How important is Israel politically/geographicaly to the U.S??

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toastonrye

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How important is Israel politically/geographicaly to the U.S,

considering Israel's military is so technologically advanced and israel is not rogue(also only democratic nation in the middle east thats not hostile), how does israel fare in the Middle East and how important are they to stabilizing the middle east and as a stepping stone for the U.S and the world.
 

Eburonen

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Before 1961, the Israeli state relied heavily on France (militarely) and Germany (financially, war damages). To keep it's hold in a hostile world.
The reason the French gave military support was because they wanted to counter Nasser in Egypt and keep control on the Suez canal. When Suez was lost, the French geopolitics shifted towards their Lebanese and Arab allies.

It is my opinion that the same could happen with US-Israeli relations in the near future. The geopolitically importance of Israel wil shift.
(you are correct that Israel is the only working democracy in the Near East, but that is only an Ideological bond)
Obama is a pragmatist, not an ideologist like Bush.
By concequence Israel is an Ideological Allie but an geopolitical liability to the US.

Israel needs it's allies more then their allies need them. Only if Israel contributes to American influence in the region (as a potential proxy army for exampel.) will there be a mutual benefit and a mutual understanding.
But since the conflict in Irak has gone bad. Things might have changed and like France in the past, the US might focus more on Arab-diplomacy. In stead of Isrealy military thraet.
 

toastonrye

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considering the threat of iran producing wmd and the continued threat of hezbollah/al qaeda/taliban destabalizing the region i would think america needs Israel more than ever because without israel intelligence gathering in the middle east insurgents would be more widespread,

i understand were you say that America might need to shift geopolitcaly to make the arab nations happy but if the goal of the arab nations is to "destroy israel" (iran) why would the U.S want the middle east even more destablizing if the cornerstone of democracy and freedom is isreal.
 

old faithful

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Not sure about the US, but to me, as an Australian, I am bloody very angry towards isreal after mossad used fake Australian passports for use by their agents to assasinate one of their enemys leaders. If it were up to me, I would now ban all isreali,s entry into Australia, and send their embassy staff home. And cut all trade with them, they are as much trouble in the middle east as the rest of them. leave them to it, maybe they will nuke iran, and the rest of the arab world will implode, taking down the whole of the middle east. I for one wouldnt miss any of them.
 

toastonrye

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no offense but i believe the response is narrow-minded the mossad used everyones passports australia isnt special, 2nd of all mossad did the world a favor by assassinating one of the head terrorists in al qaeda who is the man behind the deaths of hundreds of cilivians. Next, israel has done nothing but good in the middle east and there on the defensive at all times, there cleaning the streets of terrorism and if it takes a fake passport here and there in my opinion people should overlook it and see the outcome/overall result which was positive.
 

old faithful

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no offense but i believe the response is narrow-minded the mossad used everyones passports australia isnt special, 2nd of all mossad did the world a favor by assassinating one of the head terrorists in al qaeda who is the man behind the deaths of hundreds of cilivians. Next, israel has done nothing but good in the middle east and there on the defensive at all times, there cleaning the streets of terrorism and if it takes a fake passport here and there in my opinion people should overlook it and see the outcome/overall result which was positive.
No offence taken!

I dont care if mossad uses everyone elses passports or not, they used ours and were caught out. now we need to respond, and respond strongly. As for isreal being positive in the mid east, ive seen nothing positive from the mid east in my life time, 42 years of age.
Now, after WW2, the west (im a westerner of Scottish descent) decided to make ahome land for the jews, who suffered unimaginable horror during that war. So they basicly kicked out the locals, and said here ya go, lets call it Isreal, and give ya a homeland. Now the peeps that lived there are still pissed off, and i dont blame them, the isreali settlers are calling everyone who opposes them terrorists and those who oppose isreal call themselves freedom fighters, kill each other all you want, I dont care, but dont use a pass port that says you are Australian when you are not, in order to do it.
the whole of the MID EAST, includeing Isreal is bloody mess, and the whole world would be a better place if it was a radioactive wasteland.
 

toastonrye

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i understand completely and respect your response but i still have to disagree

but anyways anyone was answer the question? whats the importance of israel and how important are they as democratic nation and ally to the U.S?
 

wittmanace

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I would say some valid points have been made, and touch on the core of the issue. it is a cost/benefit exercise to support israel politically and militarily or financially. Israel very clearly increases the cost aspect of the equation significantly, with actions such as the illicit use of fake passports belonging to its supposed allies' states. there has been a noticeable shift in western europe, in terms of public opinion, as to whether israel needs to be defended or is simply the aggressor most of the time. this has radically increased the political capital expended by any politician who supports israel vocally. the war in lebanon and operation cast lead a year ago seem to have accelerated this, especially in the UK and Norway, where debate has been fierce as a result.

