Via Scott on the main blog, I see that Greenwald writes a longer post discussing the implications of U.S. policy that ignores the neutralist position preferred by 70% of the American public that I mentioned earlier today. As Greenwald observes, the political class’ formulation of policy that large majorities reject outright is standard practice, but it is particularly obvious when it comes to U.S.-Israel relations. We have seen it with refusal to end the war in Iraq, of course, but it is also a common feature of our immigration policy and, to a lesser extent, our trade policy. So in this respect the complete disregard for public opinion is a normal part of how the political class operates when it comes to major policy decisions: for various reasons, it adopts the policies most at odds with popular views and runs the government in the least representative way possible. As Greenwald says:
Americans shouldn’t be in the position of endlessly debating Israel’s security situation and its endless religious and territorial conflicts with its neighbors. That should be for Israeli citizens to do, not for Americans.
There is something a bit rich in the “pro-Israel” insistence that Israel must do such-and-such a thing in Lebanon or Gaza or wherever to assert its sovereignty, and meanwhile a foreign government provides it generous subsidies and possesses the leverage to dictate to it what it will do in what it regards as its internal affairs. The patron-client relationship between the U.S. and Israel is ultimately a burden on Israel and it becomes at best an enormous distraction for U.S. policy in the region. It should not be for us to debate what Israel does on its borders, because we should not be so closely tied to and implicated in the actions of its government that we should have anything to say about it.