Tuesday, April 13, 2010

4 Benefits Of Bad Relations Between Israel And The US

In The Solace of Poor U.S.-Israel Relations, Daniel Pipes suggests that the admittedly strained relationship between the US and Israel that we are now seeing has its benefits:

In short.
1.) Diplomatic negotiations through the 1990s led to a parade of Israeli retreats that had the perverse effect of turning the middling-bad situation of 1993 into the awful one of 2000. Painful Israeli concessions, we now know, stimulate not reciprocal Palestinian goodwill but rather irredentism, ambition, fury, and violence.

2.) Israeli concessions to the Arabs are effectively forever, while relations with Washington fluctuate. Once the Israelis left south Lebanon and Gaza, they did so for good, as would be the case with the Golan Heights or eastern Jerusalem. Undoing these steps would be prohibitively costly. In contrast, U.S.-Israel tensions depend on personalities and circumstances, so they go up and down and the stakes are relatively lower...

3.) When Israeli leaders enjoy strong, trusting relations with Washington, they give more to the Arabs. Golda Meir made concessions to Richard Nixon, Menachem Begin to Jimmy Carter, Yitzhak Rabin, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Ehud Barak to Bill Clinton, and Ariel Sharon to George W. Bush...

4.) U.S.-Israel tensions increase Palestinian intransigence and demands. When Israel is in bad standing, it empowers their leaders; if those tensions arise from U.S. pressure for concessions to the Palestinians, the latter sit back and enjoy the show. This happened in mid-2009, when Mahmoud Abbas instructed Americans what to extract from Jerusalem. Conversely, when U.S.-Israel relations flourish, Palestinian leaders feel pressure to meet Israelis, pretend to negotiate, and sign documents...
Read the whole thing.

I don't know about you, but I'll take my silver lining where I can find it.

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