Israel is a staunch Middle Eastern ally of the United States and one of the primary recipients of American aid. Since the establishment of Israel as a nation, the United States has unashamedly backed Israeli interests without considering its own interests. However, this unconditional support by the United States to Israel is a fundamentally flawed and ultimately wrong political policy. For decades now, the United States has stood firmly behind Israel, regardless of its own strategic interests in the Middle East and abroad.
In its blatant and inflexible support for Israel throughout the Israeli-Palestine conflict, the United States has alienated potential allies and created new enemies. Although tacit support for Israel may be useful and even beneficial at times, moves that signal unconditional support such as the recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, are more damaging to American interests than helpful.
As an immediate effect, unconditional support for Israel drives a permanent and ever present edge between the United States and its allies in the Middle East. For all possible allies of the US in the Middle East, the American backing of Israel’s colonization of the West Bank jeopardizes their position. Public opinion, especially in the Middle East, is irrevocably against Israel and is always at least sympathetic to the stateless Palestinian refugees. Thus, politicians and leaders in the Middle East are often forced away from pro-american alliances and treaties by public opinion.
Secondly, unconditional American support for Israel has also become a focal point for anti-American movements and organizations in the Middle East. The plight of the Palestinians is regularly cited as justification by organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and even Al-Qaeda for recruitment and hostility towards the United States. If the United States had restrained Israel’s seizure of Palestinian land in the West Bank and mediated as an unbiased arbitrator for the creation of a Palestinian state and a peace accord between the two states, many radical anti-american organizations would’ve likely been pushed out by moderate factions. At the very least, a less uncompromising stance from the United States would foster less hostility towards America in the Middle East.
In the future, the United States should leverage its fiscal and military aid to both Israel and Palestine in order to force peace talks. During the proposed talks, the United States should act as an impartial third party and not show a clear bias towards either side as it did during previous talks. Finally, the United States must always take into account its own interests before that of any other nation. Unconditional support of any other nation or special interest is nearly always infeasible and must clearly align with critical American interests before being made into policy.
Photo Courtesy of Times Higher Education