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[RD] War in Gaza: News Thread

The US is allies with Israel, so the US can't and won't abandon Israel entirely.
The US can, whether it will is doubtful

Its very little to do with the morality or lack thereof of any particular course of action Israel takes currently, and more likely to do with the long-term principle of maintaining the alliance with Israel and projecting a reputation globally of maintaining the alliance.
Who said anything different?

like wondering why China or North Korea doesn't just abandon Russia... Why would they abandon their ally?
China and North Korea aren't allied with Russia, much as like the US tries to portray a united axis of evil just frothing at the mouth to destroy Western civilization

What would the US gain by abandoning Israel? What major/critical allies has the US lost by supporting Israel? What superior potential allies would the US gain by abandoning Israel?
What does the US gain from propping up what is effectively an imperial outpost at odds with all its neighbours and more or less with the Global South?

Why don't major wester US allies, like Britain, France, Germany for example, announce that they are abandoning the US and/or NATO over the Israel/Gaza conflict, to punish the US for supporting Israel? So much focus gets placed on what the US should do to pressure Israel. What about what other major US allies should do to pressure the US? If Israel's conduct in Gaza is the US's fault... then isn't the US support of Israel the UK (and France and Germany and everyone else in NATO)'s fault? If not why not? Why would the rest of NATO get a pass?
Who says the rest of NATO should get a pass? But do you really think the degree of support the rest of NATO provide is in any way comparable in terms of substance and significance to the support provided by the US?
 
That view seems by definition, simpler and therefore less complicated. In a different context, I would expect an assertion that defining/describing a region's "politics" are more complicated than just stopping at individual votes/elections.

Does not make sense, since, again, less factors is less complicated not more complicated. In any case, the votes were listed first, before any other demographics, so I don't know how that could be interpreted as anything but making the demographics secondary... absent some preconception and/or predetermined conclusion.

It would be pretty odd though... to deny that thinks like demographics play a role in US politics... it would seem to be a bit of a stretch, really... ostensibly in furtherance/service of a point/argument that would tend to ring false.
It's not like you're wrong.

But people know what they're taught. Forts fight. Their world is complicated, too. Just in the ways of forts.
 
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What does the US gain from propping up what is effectively an imperial outpost at odds with all its neighbours and more or less with the Global South?
Oil.

More specifically, the US maintains a staunch ally and strong strategic foothold/position in the oil-rich Middle East.

So again... the US stands to gain nothing from abandoning Israel. That's what I've started to notice gets missed in all these discussions... Why should the US damage its relationship with Israel, to increase its efforts/pressure to stop Israel's invasion of Gaza? What tangible benefit does the United States of America get out of that?
Who says the rest of NATO should get a pass?
They are getting a pass... from everyone who blames the US for Israel's actions without noting that the rest of NATO isn't doing much to persuade the US to do otherwise. Out of all of NATO, Turkey is taking the strongest anti-Israel stance, and they've done basically nothing but make faces and call Israel names. Again, the country that has done the most to sanction and or restrain Israel is the US... but in response the US receives no recognition for that... the US gets nothing but criticism... including from countries that are doing nothing.
But do you really think the degree of support the rest of NATO provide is in any way comparable in terms of substance and significance to the support provided by the US?
The relative support of each NATO member for Israel isn't what I'm talking about. Its the imperative on NATO allies to put pressure on the US to do whatever it is folks imagine the US should be doing about Israel.
The US can, whether it will is doubtful
It won't... because it would be diplomatically foolish to abandon such an important ally. So "can't" and "won't" are essentially the same in this context. There is no strategically compelling reason to abandon Israel, and plenty of reasons not to.
Let's not pretend that Israel is a superpower. If the US actually forced sanctions on them, it'd be the end and it would come very quickly. Israel has roughly the size of the Peloponnese, and even that includes a whole lot of desert; it's not Russia.
They'd also have a very hard time finding trading partners, given US sanctions=EU follows suit and they don't have many supporters outside the west either.
They can build some stuff, but there's a world of difference between building some stuff and being able to replenish everything.
What has Greece done to stop Israel? What has Greece done to persuade the US to stop Israel? Or to persuade other NATO allies to put pressure on the US? This is not only a rhetorical question. If Greece has done anything I would really be interested to hear about it. For example, are any NATO allies threatening to leave the alliance over Gaza?
 
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The relative support of each NATO member for Israel isn't what I'm talking about. Its the imperative on NATO allies to put pressure on the US to do whatever it is folks imagine the US should be doing about Israel.
Will the dog turn on its master?

