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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Guest Commentary

US needs to remain on Israel’s side

In a column in Thursday’s edition of The Daily Cougar titled “U.S. needs to sit down for punch and pie with other countries,” columnist David Brooks portrayed the U.S.–Israel relationship as a liability to the safety of our troops.

The article concluded that the Israeli government’s policies endanger American troops and that Israeli “whims” subvert our foreign policy needs.

While it is certainly true that the U.S. and Israel will not agree on everything, open and contemptible disagreement is far more dangerous to our foreign policy agenda in the Middle East. The announcement regarding new construction in East Jerusalem made during Biden’s visit was recognized as a deeply regrettable incident, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately apologized for the timing of such an announcement.

As in any relationship, there will be times of tension and disagreement. However, disagreements between the U.S. and Israel should be handled directly and privately, in a manner befitting the close relationship between the two nations.

As Biden said during his trip, “Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the United States and Israel.”

The interests between the U.S. and Israel are not merely based on mutual qualities of democracy and freedom.

The U.S. and Israel face many of the same threats, including nuclear proliferation in Iran and state-sponsored terrorism. Israel has served as an anchor in the region, preserving moderate regimes without the type of deployment of U.S. forces required in Europe, East Asia, Iraq or Afghanistan.

If the goal is truly to advance U.S. foreign policy interests, we must remain inseparable from Israel.

The Israelis have taken steps toward peace; it’s time the U.S. demands the same of the Palestinians. Let’s not let this simple disagreement between two friends cloud our view of the real issues that are of paramount importance to U.S. foreign policy interests: the prospect of a nuclear Iran, the expansion of state-sponsored terrorism and the stabilization that Israel brings to the Middle East region.

What’s good for Israel is good for America’s foreign policy agenda, and all rhetoric aside, we should remain ever cognizant of this fact when future disagreements arise between these two great allies.

Open disagreement only sets the peace process back and emboldens those who wish to hurt the U.S. — outcomes that truly place our troops and our nation’s interests in danger.

Frank Carroll is a first-year law student and may be reached at [email protected]

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