Akiva Eldar from Ha’aretz discusses what might happen to the U.S. should the Obama administration let American-Israeli relations deteriorate:
Instead of dismantling settlements, he would do better to dismantle the Iranian nuclear program. Otherwise Jerusalem will reassess its special relationship with Washington, and will reconsider its commitment to ensuring the qualitative advantage of the United States. If this situation continues, we may even stop vetoing anti-American decisions in the United Nations Security Council.
Let’s assume that there is some point to the criticism of the U.S. president’s determined insistence on petty details when it comes to Jewish construction in the territories. Let’s agree that Obama in his naivete really has become preoccupied with inconsequential matters, such as a handful of pathetic outposts. Should the State of Israel risk a crisis with the most important power in the world because of what it considers “inconsequential matters”? Does Israel have a greater existential strategic asset than its relations with the U.S. and its neighbors’ understanding that these intimate relations are unshakable?
Is this the way to keep “all options open,” including receiving American approval to fly over the skies of Iraq, on the way to attacking Iran’s nuclear installations? And what will we do when the Iranians launch missiles at Tel Aviv? Will we send the new Abba Eban, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, to Washington to ask Obama to declare war on Tehran? At the same time, the settler from Nokdim can reprimand the president for refusing to take his “natural growth” into account.
Does Israel really have an interest in winning the battle over the settlements? What will happen if we destroy the prestige of the strongest man in the world and portray him as an empty vessel, incapable of halting the settlement program of a U.S. protege? Will an Israeli “victory” strengthen the status of the U.S. in the international campaign against Iran?