U.S. foreign policy concerning Israel?
I was wondering how do liberals view this? And how to conservatives view it as well?
I'm doing a research paper on this topic and I want to know what biases I should look out for.
- Jabber wockLv 71 decade agoBest Answer
The US policy began by pressuring the almost-bankrupt UK, under pain of withdrawing economic support, to allow huge amounts of Jewish migrants into British Mandate Palestine after WW II. This very much destabilised the situation, and armed conflict became uncontrollable between Jewish and Palestinian militias.
Unable to control this, with all spare manpower being taken up trying to avoid conflict during Indian independence, the UK handed the issue to the UN and prepared to withdraw. Under US pressure, the UN voted to approve a partition plan, dividing the country between Jewish, Palestinian and international zones.
The Palestinians would not accept this, demanding the unitary state earlier promised before the war and mass Jewish immigration. Fighting escalated, and the UK pulled out completely. The Zionist forces largely triumphed, driving Palestinian populations from the coastal strip into Gaza, and those from Galilee into the West bank and Lebanon. The US was among the first countries to recognise Israel's declared independence, which meant much of the war-impoverished world had to follow suit.
This began the long period of Palestinian refugees, and the new state of Israel refused to allow them to return to their homes. Indeed, many of the surviving Palestinian communities were also forced out, and their property confiscated by the new state, later parcelled out to Jewish immigrants.
US policy gave support to this, including diplomatic and military aid. Through subsequent years, the US has been Israel's biggest economic and military backer, giving huge support in the various wars. Diplomatically the US has vetoed a large number of UN resolutions condemnatory of Israel, often voted in by large majorities.
Israel has developed as a flourishing democracy, but has consistently refused to allow the refugees to return, while Jewish people from anywhere in the world can emigrate to Israel under the "Law of return". Despite international law demanding the return of refugees, US policy has assisted in thwarting this to date.
Even the Oslo accords fell down largely on the refugee issue, although the fact that Arafat was self-serving and corrupt was also a major factor. The US was quick to blame the Palestinians for failing to compromise, by refusing to allow refugees to be left out of any settlement.
It will be interesting to see upcoming US policy. While the 'W' years gave virtual carte blanche to Israel, it did not benefit from this, and there was no progress towards any sort of peace. The next few years will be telling, seeing if the two-state solution can be moved forward.
I suspect the refugee issue will still be the bugbear, as Israel seems determined to not let these people back to their homes and villages, fearing it will no longer be a Jewish state. This is not unfounded, as there would certainly be a large non-Jewish population within Israel's current borders, and ther would be major problems settling conflicting claims to property; would British Mandate title deeds be respected once more, or would the confiscation stick? Could compensation money solve this? However the other way of seeing that is that modern Israel can only exist by maintaining a state of ethnic cleansing.
The Palestinian cause has not been helped by the fact that they have been divided into many factions, many of which turned to terrorism as a means of fighting their usurpers. This has lost them much potential support in the world, as compared to other dispossessed peoples. More recently political Islamism has made inroads on the previously secular movements, especially as much of the large Christian minority has emigrated. Movements lake Hamas have flourished, turning to suicide bombing and rocket attacks against civilian targets. While this gains certain friends in the Middle East, it does little to promote their cause in the wider world.
The US is in a powerful position to push the parties towards a fair and workable solution, but the historic tendency to back Israel's claims at the expense of Palestinians may mean it comes to nothing once again.
- neil sLv 71 decade ago
“The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was "given" by a foreign power to another people for the creation of a new state. The result was that many hundreds of thousands of innocent people were made permanently homeless. With every new conflict their numbers increased. How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty? It is abundantly clear that the refugees have every right to the homeland from which they were driven, and the denial of this right is at the heart of the continuing conflict. No people anywhere in the world would accept being expelled en masse from their own country; how can anyone require the people of Palestine to accept a punishment which nobody else would tolerate? A permanent just settlement of the refugees in their homeland is an essential ingredient of any genuine settlement in the Middle East. We are frequently told that we must sympathise [sic] with Israel because of the suffering of the Jews in Europe at the hands of the Nazis. [...] What Israel is doing today cannot be condoned, and to invoke the horrors of the past to justify those of the present is gross hypocrisy.”
