Israel: A Strategic Liability For The US?

Here is an interesting debate between National secuirty experts in the National Journal online, over whether or not Israel poses a startegic liability to the US in terms of global policy. For me it's interesting because middle-easterners always claim that the reason why they dislike the US foriegn policy is that it's Pro-Israel, which I am not so sure that it's even true, because a lot of the world hates america and they are neither arab nor muslim. So yeah, Israel as root-cause theory, doesn't really hold sway. But, to be fair, a lot of anti-americanism is generated and justified through America's implicit and unequivocal support to Israel, and to ignore that would be intellectually dishonest. Now, while I always regarded arab complaints regarding the close US ties with Israel as nothing more than whining, since they never really offerd themselves as an alternative US ally on the same level of Israel's and their almost 100% all the time backing of the US, the question that gets offerd here is this: Just because someone supports you verbally all the time, does that mean you always have to protect them, no matter how much trouble they get you in? In other words, using a really cold cost-benefit-analysis approach, are the benefits of the US-Israel alliance worth the drawbacks?

Well, 10 people weighed in, and many of them did a whole "the cultural, political and spirtual ties" argument to justify supporting the alliance, but the only real cold analysis of the alliance came, interestingly enough, from two voices who thought such an alliance is not worth its trouble. First there is Michael Sheuer:

Israel is not only an unnecessary and self-made liability for the United States, it is an untreated and spreading cancer on our domestic politics, foreign policy, and national security.  America has no genuine national security interests at stake in either Israel or Palestine; if they both disappeared tomorrow the welfare of Americans and the security of their country would not be impacted a lick. The Arab-Israeli religious war is a war that properly belongs solely to Israelis and Arabs; let them fight each other to the death with no interference in favor of either side from the United States. The continued, automatic, and idiotic identification of U.S. national interests as identical with Israel's made by our bipartisan political elite, the media, and those U.S. citizens who prefer Israeli to American security is only earning Americans deeper hatred and more wars with Muslims. There is no question that Israel has every right in the world to militarily defend itself to whatever extent it deems necessary, but neither Israel, the United States, nor any other nation has a "right" to exist. Nation-states survive if they can vanquish their enemies. The democratically elected Israeli govermment is right to try to vanquish Hamas; and the democratically elected Hamas regime has every right to try do the same to Israel. The point to keep squarely in view is that it does not matter to America's security who emerges the winner. 

And the other opinion comes from the previous principal officer in the US military intelligence relationship with Israel, and he had this to say:

It is not possible to "set aside the emotional and religious anchors of the US-Israel alliance." Those are the principal bases of the alliance. Israel’s welfare is a self assigned interest of the United States. That does not make that interest less real, but it renders the interest a "duty" of a spiritual and moral nature rather than the kind of thing that a British PM meant in the 19th century when he supposedly said that "countries do not have friends or enemies. They have interests." That kind of interest confers an advantage militarily, economically, geographically or in some other material way. The US interest in Israel’s welfare does none of those things and it costs a lot of money. The Israelis have been careful to separate "things" into neat groupings. They have operated on the basis that their things are their things and US things are their things. I was the principal officer in the US military intelligence relationship with Israel for many years. That was how the relationship worked. It was not a truly two-sided arrangement. The products of Israeli intelligence are sometimes valuable but often do not reach the standard of the legend concerning them. The reverse is not true. US military operations have not been benefited by the relationship with Israel. Israel does not want to be a military client of the United States. Our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been based in or logistically supported from Israel. Israel has never functioned as an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" for the United States and it does not wish to do so. Aside from providing useful liberty ports for the Sixth Fleet’s sailors and marines, and an occasional venue for small military maneuvers, it is hard to see what Israel does for the US in the military field that is worth the trouble that the relationship causes diplomatically with the surrounding states. Israel does not contribute to the well being of the US economy. In fact, in many high tech fields Israeli companies are competitors of American companies. I will not dwell excessively on the USS Liberty and Pollard incidents. Those events speak for themselves and most Americans have long ago forgiven the offenses and chosen to forget.

No, in the end, the US/Israel alliance is an affair of the heart. Such affairs are not to be analyzed too closely on the basis of mere material interests.

What do you think?


  1. Very cold analysis by both gentlemen, and their conclusions are probably pretty much spot on. Nations do think in terms of their own interests, but not solely so, and it would be wrong to think that a nation would refrain from acting merely because it has no immediate economical interest in the affair. The ammount of welfare money being poured into the economical black hole that is Africa by many of the worlds countries is just one striking example of this.

