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The Administration’s Desperate Bid to “Reassure” Israel

Haaretz reports [1] on the administration’s latest desperate bid to “reassure” a bad client government:

Although neither side has said so explicitly, the Obama administration plans to provide Israel substantial defense compensation if an agreement is signed between Tehran and the world powers to limit Iran’s nuclear program.

Reports [2] that Israel will be “compensated” for accepting a nuclear deal that is obviously in their interest make clear just how unbalanced and dysfunctional the U.S.-Israel relationship truly is. Restricting and monitoring Iran’s nuclear program benefits Israel, and that won’t happen unless the current negotiations are successful. Despite the best efforts of the current Israeli government to undermine and sabotage those negotiations, the talks are drawing closer to a final agreement that will impair Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon for more than a decade at least. The idea that Israel needs to be “compensated” to accept an arrangement that ensures that it will be the sole nuclear-weapons state in the region for a long time to come is absurd. If anything, Israel should be offering “compensation” to Washington for the needless headaches regarding the nuclear talks that it has caused over the last year and half. If the U.S. goes ahead with providing the additional military aid mentioned in these reports, it shows that the administration will generously reward the Israeli government’s attempts at sabotage. The U.S. is volunteering to bribe a client government that has actively tried to derail a major U.S. diplomatic initiative. That can only invite more of the same behavior in the future.

The U.S. is proposing to buy off Israel to agree to something that makes Israel more secure. That’s not because the U.S. actually needs Israeli approval for an agreement to which Israel is not a party, but because in spite of everything that Netanyahu has done to interfere with the nuclear talks the administration is incapable of refusing to send Israel more weapons and support. The Obama administration is frequently criticized by hawks for not doing enough for allies and clients, but these latest reports should remind everyone that it obsequiously caters to U.S. clients’ complaints and demands to an extraordinary degree. If the Obama administration doesn’t do absolutely everything that client governments want, it does far more than it has to or should.

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9 Comments To "The Administration’s Desperate Bid to “Reassure” Israel"

#1 Comment By Kick Me On May 21, 2015 @ 4:37 am

It’s the way Israel rolls, Mr. Larison. It rips off the American taxpayer every chance it gets. Those who know the way Washington works saw this latest ripoff coming a mile away.

Now we get to watch “conservative” American politicians scrambling over one another to offer more billions to Israel, a country that in other contexts likes to portray itself off as a developed nation with a healthy economy, but is in fact the biggest international welfare recipient in human history.

Meantime, back in America, the borders go undefended, real wages fall, and infrastructure rots. Words fail, really.

#2 Comment By Trim It On May 21, 2015 @ 8:17 am

Obama is gutless. We owe Israel nothing. Indeed, Israel ought to be paying us for the terrible damages, costs and general burden it has been to America.

Any American politician who votes to spend more of our hard-earned tax money on these bums ought to be kicked out of office.

#3 Comment By Uncle Billy On May 21, 2015 @ 10:07 am

So essentially, we are paying off Israel to avoid bombing Iran? Apparently, we owe it to Israel to bomb Iran and if we fail to bomb Iran, we must pay off Israel. The logic of this mode of thinking is amazing. What next? Will we have to pay off Israel if we fail to bomb Syria?

Since we are helping the Saudis to bomb Yemen, perhaps we should pay them off too for failing to bomb Iran?

Our so called “Allies” are experts at Bamboozling the US. With friends like the Israelis and Saudis, who need enemies?

#4 Comment By Amarus Cameron On May 21, 2015 @ 10:32 am

Israel’s time as a useful client is waning, they are not as much of a representative democracy as they would have you believe, and they are leeches off of guilt as old as time.

I have always supported Israeli endeavors in the past because of my dislike for Arab politics and who doesn’t like an underdog (I’m not talking money, I’m talking they are geographically surrounded by entirely enemy nations) But frankly I don’t want to pay for their shenanigans. If they want to piss off the entire world, and most importantly us, they can do it one their own dime.

#5 Comment By collin On May 21, 2015 @ 10:56 am

Heck in this case, I can rationalize a quieter Israel for less noise on the Iran deal.

#6 Comment By michael in nyc On May 21, 2015 @ 11:50 am

Israel is the ultimate Welfare Queen.

Mama Israel gets 3 billion a year from American tax payers and then clamors for more.

#7 Comment By Jay C On May 21, 2015 @ 1:27 pm

I’m not sure “desperate” is quite the appropriate adjective to attach to this supposed/proposed Israeli “compensation” deal. Actually, it looks like quite a clever move on the Obama Administration’s part – if you take the view that the real target(s) of the PR aspect of it are not so much the Israelis themselves, but their domestic Lobby, and their official (mainly Congressional) cheerleading squad.
First, it allows the Administration to look like it’s keeping Israeli “security” concerns foremost in its policy; secondly, it thereby undercuts many of the opposition’s supposed arguments against the Iran nuclear deal; third, it’s a nice sop to the domestic MIC* (the actual beneficiary of so much of these “aid” deals); fourth, it puts the Israeli Government (and its domestic enablers) in something of an awkward position. Which is, in this case, a good thing.
Internet “pundits” (pro and amateur) like to scoff at the “Obama playing eleven-dimensional chess” meme, but in some cases, his Administration has come up with some fairly subtle moves.

*also: as the “compensation” seems to be accepted to be of a military nature, the links suggest that it’s only partly a case of “giving them [new] stuff”, and partly a matter of “removing blocks to their getting stuff they would have eventually gotten anyway”

#8 Comment By Entre Nous On May 21, 2015 @ 5:28 pm

@Jay C: “*also: as the “compensation” seems to be accepted to be of a military nature, the links suggest that it’s only partly a case of “giving them [new] stuff”, and partly a matter of “removing blocks to their getting stuff they would have eventually gotten anyway””

Giving them new or advanced stuff is a big mistake. They steal the technology and sell it on to competitor or hostile states like China and Russia.

#9 Comment By Jay C On May 21, 2015 @ 7:39 pm

@Entre Nous

I meant “new” in the sense of materiel they have not already ordered/asked for/expected: not referring to its technological capability. Which Israeli predilections for exploiting/reselling are, I’m sure, already well known and accounted for by the US Defense establishment.