A reader writes:
I think that the hawkish governments we've seen in Israel lately have a lot to do with the hawkish government we have here. I think that the Israeli people went with governments that fit in well with the US administration. I think we sent them a ton of signals -- public and private -- about what kinds of policies we wanted them to pursue. And I think that what we see in Israel now reflects that.
Now we've made a fairly significant change in our thinking about that part of the world. It's going to take Israel time to adjust. Specifically, the voters are going to have to see some sort of evidence that being at odds with the US administration is not good for the country, and they're going to have to put new people into office. I think that our task now is to send signals strong enough so that the voters in Israel figure out where things stand, but not so strong that we actually cut Israel off at the knees.
And we have to wait for things to change. We also have to remember that Israel has followed us down this dark road. Sy Hersh talked about this a lot -- we pushed them to attack Syria, and we encouraged them to be aggressive with Iran, etc. Now we've changed our policy, and we're upset that they're still pursuing our old policy with respect to Iran. We have to give them time. And we have to remember that Israel is not an old Soviet-style client state -- we can't just pick up the phone, and say, "This is what you have to do." It doesn't work like that. They have a system, and a democracy, and things have to wend their way through it.