    The US clearly feels some tie with Israel as opposed to Palestine, and will likely keep backing Israel in this conflict regardless of the enmity this earns from the muslim world, and despite the fact that the US has no obvious gain from this support.

  2. I think Israel is mostly a grave strategic liability to itself.
    I’m sure the U.S. can take of itself.

    It should also be mentioned that most of the so-called aid to Israel is actually an indirect subsidy of the U.S. manufacturers (mainly security) since the aid requires purchases to be made from U.S. firms, if I am not mistaken. I read that Bibi tried to cancel the aid about ten years ago and met serious resistance stateside.

    The U.S. stands for something. Like any society it has values and principles which give meaning to their shared lives. How can interests be calculated without bringing into account the importance of this shared meaning?

    If the U.S. were to become an ammoral state, like, say, china, than the calculation of Interests would be completely different, although the end result may not be – China does business with everybody.

    And finally – most of the countries that hate Amercia and blame it for everything will continue to do so until the U.S. is destroyed and then they’ll find something else to blame their misery on. So that argument is moot. Even if America annihilates Israel tommorow that will only give the States a day or two of grace until it is attacked for being Satan again. Try it – you’ll see…

  3. I hate ALJAZEERA says:

    sounds like a view that eisenhower would have embraced very cold and pragmatic.

    on another note and please take it seriously, while gazing at Hassan Nasrallah ranting and screaming. it occurred to me that he would have had a very promising career touring with the surviving members of the dead as jerry garcia—no? it’s a shame that he chose a towel and a bully pulpit instead…

  4. I agree with Michael Sheuer full heartedly about nations not having a ‘right’ to exist. There is rarely a conflict in which one side is right and the other wrong – usually both sides are somewhat right and somewhat wrong, and you choose sides depending on which side you belong to in the first place.

    However, I disagree with both Sheuer and the other guy about the US having nothing to gain, physically, from its association with israel. I base my opinion soley on my belife that if that was really the case, US relations with Israel would have cooled down long ago. The military guy suggests that the US/Israel alliance is a matter of the heart – I don’t buy it. No one has a heart this big. Perhaps he means the powerful Jewish lobby, and this is his way of saying that it’s a matter of political strategy. Still, I doubt it – the jewish lobby is not powerful enough to guide US foreign policy where there is nothing else to gain but the jewish voice, which btw I was led to belive is only 2% of the general population. Despite what you might have heard, the jews are not running things in washington, do not control global media, do not own every bank in the world, etc.

    So, what is there for the US to gain from its relations with Israel? It’s possible the answer is simply out of our reach, that only the people at the very top of both countries know exactly what they’re doing. But I’ll try and guess anyway:

    1. Stickin` it to the russians: The cold war is back, they say, and in fact it never really stopped, only took some time off. The russians have long since associated themselves with the arab world, so it makes sense for the US to support the only non-arab, non-russian-asffiliated nation in the middle east (at least, it made sense 30 years ago)

    2. Weapon Market: Israel is bound by the terms of the alliance to buy american weapons, even if there are cheaper, better alternatives made by other countries (consider the M-16 rifle, for instance). Because the US is constantly developing new weapons, they always have huge amounts of obsolete artficats on their hand. it comes in handy, then, to have israel to sell that stuff to. (however, israel has a limited capacity to how much weaponry it can hold in any given time, and even more problematic, it receives much more money from the US then what it gives back. hmm)

    3. Weapon Testing: Since the US is constantly developing new weapons, its army is always equiped with weapons never before tested on the battelfied. It’s good, then, to have the war-happy israel test those weapons out for them. With a full scale war breaking out every 10 years, and scope limited operations around the clock, that’s alot of oppertunities to test shit out. Since the US wages full scale war only once every 20 years, it works out perfectly.

    Well, this is all I could come up. not very strong arguments, I admit, but I still think there’s something there in the cold analysis field that can poit towards real US intrests in Israel.

  5. Both well written and interesting points of view. I will say as regards the first excerpt that nations do, in fact, have a “right” to exist under international law assuming they are legitimate states to begin with. Which, of course, opens up another whole can of worms.

  6. On the matter at hand, is the fight over already…?,0,3526834.story

    Let’s see if Hamas can keep their triggerfingers in check for a bit first, shall we…? ;)

  7. If we are talking cold dipolmacy…the USA should dump both Egypt…which is TOTALLY worthless to us and probably Israel as well…which is somewhat worthless…The two cost us billions per year.

    Actually, we should align with Iran…help them take over the ME…then we get tons of cheap oil and don’t have to spend money getting involved with you fuckers constantly getting into all your shit. Kind of a reverse Islamic Crusade…aka the 7th century.

    But, of course, this relates back to the earlier discussion about relativism…is Egypt doing more good right now than say, Libya or Syria? I think so. I know Israel…in spite of the great hate she faces.

    And the USA, in spite of the great conspiracies, is a Christian, not Jewish country and, in spite of our multiple faults, we tend to make allies with folks that share common value systems…I said TEND…nothing is simple, clean and cute in the world of politics. But good for the USA that all relationships and not based solely on math.

  8. I find this gentleman best expressing my feelings:

    Col. Joseph J. Collins, (US Army, ret.), Professor, National War College

  9. Interesting and partially accurate point of view. I would say US preference toward Israel is purely cultural. The country is politically and culturally Western in outlook, while the surrounding nations are not. People naturally prefer societies that are similar to their own. There have been many examples of nations who have come to the aid of other nations with nothing strategic to gain.

    I also point at that the US was rather indifferent toward Israel until the 1970s.

  10. Jonathan Levy says:

    Here’s one Benefit Israel provided for the U.S. – Osirak.

    It’s interesting to try to imagine what the middle east would look like now if Saddam Hussein had gotten a nuclear weapon in the mid-80′s, considering that he was willing to attack both Iran and Kuwait without one.

    It’s true that destroying Osirak was also in the interests of Israel – but isn’t that the point of an alliance? To work together towards common goals?

  11. Kate in NYC says:

    Flip the question on its head: Are the Palestinians a strategic liability for the Arab countries that support them?

    The answer to that is probably also yes.

  12. Abandoning Israel would need a fundamental shift of institutionalized American culture. The USA invests a considerable amount of time and resources to support democracy and freedom-loving peoples.

    Cases in point …

    Why do we support Taiwain when it irritates China and poses a far greater threat to the USA than support for Israel does, considering that China actually has missiles that can reach the American west coast? Wouldn’t it be easier just to give China what it wants? Why does the USA maintain the DMZ between the Koreas? Why does the USA maintain its boycott of Cuba? Our support for Taiwan, South Korea, and Israel, and our boycott of Cuba, are all for the same reason and have the same root cause. To abandon Israel would mean that the USA no longer thinks democracy, freedom, and civil liberties are issues worth fighting for. Then where would that leave us?

    And funny … nobody ever asks about the strategic liabilies of any country but Israel … why is that?

  13. One issue that is overlooked is why an alliance between Israel and the US came about. In a very real sense, Egypt and Syria pushed the US toward Israel and the Israelis took advantage of the situation.

    At its inception, France and Great Briton armed Israel plus US surplus WWII equipment. These 3 countries attacked Egypt after Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. The US was a leader in arranging a settlement that favored the Egyptians. So what happen to switch the US to being pro-Israel? A major factor was the Arabs moving into the Soviet camp followed by Israel playing up being a bulwark against Soviet expansion and control of oil. US policy tends to see the world in a binary mode – black and white. There was North Korea vs South Korea, N. Viet Nam vs S. Vietnam, and of course the USSR with its Arab allies Syria and Egypt vs a tiny democracy in a strategic area.

    Why does an alliance remain? Well the radical Arabs have certainly done an excellent job at loosing sympathy from the Americans. Calling for our destruction and death, supporting asymmetric warfare against the US, and then asking for our sympathy and help is not a winning strategy. For decades I have heard from Arab media and friends that the US does not try and understand their position. I submit that the Arabs have done very little to comprehend how the US works and to alter those negative perceptions. It’s like a hiker in the woods complaining that the grizzly bear is insensitive to his needs. Hello – the bear is bigger and has its own agenda.

