January 17, 2009
"Friends of Israel Have a Lot of Repair Work to Do..."
Friends of Israel have a lot of repair work to do — in America
by Caroline B. Glick
Jewish World Review....for complete article
Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's diplomatic spat with outgoing US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been a bonanza for strategic minded gossips. Olmert says that Rice was "embarrassed" because she planned to vote in favor of UN Security Council Resolution 1860 which calls for an immediate ceasefire between IDF forces and Hamas terrorists. But, Olmert brags, he wrecked her plan by getting outgoing President George W. Bush to force her to abstain.
As far as the commentators are concerned, Olmert's puerile attack on the American Secretary of State in the midst of a war shows that the he is still the same prideful, vain, motor-mouth that Israelis have come to know and despise over the past several years. Then too, by responding with borderline hysteria to Olmert's statement, Rice has demonstrated, once again that she remains a thin-skinned whiner.
Their fight tells us two crucial things. First, it tells us that when President-elect Barack Obama enters office next week, Israel's relations with the US will be at a low point.
The US's abstention from the vote on Resolution 1860 is a stunning statement of US hostility towards Israel. As former UN Ambassador Dore Gold wrote in the Jerusalem Post on Sunday, Resolution 1860 is drafted in a manner that presumes moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. Both Israel and Hamas — an illegal terrorist organization — must stop fighting it says. The resolution also draws a false moral equivalence between Hamas's illegal rocket campaign against Israeli civilians and Israel's assertion of its right to close its borders to enemy traffic.
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For instance, this week the New York Times reminded us that the US has refused to sell Israel refueling planes and bunker-buster bombs necessary to attack Iran's nuclear sites. The US has also consistently refused Israeli requests to overfly Iraqi airspace. The Times' story reports that the administration answered Israeli requests to this effect with a hearty, "Hell no!"
And it isn't just that the Bush administration has in recent years preferred to indulge the Iraqi leadership's kneejerk anti-Semitism over supporting Israel's need to preempt threats of national annihilation. The Bush administration has also belittled those threats and so allowed them to grow. Rice pushed the US on the road towards accepting Iran as a nuclear power when she opted to join the EU-3 in their feckless negotiations with the mullahs in May 2007. Her decision was followed by the deeply mendacious National Intelligence Estimate released in November 2007 which claimed wrongly that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003.
The US's coddling of Iran at Israel's expense has also included its preference for the Hizbullah-dominated Lebanese government and military over Israel's national security. In the 2006 war between Hizbullah and Israel, the US forbade Israel from attacking Lebanese government targets and so left Israel with few good options for fighting Hizbullah to victory. The reason the US acted in this manner is because Rice wished to prolong the fiction that the pro-Western March 14 movement was in charge of the Lebanese government when in fact, they subservient to Hizbullah.
When Israel became bogged down, the US forced Jerusalem to accept a ceasefire that left Hizbullah in charge of southern Lebanon and allowed it to rebuild its arsenals and present its campaign against the Jews as a strategic victory for the forces of jihad. After Hizbullah staged a putsch against the pro-Western forces in the Lebanese government last May, rather than acknowledge that Hizbullah is now in full control over the government and the military, the US has showered Lebanon with money and guns.
As for the Palestinians, over the past three years, the US has been expansive, indeed obsessive in its support for Fatah - and through it for Hamas - at Israel's expense. Rather than recognize that the Palestinian voters' decision to elect Hamas to lead them in January 2006 constituted a rejection of the notion of a two-state solution on the part of Palestinian society, the Bush administration judged the move as an act of civil disobedience reminiscent, in Rice's view, of the US civil rights movement.
Far from cutting the Palestinians off, the US massively increased its assistance to the Palestinian Authority. For the first time US taxpayers began financing the PA's budget and so, indirectly paying the salaries of both Fatah and Hamas terrorists. Moreover, the US began a massive effort to train Fatah commandos in Jordan. With Fatah terrorists in Gaza shooting missiles at Israel alongside their Hamas terror buddies today, it is unclear what good can come of these US-trained Palestinian special forces.
In the face of all of this clear US hostility towards Israel, marked as well by the continued criminal prosecution of former AIPAC lobbyists Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, and former Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin for their "crime" of discussing their concern about Iran's nuclear weapons program, Israel has played the role of Chicken Little.
Israel has offered no significant protest against the US's moves. It has treated Rice and her colleagues at the CIA as friends and trusted allies. And Livni and Olmert have repeatedly boasted that Israel's relations with the US have never been better, when in fact they have arguably never been worse.
