(The following was written by a friend who wishes to remain anonymous. This piece has my byline because I agree, and I’ll steal anything that isn’t nailed down.)
The Israeli newssite Ynet carried an interesting report last week. The Israelis are preparing to accept the Iran deal the P5+1 have forged, but they will extract some giant favors from the U.S. to do so.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could either continue to fight the deal or he could swallow the deal, asking in return far-reaching benefits from the US, the sources said…
A high-ranking government official told Ynet’s sister publication Yedioth Ahronoth that “The White House is willing to pay a hefty price to get some quiet from the Israelis at this point. We are surprised the demand has not been made.”
… the White House is willing to seriously consider substantial compensation to Israel so long as it does not provoke strong protest against the agreement until the deal is signed in July.
Sheesh. We gotta bribe the Israelis not to fight the deal. What could that mean?
According to these sources, at a meeting between the Pentagon and State Department, various possibilities that could meet Israeli demands were discussed – with the most reasonable option thought to be an increase in the amount of F-35 fighter jets given to Israel.
Much of the criticism of Israel in the west is based on a humanitarian concern for the Palestinians. Any person in the world can legitimately share that concern.
But the Israeli attitude conveyed above is a reason why Americans can be justified in simply disliking Israel, regardless of whatever it does or doesn’t do to the Palestinians. It’s the ingratitude and the sense of entitlement. America has spent a ton of money and diplomatic capital on Israel over the decades. Umpteen UN Security Council vetoes, 10’s of billions, a war or two against its enemies. And this is how it’s going to repay that friendship?
There is a line of argument here that could really confound U.S. “conservative” support for Israel. According to George Lakoff, the moral frame of the conservative is that a strict father needs to impose discipline on the unruly child:
“The strict father provides nurturance and expresses his devotion to his family by supporting and protecting them, but just as importantly by setting and enforcing strict moral bounds and by inculcating self-discipline and self-reliance through hard work and self-denial. This builds character. For the strict father, strictness is a form of nurturance and love — tough love.”
Israel gets some support from U.S. conservatives because it appears to be tough and strict. Shoot rockets at us and we will give you a walloping. The more folks on the left complain that Israel is too tough on the Palestinians, the more U.S. conservatives think, Hey that is just how you have to deal with those ill-behaved subjects.
But the Ynet article above portrays a different aspect of Israeli behavior: Israel as the spoiled child. It wanted daddy to go to war with Iran and now because it didn’t get its way it’s going to throw a tantrum until daddy gives it some goodies.
Portray Israel this way and you will seriously challenge the worldview of conservative Israel supporters. Every conservative knows that you don’t give in to a child’s tantrum. Daddy should impose a bit of discipline.