The cost of supporting israel is rising greatly, and israel is increasing this, yet the benefit side seems to be in decline. Egypt is not the same egypt it once was, in terms of a threat and in terms of having a Nasser or Sadat running the country. Israels actions seem to have increased Hizbollah support, given the absolute proportion of the vote they got in lebanon. Israel has also attacked the United Nations facilities in Gaza, as cited by several UN officials. they have also refuted israeli claims as to why this happened.Israel also buzzed German navy vessels with simulated bomb runs, then did that to the french. They also killed UN workers in operation cast lead, as well as the 2006 war. I would say all these are each an example of the declining benefit of israel as an ally, whereas the cost is increasing.

As for the iranian issue, Israeli threats to take action have put pressure on the uk, for example, to do something or at least address the issue or possibility (see question time on the bbc for example), and it might be the case that these steps away from action have in fact complicated the west's possible options. while it is easy to say that israels military is a stabilizing factor, or even a useful "stick" to threaten with, it is also the justification for the heavy military expenditure of the arab states. the israeli military's role as a stabilizing influence is also dubious, given its repeated use, often against the views of the western populations and in ways that genuinely shock these populations. The reality is that israel is repeatedly biting the hand that feeds it in this respect. I would also refer you to a bbc programme, Panorama (viewable on their website i believe) that highlights the pro israeli lobby and questions whether it has gone so far as to use the british government as an israeli instrument, against the wishes of the population.
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Ultimately I think US support for Israel is a question of how long the pro israel lobby can fight for it to continue. there was an interesting article about this, with a debate, in the Time issue of the week ending 19th february. In an earlier episode of Panorama (investigative journalism) they interviewed a former member of colin powell's staff (military) and he said there was a feeling in the military that america is beginning to fight for israels interests, and that it is resented amongst the officers he knew. he also stated that an open war involving US troops, for israel's benefit, would cause a "mass exodus" i believe he called it, of officers from the army. though the interview is a few years old, I would personally imagine that these sentiments have increased, rather than decreased.

Essentially it seems that Israel is in a shifting balance as far as the cost benefit issue goes, and that Israel isn't doing itself any favours in this regard.

I am mixed and have several nationalities and homes where I am from. 2 of these, Norway and England, follow the above trends. I for one am furious over the use of UK passports by a supposed ally my government supports regardless of the wishes of the population (based on polls here during the Gaza offensive, or in Norway in 2006, for example). Why keep feeding when it keeps biting you and it acts in violation of international law and leaves a very bad taste in the populations mouth?
 

toastonrye

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Well to begin with that was very well written and thanks for you opinion/stance but if possible i would like to here ur opinion on hamas/hezbollah etc terrorism and continued harassment of israel.

On the point of the israel attacking U.N facilities, this was most likely non intentional, or there is a reason behind - possibly terrorists using "human shields" has we have known them to do in the past"

Do you believe world outlook on israel could change or will the U.S/Israeli alliance start to dwindle/or (covert funding israel to mislead the world)?
 

Waylander

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I have to say I agree with several other members here.
Israel gets alot of support by other nations but tends to make it look like a one way relationship. Biting the hand that feeds you is hardly a way to secure good relationships with other in the future.

IMO their current government is also driven too much by the right wing hawks as well as the religious fanatics which severely hampers Israels ability to find a lasting solution to it's problems.

But in the end Israel is still the lesser problem in the region. It's not as if the palestinians have anything worth calling a leadership with which talks are possible. Heck if they don't wage a terror war against Israel they are fighting against each other.

