Monday, June 14, 2010


Israel and US power projection in the Mid-East

by Larry Geller

Continued US support for Israel, whatever she does, is a given. But what does the US get in return?

This is one of those articles that are difficult to snip. Please read the entire article. I have not seen this discussion elsewhere as succinctly presented.

-- US relations with Israel do not bolster US prestige in Middle Eastern oil-producing countries or assist the US to "dominate" them, they complicate and weaken US influence; they have at times resulted in the suspension of US relations with such countries. 

-- Israel does not have the diplomatic prestige or capacity to marshal support for US interests or policies globally or in its own region and does not do so; on the contrary, it requires constant American defense against political condemnation and sanctions by the international community.

Washington has made Israel our largest recipient of foreign aid, encouraged private transfers to it through unique tax breaks, transferred huge quantities of weapons and munitions to it gratis, directly and indirectly subsidized the Israeli defense industry, allocated military R&D to Israeli rather than US institutions, offered Israeli armaments manufacturers the same status as US manufacturers for purposes of US defense procurement, etc.. Almost all US vetoes at the United Nations and decisions to boycott international conferences and meetings have been on behalf of Israel. Israel treats its ability to command support from Washington as a major tool of diplomatic influence in third countries; it does not exercise its very limited influence abroad in support of US as opposed to its own objectives.   [Mondoweiss, Freeman: Israel is useless to US power projection, 4/30/2010]

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"Likely to be considered provocative."

This is as close to evenhanded as you've been in this whole thing Larry. Congrats for cracking open your mind on this situation!

THe US continues to look foolish about Israel, beginning with Hawai'i Congressional rep./sen. misguided support.

Some good points. But it is hardly proper to worry at all about how well liked we are by the oil producing countries. Watching Bush hold hands (literally) with Sheiks was enough for me. Our job is reduce the annual income of the oil rich markedly, by treating oil dependence as it is: a pariah.
The middle eastern "Arab" countries are hardly a monolith. Again, some good points but it is not as simple as you make it sound.

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