[Freemanlist2] CORRECTION THIS ARTICLE IS NOT ACCURATE -Shimon Stein -United States-Israel Relations: Is Anything Forever?
Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
bernards at sbcglobal.net
Wed Jan 12 15:32:01 CST 2011
The Freeman Center wishes to apologize to its readers for sending out this stupid and inaccurate analysis of American Israeli Relations.
[ United States-Israel Relations: Is Anything Forever?
INSS Insight No. 237, January 12, 2011
Earlier today we sent a more accurate analysis:
[Freeman Note: Please read my earlier articles: Click on link:
US Aid to Israel Not Worth the ’Real Cost,’ Researcher Says
Shevat 7, 5771, 12 January 11 02:12by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
(Israelnationalnews.com) Israel is paying through the nose for US aid and would better off without it, says a researcher for the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies (JIMS).
--- On Wed, 1/12/11, Freeman Center For Strategic Studies <bernards at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
From: Freeman Center For Strategic Studies <bernards at sbcglobal.net>
Subject: [Freemanlist2] Shimon Stein -United States-Israel Relations: Is Anything Forever?
To: freemanlist2 at list.freeman.org
Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2011, 3:14 PM
FREEMAN CENTER BROADCAST - JANUARY 12, 2010
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and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest." Isaiah 62.
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Unlike Israel, the United States does not view Iran as an existential
threat, and clearly this impacts attitudes on how to resolve the crisis...
....Dr. Aaron Lerner
United States-Israel Relations: Is Anything Forever?
INSS Insight No. 237, January 12, 2011
The 112th Congress, elected in November 2010, convened on January 5, 2011.
Various Israeli elements have expressed satisfaction with the election
results – a resounding defeat for the Democrats and President Obama and a
rise in the GOP’s power – because they believe that Israel can take
advantage of the Republicans’ achievement to curb undesirable ideas and
initiatives by the administration. Time will tell if their assessment proves
One of the few subjects on which there is unanimity in Israel has to do with
the country’s relations with the United States. Without a doubt, this
relationship is special, if not unique. Some within the Israeli political
establishment feel this relationship is immune to any change, and on more
than one occasion this assumption has led Israeli governments to adopt
positions that disregard Israel’s tremendous dependence on the United States
in matters of foreign policy and security. In other words, as far as these
individuals are concerned, the fundamental assumption about the relationship
is that it is forever – that what was once will be forever.
America’s attitude to Israel rests on three major pillars. The first is the
idealistic dimension in United States foreign policy: America’s commitment
to fight for and defend democracies abroad. Since Israel is a democracy,
supporting Israel is an American interest. The second is the American Jewish
community, which serves as a bridge between Israel and the American people.
The third pillar is shared security and foreign affairs interests. During
the Cold War, the Soviet Union was the common enemy in every way. Since the
end of the Cold War, a shared interest has been the war on terrorism, as
terrorism is viewed as a common threat and as such is supposed to ally the
two nations (although unlike Israel, America has made no official
declarations linking al-Qaeda terrorism to Palestinian terrorism aimed at
Israel). In Israel’s view, the Iranian threat, first and foremost the
nuclear challenge, is another threat linking the two nations.
How strong are these pillars today? Are cracks appearing in them, liable to
affect their stability? Official American statements reiterate the two
nations’ shared values and the commitment to Israel as a Jewish state.
However, Israel’s conduct in Judea and Samaria on the one hand and the
growing extremism and intolerance in Israeli society on the other are liable
to erode Israel’s image as a democracy in the eyes of the American public.
Within the American Jewish community there are segments unwilling to
automatically accept Israeli government positions on the Palestinian issue
(just as in a different vein they are unwilling to cede to Israel’s official
position on matters of Jewish ritual law) and are prepared to publicly
oppose the Jewish establishment for its blind support of Israeli government
policy. These voices are not unknown to the American administration.
Consider, for example, the presence of National Security Advisor Jones at
the anti-establishment J Street conference, although no official
representatives of Israel attended; J Street is known for its public
criticism of Israeli government policy. In addition, statements such as the
one by General Petraeus, whereby the Israeli-Palestinian conflict creates an
anti-American atmosphere and challenges the ability of the United States to
promote its interests in the Middle East are disturbing; so too is the
question posed lately (not for the first time) with greater force by certain
circles about Israel being an asset or a burden. These are challenges to the
prevailing Israeli assumption about Israel’s contribution to the lasting,
unshakable fact of the nations’ shared interests.
President Obama’s approach to international relations in general and to
relations with the Muslim and Arab world and the Israeli-Palestinian issue
in particular has differed from that of President Bush. In an attempt to
learn from the mistakes of his predecessors, who postponed their attempts to
solve the conflict to the end of their terms in office, President Obama
decided to tackle the issue right at the start. There is no doubt that his
decision to turn the end/freeze of Jewish settlement in the territories into
a pivotal condition even before the start of the dialogue was one of the
reasons the talks went nowhere. The Palestinians were able to stand on the
side watching the US try to promote their interests without having to enter
into the negotiations themselves. At the same time, a crisis developed in
the relationship between Israel and America (one of its results being a loss
of trust between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, which may
continue to mar their relations for as long as each is in office). The
far-reaching, generous benefits package that America was reportedly willing
to grant symbolized the great importance the administration – justifiably or
not – attributed to extending the construction freeze for another three
months, with the hope (it is unclear what this hope was based on) that in
this period of time there would occur a significant breakthrough on some of
the core issues. The failure of the American effort represented the end of a
chapter from the administration’s perspective; this will no doubt negatively
affect future relations between the nations.
It remains to be seen if the president, whose status and chances for
reelection do not depend on his success or failure to resolve the conflict
but rather on his ability to stimulate the American economy and create jobs,
will decide to become personally involved in the effort to force the parties
to abandon their current positions and enter into negotiations on the core
issues. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s December 2010 speech at the
Saban Forum did not indicate explicitly what approach President Obama may
adopt should he decide to intensify his efforts on the issue.
Continued American activity, and certainly increased involvement, will yet
again expose the fundamental differences of opinion regarding the strategy
and tactics of negotiations. The Iranian nuclear issue, too, beyond the
level of official declarations, also reveals disagreements between Israel
and the United States, stemming from their different geographical locations
and balance of interests. Unlike Israel, the United States does not view
Iran as an existential threat, and clearly this impacts attitudes on how to
resolve the crisis.
It should be noted that alongside political disagreements, the Obama
administration has worked to intensify security relations between the
nations, believing that strengthening Israel’s security enlarges its room
for political maneuvering in the context of negotiations. At the same time,
it strengthens Israel’s deterrence vis-à-vis the regional threats against
it, first and foremost the Iranian threat and its regional derivatives.
In the final analysis, as a nation lacking alternatives in terms of
strategic alliances, Israel must do its utmost to preserve the support of
the United States, its only ally. Conduct that assumes symmetry in the
relations, as well as some sort of determinism in terms of American support
for Israel, jeopardizes this special relationship. It is imperative that
Israel's leaders make every effort to maintain the relations, which, given
the environment of change the United States is facing in the coming decades,
cannot be taken for granted.
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