Morality, Not Money, Is Behind U.S. Support for Israel

Feb. 18 2019

Last week, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar caused a stir by repeating the canard that Jews—specifically, the American Israel Political Affair Committee (AIPAC)—use financial influence to manipulate U.S. policy regarding Israel. There is nothing new about this accusation, which was expanded into book form by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer in 2007. Not only is it factually untrue—AIPAC doesn’t even make donations to candidates—but it is based on a misunderstanding of the roots of the U.S.-Israel relationship, as David French writes:

America’s long support for Israel—often in the face of fierce criticism from key allies and painful economic reprisal from the Arab world—represents an enduring, bipartisan commitment to moral clarity in the Middle East. For the quarter-century following Israel’s founding, it was subjected to repeated, genocidal threats to its existence. It has served as a homeland for the Jewish people even as Arab nations rendered life intolerable for more than 800,000 of their Jewish citizens, sometimes destroying communities that had existed for centuries. Israel took in hundreds of thousands of refugees, receiving them as the world’s only Jewish state. . . .

At the same time, the citizens of Israel—Arab and Jewish alike—enjoy a greater degree of individual liberty than the citizens of any other Middle Eastern state. Israel is the most stable democracy in the Middle East. Generations of American politicians—from both parties—have seen these realities and have made the proper moral decision to support an embattled minority in the face of an avalanche of outright hate. Our nation has made that choice even when . . . a more pragmatic politics might dictate following in the path of nations like France, which yanked military support for Israel at a crucial moment in Israel’s history. . . .

[The two] nations have a bond that endures beyond the fact that Israel has become a powerful and important ally—especially in our war against jihadists. It’s a bond that exists in part because our nation’s support for Israel in spite of the often significant strategic and economic incentives to abandon it to its fate demonstrates America as its best self—a nation characterized by its commitment to high ideals, not just to the raw exercise of influence and power.

A hostile Arab world has far more money and resources than the small Jewish state that it all too often seeks to eradicate. If cash is truly king, we would have thrown Israel under the bus in generations past.

Read more at National Review

More about: AIPAC, Israel & Zionism, Israel Lobby, US-Israel relations


Israel’s Covert War on Iran’s Nuclear Program Is Impressive. But Is It Successful?

Sept. 26 2023

The Mossad’s heist of a vast Iranian nuclear archive in 2018 provided abundant evidence that Tehran was not adhering to its commitments; it also provided an enormous amount of actionable intelligence. Two years later, Israel responded to international inspectors’ condemnation of the Islamic Republic’s violations by using this intelligence to launch a spectacular campaign of sabotage—a campaign that is the subject of Target Tehran, by Yonah Jeremy Bob and Ilan Evyatar. David Adesnik writes:

The question that remains open at the conclusion of Target Tehran is whether the Mossad’s tactical wizardry adds up to strategic success in the shadow war with Iran. The authors give a very respectful hearing to skeptics—such as the former Mossad director Tamir Pardo—who believe the country should have embraced the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Bob and Evyatar reject that position, arguing that covert action has proven itself the best way to slow down the nuclear program. They acknowledge, however, that the clerical regime remains fully determined to reach the nuclear threshold. “The Mossad’s secret war, in other words, is not over. Indeed, it may never end,” they write.

Which brings us back to Joe Biden. The clerical regime was headed over a financial cliff when Biden took office, thanks to the reimposition of sanctions after Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal. The billions flowing into Iran on Biden’s watch have made it that much easier for the regime to rebuild whatever Mossad destroys in addition to weathering nationwide protests on behalf of women, life, and freedom. Until Washington and Jerusalem get on the same page—and stay there—Tehran’s nuclear ambitions will remain an affordable luxury for a dictatorship at war with its citizens.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, Mossad, U.S. Foreign policy