3. Shiloh is located in the Judea-Samaria mountain ridge, which dominates Israel’s several-miles-wide, densely populated coastal plain. As noted by Israel’s current national security adviser, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, American military studies have assessed the mountain ridge to be indispensable to Israel’s defensibility. The 1967 Joint Chiefs of Staff study concluded that, in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), Israel should “control the prominent high ground running north-south.” The 1974 study by the U.S. Army’s Command and Staff College reached the same conclusion.
Seemingly, if Israel is to be a worthwhile U.S. ally, it should be able to defend itself. Even in the event of a territorial compromise in the West Bank, Israel would need to retain strategically vital land. Communities like Shiloh are built on such land, strengthening Israel’s hold on it and its security.
4. Furthermore, the West Bank communities make a major, disproportionate contribution to the Israeli army. Some 67.1 percent of draftees from these communities now serve in combat roles, compared to 39.5 percent of draftees overall. And nearly 16 percent of “settlers” serve as officers compared to a national average of 8.3 percent. Again, by building and cultivating communities like Shiloh—not that it has been doing so very much—Israel strengthens its army and itself. At a time of increasing U.S. dependence on Israel’s military capabilities, why should a weaker Israel be an American interest?
Those are reasons, then, why the Obama administration should refrain from destructive criticism of an ally.
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