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Why is it in the United State's national Interest to care what's happening between Israel and Palestine?

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  • Does the wikipedia page answer the question? Or are you looking for something more specific?
    – Bobson
    Jul 21 '14 at 19:28
  • Because a nuclear war in the middle east will definitely affect the US and our allies. Jul 21 '14 at 20:08
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    so far this question has been upvoted 5 times and downvoted 6 times. People who downvote should say why. Jul 21 '14 at 21:56
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    Man, I could answer this question, but I only have very tenuous sources for my response, so I'll just say in a comment: There are domestic politics reasons, like an influential Jewish lobby and religious motivations by evangelical Christians, and Israel also represents foreign policy interests, as it fights terrorism and is the only liberal democracy in the middle east. It might be worth reading Michael Oren's book on this subject: amazon.com/Power-Faith-Fantasy-America-Present/dp/0393330303
    – Publius
    Jul 22 '14 at 1:49
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    I downvoted because its a poor question. Though I did not vote to close because it is on topic and answerable. Had you included some details of your understanding of the situation and what made you think it should not be in our interest then the question would be much better. Jul 22 '14 at 13:09
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  1. Geopolitics.

    • Israel is historically (after the switcheroo of 1960s alinements) America's beachhead in Middle East, in contrast to Soviet-client (these days Russia but no big difference) Arab states.

      Why is America interested in Middle East? First, oil. Second, to prevent another hegemon (USSR/Russia; or regional like Turkey or Iran) from taking influence over the entire region and harnessing its resources.

      If you're asking "What's the big deal", remember that Osama Bin Laden's main, and explicitly stated, beef with USA that led to 9/11 was basing US miliary in Saudi Arabia; and its relationship with Saudi rulers. As such, imagine if Israel isn't there. USA would have to have MUCH closer ties and explicit military relationships with other countries in Middle-East... so we get all sorts of local Osama's objecting to that to a higher degree than now.

    • Israel serves as a useful flashpoint for terrorism and Muslim anger. In case you forgot, USA's a "great Satan" and Israel is merely "little Satan". If Israel's gone, USA no longer has a flashpoint to deflect this, and becomes primary target.


  2. Military industrial mutual symbiotism.

    • USA gets to have access to cutting edge Israeli military technology and research (see enhancements Israel demanded to Bradley for a very random example).

    • USA gets to field-test its military hardware in real combat situations

    • USA has a ready-made market for its military-industrial complex (a vast majority of money from USA's foreign aid, is gotten on a condition of spending that money right back in the States on military purchases).

      • As a side effect of that, USA gets to enforce on Israeli's military industrial complext the right to veto ANY arms sales; which happens either when USA doesn't want some advanced technology being given to potential opponent; OR when that sale would constitute a competitive challenge to USA's sales).
    • This one's more in Geopolitics column, but USA has stockpiles of reserve hardware in Israel. In case of rapid theatre deployment needs, they don't need to worry about transporting that hardware across the globe, merely flying in personnel.


  3. Internal politics.

    • As I noted with references on another answer on this site; US Evangelicals (a super powerful demographics whose most recent leader was G.W. Bush) are strongly pro-Israel for theological reasons.

    • Another distinct pro-Israeli slice is moderate liberals who feel guilt over Holocaust.

    • Another somewhat distinct slice is non-Evangelical right-wing people who like Israel for being a democracy in an Middl-Eastern ocean of dictatorships or simply for being on - as they see it - Western Civilization's side in the conflict of civilizations (I'll leave aside whether that's a correct representation but the thinking definitely informs a sizable chunk of population).

    In all fairness, this isn't "national interest" column, but it's a reality that a representative democracy like USA can not ignore no matter objective interests.

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    If Israel's gone, USA no longer has a flashpoint to deflect this, and becomes primary target. - That the key right there more than anything else I think. The other points are icing on that cake. Jul 22 '14 at 13:10
  • @dvk all right then I am new to the site here however bare with me , with my limited english and with my limited politics information, anyway I do agree usa is in the middeleast for oil and to prevent other countries to control the region and aslo isreal dream of its jews land (its in the history). USA support and created the 'anger musslims' they support kaaida and DAESH , because there goal is to make chaoes in the region like iraq and pakastan and theyv never supported palestinian.
    – Moudiz
    Jul 22 '14 at 13:40
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    the problem with the western is they are preventing any country in the middeleast to be strong , to have heavy industries or economic indepedent or even they are afraid such contries to control the oil. thats why they always creates war in middleast and africa so people stay weak and powerful countries such as france and usa suck people resources. why then made they made sykes-picot ? middel east are just colonies.
    – Moudiz
    Jul 22 '14 at 13:45
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    @DVK I think this answer is largely correct but could really benefit from some sources. And I may be misinterpreting this, but "moderate liberals who feel guilt over the holocaust" implies that there aren't other liberal reasons to support Israel when it is pretty much impossible to be consistently liberal and not to: blog.writerofwrongs.net/2011/03/… (also, it could use support from poll data). Add some sources and I'll probably upvote.
    – Publius
    Jul 23 '14 at 2:07
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    @DVK I recognize there are people on the far left who are anti-Israel, but that doesn't itself imply any general statement, much less the one you were making.
    – Publius
    Jul 24 '14 at 23:40

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