It is because of the government's refusal to contend with difficult truths that Israel was caught by surprise at the Security Council last week. And due to the government's refusal to acknowledge the true state of Israel's relations with Washington, the government has given little consideration to either how to improve them, or how to work around Washington's hostility.
This situation is liable to only get worse next week with the inauguration of President-elect Obama. Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton pledged in her Senate confirmation hearings that the new administration will immediately seek to engage Iran diplomatically. She also stated that the US intends to actively pursue better relations with Iran's Arab satellite-state, Syria. Moreover, she pledged that the Obama administration will make an immediate push to establish a Palestinian state.
Clinton's testimony makes clear that Obama's major initiatives will all involve forcing Israel to pay a price. According to a source in close contact with Obama's transition team, the first price that Israel will be pressured to pay will be the Golan Heights.
Obama has pledged that soon after taking office he will make a major speech in an Islamic capital to strengthen US ties to the Muslim world. And the source asserts that Obama intends to make that speech in Damascus. Moreover, he intends to exert pressure on Israel to surrender the Golan Heights to Syria as "payback" for any Syrian indication that it will weaken its ties to Iran.
Throughout his tenure in office, Bush has been outspoken in his warm statements about Israel. Both his advisers and the many people who have come to know him over the past eight years are unanimous in their belief that Bush truly cares about Israel and views Israel as an important US ally. He recognizes that Israel and the US share the same enemies and that our enemies seek to destroy us because we represent the same thing: freedom.
But as many of his friends and advisors have ruefully noted over the years, Bush never learned how to translate his personal views into policy. As former Pentagon official Richard Perle wrote in an article this week in The National Interest, Bush was undercut on the most crucial foreign policy issues he faced by the State Department and the CIA, which either ignored his policies or openly sought to discredit them.
To read the entire article please CLICK HERE.
Wild Thing's comment........
Good article and several interesting things I had not known about . So many things will be different after Obama is sworn in.
Those that are reading this from Israel. please know, we did not vote for Obama and we want to be friiends with Israel and do what we can to help.
....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
Posted by Wild Thing at January 17, 2009 05:50 AM
Yes, interesting WT. And I learned a lot from it, if it is all true.
I knew both Powell and Rice had peacenik tendencies and that the State Dept almost always leans left. I did not know there was friction between Israel and the US and between Bush and Rice.
I knew we supported the Western leaning govt in Lebanon, but did not know it was controlled by Hizbulah. I knew we were sending "relief" money to the Palestinian Authority and I hate that. I did not know we had refused bunker busting bombs to Israel.
I do think that Obama will reduce military sales to Israel and show favoritism toward Iran and Syria. He and H. Clinton will concede a lot to the very enemies of Israel and America.
Posted by: TomR at January 17, 2009 09:03 AM
Caroline Glick is a wise commentator on Israel and I recommend her articles and website highly.
There are two separate and sometimes overlapping considerations that need to be understood when discussing Israel. One, what is right for Israel to do to protect itself and ensure it's national security and well being. Two, what is right for the United States to do to protect itself and ensure it's national security and well being and when does this overlap with the actions of an ally like Israel.
I submit that not only Islamofascist terrorism, but greater Islam is a national threat to both Israel and the United States. Hamas and Hezbollah along with their state sponsors of Iran and Syria are immediate border threats to Israel's existence. Any success brings them and Al Qaeda just steps closer to spreading their Islamic Caliphate across the globe including the United States. Taking sides with Israel is in the best interests of the United States.
Barack Hussein Obama is a white flag waving appeaser and is already committed to selling out Israel and the United States to these mutual enemies.
Posted by: Les at January 17, 2009 04:14 PM
Tom, I didn't klnow about othe friction either. I always thought those jobs were set up with the person like Condi being told what the President's wishes were not Condi having full reign. But maybe Bush gave her more leaway to say and do things or something then then there were some problems. I guess we will never know for sure.
Posted by: Wild Thing at January 17, 2009 05:46 PM
Les, thank you so much, I thought I had heard of her before but was not sure. Thank you for the informtation and input Les, I appreciate it.
Posted by: Wild Thing at January 17, 2009 06:00 PM
Yeah, with friends like the obama's Israel doesn't need any new enemies.
Posted by: Mark at January 17, 2009 07:37 PM
Is it time to say "I told you so" yet?
Posted by: Trish at January 17, 2009 09:03 PM
Mark, that's for sure.
Posted by: Wild Thing at January 17, 2009 11:48 PM