The Special US-Israel Relationship: A Myth
Kim Jong-un wants to reunify Korea under his control. North Korea has held this same goal since 1950 when they invaded the South. Standing in their way, in defense of the South Korean people, is America. There are 28,000 American troops in South Korea (1).
Due to America’s policy of defending South Korea, Kim Jong-un has threatened America. The chances of a nuclear confrontation steadily rise.
So here is my question. There are almost two million Koreans in America: why isn’t the “Korean lobby” being accused of hijacking American interests? South Korea’s GDP is about 1.5 trillion: so why aren’t “Korean bankers” being blamed for having a wanton desire to control the North? Where are the accusations that Moon Jae-in is controlling Trump? I have not heard any of these accusations. Not a single time.
Yet that is exactly what most of the world says — -about American Jews, Israel, and Benjamin Netanyahu — -whenever Israel is involved, even peripherally, in world affairs. Prominent commentator or national politician, Democrat or Republican, it is trivial to find such comments, even in America: Jews caused the Iraq War (2), Hamas was “really started by Israel” (3), or Bibi is “behind the seeming conversion of Trump to hawk” (4).
There is far more chatter that Jewish Bankers — -the evil Rothschild family, of course — -is behind the Korean conflict, than a claim that Korean bankers have any involvement. As the Christian American President threatens the atheist People’s Republic of China, a Korean threatens America with thermonuclear weapons, while Russians hold military drills to intimidate America, Democratic political superstar Valeria Plame took to twitter to blame Jews for America’s Wars (5).
Recently, Israel announced the first ever permanent American military base in Israel (6). This was so politically explosive that the US Military denied what had taken place in plain sight. What a stunning contrast to America relations to South Korea where tens of thousands of troops have been stationed continuously for the better part of a century.
Maybe it’s a great geopolitical move for America to keep commitments to her partners in East Asia. Perhaps it is genius to stay out of Israel. Regardless, what is apparent, is that Israel gets evaluated by a standard no one else gets judged on. Notwithstanding ignorance, antisemitism, conscious disinformation campaigns, benign misunderstandings and genuine attempts to put America first, the historical record shows that the idea of a special relationship between America and Israel is a myth.
American-Israeli relations began soon after the Holocaust. The UN voted to recognize a Jewish state in the former Ottoman Empire. Israel’s neighbors, the Hitler-supporting-Arabs, mobilized to “throw the Jews into the sea (7).” Truman’s response was to place an arms embargo on Israel (8). This is how the “special” relationship started.
In Israel’s War For Independence, America’s closest ally, England, actually went out of it’s way to help the Arabs. England was master over Egypt, and Jordan had an English-appointed King, both of whom enthusiastically prosecuted the war against Israeli Jews with English weapons. England even gave fortresses, inside of Israel, to Islamic Jihadi Warriors (9).
America is not responsible for England’s actions. But Washington D.C. didn’t go out of its way to pressure countries, such as American-dominated Saudi Arabia, to desist from joining in the war against Israel. Certainly, the State Department didn’t go to the extraordinary lengths they went in 1957, to appease the USSR and Egypt, by forcing Israel, England, and France to withdraw. No matter that Egypt had been blockading Israel.
While Israelis were fighting for their lives, on their own, staunching efforts to inflict a second Holocaust, Truman was about to send almost two million Americans to fight for South Koreans.
Twenty five years after Israel’s War for Independence, the “special” relationship still hadn’t materialized. In 1973, Israel fought for its survival again, against Soviet backed Egypt and Syria. There were no American troops there. Americans, however, had been fighting and dying in Vietnam for years.
America’s troops seem to be anywhere but Israel. Americans have fought for Cambodia, Iraqis, the Arabs of Saudi Arabia, Russians against Germany (two times), and even against the Bolsheviks in 1917 (Russians have done a great job expressing their gratefulness for that), but not for Israel. Exactly what type of “special” relationship is this?
The propagation of erroneous ideas regarding American foreign policy is not entirely by accident. It’s the same reason certain powers go to lengths to spread lies that America is propping up Ukranian Nazis (10); the goal is to split America from her allies.
Moscow pushed the creation of Israel to weaken England, who at that time, controlled large portions of the Middle East. When Israel didn’t slip into the Moscow’s orbit, like Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, and Lebanon all have done, the Kremlin went to work on a disinformation campaign to demonize Israel. This wasn’t exactly a radical step. It’s what happens when Comrades like Stalin, Khrushchev and Andropov get combined with centuries of anti-Jew pogroms.
An example of this disinformation campaign can be seen in the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fabrication of the Russian’s back in 1903 purporting to show how Jews were aiming for world domination. The Soviets seamlessly continued use of the Tsar’s disinformation by translating into Arabic, printing and distributing this pamphlet, to great effect (11). Incidentally, the Nazi’s also picked up on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and made use of it motivating their people. Even today, one can see paid Russian trolls spamming these lies in the comments section of webpages.
The goal in spreading the lie that Jews are aiming for world domination is to proselytize and unite efforts against Israel, while weakening allied support for Israel; it weakens Israel. Discord among factions inside America itself rises. This is divide and conquer.
The highest ranked Soviet defector, Ian Pacepa, wrote the book Disinformation (12) going into various examples and showed how the Kremlin has been spreading lies about Jews and Israel. This is further confirmed by different archive files stolen from Russia by three independent defectors, Vladimir Bukovsky, Pavel Stroilov, and Vasili Mitrokhin.
Combining Soviet disinformation, Islam, and self-hating Westerners, is a five star recipe for anti-Israel distortions. It explains how Israel gets blamed for controlling America’s foreign policy without the benefits.
The main talking point today, is that greedy Israel takes unprecedented amounts of American aid. There is a tremendous amount of irony here.
The entire reason Israel gets financial aid is precisely because it lacks the even deeper bonds America has with countless other countries. America gives greater benefit to countless countries with more direct action, eschewing the financial aid. What was the financial value to Germany of America’s 200,000 troops stationed between the West Germans and Soviet Union? America still has well over 100,000 troops stationed in many countries but those countries only pick up a fraction of the cost (13).
America has defense pacts with about fifty other countries, including El Salvador, Argentina, and Turkey. Just not Israel. Not invited to NATO. Not invited to fight Al-Qaeda after 9/11. Not invited into the Iraq war. Not invited to fight ISIS. That’s how special the relationship is.
It wouldn’t be prudent to assume that, even without an official American military base in Israel, and lacking a binding pact, America will still obviously come to Israel’s defense. America signed the Budapest Memorandum but then stood by when Ukraine was attacked. How much more problematic will it be in a far more politicized situation, involving Israel?
Under the Obama Administration, the myth of a rock solid American-Israeli partnership was dealt a fatal blow. Israel has a primary, strong, implacable enemy: Iran. If it’s true that the Jew lobby holds special influence in America, that Netanyahu decided foreign policy in Washington D.C., that Israel’s foreign policy is American foreign policy, one would predict America would have bombed Iran years ago. Precisely the opposite happened. America has eased sanctions on Iran, gave them billions of dollars, ignored the Green Revolutionaries, and made a nuclear deal that Netanyahu says “paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”
One could try to argue that the recent Iran-friendly policies are a mere aberration due solely to quirks specific to Obama. But this ignores the fact that America voted in Obama, and his foreign policy, two separate times. Congress did nothing substantive to block his policies. Almost a year into a Republican administration, and Trump has not reversed Obama’s Iran deal.
Israel is a spiritual brother, friend and ally to America. America is a friend and ally to Israel. This is not the same thing as saying Israel is a dependent on America who benefits from a unique special relationship.