US policy: pretend to support Israel, work against her

I am not happy to be writing this post. I hope that what I write will turn out to be wrong. But as time passes it seems that the puzzle pieces are falling into place, and I don’t like the picture that is emerging.

One of the hardest things to understand about US policy has been the unrelenting pressure on Israel to cede territory to the Palestinian Authority, which is identical to the terrorist PLO. Following the Arab oil boycott of 1973, it was understandable that the US would want to appease the Arab oil-producers; and in the early years of the Oslo period, policymakers might have believed that they could make the Arabs happy while at the same time get points for bringing peace to a troubled region. They might have actually believed the ‘linkage theory’, that the Palestinian issue was the root of the Israeli-Arab conflict, which was in turn the source of most of the instability in the Middle East.

But the deceptions of Yasser Arafat and his heirs, 9/11, the rise of Hamas, the emergence of Iran as a nuclear power, and most importantly the laughably named ‘Arab Spring’, have laid bare the bankruptcy of this conceptual scheme. It must be clear by now to even the most obtuse of US officials that 1) it is impossible that Israeli territorial concessions will end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and 2) that the Palestinian issue is one of the least important faults in the quake-prone Mideast. This is just as well because the present negotiations between Israel and the PA have absolutely no possibility of success as a result of the Arabs’ maximal demands.

A corollary to 1) is that concessions by Israel will not improve its security, but will damage it, possibly leading to another regional war. It is also true that it is less and less important for the US economy to appease the oil producers by sacrificing Israel — Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are much more concerned about rising Iranian power, and in its response to this the US is disappointing them. And in the mid-to-long run, new oil reserves outside of the region will reduce their leverage.

Another confusing issue is US policy toward Iran. As this analysis shows, Iran is making steady progress toward nuclear weapons. It is very, very close. Yet the US has chosen to go along with Iran’s delaying tactics instead of increasing pressure. It even seems to be about to weaken sanctions without Iran taking real steps away from its goal. This policy directly contradicts the administration’s stated objective that Iran will not be allowed to go nuclear.

What’s going on?

Friday I wrote that the White House and State Department see Israel more as an enemy than as an ally, despite the attitudes of the great majority of Americans. But while the ‘friendship’ of the US with Israel has always been overstated, this administration represents something new. I think that it has moved significantly beyond its predecessors, and that anti-Israel elements, for the first time, are determining the direction of US policy. I believe that part of the overall strategy — which also includes alignment with Islamist regimes in opposition to traditional conservative Arab dictatorships and monarchies — is to oppose the continued existence of a Jewish state.

In my opinion, the President as well as his closest advisers and cabinet members not only see a divergence between US and Israeli interests, but are ideologically disposed to be anti-Israel. This is not really surprising, given the cultural, academic and political (New Left) backgrounds of the major players.

Considering that the American people and the Congress would not countenance outright hostility, they are acting against Israel indirectly, while at the same time giving the impression of support. This is a very serious claim to make and I don’t make it lightly. But it is the only way I can explain the behavior of the administration.

Our approach to the Palestinians can be explained in part by ideology: the administration really believes that, in the President’s words, “the Palestinians deserve a state,” and accepts the narrative of the Palestinian Arabs as an oppressed indigenous minority who ought to be protected. Condoleezza Rice, not a member of this administration but one who shares this point of view, once explicitly compared the Palestinian cause to the US civil rights movement.

Part and parcel of this ideology is to minimize Israel’s security concerns: since the Palestinians are presented as a weak minority, they can’t really threaten Israel. And since Israelis are seen as the ‘bad guys’, their security problems are viewed as their own fault, punishment for being colonialist oppressors. And in the final analysis, the administration’s empathy is with the Arabs, not the Jews. So it becomes possible to rationalize pressuring Israel to make dangerous concessions.

Another cause of the tilt toward the Arabs is simply the desire of the administration to ingratiate itself with the Muslim world — especially including Islamist circles — a program which the President initiated in Cairo shortly after his inauguration, and in which he has persisted. As every Muslim leader well knows, there is no better way to stir up emotions in the street than to attack Israel. What’s new is that now the West, including the US, has caught on and is trying to use this tactic.

Finally the Palestinian issue can be used as a lever in connection with the other major Mideast concern of the administration: Iran.

The administration seems to see a nuclear-armed Iran as a fait accompli, and has decided to make the best of it by aligning itself with the Iranian regime rather than opposing it. The US is not prepared for and cannot afford another war in the Middle East, particularly against a country that specializes in exporting terrorism around the world. So the decision has been made to appease.

From the Israeli point of view, the Iranian bomb is not acceptable. The policy of the Netanyahu government is that it will do whatever is necessary to stop it, including military action if there no alternative. The US, which no longer sees Israel as an ally and is afraid of angering Iran, therefore has adopted a policy of favoring Iran on this issue, acting to restrain Israel and to permit Iran to obtain nuclear weapons or at least a rapid breakout capability.

