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> How is this not a violation of the first amendment?

Google is a private company.

> I quite honestly don't understand why we have such a relationship with Israel as it yields us zero benefit and many losses.

If you don't understand something, a good bet is that your premises are wrong.




Google being a private company is immaterial - they are not self-censoring, but complying with US law. First amendment concerns lose out to national security concerns most of the time. I think it's valid to question if this should be one of those times.


Ah I see your point.

But an ally asked for something that's rather trivial (for us)... I don't see why we shouldn't comply.


But an ally asked for something that's rather trivial (for us)... I don't see why we shouldn't comply.

Because it violates US citizens' first amendment rights?


I have no problem with low-res only views of sensitive areas. I don't tend to be staunchly idealistic at the expense of security.

So not having high-res satellite imagery of sites in Israel is an affront to your rights, but these aren't?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_map_images_with_missi...


No, those are an affront to my rights as well. Who suggested they weren't?


Well as long as you're consistent I don't mind. I imagine it's easy to be self-righteous when it's not your safety on the line. I don't pretend to understand the security concerns of those countries with regards to their facilities.


> If you don't understand something, a good bet is that your premises are wrong.

But another bet is that "that something" doesn't actually make sense.


Yes but in this case America does benefit from a healthy relationship with Israel and, more importantly, from Israel's existence.


  > America does benefit from a healthy relationship
  > with Israel and, more importantly, from Israel's
  > existence
How?

Edit: I am really curious. I don't know much about this topic.


They buy more US military hardware than any other nation out there. More than a billion dollars a year on average since 1987(or so says Wikipedia.)


Numerous innovations (like the bandage that saved Gabriel Giffords' life), numerous American companies doing R&D in Israel (Intel is fabricating their upcoming Sandy Bridge line in Israel), and of course, military relations (weapons/defense technology, American weapons caches in Israel, intelligence cooperation, stuxnet).


So they have some R&D there. Lots of countries do that, and our relationship with them isn't quite the same. Lots of tech in Ireland for example, but we weren't getting in their mini-religious war quite so much in the 90's and protecting one side like that.


The Irish were fighting against one of our closest allies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Relationship


> So they have some R&D there.

As I outlined above and which you are purposely and blatantly ignoring, our relationship is more than economic.

Ireland doesn't face an existential threat from anti-Western regimes, nor does it have the same military relationship that we do with Israel. The situations could not be more different.


Are people forgetting that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East? The US enjoys a very healthy military relationship with Israel because of its advanced technology and its strategic location....all religion aside.


> "...the only democracy in the Middle East? ...all religion aside."

One problem is that it's difficult to consider the question of Israel being a "democracy" while setting aside "all religion". (Short version: there are a lot of people in occupied territories that don't have a vote.)

Another is that there is a very good question of just how much can you let a country get away with just because they are or claim to be a democracy? That amount is surely limited (right?), but the question is, how much?


there are a lot of people in occupied territories that don't have a vote

By your logic, the United States is not a democracy because illegal aliens cannot vote in US elections.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizenship


> there are a lot of people in occupied territories that don't have a vote.

Yes they do. In their own government(s). What are you talking about?

Edit: Oh gosh... downvoted? I feel as though I am on reddit.

Edit 2: They voted for Fatah and Hamas. They do get to vote - in their own elections. (Though not for a few years because Hamas and Fatah have postponed elections multiple times)


While Israel does have strategic importance to the US, I think that's Israel's status in US foreign policy is disproportionate to that strategic need. I don't think it's controversial to say that many people - and politicians - feel a moral imperative to help Israel. I think it's inaccurate to characterize the relationship between the two countries without considering that perceived imperative.


> Are people forgetting that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East?

What happened to Turkey?


Seeing as Turkey is vying for a position in the EU and it's part of numerous European councils, Turkey isn't generally considered a Middle Eastern country.


I thought we brought democracy to Iraq (or I hope that's what we got out of that), and Egypt is holding their first election in forever in November. The area's getting better overall in terms of democracy it would seem, with or without our protection of them.


It strikes me that one reason surrounding regimes are/were so hostile towards Israel is because they don't want their own people 'getting ideas.'


You're being downmodded, but it is a fairly documented point[1] and a very valid one in "Middle Eastern studies" academic circles[2].

[1] quick googling turned for example http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/04/01/full-comment-...

[2] due to time constraints I can't find recitations now, so take it at face value. Sorry.

EDIT: eh, life just gave a brilliant new example: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/michaelweiss/100092061/bre...


OK then what happened to Lebanon ;-)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index

According to that Israel is a 'Flawed democracy' and Lebanon is a 'Hybrid regime'. I cannot say I'm familiar with the political system in Lebanon, but I do know they've been having some major issues with their government lately. IIRC they haven't had a functioning executive branch since they agreed to comply with the UN investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. Hezbollah (effectively the military of Lebanon and a very strong political power) is extremely unhappy with this because the allegation is that they assassinated him.


Iraq? Egypt (election this fall)?


Are you sure about that? You think it is an obvious fact that doesn't need to be supported or argued about it is just common sense and I think many would disagree with that.


> You think it is an obvious fact that doesn't need to be supported or argued about it is just common sense and I think many would disagree with that.

I don't think it's an obvious fact which is why 7 minutes before you wrote this, I responded to a similar question.

Edit: Here it is

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2649279


Sorry, you did, and I wasn't paying attention.




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