It’s Time to End Israel’s ‘Special Relationship’ with the U.S.

On the surface, we describe the U.S.-Israel relationship as a special bond that cannot be broken, worth billions in trade and of supposedly high strategic value. But over the past decade, America has used this relationship, mainly through its U.N. veto and billions in military hardware grants, to bully Israel into submission and strengthen her enemies. When you peel back the rhetoric of Israel’s military and political echelons, our enemies see an image similar to that of a child constantly being scolded by his parents.

Under the Bush Administration, both governments jointly worked on Stuxnet, a computer virus that destroyed large swathes of Iran’s nuclear enrichment centrifuges at Natanz without them knowing that they were sabotaged. High ranking members of the American intelligence community leaked this program to Time Magazine and revealed a covert operation against Israel’s number one enemy. This allowed Iran not only to recover, but to implement safeguards to prevent future cyber attacks.

Hezbollah, which is deeply involved in the Syrian Civil War, has taken the opportunity to attempt to smuggle surface to air missiles into Lebanon, for future use again Israel. The Israeli Air Force in turn has carried out raids on these shipments and storage facilities with a policy of not acknowledging or announcing that they took place. This allows our enemies to, in turn, deny they took place, so as not to force their hand into retribution – which can quickly lead to an all-out war. After each raid since the war began, White House officials have leaked to the American press that these were indeed Israeli strikes. These leaks have not only put Israeli’s at risk, but Jews all over the world. Intelligence agencies, largely with the help of the Mossad, have thwarted Hezbollah/Iranian attacks in Asia & Africa. Unfortunately, Hezbollah managed to successfully carry out a bus bombing in 2012 in Bulgaria against Israeli tourists. These attacks have largely been attributed to the American leaks regarding Israel’s covert activities in Syria, Lebanon & Iran.

President Obama is widely known for his policy of disengagement, which in itself is a threat to Israel’s security. Take Ukraine for example, an American ally, was literally invaded by Russian special forces last month and had part of its territory annexed with minimal repercussions. Or Egypt under Hosni Mubarak, one of America’s strongest allies for decades, was the victim of a coup d’état with America standing idly by as the Muslim Brotherhood took power. But yet, at the same time, the Obama administration has promised Israel that they will ensure that Iran is unable to become a nuclear threshold state. How are we supposed to believe that America will protect our interests when they cannot even protect their own?

The Palestinians argue that the Americans are not an even-handed, just broker for peace and I would have to agree with them. Where we would differ is that I don’t think the Americans are biased towards Israel’s narrative. The United States has reached a point in which an Arab-Israel peace treaty, under any terms, is better than the status quo where relations with Arab nations have become muddied; if this means dividing Jerusalem, what harm would it do to America? It’s surely no loss to them. No nation would ask another to negotiate on its behalf to determine borders. Why is this different for Israel? President Abbas has refused to negotiate directly with Prime Minister Netanyahu because he knows that President Obama can extract more concessions out of Israel. Yitzhak Rabin once put it perfectly, “You don’t make peace with friends. You make it with very unsavory enemies.”

If all of this wasn’t enough to realize that Israel needs to move out of her parents house, the Pentagon recently approved a $1 billion arms package for the Iraqi military. With Fallujah, under Al Qaeda control for the past few months, the risk of American heavy arms falling in to the wrong hands in the coming years is extremely high. But this wouldn’t be the first or last time America has sold weapons to our enemies; in October 2013, they announced plans to send $10.8 billion in weapons to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The latter has been committed to Israel’s destruction since its inception and has recently paraded Chinese nuclear capable DF-3 missiles in a town near the Iraqi border. And let’s not forget who originally armed Saddam Hussein and the Mujahideen of Afghanistan, which transformed into Al Qaeda!

Newsweek’s claims last week about “far-reaching” Israeli spying on the United States is a concerted effort by the American intelligence community to put a full stop on the American visa-waiver program that Israel may be accepted to. Don’t be fooled, this is a symptom of the disease and not the cause. American political, military and espionage echelons attribute little value to this so called “special relationship” between the two countries. Jonathan Pollard is just another victim of this catastrophe. Every nation spies on their friends, but no spy has spent longer in an American prison than Jonathan Pollard. The Americans have described his actions as one of the greatest compromises to their national security. Surely, Pollard’s transfer of satellite imagery to an ally (in the 1980’s I might add) is much less “compromising” than Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks about entire intelligence gathering programs.

Iran continues its nuclear enrichment program, Hamas and Hezbollah are both smuggling large quantities of conflict changing weapons, Syria’s Assad is committing what no one will admit is a genocide and Palestinian President Abbas refuses to move towards a peace agreement with Israel all because Israel’s military deterrent and political power is being suppressed and compromised by our dear friend, the United States. As long as the America continues to dictate terms and conditions to Israel diplomatically, we will see no movement on the peace process as well as a vulnerable and weakened Israeli military establishment. Israel is no longer facing an existential crisis from massive Arab armies on several fronts or a devastating economic crisis, as was the case in the 1970’s. America will not remain the superpower forever and we should not put all of our eggs in one basket. With one of the strongest economies and militaries in the world, it is time that we re-establish our independence and autonomously decide our own fate. A friend who compromises our interests to further their own, is no friend at all.

About the Author
Sam Katz is the former Managing Director of the Canadian Network for Israel Affairs. Sam has personally sat down to discuss foreign affairs with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with other current and former Israeli & Canadian members of parliament.