And this is where the Palestinian issue kills two birds with one stone: hurting the Jewish state overall, and providing a way to weaken PM Netanyahu politically so he can be replaced by a leader who is more compliant, particularly on Iran. This is why the administration chose to pressure Netanyahu to take the very unpopular step of releasing prisoners who convicted murderers.

Caroline Glick has suggested that the leverage the US has over Netanyahu stems from the Iranian situation. According to Glick, the US threatens that if the PM does not do what he is told, the US will “tip Iran off to an impending Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities.” This may seem far-fetched, but it explains the series of leaks from the White House that have followed actions taken by Israel.

Last week, Israel bombed a Syrian military base in Latakia in order (it is assumed) to destroy a shipment of Russian-supplied surface-to-air missiles bound for Hizballah. As happened at least three or four times in the recent past, Israel kept quiet about the operation so as not to force Bashar al-Assad retaliate to save face.  And as happened each time before, American officials leaked the  information that Israel was responsible to the media.

Israeli media reported that officials were angry, but were puzzled by US motives for the leaks. They are not puzzling, however, if they are seen as warnings to Israel that the US is aware of everything it is doing and is prepared to make its secrets public.

I think that the greatest danger to Israel in the coming years is not an outright nuclear attack from Iran — Iran is deterred by the threat of massive retaliation — but rather the more conventional violence of Hamas, the PLO and Hizballah, protected by an Iranian nuclear umbrella. While these forces are probably not capable of overrunning Israel, they are capable of severely damaging its economy and demoralizing the population, causing emigration of its elites and ultimately its end as a Jewish state.

The policies of the US, which aim to force Israel back to pre-1967 boundaries and deprive it of strategic depth, destroy Zionist ideology, facilitate the establishment of a  terror state on the doorstep of Israel’s population center, and permit Iran to develop a nuclear umbrella are exactly appropriate to weaken Israel and make the above scenario possible.

It’s with great sadness that I am beginning to think that this is the deliberate intention of the Obama Administration.

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3 Responses to “US policy: pretend to support Israel, work against her”

  1. Robman says:

    I predicted well over a year ago that if Obama were re-elected, he’d push Israel into the arms of China. I am not 100% sure this will happen, but there are many signs pointing in this direction even now (more on this later).

    For five years, I have warned anyone who would listen that the primary mission of the Saudi Manchurian Candidate, Obama, was to screw over Israel. This is intended, as Vic describes above, to appease Isalmist sensibilities, so as to allow the U.S. to withdraw from the war on Islamist terror at minimal cost to the U.S. (and maximal cost to Israel, but that is just too bad for them, those ingrate pushy Joos).

    Some might say that Obama’s reluctance to hit Iran casts doubt on my theory about the role of the Gulf Arabs in his rise to power. But I never said he was a puppet. I said he was a Manchurian Candidate, and there is a huge difference.

    Obama is a programmed anti-Israel political cruise missile, groomed and prepared by Saudi-supported handlers and mentors, such as Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, and Khalid Al Mansour. These relationships are amply documented.

    There is more to him than that. He’s also a committed member of the far-left academia crowd, and those are his most important ideological roots. But the far left never had the $$$ to gain that much traction in U.S. politics. A “sugar daddy” was needed, and seeing Obama as their best hope for screwing Israel, the Gulf Arabs stepped in with the capital. Domestic U.S. politics were of little concern to them, except where allowing the building mosques and such were concerned, and Obama has accomodated very nicely there as well.

    In any event, Obama is a “true believer” in the Palestinian “cause”, as Vic points out above. Even as the Gulf Arabs recognize this for the b.s. narrative that they themselves helped make up out of whole cloth, Obama really, truly believes in it. And he”ll do anything to make it happen…even let Iran go nuclear. The Gulf Arabs are wetting their pants over this now, but hey, that’s “the law of unintended consequences” at work.

    What to do about this now? Well, if any reader here has any access to decision-makers in Israel, I’d advise you to advise them to HIT IRAN WITHOUT DELAY. Should have been done long ago, but high mucky-mucks in the Israeli security establishment such as Amos Yadlin say there is still time, if not much. DO IT NOW. It will take away Obama’s most important leverage against Israel. And, of course, it will remove an existential threat from Israel. But the point is, whatever illusions anyone in Israel has entertained up to now that the U.S. under Obama really intends to stop Iran, or intends even at some point to support Israel in stopping Iran, must be dispelled. Israel is in this alone, and must act accordingly. That is the stark, sad truth.

    Then, there is the threat Obama poses of isolating Israel at the UN. Even the possibility of presiding over Israel’s expulsion from the UN, in regards to Israel’s “intransigence” over the PA issue. This has to be risked. But just like the “Zionism is racism” UN resolution was not forever, expulsion from the UN need not be forever. In any case, Taiwan doesn’t have a seat in the UN anymore, and they are doing just fine. I’m not saying this is going to be a dandy situation, but it is a survivable situation.

    Which brings me to China. China is now Israel’s third largest trading partner. China is building a rail line from Eilat to Ashdod, in order to bypass the Suez Canal. A Chinese tycoon from Hong Kong just gave Technion $130 million, and a further $140 million is coming from China from other sources. There is no question that China considers her relationship with Israel very important.

