The Biased US Broker in the Middle East
By Khalid Amayreh – Islam Online
Ever since the ill-fated Rogers Plan, proposed and named after former US secretary of state William Rogers in 1969, every American administration made ostensibly exhaustive efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.
However, all these efforts failed miserably, apparently due to Israel’s adamant refusal to give up the spoils of the 1967 War.
Another key reason behind the failure of the US peace diplomacy in the Middle East is the US reluctance and consistent refusal to exert meaningful pressure on Israel to abide by international law, which further emboldened Israel and made the Jewish state bask undisturbed in its rejectionism and arrogance of power.
In 1969, Golda Meir, the former Israeli prime minister, who displayed characteristic Zionist arrogance, as well as profound pathological hatred of Arabs, flatly rejected the Rogers Plan, describing it as a “disaster” for Israel and saying that “it would be irresponsible for any Israeli government to support such a plan.”
In1969, Israel’s cabinet formally rejected the plan, and in 1970, 70 American senators and 280 representatives rejected the plan as “being too one-sided against Israel.”
That was 40 years ago; today, the Obama administration is regurgitating more or less the same ideas, centering on the concept of the land-for-peace formula. Other US administrations under presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr, Bill Clinton, and George W Bush employed the same ideas in formulating their respective Middle East initiatives, but to no avail.
During these decades, Israel heavily employed diversionary tactics to distract attention from real issues. It used issues such as Arab non-recognition of Israel, Arab refusal to sit down with Israel at the negotiating table, and later the issue of “terror,” a reference to Arab resistance to Israel’s ruthless and cruel aggressions against Arab civilians in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, as well as inside the occupied Palestine.
In addition, successive Israeli governments used the time to create facts on the ground, namely building hundreds of Jewish colonies and transferring hundreds of thousands of its Jewish citizens to live on an occupied land belonging to another people.
The United States was closely monitoring all these developments, but refused to take any pro-active step against Israel, despite the latter’s brazen violations of international law, including America’s own laws such as the prohibition of the use of American-supplied weapons against civilians.
Israel is a small country with a population of six million, while the United States is the world’s remaining super power, with a population exceeding 300 million people. Moreover, Israel relies on the United States for acquiring state-of-the-art American military technology, which enables Israel to maintain a manifestly arrogant stand vis-à-vis the Arab world, as well as clear defiance of international law, including the United Nations and its Security Council.
Therefore, at the face value, one would think that the United States, not Israel, should be in a natural position to pressure, even coerce Israel, to heed the American will.
The truth, however, is that Israel has been in a position to pressure, even coerce, every American administration since president Eisenhower effectively ordered Israel in November, 1956 to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula, following the Anglo-French invasion of Egypt.
Even today, it is amply clear that President Obama is more concerned about Israeli (Jewish) pressure on his administration than Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is concerned about the possible US pressure on Israel.
This fact allows Netanyahu to successfully challenge and defy the Obama administration on the issue of settlement expansion, effectively forcing the American president to admit that he had underestimated the obstacles impeding a possible peace settlement between Israel and Palestinians.
The unique Israeli predominance over American politics and policies is not new. It goes back to the very birth of Israel when American Jewish circles used their financial leverage and political influence to get president Truman to recognize Israel against recommendations to the contrary by the state department.
Over the years, Israel and its powerful allies at the American arena successfully consolidated and virtually perpetuated Israeli predominance over US politics. The Israeli penetration of American politics has been meticulously documented by such American intellectuals, such as Alfred Lilienthal, who in 1978 wrote his masterpiece reference “The Zionist Connection: What Price peace; and Paul Fiendly who wrote “They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby.”
More recently, J J Mearsheimer and S W Walt jointly wrote The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy , which, using meticulous documentation, exposed Israel’s disproportionate influence on the US foreign policy.
Unbreakable Israeli-US Bond!
In fact, thanks to this disproportionate influence, the Octopus-like Israeli-American lobby, which tightly controls the Congress, was able to obtain long-standing commitments from the United States that no other country in the world would ever receive.
