Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Greater Israel

By Robert Parry
February 12, 2007

A big part of the crisis confronting the United States in the Middle East can be traced back to what is now more than a quarter-century-old competition among American politicians over who can best pander to Israeli hardliners.

Rather than furthering Israel’s long-term interests – or those of the American people – these politicians seek short-term electoral gains by appealing to blocs of right-wing Christian and Jewish voters who reject any criticism of Israeli policies.

Read on.


Henry said...

I like most of your article, Robert, but when you write "the United States traditionally served as an honest broker between Israel and its Arab neighbors," I have to wonder what you've been smoking!

Sure, some previous U.S. administrations (Eisenhower, Carter, Bush I) have occasionally stood up to the Israelis on particular issues, but overall U.S. policy has clearly favored Israel ever since Truman backed partition in 1947 and was first to recognize Israel in 1948. By the narrowest of definitions, the U.S. has directed nearly $100 billion in taxpayer dollars to Israel; counting all the indirect aid, the real total is several times that much. (Cong. John Dingell, D-MI, recently boasted that since he came to Congress in 1955, he has helped steer $300 billion to Israel!) Despite its tiny size and advanced economy, it has been the largest annual recipient of US aid every year since 1976 (not counting Iraq in the last couple of years). No Arab neighbor comes anywhere close. Militarily, the US is committed to maintaining clear-cut Israeli dominance (not that there's any real challenge to it). And on the diplomatic front, far from being an "honest broker," no administration has ever dared mount any effective challenge to the nearly 40-year-long occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, even though it's patently illegal and in violation of nominal US policy.

Sure, the pandering is worse than ever now, in both parties, but it's certainly not new.

SirScud said...

As I read your article Robert, I too agree with your synopsis of the current state of affairs in the region, but I also think that "henry's" questioning of your "honest broker" language is constructive, and adds credibility to your context.
I am hopeing that Jimmie Carter's attempt to shed a more balanced view of the plight of the Palestinian people will continue to bear the fruit of a clearer understanding amongst our people and political leaders. Everyone must finally understand that the fundamentalists, of all stripes, are addicted to the chaos that they ferment, and must be returned to the margins of society, where they can do less harm.