Why is U.S. foreign policy hostage to Israel?

[by Dr. S. Amjad Hussain in today's Blade]
The pivotal question is why Hamas, the ruling Palestinian faction in Gaza, resumed firing rockets into Israel after six months of relative calm following a cease-fire put in place in June.

A cease-fire requires a lack of hostilities between the parties. On Nov. 4, Israel, in clear violation of the cease-fire, went into Gaza and killed six Palestinians who Israel declared were terrorists. That incident and an ongoing siege and blockade of Gaza were enough reasons for Hamas to resume hostilities against Israel. It was retaliation plain and simple. Israel has been preparing for this onslaught for the last six months and chose this time because George W. Bush is still president.

Ever since the withdrawal of Israeli forces and the dismantling of illegal Jewish settlements from Gaza in September, 2005, the area has been under siege. A total blockade has turned this narrow coastal strip of land into a virtual prison where 1.5 million inhabitants depended on the trickle of humanitarian aid allowed by Israel. Mary Robinson, the former United Nations high commissioner for human rights, called the ongoing situation in Gaza the destruction of a civilization. Her comments were made during the cease-fire.

In January, 2006, Hamas won elections in Gaza in a fair and impartial vote. The United States had, at the behest of Israel, declared Hamas a terrorist organization. As such, they were denied their legitimate right to govern and to have the cooperation of the international community. If fighting for one's dignity, one's land, and one's freedom is terrorism, then most countries that became independent in the post-colonial era got there through terrorism. Even Israel's establishment as a sovereign state was based on many acts of terrorism against the British and the native Palestinian population. There is an extremely thin line between a terrorist and a freedom fighter. All one has to do is to look at the life of Menachem Begin, a terrorist turned prime minister of Israel.

Why is American foreign policy hostage to Israeli whims? It is for historians and writers such as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, former Congressman Paul Findlay, former President Jimmy Carter, writer Norman Finkelstein, etc., to analyze the phenomenon, which they have done at their peril. The question, however, begs for an answer. Why does an Israeli cause become an American cause? And why does a Congress elected by the people of this country become beholden to the interests of a foreign country?

One of my Jewish readers put it succinctly when he said, in private of course, that if he ever raises a voice against Israel policies he will be crucified.
http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090112/COLUMNIST12/9...

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Report: U.S. rejected Israeli plea to attack Iran

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/11/iran.israel.nuclear/index.html

Israel approached the White House in early 2008 with three requests for an attack on Iran's main nuclear complex, said New York Times reporter David Sanger. His article appears in the newspaper on Sunday.

According to Sanger, Israel wanted specialized bunker-busting bombs, equipment to help refuel planes making flights into Iran and permission to fly over Iraq to reach the major nuclear complex at Natanz, the site of Iran's only known uranium enrichment plant.

and more here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/washington/11iran.html

Two interesting things that I have read on the subject--

First, 70% of Americans in a survey indicated they prefer our government take a neutral stance on the conflict. Yet, our government is almost always 100% in the back pocket of Israel--I'm guessing it's due to the powerful AIPAC lobby.

Also, the US and Israel play no small part in the ascension of Hamas. Both governments looked the other way when the group was reaking havoc in the late 80's and 90's, in part because they wanted to isolate the PLO, despite the fact that they were mainly secular and recognized Israel's existence.

Pink Slip

Steve Rosen’s career took a dramatic turn on August 27, 2004, when CBS News broadcast a report alleging that “A spy is working for Israel at the Pentagon… The suspected mole supplied Israel with classified materials…passing classified information…to two men at AIPAC, and on to the Israelis...[including] a presidential directive on U.S. policy toward Iran.” On screen, CBS showed an image of a document titled “Presidential Directive: U.S. Policy Toward Iran,” and a file folder marked “classified” being passed from a man labeled “suspected spy” to a box marked with the AIPAC logo, and from there to Israel symbolized by its flag. The same day, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents, accompanied by media camera crews, raided the AIPAC offices with a warrant to inspect the paper and electronic files of Steven Rosen.

