Cite: Waxman, The Real Problem in U.S.–Israeli Relations

Waxman, Dov. “The Real Problem in U.S.–Israeli Relations.” Washington Quarterly 35.2 (2012): 71-87.





The real debate is not over whether Obama is pro-Israel enough. The real debate we should be having is: how much do U.S. and Israeli interests in the Middle East really overlap today? Put simply, the fundamental problem in U.S.—Israeli relations is not a matter of individuals, however important they may be, but increasingly divergent interests.

As two states of very different size in very different areas, and with very different capabilities (one a superpower, the other a regional power), it should be expected that the United States and Israel will not agree on everything and will sometimes have different concerns. The sooner we are able to recognize this fact, the sooner we will be able to have a more productive discussion about
U.S.—Israeli relations. Given the tensions that will continue to surface in this relationship, regardless of who gets elected president in November, it is essential that we are able to have this discussion. Without it, misunderstandings and resentments on both sides will steadily accumulate and gradually sour the U.S.—Israeli relationship. For the sake of that relationship, therefore, more honesty and openness are badly needed, and less partisan polemics.

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