Steve Kramer
Steve Kramer

Israel Goes It Alone 

Can Israel rely on any other country to support it when it’s critically endangered? First of all, Israel has never asked any other country to fight on its soil; but, Israelis hope and expect that other Western democracies would back it – on the world stage, in the media, at the UN, etc – against terrorist entities trying to destroy it. The way things look today, especially after the Kabul fiasco, Israel mustn’t rely on another country, even the US, for anything critical.

Ally: a state linked with another by treaty or agreement for mutual aid

Notable Quotes:

“The famous quote from Lord Palmerston [is] ‘England has no eternal friends, England has no perpetual enemies, England has only eternal and perpetual interests’. That’s why I object to notions of an ‘unbreakable bond’ between the US and Israel.”

(http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/10/30/countries-are-incapable-of-friendship/)

A powerful, victorious ally is yet another name for master.

Alexander Hamilton

A politician knows that his friends are not always his allies, and that his adversaries are not always his enemies.

Richard M. Nixon

How the most recent presidents described Israel

Barack Obama:

Israel is a true friend. It is our greatest ally in the region. And if Israel is attacked, America will stand with Israel. I’ve made that clear throughout my presidency.

Declared during a debate with Mitt Romney in October 2012. The president’s later refusal to veto UN Resolution 2334 belied his words. (See below.)

Donald Trump:

We must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terror. This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the State of Israel.

His actions backed up his words.

Joe Biden: (Still waiting to hear…)

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday [2/12/21] the White House would not list Israel as a U.S. ally when asked about the relationship during her daily press briefing. (“Biden Makes History: First President in 40 Years to Punt on Contacting Israel – White House doesn’t list Israel as American ally,” Washington Free Beacon, February 14, 2021)

Obviously, being an ally is not a permanent quality. Lord Palmerston was correct that as a nation’s interests change, its allies may change. Israel currently has no greater ally than the US, but how much are Israel’s interests congruent with America’s? It depends on the current leadership. President Biden’s failure to designate Israel as a close ally doesn’t augur well if Israel’s enemies increase their hostile actions.

Ally status can change depending on its leader. During the year after Obama and Romney debated, the new Obama administration changed its attitudes about the Middle East from those of President Bush’s administration.

11/23/13 White House press release:

I [President Obama] spoke personally with President Rouhani of Iran earlier this fall.  Secretary Kerry has met multiple times with Iran’s Foreign Minister.  And we have pursued intensive diplomacy — bilaterally with the Iranians, and together with our P5-plus-1 partners — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, as well as the European Union.

Today, that [aforementioned] diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure — a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.

(https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2013/11/23/statement-president-first-step-agreement-irans-nuclear-program)

Perhaps even worse than opening negotiations with Iran, a jihadist state that is well known for cheating on every agreement it ever made, was Obama’s parting shot at Israel (which he had previously described as a “great ally”) one month before leaving office. The president ordered America’s UN Ambassador to NOT veto UN Security Council resolution 2334, which delegitimizes Israel by declaring its communities beyond the 1948 Armistice Line illegal; declares Israel’s ancient Jewish sites to be Muslim sites; and denies that Israel’s 3,000 year old capital Jerusalem was ever Israel’s capital. This stab in Israel’s back (or maybe its heart) was unprecedented and still reverberates globally.

Israel has a big problem with Iran, a problem that its ally America shares. But the current administration, harking back to the Obama administration template, seems to favor backing Iran over Israel (and Saudi Arabia). This is ironic because Iran’s government seeks to destroy the US as well as Israel, and isn’t shy about so proclaiming. To wit, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called for Death to America on March 21, 2015 and called for the destruction of “Satanic” America on August 28, 2020, just two of many such threats.

Supreme Leader Khamenei’s hand-picked choice for Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi (“the Butcher of Teheran”), is determined to “liberate” Jerusalem and eliminate Israel. He will follow to the letter all the dictates of the Supreme Leader, who solely sets Iran’s objectives. In addition, Raisi is thought by many to be Khamenei’s favored successor. The previous president, Rouhani, was mistakenly thought to be a reformer. Granted, he was less extreme than his successor. But no one can seriously think that Raisi won’t do his utmost to achieve Israel’s destruction, clearing the way for more world wide terrorism, Iran’s hegemony over the Middle East, and the eventual expansion of the Muslim Caliphate globally.

Israel may soon have to face its enemies on multiple fronts, north, east, and south. It must plan to defeat them on its own, given American unreliability and European lassitude and military weakness. The current debacle in Afghanistan leads to that conclusion. Despite the current administration’s failure to name Israel as America’s ally, President Biden did say that Israel has a right to defend itself from rocket attacks. (Thanks for that.)

The United States and Israel have been friends and allies for decades. Israel’s strength and standing would not be as great without America’s past efforts. But today, many nations question America’s resolve as a dependable ally. Its overhasty withdrawal from Afghanistan has probably doomed many Afghanis who aided the US during the last two decades, as well as sowing skepticism about US commitments overseas. With this in mind, Israel must continue to rely on its own prowess to stop Iran before it’s too late, even if Israel’s actions are not in accord with American aspirations.

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.
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