I've found nothing on HAMAS spies.

is in the Bible....God says that the nation that blesses Isreal will be blessed. I'll go with what God says over trying to appease liberal, pro-palestine terrorists....anyday.

The funny thing is, Islamic Fundamentalist and Christian Fundamentalist have 80-90% of the same believe and value system.

Christian Fundamentalists will go through great efforts to save an “innocent life” in the womb, but won’t lift a finger to save a innocent life in Palestine.

Also has anyone else sensed the irony of the Israelis forcing people from their land and making them live in ghettos…that’s right – the bible says it’s ok, so it must be.

Both are wrong.

But even more wrong is advocating a second Holocaust.

This is EXACTLY what Hamas advocates.

MikeyA

"Holocaust" is thrown around so much anymore it's becoming a meaningless term. The real holocaust during the German occupation was quite horrifyingly different and I don't think Hamas or any Muslim radicals are really advocating that. Let's be careful about our words here.

Then you obviously haven't paid attention to the world in the last 10 years.

Islamic fundamentalists routinely say that Israel shouldn't exist. In fact Geraldo Rivera showed a replay of his interview with an Islamic leader in Gaza who in 2002 said Israel needed to be "wiped away" (that was the translation. When Geraldo asked "...by that do you mean not have a right to live?" and the leader repeated "wiped away" with a sweeping gesture with his hands.

"...real holocaust during the German occupation was quite horrifyingly different "

How about ethnic cleansing? Would that suffice? They're the same and mean the same. The slaughter of a whole culture to strengthen another.

MikeyA

Mikey, but you obviously haven't heard the news about the infamous "wiped away" misquote. It doesn't mean "holocaust". I wrote about this on SB a year ago.
***
According to Juan Cole, a University of Michigan Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History, Ahmadinejad's statement should be translated as: "The Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem (een rezhim-e eshghalgar-e qods) must [vanish from] the page of time (bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad).[11]

According to Cole, "Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to 'wipe Israel off the map' because no such idiom exists in Persian". Instead, "He did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse."[12]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad_and_Israel
***
I think you should take another look at your "slaughter of a whole culture", Mikey, because nobody has talked about "ethnic cleansing" in this struggle between the Zionists and their Arab neighbors. What they have talked about is WHO is going to control the lands there. Jews and Arabs lived cheek by jowl for a thousand years there without any problem. It was only when land ownership came into dispute after the British dispossessed the Palestinians there did this become a problem. This is NOT a racial or ethnic issue as you imply as it was in Serbia or wherever.

Putting this into a racial context doesn't accurately characterize what is happening in the Near East and is more worthy of those far-right Christian millennium kooks than of you.

"Mikey, but you obviously haven't heard the news about the infamous "wiped away" misquote. It doesn't mean "holocaust". I wrote about this on SB a year ago."

Reread my post. It wasn't Ahmadinejad. Your talking about a completely different instance.

I was commenting on a Hamas leader in Gaza who was interviewed by Geraldo Rivera. They showed the replay of the interview saturday night.

I don't know where you're getting Ahmadinejad out of this. I haven't mentioned him or Iran once. I've only dealt with Hamas and Gaza.

MikeyA

along with the Jews, both Muslims and Christians are children of Abraham.

What is going on right now has less to do with religion than it is about the nature of man... the bad-side of nature.

that Israelies are allowed to initiate espionage against the United States Government with no reprocussions?

I'd just love to read that passage.

Kooz, I don't know what's worse--listening to what someone's "god" has say and susequently dictating land-ownership in this fashion....or believing that "pro-Palestine terrorists" are liberal. Religious fundamentalists are conservative by nature.

Pink Slip

With all the demonization of Israel I find it ironic that Israel is talking to Hamas through Egypt to try to end the rocket attacks and has been for some time.

