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Containing Israel - Outcomes

alecgraham

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I spend a lot of time thinking about what the world would be like if the power of the U.S. wanes significantly. Terrible beauty and fearsome killing machine though it is, it is also my home, most of the time; it's my birthplace and I remain completely loyal to it. It's the country I love the most, even though I realize it is far from perfect. Perhaps I think of it as a lesser evil on my more cynical days.
Mikawa Ossan, you've got me thinking about the outcome of your suggestion that the U.S. withraw aid from Israel. I won't argue whether it's a good idea or not. Certainly, the aid is not popular with a significant portion (a majority, perhaps?) of the American people. I'm an American and I guess you could call me a Zionist, but even to me the figures seem a big high. As I've written in the past, when all the lobbying is done, I obviously don't know how the U.S. decides how much to give and when to give it.
Instead, I'm trying to think like Israel, trying to figure out how they would react, and how their neighbors would react to an abrupt end to U.S. aid to Israel. I guess the latter part is more significant: If I were Syria, Lebanon and Iran (but not Jordan), I would do some serious thinking about wiping out Israel once and for all. Just laying the place to waste.
If I were Israel, I'd be thinking that Syria, Lebanon and Iran, or at least some combination of nearby nations is colluding to destroy me. That puts me in a tough spot. I could promise to be good, adhere more to, say, John Kerry's and Zbigniew Brzinkski's (sp?) guidelines on what I should be doing, but with my armaments falling into disrepair and perhaps my fuel running out, I'm feeling kind of vulnerable. What is the timetable? That is, if I behave myself, how quickly can I get the American gravy train flowing again so that I can train my troops, replenish my fuel, repair my armor and get my weapons up to speed? Can I do it before I'm wiped out?
The U.S. has promised to protect me even though it has cut off aid. (I can overlook the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do hypocrisy of invading Iraq and Afghanistan, sans Qassam rockets, if the U.S. will be my protector). How close are the nearest American bases? Can they get here in time? Should the U.S. maintain their own bases right here (at their own expense, of course). This last idea, while also expensive, might not be so bad. If the military might of the United States is not enough to deter a rash decision by Israel's enemies, perhaps actually having Americans stationed on bases right in Israel might do it?
Maybe not, but maybe so. I'm tempted to think everyone would get something out of this. Let's say it stops Hamas from firing rockets into Israel and from digging tunnels that end well across the border. Security for Israel. Meanwhile, Israel no longer has the need (or ability or pretext, if you like), to conduct campaigns in the Palestinian territories, so there's less civilian death.
Well, maybe I'm being naive. Maybe the American public doesn't want more young U.S. serviceman stationed in and responsible for such a dangerous place. After all, we've had it with Iraq and Afghanistan. The Israelis have mandatory service, can't we let them fend for themselves?
And finally, I'm thinking about Israel being forced into or even frightened into the so-called Samson option, in which they nuke everyone who is in the process of bringing out her imminent destruction. It's tempting for Westerners to say, "Let them blow each other up. Fine. I'm tired of them not getting along in that part of the world" as if lives don't matter, and as if the whole thing is merely a bad reality tv show that Americans have to watch year after year. But of course, we don't encourage things like that, in the U.S. We're not trying to bring about Armageddon, just easing our financial burden to Israel.
Well, I'm just thinking out loud. Any thoughts on potential outcomes?
 

Mikawa Ossan

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I don't think the goal is or should be to "contain" Israel. It's jsut that the situation is such that currently Israel seems to hold all of the cards. They are in a relative position of strength. They've done a good job of securing their borders, and with Iron Dome, they've even done an admirable job of securing their skies. In short, in terms of security, Israel has done a lot of things right.

The Palestians, on the other hand, really have a mess of things. They don't have a strong central government, their economy is in tatters, and they don't have an organized army of any significance (at least that I'm aware of).

This makes a situation in which Israel has much less incentive to find a solution to the Palestinian crisis than the Palestinians do.

If the U.S. withdrew their unequivocal aid to Israel, who knows what would happen?

I don't really think that the Assad regime in Syria is in a good position to try to attack Israel. I don't think that Israel has much to worry about from Egypt, either at this time.

The one thing that I do think would change is that the stakes would become much higher for Israel over the medium term. I don't think they could continue to fund Iron Dome for too long without U.s. support. Then the rocket attacks begin to have a real bite again.

