HomeUS News updateIsrael's crisis over Palestinians and democracy strain U.S. support

Israel’s crisis over Palestinians and democracy strain U.S. support

So far, there is no indication that the Biden administration intends any substantive changes in its relationship with the Israeli government, beyond frequent public calls for de-escalation in the West Bank and gentle reminders about the importance of democratic institutions Is.

Even if the US opts for a change in policy, it is unclear whether it can compel Israel to change course.

A former senior Israeli government official said the emergence of a major threat to the country’s democracy was a “huge dilemma” for its closest ally. But the official said any US effort to influence elements of the relationship would likely be futile as Netanyahu now relies on them in a fragile alliance with right-wing parties to return to power.

The former official criticized the current prime minister on condition of anonymity, saying, “It is absolutely pointless at this point.” “Members of his own alliance are escalating the situation. He is not managing to control the members of the alliance.

Any US move to reduce or leverage support for Israel would undoubtedly draw fierce blowback from nearly all Republicans and many Democrats, not to mention conservative Jewish and evangelical groups in the US that are more supportive of Netanyahu’s approach.

The US may seek to impose conditions on billions of dollars in annual aid to Israel, much of it military. Yet conditioning aid to Israel is generally considered the third rail in American foreign policy, and even many lawmakers are now speaking out against Israel’s right-wing shift, opposing the move.

US support of – or at least a refusal to block – resolutions calling Israel on the world stage could be an option to signal a change in policy, as suggested by Kurtzer.

For Israel’s government, perhaps the most dangerous change so far in response to proposed judicial reforms has been economic, potentially jeopardizing its status as a Middle Eastern economic powerhouse that punches above its weight.

Last week former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a self-proclaimed Israel supporter, said some businessmen were already pulling their money out of the country or reconsidering investments.

“As the owner of a global company, I don’t blame them,” Bloomberg wrote in a New York Times op-ed titled “Israel Is Courting Disaster.”

Those concerns have already sent the shekel to its lowest level in years. US financial services firm JP Morgan, in an internal research memo first disclosed by Israeli media and obtained by NBC News, warned that the risks posed by the judicial plan could negatively affect Israel’s credit rating.

Another potentially explosive flashpoint is looming opposition to the judicial plan from elite members of Israel’s military, including more than three dozen reservist fighter pilots who have announced they express concern about serving a “dictatorial regime”. Will boycott a planned training.

Some reservists have raised concerns that, if Israel undermines its democratic institutions, the troops may be vulnerable to war crimes or other charges in global venues such as the International Criminal Court. The fact that Israel has an independent court system to properly handle such allegations has been a major Israeli defense in the past.

Dan Shapiro, US ambassador to Israel in the Obama administration and now a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council, said there could be further challenges to US security cooperation if the situation escalates into a full-fledged constitutional crisis with both Israel’s parliament and Supreme Court Are. To claim dominance over another.

“If this happens, then those in uniform will have to decide whose orders to follow. They can’t all make decisions in the same way,” Shapiro said. “In that scenario, US officials would not know who to coordinate with.”

The former senior Israeli official said the US is unlikely to make any dramatic changes, pointing to the 80-year-old president’s close friendship with Israel dating back decades as a US senator and then vice president. But young Democratic lawmakers have been quick to say that American cooperation with Israel is not guaranteed.

“There are few such friends of Israel now,” the former official said. “The biggest cause for concern should be the next generation of leaders.”



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