What would happen if the US started withdrawing support from Israel?

The Israeli’s (at least those currently in power) have shown they really don’t care much for the US notion of how to achieve peace in the region. The Israeli government’s attitude toward the Obama administration’s attempts to broker peace borders on sheer contempt.

At this point, in a realpolitik sense, what does the Obama administration really have to lose by beginning to distance itself from Israel and Israeli policies that don’t align with US interests?

It could possibly be the best thing for Israel since it is the US that holds them back from completely ejecting their enemies. What do you suppose the US government would do if Native Americans started to do the things that the palestinians do? I think our government would crush them. Why should it be any different in other parts of the world? Personally I stand on the side of Israel and think they should take all of the land back and to hell with those terrorists. They are the ones that are not interested in peace. They have been catered to and offered almost everything they want and still there is no peace. Of course I also don’t believe we should be nation building in Iraq or Afghanistan. My policy would be simple: Run your country however you see fit but if you attack us we will utterly destroy you and you can clean it up your damn self. Go ahead, flame away (obviously not in this forum though).

The number of pro-Israel Jews and Christians in the US is enough to make it politically risky to simply repudiate Israel. Also, war in the region threatens the all-important flow of oil. Telling one party in a dispute to go to Hell when any possible solution has to take their interests into account isn’t useful.

Also, it isn’t as if Israel is completely dependent on the US. US support is crucial but the US is far from able to dictate Israeli policy.

Your opening paragraph is false.

Undoubtedly, the announcement during US VP Biden’s visit of plans to build 1600 homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo was poorly timed and embarrassing for Biden and the Israeli government. But were it not for the timing, would Ramat Shlomo have made international headlines and threatened to derail prospects for peace negotiations? Probably not.

Forgotten or ignored by the very same media that reported it at the time is the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu’s ten month building moratorium in the West Bank specifically excluded Jerusalem. This was accepted by the US and to a lesser extent an unhappy Palestinian side. At no time did the Israeli government agree to modify its policy on Jerusalem and the decision on Ramat Shlomo was in keeping with this stance. In addition, some media wrongly and misleadingly started to scream about “new settlements” appearing in eastern Jerusalem. In fact, Ramat Shlomo, founded in 1995 and populated primarily by ultra-Orthodox residents, is located in north Jerusalem adjacent to other Jewish neighborhoods such as Ramot and Har Hotzvim. It is within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries despite its location just beyond the 1967 Green Line. There is an overwhelming Israeli consensus that neighborhoods such as Ramat Shlomo are an integral part of Israel and it was widely accepted by all sides that they would remain so even in the event that Jerusalem was ever subject to any territorial changes. While the Ramat Shlomo announcement was deemed to be “provocative” and damaging to peace, the Palestinian Authority sought to avoid an embarrassing situation for itself, and, judging by the lack of coverage, succeeded.

Postponed until after Biden left the region, a public square was dedicated in honor of Palestinian terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, a Fatah woman who led a 1978 terror attack, the worst in Israel’s history, in which 37 Israeli civilians and an American photographer were killed, and 71 were wounded.

Obama, in the peace process is bypassing the PLO to engage in direction talk with Israel. The PLO and Israel must sit down together to discuss these things and not Obama dictate to Israel what she has to do. I think it is the Obama administration is treating Israel with sheer contempt, and not vice versa.

Thomas Friedman on why peace isn’t a top priority for Israel:

Yet the situation for America is now different. The US is trying to convince a number of countries in the middle east to move away from extremism. Creating peace between Israel and Palestine would go a long way to help with that effort.

I don’t know how defenseless Israel would be without the US, but Obama has a lot to lose politically by withdrawing support from Israel. Since Israel is currently the stubborn one in the peace process, Obama is in a tight spot right now because he has to come up with ways to push Israel along without losing political support at home.

I saw that Friedman column and disagree. Even if the West Bank is incorporated into Israel, she still will be subject to bombardment by Hamas from the Gaza strip and, to a lesser extent, Lebanon. Peace is essential to Israel, but the PLO, both Hamas and Fatah, do not want a Jewish state on “their” land. Its goal has always been to drive the Israelis to the Sea. This was stated in the original PLO Charter and it remains in it. More recently, a convention held in Khartoum reaffirmed this.

You may want to read Alan Dershowitz’ column: - @MidEastTruth

Krauthammer’s opinion: - @MidEastTruth

Interesting articles, but they don’t say much about why peace or a two state solution is in Israel’s best interest.

However I do agree that Obama is pressing Israel more than the Palestinians because he feels he can get away with it. He has escaped a backlash so far, but if he keeps this up he’s going to start to lose support from both the Israeli and the American public.

