Does Israel remain a good strategic partner for the United States?

Israel’s attack on a boat carrying supplies to Gaza resulted in nine deaths and a diplomatic crisis. Today’s Question: Does Israel remain a good strategic partner for the United States?

  • Gary F

    Yes.

  • I used to think that the parallels of US-Israel and China-North Korea were overblown and borderline offensive.

    Not so much anymore.

    I’ve come to the realization that Israel is like a truculent, incorrigible and troublesome little brother to the US. We love them, we’re bound to them, but their behavior causes us lots and lots of grief.

  • Steve the Cynic

    It depends on what the strategy is.

  • Chris

    Having spent time in the apartheid state of Israel, I firmly believe that the continuing support of Israel is one of our country’s gravest errors.

  • ahmad

    NO, Israel’s history of massacring people including that last one ruins the image of this great country.

    Strategically, it’s a mistake to blindly side with one country all the time forgetting that one must balance friendships.

    I think the US administration owes us an explanation on why they always side with the Israelis no matter what – I simply don’t get it.

  • bob

    The question presumes that Israel has been a good strategic partner for the U.S., which IMHO is a dubious/whack presumption.

    I think this partnership has led to nothing but misery and instability in the Mideast, let alone protracted human rights violations.

    In other words, if a relationship that is a primary recruiting tool for terrorists = a good strategic partnership, the U.S. and Israel should indeed rock on.

  • bsimon

    A good partnership involves give and take from all members of the partnership. I’m having trouble seeing what Israel is bringing to the table. We’re spending billions of dollars & putting our reputation on the line; what’s Israel’s contribution?

  • Mesner

    Israel is a strategic ally of the the US and it should always be. It is not Israel that is evil it is the idea of Zionism that is evil.

  • Steve

    No,

    They attack our ships, USS Liberty June 8th 1967. Spy on us and give militaryy secets to our enemies (the USSR Jonathan Pollard 1985). Continue to occuppy land in the Golan Heights, and the West Bank in defiiance of UN resolutions. They continue to flout demand to stop construction in occupied areas and are the recipient of 3 billion dollars in US aid.

  • Brian

    Yes,

    We can not afford to have another confrontaional country in that region, we need all the help we can get.

  • Andie T.

    Absolutely not! The United States unconditional backing of Israel since the early 1960’s and the high amount of military and economic aid that we have given to Israel, in comparison to every other nation, has not helped our national security in any way. As a matter of fact – it is a large cause and a huge motivating factor for recruting and inspiring terrorist to do harm to the U.S. and it’s citizens. I for one, find it abhorent how much land the Isralis have seized from the Palestinians since the the formal declaration of Israel’s independence in 1948 and what was actually partioned for the state of Israel by the U.N. in 1947. Israel is NOT a true democracy in the American sense of the term and it too has committed acts of terror, therefore I truly wish the U.S. would stop this unconditional backing – we are the ONLY country that does and it has caused us a lot of turmoil at home and abroad.

  • Bruce

    Yes. Regardless of how exasperating it can be to deal with, Israel is a strategic partner to the United States. It is in the best interests of the United States to maintain a close relationship with Israel.

  • Abdul Naseer

    Israel is a state founded upon usurped land and as such continued US strategic partnership with Israel will only lead to a more strained relations with the people of the Middle East in particular and the Muslim world in general.

    The fact that Israel had the audacity to attack an aid ship in international waters (note: not within the maritime boundaries of Israel) and massacre innocent civilians show the callousness of Israeli occupation. Notwithstanding such a heinous crime, Israeli Govt. without an iota of shame, immediately launched a false propaganda to portray the humanitarians workers in the ship as a group of extremists brandishing knifes and swords.

    If a people are suppressed in such a manner, there are going to be severe consequences in terms of establishing and maintaining peace in the Middle East which is critical to the US national interest.

  • Abdul Naseer

    Israeli government is “carrying out a policy of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians” and that these policies “are against international law, against human rights, against the dignity of the Palestinian people.”

