Israel is not so much ‘in the eye of the Middle East storm’ as it is the eye of the storm.
The wave of terrorism that struck the world in 2001 has many causes, among them poverty and foreign exploitation of mineral wealth, which can easily be exploited by religious extremists. However, the Western media’s decades-long near silence on the Israeli occupation of land attributed by the United Nations to the Palestinians, removes from the public perception of the ‘war on terror’ a vital element that can be added to any grievance on the part of Muslim populations: the unlawful subjugation of one member of that community.
As I write this, Peter Lavelle’s ‘Crosstalk’ on RT discusses the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, and its shocking insistence on continuing to build settlements on land that was intended by the international community to be part of a Palestinian state, while accusing the Palestinians of refusing to restart negotiations.
Given its geographic position, surrounded by Muslim countries in the throes of revolt against their respective governments, the Jewish state would appear to be in existential danger, not from Iran, but from its neighbors on all sides. The fact that life goes on as usual suggests that Israel will feel invulnerable as long as it can count on unconditional American support.
Opponents of that support need to realize that the American government’s decades-long policy is not so much about saving Israel from its neighbors as it is about keeping those neighbors’ governments in the hands friendly to us for as long as possible. Israel’s prowess in IT, weaponry and spying (a word I prefer to the euphemistic ‘intelligence’) is never mentioned by the press, yet as Andrew Bacevich pointed out in a recent op-ed piece: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-we-became-israel/, Israel and the United States share not only know-how but fundamental attitudes toward war.
It is truly astonishing that activists continue to indict Israel’s supposed ‘hold’ on American foreign policy, when the relationship between this giant and its David is clearly one of mutual benefit, and for that reason not about to end any time soon. Washington evidently feels that the value Israel brings to its ability to destabilize, attack and occupy countries of economic interest out weights the inconvenience that Israel’s behavior toward those countries represents, certain of the ability of the two countries joint strategic resources to overcome any foe.