U.S. should cut off all aid to Israel until it seriously starts to pursue a two-state solution

FILE — The U.S. Capitol in Washington, as protestors gather for a pro-Israel march on Nov. 14, 2023. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times)

The seemingly indiscriminate bombardment of Palestinians that many consider genocide has brought renewed attention to the special U.S.-Israel relationship, which has become increasingly unquestioned over the decades.

Early in the Cold War, there was apprehension about getting too close to Israel on the grounds that it may sour relations with Arab and Muslim populations, potentially warming them to the Soviet Union. But Israel eventually demonstrated strategic value with military victories over Soviet beneficiaries, helping to drain the resources of the communist bulwark. However, considering the pushback from Muslim and Arab leaders, these gains seem less impressive. For example, the 1973 Arab oil embargo, which quadrupled the price of oil and strained U.S. relations with its western allies, was a protest of U.S. military aid to Israel during the October War (LaFeber).

With the Cold War rationale expired, the current line is that Israel is indispensable as a partner against terrorism. In considering this, one should evaluate the motivations of Islamic terrorists. For example, according to Osama bin Laden’s public statements, he was largely motivated by the plight of the colonized Palestinians. Even if his words belied his personal reasons, the use of this rhetoric is evidence of what a useful recruitment tool the occupation is for would-be terrorists. Taking this into account, the argument for the special relationship becomes somewhat circular, as we are in many cases facing enemies born from our ties to Israel (Mearsheimer).

With Israel’s great wealth and military power, the $3 billion annually that the Jewish state receives from the U.S., along with our nearly unlimited diplomatic support, is plainly bizarre. Rationality would dictate that we cut off all forms of aid not until a credible ceasefire is arranged, but until Israel seriously starts to pursue a two-state solution, which the U.S. formally endorses.

Ryan Channell, Draper

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