    – Mairead Corrigan, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate on “Press TV, April 22, 2009.”

  • Bruce L

    Israel acts in its personal intrests, and it expects and gets US support. South Africa

    was an apartheid state, Tianamen Square

    was a massacre, and Sudan is guilty of ethnic cleansing. Our press and goverment

    delivers Isreal’s actions as self defense.

    Example: Bombing of Gaza, the Star Tribune gave us photos of an Isreal soldier’s funeral.

    Also Kerri Miller’s June 1st, After the Raid piece.

  • Duane

    Definitely no. Ally? Israel is not an ally and never has been. Webster’s defines ally as “a state associated with another by treaty.”

    There is no mutual defense treaty between the U.S. and Israel. Treaties require internationally recognized borders, and – for obvious reasons – Israeli leaders avoid that subject like the plague.

    After having committed numerous war crimes against other states, including the U.S. ( the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty.) It is time to cut off the tail that openly boasts about wagging the dog.

    Duane

  • Carol in Ely

    No! Israel is a paranoid state which continues to engage in repression and murder. Our alliance with Israel serves only to make us look bad, not only in the Middle East, but worldwide. How can we preach human rights to ANY other country when we continue in this twisted relationship with Israel?

  • Matt B

    Israel has become like an adult child who has committed a terrible crime. They are still our “kid,” and we still love them, but we cannot go on pretending that we do not notice the terrible things they have done. Eventually you have to turn to “tough love” and hold them accountable for their acts. The horrors of 9/11 and other terrorist attacks have been a costly price for our continued support of a friend whose actions endanger all who stand with them.

  • Gary

    This latest incident was caused not by Israel but by outside forces attempting to run a blockade that is deemed necessary for the existence of Israel. Check your history. It was the Arabs that refused the partition in 1948. Not the Israelis. Both Egypt and Israel offered to port the vessels and move the “aid” to Gaza. Please remember that Israel is the only country in the Mideast that is democratic. We not only need to stand with Israel, but should strongly renounce Turkey for creating this incidence.

  • Michael

    With friends like these, who needs enemies?

    Israel’s collective punishment of the people of Gaza and their continuing colonization and occupation of the West Bank only serves as a recruitment tool for Islamic radicals.

    Comparing the strategic value of Israel to Turkey there is no comparison. Turkey provides critical military bases to the US, acts as a mediator with other Middle Eastern countries, and provides a strategic gas pipeline for Europe as an alternative to a Russian monopoly.

    Israel had strategic value as a counter weight to Soviet interests, but that time has long past.

    The United States’ international reputation has declined significantly being tied to this albatross, as the rest of the world considers Israel to be a pariah state.

  • Sue de Nim

    The creation of the State of Israel out of territory the British controlled after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in WWI was an attempt by the international community to redress historic injustices done to the Jews. The persecusion of the Jews down through the centuries, and the terrorist attacks Israel continues to suffer today, are arguably worse than anything the State of Israel is doing to its neighbors. But that doesn’t make it okay for Israel to oppress the Palestinians. Having suffered oppression themselves, they should know better.

  • Ann

    Good partner? Definitely not. Israel does whatever it wants without regard to U.S. interests, and yet demands continued U.S. financial, political, and military support. Very one sided.

  • Erica

    Yes- to break diplomatic ties with Israel now will only lead to larger issues for us. Think how many nations have stated ‘we want Israel to be destroyed” (Iran) This could become a MUCH larger problem thanthis past incident is. There is no cut & dry answer to the Middle East and its many problems. Just wait until water starts running out….

  • Raphael

    No and for a variety of reasons. 1) their actions result in terrorist striking the USA 2) their location is of little military value 3) They have and continue to actively spy upon the USA 4) They do not act like an ally. (When the USA and Germany disagree there is dialog and compromise. With Israel it is Their way.) 5) Allies act as equals. The USA acts as if Israel is a protectorate while Israel treats the USA like a bottomless resource to be used as it sees fit.