Oil.

More specifically, the US maintains a staunch ally and strong strategic foothold/position in the oil-rich Middle East.
Israel's presence allows US access to oil?
 
For my part, I didn't say "you personally" and any implication that I did would be a strawman.

I'm not talking about "you personally", I specifically referenced the nations. NATO allies particularly.

Are any NATO allies telling the US "Either abandon Israel or we leave NATO... It's them or us"?

Thinking about it some more... I can imagine a scenario where the US government would choose Israel over NATO... I don't think that scenario currently exists, but I think it may be possible with the right circumstances/administration in place.
Israel's presence allows US access to oil?
Yes, however I'd say "improves" or "advantages" or "enhances", or "increases" rather than "allows". The US produces its own oil after all.
 
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What has Greece done to stop Israel? What has Greece done to persuade the US to stop Israel? Or to persuade other NATO allies to put pressure on the US? This is not only a rhetorical question. If Greece has done anything I would really be interested to hear about it. For example, are any NATO allies threatening to leave the alliance over Gaza?
As Gorbles said, there is simply a vast difference in power between the US and Eu countries, so asking what the latter do typically isn't really poignant :) Imagine that if the US wanted sanctions, Eu would obey, but not the other way around (assuming Eu would even dare do something like that without checking with the US, which currently it would not).
 
As Gorbles said,
I didn't say anything about "you personally"
there is simply a vast difference in power between the US and Eu countries
I agree.
so asking what the latter do typically isn't really poignant
I disagree.
Imagine that if the US wanted sanctions, Eu would obey
Maybe, but as I've already pointed out. The US has already imposed sanctions. That the sanctions weren't good enough for folks doesn't negate that. Has the EU "obeyed" or followed suit?
but not the other way around
Again, I disagree. If all the NATO allies started imposing the kind of sanctions on Israel that would satisfy you as being good/strong enough, that might persuade the US to follow suit... but that is a still a separate matter from what I am talking about.

What I am thinking about, is what would happen if NATO allies started sanctioning the US, to pressure the US to stop supporting Israel. Why doesn't Greece (or any other NATO ally) do that?
(assuming Eu would even dare do something like that without checking with the US, which currently it would not).
Who's fault it that? Is that the US's fault too?
 
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European Commission said:
The EU is Israel’s biggest trade partner, accounting for 28.8% of its trade in goods in 2022. 31.9% of Israel’s imports came from the EU, and 25.6% of the country’s exports went to the EU.

Total trade in goods between the EU and Israel in 2022 amounted to €46.8 billion. The EU’s imports from Israel were worth €17.5 billion and were led by machinery and transport equipment (€7.6 billion, 43.5%), chemicals (€3.5 billion, 20.1%), and other manufactured goods (€1.9 billion, 11.1%). The EU’s exports to Israel amounted to €12.2 billion and were dominated by machinery and transport equipment (€12.3 billion, 41.9%), chemicals (€5.1 billion, 17.6%), and other manufactured goods (€3.5 billion, 12.1%).
I found a white paper (should open as a .pdf) published by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, which puts U.S. imports from Israel in 2022 at $21.4 billion and exports to Israel at $14.2 billion, which suggests maybe the US was Israel's biggest trading partner, unless I'm doing to conversion from dollars to Euros wrong. Either way, it's close. Also, I believe all of the above is regular trade, and doesn't include or account for military aid. In both cases, exports to Israel are less than 1% of total exports for both the US (0.7%) and the EU (0.8%). Obviously, 0.7-0.8% is not nothing, when you're talking billions, and the burden of that would be born by those companies, industries, and financial sectors that conduct that trade, but I assume if the governments wanted to involve themselves they could assure those companies that their exports would go somewhere else at a fair price. Machinery and transport equipment. Chemicals. Would anybody besides Israel like some European machinery, transport equipment, and chemicals? I'd wager there might be some interest.
 
If you look how difficult it was to negotiate sanctions against Russia, chances of doing so against Israel are close to zero, remember you need agreement from all EU member states here...
 
For my part, I didn't say "you personally" and any implication that I did would be a strawman.
And asking what Greece (for example) has done about Israel is whataboutism and a direct attempt to deflect responsibility from the US. Hope this helps!

If you look how difficult it was to negotiate sanctions against Russia, chances of doing so against Israel are close to zero, remember you need agreement from all EU member states here...
It's still a decent suggestion though, just like sanctions against Russia were (and are). It's up to reality to make that happen, but here in this thread, it's not a bad idea.
 