Egypt and Israel were at one time bitter enemies. However once Egypt agreed that Israel and Jews in the area had a right to exist they were able to create peace between the two.

Thus far Hamas has yet to agree that Israel has a right to exist.

MikeyA

When anyone who reads (other than the Blade) knows who broke this cease fire.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L3503447.htm

 Here is the Reuters timeline of events since early December:

 

Dec. 14 - Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal says the group will not renew a six-month-old truce with Israel.

Dec. 18 - Hamas declares the end of the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, which expires the next day with a surge of cross-border fighting.

Dec. 24 - Gaza Palestinian militants ratchet up rocket fire towards Israel.

Dec. 27 - Israel launches massive air strikes on Gaza in response to the intensified rocket and mortar fire killing at least 229 Palestinians.

Dec. 28 - Hamas says an Israeli air strike destroys a laboratory building at the Islamic University, a significant cultural symbol of Hamas.

-- Israeli aircraft bomb some 40 smuggling tunnels in the Gaza Strip that provide a lifeline to the outside world.

Dec. 29 - Israel steps up its air strikes and bombs the Hamas-run Interior Ministry, the first air strike targeting a government building in the offensive.

-- Israel declares areas around the Gaza Strip a "closed military zone"

-- Palestinian militants fire rockets deeper into southern Israel.

Dec. 30 - Israeli warplanes press on for the fourth day with attacks on Hamas targets.

-- Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum urges Palestinian groups to respond using "all available means" against Israel.

-- Israel says its attacks herald "long weeks of military action".

Dec. 31 - Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh tells Palestinians that "victory is near".

-- Emergency session of U.N. Security Council to consider resolution drafted by Arab countries calling for immediate ceasefire adjourns without a vote.

Jan. 1 - Israel kills Nizar Rayyan, a hardline Hamas leader, in an air attack on his Gaza Strip home.

-- Palestinian casualties since Dec. 27 are 412 dead and about 1,850 wounded. A U.N. agency says about a quarter of the dead are civilians.

-- Three Israeli civilians and a soldier have been killed by Palestinian rockets since the air strikes began.

Jan. 2 - No sign of a ceasefire on the seventh day of the conflict, with at least 429 Palestinians killed and 2,000 wounded, but a Palestinian official says that Egypt had begun exploratory talks with Hamas to halt the bloodshed.

Jan. 3 - Israel launches a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, sending tanks and infantry into battle with Hamas fighters who had defied eight days of deadly air strikes.

-- Israeli tanks kill seven Gazans at the onset of the night-time invasion, bringing the Palestinian death toll since Dec. 27 to more than 450. An air strike on a mosque kills 11 Palestinian civilians and wounds dozens.

-- Israel says calls up tens of thousands of reservists and the military's chief spokesman estimates the operation in the Hamas-run enclave could take "many long days".

Jan. 4 - Israeli troops cut the territory in half from the border fence to the Mediterranean. Troops and armour ring Gaza City.

-- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert tells French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a phone call that Israel will continue to allow in aid supplies to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

-- Israeli President Shimon Peres rejects the possibility of a ceasefire but says Israel did not intend to occupy Gaza.

-- At least 42 Palestinians, most of them civilians, are killed as shells slam into Gaza.

Jan. 5 - Twelve civilians are killed as ground combat rages with the Palestinian death toll at least 524. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak says offensive will continue until communities in Israel are safe from Hamas rocket strikes

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

Your timeline is simplistic and incomplete. This goes back well beyond Dec. 14th. The Israelis have been dispossessing the Palestinians of land and choking the Gaza and the West Bank, economically and in other ways for years.

The timeline is based on when Israel withdrew from the West Bank as part of the "Gaza Pullout Plan" enacted in August of 2005.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel's_unilateral_disengagement_plan

Israel was not getting rockets launched from the Gaza Strip until December of last year after the Egypt brokered cease-fire expired and after Israel withdrew from the West Bank.

So it appears that the quickest way to peace in the West Bank is for Israel to take back the territory the same way it did after the six-day war.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

The West Bank and Gaza are different Palestinian territories with different leadership.

http://images.google.com/images?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4GGIH_enUS236US...

Gaza is controlled by Hamas and the West Bank is controlled by the Palestinian Authority. The two of which are not very friendly to each other.

Doesn’t your parent’s basement get the BBC?

I almost feel sorry for you. Once again, I conveniently supply links to my research and you mindless drones keep your lips attached to your Union leaders asses so tightly you can't read. It’s pathetic and you are a sad excuse for a human.

HERE once again for your convenience, since you refuse to educate yourself by clicking on a damn LINK, is part of the Israeli uilateral disengagement plan that ended Arial Sharon's career.

"Israel's unilateral disengagement plan (Hebrew: תוכנית ההתנתקות Tokhnit HaHitnatkut or תוכנית ההינתקות Tokhnit HaHinatkut in the Disengagement Plan Implementation Law), also known as the "Disengagement plan", "Gaza pull-out plan", and "Hitnatkut") was a proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adopted by the government on June 6, 2004 and enacted in August 2005, to evict all Israelis from the Gaza Strip and from four settlements in the northern West Bank."

 DID YOU READ THAT? Can you read? Does your puppet master allow you to think on your own?  Or do you have to ask your mommy to take your balls out of her purse in order for you to take some sort of initiative?

The disengagement plan also included the parts of the West Bank that rockets are now being launched from. Get it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel's_unilateral_disengagement_plan

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

Too funny...

I haven't been in a union since I worked at Kroger's during my college years. My wife and I are white collared professions with kids in private school…we’re what you like to call “Liberal Elitists”. If you’re going to use labels, please use the right ones.

Or do you have to ask your mommy to take your balls out of her purse in order for you to take some sort of initiative?
Couldn’t help but bring my genital into the conversation could you…typical closet case.

***By NORMAN FINKELSTEIN
The record is fairly clear. You can find it on the Israeli website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Israel broke the ceasefire by going into the Gaza and killing six or seven Palestinian militants. At that point—and now I’m quoting the official Israeli website—Hamas retaliated or, in retaliation for the Israeli attack, then launched the missiles.

Now, as to the reason why, the record is fairly clear as well. According to Ha’aretz, Defense Minister Barak began plans for this invasion before the ceasefire even began. In fact, according to yesterday’s Ha’aretz, the plans for the invasion began in March. And the main reasons for the invasion, I think, are twofold. Number one; to enhance what Israel calls its deterrence capacity, which in layman’s language basically means Israel’s capacity to terrorize the region into submission. After their defeat in July 2006 in Lebanon, they felt it important to transmit the message that Israel is still a fighting force, still capable of terrorizing those who dare defy its word.

And the second main reason for the attack is because Hamas was signaling that it wanted a diplomatic settlement of the conflict along the June 1967 border. That is to say, Hamas was signaling they had joined the international consensus, they had joined most of the international community, overwhelmingly the international community, in seeking a diplomatic settlement. And at that point, Israel was faced with what Israelis call a Palestinian peace offensive. And in order to defeat the peace offensive, they sought to dismantle Hamas.
http://counterpunch.org/finkelstein01132009.html

if Jonathan Pollard had anyone passing this information to Isreal while behind bars.

why we keep sending millions of dollars and military help to these bunch of spying scumbags is wayyyyyyyyyyyyy way beyond me.

Personally, I think Israel should be added to the "Axis of Evil" list, not only for spying on The United States Government and getting caught multiple times, but using our military supplies to destroy countless innocent civilian lives and blatent disregard to the United Nations for their agenda.

Makes me wonder what the Middle East would look like had Mr Pollard got caught spying for Syria? Egypt? Iran?

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