Israel-USA: Worst-Case Scenario

I recently wrote a negative scenario of our country’s future. A similar future scenario exists for Israel, in fact the world has become very sensitive to Israel’s future prospects, many for, but more against. I’d like to present the danger which faces Israel, a summary based mostly upon a March 31 article in the New York Times by Gary Bass called “When Israel and France Broke Up”. This is not necessarily analogous to the Israel/ United States situation, but I believe it is food for thought.

During the 1950s, France began to export military equipment to Israel, perhaps partially because it also wished to combat Arab nationalism in areas such as Algeria. Even during the Suez crisis, France came to Israel’s aid. This relationship continued and in fact Israel and France worked together when the former was developing its nuclear capability. When de Gaulle became French President in 1959 he was completely on-board with the relationship. But soon the 1967 Six Day war between Israel and the Arabs began, and de Gaulle became very sensitive to the idea of improving the stature of his country across the huge and rich Arab world, so in fact he decided to back the Arabs in this war (which of course Israel won anyway). France continued an arms embargo, negotiated oil deals with the Arab states, and accelerated its anti-Israel comments. A complete turn-around!

Gary Bass was not explicitly suggesting an analogy applicable to the United States-Israel situation but our president certainly is sensitive to the strategic importance of improving relations with the Muslim and Arab worlds, and quite a number of his speeches have reflected this. Bass concludes that while Obama would clearly prefer to deal equitably between both the Arabs and the Israelis, it would not be a bad idea for Israel’s prime minister to realize the perhaps slight but extremely dangerous possibilities, and I personally feel that he must deal with the conservative and stubborn right wing of his government, accordingly.


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