A new Israeli study into the historical role of the United States in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has concluded that America no longer has “need” of the Jewish state, and that the ongoing “special relationship” between the two allies is a relic of the past maintained today by political dynamics in Congress.
Conducted by Dan Rotem of the Center for Middle East Peace in Washington, the study was presented on Tuesday at Netanya Academic College. In it, Rotem suggested that American involvement in the Middle East in the 20th century was driven by energy-related interests and regional rivalries resulting from the global confrontation of the Cold War.
The study then examined the complex subject of American mediation in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, as well as the internal dynamics of the “special relationship” between Israel and the US.
Rotem concluded that over time, as America became increasingly liberal and ethnically diverse, even as Israel grew more conservative and ethnocentric, Washington came to the determination that it no longer had need of Israel as a kind of military or political “forward position” in the Middle East.
In light of that, it was further concluded that America had not exhausted its ability to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Rotem suggested that Washington do some genuine soul searching regarding its goals in the Israeli-Arab conflict and what it wants to achieve in the region.
Subsequently, the US should examine whether or not it is truly prepared to take the steps necessary to achieve those goals. For instance, the two parties to the conflict have taken on certain obligations in existing agreements, and non-compliance should result in real consequences.
America’s credibility in the Middle East is very much tied to the perception of whether or not it has mediated fairly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
At the end of the day, if there is a disconnect between what America wants to accomplish and what it is willing to do, then it would be better to return to the drawing table and find an alternative way forward.