Monday, September 9, 2013

What Israel Thinks About the US

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Israel determines alliances based on shared interests. Israel's long term friendships are based on mutual values. The relationships are, for the most part, ongoing. That does not mean, however, that when it comes to trust and reliability, these relationships are not continuously evaluated and re-evaluated.

In terms of the relationship between Israel and the United States the fundamental question that is always asked is: Will the United States be there when the chips - military, political and diplomatic - are down?

Recent inaction, actually, the paralysis of inaction, on the part of the United States vis a vis chemical attacks in Syria has forced Israel into a new understanding of their long term and esteemed friend.

Israel now understands, unequivocally, that the United States is not capable of acting quickly in initiating a military strike. That does not mean that the friendship is tattered. Quite the opposite - it means that Israel has a better sense of the limitations of the United States in the fields of military and political decision making.

Israel must reassess and recalibrate. Israel must decide how best to utilize their friendship with the United States in defending itself against Iran and other regional threats.

This does not make the United States weaker. It means that the reaction time of the United States is slower than Israel and the world expected it would be. 

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