Israel's Fraying Image
Mini Teaser: There are growing signs of a divergence in American-Israeli relations and interests.
This may sound far-fetched. But if Israel remains stymied in dealing with the Palestinians, even under a new and more moderate coalition led by Netanyahu, its predicament is likely to intensify. And the range of options for dealing with the country’s mounting problems is likely to expand toward more radical solutions.
That can’t be good for Israel’s standing in the world. Already Europe is talking about imposing sanctions on goods produced by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Turkey is indulging in anti-Semitic language. Egypt is led by the Muslim Brotherhood. And the Arab Spring could reach into the kingdom of Jordan. So does Israel really want to rely only on the United States, bereft of all other allies, for its security at a moment when Washington’s attentiveness to foreign affairs appears to be waning? Is that its best option in seeking protection from mounting threats abroad? Obama has it right: the chance for peace will not come from Israel’s stubborn leaders, but from ordinary Israelis who force their leaders to recognize that peace must be chanced.
Jacob Heilbrunn is a senior editor at The National Interest.Image: Pullquote: Does Israel really want to rely only on the United States, bereft of all other allies, for its security at a moment when Washington’s attentiveness to foreign affairs appears to be waning?Essay Types: Essay