Israel enjoys a special relationship with the United States that dates back to its founding. That relationship, however, is sometimes a double-edged sword.
Most of the time, it works to Israel’s benefit. Still, the U.S. State Department, which opposed the creation of Israel, often treats Israel differently than any other democratic government by singling it out for criticism. If Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) behaved the same way towards the United States, news reports might sound something like this:
The MFA spokesperson said the Government of Israel expresses its condolences to the families of the massacre victims at the school in Uvalde, Texas. She also noted that the rate of gun deaths in Israel is about two per 100,000 residents compared to 12 per 100,000 in the United States, and the number of firearms per 100 Israelis is less than seven compared to more than 120 in the United States.
“In Israel, most Israeli men and women serve in the military, so they have been trained in the proper use of firearms,” she added. “Still, they cannot get permits for weapons until they are 21. Those without military training must wait until they are 27. Even then, applicants for licenses must typically work in security-related fields or live in a dangerous area.”
The spokesperson suggested the United States could learn from Israel’s experience, where applicants must go through a security check, take a shooting and gun safety course, and get a doctor to certify that they do not have a mental illness and are not taking it any medication that could impair alertness. In contrast to the ease of obtaining a gun in the U.S., 40% of all applications are rejected by the government.
Following a report of a U.S. drone strike that killed members of a wedding party in Somalia, the foreign minister called for a thorough investigation of the incident and said that military operations should be carried out with extreme care to avoid civilian casualties.
In response to President Joe Biden’s declaration that the United States would defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression, the MFA spokesperson said that China and the United States should “do everything possible to deescalate tensions.”
President Biden’s refusal to supply fighter jets to Ukraine prompted the MFA spokesperson to declare that this was a reminder of America’s failure to bomb the concentration camps during World War II when thousands of lives could have been saved.
After police shot yet another unarmed black man in the United States, the MFA spokesperson called on the United States to enact police reforms to prevent such tragedies.
In response to news reports of thousands of people at the Mexico-U.S. border living in horrendous conditions, the MFA called on the U.S. government to take urgent action to relieve the humanitarian crisis.
A spokesperson for the MFA criticized the American administration today for its unwillingness to support Iranians protesting against the oppressive government in Tehran. “We can’t understand why the world’s beacon of democracy would not stand behind the people of Iran who want freedom from the ayatollahs,” the spokesperson stated.
With FBI agents locked in a standoff with a white supremacist who killed a police officer, a spokesperson for the MFA called for the United States “to exercise restraint and avoid any aggressive action that might cause additional injuries.”
As rioting spread across cities in the United States in response to the killing of George Floyd, the Israeli government called on the administration to ensure that police responded with proportionate force.
A spokesperson for the MFA expressed disappointment following the disclosure of a draft decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to outlaw abortion. “We believe that women should have the right to an abortion if they meet certain criteria such as cases of incest or rape. If the United States were to reverse Roe vs. Wade, it would be a giant step backward for women’s rights in a country looked to as an example for personal freedom.”
The MFA expressed concern over continuing U.S. sanctions against Cuba. “While we understand the desire to pressure the Cuban government, this amounts to collective punishment that is causing the suffering of the Cuban people. We encourage the administration to negotiate with the Cuban government to achieve a peace agreement.”
The deportation of thousands of illegal immigrants to Mexico prompted the MFA to issue a statement today urging the United States and Mexico to do nothing that would jeopardize their relationship.
The MFA spokesperson criticized the administration for requiring that Israelis acquire visas for entry into the United States while most Europeans are not required to obtain them. “We are fellow democracies and allies, and we don’t understand why the U.S. government continues to treat Israel differently.”
As tensions escalated between the United States and Russia, the MFA announced that it had drawn up a peace plan that urged the United States, as the stronger party, to make a series of concessions to reduce the chance of nuclear war. The MFA has proposed, for example, that the United States reject the NATO applications of Finland and Sweden and agree to a reduction of troops in Europe. “The United States must avoid actions Russia may see as provocative. Peace between the two countries is only possible if the United States recognizes the legitimate security concerns of the Russians.”
How do you think Americans would react to being treated the way they treat Israelis?
Mitchell Bard is a foreign-policy analyst and an authority on U.S.-Israel relations who has written and edited 22 books, including “The Arab Lobby, Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam’s War Against the Jews” and “After Anatevka: Tevye in Palestine.”