That backlash is already happening. I’m sure it’s contributing somewhat to Obama’s sinking approval numbers. And today, 327 members of Congress signed a letter calling for better relations between the U.S. and Israel.

That’s three quarters of the entire house. Obama’s a uniter! He’s uniting the House of Representatives against him on this issue.

Who’s telling you that? Rasmussen?

Those grapes sure are bitter, aren’t they?

Just to nitpick, there are 538 members of Congress - 438 Representatives and 100 Senators - and 327 is not three quarters of 538.

I should have said “Congressmen” instead of “Members of Congress”. It was a letter circulated in the House of Representatives. 327 out of 438 signed it. That’s 75%.

Gallup has him at 46%. Quinnipiac at 45%. Rasmussen at 47%. His moving average of all polls has dropped from 49% on March 15 to 47.5% today. The Washington Post poll is an outlier at 53%. If it weren’t in the mix, he’d be even lower.

Well, the U.S shells out about 3 billion dollars direct aid which equates to about an annual payment of $1066 to every Israeli citizen. That’s about 3x as much as I got from my 2008 stimulus check. I’m thoroughly jealous.

Insisting that Israel temporarily stop building in Jerusalem is not an unreasonable request. This is a request that has been repeated by past Presidents ad nauseum. It’s not new request (I’m not sure why everyone is acting like it is). If Israel can’t stop building settlements, we should start pulling back some of that aid.

My take is if the US backed off and the Islamic Middle East states thought that the US would not intervene on behalf of Israel, they would feel honor bond to attack Israel even though they know they would have their asses kicked. Once a conflict was underway Israel would hit the nuclear processing plants in Iran along with all the airbases in Egypt, Jordan, and Iran. It would probably revert back to where we are today except that Israel would likely end up with more land. The worst scenario is if Pakistan gets involved and uses their nuclear weapons. That would only happen if the hard-line Islamisists took over in a military-backed coup.

I believe it is 3/4 of the House.
:slight_smile:

Yes it is. “Jerusalem is not a settlement”. :slight_smile:

Maybe it would clear the air.
The US and Israel could finally have an honest relationship.
As for Arabs states attacking Israel-why would they be so foolish? The regimes running these places NEED Israel to divert attention from the corruption and mismanagement that keeps the islamic world backward and poor.
How would a fraud like Syria’s Assad stay in power, unless he could constantly blame Isreal for Syria’s lousy economy and persisyent high unemployment?
As for the Palestinians-the world should make it clear-NO MORE MONEY, untill the violence stops. All we are doing is fattening the Swiss bank accounts of Palestinian leaders/crooks.

As long as the U.S. backs Israel then the U.S. has some influence over Israeli policy.
If the U.S.stops that backing then Israel is off the leash.

Off the leash Israel would totally destroy the Islamisist states around it.
And they,the Islamist states, know it.

Best to let sleeping dogs lie or the rest of the M-E will pay the price.

Bad for them, good for North America,Australia, N.Z. and europe as far as unprovoked terrorist acts is concerned.

This is nonsense. First of all Israel isn’t surrounded by Islamist states. Secondly it doesn’t remotely have the capacity to destroy them through conventional means. Its capacity for long-term offensive attack is limited and it could barely handle Southern Lebanon let alone the rest of the Middle East.

It could of course nuke its neighbors but that would be one of the most profoundly radicalizing events in all of world history.It would immediately transform the Middle East and radical Islamists would take over one country after another including Pakistan. It would be only be a matter of time before they retaliated in kind and destroyed Israel completely.

As for the OP, the US would definitely benefit by distancing itself from Israel but it’s not a realistic political possibility. The Israel lobby has a strong grip on the US Congress and Israel has near unwavering support from the conservative movement as well. But assuming a hypothetical scenario I don’t think it would change that much in the Middle East in the short run. Israel has a strong enough military to defend itself without US assistance. However it would risk becoming severely isolated if it continued its current policies without US support. My guess is Israel would be quite pragmatic and move closer to the Europeans and Arab regimes like Egypt and Jordan. The price would be to stop settlements and move seriously towards a two-state solution.

It has not been requested by any past President, that Israel not build in Jerusalem, its capital. In fact, as I stated before, it was agreed both by the UN and the PLO (reluctantly) that Israel could build in Jerusalem. Our presidents in the past, with the possible exception of the antisemite Carter, have acknowledged her right to build in Jerusalem.

The media incites ire against Israel by referring to the location as “east Jerusalem.” It is, in fact, in the northern part of Jerusalem, in an ultra-orthodox neighborhood. That area will never be part of a Palestinian state.

Splain pliz. :dubious: