A reader writes:
I find it impossible not to comment that everything Frum says about Israel applied to US support for, and dependence on, the Apartheid-era South African regime. Giving the US influence in the region? Check. Using South Africa's power as a proxy? Check. Intelligence-gathering partner? Check. Source of information on weapons and tactics? Check. Confirmation of the superiority of a market economy? Check. You only have to ignore that, in both countries, the benefits of that superior economy only applied to the chosen people.
The future of Israel as a democratic Jewish state depends on Israel's adoption of a fair two-state solution, soon. US policy should be to facilitate that solution, or to abandon Israel as just another of the region's religious autocracies.
I agree almost entirely. The "almost" is because Israel's Arab citizens in Israel proper have immensely more rights than black South Africans ever had. Another writes:
Where does Turkey fit into Frum's calculus? All of the reasons Frum makes for US interests benefiting from a close relationship to Israel also would be true for a strong relationship with Turkey ... yet, we seem willing to sacrifice our relationship with Turkey which, historically, has been as reliable an ally as Israel.
I can't speak for David, but I think that the core reason for backing Israel rather than Turkey is the pro-Israel lobby and the general sense among Americans that Jews are more "like us" than Turks. But that's not an assessment of our interests; it's foreign policy by domestic lobby (like the Cuba policy, but far more strategically damaging). One reason I think the lock-step support for anything Israel does in Congress is so hurtful to US interests is precisely exemplified by losing Turkey as a critical ally in dealing with Jihadism because of Israel's hubristic belligerence in the last few years. And sure enough, neoconservatives are now anti-Turkey.
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