Well it's not like nothing can be done, but without EU agreement, you just shift the flow of goods a bit,


The media investigation revealed that a legal loophole had allowed arms transit to continue, with the military material sent from New York and stopping in Liège en route to Tel Aviv.

Shipments were handled by Challenge Airlines, an airfreight logistics company which operates predominantly via transit hubs in Israel, Malta, and Belgium. The company's CEO, Yossi Shoukroun, is himself an Israeli national.

Others are mostly symbolic,

 
U.S. Congressional Research Service - Sanctions Primer: How the United States Uses Restrictive Mechanisms to Advance Foreign Policy or National Security Objectives (link opens a .pdf)

CRS said:
Congress and the executive branch may impose coercive measures—largely using economic restrictions—against a foreign government or specific individuals and entities to deter or altogether change objectionable behavior of that government, individual, or entity. Such measures are commonly referred to as sanctions. The power to impose economic sanctions is derived through legislation, including the laws establishing emergency authorities given to the President, as well as legislation authorizing or requiring sanctions related to specific U.S. foreign policy or national security objectives.
For an example, see Wikipedia's page on the 1986 Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act. This was 24 years after the United Nations passed Resolution 1761 (Wikipedia again), and 9 years after a General Motors board member published The Sullivan Principles (more Wikipedia), which helped spur the popular divestment campaigns in the U.S. Divestment from South Africa by U.S. colleges and universities was scattershot, throughout the 1980s. The biggest one was in 1986, when the University of California system withdrew $3 billion (about $8.5b today), not just from South Africa, but from businesses that did business in South Africa.

If an international divestment campaign against Israel were to ramp up today and follow a similar timeline - and there's absolutely no reason to think it would, because South Africa held relatively minor religious, cultural, and geopolitical importance to anyone outside South Africa - we could expect significant economic impacts on Israel maybe in 2060.

Beginning in the 1960s, the African diaspora in the United States began to agitate against Apartheid*. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech on it in 1965. Muhammad Ali made an appearance at the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid in 1978. I don't know who the comparable public sociopolitical figures in the Palestinian, Arab, or Muslim diaspora here might be, and I don't know whether or not the Arab or Muslim diaspora here has a collective identity comparable to that of the African-American community, so I'm not even sure it's even a valid comparison. DJ Khaled and the Hadid sisters are perhaps the highest-profile Palestinian-American pop-culture celebrities. I don't know if they're outspoken about Gaza, because they're not on my cultural radar. As a fan of MMA, I also happen to know that Belal Muhammad is Palestinian-American, but I wouldn't expect many people to even know who he is, and I don't know if he's particularly outspoken on political issues, I don't follow him on social media or anything, I only watch him compete.

(I also know that the UFC censors its broadcasts and videos of anything related to Gaza, such as when Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev, a Dagestani muslim, flew the Palestinian flag after winning a fight. I've heard that images of him with the flag have been scrubbed from videos of that event. I guess there's no telling how many other Right-Wing American businesses and organizations are similarly silencing support for Palestine. I only know about the UFC's censoring because of a Canadian MMA journalist, who happens to be of Egyptian, Syrian, and Lebanese descent.)


* [EDIT] Actually, the African-American awareness of Apartheid began before that. Paul Robeson and Bayard Rustin (and others, but they're the most famous) founded the American Committe on Africa in 1953.
 
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And asking what Greece (for example) has done about Israel is whataboutism and a direct attempt to deflect responsibility from the US. Hope this helps!
Greece is one (of multiple) NATO allies of the US. I mentioned Greece specifically, because Kyr is from Greece so he is in a much better position than me to be knowledgeable about it, but Greece is just another member of NATO. Characterizing my discussion of what NATO ally nations have or have not done to pressure the US (on support for Israel) as asking ""what have you done personally to stop Israel" was strawmanning. Trying to gloss over that by then reframing it as Greece (for example) when what was clearly said was "what have you done personally" is goalpost-switching, and a direct attempt to deflect accountability for strawmanning. Hope this helps!

