It's fascinating to compare American foreign policy in Mexico, a country of over 100,000 million people (Israel's population is around 7.5 million) and a very important trading partner with the US. Issues like immigration and drug trafficking with Mexico have palpable daily effects on the lives of Americans, yet Mexico receives less the 2% of the foreign aid that Israel gets, less than 40 million dollars compared to Israel's almost 3 billion. And the over 28 million Americans who are of Mexican ancestry? They are apparently, for politicians, much less important than the less than 7 million Jewish Americans.
In the sphere of politics the tone and attitude of US politicians sounds as if their careers depend on how they speak of Israel. Joe Biden during the Vice Presidential debate,
"Gwen, no one in the United States Senate has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden. I would have never, ever joined this ticket were I not absolutely sure Barack Obama shared my passion."
And Sarah Palin,
"But I'm so encouraged to know that we both love Israel, and I think that is a good thing to get to agree on, Sen. Biden. I respect your position on that."
And President Obama this summer said, according to the New York Times,
"that he is committed to Israel's security but does not believe it is essential for him to avoid all disagreement with the Jewish state."
This type of language can only be considered pandering. Why are they pandering to Israel? During the 2008 presidential election, John McCain said he would not sit down with the Spanish government because of the way they pulled their troops out of Iraq. It caused a minor stir, but never became an issue of any importance. Do you think either Obama or McCain could have been elected if either had said that they would not sit down with Israeli leaders due to continued new settlements in the West Bank?
Israel is considered to be a nuclear power. Few if any deny that Israel has nuclear weapons, as well as other weapons of mass destruction. Why does Israel receive no pressure at all from the United States to become a non-nuclear power? Would this not be an excellent bargaining chip with Iran? Iran is a country of over 70,000 million people with a tremendous history and culture, yet they are not allowed to have nuclear weapons, but Israel is? It is easy to understand the Iranian objection to this double standard. It's very unfortunate that Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, continues to spew ridiculous, anti-Semitic diatribes that completely distract the attention of the world from the real issues of the Middle East and reduce his country's credibility. Again, Mearshimeimer and Walt write,
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