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American Thinker
American Thinker
21 Oct 2023
Matthew G. Andersson

NextImg:What Israel and the US Have in Common

Much is often said about Israel and the United States being natural allies, but that is usually not accompanied by much detail.  There are many cultural ties, including religion, of course, and intriguing economic similarities, especially in their respective social instincts for entrepreneurialism, technology, and capital markets.  Israel and the United States are also “New World” countries, formed in large part on the basis of religious and political freedom.

At a current national security level, the two countries share a similar strategic threat from enemies at their borders and, in some respects, enemies internally.  In the case of Israel, like the current United States, it was its southern border that was recently penetrated by invaders (at the Kerem Shalom checkpoint near Egypt, among other locations).  Moreover, its northern flank, like in the U.S., is also exposed, and to its east looms a vast land mass of hostile interests that can encroach through an unstable Iraq, right up to Israel’s lines of defense.  The U.S faces similar risks from the equivalent of a foreign sea power that can (and does) mass up and down its eastern Atlantic seaboard, and also along its entire western Pacific coast.  Invasion access is abundant and maintaining security a constant responsibility.  Both counties are surrounded by national security threats, and that includes the third dimension of airspace, including space.

What both countries really share, however, is hatred from outside.  It is a hate based in many ways on envy.  Israel has many successes to claim, while also hosting a social culture utterly unlike its neighbors that surround it, who are still psychologically tied to customs and thought patterns rooted in centuries-old belief.  This includes the treatment of women, for example, as well as the full panoply of human rights, law and economics, and their respective institutions. 

The U.S. is also similarly hated by much of the world.  If you travel to Europe, you often encounter an attitude from western Europeans (interestingly, not generally from eastern and central ones) who harbor a contempt for “American” ways.  If you travel still farther to parts of Asia, the state of mind there may be more pragmatic but also much more dangerous: China, unlike France and Germany, has possession of economic and trade power, combined with the military prowess and numbers, to overwhelm the U.S.

With a weak if nonexistent commander in chief, the risk is radically heightened.  (One can only imagine what Netanyahu was thinking as he saw Biden hobble down the stairs of Air Force One recently.)  But the U.S. has also naïvely accommodated an internal political enemy that seeks to dismantle and replace much of its functions, while retaining merely some of its forms (its legal system is an example).

What Israel and the U.S. do not have in common, however, is also instructive: leadership and resolve.  Say what you may about Netanyahu, but if the U.S. were “Israel,” our southern border would likely be fully patrolled if not sealed, with the north carefully guarded.  And if the border were breached — and the U.S. has been breached — his instinct might be to retaliate.  Instead, the U.S. facilitates.

The current U.S. instinct is also to accommodate in an unprecedented way: the thousands of illegal entrants who are being explicitly and illegally shipped into the U.S. interior daily are, in many ways, a silent “Hamas” that can accomplish the same goals, only in a more subtle if not insidious manner: a slow-kill assault on American culture and its security that has at the core of its political and private sponsorship a profound hatred of America, combined with envy and, perhaps ironically, a lust for its spoils, property, and symbols of prestige.

Israel, on the other hand, retains a sharp instinct for self-preservation.  The United States may have this instinct in a latent form, and as Edmund Burke once noted, colonial Americans could “smell the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze.”  It may be the colonial spirit that can best tie the U.S. and Israel together because it is a spirit rooted in a strong culture of independence, along with resolve for combat.  Both countries however, also run the risk of losing civilian control of their respective military dominance, while simultaneously fighting an internal domestic battle among political and other special interests that have divergent national ambitions, which can result in the loss of territorial, economic, and cultural sovereignty. 

America and Israel both share enemies, foreign and domestic, who seek to “wipe them off the map.”  (Some of these enemies are consolidated within our own domestic national institutions.  Our university system, for example, acts in significant ways as a network of political camps.)

In both countries, international law and order is threatened by radical ideology seeking to both undermine social order, and weaken or even destroy national economies.  Israel’s realpolitik and self-preservation cause it to undertake immediate self-defense.  The U.S. must do the same: a joint U.S.-IL war on terror means the eradication of Hamas and all its manner and forms of sponsorship, and at the same time, the suppression and neutralization of a highly organized radical leftism embedded within the U.S. political party apparatus.  The two terror sources can be seen as a combined threat that must be comprehensively uprooted as a precondition to regional stabilities and international law and order.

Matthew G. Andersson is a former CEO and author of the upcoming book Legally Blind concerning ideological effects on law and policy.  He was an executive adviser with the aerospace and defense practice of Booz Allen Hamilton and has testified before the U.S. Senate.  He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and studied with White House national security advisor W.W. Rostow at the LBJ School of public Affairs.

Image via Picryl.