Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests. Paraphrasing Lord Palmerston (Henry John Temple)
While Israel and the United States share some common, fundamental values, in reality, they have very different interests.
The most basic example is the Middle East.
America’s first priority in the region is to keep the oil flowing, and reduce reliance on any single country for that resource.
Israel’s top priority is survival.
Iran is the best example of where these differences come to a head.
Israel is rightfully worried that Iran wants to commit nuclear genocide against it. America, on the other hand, is not overly concerned about an Iranian attack, but would definitely like to see Iranian oil flowing into the U.S., while keeping Iran out of Russian hands.
It fits well into an American Middle East strategy, that Iran, whatever its regime, would have a working relationship with the U.S.
That doesn’t mean that the U.S. would destroy Israel to satisfy Iran, but the it has no problem with Israel paying a price in exchange for Iran’s friendship.
Think Jimmy Carter, China and Taiwan. Back in 1979, Carter switched his allegiance from Taiwan to the People’s Republic, practically overnight. It’s what superpowers do.
This leaves Israel in a dilemma.
Iran will get nuclear missiles, because it plans to get them – at all costs. The U.S. wants a rapprochement with Iran, and a few nuclear bombs aren’t going to stand in the way of that. Israel attacking Iran, on the other hand, would.
Israel doesn’t have too many initial options here.
Israel can pressure the U.S. Congress to try to reduce the size of the bus Israel gets pushed under. Israel can attack Iran alone, and pray that it’s strong enough, and be prepared to endure the consequences it will face from the U.S. and from an Iranian retaliation. Or Israel can keep its mouth shut, ride out the Obama storm, and be prepared to eventually face off with a nuclear Iran, with expansionist goals, protecting its proxies on Israel’s border with its nuclear umbrella.
There is another option that Israel can take.
Israel can grow up, and cut the American umbilical cord.
Israel needs to diversify.
It needs to go out and begin building better and deeper relationships with other strong countries – Russia included. It doesn’t need to cut its ties with the US, but it does need to end its complete reliance on the US, because Israel’s interests and US interests are not the same.
It doesn’t need to be big moves either. Simply buying some military from Russia would give Israel customer (not client) status, and that would change all the relationships. The US would also be faced with a choice, and pushing Israel under the bus would have consequences for the US in return.
Israel could then play those relationships off one another, just like the big boys do.
The U.S. had been holding back parts of Israel’s economy, specifically that of the military industry. Israel can begin selling its systems that compete with the US’s military industry. It’s well known that Israel’s war tech is superior, and selling a few major systems would do well for the Israeli economy.
And finally, Israel can apply Israeli law over Area C, and unilaterally declare that the price for a nuclear Iran, is an Israel with borders that we believe are needed for our protection, as well are historically and legally ours. The Arabs in Areas A are free to run their government and live their lives however they want, as long as they don’t attack us or attempt to harm us in any way.
Taiwan manages to thrive and grow, despite the Chinese shadow, and its president being persona non grata in Washington (even if it is now trying to build a relationship with China)
Israel has a lot more going for it than Taiwan.
A little growing up, and a little diversity never hurt anyone.
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