Israel did not think it was in its interest to allow a democratically elected Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza to be in its economic and military interests. A coup likely supported by Bush and Cheney put the corrupt Fatah back in power, but Hamas still was able to hold on to Gaza.
Both military and economic supplies such as food and medical treatment supplies were largely denied until world pressure was put on Israel to allow both smuggling and border monitoring to get some, but inadequate supplies through.
In the understandable policy to keep all Jews safe, Jews from all countries were recruited to live in Israel which for the long-term may not survive due to inadequate water and oil to be completely independent of the world. It seems that Israeli politicians should understand this.
Although it has a military with more firepower than NATO, extending its supply line to fight away from home will become less possible with a weakening of ties to the USA due to needed economic cooperation with other states with some not to friendly to Israel such as the Oil states in the MiddleEast.
Israel has many very talented people who can go on to more productive efforts to build their economy by being friends with the Arab and Muslim community instead of just the opposite. By building the economic strength of the Arab countries, a mutually beneficial endeavor, the Israelis can secure their future. So much brains, but so much paranoia, a problem too prevalent in many Americans too!
Jim Kawakami, June 8, 2010, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com
Israelis Acts in Its Own Interest Militarily Because Arabs’ Impotence Pose No Risk Washington Note, June 8, 2010, http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2010/06/limiting_israel/ In the aftermath of the Flotilla crisis, many U.S. commentators have suggested that the United States needs to make clear to Israel that there are limits to the kinds of behavior that Washington can accept.
It is time Israel realized that it has obligations to the United States, as well as the United States to Israel, and that it become far more careful about the extent to which it test the limits of U.S. patience and exploits the support of American Jews. This does not mean taking a single action that undercuts Israeli security, but it does mean realizing that Israel should show enough discretion to reflect the fact that it is a tertiary U.S. strategic interest in a complex and demanding world.
Most states' actions are limited not by their allies, but by their adversaries. Implicit in Cordesman's argument is an assumption that Israel's adversaries have little capacity to restrict Israel's freedom of action.
Stratfor's George Friedman published an interesting piece today in which he explains the internal divisions among Israel's foes that prevent them from effectively restricting Israeli behavior in the region.
From his piece:
Nations base their actions on risks and rewards. The configuration of the Palestinians and Arabs rewards Israeli assertiveness and provides few rewards for caution. The Israelis do not see global hostility toward Israel translating into a meaningful threat because the Arab reality cancels it out. Therefore, relieving pressure on Hamas makes no sense to the Israelis. Doing so would be as likely to alienate Fatah and Egypt as it would to satisfy the Swedes, for example. As Israel has less interest in the Swedes than in Egypt and Fatah, it proceeds as it has. …
Friedman's entire article can be read here.
-- Ben Katcher