*The nation state of Israel is at the center of the most of America’s foreign policy problems and the war on terror as both pertain to the Middle East.
The state of Israel, with its establishment in 1948 came at a time when the United States was beginning to step into its role as the most powerful country on earth and at the onset of America’s global conflict with the Soviet Union. And because of this timing the United States made a strong show of supporting Israel and attempting to influence international relations in that region of the world in a way that would benefit Israel.
President Eisenhower (1953-1961) based his Cold War policy around those concepts.
In doing so the United States made enemies throughout the region among countries that were religiously predisposed to oppose Israel. But America also angered those nations that were more secular in nature but didn’t appreciate being treated as pawns in the Cold War.
Essentially the establishment of Israel led to America’s pro-Israel stance, which led to opposition among other nations in that part of the world toward not only Israel but also the United States. Fast forward 25 years and America’s policies yielded a hostage crisis in Iran which led to American support of Iraq and Soviet aggression in Afghanistan led to American support of Afghan militias.
Today the situation has morphed into two massive military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan that are draining American funds and manpower. In addition, outside of North Korea, the American position of battling terrorism is concentrated in Western Asia.
Because of the reality that the United States is the richest country in the world, it cannot cease to be a target. But the easiest way to decrease the likelihood of attacks on America would be to help to establish a Palestinian state. Doing so would forward American interests in several ways.
First, it would elevate the United States’ reputation among those Middle Eastern nations that are religiously opposed to Israel because it is a Jewish nation on what they perceive to be Muslim lands. Palestine would a Muslim country reclaiming some of that land.
Second, for the countries that contest the United States driving policy in the Middle East, American support of Palestine would probably be the only instance of American intervention they would defend.
Third, there is popular support for Palestine in the international community as evidenced by the response to their delegations attempt to be seated at the United Nations. Sponsoring Palestinian nationhood would only enhance America’s good standing among the nations of the world outside of the Middle East. These three effects would lessen the need for a war on terror.
The Cold War dominated American foreign policy for the second half of the 20th century. But the United States has not totally divorced itself from its Cold War positions. The support for a nation state for refugee Palestinians would illustrate a fresh outlook and forward American interests. It’s time.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected]