Psychologists dislike the popular definition of ‘schizophrenia’ as ‘split personality’, but it works well as a description of the relationship of the US to Israel.
On the one hand, there is a large majority of the American population that feels very positively toward Israel, and believes strongly that we should support it. And this is reflected in the US Congress.
On the other hand, there are the State Department and intelligence establishment, which — if they would speak candidly — would say that the creation of a sovereign Jewish state in the Middle East was a mistake, and one that is inconvenient for American interests. As the ‘experts’ in foreign affairs and the source of advisers on these matters, they set the tone for the whole Executive Branch.
While the Obama Administration may be the most unfriendly since Israel’s founding, no prior administration was remarkable for its pro-Israel policies, thanks to the influence of these ‘professionals’. Even when the President himself was very favorable to Israel (Harry Truman, George W. Bush), support was spotty at best.
This position, over the years, has been nurtured by the racist regimes of the Mideastern oil producing nations, who have used their petrodollars effectively to this end. The distribution of energy resources is changing now, with large reserves of oil and gas found in the US, Canada, Australia and even Israel, but much of the damage has been done, with vicious anti-Israel ideologues ensconced in government and universities.
The positive side of the split personality expresses itself in large amounts of military aid (which after all is aid to defense contractors in the US) and pro-Israel congressional resolutions — which, like the one to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, are often ignored or circumvented by the administration.
The negative side is exemplified by the obsessive and unrelenting pressure on Israel to abandon the territory gained in the 1967 war, and, as I mentioned yesterday, the repeated interventions to prevent Israel from obtaining a decisive military victory, something which guarantees a continuous series of wars and skirmishes.
While the Oslo accord was an Israeli mistake — one of the worst in its history — it provided an opening for American support of the PLO, which was previously treated as a terrorist gang. And we jumped right in, even to the point of providing training to their nascent army!
There is plenty of evidence that the Executive Branch sees Israel as an enemy nation. There is the disproportionate sentence given to Jonathan Pollard — disproportionate, that is, for someone spying for an ally rather than an enemy. There is the incredible fact that Israel is listed by the CIA as a “key target” for surveillance along with China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, and Cuba (Angela Merkel is way down on the list).
President Obama likes to talk about the “unbreakable bond” between the US and Israel, and his “unshakeable commitment” to Israel’s security, but his actions belie these words.
Update [2355 PDT]: Yet again the US has leaked information damaging to Israel’s security!