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Chickensh** vs Bullsh**: America's Israeli Dilema

Updated on October 31, 2014

Much Ado

On October 28th, The Atlantic ran Jeffrey Goldburg's article in which an anonymous senior White House official referred to Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu as "chickensh**." What ensued was pure theatre, with the likes of Senator Ted Cruz mounting a campaign on Twitter calling for the immediate firing of whomever made the comment. Ridiculous.

Of course, no one stopped to question whether or not the criticism was even warranted, and in fact, the official's reasoning was greatly ignored. No one in the media or in public office dared entertain the possibility that Netanyahu's continued expansion of Israeli settlements ever further into the West Bank was seriously compromising America's attempts at brokering a peace agreement in the region; that perhaps this disparaging remark, though distasteful, may have carried some merit. No. No one had the spine. Because Israel today has become America's "Golden Calf."

Posturing, Pandering, and All-Around Patronizing

Sen. Ted Cruz demands the firing of WH staff
Sen. Ted Cruz demands the firing of WH staff | Source
Demonstrators rally against siege in Gaza, March 15th, 2008. London, England.
Demonstrators rally against siege in Gaza, March 15th, 2008. London, England. | Source

America's Identity Crisis

Why the outrage? All Americans - yes, even those working within the hallowed halls of the White House - have a 1st Amendment right to speak to the press anonymously. You would think that no one would understand and champion this right more than freedom-loving Americans, especially those on the Right, who claim "Individual Liberty" as a tenet of their political ideology. But Conservative opinion on FaceBook and Twitter have been largely against not just what the official said, but his (or her) right to even say it.

Hysterical cries of "Israel is our greatest ally!" have drowned out all reason or logical discourse, successfully protecting Netanyahu from genuine critique and from an honest examination of Israel's policies. The truth is that few Americans are privy to Israeli politics, or to the fact that many Israelis do not, in fact, support their government's actions; much like Tea Party and Occupy activists in the United States, not every Israeli is a Netanyahu fan.

So how is it that so many Americans are? I've read many comments from Americans stating that they'd rather have "Bibi" as POTUS than Obama. It seems that there has been a great idealizing of Benjamin Netanyahu amongst certain circles in the U.S., completely ignoring the fact that Netanyahu's tactics have not always worked in America's favor, and have many times worked against it.

But somehow, Americans today have equated "standing with Israel" with the highest form of patriotism, although they are hard pressed to explain what one has to do with the other, or why this alliance would trump even the 1st Amendment rights of our very own citizens.

Speak Out!

Is it time that America reassess the conditions of her alliance with Israel?

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American Interests vs Foreign Alliances

The fear of terrorism and the barbaric actions of Middle Eastern jihadists such as ISIS and al Qaeda have only served to create a reactionary America - one that oftentimes advocates for policies that only further aggravate an already tentative situation.

No one is claiming that Israel doesn't have the right to defend itself; of course it does. But are American tax payers responsible to fund its defense forever? And if we are going to foot the bill, doesn't that give us the right to set down some rules of conduct, in order to curb the costs of never-ending war?

Yes Israel is an ally, but who is stopping to question whether or not Israel's policies are working in conjunction with American interests? Who is willing to delve into the root causes of terror, and why America needs "allies" in the Middle East to begin with? Yes we can regurgitate general and misleading answers such as "they hate our freedom," but we are reaching an economic threshold in this country in which we can no longer accept generalities as truths, nor allies as sacred cows.

Israeli/Palestinian Map, 1917 - 2012



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    • nadia asencio profile image

      nadia asencio 3 years ago from miami, fl

      Thank you for your comments; this is a complicated issue, but one that Americans must address with honesty and data, not talking points and emotions. As American citizens, nothing should trump the welfare of our nation and of her people - not Israel, not anything. #TeamUSA

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 3 years ago from USA

      Israel is an ally against who? What are you talking about? What did its closer neighbors do to us? Enough of this narrative...

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      You are a quality writer and state your case with welcome candor. I just joined the ranks of your followers. I agree that the inevitable "Two State Solution" has not been well served by Israel's unilateral building of more and more properties, and you didn't even mention that Palestinians might have as much right to defend themselves as do Israelis.