The Absurdity Of America’s Devotion To Israel

Have you seen the steady stream of quotes and speeches by presidential candidates about one of our allies? This ally is in a far-flung region of the world. They have a vibrant democracy in an area unfriendly towards democracy. They deal with a Muslim threat, jihad next door, terrorists within their nation, and the threat of nuclear annihilation. They do have nuclear weapons of their own, and have a nationalist leader at the head of the government now. Let’s review the quotes.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “India is a vibrant democracy in a region dominated by autocracy, and it faces existential threats to its survival.” (source)

Senator Bernie Sanders: Weird. Sanders never quite answers anything or takes a definitive stand on India. If you heckle him about it, he will tell you to shut up. (source)

Senator Marco Rubio: “This is a historic and tragic mistake. India is not a Republican or Democratic issue. If this was a Republican president doing these things, I would give the exact same speech. In fact, I would be even angrier. This is outrageous, it is irresponsible, it is dangerous, and it betrays the commitment this nation has made to the right of a Hindu state to exist in peace.” (source)

Senator Ted Cruz: “Christians have no greater ally than India… if you will not stand with India and the Hindus, I will not stand with you. Good night and God bless.” (source)

Former Governor Rick Perry: “India needs more than our passive support—it needs our vigorous support.” (source)

Former Governor Jeb Bush: “With India, those interests lie in a firm alliance. India and America must work together to build a more prosperous and hopeful future for the region. A state for the Muslim people, side by side with Hindus, will be possible only if the Muslim people are represented by leaders committed to delivering on the promises made at the negotiating table.” (source)

Governor Scott Walker: “Yet even as you stand there, reflecting on the consequential events of two millennia ago, you recognize India is not merely a place of shrines and holy sites. India is one of the world’s most vibrant democracies and one of America’s most important allies.” (source)

Senator Lindsay Graham: “I am in charge of the foreign assistance account, I’m in charge of the money we provide for the United Nations,” he explained, referring to his chairmanship of an appropriations subcommittee.  “We provide 25 percent of the funding for the organization,” Mr. Graham said, several times. “I’m not going to ask the American taxpayer to fund an organization that’s going to be used in a way to marginalize” India, which he called “our best friend.” (source)

Senator Rand Paul: (bold in original) “I’m proud to support India, America’s longtime friend and ally in the East. Indian cafés and buses are bombed, towns are victimized by hundreds of rockets, and its citizens are attacked by Muslim terrorists. It’s time we took a stand for India by standing up to the enemies of India, the enemies that murder Israeli citizens. That’s why I proposed a bill called the “Stand with India Act” to cut off the flow of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Muslim Authority.” (source)

Donald “Alpha” Trump: “The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to India is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump. “The rest of them are all talk, no action. They’re politicians. I’ve been loyal to India from the day I was born. My father, Fred Trump, was loyal to India before me. The only one that’s going to give India the kind of support it needs is Donald Trump.” (source)

Governor Chris Christie: “I absolutely believe that India is a priority to be able to fund and keep them strong and safe after eight years of this administration.” (source: GOP Debate)

All of these quoted bits are about Israel, not India. I swapped India for Israel, changed Jewish to Hindu, and pulled out Palestinian where appropriate. I could have taken quotes from each GOP candidate in their primary circus, but I wanted visible names to show how silly it looks when all put together. India is an apt substitute per the description in the opening paragraph. All of those items hold true. India is also a bigger trade partner with the US. Indian-Americans now make up 1% of the US population, which is nearly the Jewish share (1.8%). India itself is also a gigantic nation of strategic importance due to its location, friction with China, and immense population.

>We do not have politicians waving their hands around like maniacs and spouting off non-stop nonsense about India because they do not fund our political campaigns. There is no powerful AIPAC for India. American newsrooms are not stocked with Priya Shukla and Sandeep Gurnani pontificating on the need for America to cater to India’s needs. American television shows are not stocked with Indian sidekick friends, and stand-up is not dominated by the likes of Nishant Chuptabanjawa. I like how Israel manages its nation for its people. I do think they go overboard creating problems for themselves because they never know when to cool it. America destroyed any sense of a balance to Middle East foreign policy because Israel’s cousins in America run our media.

