The landslide reelection of Benjamin Netanyahu reveals the way most Israelis feel about the USA. It is a discouraging revelation.
For generations Americans have coddled Israel, lavishing money and arms on the beleaguered nation, and it seems the Israelis consider this their due. They must believe they can kick the American President’s shins with impunity, knowing they have a powerful lobby in this country.
There is some merit to their attitude. America partnered Britain in giving the Jews a homeland after World War II. So it can be argued that America has a moral obligation to protect Israel. But how far does this obligation go?
Surely, America has a right to expect some loyalty in return?
Surely the world has a right to try and avert a nuclear war?
Obviously, the Israeli voters feel otherwise.
And apparently there are American politicians who feel more loyal to Israel than to America. They are joining the bellicose Israeli prime minister in sabotaging talks between America and Iran – talks that could possibly avert the threat of a nuclear Iran.
Their hidden motive is even more discouraging.
Netanyahu and the Republicans are obligated primarily not to Israel or America but to a Jewish-American billionaire named Sheldon Adelson (above). He has poured untold millions into Netanyahu’s campaign and into the campaign chests of Republican politicians.
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman puts it this way:
When it came to showering that cash on Republican presidential hopefuls and right-wing PACs trying to defeat President Obama (reportedly $150 million in 2012), and on keeping Netanyahu and his Likud party in office, no single billionaire-donor is more influential than Sheldon. No matter what his agenda, it is troubling that one man, with a willingness and ability to give away giant sums, can now tilt Israeli and American politics his way at the same time.
And what Adelson wants is war.
This shadowy gambling czar. who has run afoul of the law in faraway places like China, has suggested that the US should drop a small nuclear bomb on Iran, just to show them what could happen if they don’t behave.
It is frightening to think that such a creature might control the political machinery not only in Israel but also in the USA.
But obviously, the Israelis – and many Americans – don’t care.