An Israeli Insult to America

House Speaker Boehner arranged for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to address Congress without clearing the move with the White House and with the clear intent to challenge President Obama’s foreign policy, an unprecedented affront that calls for a reaction, says ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.

By Melvin A. Goodman

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s acceptance of an invitation to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress in March is an unacceptable interference in our domestic political arena and must be challenged. It is simply not enough for the White House to indicate that there will be no meeting between President Barack Obama and the Israeli Prime Minister.

At the very least, the United States must take the next opportunity at the UN’s Security Council to forswear a veto on a resolution critical of Israel as well as signal a significant change in U.S. military assistance to the Israelis. The Israelis must be made to understand that the United States, the only ally that Israel has in the global community, will not tolerate its anti-American behavior.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Anti-Americanism in Israel is not exactly a new development, although Netanyahu has been more stubborn than his predecessors in conducting the policy.  In the 1950s, Israeli agents bombed a United States Information Agency library in Egypt and tried to make it appear to be an Egyptian act of violence in order to compromise U.S.-Egyptian relations. This was an act of terrorism designed to coerce the West not to improve relations with Cairo.

In the 1960s, the Israelis told the United States at the highest levels that it would not conduct a pre-emptive attack against the Arab states, which is exactly what it did in starting the Six-Day War.  In the war’s opening days, Israeli fighter planes bombed the USS Liberty, leading to the deaths of 34 American sailors. The Israelis claimed it was an accident. If so, it was the best planned “accident” that I have ever observed.

In the October War in 1973, the Israelis did their best to compromise a cease-fire that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had carefully orchestrated with the Soviet Union.  Israeli violations of the cease-fire led to Kissinger’s threats to intervene in the conflict if Israeli forces did not cease their military operations.

Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and its war crimes against the Palestinians led to the intervention of U.S. Marines, with terrible losses for the United States in the following year.  Israeli war crimes in Gaza this past summer have added to U.S. problems in pursuing a peace process in the Middle East.

President Obama has put himself at a disadvantage in dealing with the Israelis at this juncture.  He has the empathy to deal with both sides in the dispute, but lacks the tenacity of Kissinger or Presidents Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton to put pressure on Israel or to give Palestinian statehood the priority it deserves. Even President George H.W. Bush was successful 25 years ago, when he halted loan guarantees for the building of Israeli settlements.

What should President Obama do? Since the United States has insufficient non-military tools of influence, it is time to use our military assistance as a source of leverage. The United States gives far too much military aid to Israel, which has not faced a serious military challenge from the Arab world since Egyptian President Anwar Sadat courageously concluded a peace agreement more than three decades ago. The Israelis, moreover, get generous terms for that aid that are not available to any other country in the world.

Over the past several years, Netanyahu has gone out of his way to embarrass virtually every U.S. official, including President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. There are Israeli officials who believe that Netanyahu has gone too far this time.

The only way to lend some credibility to our concerns and the concerns of those Israelis is to adopt a tougher stand on issues of concern. President Obama may find that there is more support than he expects, both at home and abroad for standing up to the intransigence of the Israeli Prime Minister.

Melvin A. Goodman is senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, DC, and adjunct professor of government at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism as well as the forthcoming Path to Dissent: The Story of a Whistleblower at the CIA (City Lights Publishers, 2015).  He is the national security and intelligence columnist for Counterpunch.org, where this story first appeared.

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10 comments for “An Israeli Insult to America

  1. Zachary Smith
    February 2, 2015 at 15:46

    Sorry for the near-duplicate post. My efforts to post on this site have been getting some weird results. Sometimes no problem, others a post doesn’t appear at all in one or more browsers. Or there is a many-hour delay.

  2. Zachary Smith
    February 2, 2015 at 15:42

    The Moon of Alabama blog has an entry about a Friday news dump by the Washington Post.

    xxxx://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/01/some-questions-on-todays-mughniyah-stories.html

    Why is the story coming out now? Has it to do with the spat between Obama and Netanyahoo? Is it a diversion from Israel’s recent loss against Hizbullah? Has it to do with the U.S. negotiations with Iran?

    The story was obviously ready for some time to be put out by two competing papers. Both were likely waiting for a go from their sources to publish it. Why was the “go” given now? By whom?

    The xymphora site has a tentative theory.

    “Does the US really want to declare war on Hizbullah?”

    http://xymphora.blogspot.com/2015/02/mashugana-mughniyah-stories.html

  3. JWalters
    February 1, 2015 at 21:22

    Thanks for this synopsis of Israel’s repeated “un-friending” of the U.S. with lies and bombs.

