Os Estados Unidos estão virando as costas para Israel no Oriente Médio?

sábado, junho 12, 2010

Fresh Debate Emerging On U.S.-Israel Strategic Alliance

New round of questions over whether Israel is liability to U.S.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
James D. Besser
Washington Correspondent

A relationship built on the notion that Israel is a critical U.S. strategic asset may be weakening as more and more analysts in both countries argue that the Jewish state is becoming more of a foreign policy liability.

So far that view has not penetrated Israel’s overwhelming support in Congress, and all but the most partisan Jewish leaders say it hasn’t affected Obama administration policy. On the contrary, there was evidence strategic cooperation was deepening even before President Barack Obama’s recent Jewish charm offensive.

But the question is being asked more openly, prompting a wave of unease in Jewish leadership circles. Anthony Cordesman, a respected foreign policy analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, summed up the intensifying chorus in a CSIS publication entitled “Israel as a Strategic Liability?”

America’s “moral commitment to Israel,” Cordesman wrote, “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 neighbors. It does not mean that the United States has the slightest interest in supporting Israeli settlements in the West Bank, or that the United States should take a hard-line position on Jerusalem that would effectively make it a Jewish rather than a mixed city. It does not mean that the United States should be passive when Israel makes a series of major strategic blunders.”

Genuine alliances are two-way streets, Cordesman asserted. “It is time Israel realized 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 tests the limits of U.S. patience and exploits the support of American Jews,” he wrote.

Image not related to this article/Imagem não relacionada com este artigo

In a New York Times story this week, Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg, generally seen as hawkish on Israel security issues, was quoted as saying, “I don’t necessarily believe you solve all of America’s problems in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen by freezing settlement growth. On the other hand, there’s no particular reason for Israel to make itself a pain in the tush either.”

Robert Lieber, a professor of government at Georgetown University, rejected claims that the Obama administration no longer sees Israel as a vital ally on the international chessboard.

“That’s grossly overstating matters,” he said. Highly publicized comments by some administration officials that seemed to link Israeli policies to U.S. foreign policy crises like the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were “misinterpreted.”

At the same time, he said, there are “subtle changes” in the way officials here view the U.S.-Israel alliance, including its refusal to challenge the international move to include a discussion of Israel’s alleged nuclear weapons as part of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty update talks.

Echoing a growing sentiment among American neoconservatives, Lieber argued that a naive Obama administration has given short shrift to all vital U.S. allies, from Israel to South Korea and even Britain.

“To the extent that Israel as a friend and ally is getting the short end of the stick — that’s consistent with what the U.S. has been doing with other allies,” he said.

But he also said some claims that Washington is undermining its alliance with Jerusalem are based on an erroneous view that “alliance” means supporting every decision the Israeli government makes.

“You have to have a more sophisticated understanding of just what an alliance is,” he said. “Israel can’t poke its finger in the U.S. eye and assume there will be 100 percent agreement in Washington.”

Read more here/Leia mais aqui: The Jewish Week


Shema Israel: Shir Hama'alot!!!