Now for the flip side. What actually should be our interest in the Middle East? Consistent supplies of oil to keep the price per barrel low in our currency. The goal should be protecting transit routes for safe delivery and patrolling key straits. Israel does not produce oil. Israel is not located on any straits. Our interest should be in making oil and gas producer regimes stable without encouraging blowback. America should be tough on any nation that antagonizes those oil producers and starts arms races, whether Arab, Persian, or Israeli. Israel is a thorn in the side of those oil states. America should have worked to remove all nukes from that area to reduce tension. If the Sampson Option is real and linked to a Doomsday device like the Russians had, this is a hugely destabilizing presence when the antagonists are Muslims with end times beliefs.

Instead, America spent the post-WWII decades enabling and aiding the creation of the Israeli state, its air force, and its nuclear arsenal (even aiding and covering up the nukes). Instead, American media and academia also cleared out the Arabist wing of our foreign policy intelligentsia. Instead, America is going to allow one of the worst spies in American history leave prison for a short hold in the US and then a pension and retirement in Israel. America may want to change foreign allies or avoid wars, but we cannot do so because of the Israeli lobby. To point out that peculiar interest would notice Jewish overrepresentation in the cultural gatekeeper system.

It runs deeper than just who is where in the system, but how our system is set up. Democracy allows money to settle elections–not just internal money, but money from any source that can find a way to set up a political action committee. Here is a list of pro-Israeli donations to different representatives and senators. That money matters as nearly twenty five years ago it turned a 40% point deficit into a 10% win in a special U.S. Senate election, all because President Bush (41) did not toe the Israeli line. AIPAC is flying all but three of the freshman Congressmen to Israel for a push to block the Iranian nuclear deal. Checks and balances, where money can find new ways to work its magic on elected leaders.

This is our system, and our rotated leaders–paid for by sponsors of any interest–are up against some long standing regimes without the fear of elections. The deal does appear weaker than the original goals from a decade ago when the 5+1 talks began. The main goal of negotiations switched from dismantling the nuclear program in return for sanction removal to preventing nuclear bomb capabilities for sanction removal. Read Obama fanboy Politifact’s strained take on that in the final paragraph, namely that the evil, GOP Senator is not telling the truth, unless you want to count a switch in stance seven years after 5+1 talks began as a concession. That, too, is a function of a desperate White House wanting any deal.

At the base of the issue, who does a nuclear capable Iran threaten more, America or Israel? Israel, not America, yet tens of millions will be poured into blocking or pushing this deal over the top. The system of democracy allows money to pull the USG leviathan in directions it should never go and protect interests that have nothing to do with American risks. This is but one reason why this system must go.

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18 Comments

  1. My perspective, as an Israeli:

    The American competition to be the most pro-Israel politician is as silly as you make it sound. The basic principle you advocate, that of national interest, is one I agree with wholeheartedly. But (you knew there would be one), your analysis of the American national interest is wrong.

    Suppose that we take cheap oil as the foundation of America’s interest in the ME (I have my doubts, although there’s plenty that’s good about cheap oil). Israel is a natural gas producer, soon to be exporter. This creates downward pressure on oil prices – so long as it has cordial relations with its neighbours. Not “located on any straits”? Israel controlled the Straits of Tiran from 1967 until 1982. It was only with American military assistance, both to Israel and to Egypt, and participation in international monitoring, that the status quo ante was restored – something clearly in everyone’s interests, both politically and economically. Does Israel antagonise Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer? On the contrary, they share intelligence on their common antagonist – Iran. (One could argue that Israel shouldn’t antagonise Iran either. Well, it’s the Middle East, everyone gets on someone’s tits.)

    As for the Samson Option*? It might well have been destabilising, once upon a time, had Israel publicly acknowledged it. Which it hasn’t. Even had a third party like the US given public confirmation, it might have had that effect. So it didn’t. In fact, it seems to be the current US administration’s agreement with Iran that is destabilising the region’s nuclear balance of power:

    [O]n the Iran nuclear deal, well-placed Saudi sources have let it be known that if they assess Tehran as likely to acquire nuclear weapons in the future, then Saudi Arabia will go down the same path, triggering a Middle Eastern arms race.

    Israel’s well-known possession of strategic nuclear weapons, much more powerful than any Iran could soon acquire, has had no such effect on the Saudis.

    Is it in American interests for Israel to have nukes? Arguable, and a moot point. Those nukes are no more up for debate than America’s own arsenal. As for Pollard, he was by no means the ‘worst’ spy in American history; just the most arrogant. A wanker, a really dumb cause célèbre for Netanyahu and chums, and a bad misjudgement on the part of Israel.