    What tangible good has the USA gained from our relationship with Israel? Israel should be treated like what it is, just another country of the world pursuing its own agenda. When we can, we should work together, but this blank check of support they have gotten from the USA needs to end. For the benefit of the world.

  • Richard

    From the jointly developed Arrow Anti-Ballistic Missile Program, the most advanced system of its kind in the world to the U.S.-Israel Counter-terrorism Accord signed by Bill Clinton in 1996, and from federal, state and local level Israeli-American cooperation on Homeland Security to the December 2005 agreement to begin a joint effort to detect the international smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material, a part of a nonproliferation program of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, the answer is an unqualified YES.

    The unfortunate deaths of so-called peace activists who were really club wielding jihadists supporting Iranian backed Hamas’ call for the replacement of Israel and the Palestinian Territories with an Islamic Palestinian state is no justification for abandoning an ally that shares the same core democratic values and strategic interest as the United States.

    Wake up Minnesota: Israel, one tenth the size of our state, is not bordering Canada. As Ehud Barak put it yesterday: “In the Middle East, there is no mercy for the weak.” The cause of permanent Arab-Israeli peace, even as Egypt, which enforced its own blockade, knows, is not going to be served by Gaza’s unrestricted access to needed relief supplies as well as high-trajectory missiles that be used to hold Israel hostage and likely set off another round of conflict.

    The benefit of engaging Israel as a strategic ally is that the United States can influence its partner to devise effective and efficient means of meeting the legitimate needs of Gaza’s population without sacrificing Israel in favor of Hamastan.

  • Raphael

    Richard raises some interesting points, but let us examine the facts.

    Yes, there have been joint US-Israel military technologies. But who funded those programs? The USA Taxpayer, so the programs would have existed anyway. Has the USA benefited from Israeli experiences in anti-terrorism, yes it is true. But they are hardly the only country to provide such assistance and there is some question as to just how valuable that information as been in a practical level. Regardless, the assistance received from Israel does not equate to the assistance given to Israel by a long shot.

    As to referring to Israeli help with nuclear issues, boy is that a can of worms. It is interesting that Richard mentions Israeli participation with “ a part of a nonproliferation program of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration”  which is interesting because such programs are subject to political pressures. And there is a powerful Jewish lobby in Washington. Yet, he fails to mention that Israel is not part of the worldwide U.N. nuclear nonproliferation agreements. They are not and will not take part in activities in which they cannot dictate just what is or is not known about their own nuclear stockpiles. Is it 5 or 50,000? We have to take them at their word, just like when they say no new settlements.

    And look at the propaganda language he uses, “so-called peace activist” “club wielding jihads” and claims that Israel shares the US “same core democratic values and strategic interests”. I won’t stoop to that leave but we can all come up with adjectives to put in front of commandos and police action to make them sound scary or evil. He doesn’t mention that thousands of Palestinians are refused citizenship in Israel thereby denying them any voice in a government that dictates their lives and taxes them (directly or indirectly). And why are they denied a voice? Because they represent a significant portion of the population and would, in a true democratic society, win multiple seats in the Israeli government.

    The clever use of his words to invoke “-stan” states and suggesting that if you let humanitarian aid in they will smuggle missiles in medicine are examples of yet more propaganda. Want to stop potential military items, have a neutral state receive and process the shipments. Have U.S. forces process it (or do they not trust us?). But no, ALL shipments must go through Israeli ports and processing. Yet not all those legitimate shipments get through. And are released only when Israeli forces decide to do so.

    Research “Women in Black” – take a good look at what Jewish Israeli women are saying about the treatment of their neighbors. Take a look at how Palestinians are treated at checkpoints. Israel has the right to protect itself, but the ends do not justify the means. If they did there would be no courts at the Haug. (As point of fact, the activities of Nazi Germany were to expand the land for German citizens. The means they used to do so were not justified. I wonder why Jewish settlements are built in Palestinian land?).