  14. Pat..

    You make very very good points

  15. From one of your quotes:

    There is no question that Israel has every right in the world to militarily defend itself to whatever extent it deems necessary (but…)

    He seems to be forgetting why and how Israel became a US ally in the first place. The Arabs were courting the Soviets for military assistance in defeating Israel in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the Soviets did in fact come to their aid. It was very much in the interests of the US to become allies with Israel at that time. Now, Arabs have been courting the UN and more directly the EU. We can all see where the sympathies of the EU are. The Europeans are supposedly America’s allies, but they damn sure don’t act like it sometimes. I honestly believe that America’s alliances in Western Europe are the only thing that keep people like the bastard French from sticking their big gallic noses where they don’t belong. They’ve done it before often enough. If the US dropped Israel as an ally, what allies would teh Arabs suddenly pick up?

    So this gentleman says :let them fight it out, it’s none of our business”. Very true. I wholeheartedly support that. The problem is, the Arabs and the Jews have already fought it out, and the Arabs lost. The Arabs aren’t going to try that again without help. And, there ARE people who would help the Arabs if they didn’t worry about tangling with the US. So, that no longer qualifies as “let them fight it out, one on one” does it?

    If Arabs and Israelis really wanted to fight this out to the bitter end 1 on 1, with no outside interference and no “lifelines”, and no whining to the UN, I’d be perfectly satisfied with that. That’s actually the norm in warfare. What’s been happening in the Arab-Israeli conflict is the aberration. But in order for that to happen Arabs would have to be quite clear with the UN (and anyone else who offers help) that they DON’T WANT IT. Because as soon as somebody steps in to help the Arabs, all bets are off.

  16. Flip the question on its head: Are the Palestinians a strategic liability for the Arab countries that support them?

    Excellent, Kate. That right there is proof that a lot of nations don’t just do things based on what’s in their strategic interests :)

    PeacefulVanguard, I would add to what you wrote that if the US always acted in its own best interests, we would have joined the Axis in the late 1930s. The Germans had no territorial ambitions in the Americas. Teh US would have had free reign to establish an empire that stretched all the way from the arctic to the antarctic, in the Western Hemisphere. The Japanese would have had Asia, and the Germans would have had everything else. Why isn’t that what happened?

  17. On the matter at hand, is the fight over already…?

    Adam, can we start a betting pool on how much time passes after the truce is agreed to, before Hamas releases its formal declaration of victory?

    My bet is 2 hours. I bet the Iranians don’t even wait that long.

  18. e. weisbord says:

    These opinions remind me of the US State Dept. during and post WWII towards the Jews in Europe, which more or less was screw’em.

    Europe has fewer Jews, but a lot more crazy jihadists to amuse them.

  19. First off let me state again for the record, it is true that I have made some distasteful remarks earlier on. Due to the preposterous lop sided prevalent Neocon one sided Zionist mentality which went relatively unchecked by most readers here. I never thought that I would stay this long but I was intrigued by some of rationale thinking of ‘some’ posters. I have intentionally changed my tone, quite considerably, out of sheer curiosity to where it might lead me.

    So having said that, I will attempt to proceed with my comment.

    Even Jewish rabbi’s worldwide have condemned what Hammas and Israel are both doing. Claiming both sides are severely traumatized and extremely irrational and it is extremely misfortune what is going on, regardless of which side has the upper hand.

    Openly adding, that it is the elite 20% of Jews who call the shots and who just so happened to vote for Bush and McCain (Right wing Neocons). Meanwhile the other ordinary 80% or so are more or less powerless compared to the elite policy makers.

    This is testament that regular ordinary Jews as well as regular ordinary Muslims and Christians in the Middle East alike, really do want peace but are unable to afford it.

    The same is true with the analytical desegmentation of whether or not Israel is a liability for the US. Now as I said before and got called a science fiction freak and delusional conspiracy theorist when I mentioned the somewhat controversial pro Israel lobby. Out came the intellectual dishonesty card as far as transparent debate went when I stated that its sole purpose is to assure unequivocal support for Israel.

    Everyone knows they exist so to say they are factually ineffectual is to bring dire shame to their existence and relevance isn’t it?

    As you said Sandmonkey, it will be intellectually dishonest to turn the cheek to the conspicuous and speak the contrary. So hopefully your readers can have such a discussion without the intellectual omission and dishonesty, and conspiracy theorist name calling, without sounding to apologetic, it might just work you know.

    Now not to take away anything from the Jews who are by far maybe the most organized and inspired people in the world. Naturally such a phenomenon will peak, making spread out Jews very intrinsic and valuable contributors to society. especially with their propensity to stick together and their superior work ethic. It is natural that this race would become a relatively well respected and influential entity within each of its respective governments. hence the phenomenal pull that arbitrating Jews have world wide. What’s the big deal right?

    Why then all the counter lingo towards such an eloquently massed lobby?

    Sure there are lots of similarities between Israel and the US just as there are lots of discrepancies. But the main reason the US supports Israel is because of the pro Israel lobby that works tirelessly to convince the great power of the US that it is in its best interest to do so. Now what the hell is is wrong with that? Why deny it?

  20. Why deny it?

    Because it’s wrong? lol.

    Gratz on the new tone, but you didn’t really have to write all that, just to claim the US answers to the Israeli lobby.

    One of these days I’m going to dig around and find some of the Nazi propaganda against German Jews from the 1920s and 1930s. It seems like this whole line of thinking has been lifted directly from the past.

  21. What would Nazi anti Jewish propaganda have to do with continually and effectually denying the relevance and power of the pro Jewish/Israel lobby as an integral part of shaping US foreign and domestic policy in it’s favor? A distraction perhaps?

  22. Mostly, because Hitler made some of the same claims about Jews in German society. Or, a distraction. Just as you said.

  23. Gary Gluon says:

    I think most people are missing a critical part of the relationship the USA has with Israel and the Jewish people. Most Americans have great sympathy for the horrors borne by the Jews in World War 2, and there is a feeling of guilt for having done little to stop Hitler’s extermination campaign and an awareness that European countries did less, even cooperating with the Nazis by turning in Jews for “elimination”. Non-Jewish Americans feel compassion for the Jewish people and feel it is moral to support them against those who would try to finish Hitler’s project.

    Muslim nations and spokesmen for their religion make the moral decision easier by preaching hate, intolerance, and using Nazi-like language when they speak of Israel and the Jewish people. Hamas declaring that they want to annihilate the Jews makes one wonder how ANY decent human being can side with the muslims on this issue.

    Add to the equation that the muslims openly boast of a never-ending Jihad that will ultimately plant Islamic flags in the capitols of Europe and over the white house, and that speaks of infidels as pigs and dogs worthy only of being subjugated by their muslim masters and it’s easy to see why most Americans, given a choice, side with the Israelis.

    Americans also believe in waging war aggressively. If we were being bombarded with rockets from Mexico or Cuba or Jamaica, most Americans would support launching devastating attacks and leveling entire towns if necessary to not only make them stop, but to teach them a lesson they’d never forget. And any land we conquered, many of us would just say “let’s keep it”.

    As for who is ultimately right, let’s not forget that the Arabs and muslims are the biggest colonialists, the biggest imperialists, the biggest occupiers of land that human history has ever seen. They have supplanted populations, they have ethnically cleansed nation after nation, they have committed genocides on a scale never equaled by any other group. Let the arabs give up their occupied lands and go back to Arabia, before they start their hypocritical hand-wringing about other people occupying land.

  24. Michael Scheuer is a guy on record saying things like “bin Laden is a freedom fighter” (and this was the person in charge of the group in the CIA tasked with catching bin Laden, by the way) and his general views on politics are almost to teh right of Pat Buchanan. I’m not exactly surprised he thinks this way.



    Or how would you explain it?

  26. PART I

    Israel is a minor strategic asset for America.

    Ideologically speaking, the United States and Israel are not likely partners. Israel is a classic European-style nation state fashioned out of the administrative architecture of the Ottoman millet system. In contrast, the United States is a place where ethnicity does not have the same power. The United States and Israel don’t share nearly as many values as either state would like to imagine. If Israel and the United States had to deal with one another in a bilateral context, especially given a history of segregation by both Jews and Arabs in the region, chances are that they would not get along at all.

    Context makes a difference. The United States and Israel share enemies. The enemies of Israel have consistently been the enemies of the United States, not because of any American desire to share enemies with Israel, but rather out of Arab (and later Iranian) design. Nasser’s regime calumniated against the United States, claiming that American planes bombed Egypt instead of Israeli planes. By the way, has Egypt ever apologized for that insult?

    When Hamas gives out candy to celebrate American deaths, it only makes sense to help out people who kill folks from Hamas.

    Through Israel, the United States gains a proxy. And even though Israel is a state that sometimes revels in its own unpopularity, real estate is important. By sending military aid to Israel, the United States stunts Israel’s defense industry. Moreover, the United States gains privileged access to Israeli R&D in compensation for American aid. The United States also gains some leverage over Israeli diplomacy through its support.

