Incidentally, Stratfor deals with the accusation that US support for Israel contributes to anti-Americanism in the Arab world.
The fundamental problem with the theory is that Arab anti-Americanism predates significant U.S. support for Israel. Until 1967, the United States gave very little aid to Israel. [...] In 1956, Israel invaded the Sinai while Britain and France seized the Suez Canal, which the Egyptian government of Gamal Abdul Nasser had nationalized. The Eisenhower administration intervened — against Israel and on the side of Egypt. [...] In spite of this, Nasser entered into a series of major agreements with the Soviet Union. Egypt’s anti-American attitude had nothing to do with the Israelis, save perhaps that the United States was not prepared to join Egypt in trying to destroy Israel.The analysis continues to the rift in US-Israeli relations:
The point here is that the United States was not actively involved in supporting Israel prior to 1967, yet anti-Americanism in the Arab world was rampant. [...] In fact, it is not clear that Arab anti-Americanism was greater after the initiation of major aid to Israel than before. Indeed, Egypt, the most important Arab country, shifted its position to a pro-American stance after the 1973 war in the face of U.S. aid.
In the area called generally the Middle East, but which we prefer to think of as the area between the Mediterranean and the Hindu Kush, there are three intrinsic regional balances. One is the Arab-Israeli balance of power. The second is the Iran-Iraq balance. The third is the Indo-Pakistani balance of power.These regional balances are self containing, and self limiting. The US has an interest in maintaining them to prevent the emergence of a regional hegemon that can threaten American interests. The problem is that, currently, "Two of the three regional balances of power [Iraq-Iran, India-Pakistan] are collapsed or in jeopardy." The US is stretched to the limit in containing and managing the fallout.
Israel, then, like the Iranians, Russians, Germans, Chinese and other regional powers, is using American distraction to rearrange its geopolitical environment. In the case of Israel, this challenge to the existing regional equilibrium is apparently new building in Jerusalem.
There is very little Israel can do to help the United States in the center and eastern balances. On the other hand, if the western balance of power were to collapse — due to anything from a collapse of the Egyptian regime to a new Israeli war with Hezbollah — the United States might find itself drawn into that conflict, while a new intifada in the Palestinian territories would not help matters either. It is unknown what effect this would have in the other balances of power, but the United States is operating at the limits of its power to try to manage these situations. Israel cannot help there, but it could hurt, for example by initiating an attack on Iran outside the framework of American planning. Therefore, the United States wants one thing from Israel now: for Israel to do nothing that could possibly destabilize the western balance of power or make America’s task more difficult in the other regions.This is perhaps the most tenuous point in Stratfor's analysis, or of the American strategic view, since Israel has been building in Jerusalem for 40 years. Describing such building as having "strategic" implications is quite a stretch. It also creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, and this is crucial. By focusing on building in Jerusalem as a strategic issue, the US is giving others - including the Palestinians, Arabs and Iran - the ability to leverage it as a strategic issue. It is the US which first framed Israeli building in Jerusalem in the context of Palestinian recalcitrance. The Palestinians happily accepted the equation, never having been dealt such a strategic card before.
Israel sees the American preoccupation in these other regions, along with the current favorable alignment of forces in its region, as an opportunity both to consolidate and expand its power and to create new realities on the ground. One of these is building in East Jerusalem, or more precisely, using the moment to reshape the demographics and geography of its immediate region. The Israeli position is that it has rights in East Jerusalem that the United States cannot intrude on. The U.S. position is that it has interests in the broader region that are potentially weakened by this construction at this time.
The question becomes, why is the US now treating Israeli building in Jerusalem as a strategic issue, when it never has in the past? It appears likely that, in the face of a flailing sanctions and containment campaign against Iran, the Obama Administration stirred a tempest to push Israel's policy establishment on the defensive and prevent any unilateral action against Iranian nuclear sites. Preventing Israeli airstrikes appears to have become the dominant American concern in the central and western Middle East.
The second analysis is paid content, and discusses Iranian attempts to exploit the rift in US-Israeli interests through a new Palestinian Intifada.
In the past, STRATFOR has received reports of Iranian officials reprimanding Hamas officials in Damascus for attempting negotiations with Fatah, preferring to keep the two factions split. Now, however, Iran appears convinced that Palestinian reconciliation will not lead to the resumption of peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis in the current tense atmosphere.Wonderful. Can we call it the Obama Intifada? That the Palestinians, with Iranian guidance, are now planning a new Intifada to exploit the US-Israeli rift is proof that American pressure on Israel has destabilized the region, and not brought peace negotiations, much less peace, any closer.
The overall goal is thus to exploit the breach in the U.S.-Israeli relationship to reunify the Palestinian leadership and encourage Israeli military action in the territories that would further undermine Israel’s diplomatic efforts in building a coalition against Iran. While this is by no means an intifada, or popular uprising in the traditional sense of the word, it does point to another potential crisis in Israeli-Palestinian relations that would consequently complicate U.S. designs for the region.
Portions of these reports were republished with permission of STRATFOR
UPDATE: Yes, I did forward the free Stratfor piece to Andrew Sullivan, and yes, he did put it up. Of course, in his choice quotes, he ignored Stratfor's dismissal of his charges that this nation's pro-Israel stance generates anti-Americanism in the Arab world, which was, until so very recently, his main gripe. At least the thousands of people who read the actual article won't have problems connecting the dots.