Wednesday, July 21, 2021

(Judean Rose will be taking off for several weeks.)


Weekly column by Vic Rosenthal

Israel’s Second Struggle for Independence

The USA has been Israel’s greatest friend and supporter in recent years.

It is also Israel’s biggest problem.

Our dependence on American military aid has sharply limited our freedom of action, distorted our decisions about procurement of weapons, crippled the development of our own military industries, corrupted our decision-makers, and damaged our standing as a sovereign state.

It is true that on some occasions Israel has acted against America’s wishes, such as the bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. It is also true that far more frequently, Israel has been forced to bow to US demands, even when they are not in her best interests. In several wars and smaller operations, cease-fires have been dictated by American pressure, although Israel would have preferred to continue fighting longer in order to achieve a decisive victory. During the Gulf War, the US prevented Israel from retaliating for Iraqi Scud attacks. In peacetime, US pressure has prevented Israel from building in Judea and Samaria, and forced Israel to accept Palestinian demands for the release of prisoners. American opposition was a major factor in the decision not to attack Iranian nuclear facilities in the 2010-2012 period.

Israel’s relationship with the US has been better or worse depending on the direction of political winds there, but pressure to reverse the outcome of the 1967 war has been a constant ever since – with the notable exception of the Trump administration, which for the first time recognized Israeli rights to Jerusalem and the Golan heights. But now it seems that the US is taking a turn in the other direction; and this time – thanks to Israel’s conclusive loss of the cognitive war for the consciousness of American elites, the partisan division of attitudes toward Israel, and the new strength of the radical Left in American politics – our time in the wilderness may turn out to be much longer than before.

The inroads being made by elements hostile to Israel into the American educational system, previously limited to higher education, but now reaching into high school and even grade school levels, are troubling. The “intersectional” connections being made between every progressive cause, and the politicization of almost every field of endeavor, have injected the issue of Israel vs. the Palestinians into places where it was not found before.

This is a problem, because our enemies – particularly Iran – are taking advantage of the less pro-Israel climate in the US. The Biden Administration, which has already significantly released the pressure on Iran, appears to be galloping toward a full removal of sanctions, whether or not it will gain significant leverage over their nuclear weapons program. Trump’s sanctions had sent the Iranian economy into a tailspin, which helped energize the Iranian opposition to the repressive and backward regime of the Ayatollahs. Even today, Iranians are in the streets protesting against the regime. But the removal of sanctions will not help them; the regime will funnel cash into its nuclear program, into the pro-Iranian militias in Iraq, Yemen, and Syria, and to build up Israel’s most dangerous enemy, Hezbollah.

At the same time, the Biden Administration, which has staffed its echelons dealing with the Middle East with people less than friendly to Israel – including some with a history of anti-Israel activism (see herehere, and here) – has already restored funding to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA, plans to re-open the Jerusalem consulate, the unofficial “US Embassy to the State of Palestine” in Jerusalem, and to allow the PLO to restore its embassy in Washington.

A recent poll shows that the Democratic Party, which now controls the House, Senate and the Presidency, has moved significantly away from its formerly solid support for Israel in recent years, with sympathy for Israel among Democrats maintaining a slight edge of only 3 percentage points over sympathy for the Palestinians. The “liberal” wing of the party is far worse, with the Palestinians holding a 15% margin over Israel. Younger respondents also were more likely to favor the Palestinians, which argues for a continuation of the trend. And there is a very vocal contingent in the US Congress that is strongly anti-Israel, and not at all constrained from giving voice to the most extreme anti-Israel propaganda.

The Israeli leadership must come to understand that the continued expectation that Israel will receive military and diplomatic support from the US is unrealistic and dangerous. Israel needs to take action now, to reduce its dependence on the US, to increase its freedom of action, and to build up its own resources in important areas.

There is only one way for a small country in a strategic area to obtain independence from the various empires that wish to make it a satellite, and it is difficult and precarious. That is to play the empires off against one another, and to make alliances with other unaligned nations. I believe that Binyamin Netanyahu understood this, and made small but steady progress in this direction. It remains to be seen if the present government, whose foreign policy appears to be in the hands of the obsequious Yair Lapid, can pull this off.

From the military standpoint, Israel needs to be its own main source of supply. That has implications for the kind of military forces it can field. For example, it may be unrealistic to try to maintain a large fleet of the most sophisticated manned combat aircraft. Drones and precision-guided missiles are far less expensive than F-35s, and while they can’t entirely replace conventional aircraft, a small country will find it more practical to produce and maintain them.

There are also economic considerations. Iron Dome is a wonderful thing, but if it costs $100,000 to intercept a $500 rocket, then massive-scale use of it will bankrupt us. It is much less expensive to deter rocket attacks with the threat of forceful reprisals than to depend on antimissile systems to ward them off. The former strategy is more appropriate for a smaller country whose defense budget is not bottomless. I don’t suggest doing away with antimissile systems entirely, just changing our strategy so that we will not need so many of them.

I recommend that we start moving in this direction now, by agreeing with the US to a gradual phase-out of military aid. At the same time, we will have to revitalize our domestic military industries. Barack Obama very cleverly did not decrease the level of military aid we received, to maintain the maximum leverage over our actions. But the percentage of that aid that could be spent outside of the US was set to gradually drop to zero over the next  few years. This had the effect of increasing the subsidy that aid to Israel provided to US defense contractors, and weakening Israel’s home-grown industry. This made us more dependent and at the same time reduced the competition to American weapons suppliers in the world market. A win-win-win for the US, but a loss for us.

America is changing in ways that are not good for America, and not good for us. I hope that the political/cultural pendulum in the US will swing the other way. Probably it will, if the nation survives the present storm intact. But here on the other side of the world, Israel’s enemies are not waiting with their hands folded. She will either adapt to the new situation or find herself in deep trouble


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Blog Archive