'Israel saves, doesn’t endanger, US lives': "This argument first surfaced immediately after the Ramat Shlomo issue broke, with a furious Biden quoted by Yediot Aharonot as telling Netanyahu, “This is starting to get dangerous for us. What you’re doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace. Biden's staff later denied that he made that comment, but regardless, that argument had penetrated the US public discussion about Israel.
Then the Foreign Policy magazine web site ran a story a couple of days later saying that the Commander of the US Central Command, Major General David Petraeus, sent a briefing team to the Pentagon at the beginning of the year "with a stark warning: America's relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America's soldiers."
Well, General Petraeus is not the kind of person that you want to argue against. He is the man that turned the tide on the Iraq war. He has a Ph.D. from Princeton that makes him eligible for interpreting intelligence data on top of this. However, Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israelian PM, does just that. I guess he lives in the Middle East and has tentacles everywhere. It still seems to me that his judgement that Israel is an asset rather than a liability is reasonable.
Tough talk then... to reach objectives for the peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine? Peace negotiations that the top players in Israel does not think have the possibility to materialize in the short run. My problem with this is that a peace deal between Palestine and Israel, as unlikely as it is, is not going to change Iran's belligerence via Hizbollah and Hamas. According to Petraeus Iran is helping al Qaida now in Afghanistan as well. Ariel Sharon gave Gaza to the Palestinians and they turned it into a war zone...with the help of Iran. This is therefore the likely outcome of further land concessions. Iran blocks effectively peace.
I can't resist making a comment comparing the fight about Afghanistan that apparently is worth NATO lives and that Israel's existence would not be subject to the same treatment. It seems to me that Israel as an asset far supersedes that of Afghanistan.