Sonntag, 05.07.2020 / 12:47 Uhr

Amerikanischer Rückzug aus dem Nahen Osten und israelische Annektionspläne

Aus dem Netz

Eine lesenswerte Analyse, wie der amerikanische Rückzug aus dem Nahen Osten und das absehbare Ende westlicher Hegemonie die israelische Sicht auf eine mögliche Annektion von Teilen der Westbank bestimmen:

When Israeli defense planners who support an annexation move talk about a “window of opportunity” in Washington, they mean something larger than the expected end of the Trump presidency. There is a fear that America itself is in retreat, and with it a global order that could be relied upon to ensure some measure of stability and security for a small country like Israel.

“American hegemony is crumbling before our eyes,” said Dr. Eran Lerman, a prominent conservative defense thinker who supports the annexation plan, when asked by The Times of Israel this week why Netanyahu seemed so bent on the idea. Lerman is a grizzled veteran of such Israeli debates and an important voice in the conservative camp. After 20 years as a top analyst in Israel’s military intelligence directorate, Col. (res.) Lerman became a deputy national security adviser to Netanyahu and the National Security Council’s point man on foreign policy. He is now vice president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS).

It is hard to exaggerate the effect of the sense of American retreat has on Israeli thinking. Even if the rumors of general American decline are exaggerated or premature, Washington’s retreat is more acutely felt in the Middle East because of the American pivot toward the Pacific and the strategic challenge of China. That is, the retreat here — the drawdown of troops and capabilities from the Middle East and Mediterranean and a growing unwillingness to engage and police — is a willful strategic choice. Neither a Republican nor a Democratic administration is likely to re-prioritize the Middle East in the foreseeable future.

A great deal of annexation’s downsides amount to possible fallout in international legal and diplomatic forums, from the UN to the European Union to the ICC. A lot of the underlying divide within Israel over the annexation is rooted in the debate about the relevance of those institutions sans American power.

As Lerman quipped, the rules that western European states ask Israel to follow “are in force only in western Europe.” The strategic choices Israel faces are not those of France, Germany or Britain.

In broad terms, this skeptical view holds that the global order is shaped by power, and a happy accident of history – the overwhelming power of the United States in the wake of WWII — imposed a thin veneer of moralizing legalisms on an international system still essentially ruled by hard power. That’s just how Americans like to conduct their foreign policy: everything America does in the world must be couched in moral terms.