Any potential president of the USA will always gush out the words "I'm a friend of Israel' (else they have no hope of getting into office). I'm intrigued as to why?
Why does a little country, less than 100 years old, have such power over big countries like America, and most Western countries too whose prime-ministers fall over themselves not to 'upset' Israel by calling a spade a spade. And though a signficant factor, it probably runs much deeper than Big Oil.
In answer to your question above regarding the 'Why' of the USA's unfailing support of Israel, Josh, I would reply 'strategic interests', of which oil, as you agree, is undoubtedly a major factor, in addition to the geopolitical ones. I'm sure a little research on your part would enable you to determine exactly the nature of those 'strategic interests'.
That said, my main concern is with the title of this thread. If it had been called 'The USA's' Israel-Bashing Thread', I would have had no complaints. Its present title, however, strikes me as inaccurate and, dare I say, petty.
Below is as relevant an analysis of the position as I can find. Undoubtedly, the growing influence of China in the region, especially relating to its ever-strengthening ties with Iran, adds a further layer of compexity to an already complicated situation.
That Israel is a Jewish state is unneccesary to the present discussion and, for obvious reasons, will inevitably muddy the waters.
It was only after the decline of the British Empire—and its exit from Palestine in 1948—that the US began to play a more fundamental role in supporting Israel.
The US was the first country to recognise Israel as a state in 1948.
This came after Israel expelled some 850,000 Palestinians in a campaign of ethnic cleansing designed to ensure they would be a minority in the new state of Israel.
But it was still another two decades before the US began to treat Israel as its most important ally in the Middle East.
While the US did offer some financial aid to Israel through the 1940s and 50s it was mostly in the form of loans. At the time the US even opposed some arms sales to Israel.
The US ruling class wanted to build links with several states in the Middle East against Russia, and Israel was just one among many. And most ordinary people in Arab countries supported the Palestinians.
The US worried that appearing too friendly to Israel would scupper its deals with Arab leaders. Israel had to prove to the US that its support was indispensable.
In 1951, after the Iranian government nationalised its oil industry, Israeli newspaper Haaretz explained the role Israel’s leaders hoped they could play.
“Strengthening Israel helps Western powers maintain stability in the Middle East. Israel is to become the watchdog,” it wrote.
“If the Western powers should sometimes prefer to close their eyes, Israel could be relied upon to punish one or several neighbouring states whose discourtesy to the West went beyond the bounds of the permissible.”
As anti-colonial struggles of the 1950s and 60s weakened Britain’s and then the US’s hold on the Middle East, Israel saw its opportunity.
In 1967 Israel provoked a war with Jordan, Egypt and Syria—whose Arab nationalist governments threatened the US’s interests and were allied to Russia.
It defeated them all. This not only began Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, east Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Syrian Golan Heights. It also proved that Israel could use its militarily strength in the Middle East on the US’s behalf.
In return the US poured funding into Israel so it could build up its military.
US funding for Israel skyrocketed after this. During the 1960s, US military loans to Israel averaged £17 million a year. Between 1970 and 1974, that rose to £345 million.
In return, Israel has continued to serve the US in this way ever since. The US itself is explicit about this.
In 2008 its congress passed a law to ensure that Israel keeps a “qualitative military edge” over all other states in the Middle East. To make sure Israel’s military is the most powerful in other words.
That’s because Israel is, in the words of a US congress briefing, “a vital partner in the region.”
It adds, “US aid packages for Israel have reflected this calculation.”
In fact, the US has given at least £95 billion worth of aid to Israel—and this is increasingly in the form of military aid.
Israel’s economy is entirely dependent on this. Its own arms and tech industries, central to its economy, developed out of this.
Its protection of the US’s “strategic interests” has meant the US has had an important part in crushing Palestinian revolts.
Useful Link: https://www.aljazeera.com