Speculation about the US and Israel — What if We Withdrew Support?

There are a couple of possible scenarios. One of them is that we treat Israel the way we treat, say, Cuba. We don’t sell them weapons or give them aid. Another is that we treat Israel the way we treat almost all countries — that we sell weapons, maybe give some aid, but base these on behavior. We could withdraw aid and weapons if they violate certain terms.

If we did those, Israel would not just evaporate, leaving empty space for Palestinians to dance about and fight with each other over whose grandparents had which plot of land in 1948. Israel would find an alternative source of support and arms.

Probably Russia.

The downside for Israel is different for different Israeli populations. The liberal Ashkenazim would be horrified, but the rest, maybe not so much. Since Russia controls Syria and is cozy with Iran, maybe they could show off being this great world power by forcing some kind of peace deal. They could pressure Israel to have technology transfers, which would be a huge boon for Russia. Russia could have access to the world’s most advanced technology without having to give its population the freedom to develop it itself.

We know the US has very little leverage on Iran. It might have had some if Trump had not scuttled the Iran Nuclear deal, though some think that the Obama administration was hallucinating if it thought it had any leverage in the first place. I like to think that Obama was extending a hand to the Iranian people, in the hopes of driving a wedge between them and their reactionary government. What do I know, I wasn’t in the room, but that’s what it looked like to me. I don’t think that Obama’s team was delusional enough to think it could offer the Revolutionary Guard anything they’d want. When Trump scuttled the deal, the Iranian people understood they had no allies in the US.

What the US would lose if this happened, I’m not so sure. Jewish votes for Democrats? I don’t think so, but maybe. Maybe the 1.5% Arab vote, concentrated in a swing state, matters more than the 2% Jewish vote concentrated in Blue states.

If not Russia, then Turkey and China?