  • Michael

    No, and they haven’t been a good strategic partner for many years. Even prominent Israelis and newspapers are calling on the US to stop coddling Israel and enabling bad behavior like this. American politicians are loathe to criticize Israel for fear of alienating the powerful J-street lobbyists, or American Jewish voters. The US hurts itself in the court of public opinion time and time again when we defend Israel’s spring-loaded and disproportionate actions against her neighbors. And the fact is, we hurt Israel too…we aren’t doing Israel any favors. And as a strategic partner? No…that’s laughable…at best, Israel is at times a proxy for US interests…but the instances in which that is the case are dwarfed by the times that Israel abuses that relationship. It’s not worth it.

  • John Sayer

    The boarding of a civilian vessel in international waters is not an act of self defense. The response of the people on the boats to the commando attack is the only legitimate act of self defense that occurred in this incident.

    Just imagine the reaction of the Obama administration if this had been Iran rather than Israel.

  • joan

    YES!!

    MPR – it is very biased to call this an “attack”. The intercept took place after numerous warnings from Israel and the Israel Navy that were issued prior to the action. The Israel Navy requested the ships to redirect toward Ashdod, where they would be able to unload their cargo which would then be transferred to Gaza over land after undergoing security inspections. The IDF stressed that the passengers could then return to their point of departure on the same vessels.

    During the interception of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF naval personnel with live gunfire as well as light weaponry including knives, crowbars and clubs. The demonstrators had clearly prepared weapons in advance for this specific purpose.

    Where’s the “balanced” coverage I’m supporting, MPR?

    Check your facts and don’t jump to conclusions that Israel is the agressor.

  • Rusty H

    1st :::The “attack” was after months of Isreal stating that it was placing a blockade within it’s waters. Those “peace activists” were clearly trying to provoke the raids by defying the blockade. They were obviously not there to promote peace, but conflict. Isreal boarded five other vessels in this particular raid and only checked the cargo and personal items being carried in by the crews with no incidents.

    But, to the question:

    If we have to answer this question based on the merits of what the USA gets out of having them as an ally, should we then be an ally with Venezuala, because they have great oil reserves, or Cuba for their cigars. No, we must always befreind those nations that harbor no ill intent to other nations or the people they rule. That’s why we can look at Britain, France, Japan, India and Isreal and say “these are decent and good nations” and why we can look at nations like USSR, Nazi Germany, Iran, Sadam’s Iraq, DPRK, and Palestine and say “no, you either are bent on distruction of another country and/or threaten or abuse your own people which we decry. I see Palestine, controlled by Hammas, as the threat to Isreal, not Isreal as a threat to Palestine.

    If Hamas had as great a military as Isreal does today and Isreal had the military of Palestine, would there be a Jewish state there today?

    I don’t think so either. That should tell you who is the agressor/conquerer.

    In Isreal, the US has a partner that is a hedge against terror in the region and an example of the same posture we take when confronted. We have countless examples of US policy and defense of our nation that mirrors Isreals actions.

  • Yiscah Bracha

    Yes, Israel is a vital strategic partner. It is the only functioning democracy in a dysfunctional, oppressive part of the world.

    Israel did not “attack a boat carrying supplies”. Israel attempted to enforce a blockade that it erected because so-called supply boats were being used to ship weapons to a group (Hamas) openly committed to Israel’s destruction. The policies were clear and well-known: All shipments of humanitarian supplies would be inspected for weapons; all genuine humanitarian supplies would be sent through to the intended recipients after inspection. A sensible policy, and one that any country would have established and enforced.

    Yeah, Israel blew the PR angle again, and displayed abysmal PR ineptitude compared to the very effective PR tactics of those who would like nothing more than to eliminate all Jews from the face of the earth (as Hamas has stated it wishes to do, and has stated so again and again). The so-called “supply ship” was nothing more than PR bait, intended to do what it actually did, provoke Israel into an action that would earn condemnation from organizations like MPR that ignore history and ignore context in its so-called statement of facts.

  • Paul Maccabee

    Yes, yes, yes!

