A survey by a respected journal showing that 15 of 108 foreign policy elites in the US believe Israel does not serve US national security interests has raised eyebrows in Jerusalem. It precedes the publication in early September of a book by two US professors slamming the Israel-US alliance.
The journal, Foreign Policy, on Monday published its "terrorism index," co-sponsored by the Center for American Progress, asking a bipartisan group of former "secretaries of state, national security advisors, senior White House aides, top commanders in the US military, seasoned intelligence professionals, and distinguished academics" a variety of questions having to do with US national security issues.
When given a list of US allies and asked to choose the one country that least serves US national security interests, 14 percent of the respondents picked Israel. Russia led the list, with 34% saying it least served US interests, followed by 22% who said Pakistan, 17% who selected Saudi Arabia, and 5% each for Egypt and Mexico.
The journal billed the respondents as America's "top foreign-policy experts." Forty-five of the respondents described themselves as Democrats, 24 as Republicans, and the rest as Independents.
One diplomatic official in Jerusalem, while acknowledging that 14% is a considerable minority, said he was still worried by the trend.
"Considering the closeness and importance of our ties with Washington, this is something we need to watch," he said.
The official said that while in the past the notion that the US alliance with Israel harmed US interests was a belief relegated to individuals on the far right, such as Pat Buchanan, and the far left, like Noam Chomsky, this survey indicated that the idea was gaining prominence among the elites.