The Truth Still Hurting

"Dependence of one state upon another creates perverse incentives for both. The unconditional backing of one side in a conflict does not encourage compromise but devotion to maximalist positions. Likewise, if a patron receives no reciprocity for its support, only the client state benefits from the relationship, creating an increasingly untenable situation for the patron. Maximalist demands backed by a patron’s support tend to be detrimental even to the client state in the long runbecause they shield the client from the consequences of its actions.

While successive Israeli governments have taken advantage of the relationship with the U.S., this is ultimately not Israel’s fault. Were our positions reversed, Americans would do the same. And while it may feel satisfying to blame Netanyahu’s government or the religious parties in his coalition for the latest incident, the U.S.’s predicament is largely of its own making.

At one point during his speech, Biden said that America “has no better friend in the community of nations than Israel.”  In fact, many U.S. allies have been far more reliable over the years.

Indeed, this exaggerated claim about Israel is made precisely to conceal how little reciprocity Israel shows its benefactor. Israel’s dependence on the many forms of U.S. aid ought to make it one of the most easily influenced and accommodating of allies, but the certainty that the aid will never cease, and that no administration will risk accusations that it has “abandoned” Israel, has had the opposite effect. 

Washington created the conditions for its own embarrassment by creating a bilateral relationship defined by dependence and warped by unaccountability. If it is unwilling to place conditions on the support it provides to Israel, and unwilling to enforce them when it does, Washington will continue to find its pronouncements ignored and its efforts in the Near East frustrated," - Daniel Larison.