Does Israel really need US support?

Seems like each year the conflict resumes in some barely modified form. How big a contributor is the United States to this regional instability with our foreign aid and arms sales? Would Israel be fine without US support?

Yes, like really.

They are a tiny country with few natural resources, and all the counties around them (and the countries beyond them, and the countries beyond those, and …) either openly hate them, or would hate them if they didn’t have to pretend not to in order to make nice with the US.

They presumably need America’s money./ The US just spend over a trillion dollars defending against countries that weren’t even threatening us, imagine how much it would take to repel and actual invasion. Way more than Israel could muster on its own.

The US doesn’t really have to come up with the cash, but only maintain the tacit promise of it if needed, to keep Israel’s borders secure.

30 years ago, yes. Today I think Israel is pretty much self-sufficient.

Only war they’d lose would be a long, slow war of gradual attrition against a big alliance of multiple Arab nations. They’d need fuel and ammo replenishment.

Israel wins short, sharp conflicts. I just don’t see how it could hold up under, say, a 10-year war against multiple, large, well-equipped foes, especially if the Saudis join an anti-Israel coalition.

I assume they do. I’m not sure what the hell we get out of it that makes it worth it, though.

We get a liberal democracy in Middle East. Whether that’s worth it, I have no idea.

I suspect Israel could support itself based on it’s technological and industrial skills like some smaller high skill European counties. Without US aid I’m not sure they could keep supporting the population of non-working orthodox families that currently live off public assistance.

From my outsiders perspective Israel (based on what I have read in the media) does not seem to treat the Arab portion of their demographic very well and a lot of Israelis come off as aggressively racist in their attitudes toward Arabs. I think US political support and protection has given them a shield and something of a pass for engaging in this behavior as an advanced industrialized nation.

When called on this the Israeli response is typically “Everyone hates us and wants to kills us so shove your tolerance where the sun doesn’t shine”. And in fairness a good chunk of Islamic attitudes in the surrounding region would be happy to eliminate Israel if they had the means.

It’s interesting to consider whether withdrawing US support would make Israel less belligerent and racist or more belligerent and racist in it’s attitudes. I think without US support they would have to try harder to reach an accommodation with their own Arabs and their neighbors and this would benefit everyone.

Sorry, if after 50 years you are not self supporting, you don’t deserve to be a country. As far as some people I know, they think Israel should be a US territory like the Virgin Islands or Guam.

I think it’s more about it benefiting the US to have a foothold in the region, not whether Israel needs the US.

The answer is pretty clearly “no”.

Some facts: until after the '67 war, the US did not support Israel in any meaningful way. There appears to be this mythology that America has always supported Israel, from the beginning - it did not.

Israel was considerably weaker than it is now during the period 1948-1967, and its enemies were considerably stronger and more united against it - particularly in the Nasser era.

Now? Its enemies are mostly in disarray - particularly Syria; Egypt has a peace treaty. Israel battles with Hamas, and on the news it is considered a big disaster if a dozen Israeli soldiers are killed - in the past, lacking American support, Israel battled against Syria and Egypt in tank battles the size of those fought in WW2.

From where is the grand Arab coallition against Israel supposed to come?

I read that Saudi would allow Israel to use its airspace to counter an Iranian attack. I don’t know if that’s true, but it seems Israel is very technologically advanced and so would be a good ally if Iran were to be aggressive.

I must say that I dislike, very much, their behaviour against the Palestinians. I’ve had several Jewish friends and I see them as separate from the state of Israel. I work in Saudi, and have many Muslim friends and colleagues, but I have also had (past tense) many Jewish friends. I’m Catholic, and would prefer to get on with all groups, but have had equally negative reactions by both Jew and Muslim when I’ve mentioned either. So, now, I don’t mention them and, as my workplace is in Saudi, I am friends with only Muslim, Atheist, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian but not Jew. My present Italian, Catholic, students are visiting the Beatles Museum in Liverpool and, to paraphrase, “Can’t we all just get along?”. I appreciate that is too simplistic and I wouldn’t, for a second, ask anyone who has an interest in the present conflict that question.

