WRITINGS (5732-33) (1971-73)
THERE ARE NO ALLIES
August 4, 1972
“Assyria will not save us, we will not ride on (Egyptian) horses.”
Fifteen years ago, in the midst of a military crises, Israel found for herself a good friend and ally, France, in the midst of a bitter struggle with Algeria, Morocco and the Arab world, extended aid, military supplies and all manner of needed help. Paris became a beloved name inside Israel and Jews from Ben Gurion to Peres to the Jew in the street – blessed the memory of La Belle France. Here was a staunch ally, our rod and our staff, our fortress in time of need. Friendship missions and societies sprouted and endless toasts were drunk to the eternal friendship of the Jewish and French people that was irrevocable and would endure for years to come.
To a differentiate a thousand times, the Franco-Israel alliance was no more enduring than Hitler’s dream of a Third Reich destined to stand for a thousand years. Within the space of a few years the alliance was not only in tatters but France had become the closest friend of our enemy and by realpolitick extension – our own enemy.
The arms shipments, the jet planes, the diplomatic support all stopped and the friendship Societies stood embarrassingly naked. In place of love there was now mutual recrimination and the Grand alliance was dead.
There is a lesson to be learned from this, one that is hardly new nor very complex. It is indeed a lesson in realpolitick that is universal but much more so to the Jew.
Nations pursue foreign policies that are based not upon love, admiration or respect for the particular political, social or economic structure of a fellow state. They do not plan their relationships on the basis of pity for a small state or sympathy for its plight. Self-interest is the key to policy decisions and, regardless of the ideology of the government; there is only one question that is asked when a decision must be made as to relationships:
“Is it good for us?”
Fanatically Marxist Peking will oppose freedom seeking Bangladesh and support oligarchal , imperialist Pakistan because Chinese interests so dictate. Trade with racist Rhodesia will be pursued by the “Workers state”, the Soviet Union, because it needs certain materials for its economy. Alliances and treaties can be made by democracies with Franco Spain and Communist Yugoslavia because the dictates of military needs (air bases) or political considerations (breaching the communist world) so call for. Deadly enemies of yesterday become bosom friends of today because the perpetually changing conditions so decree. It is good for a nation to befriend a ‘nice’ country it will do so; if it is beneficial to throw it to the wolves, it will – albeit reluctantly – NOT HESITATE TO DO SO.
France supported Israel not out of love of Mordechai but from hatred of the Arab Haman. It was a time when French interests dictated a policy of weakening the Arabs, and Israel was the French tool in that process. Too many Jews, and Israelis, still plagued with the need to believe that goyim love us for ourselves, fell victim to the illusion of French Judophiles. Such people are continually shocked by their eternal disillusionment.
It is against this background that the abrupt departure of Soviet personnel from Egypt must be analyzed (yes, the same process of political chess takes place among non-Jews, too). Yesterday there was nothing but love and eternal alliance between Moscow and Cairo; today, there is, at least, a dramatic cooling of the ardor. Jews are happy; it is a good thing for Israel. Perhaps. But perhaps the lesson that we continually forget is put before us through this event.
Just as the Egyptian ally has disappointed Anwar Sadat so could the same thing happen to Israel and, indeed, who can say how much the Egyptian move will impel such a thing? Who can say with authority, today, what effect the partial reverse for the USSR will have on American policy in the Middle East? What will happen when Egypt makes approaches to the United States on the following basis:
The Soviets are leaving and the threat to the West in the Middle East has been reduced. Here is your opportunity to regain Arab friendship (and lessen the threat to your oil). Here is your chance to defuse the threat to peace in the region. We are prepared to be reasonable and it is up to you to persuade Israel to do the same.”
Have we so soon forgotten that less than a year ago the Rogers Plan was being forced down Israel’s throat and that NO PHANTOMS WERE BEING SHIPPED TO Israel? Have we so soon forgotten that little more than half-a-year ago Secretary of State Rogers was bitterly referring to Israel as a state that was internally falling apart? Do we fail to remember that talk of an imposed peace on the Middle East was seriously engaged in by worried Israelis and that Israel was prepared to pull back from the canal – under intense American pressure? In short, has the memory of an America and a Richard Nixon pressuring Israel to return to the insane borders of 1967 with precious little firm guarantees, slipped from us?
Richard Nixon, as all national leaders, looks out for what he considers to be national interests. It is not admiration for Golda Meir that impels him to sell military goods to Israel but rather the hardnosed and carefully thought out deliberations that persuaded him – TEMPORARILY – that American interests coincided with those of Israel. On the day that Nixon is convinced that this is no longer true our eternal American ally will be a great deal less than that.
Of course, McGovern is a disaster for Israel under ANY AND ALL CIRCUMSTANCES since his idea of what is good for America is a policy that would throw small states like Israel to the wolves. But to recognize the menace of a McGovern is not to persuade ourselves that Nixon is the friend of the Jews. Nixon is the friend of America and primarily the friend of Nixon. He does and will do what all-national leaders do- what is best for himself and his own country.
That policy dictates a readiness to shift any given policy line at a moment’s notice (witness the incredible political betrayal of the Japanese who were truly staunch allies of the United States). America’s Middle Eastern line may have ALREADY begun to veer closer to Egypt and let us prepare for the worst – always.
No nation has any permanent allies. This is the foundation of foundations of Realpolitick. For the Jew, the normal process is escalated by his Jewishness and the readiness of non-Jews to look, more than normally, for reasons NOT to support Israel. Neither Assyria nor Egypt of old were reliable staffs upon which the ancient Jew could lean. Neither America nor any other state will ever be a permanent or reliable ally. There are no permanent allies.
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