The burden of Israel

The Obama administration continues to insist that Israel is not a burden to the US, but even the LA Times came out with an article showing describing the problems that Israel presents to the US. (Print version headline: “Raid throws a wrench in U.S. agenda). The article  lists several current foreign policy problems exacerbated by the raid:

  • US-sponsored peace talks in the region (despite the fact that Israel has no interest in peace);
  • US drive for new U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran (in other words, Israel has made it more difficult for the US to advance Israel’s agenda);
  • Complications with the US relationship with Turkey which is “a NATO member and has been important to U.S. military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan” (several Turkish nationals were killed in the raid, and the ships sailed under Turkish flags);
  • Difficulties in the US push for nuclear non-proliferation given that Israel is well-known to have nuclear weapons: “other countries demanded that Israel take a more active role in the effort to reduce nuclear arms, a reference to the atomic arsenal Israel has never acknowledged possessing.”

The article also highlights comments from a prominent foreign policy expert and from General David Petraeus:

“The costs of alignment with Israel are becoming ever more apparent, and the benefits are becoming harder to identify,” said James Dobbins, who was an envoy for both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations and now heads Rand Corp.’s International Security and Defense Policy Center. …

This week’s raid underscored concern expressed in recent congressional testimony by Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of U.S. forces in the Middle East, who said perceived U.S. bias toward the Jewish state was a negative factor in the Muslim world.

What’s remarkable about this article is that it doesn’t quote the usual well-placed Zionist fanatics in the media who claim that Israel is a great asset to the US. Glib talk about the benefits of Israel to the US will be more difficult to maintain with a straight face. But of course those concerned about their political future will continue to do so:

U.S. officials say they do not view their relationship with Israel as a burden, regardless of criticism from the Middle East, Europe or elsewhere.

“Let me be clear here,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday. “We have a trusted relationship. They’re an important ally. And we are greatly supportive of their security. That’s not going to change.”


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