—Bertrand Russell, 31 January 1970
Still true today, though I would add that basing their claim to the land on religious texts does not in any way make it more reasonable. The existence of Israel, much less US support for it, is appalling.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Pro-Israel U.S. policy is influenced by wealthy liberal Jews and by evangelical Christians. Liberal Jews often believe that a state such as Israel needs to exist to ensure that another Holocaust will never happen. Evangelical Christians support the state of Israel because they believe it's a fulfillment of OT and NT prophecies.
I believe that the best solution, the one most likely to bring about a peaceful co-existence, would be to tear down all walls and partitions and create on secular state called Palestine; a republican democracy. The manner in which the state of Israel came into being is a tale of violence and injustice on both sides. The present paradigm needs to be scrapped, and people on both sides need to start over.
The U.S. needs to drop this stance that Israel can do [almost] no wrong.
Incidentally, I fall more in the category of libertarian than liberal/conservative. Fiscally conservative, socially liberal.Source(s): BUAH AHHAHAHAHAHAHA! at Brown950! Sure, pal. Or, why don't you break it down like this: It's an intelligence issue. *adopting snooty Thurston Howell accent* "It's more of an intelligence issue, Lovey. The really smart and wise and experienced people realize that Israel is an important ally. The dumb, bigoted kids who think they know everything will, of course, side with those no-good, dirty, rarely bathing Palestinians"
- ElcyLv 44 years ago
Neither. The UN made Israel a state, the USA did not make Israel a state. Read your history book a little bit better next time. I support this policy and it did not harm the country.
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
Israel recently held an election in which religious extremists (along the lines of Bushco) won. This spells disaster for the entire area. Other countries in the region are electing extremists as well. Combine religious tensions, a US foreign policy which embraces standing by Israel no matter what, and escalating fundamentalism (in leadership positions) and you can see where we're headed.
The US needs to rethink our entire mideast policy.
- TJTBLv 71 decade ago
Most Jewish people in the United States are members of the democratic party and most tend to not put the interests of Israel before that of the US (exception is AIPAC Lieberman).
Neocon Jews tend to be Zionists and are the ones who consider themselves Israelis first, Americans second and tend to push for the Zionist agenda of the current Israeli regime. NOT all Jews are Zionists and many disagree with the atrocities committed by Israel's Zionist regime.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I am liberal ...
- Israel has oppressed palestinians for decades
- The muslim world doesn't like that
- We help Israel with $$$ and weapons for them to oppress Palestine even more (we don't help ANY other ally that way btw)
- The muslim world hates Israel and the US for that reason
- We get terrorist attacks and we wonder why
Time to open our eyes and look at the facts, not at the ideologies the people surrounding you have put in your heads
- DexterLv 61 decade ago
I believe that the only way to have peace is for both groups to accept the other group's right to exist and live in peace and safety. Both sides have to be called to account for their misdeeds and both have to sacrifice for the sake of peace and their children's future.
I am a liberal.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Gotta warn you.
The Israeli issue does not break along political lines.
It is more of an age thing.
Older people who realize the significance of Israel as an ally, and who have lived through several wars (therefore knowing that ALL wars, particularly with radical factions, involve large numbers of civilian deaths in order to achieve an objective), will support Israel.
The younger people who are antisemitic, or swayed by the underdog-freedom-fighter rhetoric of Hamas will think the Palestinians are "victims".
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East.
Muslims are freer in Israel than in any other Muslim country, some even serve in the Israeli legislature (the Knesset).
Race, religion, color, etc. are all irrelevant. All democracies and free peoples are our best allies.