Syria is still a country which would do everything to destroy Israel if they think they could get Away with it and when the masses in Egypt ever get rid of their current dictatorship Israel is in big trouble.
 

wittmanace

Active Member
sure. as for the assertion of human shields being the cause of the strikes on UN facilities, the UN refuted this both at the time and in its report, post conflict. A good book is by Mads Mikkelsen ( a norwegian doctor who headed the UN medical operations in Gaza, both during and prior to the operation). In one interview, live on AL Jazeera english, one one line an Israeli army spokesman was talking through footage that was evidence of the use of a UN compound by hamas, and then on the other line there was a UN representative in Gaza ( his name escapes me for the moment). The UN representative pointed out that the footage was more than a year old, and what it depicted was the day the Israelis attacked a UN girls school and it was then evacuated, after which a militant launches a rocket from near the school. The israeli, i believe it as mark regev, had just asserted that it was new footage and then had to back peddle as the footage had been public for quite some time before the operation occurred. that isnt a simple matter of spin, but a straight forward lie, in order to support the legitimacy of striking a UN compound, the GPS co-ordinates for which the Israeli army had been given repeatedly and well in advance. remember the denial of the use of white phosphorous? then we saw the pictures and video of it hitting the UN compound for food. There are many points along these lines, i suggest you find the aforementioned book. the clip of part of the interview is also on youtube i believe.

I also fail to see how the buzzing of German and french vessels is an accident when it is repeated. remember the french saying they were issuing surface to air missiles to their troops as they had been buzzed in mock bomb runs by the IAF?

As for Hamas, as radical as they are, they had held to the ceasefire until Israel raided Gaza, and then bombed Gaza...the air raid was 5th November i believe...killing civilians. now, if Israel attacks twice during a ceasefire which Hamas held to (despite Israel not lifting the blockade), i fail to see how this is Hamas engaging in continued harassment.

Concerning Hezbollah, the 2006 war occurred when they ambushed Israeli troops, in the area known as Shebaa farms. I suggest you consult the UN website as to which country that is in.There is some dispute, but there is not a single country that claims it is Israeli territory. so this raises the question...what were Israeli troops doing patrolling there? Whatever one says about Hizbollah, they did not go into Israel...Israel patrolled on another state's territory.

My personal view of this is that Israel's foreign policy in 2006 was actually a reflection of internal Israeli politics, rather than the situation on the ground. Olmert needed a war, and one he would win. If you look further into the Israeli internal political situation at the time, you will probably come to the same conclusion. As a British citizen, my own government then supports this as Israel is deemed an ally. so My own state supports actions based on Olmerts own political situation...

I believe that, combined with a general view of Israel's use of excessive force, retribution, collective punishment and a view of might makes right with no respect for civilian life or the UN, combine to mean Israel is losing sympathy, support and in the cost benefit i mentioned before.

US support was essentially based on the pro Israel lobby, public opinion, and its presence as a stick. The facts on the ground have changed, not least with Iraq and Afghanistan, september 11th and so forth. The reality is also that Israel's actions along with Western support for this, is probably the biggest motivator for attacks on our countries and troops...the london bombers' videos from before they died pointed this out, along with Iraq, as a motivator.

Israel's position that it is a sovereign state and therefore does as it wishes is inconsistent with the support it needs, militarily, financially and politically. There must be give and take in a relationship between two states, and currently Israel is taking a great deal and then stating it is independent and therefore need not consult other nations. This doesnt bring much joy to the politicians that support Israel publicly.

The US will support Israel as long as the public support and the pro Israel lobby, anti defamation league and so forth are strong enough.

The pro Israel vs pro palestinian conflict has seen the palestinians fail in a key and decisive area...the lobbying aspect. There is nothing to compare to the pro Israel lobby in the US or UK.

Just edited to address what Waylander posted.

An interesting point to consider is that both Hezbollah and Hamas were founded in response to Israel. Hamas won elections as a result of (partly PA corruption) and because the PA was not getting anything for the Palestinians but they were still being killed.

If Israel were not so aggressive, the motivation for these groups, along with their support would go. This is also true of dictatorships in surrounding countries, such as Syria. consider the basis for Nasser's reign or Sadat...and Israel's influence on that. Lets also not forget that Hamas was founded with Israeli money, in order that the Palestinians wouldnt unite..

extract:

Let us not forget that it was Israel, which in fact created Hamas. According to Zeev Sternell, historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “Israel thought that it was a smart ploy to push the Islamists against the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO)”.

from:
Seumas Milne: Israel and the west will pay a price for Gaza's bloodbath | Comment is free | The Guardian

Fundamental to the issue is that Israel and its behaviour is a key motivator to militants, extremists and so forth in the region. It is also a key leg the dictators stand on there..
 