    As part of my cable TV service, I have access to CCTV, Chinese Cable TV, which is their English-language answer to FOX, CNN, etc. It is actually not bad, taking into account the “Potemkin Village” factor.

    The other day, I saw something remarkable. They provided an in-depth and very even-handed report on the prisoner release in Israel. Granted, a truly “fair” broadcast would have called that out for the shameful b.s. that it is, but they gave plenty of time to those who were against it. It was far, far better coverage of this issue than I have EVER seen in ANY U.S. media, period.

    Israeli leaders must make it clear to Chinese leaders that if they expect to benefit from their investments in Israel, Israel has to continue to be around. And this is not something China can just take for granted, given the duplicity of the U.S. under Obama. China must be convinced to be prepared to help counterbalance U.S. hostility to Israel, if only for their own interests in Israel. Given that the Chinese – unlike the Europeans and the Obama administration – are not anti-Semites at all, and are practical people, this should not be such an impssible task.

    So, even if Obama tries to screw Israel in the UN over the Palestinian issue, there are going to be countries that will maintain ties with Israel regardless, no matter what lip service they may or may not pay to the plight of the poor, poor Palestinians. I would include in this list not only China, but India, South Korea, Singapore, Canada, and Austrialia. Perhaps even Russia, and probably Japan as well. There are going to be economic blows, particularly with respect to the EU, but again, while these will be painful, these are also survivable.

    Obama will not be around foreever, even though it seems that way sometimes. His credibility both at home and on the world stage is sinking. No matter what the Obama-controlled media might say, or the anti-Semites in Europe, there are going to be many people – particularly here in the U.S. – who will at least privately sympathize with Israel vis-a-vis Obama.

    At this point, I really do not know if the U.S-Israeli alliance can still be saved. Maybe it can, maybe it can’t. There is still a very pro-Israel U.S. Congress, and Americans in general still support Israel in relation to her adversaries, despite the bashing Israel receives in the U.S. media. Many important U.S. business concerns – with their related clout in the halls of power here in the U.S. – still are investing heavily in Israel. But how much difference this can make in the face of other pressing priorities, and the fact of the central role the executive branch plays in U.S. foreign policy, remains to be seen.

    We have reached a point where in order to “save” the U.S.-Israeli alliance, Israel is going to have to risk losing it. I think this is the hardest thing for the current Israeli administration to accept, but I believe they are now beginning to finally realize what is going on. I hope they have the courage to do what needs to be done.

    Perhaps what may come out of the other end of this sad, dangerous, and dark period of history is not only a stronger, more independent Israel, but a U.S.-Israeli relationship that is based more sincerely on mutual respect, a factor that even before Obama, was sadly lacking from the U.S. side.

    Stay strong, everybody.

  2. Shalom Freedman says:

    You have said a lot of things in this piece, and I will comment on only a few.
    The first one is the main idea that the U.S.’s real aim is to weaken and undermine Israel.
    I believe that this idea is wrong. The U.S. is so strongly identified throughout the world as Israel’s champion, and the American domestic support for Israel is so great that any major setback for Israel is yet another failure for the Administration which certainly does not need yet another major failure.
    I attribute the mistaken American policies to something else. Obama like every Administration that has preceded him believes a Peace agreement is in America’s interests. He does it seems to me more sympathize with the Palestinians than with Israel yet he sees a Peace agreement as doing something positive for all sides.
    Here I will make objection to another point you make i.e. that there is no chance of an agreement. I disagree. There can be a major surprise for everyone , one which will involve Netanyahu’s breaking promises. Abbas will too break promises. The present weakness of Hamas gives him a chance to get away with this. I am not saying this will happen, but I would not rule it out. Dramatic change and surprise agreements have happened before.
    The scenario of a kind of War of Attrition in which Hizbollah, Hamas, try to wear Israel down will not I think be tolerated by Israel. You yourself have pointed out that Israel should in any future outbreak of major violence act with massive force and with great speed. My sense is that this is the strategy that will be adopted in any future confrontation.
    One more point. The Obama Administration has proven itself inept on all fronts. I believe this to be our major worry in regard to its declared policy of not permitting Iran to attain nuclear weapons.

  3. Vic Rosenthal says:

    Shalom:

    Obama does indeed believe that an agreement is in America’s interest, but it does not have to be — indeed cannot be — a ‘peace’ agreement. Obama and friends think that if the US can be shown to have succeeded in pushing the Jews out of the territories, the Muslims will like him and treat him better. Israel’s security is of no consequence for him.

    Abbas can’t break his promises to his people — just look at his recent speech (see http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=10030). The PLO chose its path when it began to educate its people for hate and war in 1993, and Abbas couldn’t go back now if he wanted to.

    I sincerely hope that Israel will not tolerate a war of attrition. Unfortunately the policy of the US is to try to prevent Israel from responding with massive force and to insure that any confrontation will be inconclusive.

    In short, US policy is to hold Israel down while the Arabs and Iran rape her.