    As the only Democracy in the Middle East, Israel has been America’s most consistent and loyal ally — especially during this time of growing religious intolerance and oppression by Arab and Islamic states who openly celebrate their hopes that the Jewish state will be annihilated.

    Behind the veil of pro-Palestinian propaganda and this most recent PR campaign designed to pretend that the hostile blockade-breakers were anything but determined to incite a military response, is a country that courageously fights for its very life every day. As an MPR listener whose family lives inside Israel, I can attest to the bravery with which Israelis deal with constant Hamas and Hezbollah rockets, bombs and terror attacks. I am so proud of Israel’s proportionate responses and their continued dedication to religious tolerance and human rights.

  • Bob

    I believe Israel to be a most important strategic asset. First of all, most of the condemnation of Israel occurs without facts. There is a willingness of the Palestinian supporters to put themselves in harms way, refuse all alternatives and then cry foul when they are injured or killed. Do people think that if the US and our democracy was placed in the same position as Israel, that the outcome would be that much different? The blockade of Gaza occurs because of the smuggling of weapons into Gaza, not to prevent humanitarian aid. The protesters know this and that is why they are unwilling to peacefully assist the movement of humanitarian aid into Gaza. Israel stands against terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism and totalitarianism. Can that be said for most of the countries condemning Israel. The Turkish government offers the US less and less moderatism and more and more Islamic fundamentalism. If not for their strategic location, they would be of little use to the West. Their slide away from Western principles with the current government make them less and less a partner of containment. The Turkish radicals on the ships were ready for engagement and “martyrdom”. You are next America! Recognize that Israel is in the focus of the crosshairs now, but the extremism that is Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Al Queida will not stop until all the democracies that stand in their way are destroyed. Israel remains America’s best friend and first line buffer. We should be honored to call them an ally. If the United Nations wants to only condemn Israel with all the other egregious behavior in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, North Korea, Yemen, Somalia etc, then those countries that have a firm understanding for religious tolerance and democratic morality will have to band together. We can criticize Israel constructively but understand that they don’t have many compromizes possible. The Arabs lose a war, they lose a war. Israel loses a war, they are all annihilated. We cannot let them stand alone. The only time the Arab population will find peace with the Jewish State in their midst, is when they overrun the state and have their Arab lands again. Imagine if the US had people lobbing bombs over their border into homes and cities. Any thoughts of blockades then? Those that ask to abandon Israel usually have very few facts to back them up. We will never abandon Israel!

  • Theo

    Yes- But it is unfortunate that this is even a question. For almost 40 years, Israel’s enemies have been trying to drive a wedge between the U.S.-Israel relationship. In 1973, Arab countries launched a surprise attack against Israel with a goal of destroying it. When the US came to Israel’s aid, the Arab countries imposed an oil embargo on the US. Arab countries for years boycotted American companies that did business with Israel. When Saddam Hussein launched scud missiles at Israel during the 1st Iraq War, the US asked Israel not to retaliate and it didn’t. Israel put the US and its Arab coalition partners before its own citizens. And for what? So the US and its Arab “allies” could drive one Arab country out of another Arab. It had nothing to do with Israel. What other country would honor such a request? By the way, what country supported Saddam Hussein? Jordan. And who cheered at every missile that hit Israel? The Palestinians. And who cheered when 9/11 occurred? Again, the Palestinians. And what country supports arms smuggling to the insurgents in Iraq? Syria.

    When Israel’s government changes during every election, no one questions that Israel will continue to value its relationship with the US. Can the same be true in the Arab/Middle Eastern States? You can’t blame Israel for the deterioration in US-Iran relations since the Shah. How confident is the US in future Egypt-US relations when Mubarak is no longer in power. The Muslim Brotherhood with its goal of creating an Islamic fundamentalist state was founded long before Israel was established. And look at Turkey who is getting closer to Iran, not because of Israel but because its current government’s ideology is more aligned with that of Iran’s than was the previous government. How about Syria and Lebanon? They don’t seem like stable allies. How about Libya who shot down a jet over Scotland or Saudi Arabia which oil dollars promote Islamic fundamentalism around the world? Are we sure that Iraq can be relied upon when we leave? How about Afghanistan? Do we really want to make Hamas and Hezbollah our “strategic partners?” Israel is the only stable ally the US has in the region and the instability of the other countries it has

    The recent events caused by the Gaza Flotilla is no more than an attempt to provoke Israel into reacting knowing full well that no matter what it did to prevent the boats reaching Gaza, it would be condemned by the world. Even the organizers of the flotilla have claimed that the flotilla has done its job and its mission was successful.

