I recently had a conversation with a friend about America’s support for Israel. He believes, as do many others, that the relationship between Israel and America is bad for America, because America can be drawn into wars that are not in its self-interest.
While I do agree that it is bad policy to form alliances which require America to go to war should an ally go to war, we in fact, have many such alliances already, yet no one seems to have a problem with France being a member of NATO, which means that if France finds itself in a existential crisis, all nations in NATO must come to her aid. So many of the arguments against support for Israel seem to be rooted in three factors: 1) Israel, unlike France, is almost always on the verge of war, thus the consequences of our alliance is more evident. 2) Many people hate Jews. 3) The Arabs have lost several wars with Israel and have devolved, while Israel has prospered against the odds. Thus some consider the Arabs to be an underdog, picked on my a more powerful nation.
Religious beliefs aside (being a Christian, I think it’s a bad bet to take up the opposite side of the people of God), why should we not support Israel? Yes, it is true that an alliance with Israel could drag us into a war in the Middle East, but that is not a necessary condition for the alliance. For instance, Israel went to war with Hezbollah in 2006 and America did not deploy troops there. Israel is a model of success in the Middle East. It is the only true democracy by Western standards. Liberals should admire Israel as much as they seem to adore the Palestinians; in Israel, it’s not illegal to be gay, Muslim, Christian or even an atheist. Women stand on equal ground with men, in Israel. Israel has produced more Nobel Prizes than all the Arab nations combined, several times over. Indeed, Israel seems to be a model that the whole world could learn from.
Some argue that militant Islamists hate America because of its alliance with Israel. But is this true? This may make good propaganda for suicide bombers, but upon closer inspection, it doesn’t hold much water. After all, China, Russia, Germany, France and many more all have problems with Muslim terrorists.
And even if it is true, that terrorists are motivated to attack the US because of its support for Israel, so what? Is America, the most powerful military force in the world, the kind of nation that backs its friends only in the good times? Do we want to abandon the alliance because Israel has enemies? What kind of friend is that? Did we abandon England in WWII because it was fighting Germany? How would are allies now view the United States if we stopped support when war seemed imminent? A friend like that will soon find himself without any friends at all. It reminds me of Afghan villagers, forced to stop cooperating with American forces because the Taliban put a gun to their heads. Not much of an image for a superpower to present.
The type of moral equivocation needed to sympathize with the Arab nations compared to Israel borders on the insane. So intent are some to “see the other side’s point”, that they cannot any longer tell good from evil. They will rant about the destruction of democracy on America, yet support totalitarian regimes in countries that hate America and everything it stands for. In those countries, unlike in Israel, the people live rather miserable lives. And guess what? It’s not Israel’s fault.