reply to post by WWJFKD
Israel is an outpost of Western civilization in the middle of the Islamic world. The civilizational affinity alone is enough to make an alliance very
attractive. Their population is educated and productive. They've produced nine Nobel laureates. On a per capita basis, that's better than the US.
The country has a modern legal system and property rights, making it attractive for foreign businesses, like Intel and Microsoft. (You've probably
used a CPU designed in Israel.) They're the kind of people you want as friends.
Militarily, we recognize common threats, and Israel has historically been ahead of us in some ways. They've been fighting an asymmetric enemy for a
long time. They hunted down the Munich killers years before we developed the military capability to do so. (All we had was the CIA and their
hare-brained plausibly deniable schemes to kill Castro.) They did the Entebbe raid before we had a military unit for hostage rescue. They recognized
the threat of a nuclear Iraq while we were still trying to seduce Saddam Hussein. They are useful allies.
Strategically, it's good to have a strong ally in the Middle East. We're pretty tight with some of the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia, but as we saw
in Egypt, regimes can change overnight. And there are forces working to change those regimes. Iraq is slowly slipping into Iran's orbit. Iran still
wants us to die. I guess we're okay with Jordan since we put their king on Star Trek, but Jordan isn't exactly contributing as much as Israel.
Although we can't use Israel as a direct proxy, it's good to have them as a balance against the the Arab states and their tenuous stability.
What could we possibly gain by giving up Israel? Friendship with the Islamist states? Worthless. They are behind technologically, legally, and
socially. Our intercourse with them would be limited to selling them weapons and buying their oil. Getting terrorists off our backs? Not likely--as
long as we sell weapons to and buy oil from the Arab regimes, we will be a target of terrorists. Being respected by the rest of the world? That and $5
will get you a venti mocha. And once the world's antizionist joy wears off, they'll realize we just cut loose one of our closest allies, and
re-evaluate their own agreements with us. Human rights? Hezbollah, Hamas, and others will push Israel into the sea. They already target civilians, you
know they'll dial it up to 11 given half the chance. Regional stability? Hamas still hates Fatah, Iran still wants Iraq, Lebanon is still infected
with terrorists, half the Arab states are in or near revolution, Egypt doesn't know what it's doing, Libya is in flux, Afghanistan is in their
forever civil war, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is still trying to overthrow every Arabian government it can... None of this would be improved by
losing Israel as an ally. Losing Israel would put us in a worse position, put the Israelis in an untenable position, and only put a few Palestinian
office-holders in a better position.
So, that's that. Israel is a pretty cool little country, and of the million things going wrong in the region, they're only responsible for about
five. Breaking off a long-standing commitment to ameliorate those five things won't solve the other 999,995, nor will it ultimately endear us to the
rest of the world. All it will accomplish is some ethnic cleansing. And then we'd have to go back there in force to clean up.