Netanyahu Looks East

By Fred Ehrman

June 15, 2016

President Obama with his own Weltanschauung of a world fighting "colonialism" and its vestiges, and standing up for the "oppressed", has jettisoned some of America's historical allies. At the same time he has embraced nations who he considers capable of weakening those who in his view have been part of that old colonial world. In the Middle East that translates to creating "daylight" with Israel and the Gulf States and embracing Iran and Turkey. He would like to see a Persian hegemon dominating its eponymous Gulf and embracing Recep Erdogan who is replacing the formerly secular state with an Islamic foundation, and is a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. It symbolically meant as one of Obama's first acts as president was to remove the bust of Churchill from the Oval Office.

The possibility exists that the United States will not exercise its veto power directed to a Security Council resolution that attempts to impose a Palestinian State based on the 1967 boundaries with East Jerusalem as its capital, after the November elections. Prime Minister Netanyahu  therefore has needed to turn to the East, seeking other major powers who may understand Israel's geopolitical issues and stand with her, while benefitting from the many advantages Israel can offer them. Nations almost always act in their own national self interest. So Netanyahu has been building up relations with China, Russia and India, the former two also having veto power in the United Nations Security Council.

It can be seen that the United States is no longer the same nation it was in the half century post World War Two. A strong American military and the only super-power after the demise of the Soviet Union 25 years ago, allowed for Pax Americana to achieve relative world peace and for much of this period was a staunch ally of Israel. The anti-Vietnam riots of the late sixties with the Woodstock generation affecting much of the youth, led those who went into academia to affect the campuses a generation and a half later. The professors in most institutions of higher learning today tend strongly to a progressive agenda, with a very different view of the world than those of their predecessors of the 50's and 60's. It has come to the point where opinions that run counter to the political left are frequently not allowed to voice their views, in an environment that historically encouraged the free exchange of ideas. It has become a form of  academic Fascism, with a politically correct mindset  alone that is tolerated. The indoctrination of the student bodies who will be the future leaders of America a generation hence leaves little hope for a course correction that will restore the nation to the period following the Greatest Generation of the 1940s. It would have been impossible until now for a Socialist senior citizen like Bernie Sanders to become a contender for the leadership of one of the two major parties in the U.S. Although he will probably not be the Democratic Party nominee (barring an event to disqualify Hillary Clinton), his influence on the party's policies will be considerable. The Jewish candidate submitting two strongly anti-Israel pro-Palestinian members to the platform committee assures that a weakening of the previously almost unanimous support of the Jewish State. will be the result. Sanders strongest supporters are the younger generation, many of whom cannot even define the meaning of Socialism. If Obama brought change to America, Sanders pledges to totally "Transform" the nation. It is a good bet that America 30 years from now will more resemble France or Sweden than the America of 30 years ago. Sanders may be having his 15 months of fame, but his ideology will affect the nation going forward as much as Ronald Reagan did in the period of his presidency and the years following.  

Realpolitik therefore requires Benjamin Netanyahu to no longer keep all of Israel's eggs in the American basket. Although the U.S. will remain Israel's most important ally, its reliability is no long completely assured. China and Russia have their own reasons for reducing the "daylight" that separated them from Israel. Israel, the Startup Nation and as a world leader in technology and the dominant military power in its region has much to offer. Its strategic location between Asia and Africa is of great interest to those nations. The widening gulf between Western Europe and the U.S. and Israel, sparks an attraction that did not previously exist. China has been flexing its muscles in the South China Sea, with the weakened U.S. Seventh Fleet as the main obstacle to its total domination of Southeast Asia. Russia's Putin has the goal of reconstituting the Soviet Union, and his moves in Iraq and Syria, gaining a port on the Mediterranean, and strengthening ties with Iran, is his thrust to the south. Israeli ties, with a million former citizens of the Soviet Union now living in that nation, would be another interesting card in his hand.

So Israel, in its battle against BDS, a French "Peace" initiative that has future rounds to play out, and a counter-punch against the attempt to isolate that small nation, is expanding its horizons to assure that the attempt to strangle it diplomatically and economically fails. Prime Minister Netanyahu is drawing new cards into his hand, and obviously has his eyes wide open.