Sunday, December 13, 2015

Trudy's View on US-Israel Relations

Empress Trudy

{Editor's note - Trudy's views are not my own.  Nonetheless, I think that there are some important and cutting edge ideas in this concise piece that should be considered.  We can discuss it in the comments, but I am willing to say that if the US and Israel are beginning to go their separate ways, which I hope is not the case, that such a process would be gradual and amicable.  Although, given this current administration, I would not necessarily count on that. - ML}

flagIn a wider sense there truly isn't that much that Israel garners from it's so called relationship with the US. Israel should dial back all relations with the US in a very big way. Little to no diplomatic, intelligence, or economic partnering. True, the VC community loves Israel but it's not enough and there's enough money laying about in the rest of the world to partner with. There are individual companies that work well with Israel, but broadly speaking there's little point.

Let the US wave its UNSC veto. Let the EU do without Israeli technology and Israeli-Cypriot gas fields and so on. I'm sure that the US and the EU can struggle on without it.

The future is the East. Israel needs to look to the east and kiss the US goodbye for all practical purposes. The relationship with the US shouldn't be any more material to Israel than her relationship with Mexico or Chile. There's simply not enough there beyond the outsized value we place on it. Remember this is a global world and the US and the EU are in their twilight phases.

Another generation or two they will no longer be major players on the world stage just as Britain experienced after WW2. In many ways it's the West that hasn't realized that the Cold War is over, not the East. They still operate with a world view more oriented to the 1950's and '60's while it's the former Communists who are changing and have changed more. And while Israel, I suppose, was some sort of semi-valuable card to the West during the Cold War, those days are over, for both the West and for Israel.

Today Israel is coordinating attacks on Hezbollah with Russia. You DO understand how momentous that is. Not the US, but Russia. Israel is now coordinating attacks on ISIS in Sinai with Egypt now. Not the US. Egypt. An Egypt that the US has also rejected.

As America hollows itself out and morphs from a society that makes and builds things to a society of social scientist protesters proclaiming the end of petrochemicals it's less and less relevant the sweet sounding platitudes it gushes. What's the value of that to Israel? I submit it's not very much. What's the utility to Israel for an America that's entire national movement is directed at abolishing coal and oil and simultaneously focused on little more than renaming all buildings formerly named after old dead white men who had bad things to say about black people 120 years ago? Where is the locus for Israel there? There isn't.

It's time to split up.


  1. You are speaking from a realpolitik point of view.

    Do you give no credence to the idea of a confluence of liberal political values as particularly significant to the relationship between the two countries?

  2. I don't recognize that there any functioning commonalities of what these shared values might still be. Israel is essentially a socialist country with a government that struggles to free the private sector, selectively from state control so that it can flourish. It has high taxes and a rigid complex bureaucracy. It has a court system with orders of magnitude more power than the analogous system in the US to form a parallel government of unelected elites. It has unfettered gay rights, solar water heaters on every roof, health care for everyone, world class energy and water management.

    If that isn't American progressive liberal utopia then the concept is utterly w/o any meaning at all. And since it's without any meaning at all then clearly we're talking about two world views as different as different can be. If Israel were physically located in Europe it would Switzerland. But since "America' broadly speaking, and 49% of polled Democrats think that makes Israel the world's greatest danger then we're not talking the same language. We're not even the same species. That gap is simply too wide to bridge and there's no longer any reason to try.

    1. Trudy,

      on a broad and basic level, Israel and the United States do, in fact, share confluent, although not identical, values. This is important because no other country in the region does so and it provides a basis for cooperation.

      The reason for this confluence is because both countries represent the Enlightenment political tradition that goes to people such as John Locke.

      Democracy. Freedom of, or from, religion. A free press. And so forth. Rousseau and the Social Contract.

      And, among whatever else, a generally liberal outlook on politics.

      Thus, given the rise of political Islam, first under the Ayatollahs, and now under non-state affiliated Islamists, Israel and the United States will remain natural allies.

      I do not think that Israel should turn its back on the US because it is not in Israel's interests to do so. Nor, by the way, is it in American interests. Perhaps, btw, that you would agree with me that Israel should forego the annual 3 billions because the shackles are not nearly worth it.

      The center of gravity, however, is definitely heading toward China and the Asian Pacific coast.

      It looks to me as if Israel recognizes this and is reaching out to the players.

      Good for her.

    2. To me those shared values are a given, a baseline between civilization and savagery. But little else. It's like saying we don't practice child sacrifice.

      Ok, that's a good start. Beyond that I see American values and Israeli values diverging widely. Like what is a nation? What is the purpose of a culture? Are some things better than other things? Is survival worth more than dissolution?

      The Bulgarian-German-Jewish-British writer Elias Canetti wrote in Masse und Macht (Crowds and Power) about national-cultural genotypes that define what a given society is. He used the context of symbolism and language as a framework to frame how, say Germanic zeitgeist is different from Bantu zeitgeist and so on.

      Since Israel is far away and largely Sephardic/Maghrebi/Mizrahi those genotypes that zeitgeist doesn't touch on the American 'Judeo-Christian' ethic very much. I see in a very manifest way.


      Israelis are over and over shown to be a 'happy people'. Despite everything, Israelis tell you they are happy. Americans are miserable. Flat out unhappy. Despite everything THEY have. That to me is a profound and fundamental difference. A difference so stark we're not really talking about the similar societies anymore.

  3. No one needs to get in bed with anyone. It should be like a starter marriage - ride it as long as it works then bail when it doesn't.

  4. Michael
    From my hospital bed....

    US and Israel will never go their separate ways, the US needs Israel as its ears and ears in the ME.

    1. Hey you guys,

      direct some positive thoughts and prayers to Shirlee who is in the hospital undergoing back surgery.

      I should say, tho, that the last thing in the world that I want is to see the US turn its back upon Israel and I do not believe that will happen anytime soon.

      What we are seeing is Israel becoming a partisan issue, however. Republicans generally appreciate Israel while, more and more, Democrats do not. All the polling data shows a Democratic trend in opposition to Israel because they are in the process of believing Arab-Muslim propaganda that paints Israel as a unique evil in the world.

      They do this because they believe that Jews are, themselves - ourselves - a unique evil in the world.

      It's all grounded in the Qur'an because the Jews rejected a non-Jewish Arabian horse thief as a prophet.

    2. Considering the substantial portion of Jews who are Americans, I don't think that severing ties with the US is going to happen. Cleary Israel should be establishing and expanding ties and such with other countries, just as America does, for reasons of self-interest.

    3. I'm not going to get into the various issues here. Not to say they're not interesting and important.
      I would, however, like to send all my best to Shirlee for a quick and speedy recovery! Thoughts are with you. Get well soon.