I am not pro or anti Israel. They're just people trying to live their lives just as everyone else. It is true, though, that I don't believe any country should get the amount of "no-strings attached" kind of support that Israel gets from the U.S.
 

alecgraham

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I appreciate the reply. Do you think the U.S. is getting anything out of the deal? Not us taxpayers but the government & military?
 

Mikawa Ossan

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Absolutely.

At the very least, they are getting the opportunity to build, test, and develop Reagan's "Star Wars" missile defense system. Better known today as "Iron Dome".

EDIT:
This is worth a watch. It's a newscast from 1983 talking about "Star Wars". It's official name was Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).
[video=youtube;4hGLBA65tZg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hGLBA65tZg[/video]
 
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alecgraham

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Hah! Although I hadn't made any connection to Iron Dome, would you believe I was refreshing my memory on SDI just two days ago? (Not sure why. One wiki page led to another, I suppose). I was 13 in 1983 and I remember watching Reagan on my family's US made woodgrain TV. It'll be interesting to watch the announcement again.

edit: I miss Ted Koppel!
 

Mark of Zorro

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I would like to see all U.S. aid withdrawn from Israel. In a purely inhuman, computer logic way of thinking, Israel is THE problem. None of Israel's neighbors wants Israel. Israel should not even be there. Barring unforeseeable futures, no one would miss Israel if it were gone. Thus, getting rid of Israel is readily understandable and purely logical solution.

But I am not inhuman. Thus I try to think of a way to do that without just killing people. So as I said in another thread, Israelis should be given a right of return to the countries of their parents, grand parents and great-grandparents. I would happily see all that war aid turned into aid to help people get out of Israel.

So I don't want to contain Israel. I want to move it entirely. I would let Israel have Montana if I had that power and give them plenty of aid to rebuild.

But this thread is about containment of Israel, and alecgraham you present some interesting "what-ifs". We have already seen Israel take the initiative when it felt an attack was coming. It was the pre-emptive strike of pre-emptive strikes. It was the 67 war and they even destroyed an American recon ship in the process.

So backing Israel in a corner (as if they are not already in a corner) could be a serious problem. Moving this one piece of the puzzle will alter the entire puzzle, and as with any change of status quo, the results must be considered and compensated for. If one thing is done, another must be done to restore balance.

But what would that thing or things be? Other than just plain dismantling Israel (which I admit is not very practical and frankly, people would prefer others just die than pay that monetary cost) I don't know.

But I sure as hell don't like that my country is funding Israel's death machine or even its own.
 

alecgraham

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Zorro's on my ignore list so if anybody has to quote him, I'd really appreciate it if you kept the quote short. Or at least, don't quote the entire text. Pretty please? Otherwise, there's no point to having an ignore option.
 

Hezam

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Zorro expressed his opinion, He did not call for genocide or Holocaust ! He suggested a solution that more than 3 billions agree with.
Jews are under risk, sooner or later (as you said) there will be a big war, Zorro suggested to move Israel to other place to End the hatred between Muslims and the West, there will be no Terrorism, No hate, and there will be a new age of REAL partnership with the West, relationship with People not dictators, 2 billion Muslim will change their negative feeling towards US and europe, the world will go into the biggest peaceful time and there will be NO excuse for terrorist groups.
The US aid should be used to build friendship not War machines.
Jews will not be hated or at least the hatred will disappear day after day.
the US will save billions of dollars instead of spending on wars, securit, israel.
Anger will disappear, Dictators will not be able to use Palestine as a winner card, the Middle East will change, people will change, Economy will recover in all the world, a Black hole between Muslims world and Western world will disappear.
This ^ is better than WW3 and Nuclear war, Right ?

cheers
 

alecgraham

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Thank you, Hezam. There's something about getting the news through you that makes it more palatable to me. For what it's worth, I would never imagine that Zorro would call for genocide. He is totally nonviolent. No, my problem with him is that he claims to be all about the facts, but then he uses sneaky and slimy methods to insert his prejudices, like "this sounds like xyz" and "if we stereotype Jews, what do we say?"

This is the kindest thing I can say about him.

He comes up with bizarre theories, and if you say they're unlikely, he says you don't speak for all people so you can't know that it's not true. Conversely, even if you give evidence of something, he builds up a straw man (x) and says, "That may be true but it doesn't equal (x)." It's unbelievably tiresome, and this is not the first time I have given up debating him. He thinks that he's bringing the truth to the table and that I don't like to hear it. Not the case. Anyone who knows Zorro from JapanToday knows what I'm talking about. Well, enough about Zorro.

