The U.S. Can Lead the Free World and Still Write Off the Middle East – Martin Kramer (Commentary)
We have become used to the notion that U.S. preeminence in the world and the Middle East is a constant. But it isn’t so. The simple truth is that Israel cannot rely on the U.S. to do just the right thing at just the right time. That’s at the heart of the crisis of confidence between the U.S. and Israel over Iran.
More than six years ago, before Obama even declared his candidacy, I told the Conference of Presidents that “America’s era in the Middle East will end one day,” and that “it is possible that in twenty years’ time, America will be less interested and engaged in the Middle East. What is our Plan B then?”
Obama accelerated that timetable, but the long-term trend has been clear for years. The U.S. can lead the Free World and still write off the Middle East, which isn’t part of it. That’s precisely the mood in America today.
Israel and the U.S. have had an extraordinary run. But history stands still for no people. However enamored we are of the status quo, Israel needs a Plan B.
The State of Israel must be agile enough to survive a power outage of any ally. Israel’s future depends upon its ability to read the changing map of the world, to register the ebb and flow of global power, and to adapt as necessary.
Let us pray for the perpetuation of America’s power to do good in the world. Let us prepare for something less.
- The writer, President of Shalem College in Jerusalem, is former director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University.