When the UN prepared the Goldstone report on Israel’s alleged atrocities in Gaza, the most instructive part was the world’s acceptance of it. Russia, China, and India supported the report while France and Britain merely abstained. Such across-the-board support for evidently nonsensical accusations would be unimaginable if any other country were accused. Most of the resolution’s supporters have engaged in greasy atrocities just recently. The blood libel against Jews never dies.

American Republicans and Southern Democrats were viciously anti-Semitic during the Holocaust; their senators blocked Roosevelt’s meager attempts to increase immigration quotas for Jews being deported from Western Europe. Today they are pro-Jewish—until, of course, Israel becomes a burden on America.

America fought Germany in 1944, and has supported it since 1945; fought Vietnam, and has now befriended it; supported Afghani guerrillas, and now opposes them; helped the Shah with Iran’s nuclear program, and is today bent on destroying it; cooperated with Iraq on chemical weapons, then went to war over the same.

Arab countries are no less flexible. Egypt fought Israel along with Syria, but remains hostile to young Assad. Saudi Arabia switched from confrontation with Syria over Lebanon to cooperation there. Iran fought Iraq, but now cooperates with it against the US. Jordan hosted the PLO, expelled it, then cooperated closely with it, and changes its support for Palestinian guerrillas frequently. Syria restrained Hezbollah so as not to diminish Syria’s influence in Lebanon, but under young Assad enthroned Hezbollah as its long arm there. Hamas under Yassin strenuously opposed Iran’s overtures, only to embrace Iran under Mashaal.

America came full circle from cautiously endorsing Israel in 1947 to withdrawing its support the next year, to hostility in 1956, to great interest in 1967 and pawn treatment since 1973, to endorsing Israel only cautiously and within minimal borders since the Oslo Accords.

In a world of such mutable alliances, Israel cannot count on peace treaties, and must concentrate on carving a country of defensible size instead.