Is America's unquestioning support for Israel strange?Why does Israel receive such loyal support from Washington? Israel's behaviour is often violent and illegal. They brutalise their neighbors...
Why does Israel receive such loyal support from Washington? Israel's behaviour is often violent and illegal. They brutalise their neighbors and often embarass America and her politicians. But The US backs Israel everytime.
Why does America consistently provide such loyal and often unpopular support for one particular country?
A number of reasons:
- Jews are stronger than Muslims in US politics. Some Christians also feel a strong bond to Israel because of religious reasons. Therefore, there is an "Israel lobby" that pushes us towards being friendly with Israel.
- Of the countries in the area, only Israel is consistently friendly to the US. Other countries in the region have not been and so the US has had less reason to want to be friendly in return.
- It is not as if the other countries and the Palestinians have been innocent either. They tried to destroy Israel a number of times and they have committed many terrorist acts, perhaps the biggest of which was the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics.
- During the Cold War, much of the region was sympathetic to the Soviets. So we got in the habit of preferring Israel.
- We had a hand in creating Israel and the Holocaust has made a huge impression on the American mind.
I would attribute it to cultural and religious connections, and what I call inconvenient pragmatism.
There are barely 16 million Jews in the entire world, and 9 million of them live in the United States, while just over 6 million live in Israel. We are the only two nations on Earth with a significant Jewish population.
Israel is our closest ally in the Middle East. Their intelligence agency, the Mossad, is much more effective in that region of the world than the CIA. The US views it as a strategic imperative to keep Israel close.
For all of these reasons, we tend to back Israel much more often than we condemn her. And when we condemn her, we do so privately.
Since the state of Israel exists because of Great Britain and the United States, having been created in 1948, and there are many Jewish societies in the United States that make sizable contributions to Israel, along with much of the media being sympathetic to the Jewish cause, the conventional wisdom is that Israel is an ally as opposed to other Mid-Eastern nations.