RAMALLAH, July 5 (JMCC) - Relations between Israel
and the United States are undergoing, according to its own ambassador, a 'tectonic rift' as the two nations appear to be drifting apart.
For nearly the first time, Israel's formidable position as a strategic asset is being questioned as a liability by policy makers in Washington.
In recent months Barack Obama has said that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a vital national security interest of the United States. His vice-president, Joe Biden, has confronted Netanyahu in private and told the Israeli leader that Israel's policies are endangering US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Senior figures in the American military, including General David Petraeus who has commanded US forces in both wars, have identified Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian land as an obstacle to resolving those conflicts.Read
More recently, Israel's assault on ships attempting to break the Gaza blockade has compromised relations with Turkey, an important American strategic ally.
A former director of intelligence assessment for the US defence secretary, last month caused waves with a paper called Israel as a Strategic Liability? In it, Anthony Cordesman, who has written extensively on the Middle East, noted a shift in thinking at the White House, the US state department and, perhaps crucially, the Pentagon over the impact of Washington's long-unquestioning support for Israeli policies even those that have undermined the prospects for peace with the Palestinians.
He wrote that the US will not abandon Israel because it has a moral commitment to ensure the continued survival of the Jewish state. At the same time, the depth of America's moral commitment does not justify or excuse actions by an Israeli government that unnecessarily make Israel a strategic liability when it should remain an asset. It does not mean that the United States should extend support to an Israeli government when that government fails to credibly pursue peace with its neighbours.
It is time Israel realised that it has obligations to the United States, as well as the United States to Israel, and that it become far more careful about the extent to which it test the limits of US patience and exploits the support of American Jews.
more at the Guardian