    The American political system is, most readers here will agree, fercockt, and lobbyist influence is one facet of that. Holiness spirals are another. This does not mean that the reverse of every pro-Israel opinion represents the true American national interest. American-Israeli co-operation has had a very large peace dividend, even with Iran doing its best to change that. But if you conclude, regardless, that the time has come to part ways with Israel, that is your sovereign right. Cut the military aid, abrogate the security guarantees. Then get out of the way: Israel’s national interest in the Middle East goes beyond the cost of a barrel of crude.

    *For which read “first and second strike capability.”

  2. @Nathan Cook

    Nice Hasbara reframing with narratives presented as truth and created simulacrum e.g. “Israel is a natural gas producer, soon to be exporter.” – unfortunately jewish chuzpe won’t change the disputes of ownership with israel neighbors and feasibility of exportation from still undeveloped deposits.

    “Israel controlled the Straits of Tiran from 1967 until 1982. It was only with American military assistance, both to Israel and to Egypt, and participation in international monitoring, that the status quo ante was restored – something clearly in everyone’s interests, both politically and economically.” – Bathing in foregone glory withered and stained by decades of setbacks. Always wondered whether the its occupation exposed IDF forces to much and more intelligent staff urged to find alternatives.

    “Israel’s well-known possession of strategic nuclear weapons, much more powerful than any Iran could soon acquire, has had no such effect on the Saudis.” – A fact that was derided for decades tinfoil hat speak and the charge of antisemitism to openly conclude that israels WMD exists and not to bow to propagandists line of solely defensive Samson option of a harmless state entity.

    “Cut the military aid, abrogate the security guarantees.” – `You surely mean only the official aid and guarantees?

    “Then get out of the way: Israel’s national interest in the Middle East goes beyond the cost of a barrel of crude.” – Another moot point in lieu of israel economic spying, intelligence and soft power assets (sayanim) working in western nations to influence and manipulate.

    Furthermore a few harmless admissions to deconstruct the hard facts and to mitigate the damning evidence of truth.

    1. Why are you talking about mundane facts as if they’re part of some Baudrillardian nonsense-world? The Tamar field has been operational since 2013. The ink is dry on export agreements with Egyptian and Jordanian companies – naturally, subject to the authorisation of those countries’ governments. As to ownership disputes, Lebanon has not claimed either the Leviathan or Tamar fields since 2011 – the ongoing dispute concerns as yet undeveloped areas. Nor do the Palestinians have any sensible claim based on Gaza, the fields are way too far north.

      I’m not going point by point through the rest, at this juncture, in view of the fact that it’s not very historically literate. Interested parties can check any specific factual claim for themselves. The thrust of your argument appears to be that you don’t like Israel and that you think Jews argue in a po-mo style. I don’t begrudge you your feelings about Israel – they’re your own business – but I’m not the one talking about deconstruction. That, to me, has the whiff of a fully general counterargument: that it doesn’t matter what arguments and facts a Jew brings to bear, as the deep internal logic of those arguments is perverted by his ethnicity. You don’t think that, do you?

  3. @spacedreidi
    The only disputes I know of when it comes to the gas fields is between us and Lebanon and (hilariously) Hamas-controlled Gaza. Lebanon is not really a real state entity anymore, not to mention Gaza. The gas is going to flow and is going to get sold, show me one fact that’s going to stop gas deals. Nobody cares about Lebanon or Gaza.

    Decades of setbacks? What setbacks? Our booming economy, our growing comparative edge over our enemies, our rising birthrates? Oh, perhaps you’re talking about the Sinai, which we gave back to Egypt? Here in Israel we don’t really look to the past as a time of foregone glory, but as a tough time of serious wars. We don’t see it fondly, so spare us your invented narrative.

    What damning truth and hard facts? That Israel looking to its own interests is some kind of “damning truth” is a hilarious thing to say, seeing as all nation states should and do look to their own interests. This includes spying, manipulation, and soft power; that Israel at times does these things better than others is damning?

    Anyways, the military aid (which is really a two-way gift that includes Israel and US manufacturers) should stop. We don’t really need it and by the nature of these agreements we are halted from developing, manufacturing and selling more of our own technologies. So please, stop the aid and stop badgering us.

    1. Nice to see that the JIDF has discovered Social Matter.

      Actually, no, it’s not nice at all. Go away, shills.

