It’s time for the realists to acknowledge that Israel not only has a moral and ideological claim to American support, but it also has a claim base on realpolitik. Moreover, Israeli exports—medical, environmental, educational, cultural, agricultural, and high tech—contribute to the quality of life of all Americans. No country is history has contributed more in 64 years to the quality of life of the world’s population than Israel has since its birth.
Those are some of the reasons why thoughtful Americans overwhelmingly support Israel, why every mainstream presidential candidate supports Israel’s security, and why Israel has never been a divisive issue in American politics, as it has sometimes been in European politics.
This commonality of interests should not immunize Israeli policies and actions from legitimate and reasonable criticism, any more than England’s shared values should immunize that country from criticism. Allies need not agree on every aspect of each other’s policy to remain supportive friends. But Israel’s reliability as an eternal American ally—and its many contributions to American security and daily life—should cause us to treat that nation as a friend and to resolve reasonable doubts in its favor.
Unfortunately, the opposite is being advocated by some “realists,” hard left academics and extremist student activists. They see Israel as an enemy and resolve all doubts against it. They single out the Jewish state for divestment, boycotts and sanctions, (DBS)—ignoring real human rights offenders such as China, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Iran and Syria. They apply a double standard of judgment against Israel. They do not limit their hostility to particular Israeli actions or policies. Instead, they seek to delegitimate the entire concept of a secular, democratic, pluralistic nation state for the Jewish people in a world that includes numerous “Arab,” “Muslim,” “Christian,” “Hindu” and other far more particularistic states.
At its root much of the animus directed at Israel, particularly from the hard left, is actually directed at the United States. The hard left hates America, and it also hates its reliable allies such as Israel. But for those of us who love America, support for Israel—its most reliable ally—comes naturally.
So let our great nation continue to support the security and survival of another great democracy with the understanding that there is mutual benefit to our enduring alliance and friendship. Israel, unlike many other fair weather allies, can always be counted on by the United States.
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