I'd love to move Israelis to Alaska or something. It's a very old idea, and a common one. I don't think it could ever happen, but I do support it, completely.
 

Hezam

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Would you believe me if i tell you that i have thought about Jews future several times, in the middle of my rage when israel bomb palestinians the first thing that comes to my mind is "i want to nuke those jews" but minutes later i think about the innocent jews whom were forced to move to palestine or get killed, i think about the innocent people not the soldiers because i know how many Yemeni jews were forced by Zionist organizations in the US to move to Palestine 50 years ago, i've asked my grandmother many times, last time was 2 weeks ago, There were plenty of jews in my village they lived in a place called 'Malkad' and in 'Alnejd Al Ahmar' in my village, they had the finest houses and best farms but they left everything behind saying they are going to 'fight' ....
The famous yemenite jewish singer 'Bracha Cohen' lived in Malkad, some of my family members met her backthen.
If you understand Arabic accents and if you listen to Arab Jews in israel you will realize how much they love their homelands, they want to go back but they can't because of the bad situation in almost all Arab nations, dictators, hunger, ignorance, danger...etc
Arab Jews were a very important part of our communities, Yemeni jews were trusted, loyal even more than some Muslim yemenis.
i just wish that Ottoman or Abbasid era return to the region but in the same time i hope the US stop the emperial game and israel to accept the Saudi peace invitation so people can move on to the next step, To better future.
 

Mikawa Ossan

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My opinion (as a complete outsider) is that from the Israeli point of view, the best thing to do is try to broker a deal with the Palestinian Authority along the following lines:

1. Keep the agreement only between Israel and the P.A. Keep Hamas out of it. If I understand correctly, Hamas' endgame is to remove Israel off the maps. One can not make deals with someone who doesn't want you to even exist.

2. To underscore the fact that Hamas is excluded but not the regular people of Gaza, offer non-Hamas Gazans the right of free passage to the West Bank.

3. Make a serious effort to build up the infrastructure in the West Bank and assist in building the economy.

4. At a minimum, stop building settlements on the West Bank, which you agree is Palestinian territory outside of your jurisdiction. If possible, tear down settlements or even abandon them so that the Palestinians can use them.

5. Allow Jerusalem to be the capitol of the Palestinian state.

Then try to keep the momentum going and build goodwill with your neighbors as best you can.

Although I know that internal politics in Israel would make a lot of what I suggest very difficult, it is as I said, my opinion of what Israel should try.

I really think that if Israel played their cards right, it could be a huge opportunity for them to improve relations with their neighbors, or at least start the process.

Of course I don't think any of this will actually happen. I just put it out there as food for thought if anyone is so inclined.
 

alecgraham

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Very grateful for your post, Hezam. Yeah, I often read about Iranian and Iraqi Jews, and they are usually in the West by the time I discover them. They make me wonder about the Jewish communities in Arab lands before all this hatred started on both sides. It's good to learn something about Yemen, as I'm pretty ignorant about your home country. Lots of gaps to fill in.

I have to travel for a while. I look forward to reading Mikawa's post later.
 

Mark of Zorro

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Thank you, Hezam. There's something about getting the news through you that makes it more palatable to me. For what it's worth, I would never imagine that Zorro would call for genocide. He is totally nonviolent. No, my problem with him is that he claims to be all about the facts, but then he uses sneaky and slimy methods to insert his prejudices, like "this sounds like xyz" and "if we stereotype Jews, what do we say?"

This is the kindest thing I can say about him.

He comes up with bizarre theories, and if you say they're unlikely, he says you don't speak for all people so you can't know that it's not true. Conversely, even if you give evidence of something, he builds up a straw man (x) and says, "That may be true but it doesn't equal (x)." It's unbelievably tiresome, and this is not the first time I have given up debating him. He thinks that he's bringing the truth to the table and that I don't like to hear it. Not the case. Anyone who knows Zorro from JapanToday knows what I'm talking about. Well, enough about Zorro.
How nice to read a laundry list of accusations from someone who has chosen to deny me the ability to explain by putting me on ignore. I now have a fresh reason to believe alecgraham incapable of being fair in addition to the bias he admits to gain sympathy then goes to speak in ways that show he is not quite deeply considering his own bias.

But I am the one using sneaky and slimy methods. Yeah. Whatever.
 
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