Some American presidential candidates, as well as their supporters, seem to think the desires of certain Israeli factions are more important than America's interests. Good questions to ask now are:
"Where do the interests of the US and Israel diverge?"
"What's appropriate/inappropriate for a US presidential candidate in regard to Israel?"
Some specific examples. Is it appropriate for US presidential candidates to
- give interviews to Israeli publications saying without qualification "if you mess with Israel, you’re messing with the United States of America";
- refer to "the 'so-called' Palestinian people" as if you think they don't really exist;
- visit illegal West Bank settlements and encourage more settlements; and
- criticize US policy and the US president on foreign soil, allying yourself with Israel against the US.
- state that modern Israel is the equivalent of Biblical Israel, so any opposition to Israeli government policies is effectively opposition to God?
- assert, as some ultra-Orthodox Jews claim, that Israel has a divine right to expand to all territory supposedly held during the Biblical era, as Exodus 23:31 put it, "from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River." In short, Israel has a divine right to take back the Sinai peninsula from Egypt, and to expand from the Med through Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, much of Iraq and well into eastern Turkey.
How can candidates who do these things ever be credible in assuming the traditional US role as mediator of Arab-Israeli disputes?
One commentator at Newsweek.com made an astute observation:
Why are we supposed to revile a theocracy such as Iran and revere the theocracy of Israel? And, how can we call Israel "democratic" when it segregates a portion of its population (the people of the West Bank and Gaza) out of its electorate, based primarily on ethnicity?