As Purim approaches, thousands of Israeli children and families grapple with poverty
Ask the average Jew on the street and he’ll tell you: Israel needs America in order to survive. Indeed, this view is so entrenched in the Jewish community that few dare question it. Just as a baby needs his mother and an injured person needs his crutches, it seems obvious to many that Israel needs America.
But is this widely-held view true? What would happen if, as a result of Israel’s refusal to acquiesce in American demands for a Palestinian state and West Bank settlement freeze, America terminated its special relationship with Israel and cut off all monetary aid?
To be sure, this scenario is highly unlikely as America would be loath to end its friendship with the only democracy, and the most powerful country, in the Middle East. In addition to being America’s sole dependable ally in the region, Israel also provides the U.S. with vital and reliable intelligence information as well as the expertise of its advanced technology sector, among other benefits.
Supposing, however, America disregarded these concerns and “dropped” Israel – what would happen then?
Let’s review the facts: America provides approximately three billion dollars to Israel annually while Israeli government revenues amount to roughly 60 billion dollars. In other words, American aid to Israel represents five percent of its revenue. That’s it – just five percent. Why most Jews assume Israel would collapse with a five percent loss in revenue is beyond me.
Next fact: Believe it or not, Israel actually survived its first 25 years of independence and won its two greatest wars – the War of Independence and Six-Day War – without America’s help. Israel only started receiving significant American funding after the Yom Kippur War. If a fledgling Israel survived from 1948-1973 without American aid, it can surely do so in 2009 with a military that ranks among the world’s best.
Next fact: Contrary to what some people assume, countries can and do survive without American aid, or even friendship. Iran carries on. So does North Korea. It’s hard to imagine that the Jewish state – home to a people that has won 25 percent of all Nobel Prizes ever awarded – could not survive without America’s assistance.
Even if one argues that Israel requires powerful allies in these dangerous times, America is not the only formidable global player. China is an emerging military world power, India contains one of the fastest growing economies, and Russia still retains some of its Cold War prowess.
Alliances with China, India, and Russia would arguably be just as advantageous, if not more so, to Israel’s strategic needs as its alliance with America. (Incidentally, the very possibility of Israeli cooperation with countries like China and Russia would worry America sufficiently enough to cause it to think twice before cutting its ties with Israel.)
To be sure, China and Russia are not the “nicest” or most enlightened countries, but allies needn’t be best friends; history records more than one instance where strange bedfellows found common cause.
For example, in 1948, as Israel fought for its survival, the state that came to its aid and helped it prevail over attacking Arab armies was the Soviet Union under the leadership of that great humanitarian Joseph Stalin. Yes, for reasons of his own, Stalin allowed Israel to purchase vital weaponry from Czechoslovakia, which was a Soviet satellite state. Many years later Yitzhak Rabin said, “Without the arms from Czechoslovakia … it is very doubtful whether we would have been able to conduct the war.”
Last fact: As anyone who takes the Bible seriously knows, the fates of peoples and countries do not ultimately rest on political realities alone. Rather they rest on God Himself, who rewards countries that do his will and punishes those that don’t. Countries may place much stock in alliances, but God has a master plan of His own and it behooves people – especially the nation of Israel – to keep this basic religious concept in mind.
I love America. I love American ideals, I love American history. But if America demands that Israel relinquish biblical territory, refrain from responding to the murder of its citizens, or cease building in the West Bank, Israel’s reply should be “No.” And if aid is thereby cut off (unlikely but possible), so be it. Protecting its people and borders is Israel’s moral obligation. Maintaining close relations with America is not.
Israel will not collapse without America as an ally. It can survive on its own or form alliances with other countries. But at the end of the day people must realize Israel’s best ally is not America, nor potentially China, India, or Russia. It is the God of Israel, the God who directs the affairs of men – and it would do Israel well to satisfy Him first.
About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
“Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey after you left Egypt-how undeterred by fear of G-d”
Stalin’s plan for the Soviet’s “final solution of the Jewish question” was totally assimilating them
Many Jews oppose the speech fearing it will further erode relations between Israel & US. I disagree.
Without an alliance comparable to ISIS, Al Qaida & Iran, militant Islam will conquer the Middle East
Ultimately, Esther, Netanyahu, and we, the Jewish people, must and will rely on the true King, God, for our salvation from this genocidal threat.
Netanyahu addresses a clear, present & lethal threat to the US/Israel/WORLD; NOT political bickering
Buried in the tax-returns of the JCF is millions of dollars funneled to NIF in the last few years.
Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world
Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life
It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident
“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.
If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism
Victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism, a victor in NY federal court, after years of being ignored by Justice Dept.
March 2013: Arabs hurled stones hitting the Biton’s car; Adele’s mother swerved the car-into a truck
I can tell you that Cablevision has been astonished at how high we rank.
I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”
I was very pro-Israel, I was very proud of being Jewish, and I was living in New York at the time as a single man in my 20s and I was just looking for a little bit more.
A school voucher means the state is giving you a voucher to send your kid to whatever school you want. That might be problematic as far church-state issues are concerned.
It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/does-israel-need-america/2009/10/14/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: