I frequently criticize the mainstream media for not writing about things that are boring and depressing. And yet, I found Israel’s pummeling of the Gaza Strip to be boring and depressing, so I’ve barely mentioned it, other than suggesting some technical defensive solutions that Israel could try to counter the not-terribly-frightening threat of Gaza-launched flying pipebombs that turned out to be, according to better-informed commenters, not terribly feasible.
In contrast, I wrote much about Israel’s fight with Hezbollah in 2006 because then there was a media mania for demanding that America take up the 51st State’s burden and go start a war with Iran to help out Israel.
We Americans appear to have made a lot of progress since 2006 in grasping that Israel is actually a foreign country, and that Israel has its own national interests which are by no means identical with our national interests. Of course, that hardly implies that the U.S. should be active on the side of Israel’s enemies, either.
I recognize that Israel faces a difficult strategic situation, and I’m not that motivated to either condemn or commend what it does, so long as it doesn’t drag the U.S. along with it. Now that there is some indication that Israeli influence over the U.S. is beginning to slip (thanks due to the ugliness of the Gaza attack, the embarrassment of Bernie Madoff, but no thanks to Obama’s appointments — Obama’s thinking on the Israeli Lobby’s power, like his thinking on much else is so 2007), I’m not in the mood to kick Israel when it’s down.
Realistically, U.S. policy will remain tilted in favor of Israel due to the power of the domestic Jewish lobby, just as U.S. policy has been tilted against Cuba due to the power of the domestic Cuban exile lobby. The important thing, more critical than our foreign policy, is that we here in America be free to publicly discuss why our foreign policy is biased toward Israel. That has been true regarding our bias against Cuba, but not, at least until very recently, regarding Israel.
Last summer, I outlined in VDARE.com a realist approach to thinking about America’s relationship with Israel in “The Cuban Compromise: A Sustainable Model for the Jewish Lobby,” which suggested that Americans should agree to Israel’s fundamental interests in the same manner as America has treated the Cuban exile lobby’s interests — allowing Israel to push around the Palestinians, and a guarantee of refugee status for Israelis in the U.S. if the worst should somehow happen to Israel; on the other hand, America would not fight Israel’s wars for it and, most importantly, Americans would be free to describe and criticize the power of the Jewish lobby.
I haven’t seen anything since that has caused me to change my mind.