    The persistent absence of the facts in this story of America’s mainstream media points to another, equally important dimension of this story.

    For readers unfamiliar with it, here’s an account of how this pattern got started.
    http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

    The above link is highly recommended by Ray McGovern here
    https://consortiumnews.com/2014/06/03/the-real-villains-of-the-bergdahl-tale/#comment-170961

  4. Zachary Smith
    February 1, 2015 at 11:45

    The Moon of Alabama blog has an entry about a Friday news dump by the Washington Post.

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/01/some-questions-on-todays-mughniyah-stories.html

    Why is the story coming out now? Has it to do with the spat between Obama and Netanyahoo? Is it a diversion from Israel’s recent loss against Hizbullah? Has it to do with the U.S. negotiations with Iran?

    The story was obviously ready for some time to be put out by two competing papers. Both were likely waiting for a go from their sources to publish it. Why was the “go” given now? By whom?

    The xymphora site has a tentative theory. It’s a short one, so I’m cut/pasting.

    “Does the US really want to declare war on Hizbullah?”

    Everyone immediately recognizes that the relevant aspect of this story – which may or may not bear any resemblance to the truth – is its timing, and the obvious question of what part of American public opinion it is intended to manipulate.

    The big Israeli-American issue is Bibi’s forced speech, and the ever-so-slight, but extremely uncharacteristic, push back from some parts of the American leadership and media. Jewish supremacism is acceptable as long as it doesn’t undermine American supremacism, and this embarrassment of Barry and the institution of the Presidency crossed the line in a very vulgar way.

    Bibi is coming to the United States to influence American politics regarding sanctions on Iran. What better way to deal with the PR problem than to make up a story of American-Israeli cooperation in ridding the world of a terrible ‘terrorist’, one working for the Hezbollah-Iran axis of evil, and a man who was allegedly the mastermind behind attacks on both Israeli and American targets? Sanctions on Iran is just another example of this invaluable cooperation. Can’t Americans get over this partisan bickering to realize that Bibi just wants to help to keep Americans safe in the same way, and against the same common enemy, that CIA-Mossad cooperation has kept Americans safe in the past?

    http://xymphora.blogspot.com/

    He may have a point – it’s about trying to provoke Hezbollah into attacking an American target. Or setting up the background for a false-flag operation which can be used to justify anything the neocons plan to do next.

  5. rose day
    January 31, 2015 at 12:24

    This is as much a Boehner insult to America.

  6. Gregory Kruse
    January 31, 2015 at 10:58

    I vote “yes” on any one or all of those proposals.

  7. Remoran
    January 30, 2015 at 21:42

    Excellent article and commentary on why the US must change it’s relationship with Israel now before it’s too late. For far too long, we have kissed Israel’s ass, given it every thing it asked for and acted as dishonest broker in the so called peace talks that are Orwellian at best, while Israel continues to ground Palestine into dust while stealing their land and taking all the water, which is the real reason why Israel remains forever in Palestine and the Golan Heights. In the long term, Israel is doomed, lead by feckless fools like Netanyahu, who will do anything to stay in power including getting the US into a needless war with Iran using a bought and paid for congress to make it happen.

    At this point in time, one can only hope Obama has the guts to make a change in policy regarding this rogue nation and, as stated by the comments seen above, the military option is the best way to do it. Well done for sure. Thanks

  8. Zachary Smith
    January 30, 2015 at 13:10

    The Israelis claimed it was an accident. If so, it was the best planned “accident” that I have ever observed.

    This is the greatest line I’ve read for a long, long time!

    What should President Obama do?

    It’s my feeling that a better question would be – “What can President Obama do?” Naturally I’ve no inside information, but for years it’s been my feeling BHO is a puppet who does what he’s told – and when he’s told.

    A simple solution would be for the US to suddenly discover what the entire world already knows – Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons. THAT alone would enable a cutoff of the US taxpayer welfare payments to the shitty little nation on the East end of the Mediterranean. Yeah, it’s wishful thinking, for Holy Israel has both houses of Congress in its pocket. Many neocon newspaper columnists are agonizing about the incredible stupidity of Boehner for allowing the fact to be so nakedly displayed. Most American Jews are fine US patriots, and forcing them to make a choice between a murderous and thieving little nation and their own home country won’t turn out well for Israel.

    Now a WAG of a prediction – the near-treason Boehner invite will somehow get delayed or cancelled, for too much is at stake for The Lobby.

