Monday, November 02, 2009

The question of Israel

Andrew Sullivan at the Atlantic asks, "One question that should always be asked of an ally: what is that ally doing for the US? Since the end of the Cold War, that question has been increasingly hard to answer with respect to Israel."

Actually that question was hard to answer even during the Cold War. No U.S. troops were ever stationed in Israel, no U.S. fighter jets were ever stationed in Israel, no U.S. ships were ever based in Israel. About all that Israel contributed to U.S. efforts in the Cold War was the occasional attack on a U.S. ship and let's not forget the U.S. jets shot down over Lebanon by Syrian SAM's during the early 80's because Israel refused to give the U.S. the information needed to jam those SAM's. Frankly, Israel has never been a supporter of the U.S. in any way, Cold War or not. Turkey was a bigger supporter of the U.S. Cold War effort than Israel.

But of course that's not why the U.S. supports Israel, and I've already alluded to those reasons in prior messages:

  1. It helps assuage U.S. guilt for U.S. participation in Hitler's "Final Solution" (hint: If gas chambers were the FINAL solution, what other solutions were tried? Hint#2: The U.S. would *NOT* take the Jews that Hitler didn't want, thus leaving Hitler with only one "final" solution left to the problem of, "what do we do with all of Europe's Jews?").
  2. If the U.S. quit supporting Israel than Israel would likely collapse, since it is one giant welfare state. Because of #1, the U.S. would feel obligated to give refuge to the Jews fleeing Israel. Thus U.S. support of Israel keeps all those Jews over there in the Middle East, instead of over here in the USA. Important voting populations really prefer the Jews to be over there rather than over here. Ever wonder why the rabid Christianists are such fervent supporters of Israel, even though they regularly preach from their pulpits that the Jews killed Christ? Guess.
In other words, U.S. support of Israel allows the majority of Americans to be anti-Semitic without *feeling* anti-Semitic, since surely they couldn't be a bunch of Jew-haters if they support Israel, right? Right?! And that's what U.S. support of Israel accomplishes. It's a small thing, but guilt and racism are powerful forces, eh?

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin


  1. You forget that Armageddon is supposed to start in Israel. The Jews are supposed to be instrumental in it.

    The group of people who believe in the Rapture has every reason to support Israel. The Jews are instrumental in allowing them to fly up to heaven.

  2. Gee, and I thought they just believed the "final days" would begin with Israel attacking Iran (and you know how those xianists love that "final days" scenario), but I like your reasoning better.

    Why don't they hire someone smart like you, BT, to do their strategic thinking?

    I would as you are always waaaay ahead of the pack.


    Ever wonder why the rabid Christianists are such fervent supporters of Israel, even though they regularly preach from their pulpits that the Jews killed Christ? Guess.

  3. I did not know those things.

    But - and I really believe this - the reason the U.S. supports Israel is that Congress is owned by lobbyists, and Israel has a damned powerful lobby.

    WV: geshiv. Don't know what it means, but it sure looks Jewish.

    JzB the anti-lobbying trombonist

  4. Every time I'm reminded that we send more $ per capita to Israel than we spend on our own citizens, I become a bit outraged.
    Trouble is, if anyone in Congress tried to change this they would immediately and forever be branded as "Anti-Semitic" by precisely the lobby that Jazzbumpa mentioned.
    Over a barrel? Yep, we're there.

  5. LFC, there's not enough of the Armageddon junkies to explain widespread support amongst the religious right for Israel.

    Jazz: There's 5,000,000 or so American Jews. Not a whole lot of'em. There's almost that many Armenian-Americans. Yet the Armenian-Americans can't even get the U.S. government to admit the Armenian Genocide, a historical fact, because the U.S. is scared they'd piss off a NATO ally if they did, nevermind sending support to Armenia itself (ain't happening). What's the difference between Armenia and Israel? Well, for one, the U.S. wasn't complicit in the Armenian Genocide, unlike the Jewish Genocide... and for the other, there's no widespread hatred of or discrimination against Armenians, unlike Jews, who historically have been one of the most hated minorities on the planet, hated by pretty much *everybody* (as vs. just Turks hating them when it comes to Armenians). In short, I don't buy the lobbying bit. Armenian-Americans have a lobby too, but they can't even get a freakin' *apology* out of the U.S. government, much less billions of dollars of support per year for their homeland...

    - Badtux the Bad Smell Sniffin' Penguin

  6. Ah, well, occasionally our mileage will vary. The Jews have a really GOOD lobby. Don't know about the Armenians.

    JzB the still anti-lobbying trombonist


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