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Israel Can Say “NO” to the USA (A Win-Win Proposition)

Critical milestones, in the history of the Israel, occurred while constructive disagreements dominated the relations between the Jewish State and its only significant ally, the USA.


When a junior partner loses the capability to say “No” to a senior partner, they both lose!


US-Israel concurrence is not a prerequisite for the advancement of peace and bilateral strategic cooperation. Israel should strive for a wider agreement with the US, but not at any price.  Common ground with the US should not be at the expense of Israel’s independent national security policy-making.  It should not undermine Israel’s control of land, which is critical to its survival.


The superiority of Israel’s security considerations over agreement with the US – even at a painful cost to Israel – paved the road to the 1948 establishment of the Jewish State. “Much as Israel desired friendship with the US and full co-operation with it…Israel could not yield at any point which, in its judgment, would threaten its independence or its security…” stated Prime Minister Ben Gurion, when rejecting a brutal US ultimatum to refrain from declaration of independence and to accept a UN Trusteeship. Ben Gurion added that “[The US] would be gravely mistaken if [it] assumed that the threat, or even the use of UN sanctions, would force Israel to yield on issues considered vital to its independence and security…” (My Mission In Israel 1948-1951, James MacDonald, Simon and Shuster, p. 49).


The US ultimatum included a military embargo and a threat of economic sanctions. But, Ben Gurion determined that sovereignty and national security – rather than concurrence with the US – constituted supreme strategic values.  He realized that an agreement with the US would be transient, non-binding (according to the US Constitution) and subject to US interpretation, while national security would be a fixture largely controlled by Israel. Ben Gurion’s order of national priorities transformed Israel from a sympathy-deserving remnant of the Holocaust to a potential strategic partner.


The 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty was initiated by Prime Minister Begin, in defiance of a policy introduced by President Carter and National Security Advisor Brzezinski. While Begin insisted on a direct Jerusalem-Cairo dialogue, which minimized the Palestinian role, Carter and Brzezinski lobbied for an international conference, which would highlight the Palestinian issue.  Begin’s and Sadat’s determination not to allow the peace process to become a hostage in the hands of the Palestinian issue and radical regimes, forced Carter and Brzezinski to abandon their own policy and jump on the bandwagon.


The first Intifadah (1987-1992) escalated US-Israel disagreements, fueled by the US-PLO dialogue. President Bush #41st and Secretary Baker did not waste an opportunity to condemn Prime Minister Shamir as a supposed obstacle to peace and persona non-grata in Washington, DC.  However, regional and global challenges, and Shamir’s steadfastness in face of internal and external pressure, yielded the dramatic enhancement of US-Israel strategic cooperation: upgrading Israel to “Major Non-NATO Ally,” inclusion of Israel in “Star Wars” and US funding of most of the anti-ballistic missile “Arrow” project, expansion of joint military exercises, increasing pre-positioning of US military ammunition and supplies in Israel, upgrading of the port of Haifa for the Sixth Fleet, participation of Israeli defense contractors in Pentagon contracts in Europe, emergency assistance following the 1991 Gulf War, etc.


The US Administration was not at ease with Shamir’s demand to stop issuing refugee certificates to Soviet Jews, and to force the USSR to fly Jewish Olim (immigrants) only to Israel.  Shamir’s readiness to risk disagreement with the US stopped the 95% dropout rate among Jewish Olim and produced a wave of one million Olim to the Jewish State, which has catapulted the country demographically, technologically, medically, culturally and militarily.


In 1967 and in 1981, President Johnson and President Reagan pressured Israel against a unilateral military action against the Egypt-Syria-Jordan axis and Iraq’s nuclear reactor.  Prime Minister Eshkol and Prime Minister Begin defied US (and global pressure), wrecked the Nasser-led anti-US Arab axis and destroyed Iraq’s nuclear project, thus advancing drastically US’ and Israel’s national security.  Eshkol and Begin realized that sovereignty and national security – rather than concurrence with the US – constituted the top strategic values.  Will Prime Minister Netanyahu follow in their footsteps, avoiding temptation to transform common ground with the US into the top strategic value?






The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

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Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb

The Abraham Accords – the US, Arab interests and Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan believe that the expansion of the Abraham Accords, the enhancement of Israel-Saudi defense and commercial cooperation and the conclusion of an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace accord are preconditioned upon major Israeli concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

Is such a belief consistent with Middle East reality?

Arab interests

*The signing of the Abraham Accords, and the role played by Saudi Arabia as a critical engine of the accords, were driven by the national security, economic and diplomatic interests of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan.

*The Arab interest in peace accords with Israel was not triggered by the realization that the Jewish State was genuinely seeking peaceful-coexistence, nor by a departure from the fundamental tenets of Islam. It was motivated by the assessment that critical concerns of the respective Arab countries would be effectively-served by Israel’s advanced military (Qualitative Military Edge), technological and diplomatic capabilities in the face of mutual and lethal enemies, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs and Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.

*Saudi Arabia and the six Arab peace partners of Israel (including Egypt and Jordan) are aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which occasionally releases explosive lava – domestically and/or regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the 1,400-year-old stormy intra-Arab/Muslim relations, and recently demonstrated by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2011 and still rages.

They wish to minimize the impact of rogue regimes, and therefore are apprehensive about the nature of the proposed Palestinian state, in view of the rogue Palestinian inter-Arab track record, which has transformed Palestinians into an intra-Arab role model of subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude.

*They are anxious about the erosion of the US posture of deterrence, which is their most critical component of national security, and alarmed about the 43-year-old US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs, which has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ terroristic, drug trafficking and ballistic capabilities. They are also concerned about the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terrorist entity with religious, educational, welfare and political branches. And, they are aware of the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), the European vacillation, and the vulnerability of all other Arab countries.

Israel’s role

*Saudi Arabia and the Arab partners to peace accords with Israel feel the machetes of the Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood at their throats. They consider Israel as the most reliable “life insurance agent” in the region.  They view Israel as the most effective US force-multiplier in the Middle East, and appreciate Israel’s proven posture of deterrence; flexing its military muscles against Iran’s Ayatollahs in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself and against Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorism. They respect Israel’s unique counter-terrorism intelligence and training capabilities, and its game-changing military and counter-terrorism battle tactics and technologies.

*The Arab view of Israel as a reliable partner on “a rainy day” has been bolstered by Israel’s willingness to defy US pressure, when it comes to Israel’s most critical national security and historic credos (e.g., Iran, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria).  In addition, Saudi Arabia and Israel’s peace-partners aim to leverage Israel’s good-standing among most Americans – and therefore among most Senators and House Representatives – as a venue to enhance their military, commercial and diplomatic ties with the US.

*Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are preoccupied with the challenge of economic diversification, realizing that they are overly-reliant on oil and natural gas, which are exposed to price-volatility, depletion and could be replaced by emerging cleaner and more cost-effective energy.

Thus, they consider Israel’s ground-breaking technologies as a most effective vehicle to diversify their economy, create more jobs in non-energy sectors, and establish a base for alternative sources of national income, while bolstering homeland and national security.

*The Abraham Accords – as well as Israel’s peace accords with Egypt and Jordan – and the unprecedented expansion of defense and commercial cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel, demonstrate that critical Arab national security interests may supersede fundamental tenets of Islam, such as the 1,400-year-old rejection of any “infidel” sovereignty in “the abode of Islam.”  Moreover, critical national security interests may lead to a dramatic moderation of the (Arab) education system, which is the most authentic reflection of one’s vision and policies.

Thus, contrary to the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates has uprooted hate-education curriculum, replacing it with pro-Israel/Jewish curriculum.

Abraham Accords’ durability

*The success of the Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by the US State Department. The latter has produced a litany of failed peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue, while the Abraham accords bypassed the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto, and focusing on Arab interests. Therefore, the durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the interests of the respective Arab countries, and not on the Palestinian issue, which is not a top priority for any Arab country.

*The durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the stability of the individual Arab countries and the Middle East at-large.

*The Abraham Accord have yielded initial and unprecedented signs of moderation, modernity and peaceful coexistence, which requires the US to support the respective pro-US Arab regimes, rather than pressuring them (e.g., Saudi Arabia and the UAE).

*However, one should not ignore the grave threats to the durability of the accords, posed by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East (as related to intra-Arab relations!).  These inherent threats would be dramatically alleviated by a resolute US support.

*A major threat to the Abraham Accord is the tenuous nature of most Arab regimes in the Middle East, which yields tenuous policies and tenuous accords. For example, in addition to the Arab Tsunami of 2010 (which is still raging on the Arab Street), non-ballot regime-change occurred (with a dramatic change of policy) in Egypt (2013, 2012, 1952), Iran (1979, 1953), Iraq (2003, 1968, 1963-twice, 1958), Libya (2011, 1969), Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.

*Regional stability, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River (bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record). It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transforming Jordan into another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, similar to Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; triggering a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula; yielding a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US.

*While Middle East reality defines policies and accords as variable components of national security, the topography and geography of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Golan Heights are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the reality of the non-Western Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have secured its survival, and have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.

*The more durable the Abraham Accords and the more robust Israel’s posture of deterrence, the more stable the pro-US Arab regimes and the Middle East at-large; the more deterred are anti-US rogue regimes; the less potent are Middle Eastern epicenters of anti-US terrorism and drug trafficking; the more bolstered is the US global posture and the weaker is the posture of the US’ enemies and adversaries.

*Would the Arab regimes of the Abraham Accords precondition their critical ties with Israel upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which they view as a rogue element? Would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Would they cut off their nose to spite their face?

The fact that these Arab regimes concluded the Abraham Accords without preconditioning it upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, and that they limit their support of the Palestinians to talk, rather than walk, provides an answer to these three questions.

Support Appreciated






The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb