What are Israel's prospects in a post American Empire world?
By this I don’t mean that we need to go through yet another round of who-did-what-to-whom rhetoric in the shrill tones of moral absolutism that pervade the subject these days. There’s a point to discussing ethical issues surrounding the origins, conduct, and future of the nation-state of Israel, to be sure, but that discussion is already happening elsewhere, or more precisely would be happening if most of the potential participants weren’t too busy shouting past each other. What gets misplaced in all the noise, though, is that this is not the only discussion worth having.
In particular, the central theme of this series of posts—the decline and fall of America’s global empire—has aspects that are easiest to see from the perspective of one of America’s more vulnerable client states. Those aspects are not particularly moral in nature, and the stridently self-righteous arguments that fill most current discussions of Israel’s fate have nothing to contribute here. For the moment, then, I’d like to set aside squabbles about whether the nation-state of Israel as currently constituted should survive, and ask instead whether, in the post-American world of the not too distant future, it can survive. That’s a much simpler question, and the answer is equally simple: no.