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American-Israeli Relations - At What Cost?: Left of Center View

Itís fair to say that the relationship between the United States and Israel is complicated. Without our support Israel as a country would likely cease to exist. There were promises made at the end of World WII, the birth of a nation, a safe haven, and thus far they have been kept, to a point. The area around them is hostile to say the least. It is an extremely simple relationship on the surface, but one that even the experts donít completely understand. But understand it or not the relationship is vital to both parties.

America has been dealing with the very real threat of terrorism since September of 2001. Oh sure, Americanís knew the threat was there, but until the towers fell the threat wasnít real. It hadnít threatened the homeland, it hadnít hit home, or more accurately we hadnít been hit at home. But for Israel, the threat had been real since day one.

The Middle East is a place of turmoil and strife. Neighbors literally want to kill each other. People do sneak across the border with the intent to kill as many people as possible simply because of a difference of faith. Faith, and the freedom of it and the opportunity to practice it as you see fit. It is the principal upon which our Nation is based, and a principal that we as a people have seen fit to champion when we have seen it violated, which has put America in a very strange position with our old friends in Israel.

America has deemed herself the defender of democracy and as such we have invested a lot of time, money and faith in protecting Israel and her people. So where do we as Americanís stand when the oppressed become the oppressors, especially when they might be acting exactly as we would were the roles reversed? We, as human beings have the right to protect ourselves and our way of life, as long as we donít deprive others of their rights to the same. The Israelis see their blockade similar in principal to the U.S. blockade of Cuba. It is the most peaceful solution to a volatile situation; a way of waging war without firing a shot.

But like any war there are casualties. In the latest instance it was humanitarians attempting to run food and medical supplies through the blockade. Both sides are claiming the others responsibility in the incident, both claim the other side fired or fought first. And neither is very welcoming of a UN investigation. Itís all very, very questionable. And now Iran is claiming the incident as justification to go to war with Israel, again, which in turn raises the question, was this all just a ruse to justify this latest onset of possible hostilities? Remember the Maine!

So what does it all mean for the U.S., Israel and all the other people around the world affected by our shared politics? At times like these it is important to remember that our actions affect not just us but that they ripple like waves throughout the world. So while answers are difficult to come by accusations are not. There is no simple solution, or even an understandable equation for the problem, but it is important to remember as we go through this, that while it may not get much better, if we are not careful it can get a whole lot worse.


Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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Punishing American Students For Wearing The Stars And Stripes To School On Cinco de Mayo

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American-Israeli Relations - At What Cost?: Right of Center View

Israel has been Americaís strongest and often only real ally in the Middle East since the end of World War II. Without Israel we would not have any truly safe havens for Americans in the region. There is an absolute necessity that we maintain good relations with Israel. In an area so vital to the energy needed to propel American business and employ American workers there has to be at least one nation we can always count on to support America. Israel is that country.

People on the left have gotten all up in arms about the Israeli military defending their waters against known enemies of Israel. Itís ridiculous! Any other nation having thousands of rockets fired into their country by their neighbor would do anything they could to make sure no more rockets got into their neighborís country. Hamas is known to use ďhumanitarianĒ shipments to bring in weapons. Of course Israel should board incoming ships safely offshore to check for weapons. The blockade makes perfect sense and should stay in place until Hamas is no longer in charge in Gaza. Israel is defending its borders against known enemies. America would do no less in the same situation.

The bottom line is that we need Israel safe and sound if we want to have any future meaningful relations in the region. Splitting up Israel to form two independent states may be a good ultimate goal but it needs to happen in a way that protects Israel and its allies. There is no future for American interests in the region if Israel falls. That nation represents our best hope for stability in the region in the long term. We can count on them to support us in the war on terrorism. They share our core beliefs including a strong support for democracy and the rule of law. Not supporting Israel because some people are angry with them right now is like amputating a leg because one toe has a splinter. It simply makes no sense.

The minor inconveniences that come with the occasional incidents in Israel pale in comparison with the major dangers that come with cutting ties with Israel. We need Israel and if that means sometimes we need to have their back when they come under fire we need to just do it. When all the facts come out it will probably turn out that there were dangerous people on the boats Israel stopped. They certainly werenít pacifists. The video of the raid on the boats shows that beyond any doubt. We should not condemn Israel but rather support them. Nobody should have to sacrifice their national security simply to quiet some politically correct outcry. America shouldnít and neither should Israel.

The same people crying foul about Israel stopping these ships would likely be the first in line asking why more wasnít done to stop a major attack if one occurred in America. They cry foul when people search their luggage but expect the government to keep them safe. You canít have it both ways folks. Either we defend our country or we let everyone have free access to everything and risk bad people doing bad things. It is no different for Israel. They face danger from extremists that would love nothing more than to see another holocaust happen that finishes what Hitler started. If they donít defend themselves they will end up wiped off the face of the map and that is not in the best interests of America or the Middle East.

Tony M. - California | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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Punishing American Students For Wearing The Stars And Stripes To School On Cinco de Mayo

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