Strator published its take on the dispute between Obama and Netanyahu, including the snub of Biden with Israel's announcement of the housing permits in East Jerusalem and the snub of Netanyahu who was not given some of the diplomatic courtesies that Israeli leaders usually can expect when visiting Washington.
Stratfor begins by claiming that anti-Americanism in the region does not come from Israel. The argument is that the United States did not begin supporting Israel until after 1967 but there was anti-Americanism in the region before that.
In 1956, Israel invaded the Sinai while Britain and France seized the Suez Canal, which the Egyptian government of Gamal Abdul Nasser had nationalized. The Eisenhower administration intervened — against Israel and on the side of Egypt. Under U.S. pressure, the British, French and Israelis were forced to withdraw. There were widespread charges that the Eisenhower administration was pro-Arab and anti-Israeli; certainly no one could argue that Eisenhower was significantly pro-Israel.I guess Stratfor imagines Britain and France as independent powers in 1956, completely separate from the United States. We can be clear that if it had been Poland and Czechoslovakia that - in a joint attack with Israel - captured the Suez canal, nobody in Egypt would fail to see this as an attack by the Soviet alliance. If it had been Poland that supplied Israel with materials for its nuclear program and was otherwise its primary sponsor, that certainly would have pushed Egypt and the rest of the region toward the United States.
In spite of this, Nasser entered into a series of major agreements with the Soviet Union. Egypt effectively became a Soviet ally, the recipient of massive Soviet aid and a center of anti-American rhetoric. Whatever his reasons — and they had to do with U.S. unwillingness to give Egypt massive aid — Egypt’s anti-American attitude had nothing to do with the Israelis, save perhaps that the United States was not prepared to join Egypt in trying to destroy Israel.
This is an argument we see often, and it is always wrong. Nasser believed, before the June 1967 war, that the United States had for a long time been aligned with Israel. Stratfor is saying Nasser was wrong. Even if Stratfor somehow has a better understanding of the Middle East during Nasser's reign than Nasser did, what is important is still Nasser's perception. It is completely clear what Nasser believed, before the 1967 war, about the relationship between the United States and Israel.
We must know and learn a big lesson today. We must actually see that, in its hypocrisy and in its talks with the Arabs, the United States sides with Israel 100 per cent and is partial in favour of Israel. Why is Britain biased towards Israel? The West is on Israel's side. General de Gaulle's personality caused him to remain impartial on this question and not to toe the US or the British line; France therefore did not take sides with Israel.Stratfor can make the valid point that US support for Israel grew even greater after 1967 and 1973, however that does not detract from the truth that the hostility the United States faced in the Arab world was directly resultant from the perception in the Arab world that the US favored Israel.
The Soviet Union's attitude was great and splendid. It supported the Arabs and the Arab nation. It went to the extent of stating that, together with the Arabs and the Arab nation, it would resist any interference or aggression.
Today every Arab knows foes and friends. If we do not learn who our enemies and our friends are, Israel will always be able to benefit from this behaviour. It is clear that the United States is an enemy of the Arabs because it is completely biased in favour of Israel. It is also clear that Britain is an enemy of the Arabs because she, too, is completely biased in favour of Israel.
Another point though is that we almost always can forget historical arguments because what is important is the situation today. Stratfor, to its credit, does not try to argue that Israel's relationship with the United States today does not impose burdens on both its relationships with the rest of the region and its efforts to achieve tangible strategic objectives in the Middle East today.
I do not think it can be reasonably doubted that the United States is more hostile to democracy in the Middle East than it is today in any other region in the world. The threat posed to US interests by a democratic Egypt, a democratic Jordan or a democratic Saudi Arabia all resolve to the fact that they would be hostile to Israel. Actions taken by the US in support of Middle East dictatorships are reasonably seen as aimed ultimately at supporting Israel. Retaliations against US actions in the region, for example on 9/11/2001, are part of the cost the US paid for its support for Israel. Resources the US expends in preventing future attacks, such as the occupation of Afghanistan, the destabilization of Pakistan, and the check-in lines in US domestic airports are further costs to the US of its relationship with Israel.
The fact of the matter is that absent Israel, the United States does not have any strategic dispute with the people of the Middle East. No more than it does with the people of West Africa or the northern coast of South America. (Regions that are not perfect, but drastically less problematic for the US than the Middle East.) But given a US commitment to Israel's viability, the United States has a huge dispute with the people of the Middle East who do not share the dominant US assumption that Israel's security is the primary moral consideration of the region.
Israel is a delicate state whose long term survival depends on vigorous ongoing efforts to ensure that the much more populous states around it are not able to impose what they see as justice by forcing Israel to accept the refugees and give up its status as a majority Jewish state. The US has historically been wealthy enough be bear that burden, and more-or-less achieve its objectives while also ensuring that Israel's region remains weak enough for Israel to survive. It is not clear, and in fact US leaders are beginning to say that it is not clear, that the US will be willing and able to do so indefinitely.
Stratfor argues that the US has an interest in balances of power in the region, between Israel and its neighbors, between Iraq and Iran and between Pakistan and India. If Palestine did not contain a state with a Jewish majority, it is very difficult to imagine how that would harm US interests or what balance of power it would necessarily upset.
The US does want relatively balanced oil producing states - however Israel imposes another constraint, that not only should they be balanced with each other, they must each be weak enough that they do not threaten Israel. This is a severe constraint. Japan, South Korea and China have a sort of balance, as do Brazil, Argentina and Chile. A regional balance between Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran in which all are industrialized and some or all are capable of producing even nuclear weapons in an emergency is uniquely intolerable in Israel's region because Israel has a tiny population, is universally seen in its region as illegitimate, and must still, to be viable, be dominant over all of its neighbors.
Stratfor imagines that somehow Israel helps the United States by not being dominated by Egypt or something. I'm not sure how that is supposed to work, but a Palestine without a Jewish majority state still would not be dominated by Egypt but with the advantage to the United States that Egypt would in that case not require billions of dollars in bribes to a corrupt dictatorship in order to remain at peace with an Arab-majority Palestine.
Americans really want to believe that the relationship between the United States and Israel is not purely sentimental. That Israel is doing the US some service. It is very difficult for Americans to face the idea that there is only one direction in which support is flowing in this relationship. But as much as Americans do not want to accept it, this is no alliance. Israel receives a tremendous amount of assistance directly and indirectly on its behalf from the United States - quite possibly more than every other country in the world combined. And in return Israel's supporters contribute lobbying efforts and political campaign resources and refrain from charging most US political figures with anti-Semitism.
Contrary to what Stratfor would assert, this is how the "alliance" between the United States and Israel works.