      1. So this is it, eh? 4chan level accusations of shilling. OK.
        I’ve been following NRx for almost two years now and have posted (very rarely) in some of the blogs. Now, though, because I reply to a post about Israel with a pro-Israeli perspective I’m a shill. Do you understand how incredibly juvenile such an accusation is? Instead of trying to converse or refute, you simply accuse me of being a paid agent. I don’t care what you think about Israel (I already know that you love the poor little innocent ‘Palestinians’), but please don’t drag me down to this junk-level conversation.

        1. If the shoe fits, put it on and use it to kick you into the oven.

          1. Ovens are passe, I prefer open-air prisons and frequent bombardments.

      2. Faustos I Through VI August 13, 2015 at 10:17 am

        Isn’t the whole point of Social Matter to have articles like Landry’s and comments like Y.llan’s? Keep the one sentence replies accusing someone of being a shill to TRS//pol/etc, please(not that there’s anything wrong with those sites).

  4. That was an excellent answer Mr. Y.ilan- open air bombardments and such.

    We really should part and just be friends however, it’s to our mutual benefit. You can see from the Iran deal that you’re like all our other allies – betrayed even though it’s against our interests.

    Don’t feel bad – look at what our American Rulers have done to America itself.

    As for the point of the article it’s just virtue signalling for most. Israel and America were strategic partners in the Cold War because of the Cold War. Like every other such arrangement it should have been ended or modified 25 years ago, that it wasn’t like all the other dangerous relics [NATO] is mostly due to Washington lacking the grace to cede power on anything. All power will have to be torn from their claws and they won’t go gracefully. That has nothing to do with Israel and really it’s an American problem.

    PS to the author….now that you’ve scratched the itch and the //pol//chan have come out of the woodwork perhaps you notice how unproductive all this is…

    We need to man up to OUR problems and OUR hard work. All the rest falls in line when that happens, nothing happens without us manning up.

  5. Mr. Landry,

    “Instead, America spent the post-WWII decades enabling and aiding the creation of the Israeli state, its air force, and its nuclear arsenal (even aiding and covering up the nukes).”

    Mr. Landry we weren’t allies with Israel until after their victory in 1967 and the alliance was rooted in the Cold War. Their sponsors prior to this were: The British, Stalin through the Czechs [arms in 47], the French in the 1950s from whom they got the nukes and not the United States and only after 1967 the Americans.

    They won in 1967 with British, French tanks and aircraft Sir. The nuclear tech came from France. We never even really committed to them until the 1973 War and most of the commitment arrived after the fighting but did allow them to reconstitute their forces. Also Nixon putting the 80 second strike force on alert kept the USSR from directly intervening on behalf of Egypt.

    We won’t get anywhere with popular myths Mr. Landry.

    And in any case Israel has *nothing* to do with Americas core problems of our fellow Americans. It’s a diversion and payoff for our scumbag political class.

  6. I agree that the time for reducing Israeli aid is nigh, but I wonder how different the Near/Middle East would look had the support not occurred. Could the Soviets have gained hegemony over the region? If so, would “democratic” Pan-Islamist movements been nipped in the bud, allowing for more stable governments after the USSR’s inevitable collapse? Or would they use such power to close key trade routes and provoke large-scale war with the West? Maybe Israel would become a Soviet satellite to the same extent it became a NATO one? The possibilities are endless…some better, but most worse!

    Stepping back into today’s reality, none of Israel’s enemies can project power on the same level as the Reds in their heyday. They are far too fractured and incompetent, even Iran. Their rhetoric outstrips their capabilities. Israel should be able to defend itself better without US aid, because it comes with conditions attached. Weapons produced domestically or purchased at fair market value shouldn’t come with the same idealistic instruction manual.

    Ending psychological/humanitarian aid to Palestine is of equal importance. It makes absolutely no sense to support both sides of a conflict. Even though sending food and medical supplies to Palestine may seem merciful, opportunity cost proves the converse. Labor and capital the Palestinians don’t have to expend for food/infrastructure/medical supplies can be used for making suicide vests and Mujahid Mickey Mouse counterfeits. Benevolent western progressives have a knack for prolonging conflict.

  7. Yeah, support Israel because they might start exporting natural gas. That’s a new one.

    The Oxygen Heat Fuel of the Middle Eastern Fire are Israelis, American Money and Consanguinity. Supporting the Israelis only fans the flames.

  8. Ezra Pound's Ghost August 12, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Wait a minute: is NRx just now discovering the Israel/Jewish problem? I’m more from New Right circles, but I thought NRx was already way savvy about this issue and the threat it poses.