  • Theo

    By the way – the terms “civilians” and “humanitarian aide” are questionable in describing recent events.

    One can question whether those on the flotilla lost their “civilian” status when they boarded the vessels with the intent of running the blockade. They should perhaps be considered more like those who serve in the Merchant Marines. They are civilians accept during times of war when they then become members of the armed services.

    “The United States Merchant Marine refers to the fleet of U.S. civilian-owned merchant ships, operated by either the government or the private sector, that are engaged in commerce or transportation of goods and services in and out of the navigable waters of the United States. The Merchant Marine is responsible for transporting cargo and passengers during peace time. In time of war, the Merchant Marine[1] is an auxiliary to the Navy, and can be called upon to deliver troops and supplies for the military.”

    Using this analogy, they became part of Hamas’ Merchant Marines. Furthermore, while we can use the term “humanitarian aid” to describe the cargo of the boats, it could also be referred to as contraband.

    According to the Columbia Encyclopedia:

    “Contraband, in international law, goods necessary or useful in the prosecution of war that a belligerent may lawfully seize from a neutral who is attempting to deliver them to the enemy. The term is sometimes also applied to the goods carried into a country by smuggling. The penalty for carrying contraband goods is the confiscation of the goods and often also of the vessel (see prize). Neutral ships guilty of direct assistance to the enemy may be treated as enemy ships. International law has not precisely defined all classes of goods that are contraband of war per se. Munitions are certainly absolute contraband, but the status of food and other conditional contraband at least indirectly needed for war is often in doubt. At the second (1907) of the Hague Conferences a vain attempt to define the classes of contraband was made. In World War I many powers at first agreed to abide by the terms of the Declaration of London (see London, Declaration of) respecting contraband, but in time unconditional blockade of all goods was adopted. At the beginning of World War II the belligerents drew up lists of absolute and conditional contraband, but the total absorption of the economy in warfare led to the prohibition, so far as possible, of all shipping to the enemy.

  • Julie

    Absolutely. Whether or not we agree with every action of our strategic partners is hardly the point. Can any of us say for certain that we agree with every action of our other allies? Of course not. Would such a question even be posed about our other allies? uh, no — and that is a sorry fact.

    It is imperative to remain allies with democracies in the face of rogue and facist regimes. As the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel is our only true ally in that part of the world.

  • Raphael

    Repeatedly people have called Israel the only democratic state in the Middle East. They disregard the state of Turkey which, although maybe not as free as some would like, is a  strictly secular, parliamentary (democratic) Republic. Nor does the evaluation of Israeli democracy account for the millions of people within its governance who are not allowed to vote in its elections or partake in its (and their own) government.

    As an MPR patron, I find it disheartening that a discussion of the bombing of buses, assassinations, and terrorism exhibited by the organizations which would become members of the Israeli government is continuously left out of the conversation. Hamas is only the most recent visible member in a long line of terrorist organizations, many of whom were Jewish Zionist agitating for a Jewish State (not a separate state for Jews and Palestinians, but a single Jewish state). The tactics employed by these groups do not differ so greatly from the tactics presently employed by Hamas. Even those writing in acknowledge that the land occupied by the present state of Israel was once Arab land. There was no war of conquest when the UN created and the Allies of WWII armed the state of Israel.

    The citizens of the current state of Israel have a right to self governance and peace. But it cannot exist by the motto of the ends justify the means. If such were the case, any nation could claim its moral right to any action.

