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Treating Israel as a Friend Who Doesn’t Need to Be Ordered Around – Jonathan S. Tobin (JNS via Daily Alert)

By   /   June 25, 2019  /   No Comments

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Jun.25, 2019

  • When the New York Times gave the Democratic presidential candidates a chance to answer 18 policy questions, the only one that touched on the Middle East was: “Do you think Israel meets international standards of human rights?” That question summed up the anti-Israel bias of the newspaper.
  • Considering the scores of nations with egregious human-rights records and Israel’s immediate proximity to many of them, it speaks volumes about the obsessive nature of the paper’s prejudice that the only query it would ask about was the one country in the region that is a democracy and respects human rights.
  • Some of Israel’s critics seem to see Israel’s legitimacy as linked to the creation of a Palestinian state alongside it. Such a state is something that many Israelis would welcome, provided that it came in the context of a true peace that would end the conflict. But the overwhelming majority of Israelis – as evidenced by the way they have voted in the last several elections – understand that they have no credible partner for peace. And they reject repeating the colossal disaster in which their country withdrew from Gaza in 2005, which resulted in the creation of a terrorist state.
  • That’s something that these critics don’t acknowledge or understand. Instead, they think that the U.S. has the right to pressure Israel into making concessions to create a Palestinian state, regardless of the fact that the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected peace offers that would have given them one long ago. At its core, their conception of the U.S.-Israel relationship is that of a great power and a client state that must do as it’s told.
  • There is a vast imbalance in the relative power of the two countries, and Israel needs the support of its superpower ally. But the current president has no burning desire to “save Israel from itself.” Nor is he convinced that he understands their security dilemmas better than they do.
  • U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has become the object of mainstream media scorn because he conceives of his position as one in which he is tasked with promoting better relations between the two countries, rather than acting as an imperial proconsul who is there to give orders to the Israelis.
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