RJpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (10 years 11 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3892 times:
I found this ad by FLAME (Facts and Logic about the Middle East) in the latest edition of Commentary. I thought this essay did a good job of summarizing why Israel is a strategic asset to the US. When push comes to shove, no lobby can build the kind of relationship the United States has with Israel. I don't want to start a war here...But when A.netters wonder why the US is supportive of Israel, this is one of the many reasons why.
What are the Facts?
The only democratic country in the Middle East. Israel is the only genuinely democratic state in the Middle East. It is committed to freedom and equality, and the rule of law. It embodies the fundamental values that are in tune with those of America and that America has traditionally supported. Israel’s military and political importance in the Middle East and its strategic position stabilize the entire area, including the oil fields of the Persian Gulf. During the Cold War, it was America’s indispensable rampart against the inroads and expansionist ambitions of the Soviet Union. It is now a western bulwark against the aggressive intents of Iran and other bellicose nations that threaten the interests of the United States. It is a most reliable partner in the promotion of Western strategic interests and in the stabilization of the Middle East. Over 20% of its budget goes for defense, compared to 7% in the U.S. and less than 1% in Japan. Israel has one of the best armies in the world. Its navy and air force are the major deterrent forces in the eastern Mediterranean.
Israel effectively secures NATO’s southeastern flank, without having a single American soldier stationed in its territory. Still, the superb military installations, the air and sea lift capabilities, the equipment and food storage capacity, and the trained manpower to maintain and repair sophisticated U.S. equipment are instantly at hand in Israel. It is the only country in the area that makes itself available to the United States, in any contingency.
Only fraction of aid stays in Israel. There is no other country in the Middle East except Israel that can be considered to have a stable government or populace friendly to the United States. There is much danger that any military aid to Arab countries, and military equipment given or sold to them, will suffer the same fate as the untold billions of dollars and priceless military secrets that were lost to our enemies in the debacle of Iran. Is Saudi Arabia more stable? Egypt? Jordan? Kuwait? Judge for yourself!
Only a fraction of the aid given stays in Israel. By far the largest share remains with American defense contractors. Peter McPherson, former administrator of the Agency for International Development, estimated that every billion dollars of aid to Israel creates 60,000 to 70,000 jobs in the United States.
Compared to the $2.0 billion yearly military aid to Israel, the U.S. contributes more than $130 billion(!) every year to the defense of Europe and more than $30 billion to the defense of Japan, Korea, and the Far East. Over 300,000 U.S. troops are stationed with NATO and over 30,000 U.S. troops in the Far East. In contrast, not one single U.S. soldier needs to be stationed and put at risk in Israel. U.S. military analysts estimate that the U.S. would have to spend the equivalent of $150 billion a year in the Middle East to maintain a force equivalent to Israel’s.
There are many other benefits that the U.S. military derives from Israel. Israel is the only country that has gained battlefield experience with U.S. weapons. This experience is immediately conveyed to the U.S. Enormous quantities of captured Soviet weapons and defense systems were turned over to the U.S. military for analysis. Israel, in the light of its experience, continually modifies U.S. weapons systems. For instance, Israeli scientists have made over 200 improvements in the F-15 alone and similar improvements, mostly in avionics, in later-generation planes. It would be more in line with reality if military aid to Israel were classified as part of the defense budget, rather than as “aid”. Israel is truly America’s unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Middle East. Former President Reagan put it well: “The fall of Iran has increased Israel’s value as perhaps the only remaining strategic asset in the region on which the United States can fully rely.” American aid to Israel is a two-way street. Aid to Israel is America’s greatest defense bargain.
Cairo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 11 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3876 times:
True, Israel is an important strategic asset for America in the middle east, it should also be pointed out that from time to time Israel can do America's dirty work, like bombing nuclear reactors of Arab countries.
However, what the article doesn't mention, is that the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians has been horrible. This situation is a big reason Muslims from all over the world dislike American policies and is one of the ideological underpinnings of terrorism against America. Supporting Israel costs Americans tremendously more then the billions in direct aid, supporting Israel so one-sidedly costs America's reputation endlessly.
