Cracks are forming in the old U.S. political paradigm of support for Israel whatever it does. Israeli leaders may compare mowing down each new generation of Palestinian militants to a chore like trimming the grass, but the moral depravity and diplomatic damage are growing too severe, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
From the Archive: Just days after President Obama’s reelection, Israel launched a punishing bombing campaign against Palestinians in Gaza – much as Israel did shortly after his election in 2008. Obama again is put in a tight spot, but other U.S. presidents faced similar challenges, as Morgan Strong reported in 2010.
From the Archive: As Israel again “mows the grass” in Gaza – taking revenge on Palestinians for firing crude missiles into Israeli territory – the myth upon which the Jewish government stakes its claim to the land is front and center. But the myth faces challenges even inside Israel, as Morgan Strong reported in 2009.
A carefully cultivated mythology sustains Israel’s territorial claims to Palestine and rationalizes Israel’s ethnic cleansing of millions of Palestinians from the land. Challenges to those myths are typically met with fierce counterattacks, as Lawrence Davidson discovered.
Exclusive: Israeli hardliners joke about the periodic need to decimate each new generation of Palestinian militants as “mowing the grass,” a process underway again in new bombardments of Gaza. This ugly metaphor has also penetrated the think-tank world of Official Washington, as ex-CIA analyst Elizabeth Murray learned.
The new round of violence between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza is receiving the typical U.S. media treatment, blaming Hamas and absolving Israel. But the origins of the latest clashes are much more complex than that simplistic and one-sided version, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Freed from pressures of reelection, President Obama has the opportunity to chart a more daring foreign policy in his second term, taking chances for peace. But he will still face determined political opposition if he crosses powerful lobbies, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
With President Obama’s reelection, prospects for progress in Middle East disputes have brightened but no one expects the resolution of crises in Syria, Iran, Israel, Palestine and elsewhere to be easy. An offhand remark by a Palestinian leader shows how complex some issues remain, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
False national narratives play key roles in controlling human behavior, especially when enforced by an aggressive propaganda system that demonizes factual counter-narratives. That has long been the case as Israel minimized its harsh treatment of Palestinians, but the truth has begun to break through, says Lawrence Davidson.
Islamophobes, including some involved in the ugly protests over an Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan, are now taking their case against the “savage” to billboards, urging greater U.S. support for Israel. But this message is designed to justify ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, says Lawrence Davidson.