There is about to be a mistake. The only country in the region of which all the other countries are envious -- for opportunity, equal justice under law, freedom to speak without the 2 a.m. knock on the door -- has an election this week. Its citizens are tired of war -- right on schedule for its enemies' plans to destroy it. The Israelis are meant to be tired of war; that is why it is called "a war of attrition."
Many Israelis seem to be counting on some deeply wished-for love from the current U.S. Administration. What they may not want to see is that their unrequited love for the U.S. runs far deeper than any disagreement with Israel's current prime minister. Just ask Syria, ask Iraq, ask Yemen, ask Libya, ask Saudi Arabia, ask the Emirates, ask Kuwait, ask Egypt. The current U.S. Administration does not even send weapons to help; it sends meals-ready-to-eat, perhaps with the occasional unserious bombing, and tells others to do any serious work themselves. Israel and the rest of us in the region -- as Iran has already encircled all the oil fields and is now taking over Iraq -- have no more to look forward to than that.
The Israelis may be conning themselves into thinking that if they could just stay friendly with America, America will not "let Israel down" -- whatever that is supposed to mean. Perhaps they think that the U.S. will not let Iran acquire a nuclear weapons capability -- as the U.S. has been promising for twenty years. But the U.S. has already made clear that it will fast-track, or slow-track, Iran to nuclear weapons capability.
Or maybe it means that many Israelis think that if Iran does acquire nuclear weapons, if Israel could just offer up a more friendly face, the U.S. would, in a crisis, come to Israel's help.
They could not be more wrong.
Sadly, the current administration in Washington has reportedly already sabotaged several efforts by Israel to address its Iran problem. The current U.S. Administration seems to care about only one thing: making just about any deal with Iran. It does not even care about America, or it would never have enabled Iran to get as far along as it is now.
From some apparent self-infatuated fantasy of "landing a big one" -- luring the world's most medieval, genocidal, terror-promoting state to be a responsible member of the "family of nations" -- the current U.S. Administration will help exactly no one.
Hard as it may be for Israelis to believe, Israel's survival most likely does not figure into the current U.S. Administration's calculations at all. Israel was excluded from the P5+1 negotiations -- they might actually have insisted on not handing Iran a nuclear weapons capability, and ruined the current U.S. Administration's dream of turning the deadliest enemy of the "Big Satan" into its new-found friend -- like the wish of turning a prostitute into a doting wife.
The Israelis, of course, will vote for whomever they wish, but if they are voting with the thought that a new Prime Minister will save their country from being turned onto roadkill by the current U.S. Administration -- the world's next Sudetenland -- and that their current prime minister has been the problem, they have a nasty surprise coming. Everyone else has been lied to, misled, double-crossed, and tossed over the cliff – especially the American people themselves. The problem is not in whoever is Israel's Prime Minister. The problem is three thousand miles away, in a leadership that cares only about following in the footsteps of Neville Chamberlain returning from Munich: waving around a dangerous, illusory, non-existent "peace in our time." To the current U.S. leadership, Israel is just the next Sudetenland.
For its own fantasy of turning a voracious, extremist Islamic regime into the "stripper who becomes the girl next door," the current U.S. Administration will grant Iran its nuclear weapons. If they end up turned on Israel, so be it. No matter who wins the election this week in Israel, if and when Iran has a nuclear bomb, there is not a thing the current U.S. Administration will do to help Israel. The Israelis will have only themselves to rely on.
Bassam Tawil is a scholar based on the Middle East.