Monday, May 18, 2009
Israel and self-preservation
I'm often left thinking about what will happen to Israel the day the USA turns its back on them and they are left to fend for themselves. I realize that the the last 60 years have been rather cozy, but If I put myself in the shoes of a conservative Israelite, could I say that the bond between Israel and the USA will always be there? Or worse, should I plan my nation's future around a kindly mother USA that should never abandon its child Israel? It would be idiotic to think that the USA will always stand behind anyone, be they Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom or Israel. The political landscape shifts too often, alliances too brief and the economies involved always take a turn in the direction of accommodating a trading partner, rather than an old friend. I read this article here that stated that point forcefully. Shimon Peres, the Israeli president reflected on Jewish history when he answered “If we have to make a mistake of overreaction or underreaction, I think I prefer the overreaction.”
"The mistrust has a long history. Arabs and Persians enjoy cordial enmity; the cultural rivalry between the Sunni and Shia universes dates back a mere 1.5 millennia or so, to the battle of Karbala in 680 and beyond.
But recent developments have envenomed things to the point that Arab diplomats troop daily into the State Department to warn that the U.S. quest for détente with Tehran is dangerous."
Says a columnist in the New York Times "After all, when Israelis and Arabs make common cause, surely the danger is real".
Israel is under a very real threat of destruction. There's no shortage of Islamic nations that would erupt in celebration and would declare the day a cultural landmark if Israel were to fall. Iran has voiced such feelings in ways that Arabs have not vocalized. Yet some Arabs are loosely banding together with the Israeli lobby to argue that there is a Sunni element of stability that needs to be restored to the Middle east, where Shia Iraq has strayed and made friends with the Persian rival.
Alongside with this strategic friendship, comes the all-purpose tonic on the Shia hopes for the future in the form of Hezbollah, another thorn in Israel's side and to some degree, in Sunni strategic thinking also.
Pres. Obama now meets with all these parties and will have a taste of the giant gap that divides these nations