    1. We discuss it in public infrequently because it brings out the crazies.

    2. Faustos I Through VI August 13, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Moldbug was in favor of complete US neutrality in the Israel-Palestine dispute seeing as there is no clear American interest in backing either side, in line with classical international relations, though it was always clear he would wouldn’t mind if Israel went full Baruch Goldstein on the Arabs. I don’t see how anyone on the alt-right could dispute the claim the Jews in the US contribute to the Cathedral disproportionately, but I don’t think anyone really does. It really comes down to whether the cause of America’s leftward drift was Yankees and Yankified Jews (Moldbug) or just Jews and their “group evolutionary strategy” (MacDonald).

  9. Faustos I Through VI August 13, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Let’s pretend there’s a large Afrikaaner diaspora in the US circa 1980, which includes many prominent politicians, businessmen, and intellectuals. As result, US foreign policy heavily backs the Apartheid regime, even to the point of sending troops to places like Angola, at great cost to the American taxpayer, the world’s opinion of the US, and US interests elsewhere. How many white nationalists/paleocons/etc complain? Should they?

  10. Whilst I don’t necessarily believe Neoreaction should be reduced to “Moldbuggianism” in which the task is to elucidate the teachings of the founder, I think if someone is going to completely contradict Moldbug on a given topic, the onus is on him to, first of all, acknowledge this and, secondly, to explain why he is correct.

    I personally believe the Moldbuggian position is correct and I would make the following two analytical points.

    1) The American empire consists not just of *American* institutions, but all the institutions established during/after WW2, i.e. NATO, the EU, the UN, WTO, IMF, as well as the western press and universities. The position of the Republican and Democrat parties as well as the bulk of the American press is accurately described as “pro Israel, pro peace-process”; the State dept. and the rest of the press is “neutral, pro peace process”. However, this must be balanced against the fact that the EU and most of the European press and universities are “pro-Palestinian, pro peace-process” and that a significant minority plus the UN is clearly “pro-Palestine, anti peace-process”. Moreover, the degree of attention given to Israel/Palestine in these sections of the empire is just as great, if not greater than in the American part of it. Seen broadly, Israel is clearly a massive internal quarrel within the American empire (though I think this actually peaked in the last decade) and asking one section to unilaterally tone things down a bit is effectively tantamount to allowing the other parts to do to Israel what they did to Rhodesia- not a complaint, just an observation. The failure to see this, I believe, is indicative of a general failure to understand what the USA is, that is to say the first colony of the first global empire that is struggling to throw off its dependence on its origin and become universal (as with Rome of old).

    2) The essence of the US empire is imposing the, themselves ever changing, moral standards of universalism on the globe. By all rights, Israel should not exist by now because it is a recently colonised, basically white ethno-state at war with basically non-white enemies. In 1967 there were bigger fish to fry (Rhodesia South Africa, Jim Crow etc.), but at this point Israel is clearly the most obvious global heretic that could be *fixed* by outside pressure (in contradistinction to, say, China). That Israel has survived is down to three things.
    (i) The legitimization narrative of the US empire is essentially WW2. Israel has been able to weaponise the Holocaust as not just what it is in the western imagination – a crime against equality/freedom -, but as more specifically, a crime against Jews. Whereas other genocides can be essentially dismissed by the universalist as one-of-those-things, the Holocaust never can, because without it the whole US empire goes down.
    (ii) The surprising fluke, assuming that is all it is, of Christian Zionism.
    (iii) Focussing like a laser on the decaying core of the US empire in Washington and bribing as many people as possible. As I understand it, it was Suez that made the Israeli leadership realise that this was the strategy to take.

    That’s the analytic stuff out the way, not for the normative. I’m an Israeli oleh; I live in occupied East Jerusalem. For years, before I discovered Moldbug, I wanted Israel to renounce US aid, annex the West Bank, liquidate Hamas and the PLO and pay the rest of the Palestinians to leave. I now understand how completely unrealistic this is, not because we can’t handle the Arabs, but because the US empire, broadly conceived, will simply bring our economy to a standstill until we stop (see Suez). What is more, because it is impractical, I now see that it would actually be impious: we are to submit, as the prophets told us to submit to Babylon until the Almighty saw fit to throw down that which he had raised up as an instrument of his wrath. Submitting, to the US empire, as I understand it, means pursuing a slightly different strategy from Bibi, but not too much different.

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