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Monday, Apr 08, 2002

american star power

"The debate that is missing in the US is not one between Americans who want Israel to survive and those-a marginal minority-who want Israel to be destroyed. The US should support Israel's right to exist within internationally-recognised borders and to defend itself against threats. What is needed is a debate between those who want to link US support for Israel to Israeli behaviour, in the light of America's own strategic goals and moral ideals, and those who want there to be no linkage. For the American Israel lobby, Tony Smith observes in his authoritative study, Foreign Attachments: The Power of Ethnic Groups in the Making of American Foreign Policy (Harvard), "to be a 'friend of Israel' or 'pro-Israel' apparently means something quite simple: that Israel alone should decide the terms of its relations with its Arab neighbours and that the US should endorse these terms, whatever they may be."