Oy vey (Updated 6/6)

Good reading from smart people on this recent Israel/flotilla nonsense here, here and here.

“My country, right or wrong” is bad enough, but, “Another country I have no real relation to but for the manufactured one drilled into my head in perpetuity, right or wrong, even above the country I actually live in,” is a whole lot worse.

Maybe it’s because I don’t identify as a Jew at all, be it theologically or culturally, beyond being a fan of Seinfeld and the occasional bagel, but I never got sucked into the whole, “Israel is totally awesome and you must love and support it unconditionally” thing. And American Jews are indoctrinated into this line of thought from an early age, starting with Hebrew school and continuing with things like Birthright, a laughably transparent attempt to bribe teenagers into liking Israel with a free trip there to get fucked-the-fuck-up drunk.

Far too many otherwise sensible people hold to the belief that the Jewish state should be able to bleed America of treasure, national integrity and international standing ad infinitum, not to mention routinely shirk their obligation to international law and human rights. It’s nice to have a functioning democracy in the Middle East and all, but the bend-over-and-take-it relationship Israel is uniquely privy to with the United States is simply ridiculous, to say nothing of how decisively unbeneficial said relationship has been for us. Can you think of anything at all genuinely worthwhile that the United States has gotten in exchange for the exorbitant costs and and myriad headaches that come with being Israel’s closest and unconditional ally?

This should not be taken at all as a defense of terror tactics that Palestinian and Arab forces have been routinely deploying for decades. And I’m not going to touch on the overall Israel-Palestine brew-ha-ha here either. I just wish a lot of people would run this line of thought through their heads, asking themselves if they’d support their country engaging in such a one-sided, give-and-give relationship/liability with any other country but Israel:

I had it continuously drummed into my head from the time I was a small child, from every direction, that Israel was special and was to be cherished, that it’s fundamentally good but persecuted and victimized by Evil Arab forces surrounding it, that I am a part of that group and should see the world accordingly. Is this tribal identity which was pummeled into me from childhood — rather than some independent, dispassionate analysis — the reason I find myself perpetually sympathizing with and defending Israel?


Update: More excellent stuff here, discussing the all-but-ignored fact that an American citizen was one of the casualties aboard the ship; all-but-ignored because, hey, he was only a U.S. citizen by birth – it’s not like he was a real American.

So, to recap: Israel gets to act however the fuck it pleases, be it spurning the pragmatic counsel and requests of our president or murdering at point-blank range a lawfully protesting American citizen. In exchange for the privilege of this relationship with Israel we get to… pay them billions of dollars a year in foreign aid.

Is there such a thing as Battered Ally Syndrome?

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