I recognize that merely asking the question is highly controversial. I am also well aware of the horrors experienced by the Jewish people and I am very sympathetic. But their experiences are not entirely unique. Armenians, Cambodians, Gypsies, Hungarians, Native Americans, Poles, Ukranians, Russians, Rwandans, Sudanese and many other groups also have been the victims of genocide. Yet, those groups have not enjoyed the same level of support from the US.
So what makes Israel unique?
Certainly, Israel deserved our backing following its formation after World War II. But since the 1967 Six Day War, Israels military power has been unchallenged in the region. It still faces threats, but with a modern armament including, by most accounts, nuclear weapons, it is more than capable of standing on its own.
Make no mistake. I have no issue with our continued sale of weapons to Israel so that it can continue to defend itself. But I see no need for the US to continue to pay for those weapons. Moreover, facing our own economic problems, I see little need to continue additional economic assistance given Israel’s high standard of living as compared to the rest of the world.
In 2010, Israels standard of living ranked 47th out of 194 nations. And, according to the Human Development Index which compares life expectancy, literacy, education and standard of living, Israel ranked 17th in 2011. That places Israel ahead of Belgium, Austria, France, Finland, Spain, Italy and many other advanced nations.
My biggest reason to question our blind allegiance is the growing belligerence of Israeli leaders. Rather than being a victim, Israel has begun to more closely resemble the mischievious little brother who causes problems knowing that big brother (the US) will come to its aid and clean up its messes.
For example, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has allowed Israeli settlements to continue unabated on the West Bank. Israel continues to make life extremely difficult for residents of Gaza, and its policy of disproportionate response to Palestinian attacks continues to stir regional anger. Our Israeli friends have even deemed it necessary to send spies to uncover US military secrets. Moreover, it would seem that Israel has little reason to negotiate with Palestinians as long as its security is assured by the world’s only superpower.
Ignoring US and EU requests for patience, Netanyahu is now threatening a pre-emptive strike on Irans nuclear program. If Israel acts on those threats, it could well lead to further destablization of the Middle East, to cause Iran to fund regional dictators and terrorists who oppose the US, to cause a new civil war between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, and to dramatically increase world oil prices. In short, an attack on Iran could turn out much worse than President Bush’s misadventures in Iraq.
Who wouldnt want that?