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The relationship between neocons and Israel

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    Please only reply to this if you know what you're talking about or studying politics/IR.

    Neoconservatives believe that democracies make the world a safer place for the US. I've only recently read an article that has explained why they think this, and it's basically because democratic states have less room for manoeuvre than autocracies and thus that a democratic world is creates a more level playing field and hence a safer world for the US.

    I was just wondering about the relationship between neoconservatives and Israel and wondering if any of you could offer your thoughts. If Israel is “the only democracy in the Middle East” (although clearly this is no longer true what with Egypt) then the relationship between neoconservatives and Israel at first seems easy to understand. However Israel certainly does not have less room for manoeuvre than its Arab neighbours, and frequently acts in a way that makes its regime type seem irrelevant. Surely this should undermine the whole neoconservative belief that democracies are somehow constrained in what they do? Surely, too, the fact that the US basically does what it wants in its relations with other countries despite it being democratic makes the whole neoconservative agenda seem ironic? I really don't understand how anyone could truly believe that democracies are therefore by default 'safer' for the US and can't avoid the conclusion that neoconservative philosophy is just a pretext for ulterior, possibly realist but politically unacceptable or 'immoral' motives.

    Thanks for anyone who bothered to read that!
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    I think what you're referring to is the democratic peace theory. It has a couple of variations but the basic idea is that democracies don't go to war with each other, therefore the world would be a more secure place if there were more democracies. This is either because democracies have less maneuvering space, as you say, or because the checks and balances within democracies make war an unlikely option.

    Assuming we're talking about a Middle East where Israel is the only democracy, Israel is the best ally for the US in that region because they're a democracy and thus unlikely to attack the US. In terms of relations with non-democracies, the DPT doesn't really have much to say except that democracies and non-democracies still go to war with each other (because the checks and balances are less prohibitive, autocracies are more "unhinged" and need to be pre-empted etc.). So it's irrelevant from the US point of view whether Israel is at war with other countries that aren't democracies because all they care about is Israel's peaceful behavior towards other democracies.

    I hope this makes sense, it's Saturday night and I've been drinking.


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    It's my understanding that the restrictions on the actions of a democracy come in this instance from the fact that it is, to some degree, accountable to it's citizens. Therefore when you cite how the US "does what it wants" etc this doesn't really invalidate the point because it is accountable to Americans, not to the rest of the world, so if Americans want something, then it is not restrained in doing this. I think as well that a closer study of Israel would reveal it to be very constrained by public opinion; the early end to the most recent Lebanon War is generally the go-to example in this case.

    There are also other reasons why neoconservatives believe that a world of democracies is safer for America. Anti-Americanism (and anti-Israel'ism') is seen as something that is fueled by repressive regimes who need to distract their populaces from their own oppression and poverty. Thus if these countries were free, democratic, and prosperous, there would be less hate for America and Israel.
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    (Original post by cloclo93)
    the fact that the US basically does what it wants in its relations with other countries despite it being democratic makes the whole neoconservative agenda seem ironic?
    Welcome to US foreign policies.
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    I don't mind a close relationship but the relationship between U.S neocons in particular with Israel just seems so obsessive compulsive it's frightening. In the U.S it's almost a given that you never criticise Israel in the mainstream media and if you do, you'll regret doing it for a long while.
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    (Original post by Spaz Man)
    I don't mind a close relationship but the relationship between U.S neocons in particular with Israel just seems so obsessive compulsive it's frightening. In the U.S it's almost a given that you never criticise Israel in the mainstream media and if you do, you'll regret doing it for a long while.
    This is just bull****, it's like a fad now to criticize the mainstream media for something. If you do a little research, you would realize that some of America's biggest networks have been accused of being anti-Israeli by Zionist. This is exactly like the BBC where both sides proclaim bias. People who are pro-Israeli spouting it's anti-Israeli and people who are anti-Israeli spouting it's pro-Israeli. I guess that's what happens when you go for neutrality route and not Fox-Style opinionated journalism. Neither of you who accuse the mainstream media of bias on certain events have much evidence.
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    (Original post by cloclo93)
    Please only reply to this if you know what you're talking about or studying politics/IR.

    Neoconservatives believe that democracies make the world a safer place for the US. I've only recently read an article that has explained why they think this, and it's basically because democratic states have less room for manoeuvre than autocracies and thus that a democratic world is creates a more level playing field and hence a safer world for the US.

