A Sea Change in US-Israeli Relations?
The situation in the Middle East has reached a dangerous point, to be sure, but there are also signs that a sea change may be taking place here in the US which could herald a whole new relationship between the US, Israel and the rest of the Arab and Islamic world.
The problem is that so much is in flux at the moment, with a civil war building in Syria, a confrontation looming between Israel and Iran, and with hot-heads in many Islamic countries attacking US embassies in the region, that the deeper change is not easy to see. There are also many opportunities for things to blow up in the next few weeks or month.
One thing is clear though: Israel’s blow-hard right-wing prime minister, the US-raised zionist Benjamin Netanyahu, openly trying to topple Obama, has propelled Israel directly into US politics, and has also been trying to push the US into a war against Iran, and he’s been doing all this in a manner so clumsy and overt that he may have fundamentally undermined the long-standing “special relationship” between the US and Israel.
As the long-respected American newspaper of American Jewish opinion, the Jewish Daily Forward, editorialized a few days ago:
It’s difficult to recall a time when an Israeli prime minister has inserted himself into a presidential election campaign in the way that Benjamin Netanyahu has. It’s even harder to recall a time when a trusted ally openly urged the American president to undertake a questionable, unpopular and highly risky war. We sure hope Netanyahu knows what he’s doing, because the stakes for him — and for the two nations he professes to care about the most — could not be higher.
The editorial goes on to note:
He may be overplaying his hand. Americans are deeply wary of another military involvement in the Muslim world. Most Americans oppose a military strike against Iran. Most even oppose coming to Israel’s aid should it be attacked by Iran. A recent poll by the nonpartisan Chicago Council on Global Affairs posed this hypothetical situation: Israel attacks Iran, Iran retaliates and and the two nations go to war. Only “38 percent say the United States should bring its military forces into the war on the side of Israel. A majority (59%) says it should not,” the poll showed.
Even among American Jews, another poll found, more than a third, or 36%, said the US should not attack Iran. That is an astonishing figure, but should be no surprise: If Israel were to attack Iran and provoke a regional war that dragged the US into another interminable and even bloodier Mideast conflict, it could easily ignite a latent strain of anti-semitism that still courses through much of the American public.