Israel – America’s Biggest Frenemy

Today [November 24, 2014] is the deadline for the closing of a deal with Iran regarding their nuclear program. No one should be surprised that Israel is marking this deadline with a threat to attack Iran regardless of the outcome of the negotiations. As the Jerusalem Post is reporting on its front page:

"Israel has issued a stark, public warning to its allies with a clear argument: Current proposals guarantee the perpetuation of a crisis, backing Israel into a corner from which military force against Iran provides the only logical exit."

This is a lie, and is widely recognized as such: the Israelis don’t have the military capacity to take out all the Iranian nuclear sites without American assistance. Aside from that, however, they never attack those capable of hitting back in any significant way, so we can write off this latest threat as just so much kvetching. Yet one has to wonder: is this the way an ally is supposed to act – never mind one that we enjoy a purported "special relationship" with?

The reality is that Israel is our biggest frenemy.

For decades the Israelis have lived off our largesse without having to offer anything of value in return – unless Israeli interference in American politics is considered of value. We’ve handed them over $3 billion a year in tribute, stood by while they subjected their Palestinian helots to conditions not seen since South Africa’s apartheid, and smiled tolerantly, as one would at an obstreperous child, while they noisily spat in our faces at every opportunity. And what have we gotten in return? Insults, interference, and outright threats – not to mention one of the most effective (and obnoxious) spying operations conducted on our soil by a foreign power.

For years, the War Party has been accusing Tehran of running a secret nuclear weapons program, although no convincing evidence of this has ever been produced. The Israelis and their international assets – notably the MEK terrorist group – have done their best to doctor up convincing forgeries, albeit to no avail. They’ve run all kinds of interference in order to prevent the normalization of US-Iranian relations. Their goal: to ensure that Israel’s regional monopoly on nuclear weapons remains intact.

Aside from North Korea, Israel is the only nuclear power that has managed to get away with thumbing its nose at the international community over this issue. The Iranians submitting themselves to a strict inspections regime will doubtless turn the world’s attention to the weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Israel’s leadership – a political class increasingly seen as extremist by outsiders. Steadfastly refusing to sign the Nonproliferation Treaty, along with North Korea, the Israelis have managed to maintain what is referred to as "nuclear ambiguity," but there is absolutely nothing ambiguous about the destructive power of their arsenal.

"Ambiguity" is not a concept that applies to Israel these days. There’s no doubt about where they stand – or what they are becoming. Their latest shtick: taking out the part about being a democracy in their Basic Law, and putting in "no Arabs need apply." Or, as The Age puts it: "

"The proposal would mean Israel would no longer be defined in its Basic Laws as ‘Jewish and democratic’ but instead as ‘the national homeland of the Jewish people.’"

What the great Israeli classical liberal Yeshayahu Leibowitz rightly called the "Judeo-Nazi" trend in that country’s political life has now come to the forefront: they aren’t pretending to be the Gallant Little Democracy of the Middle East any more. Nope, they’re coming out of the closet as ethno-religious fanatics, just like their opposite numbers a few kilometers away in the Islamic State. In tandem with the new law, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the introduction of legislation stripping "anti-Israel" Arab activists of their Israeli citizenship, along with their entire families. And so the Jewish State of Israel in the Levant – JSIL – is born.

In the past, the Israel lobby has offered a number of arguments in favor of maintaining the US-Israeli "special relationship." And while strategic military and geopolitical factors were a big part of their routine during the cold war era, with the collapse of communism this became less important and so a new party line was trotted out: the claim that we share important values with the Israelis, especially those associated with liberal democracy, i.e. tolerance, diversity, etc. Yet the truth of the matter is that Israel is no longer a liberal democracy: indeed, as they tighten the screws on their Palestinian untermenschen, the Jewish State in the Levant is becoming the mirror image of its authoritarian Arab neighbors.

In politics as in real estate, the dominant factor is location, location, location. In choosing the Middle East as the site of their "Jewish nation," the early Zionists ensured that their state would eventually lose touch with its European roots and become just another Oriental despotism. The Jewish settlers are said to have transformed the land, but in reality the opposite occurred: the land transformed them.

The Israelis think they are immune from condemnation: they think they can get away with torturing the Palestinians, provoking endless wars, and engaging in the kind of blatant racism that gets Hungary sanctioned as an "illiberal" state. And given the behavior of the political class in America and the West, they have every reason to think this kind of "Israeli exceptionalism" is going to hold, but they are living inside an illusion.

The Israel lobby is losing its grip: the American people – previously inclined to support Israel no matter what – show signs of waking up to the danger posed by our Israel-centric foreign policy. In Europe, where the Israel lobby has always been weaker, they are in real trouble. The Israelis’ recent slaughter in Gaza has done much to open the eyes of a new generation to real nature of the Jewish State in the Levant. That’s why the boycott and divestment campaign aimed at Israel is taking hold, despite the frantic efforts of Israel’s amen corner to smear and even outlaw it. (Yes, the illiberal policies of the Jewish State in the Levant are even seeping into the United States – a revolting prospect, indeed.)

Israel today is a tyranny on the order of the old South Africa, with one added factor: they are armed with nuclear weapons. As such, the Israelis represent a threat to the peace of the world, one far more dangerous than Iran will ever be. Their pernicious influence on American politics is the biggest arrow in the War Party’s quiver. In the end, as Americans rebel against the regime of perpetual war, this will be their undoing.


You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.

I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).

You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.

Author: Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo passed away on June 27, 2019. He was the co-founder and editorial director of, and was a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He was a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and wrote a monthly column for Chronicles. He was the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].