By Justin Raimondo
Defenders of the Israeli government and its policies often complain that Israel just wants to be treated as a "normal country," like any other. They cavil that the Jewish state is treated like an outsider, a pariah, and held up to standards that don't apply anywhere else. The big problem for these complainants, however, is that Israel is not a normal country, and never has been.
As a settler colony rather than a rooted nation, Israel's always precarious existence is made possible by an extensive international support system that exists entirely outside the Middle East. In the beginning, it was the Zionist movement itself that provided the outside material aid that nurtured and grew this nascent nation. That, however, was not enough to provide the sustenance Israel needed to come into existence and survive in a very rough neighborhood, so it was the British empire that presided over its birth. The Balfour Declaration provided the semi-legal basis for the existence of an independent Jewish state in the area known as Palestine.
The British, however, had neither the resources nor the inclination to act as Israel's permanent sponsor and protector, and this role eventually fell to the United States. Without U.S. aid, including unconditional military and political support, Israel could not exist for long. Over the years, it has evolved its own characteristic means of survival, which is analogous to that of an epiphyte – a plant that, rather than rooting in its own soil, grows on other plants.