era, they predate the Zionist movement. They certainly deserve Jerusalem. Palestinians have reinvented this history, claiming the Jews are without legal or historic right to their homeland and that modern-day Israel exists only because of the guilt left hanging over Europe after the Holocaust.