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For example, the decision to give .2 billion in emergency military aid during the October War triggered an Opec oil embargo that inflicted considerable damage on Western economies.For all that, Israel’s armed forces were not in a position to protect US interests in the region.The US could not use Israeli bases without rupturing the anti-Iraq coalition, and had to divert resources (e.g.
For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel.
The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread ‘democracy’ throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardised not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world.
One might assume that the bond between the two countries was based on shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, but neither explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the US provides.
Instead, the thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’.
In each case there was occasional friction between US and Israeli officials, but the US consistently supported the Israeli position.
One American participant at Camp David in 2000 later said: ‘Far too often, we functioned …Washington also provides Israel with consistent diplomatic support.Since 1982, the US has vetoed 32 Security Council resolutions critical of Israel, more than the total number of vetoes cast by all the other Security Council members.By serving as America’s proxy after 1967, it helped contain Soviet expansion in the region and inflicted humiliating defeats on Soviet clients like Egypt and Syria.It occasionally helped protect other US allies (like King Hussein of Jordan) and its military prowess forced Moscow to spend more on backing its own client states.It blocks the efforts of Arab states to put Israel’s nuclear arsenal on the IAEA’s agenda.The US comes to the rescue in wartime and takes Israel’s side when negotiating peace.This largesse is especially striking since Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to that of South Korea or Spain.Other recipients get their money in quarterly installments, but Israel receives its entire appropriation at the beginning of each fiscal year and can thus earn interest on it.Moreover, the US has provided Israel with nearly billion to develop weapons systems, and given it access to such top-drawer weaponry as Blackhawk helicopters and F-16 jets.Finally, the US gives Israel access to intelligence it denies to its Nato allies and has turned a blind eye to Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.