    There is no moral high ground here, both are in a pit and neither will do anything to help themselves out of it. Both sides are locked in a death spiral and neither is willing to give up. Both would rather die than see the other side gain any advantage. Yet, in so doing they condemn each other to eventual, brutal death. The United States of America needs to separate itself from this death spiral before it pulls us down as well.

  • John Murray Gavin

    Israel is now a liabilty to the U.S. and a detriment to U.S. security. How is the U.S. to appeal to the moderate elements of Arab and Islamic nations for support in curbing Islamic terrorism when U.S. support of Israel emboldens that nation’s aggresive and repressive tactics? For too long the Israelis have been protected from the consequences of their actions by the U.S. political and military umbrella. If the Israelis chooose to behave in such appalling ways then they should face the world’s reaction on their own.

  • Shannon

    Not in the least. And they have not been for some time. This week they have killed one american citizen and maimed two others. This is not what good strategic allies do. I wish Isreal well, but we cannot be at war in three muslim countries simultaneously (oh are we admitting to being at war with Pakistan?) AND support Isreal’s actions at the same time. We send a very clear message to the Muslim world…That message is, TheUS government HATES you! They want to Kill you… and then we wonder why they want to kill us? It does not matter than Obama TALKS to muslims, his refusal to condemn the actions of this week speak louder than words, Sadly, we are creating terrorists faster than we will ever beat them. Our support of Isreal does not help us in anyway. Nor does our support of Isreal help Isreal. By offering the worst of thier actions legitimacy, we help to endanger them further. In the interest of the safety of Americans, Isrealis and Palestinians it is time to call Isreals actions unnaceptable when they are. They will never negotiate FROM a position of power to GIVE palestinians a decent quality of life, And the palestinians, who have no other option to register thier outrage at being caged like animals and having no power to stop it, will lob rockets forever with very little success until they are exterminated entirely. Will we stand by while that happens?

  • Brian

    No.

    The Israelis have tried to claim that international law is on their side. However, we need to keep in mind that Israel has been an occupying force for 43 years, and every day of every one of those 43 years it has been in violation of international law. Furthermore it has practiced ethnic cleansing for decades. It is an outlaw nation, and yet we continue to provide it with economic, military, and diplomatic support, to our detriment. Israel has shown little interest in peace and has demonstrated that it will do anything to appropriate more land from Palestinians. The best thing the US could do to further the cause of peace between Israel and its neighbors is to terminate all military and economic aid until Israel has withdrawn from east Jerusalem and all the lands conquered in the 1967 war.

  • Rami D.

    Israel is the ONLY strategic partner for the United States

    1. Israel used every communication tool available to society, and acceptable, and required by international law asking the boats to stop before they get in to Israel’s water, and they were ignored!

    2. Israel did a lot less than any other country would do to protect its boarders!

    3. Did you know that the Israeli soldiers got on the boats with paint guns? You know those toys our kids play with for fun! Did you know that those soldiers used those “toys” instead of real guns in order to take over the boats with very little power and minimizing the possibility that someone might get hurt?

    4. Did you know that after the Israeli soldiers came to realize that they will be murdered by a mob of brain washed “animal-like” people beating them with metal rods and stabbing them with knives they requested “real” power to save their life?

    5. Did you know that the authorities in Gaza are actually refusing the supplies loaded on trucks by the boarder simply because those boats’ real purpose was propaganda rather than need for supplies, and because the even bigger reason for the whole incident is to get Israel to stop inspecting boats bringing supplies to Gaza which is the only way to prevent arms from entering Gaza.

    6. Why don’t you ask yourself what would the US, or France, or Turkey, or any country would do to protect its boarder.

    Now to the question about a partner:

    Get off the naïve train and get to know who we are dealing with. The Arab and Islamic nations support Islamic terrorism. They have a mission and their mission is to convert the world in to a Muslim world or kill those who don’t want to convert. No more and no less!

