Should the U.S. be more critical of Israel?
via AP

Should the U.S. be more critical of Israel?

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The recent decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem has led to violent protests in Gaza, and many are wondering why the U.S. continues to cozy up to such a controversial ally. Critics believe the U.S. should stop supporting Israel due to its inhumane treatment of Palestinians. But others argue Israel has been unfairly maligned—Israel is America's strongest ally and the only true democracy in the Middle East. What do you think?

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The decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem has led to civil unrest in Gaza, with at least 43 Palestinians killed and almost 1,960 others injured according to NBC News.

Many say enough is enough, the U.S. should stop supporting Israel. Brett S. Morris argues Israel has been illegally occupying Palestinian territory for over 50 years, and the U.S. shouldn't ally itself with an occupying force. By continuing to provide Israel support, the U.S. is complicit in the destruction of Palestinian lives.

Since the conclusion of the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel has occupied the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza... Israel’s acquisition of these territories is illegal, and its occupation is the root cause of the conflict. The United Nations Security Council passed its first resolution against Israel’s occupation in 1967 by 15–0, in which it recognized “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and called for “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.”

If the U.S. is serious about finding a two-state solution, it will mean acting as a truly neutral arbiter. Allying itself with Israel makes finding a solution virtually impossible, and moving the U.S. embassy only makes matters worse.

The political settlement that would solve the conflict is well-known and accepted by virtually the entire world: the two-state solution on the pre-1967 borders. The relevant Palestinian factions accept it—including Hamas—but Israel rejects it by building more and more settlements. The United States officially supports it, but through its actions and support for Israel effectively opposes it.
Beyond this basic self-interest, however, the main reason the United States should stop supporting Israel is because Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is a moral disgrace. It’s time for the United States to cease sending aid and weapons to Israel, and for the United States to join the rest of the world in supporting a two-state settlement.

But others argue the U.S. must stand with Israel now more than ever. Jake Gould of United with Israel argues Israel is America's strongest ally and the only true democracy in the Middle East. Failing to support Israel would mean enabling dangerous regimes with terrible human rights records to gain power.

For all of its existence, Israel has been a consistent beacon of democracy, equality, and justice for all. It is not at all the warzone with Palestinians constantly being murdered that the media portrays it as. This equality extends not just to Israel’s Jewish majority but also to Palestinians in the country. Arabs in Israel serve as doctors, judges, mayors, and businessmen. They’re even equally represented in the Israeli Knesset; while making up 20% of Israel’s population, Arabs control 14% (17 members) of Knesset. Such representation cannot be found for Jews in any Muslim-majority country. Israel is also a world leader in LGBTQ rights.

Israel is unfairly maligned due in part to operating under a global microscope. For all the talk of Israel's supposed war crimes and human rights violations, the truth is Israel is a modern-day democracy in every sense of the word and promoting peace is a priority. 

Israel is on the frontlines when it comes to fighting terrorism, and abandoning our strongest ally would be a grave mistake. Trump was right to move our embassy to Jerusalem and unequivocally support Israel.

Since its founding in 1948, the State of Israel has been a constant source of controversy due to its supposedly negative presence in the Arab-dominated Middle East. Israel has been called an apartheid state, accused of numerous war crimes, and hit with dozens of UN resolutions condemning the state... What has Israel done that it requires such severe condemnation from the UN, even though three of its prime ministers have received Nobel Peace Prizes? The answer is nothing.
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