    Did anybody else notice that after Hezbollah retaliated (as they’d promised to do) for the Israeli attack on their troops, Netanyahu was in fine form, threatening a massive reaction. All of a sudden, that has disappeared. IMO somebody told the idiot to put a sock in his blowhard orifice – and with enough authority that he has done so.

  9. January 30, 2015 at 12:13

    SORRY i WISH TO CORRECT MY LETTER ABOVE

    Thank you for stating the issue clearly and unequivocally. It is high time that Americans understand that they no longer own their government. The United States is in dire straits, no matter how many superficial upticks in their failed economy.

    Obama is a tragic figure. He represents America at its most abject–prostrate before a wild group of traitors and foreign plotters right inside Congress and government. America is now a rag to most retrograde regimes around the world, especially in the Middle East, and especially the insatiable Saudis, who are now braced for more machinations against Iran with the aid of Israel and its terror network in Syria and elsewhere. Everyone knows, everybody has caught the scent of blood, and America is in the sights of a lot of people, not just in the Midddle East.

    However, I take exception to your use of “anti-American” to qualify Israel’s behavior. A race colony like this can be neither anti-American nor pro-American. Israel is on a collision course with the rest of the world and is completely engrossed in buying its way to the future, which since it broke the peace with Syria at the outset of the terrorist war there, has grown considerably dimmer.

    Indeed, what just entered the realm of possibilities, with that war but for other reasons as well, is that Israel’s own handlers may be contemplating its liquidation. Israel cannot and will not be allowed to continue in its present form. Kerry’s recent briefing at the Trilateral Commission after Israel torpedoed the American-sponsored peace talks is much more serious that most Israelis realize. Netanyahu’s racist “Jewish State” notions are just octopus ink in the water, cover for what he and the Israeli leaders are really after: the complete annihilation of what remains of Palestinian society. So far, they have been wanting to instill in the Palestinians the feeling that they a “defeated people.” Now the stakes are much higher, since the Palestinians show no signs of wanting to die, and Lebanon alone has the capability of bringing Israel to its knees. So forget about any attack on Iran–that too is part of Netanyahu’s King of Komedy and Kitsch stunt.

    Why is it that everyone can see Netanyahu coming a mile away and yet remain frozen in fear? Fear of what? Israel’s nuclear bombs. Let’s see what happens if they hint once again at using their nuke arsenal.

    Israel is not anti-American. Israel is a class unto its own, surpassing even South Africa in the dark days of Apartheid.

  10. January 30, 2015 at 12:06

    Thank you for stating the issue clearly and unequivocally. It is high time that Americans understand that they no longer own their government. The United States is in dire straits, no matter how many superficial upticks in their failed economy.

    Obama is a tragic figure. He represents America at its most abject–prostrate before a wild group of traitors and foreign plotters right inside Congress and government. America is now a rag to most retrograde regimes around the world, especially in the Middle East, and especially the insatiable Saudis, who are now braced for more machinations against Iran with the aid of Israel and its terror network in Syria and elsewhere. Everyone knows, everybody has caught the scent of blood, and America is in the sights of a lot of people, not just in the Midddle East.

    However, I take exception to your use of “anti-American” to qualify Israel’s behavior. A race colony like this can be neither anti-American nor pro-American. Israel is on a collision course with the rest of the world and is completely engrossed in buying its way to the future, which has since it broke the peace with Syria at the outset of the terrorist war there, has grown considerably dimmer.

    Indeed, what just entered the realm of possibilities, with that war but for other reasons as well, is that Israel’s own handlers may be contemplating its liquidation. Israel cannot and will not be allowed to continue in its present form. Kerry’s recent briefing at the Trilateral Commission after Israel’s torpedoed the American-sponsored peace talks is much more serious that most Israelis realize. Netanyahu’s racist “Jewish State” notions are just octopus ink in the water, cover for what he and the Israeli leaders are really after: the complete annihilation of what remains of Palestinian society. So far, they have been wanting to instill in the Palestinians the feeling that they a “defeated people.” Now the stakes are much higher, since the Palestinians show now signs of wanting to die, and Lebanon alone has the capability of bringing Israel to its knees. So forget about any attack on Iran–that too is part of the King of Komedy and Kitsch ruse.

    Why is that everyone can see Netanyahu coming a mile away and yet remain frozen in fear? Fear of what? Israel’s nuclear bombs. Let’s see what happens if they hint once again at using it.

    Israel is not anti-American. Israel is a class unto its own, surpassing even South Africa in the dark days of Apartheid.

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