Friday, April 29, 2016


The weird thing about U.S.-Israel relations is that while on the surface it looks like it should be a normal patron state-client state relationship, with the U.S. functioning as the patron and Israel functioning as the client state. After all, the U.S. is the larger and stronger country that gives Israel an enormous military aid package. Usually in such situations, the client state tries hard not to rock the boat with its patron and considers it a political priority to avoid insulting the political leadership of the patron-state for fear of losing the benefits from its patron.

But because of the internal politics of the U.S., that relationship is completely upside-down, with Israel brazenly demanding that its sugar-daddy put more even more sugar on the table. The only reason it gets away with it is because it is unacceptable for an American politician to be anything other than strongly pro-Israel (with "pro-Israel" defined in a way that, in my mind at least, does not actually help Israel in the long term). While most leaders of client states would never dare act like Netanyahu does towards the U.S. President because it would endanger their aid package, Bibi gets away with it because in our political culture it is simply unacceptable for a mainstream American politician to be against Israeli militarism, or to criticize Israel in any serious way.