by ANDREW LEVINE
What accounts for the U.S.-Israel “special relationship”? This question is seldom addressed outside dissident circles; the foreign policy establishment simply takes it for granted, much as they used to take it for granted that the Cold War needed to be fought.
From the Israeli side, there is no mystery. The association with the United States is an economic, military and diplomatic necessity. Keeping it going is therefore Israel’s top priority; taking advantage of it whenever they can is a close second.
But what explains the U.S. role? Plainly, inertia plays an important part: the U.S.–Israeli relationship developed years ago, under different conditions than those that now obtain, and foreign policy establishments become set in their ways. The world changes, but deeply entrenched assumptions are not easily dislodged.
Legislators too can be blissfully indifferent towards shifting realities – when there is nothing in it for them in taking changed situations into account, and when they think it is risky to do so.
The fact that the issue is off the mainstream agenda also helps keep everything as is. If the issue isn’t engaged, how can views change?
For more on this story, visit: Israel, Iran and the Bomb » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.