A silver lining in Israel’s current troubles?

In the midst of the terrible dangers encompassing Israel, including the unprecedented hostility shown it by a leftist and pro-Muslim U.S. administration, Daniel Pipes finds a source of solace. The worse U.S.-Israeli relations become, he argues, the better things are for Israel:

[W]hen Israeli leaders enjoy strong, trusting relations with Washington, they give more to the Arabs. Golda Meir made concessions to Richard Nixon, Menachem Begin to Jimmy Carter, Yitzhak Rabin, Binyamin Netanyahu, and Ehud Barak to Bill Clinton, and Ariel Sharon to George W. Bush.

Conversely, mistrust of Washington tightens Israelis and closes the willingness to take chances. That was the case with George H.W. Bush and is even more so with Barack Obama. The current unease began even before Obama reached the Oval Office, given his public association with prominent Israel-haters (e.g., Ali Abunimah, Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said, Jeremiah Wright). Relations degenerated in March, when his administration simulated outrage on the 9th over an announcement of routine construction work in Jerusalem, followed by a brutal telephone call from the secretary of state on the 12th and a tense White House summit meeting on the 23rd….

These ugly and virtually unprecedented tensions have had a predictable effect on the Israeli public, making it mistrustful of Obama, resistant to U.S. pressure, while inspiring usually squabbling politicians to work together to resist his policies.


… a counterintuitive conclusion: Strong U.S.-Israel ties induce irreversible Israeli mistakes. Poor U.S.-Israel ties abort this process. Obama may expect that picking a fight with Israel will produce negotiations but it will have the opposite effect. He may think he is approaching a diplomatic breakthrough but, in fact, he is rendering that less likely.

This all makes sense, and perhaps is a solace. But Pipes doesn’t take the next step of identifying why bad relations with Israel’s most important ally would be good for Israel. Perhaps because the answer is too terrible to admit. America with its imperial liberalism, its insistence on reaching out to the Other, on making peace with declared enemies, on treating democracy as the solution to all conflicts, on creating multicultural societies around the world—these American commitments make American friendship dangerous to any independent, freedom loving country, especially if it is a country confronted by enemies. America is the global fountainhead of liberalism, and imposes liberalism on every nation over which it has influence.

As I’ve pointed out a hundred times, when the U.S. got much more involved in Israel-Palestinian affairs than it had ever been before,—in the ’90s, as the facilitator of the “peace process”—that was when things got much worse for Israel than ever before: the then-unprecedented suicide bombings in Israeli buses and restaurants began within four months of the handshake on the White House lawn. The more concessions you make to Muslims, the more they despise you and become aggressive toward you.

It’s not only Israel’s friends who don’t want to see the harmful quality of U.S. friendship, but Israel’s enemies. The anti-Israel paleocons are obsessed with how the U.S., under the thrall of fifth-columnist Jewish neocons, “favors” Israel against America’s own interests, and how the Jewish state “controls” the U.S. In fact, as I’ve just said (and here I’m in agreement with Pipes), the more intimately the U.S. is involved with Israeli affairs, the more it pushes Israel toward disastrous concessions to its enemies, while the less the U.S. is involved with Israel, the stronger Israel becomes. The typical anti-Israel paleocon, obsessed with the notion of malign Israelitish control over America, is too blinded by anti-Israel bigotry to recognize this obvious fact. Or to put it differently, if he recognized it, his anti-Israel bigotry would be left without even the specious appearance of rational support, forcing him either to give it up or to admit that it is, indeed, nothing but bigotry.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 13, 2010 01:37 PM | Send

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