Despite what her Arab neighbors claim, Israel’s existence in the Middle East has been the focus of their scorn since she was conceived as the world’s only Jewish-majority state.
Israel’s 8,522 square miles make it smaller than the U.S. state of Massachusetts. It has a population just under eight million, making it smaller than New York City.
But this tiny strip of land is some of the most hotly-contested real estate in the world.
Israel is one of the few countries on Earth where vast portions of the country are considered “disputed territory.” Israel is also completely surrounded by enemies. Some of the countries that claim her land are Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
Many people believe the U.S. should stop playing games (especially Israelis) and do what we have to do to strengthen ties with one of our greatest allies.
Saying the situation in the Middle East is perilous is not groundbreaking; with all of the turmoil and governments on the brink of collapse recently, there are several nations that could be under new leadership in the coming year that might try to provoke Israel into war or outright attack her.
Many also believe the U.S.-Israel relationship is mutually beneficial, and if the two nations lift each other up, they will not only survive—but thrive in the coming years and well into the 21st century.
This means that despite how the U.S. media and the Arab nations spin the issue, Israel should have support from the U.S. and the undeniable right to defend herself.
Although Middle Eastern nations are not of one simple mindset and the situation is a very delicate balance of rivalries and special interests between countries, many of them are more than willing to put aside their differences to defeat the “Little Satan” (Israel) and the “Great Satan” (the U.S.).
This does not mean that all Middle East countries are out to get us or our long-time ally.
But there has been an alarming double-standard from the international community when it comes to Israel’s right to defend herself. It seems that it is perfectly okay for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) (which for all sakes and purposes, is a terrorist organization) to hurl rockets at innocent Israelis.
But when Israel defends herself, such as the case with Arab nations trying to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza with their “freedom flotilla,” the international community brings on their predictable, manufactured condemnation.
President Barack Obama has done nothing more than cozy up to some of the countries that despise the U.S., while neglecting to maintain traditional good relations with Israel.
President Obama recently endorsed the pre-1967 borders as a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But after a stern lecture about security concerns and how unrealistic this notion would be from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama appeared to back away from his comments.
In order for Israel to return to the pre-1967 borders, she would be required to cede the West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza.
But many also believe the fate of both the U.S. and Israel are tied together.
The world’s political boundaries were dramatically re-drawn when the Axis Powers were defeated by the Allies after World War II.
The United Kingdom promised the Jewish people a state of their own after Nazi Germany was defeated and the atrocities of the Holocaust were beginning to become well-known throughout the world.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was sympathetic toward a Jewish state in the Middle East. When he died during his fourth term in office, he was succeeded by President Harry Truman, who decided to pressure the U.K. into keeping their commitment to the Jewish people.
If not for the determination of President Truman, the U.K. might have simply backed out of this deal, and it is doubtful the Jewish people would have gotten their promised land at all.
On May 14, 1948, the land of Israel was declared a sovereign and independent state.
The next day, she was invaded by neighboring Arab states. That alone should show the audacity and seriousness of Israel’s enemies.
This is why it is important the U.S. stand by Israel, and not bow to international pressure to force Israel to the bargaining table. Land-for-peace deals have never worked. Why should Israel constantly give concessions when it is unlikely the other side will do the same?
When Yasser Arafat, former PLO Executive Committee Chairman, had a chance to form a Palestinian state during the final month of President Bill Clinton’s second term, he turned the deal down. If he or the PLO really just wanted land for the Palestinian people, they would have taken the deal.
The PLO and neighboring Arab states might guarantee peace in the Middle East for a while. But in the end, the goal of the PLO is to not only create a Palestinian state, but also destroy the very concept of “Israel” from existence and drive the Jewish people into the Mediterranean Sea.
As Israel’s greatest ally, the U.S. should be conscious of this during any upcoming negotiations.
(Casey Cheap is a 2009 MCCC graduate now attending the University of Toledo).