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Awang se

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i understand were you say that America might need to shift geopolitcaly to make the arab nations happy but if the goal of the arab nations is to "destroy israel" (iran) why would the U.S want the middle east even more destablizing if the cornerstone of democracy and freedom is isreal.
I think we've already move pass that now. Israel is a reality now and most of the arabs have learned to live by it. The question is, wether the reality will be pleasant or hostile. Israel can't continuosly maintain an agressive and hostile posture against it's neighbours.
 

StevoJH

The Bunker Group
Not sure about the US, but to me, as an Australian, I am bloody very angry towards isreal after mossad used fake Australian passports for use by their agents to assasinate one of their enemys leaders. If it were up to me, I would now ban all isreali,s entry into Australia, and send their embassy staff home. And cut all trade with them, they are as much trouble in the middle east as the rest of them. leave them to it, maybe they will nuke iran, and the rest of the arab world will implode, taking down the whole of the middle east. I for one wouldnt miss any of them.
Agreed on all points.

Israel need a little reality drummed into their skulls. The western world can do without them, they can't do without the western world.
 

Rayna

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Just adding to this, They have used New Zealand passports through fraud and were caught as well...
[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Israel_%E2%80%93_New_Zealand_spy_scandal"]2004 Israel – New Zealand spy scandal - Wikipedia, the free [email protected]@[email protected]@/wiki/File:Flag_of_New_Zealand.svg" class="image"><img alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3e/Flag_of_New_Zealand.svg/220px-Flag_of_New_Zealand.svg.png"@@[email protected]@commons/thumb/3/3e/Flag_of_New_Zealand.svg/220px-Flag_of_New_Zealand.svg.png[/ame] - Only a wiki reference as it was 6 years ago and its hard to find any new articles that are still around.
 

InnoTactics

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Israel's geopolitical importance

Frankly, I am a bit taken aback by the opinion that the threat of possible destruction of a friendly democratic state and society is not taken as a good enough of a reason to support Israel.

For some other ideas, one can simply imagine the day after. With current extremist groups basing their ideology and recruitment on the success of past violent struggles in different parts of the world, a defeat for Israel would be the ideal evidence that terrorism is a proven strategic choice.

Emboldened by such a success, the different extremist elements will gain political support in the Arab world, and the days of current moderate Arab leaders will be counted. Given the global and interconnected nature of world economies, and the rising problems with extreme Islamism in much of Europe, Russia, Kavkaz and so on - such a development will provide for an aggravation of these conflicts and a huge leverage for the Arabs to hold the west hostage.

Add to this the upcoming nuclearization of (several) of the Islamic states, and you have a more complex problem at your hands than WWII.

Again, if you choose to ignore the fact that a friendly democratic society is still threatened daily by annihilation, at least consider the fact that the western society will have to deal with fanatic, emboldened, enriched and nuclear-armed Jihad supporting states next to it's oil sources.

This reminds me of the US support for Britain and generally Europe in WWII. Neither Britain nor France was in a position to offer bilateral advantages to it's supporters, just like Israel is in many ways since 1948. And yet I doubt that many of the writers in this thread would suggest that this support, while extended at the cost of American and British soldier's lives, was misplaced.

Israel doesn't ask for someone to die on it's behalf. It's ready to stand up for it's own, but approaches the free states to provide it with the means to defend itself. That is in the rather hostile corner of the earth where it's 7 million citizens try to live their lives without being nuked, blown to pieces or thrown into any sea.
 
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Herodotus

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Frankly, I am a bit taken aback by the opinion that the threat of possible destruction of a friendly democratic state and society is not taken as a good enough of a reason to support Israel.
Friendly is a relative term. Alliances are not permanent, nor should they be.