    Here is a link to scary facts about our short term (20 years) potential problem:

    C:\Documents and Settings\Rami\Desktop\FW JOYS OF MUSLIM WOMEN.mht

  • Theo

    Yes – For the past 40+ years, the enemies of Israel have tried to drive a wedge between the relationship between Israel and the United States. In 1973, when Arab countries attacked Israel on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur with the goal of destroying the Jewish state, the US came to Israel’s assistance. In response, the Arab states imposed an oil embargo on the US and forced other countries that had diplomatic relations with Israel to cut them. Arab countries boycotted and continue to boycott American businesses that do business with Israel though at a lesser extent then previously.

    During the first Iraq War, Israel placed the welfare of the US and its Arab coalition ahead of its own citizens when it agreed to the US’s request not to retaliate against Iraqi Scud missles. This coalition was created in order to drive one Arab country (Iraq) out of another Arab country (Kuwait). It had nothing to do with Israel but because of Arab animosity toward Israel, Israel was attacked. And who supported Iraq? Jordan and the Palestinians. And who cheered every time a Scud missle hit Israel? The Palestinians who also cheered when the US was attacked on 9/11.

    Israel is the US’s only stable ally in the region. Who else can the US count on? When new Israeli leaders are elected, though specific policies may change, there is no question that Israel will remain an ally of the US. You can’t say the same thing about the other Arab and Muslim countries? What will happen when Mubarak in Egypt is no longer in power? What happens if the Muslim Brotherhood takes over and creates a Islamic fundamentalist state? Will Iraq continue to support the US after it leaves? What happened to Iran which was a staunch US ally? Its change to an Islamic fundamentalist state had nothing to do with the Arab-Israel conflict. How about Jordan who supported Iraq in the first US-Iraq war? How about Syria that supports the insurgency in Iraq? Saudi Arabia who exports Islamic fundamentalism around the world? Lebanon? Libya who blew up a civilian jet over Scottland? How about Turkey whose government is building stronger ties with Iran and who, with Iran, recently attacked Kurds in Iraq? DOes the US want allys like Hezbollah and Hamas? Look 10-20 years from now. Who would you like to bet on for being a US Ally? My bet would be on Israel as long as it still exists. The dedstruction of Israel will not improve Muslim-US relations or even Arab-Israel relations. It will be seen as a defeat of Western values and inspire the most fanatical of Islamic Fundamentalism. Israel is today’s Sudatenland. Let’s learn our lessons from the past.

  • Steve the Cynic

    It seems to me that some of this criticism of Israel is the pot calling the kettle black. Some of our allies might well ask if the USA remains a good strategic partner for them. Torture. Detainees held without due process. An illegal invasion. Drone attacks that too often kill civilians. We still have a death penalty. We allow children to go without access to health care. We let our banking system run amok and ruin the world economy. How long should they be expected to put up with such uncivilized behavior?

  • Lois

    Absolutely not! Our relationship with Israel feeds the hatred of the Muslim world –and with good reason considering Israel’s history of human rights abuses.

    I can’t figure out how a people who suffered such great suffering at the hands of the Nazis can perpetrate such abuses on other people. Perhaps it’s that same old phenomenom of the abused child growing up to be the wife beater. The role of the United States should be that of the stern but loving parent: condemning their actions would be in their own best self-interest.

  • Joe

    Are you kidding me? It was self defense. It was a setup. The soldiers were just trying to divert the boat to an Israeli port. They were viciously attacked. The supplies were expired medical supplies, most of which could not be used.

    As to your question of the day. Yes they are a strategic ally! They are our only ally in the Middle East. We have similar values with them. We value human life!

  • Alexis

    ABSOLUTELY. Israel is, and rightfully should be, considered one of our most trusted, most important, and most necessary of our allies. In an age of the world, when there is great hate, continuous chaos, and so many shadows that lurk with suspicion, anger, and lies, we need to stand firm at Israel’s side. Because if we do not, if we fail to protect Israel, the world will be over and the end times will begin. CHRIST will come back and GOD will pass judgment over us all. The LORD will lift HIS Hand of Protection from the U.S. and the end will be.