I hope Israel’s behaviour will, at some point, be seen as somewhat similar to South Africa’s Apartheid. But, rather than reversing everything without planning, a nation is accepted, much like a country like Turkey where different religions live side-by-side, rather than Sudan which still is almost at war. If only…

I certainly see it that way.

Hamas dropped one of those rockets on a school.
Thank God is was empty.

No. Israel actually was not that close to the US until after the Six Day War and they were a lot poorer then and had less military superiority over their enemies. They were mainly limited to buying French or Communist bloc weapons that were equivalent to what the Arab states were buying.

Today, Israel is massively richer than their enemies, much better armed, and they have their own arms industry to boot. They are actually blessed with massive energy reserves that have been recently discovered:

Plus natural resources are less important to a country with massive amounts of human capital, like Israel.

Now, all that being said, of course if the US decided to return to its pre-Six Day War policy towards Israel, that would have major consequences. Israel would have to make up the loss of US aid, probably by selling more Israeli-made weapons on the arms market. They’d probably be more aggressive about energy development now that they have those reserves(currently pro-environment groups are getting a fair hearing in Israel. That would probably stop if Israel was all alone). Without any close allies, whatever restraint they’ve shown in dealing with their enemies would be thrown out the window. the withdrawal of US support might result in Israel deciding to finish their enemies for a generation. Without the old Cold War dynamic threatening to make the Middle East a powder keg for a wider war, Israel and the Arabs can duke it out and not be stopped in 3 weeks or less as in the past.

It’s only equivalent of Israeli Arabs are denied the same rights as Israeli Jews to an extent at least equivalent to Jim Crow in the US. Palestinians, on the other hand, are not only not Israeli citizens, they don’t want to be, so do not have the same rights. It would be like saying that the US practices apartheid towards Puerto Ricans because they don’t have the right to vote.

Different religions do live side by side in Israel. About 17% of the population is Muslim, about 3% Christian. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are pretty much equal under the law.

Which is why non-Jews can marry Jews there, right?

I’m tired of people acting like Israel is America Lite. It’s not as crazy-oppressive as Saudi Arabia, but then again few countries are that awful.

Also, Israel isn’t the lone shining light in the midst of desert darkness. Jordan and Qatar are prosperous, non-radical/fundamentalist, stable countries who are key allies of the USA. The largest military base in the Middle East is in Qatar. We have multiple partners in that region. Not just Israel.

I wouldn’t mind supporting Israel for humanitarian aide purposes, as we do with developing countries throughout the world. I also wouldn’t mind supporting Israel if I felt doing so would increase peace and stability in the world. But I don’t see evidence of either of these things. But maybe I could be persuaded to feel differently if I heard arguments that appeal to something besides emotions.

I wouldn’t equate Israel with the more moderate arab regimes. Israel is at least a democratic nation. There are few of those in the Arab world, and none 10 years ago. You’ll also find that women and gays live a completely different life in Israel than in even the most liberal Arab country, where fundies may not rule, but still successfully employ vigilante justice much like the KKK used to, and the authorities are often unwilling or unable to stop them.

And Christian men can’t marry Muslim women, and Druze can’t marry non-Druze. As the article points out, Israel doesn’t have civil marriage. Family law in Israel is left up to the religious communities. So the legal code for Jews is Halacha, for Muslims is Sharia, and for Christians is Canon law. It’s basically the old Ottoman system that hasn’t changed since they were in charge. It’s hardly ideal, but it’s probably not going to change any time soon.

However, Israel recognizes civil marriages made elsewhere, hence the old Cyprus trick…go to Cyprus, get married, come back, and a few years ago, a Civil Union bill passed, which lets people marry civilly if neither of them are a member of any religious community.