Also, my original post/discussion wasn't even directed at you, so I'm not even sure what your point is... even if I'd said "you personally", which I didn't.. I wasn't even talking to you. The person I was talking to, @Kyriakos (along with others) seemed to understand my point, just as I fully understand his. No one is trying to "deflect responsibility from the US". I've been clear throughout these discussions about the role/responsibility the US bears in the situation. You seem to be projecting a role onto me again. Finally, the following is a little surreal, given your above post I quoted:
If all the NATO allies started imposing the kind of sanctions on Israel that would satisfy you as being good/strong enough, that might persuade the US to follow suit...
If you look how difficult it was to negotiate sanctions against Russia, chances of doing so against Israel are close to zero, remember you need agreement from all EU member states here...
It's still a decent suggestion though, just like sanctions against Russia were (and are). It's up to reality to make that happen, but here in this thread, it's not a bad idea.
What was a decent suggestion? For NATO allies to start negotiating sanctions against Israel? That was my suggestion... which you seem to dismiss as "whataboutism" :confused: So which is it?
 
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It's easy to see that it's all about the US, if you hypothesize the following:
-US takes a stance against Israel, Greece automatically does the same (and the Eu is, in this way, all a group of Hellenic republics) :)
The Eu doesn't have a foreign policy which is independent of the US. This has been made clear in much more important cases than this.
 
It's easy to see that it's all about the US, if you hypothesize the following:
-US takes a stance against Israel, Greece automatically does the same (and the Eu is, in this way, all a group of Hellenic republics) :)
The Eu doesn't have a foreign policy which is independent of the US. This has been made clear in much larger cases than this.
But that's kind of circular, isn't it? Its like saying that if we presume that its all about the US... then its easy to see that its all about the US. :p

ie., "Its easy to see that its all about US if we presume the following:
- What ever US does, others (like Greece) will follow suit.
- The EU policy is dependent on US. It is known.
"
Of course if we assume those, we can reach that conclusion... but that isn't very meaningful is it?

I don't think there is any disagreement between us that the US is the "leader" of NATO and the global superpower, so the US role is going to be the largest/most powerful in many issues, Israel/Gaza included. I also think we are on the same page that the US is Israel's greatest patron, benefactor, supporter, etc., so the US has the most influence and greatest opportunity, relative to any other country, to influence Israel on this Gaza invasion.

What I am focused on, is going beyond that part, which I think is pretty obvious to us, and probably most folks engaged in discussion of the greater issue.

The grass is green, OK, so now that we agree that the grass is green, can we discuss the reasons that some other blades of grass are yellow, brown, etc?
No the grass is green! You're deflecting!! Whataboutism!!!
*sigh* Yes I agree that the grass is green generally, but its boring to just keep asserting the obvious over and over. Can we now discuss some of the secondary and tertiary issues going on?


One thing I am interested in discussing, something that I think has been a blind spot in these discussions, is what are the reasons, if any, that the US should/would be interested in aiding the Palestinians generally, and/or specifically stopping Israel from smashing Gaza? Up to this point on this thread, that seems to have been taken for granted as self-evident, without much discussion/justification. Another thing I'd like to hear thoughts on, is what opportunity NATO allies have to pressure the US into taking action towards Israel and why they are or are not doing so?

"Its the US's fault!!" has already been asserted ad-nauseum... So fine, sure... but can we discuss any deeper than that? Can we say anything besides "Its the US's fault!!" over and over, with different wording?
 
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Another thing I'd like to hear thoughts on, is what opportunity NATO allies have to pressure the US into taking action towards Israel and why they are or are not doing so?
Insufficient popular outrage in their domestic countries. Threshold and intensity.

Threshold: is Israel too harsh in Gaza? Binary question. In Europe, the consensus appears to be 1.

Intensity: how morally outraged are they? Not binary, 1-10 scale. Ehhhhh. 3, maybe 4.

A happy American is more valuable than an angry one, and the low intensity of outrage doesn't necessitate any action. Foreign policy flows from domestic opinion.
 
There's far too much animosity and mutual fear between these two groups of people for this plan to be at all realistic.

edit: some more points
Article is far too pessimistic on Israel, from nearly start to finish. It overestimates sympathy for Palestinians and underestimates sympathy for Israel. It underestimates the IDF, and overestimates Iran.
 
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Can we say anything besides "Its the US's fault!!" over and over, with different wording?
Why should we? They're continuing to provide the lion's share of diplomatic, economic and military support. This situation is ongoing, and continues to be.

What is the focus on the US, if not that pressure on the US you're asking for? However small and localised to this forum? It's exactly the sentiment you're suggesting other countries should apply. Why do you object to it, wordsmith around it, and frame people's remarks so disingenuously, if it's something you're actually asking for in the first place?

Nobody's forcing you to read or contribute in this thread. You do it of your own accord. Presumably because you want something out of it. The fact that you find the answers disagreeable doesn't mean that you're not getting answers.
 
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