    Are there liabilities for supporting Israel? Yes! When the United States supports Israel, it effectively makes Israel’s enemies America’s enemies too. However, Israel’s unpopularity only hurts the United States when America loses friends it would otherwise have had if the United States hadn’t supported Israel. Much of the anti-Americanism in the Middle East predates the massive increase in American support for Israel in the late 1960’s

    Remember the assassination of Robert Kennedy. Also remember how the PLO attacked an American diplomat, to the point of lapping his blood. I am inclined to regard American support for Israel as retaliation against Arab terrorist attacks against Americans. It is often forgotten that most American subsidies for Israel came after the Six Day War; American help for Israel before 1967 was not significant.

    Overall, supporting Israel helps the United States. However, America’s diplomatic focus on the “Holy Land” IS a liability par excellence. The less attention paid to “Palestine” or “Israel”, the better. If anything, an insane religiously-based focus on “Peace In The Middle East” tends to reward every tantrum with altogether too much attention. Middle Easterners are people, not gods; an undue focus on the “Holy Land” tends to treat Middle Easterners as if they were gods.

    Jews, Communists, Nazis, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranian government, the Saudi royal family, al-Qaeda, al-Jazeera, and “The Arab Street” can all agree on one thing – that Jews are the center of the universe. There are more important things in life than idolizing the central angelic (or demonic) place that Jews have for such people.

  27. PART II

    There is one trait Israelis and their supporters often exhibit that could turn Israel into a strategic liability, and a massive one at that. One must never forget who the horse is and who the rider is. When a merchant subsidizes a rabbi (or among Shi’ites, an ayatollah), there is no doubt that the merchant is the horse and the rabbi is the rider. When a merchant gives money to Obama, it is usually so Obama’s luster can rub off on him.

    This leads to a problem. The United States ought to support Israel because doing so confers advantages to the United States. And indeed, I argue that supporting Israel does precisely that. However, altogether too many pro-Israel types support Israel because they think God will confer blessings on the United States due to a pro-Israel tilt. That is not only bad reasoning, but it is potentially dangerous for even American-Israeli relations.

    When Israelis and pro-Israel partisans take the attitude that America is sending a national tithe to Israel, it is a big problem. American subsidies must exist for American reasons, not because certain people think it is their due. Regarding subsidies as a national tithe not only leads to a sense of entitlement, but it creates a variety of arrogance that takes American help for granted. If the United States goes out on a limb to help Israel, the least Israelis and pro-Israel partisans can do is to be appreciative. And yet, many pro-Israel partisans lack any sense of appreciation whatsoever because they do not see the relationship as an equal one, for they see America as the horse and Israel as the rider.

    There are many good reasons to support Israel. However, an irrational attachment to Israel not only undermines American foreign policy, but also undermines Israeli security. It does not help Israeli security to regard Americans as the irrational victims of Jewish mind control, for Arab and Iranian calumnies proclaiming Israeli control over American foreign policy only plays into old-fashioned Jew-baiting hysteria. Whenever any faction (and this doesn’t only apply to Israelis) brags about its influence in Washington, this tends to backfire either against the faction or against American power. If Israelis want good relations with the United States in future decades, they would do well to keep their mouths shut whenever favors are given or confidential information is shared.

    Israelis must never forget that Israel is the horse and the America is the rider.


  29. It is true that, looking at it coldly and objectively, having Israel as an ally is not worth the trouble. It is also true, again looking coldly and objectively, that said alliance is in fact harmful at least in how the U.S. is percieved abroad. True too is that “affairs of the heart” like the US-Israel relationship, need not be looked at too closely.

    It is however NOT true that were the U.S. to give up this alliance it would be left alone. There is a certain segment of the Muslim population whose goal is to conquer and subjugate. It matters not a whit to that segment whether the US backs Israel or the Arabs or whether it gives aid or whatever else. All that matters is that the U.S. and the West exist as secular democracies that are mostlly non-Muslim. By the same token, Hamas could care less whether the Israelis bomb Gaza or not: whether there is a cease fire: whether Israel bends over backwards to avoid targeting civilians: all that matters to Hamas and their sympathizers is that Israel exists when they don’t want it to.

    As for the bombings- if Mexican nationalists launched missles into San Diego from Tijuana, would anyone seriously expect the U.S. to sit down, negotiate, and give back Cali, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas?