Tuesday, March 03, 2015

in about half an hour, netanyahu is going to permanently overplay his phenomenally weak identity-politics hand...,

WaPo |  Nowadays, Marshall would be called a foreign-policy realist. He argued that the United States was risking its position and prestige in the Middle East just to placate a domestic lobby. He further insisted that the beneficiary of Truman’s Palestine policy would be the Soviet Union. To put it succinctly, Truman took the side of a tiny people with no oil against a plenteous people with lots of it.

Nothing much has changed since then. Israel now has some offshore energy, but it’s hardly an emerging Saudi Arabia. It still is loathed by its neighbors and, to complicate matters, it persists in a settlements policy that the United States opposes and much of the world abhors. Nonetheless, Americans by and large support Israel, and Washington, even under the supposedly cool Barack Obama, maintains a very special relationship with it. That, now, is in danger.

But the fault line in the U.S.-Israel relationship is hardly the current clash of personalities. Instead, it’s that the relationship is based mainly on affection. Americans like Israel. They like its democratic values and they like its spunky underdogness. Conservative Christians like Israel for reasons having to do with religious dogma but they, too, have come to admire it for its secular values. Still, none of this is based on self-interest — the underpinning of a successful foreign policy. In power politics, it’s usually not enough to be liked. A nation has to be considered essential. Israel may be beloved, but for American security, it is not essential.

The fact is that the United States does not need Israel. Our special relationship was not forged, as it was with Great Britain, in two world wars, not to mention a common language and, in significant respects, culture. It is based on warmth, emotion, shared values — and, not to be dismissed, a potent domestic lobby. But these ties are eroding. Support for Israel remains strong, but where once it was universal, it has increasingly drifted from left to right. In the liberal community, hostility toward Israel is unmistakable. Some of it is openly expressed, some of it merely whispered. 

Netanyahu has made matters worse. He has tethered Israel to the Republican Party. He was criticized for seeming to prefer Mitt Romney to Obama in 2012 and now has been enlisted to speak to Congress in a partisan effort by the Republican House speaker to embarrass the president. In doing so, he dissed an American president who happens to be black, hardly a way to shore up support in the African American community. (Many African American members of Congress say they will boycott the speech.) Netanyahu has started — or exacerbated — a process in which support for Israel may become not just a partisan issue, but a liberal-conservative one.


Ed Dunn said...

You cannot help but smirk and curl a smile at the RINOs out there who scream for the second amendment but cannot speak out against jackbooted militarized police shooting black kids and cannot cricitcize the GOP for inviting the head of Israel to speak on the floor of Congess..I mean come on man, this must be awkward for those RINOs...

CNu said...

Watching this buffoon play make-believe with these jokers, projecting all the worst implemented zionist and dominionist ambitions onto a possible iranian future. Reason they hate and make war on everybody else is because they know themselves all-too-well...,

Ed Dunn said...

There was this place that run CNN on their screen...they had it turned off when I walked by

Vic78 said...

Here's Obama to Iran:


They should change their name back to Persia.

CNu said...

Here's Persia to Obama and every other sane and healthy human being outside the ill contingent of the tribes of the north atlantic....,

Vic78 said...

Driftglass calls them the tribe that rubs shit in its hair.

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