The U.S. Role in the Four Wars

The U.S. Role in the Four Wars

I appreciate many of Michael Walzer’s thoughts on current Israeli-Palestinian conflicts (“The Four Wars of Israel/Palestine,” Fall 2002)—a topic on which he and I have often had trouble seeing eye-to-eye. The best part of his message is his insistence that any decent solution of this tangled struggle requires both parties to renounce their fantasies of suppression or physical removal of “the wrong kind of people” on the other side.

I have disagreements, too, many of them predictable. But what I want to share is more a reaction to what is missing in the essay than to anything asserted there. Reading it, one might almost conclude that Israel charts its strategy against the Palestinians strictly on its own, without external sponsorship. Of course, we know the opposite—for both sides. Michael quite rightly warns those influencing the Palestinians—upholding, exhorting, berating, excusing, and bankrolling—to weigh their actions, lest they share the awful responsibility for Palestinian misdeeds. But at the same time, Israel is utterly dependent on support from the United States. Americans need to take the same critical stance toward our own involvement.


James B. Rules‘s latest book is Computing in Organizations: Myth and Experience. 


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