U.S. and Israel

Two premises shape my preferred U.S. policy toward Israel.

Negatively, the two countries have the same enemies and suffer from the same problems coming out of the Middle East, notably WMD, wars, terrorism, piracy, anarchy, tyranny, refugees, drug trafficking, counterfeiting, oil and gas disruptions, extremist ideologies, conspiracy theories, etc. More than that: they share enemies. Anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism are first cousins, with one usually leading to the other.

Positively, judging by such criteria as United Nations votes, bilateral commerce, intelligence cooperation, military alliance, intellectual influence, religious bonds, shared values, the U.S.-Israel bond is arguably the closest international tie in the world, making it what I call “the family relationship of international politics.” One revealing symptom: the two states can barely restrain themselves from interfering in each other’s affairs.

Together, these negatives and positives point to a self-evident policy conclusion: cooperate, seek synergy, work toward shared goals. Contra Obama, avoid daylight between the leaderships. Deal with differences quietly and effectively. Announce to all that the two governments agree on fundamentals and will not be divided.

Try this and see how existing problems, from the Iranian nuclear buildup to the Arab upheavals, start to look less formidable.

Daniel Pipes

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Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and the author of several books, including Militant Islam Reaches America and In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power (Transaction Publishers), from which this column derives.

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