These include the following:
First, the United States committed itself to Israel’s survival and security, irrespective of Israeli behavior. This iron-clad commitment is routinely and almost ritualistically repeated by every new administration and by almost every American official visiting Israel. Again, this commitment is an independent variable, a constant that is not subject to other variables. In short, United States is with Israel all along, whether aggressor or victim.
Second, the United States is committed to maintain Israel’s qualitative edge in terms of its military and strategic capabilities over all Arab states combined and other Israel’s potential enemies. This is also a constant American foreign policy not subjected to the modes of Israeli behavior. This explains the visibly aggressive American efforts against the Iranian nuclear program, although there is no unequivocal evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
In this context, the United States imposed harsh sanctions against Libya until the North African state was bullied to dismantle its nuclear program and ship its components to the United States. All of this happened while Israel continued to maintain a large nuclear arsenal made up of hundreds of nuclear bombs and warheads.
Third, there is a long-standing American-Israeli understanding, according to which the United States would nearly unconditionally support and back Israeli diplomatically whether at the United Nations or the world at large. The United States used its veto power rather liberally to shield Israel from international condemnation, even when Israel was manifestly the aggressor party.
Hence, Israel effectively has nothing to worry about in terms of the military, political,and diplomatic ramifications and repercussions of its behavior in the Middle East.
This is why Israel has been able to annex and Judaize East Al-Quds (Jerusalem), build hundreds of Jewish-only colonies, and demolish tens of thousands of Arab homes throughout occupied Palestine, with nearly total impunity, thanks to this more or less total American commitment to the Jewish state.
In 2006, the Israeli air force dropped perhaps two million cluster bomblets over Lebanon, enough to kill or maim two million children. In 2008-2009, Israel committed a virtual genocide against the thoroughly starved and thoroughly-beleaguered inhabitants of Gaza, killing and maiming thousands of civilians and utterly destroying thousands of homes, schools, mosques, and other civilian infrastructure.
Tel Aviv Controls Washington?
Far from denouncing Israel’s violence and Nazi-like brutality, both the lame-duck Bush administration and the succeeding Obama administration watched the grisly massacres as if they were taking place on a different plant.
It was rumored a few years ago that the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a certified war criminal by any standard of honesty and fairness, told Shimon Peres, who reportedly objected to Israeli measures in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that he (Peres) should never worry about American pressure on Israel.
Sharon told him, “We control the United States, and the Americans know it.”
Israeli circles long denied the authenticity of the statement. However, it is amply clear that Sharon, who is now lying comatose for the fourth year, did not go too far in describing the unique American-Israeli relation.
By now and in the light of more than half a century of “special relations” between Israel and the United States, it should be clear that Israel has been able to impose its will on the US government, regardless of which administration is in power.
In light, it is explicitly futile to expect the Obama administration or any other American administration to force Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank and allow the Palestinians to have a viable state with East Al-Quds as its capital.
The United States has been given more than half a century to resolve the conflict in Palestine in accordance with international law, and the net result has been a gigantic fiasco.
Now, if Mr Obama, who is probably “the last and best shot,” from the Arab vantage point, is brazenly capitulating to Israel, as is clear from his administration’s inability or perhaps unwillingness to force Israel to stop the decades-old process of devouring whatever remains of the West Bank.
It is strikingly stupid to continue to count on his administration to give justice to Palestinians.
This is not to say though that the United States cannot be influenced. It can, but first, Arabs and Muslims must first show some respect for themselves and deal with the United States using the language of mutual interests, not the language of subservience and submission.
In the winter of 1973, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia told then US secretary of state Henry Kissinger that America could not be a true friend to Arabs and Muslims and at the same time continues to embrace Israeli territorial expansion at the expense of Palestinians.
Unfortunately, very few Arab leaders have ever since dared to make the same point to Americans.
To conclude, Palestinians and their supporters must stop chasing the American mirage, because it will not ever produce water. This is why an alternative strategy ought to be sought, preferably one that would make occupied Palestine a Muslim issue first, and a nationalist one second.
Posted on February 12, 2010, in Analysis and tagged 1967, america, ariel, bond, bush, cufi, foreign, international, israel, lobby, neocons, netanyahu, obama, peace, peres, plan, policy, process, protestant, revelations, rogers, sharon, shimon, two-state, unbreakable, us. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.