If there are cracks in the relationship between Israel and the United States they aren’t nearly as wide as Jeffrey Simpson says they are, nor are strategic objectives nearly as divergent as he implies. Despite President Obama and his administrations undeniable antipathy to Israel both countries remain heavily dependent on one another and almost everyone recognizes that a serious breach would have disastrous consequences for each of them.
For example, 50 former U.S. generals and admirals recently wrote and signed a letter to Obama, Congress and the American public entitled ‘Israel as a Security Asset for the United States’. They make the case that America’s security is intertwined with Israel’s and that a strong, secure Israel is vital to U.S. national interests, in the Middle East and around the world. Over and above shared values and deep historical ties, Israel is seen as a trusted, dependable partner and ally which provides a great deal of military expertise, intelligence and cooperation to the United States and threats to Israel’s security are viewed as threats to America’s as well.
These sentiments have wide resonance in the U.S. defense community and are also shared by millions upon millions of other Americans.
Simpson makes the same mistake that many other commentators have made…he overestimates the importance of political posturing and underestimates the importance of facts on the ground, of reality and realpolitic. In the end, America will stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel because the national security of the United States would be severely compromised if it did not, to put it mildly. President Obama could well become a political casualty as the process unfolds, but that would be no small blessing in itself and would be a result entirely of his making.