US policy toward Israel has always been ambivalent, at best. Truman struggled with his State Department, particularly Secretary George Marshall, to recognize the state of Israel. Eisenhower was furious when Israel conspired with France and England to invade the Sinai in 1956, and threatened economic sanctions to force a withdrawal (he also promised that the US would guarantee free passage through the strait of Tiran, a promise the US broke in 1967). Ronald Reagan sold AWACS aircraft to Saudi Arabia against strident Israeli objections, and George H. W. Bush forced Israel to take no action while Iraqi Scud missiles were crashing into Tel Aviv.
The US has never accepted Israeli rights to Jerusalem — even West Jerusalem — and since the 1970′s, policy has been to try to undo the results of the 1967 war and return Israel to the 1949 armistice lines.
Having said that, the US was generous with military aid after 1967, particularly during the Cold War when Israel served as a bulwark against Soviet influence in the region. But keep in mind that aid money was spent to buy weapons from US contractors, so this was not all done out of love for the Jewish state.
There is reason to think that the present administration has decided to implement an even more aggressive policy. Apparently it’s been decided that it is not possible to undo 1967 without also undoing 1948.
The failure of Oslo, of Sharon’s unilateral withdrawal and of other diplomatic initiatives have produced a consensus in Israel that today there is no practical way to implement a two-state solution. At the same time, Fatah has escalated demands rather than becoming more moderate (or perhaps Fatah’s mask of moderation has fallen away). And of course, Hamas controls Gaza and 40% of the Palestinian population.
In any event, the Obama administration seems to have come to the conclusion that a sovereign Israel can’t be cajoled or even pressured to accept an agreement with the Palestinians that it regards (correctly) as suicidal. So the approach will be to remove Israel’s independent volition — in effect to go back to the solution the State Department had pushed in 1948, a US-controlled “Trusteeship.”
This is what is meant in practice by the “American peace plan” which was created by Obama’s highly Israel-hostile Mideast team of Jones, Scowcroft, Brzezinski, Berger, Kurtzer, Power, etc.
Alex Fishman, in an article in “Yediot Achronot” from April 9th, details what Obama presented to Netanyahu for his
signature [at their last meeting]:
- The withdrawal of the IDF from all the Arab cities of Judea and Samaria and a large proportion of the countryside, precluding all future Israeli military operations in those areas (pretty much the only way of preventing terrorist attacks against Israeli targets);
- Allowing the Palestinian Authority to resume operations unhindered in Jerusalem;
- Obligating Israel to cease any present or future building in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, amounting to the de facto division of the capitol [sic].
In addition, Obama demanded that Netanyahu continue the building freeze in Judea and Samaria indefinitely and hand over parts of Area C to the Ramallah authorities, changing its status to Area A, which prohibits Israelis from setting foot there. Obama required Netanyahu to relinquish the northern Dead Sea and parts of the Jordan Valley to enable the PA to develop tourism there.
All this must take place immediately, before the beginning of negotiations, while the negotiations themselves will determine the final border and, according to the American timetable, will be signed and sealed within two months….
First by forcing Netanyahu to create in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria conditions under which the territory is de facto handed over to the Arabs, and then by giving him a few months to play at the farce of negotiations, with the predetermined result of arriving at the American “peace plan.”
And that’s not all. There’s the Quartet’s declared intent to base the forced “peace” on foreign armies. The Americans and Europeans are offering Israel the services of foreign troops as a beneficence in response to Israel’s complaint that it will no longer be able to defend itself within the borders of the Green Line. Their answer to this is “security guarantees” backed up with a military presence in the Jordan Valley and along the Green Line. They tell us that their intention is to defend us from the Arabs while they tell the Arabs that their intention is to defend them from us. In effect, this military presence will tie our hands and will prevent the Israeli government from taking any independent military action. From then on, Israel will be a sovereign nation in name only. In fact, Israel will be a protectorate under international control, led by America.
HaEtzni is a right-winger, a “settler advocate.” Nevertheless, his analysis can’t be faulted. Given the incompatibility between Palestinian demands and Israeli security, there is no way that the Palestinian state so sought by the Obama Administration can be brought into existence except against Israel’s will.
Obama has threatened that if the “proximity talks” don’t bear fruit by September/October he will produce the “American proposal” and call for a summit led by the hostile Quartet to beat Israel into submission. Perhaps he thinks that a foreign policy ‘success’ (he has never had one) will help the Democrats in November’s election.