Israel also has elements of a theocracy and is not quite the robust western-style democracy they'd have us believe.
Tbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7013 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (10 years 11 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3870 times:
I'm not going to discuss this because its been discussed so many times and only leads to a fight. One thing though...
Quoting RJpieces (Thread starter): Over 20% of its budget goes for defense, compared to 7% in the U.S. and less than 1% in Japan. Israel has one of the best armies in the world. Its navy and air force are the major deterrent forces in the eastern Mediterranean.
Doesn't the United States spend over half of our budget on defense/armed forces?
Reading that article yesterday, I couldn't note the irony. It made me smile. It still amazes me that Israeli Arabs have the most rights out of any Arabs in the Middle East.
Fall to where?
Fall from being a stable US ally to what it is today.
It would be better to move Israel to the USA & the people. Israel do not belong in that region. It would be like having a Islamic state where Belgium is in Europe...
Umm, no thanks. Israel was a country long before 1948. Since many of the zionist pioneers arrived there starting in the 1880s, the Jewish communities in Palestine had long established local governments, schools, newspapers, Hebrew as a spoken language, a military, etc. Israel was in effect a country long before it was established.
QR332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (10 years 11 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3750 times:
Quoting RJpieces (Reply 19): Reading that article yesterday, I couldn't note the irony. It made me smile. It still amazes me that Israeli Arabs have the most rights out of any Arabs in the Middle East.
...because they can file copyright infringment cases? Yep, I see what you mean
Quoting RJpieces (Reply 19): Fall from being a stable US ally to what it is today.
...so stable that a revolution took place. What it is today is a hundred times better than what it was when it was a US ally.
Quoting RJpieces (Reply 19): Umm, no thanks. Israel was a country long before 1948. Since many of the zionist pioneers arrived there starting in the 1880s, the Jewish communities in Palestine had long established local governments, schools, newspapers, Hebrew as a spoken language, a military, etc. Israel was in effect a country long before it was established.
So Israel counts as a country pre-1948 according to you because there were a few Jewish hospitals and schools, while Palestine, which has the one of the world's richest histories, had been Arab for 1000+ years, had schools, hospitals, everything you can think of established for hundreds of years, does not count as one pre-1948? Talk about hypocracy.
NoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7992 posts, RR: 11
Reply 23, posted (10 years 11 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3747 times:
Quoting Bofredrik (Reply 16): You know better than me about your history so tell us all.
One of the benefits of the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML for short) is the possibility to link different pages. The undelined text in Aloges' reply (#15) is called a link. You can click on it and read what Wikipedia has to say on the the So called Madagaskar-Plan.
Quoting LY7E7 (Reply 10): Unfortunately our nation did not come to life in the Rocky mountains or the forests of the Iroquoi
Quoting LY7E7 (Reply 12): Besides this is totally irrelevant in since 1948.
Israel is part of the ME, belongs there and has every right to exist and to provide safety and wealth to its citicens. Period. Whether or not the Britons and the the rest of the world could have found a line of the border more wisely choosen than that of 1948 is completely irrelevant.
I never wondered why the US is supportive of Israel, in fact I hope the US remains to be supportive. At the same time I don't think the US should unconditionally support every action the Israeli government takes like it had been the case. President Bush was right (yeah, really!) when he got angry over Sharon's cat-and-mouse game over Jewish settlements in Gaza.
The US sometimes seems to forget that Israel is part of a region and that peace won't be possible as long as the Arabic population is dissatisfied and feels ignored by the western world. Thus, a more balanced view could probably help Israel more than implicit support.
I think it's ironic that there are 3 million people in Gaza and the West Bank, and 93% of those are Palestinian. (statistic is only a few years old). I still don't know why it was OK for a lot of European Jews to invade Palestine and displace/kill/enslave millions of Palestinians. I would say that's NOT ok...