    I was just wondering about the relationship between neoconservatives and Israel and wondering if any of you could offer your thoughts. If Israel is “the only democracy in the Middle East” (although clearly this is no longer true what with Egypt) then the relationship between neoconservatives and Israel at first seems easy to understand. However Israel certainly does not have less room for manoeuvre than its Arab neighbours, and frequently acts in a way that makes its regime type seem irrelevant. Surely this should undermine the whole neoconservative belief that democracies are somehow constrained in what they do? Surely, too, the fact that the US basically does what it wants in its relations with other countries despite it being democratic makes the whole neoconservative agenda seem ironic? I really don't understand how anyone could truly believe that democracies are therefore by default 'safer' for the US and can't avoid the conclusion that neoconservative philosophy is just a pretext for ulterior, possibly realist but politically unacceptable or 'immoral' motives.

    Thanks for anyone who bothered to read that!
    arent people who study IR supposed to be unbiased or at least clever? you could say that about ANY country. the British government does far worse things than the Israeli government
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    The US doesn't give a damn about countries being democracies or not. They can have whatever system they want as long as they do as they're told by Washington. You don't need to know a lot about the history of US foreign policy to know that.
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    Israel, according to Baruch Kimmerling, is a Herrenvolk democracy where, despite the State's power encompassing the whole of Israel and the Occupied Territories, Palestinians are expected to contribute to the symbiotic Israel-Palestinian economy while also laying happy in a state of subjugation.
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    (Original post by Brussels_Junta)
    arent people who study IR supposed to be unbiased or at least clever? you could say that about ANY country. the British government does far worse things than the Israeli government
    How is it relevant what other countries do? My point was that Israel being a democracy doesn't necessarily mean it is constrained as neoconservatives seem to believe. This doesn't mean I think it does whatever it wants more than any other country. Talk about touchy.
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    (Original post by Annoying-Mouse)
    This is just bull****, it's like a fad now to criticize the mainstream media for something. If you do a little research, you would realize that some of America's biggest networks have been accused of being anti-Israeli by Zionist. This is exactly like the BBC where both sides proclaim bias. People who are pro-Israeli spouting it's anti-Israeli and people who are anti-Israeli spouting it's pro-Israeli. I guess that's what happens when you go for neutrality route and not Fox-Style opinionated journalism. Neither of you who accuse the mainstream media of bias on certain events have much evidence.
    Well in terms of reporting, the MSM always lets us know when, how, why and where an Israeli has died but always very rarely reports Palestinians dying as headlines.
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    I don't think that Neocon's fully understands why they support Israel. It has to be understood, that democracy has nothing to do with it...
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    (Original post by Electrodude)
    I don't think that Neocon's fully understands why they support Israel. It has to be understood, that democracy has nothing to do with it...
    1. Because Israel's a useful pawn to run the region from.
    2. Because it's easier to get together support for Israel than say, Egypt due to the religious fundies in the US.
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    (Original post by Suetonius)
    Israel, according to Baruch Kimmerling, is a Herrenvolk democracy where, despite the State's power encompassing the whole of Israel and the Occupied Territories, Palestinians are expected to contribute to the symbiotic Israel-Palestinian economy while also laying happy in a state of subjugation.
    Oh, a Nazi analogy by Kimmerling. The surprise of that knocked me sideways.
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    (Original post by Spaz Man)
    Well in terms of reporting, the MSM always lets us know when, how, why and where an Israeli has died but always very rarely reports Palestinians dying as headlines.
    You have just made the point you are responding to. The exact opposite complaint is made by supporters of Israel.
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    (Original post by Suetonius)
    Israel, according to Baruch Kimmerling, is a Herrenvolk democracy where, despite the State's power encompassing the whole of Israel and the Occupied Territories, Palestinians are expected to contribute to the symbiotic Israel-Palestinian economy while also laying happy in a state of subjugation.
    I suppose it's interesting that he said something so ignorant, but I don't see how it helps us actually understand Israel. Maybe understand her critics, but that's not really the point of this thread.
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    (Original post by Spaz Man)
    Well in terms of reporting, the MSM always lets us know when, how, why and where an Israeli has died but always very rarely reports Palestinians dying as headlines.
    Has there been a scientific study (note scientific not some flimsy study by a biased organization) that showed this? You're just making a claim without any sort of evidence.
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    (Original post by Annoying-Mouse)
    Has there been a scientific study (note scientific not some flimsy study by a biased organization) that showed this? You're just making a claim without any sort of evidence.
    Seriously, there really should be though.

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