Friday, July 23, 2010

Israel a liability for the U.S.?

Only in the United States could the question of whether or not Israel is a liability for the U.S. be asked.

The answer is obviously yes and has been for many years. It comes from the fact that the U.S. covers for everything that Israel does. In the few cases where American presidents have raised objections or the possibility of funding reductions, they have quickly backed down. This routine is on display now with Obama. He made a groundbreaking speech to the Muslim world a year ago and has never followed up on what he said. He has spoken out against further settlements by Israel but has gone silent.

Here is a statement that is interesting because it indicates how extreme the United States position had become:

"Israel became used to unconditional support of the United States during eight years of the Bush administration," said Marina Ottaway, director of the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

She said Bush's "extreme position" makes even mild criticism appear dramatic to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet.

So only this tiny change is considered significant. See the entire article from Reuters.

Back in January of 2010 there was talk of U.S. sanctions on Israel by withholding U.S. aid. I am writing 7 months later. Heard anything about it lately?

The number one issue before the world is whether Israel will withdraw from the occupied territories. To talk of a Palestinian state before that happens is jumping way ahead of reality. Not only is Israel saying nothing about withdrawing, the talk there is about expanding settlements.

The world sees this for the farce it is - the most powerful country in the world backing down in the face of a policy of one of the tiniest countries. But it is an old story that has been on display for decades. Fellow Americans, when are you going to put pressure on Congress to stop the tail wagging the dog?

Israel defies the world, with the exception of, and only because of, the U.S. There is understandable rage out there for a land being taken for over 40 years from a people already dispossessed before that and, incredibly, we still ask "why do they hate us?"

P.S. I said I would talk about Rep. Ros-Lehtinen but I am going to wait until next month when an article I want to reference will be available for everyone to read online.

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