For some other ideas, one can simply imagine the day after. With current extremist groups basing their ideology and recruitment on the success of past violent struggles in different parts of the world, a defeat for Israel would be the ideal evidence that terrorism is a proven strategic choice.
Terrorism is used precisely because the weaker party in a conflict cannot match arms with the stronger, so it is an asymmetrical response, designed to harry and harass and eventually wear done the political will of the stronger country. And how long has it been going on with regard to Israel? The War of Attrition started after the Six-Days War, and hasn't yielded many consesions.

Emboldened by such a success, the different extremist elements will gain political support in the Arab world, and the days of current moderate Arab leaders will be counted. Given the global and interconnected nature of world economies, and the rising problems with extreme Islamism in much of Europe, Russia, Kavkaz and so on - such a development will provide for an aggravation of these conflicts and a huge leverage for the Arabs to hold the west hostage.
And again terrorism is not utilized by countries/groups that are politically or militarily strong. It's main purpose is to sap political will, though the damage done or could be done, by terrorism is relatively small.

Add to this the upcoming nuclearization of (several) of the Islamic states, and you have a more complex problem at your hands than WWII.
Proliferation is not necessarily a bad thing. It is possible these states become more rational with nuclear weapons (read Waltz).
Again, if you choose to ignore the fact that a friendly democratic society is still threatened daily by annihilation, at least consider the fact that the western society will have to deal with fanatic, emboldened, enriched and nuclear-armed Jihad supporting states next to it's oil sources.
Pretty much a slippery slope argument: Israel is the bulwark against extremism, if it falls, watch out. A weak argument in my view.

This reminds me of the US support for Britain and generally Europe in WWII. Neither Britain nor France was in a position to offer bilateral advantages to it's supporters, just like Israel is in many ways since 1948. And yet I doubt that many of the writers in this thread would suggest that this support, while extended at the cost of American and British soldier's lives, was misplaced.
The support wasn't misplaced because the US was more concerned with a hegemon dominating Europe, in the form of Nazi Germany. The US was concerned with maintaining balance. Islamic countries in the Middle East have a history of not uniformly aligning with each other. Even with regard to Israel, if Iran attacks would Egypt follow her? I doubt it. The correlation is not the same. Even if Israel should fall (doubtful with its nuclear deterrent) would the Islamic world be unified and present a hegemonic threat to the rest of the world? Probably not.

Israel doesn't ask for someone to die on it's behalf. It's ready to stand up for it's own, but approaches the free states to provide it with the means to defend itself. That is in the rather hostile corner of the earth where it's 7 million citizens try to live their lives without being nuked, blown to pieces or thrown into any sea.
Which is absolutely a reason why the US should not be so closely bound to Israel. The US does not have security commitments with Israel the way it does with NATO countries precisely for this reason. Yes, the world is a dangerous place, and Israel can and should take actions to protect itself, but it doesn't mean that the US will be treaty-bound to provide military assistance or otherwise be dragged into a conflict. This goes back to my first point, alliances are not permanent, nor should they be.

If Israel takes actions against threats; real or perceived there is little, or nothing the US can do to stop it, but Israel should also be forced to live with the consequences of those actions, whatever they are.
 

Rayna

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If Israel takes actions against threats; real or perceived there is little, or nothing the US can do to stop it, but Israel should also be forced to live with the consequences of those actions, whatever they are.

Sure there is, All America needs to say is "Start behaving or we will stop sending you money"

See how deep shit Israel will be in then,
 

toastonrye

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israel isnt Americas "bitch" , everyone understands that America gives direct funding to israel but most dont realize it benefits both parties in the long run. Such as funding to the mossad for intelligence gathering and technological research - such as the new Arrow Missile Defense systems
 

Rayna

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israel isnt Americas "bitch" , everyone understands that America gives direct funding to israel but most dont realize it benefits both parties in the long run. Such as funding to the mossad for intelligence gathering and technological research - such as the new Arrow Missile Defense systems
Where they can sneak to other counteries and gain our passports so the back-fall falls on us instead of them?
 

StevoJH

The Bunker Group
Frankly, I am a bit taken aback by the opinion that the threat of possible destruction of a friendly democratic state and society is not taken as a good enough of a reason to support Israel.

[broken record here]
Israel has to show itself to be friendly first. Is forging the passports of a "friendly" country and using them them to carry out an assassination, thereby implicating citizens of that country in that assassination a friendly act? I think not.

Contempt breeds contempt. You reap what you sow.

Regards
 
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