Can US Stop Enabling Israel?

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is like the drunken friend demanding the car keys as he staggers toward his own destruction and that of others a condition that requires the United States to intervene to stop his dangerous and reckless behavior, writes Alon Ben-Meir.

By Alon Ben-Meir

No one can deny the close, abiding and unparalleled friendship between the United States and Israel. This tight bond has served both countries well, especially Israel, which has benefitted politically, economically and militarily from the U.S.’s unwavering support, helping Israel to become a powerhouse second to none in the Middle East.

It appears, though, that this unequivocal American support and friendship enabled Israel to become more entrenched in the West Bank by building and expanding the settlements and expropriating Palestinian land, thereby making the prospect of achieving peace ever more remote. Regardless of the wars and violent conflicts sweeping the region since Israel’s inception, the U.S. maintained a steady hand in its support of Israel, even at the expense of its own strategic interests in the area.

Secretary of State John Kerry speaking to the AIPAC conference on March 3, 2014.

Secretary of State John Kerry speaking to the AIPAC conference on March 3, 2014.

Friendship, after all, whether between countries or individuals, carries with it a moral responsibility and obligation to lend aid, advice, resources and protection as the case may warrant. An ethical difficulty arises, however, when one realizes that instead of helping a friend, one is in fact allowing, or enabling, that friend to harm himself.

To use a simple analogy, if my friend is addicted to drugs, there quickly comes a point where readily giving him money (in the Israeli-U.S. situation, providing Israel with military aid, economic assistance and especially political cover) is directly contributing to the continuation of this devastating habit.

It is precisely in the name of friendship that I must refuse to give that which my friend so ardently desires. Such a policy of ‘tough love’ is never easy or pleasant, and certainly unpopular as Nietzsche put it, “This is the hardest of all: to close the open hand out of love”

U.S.-Israel relations are presently at a historic low because Obama was willing to show a little tough love by exerting limited pressure on Israel to suspend settlement activity. The irony here is that while the U.S. believes that Israeli-Arab peace will provide Israel with ultimate long-term security, it did not exert sufficient pressure on Israel to pursue peace, which of necessity requires significant concessions.

Every day that the U.S. allows the continuation of the occupation, it is inadvertently compromising Israel’s national security, even though the U.S. is committed to safeguard that very thing. Israel is digging itself deeper while the U.S. remains its protector and the prospect for a two-state solution becomes dimmer, threatening Israel’s very existence as a Jewish and democratic state.

The U.S. must no longer give Israel a blank check, hoping that it will use it wisely. Israel has failed that test and the U.S. is becoming as a result complicit in Israel’s self-destructive policy. Given that the U.S. has a moral and material stake in Israel’s wellbeing and is committed to its preservation, it must be in a position to shape and influence Israel’s conduct, particularly in relation to its conflict with the Palestinians.

There are those who argue that Israel is a sovereign state and no other country, including the U.S., can dictate what Israel can or cannot do. The problem is that Israel depends on the U.S. politically, and to safeguard its national security, and cannot at the same time defy the U.S. and continue to expect this unconditional support.

Other than the damage the U.S.’s current policy has caused to Israel’s national security interests, the U.S. has lost much of its credibility in the region. The Arab states accuse the U.S. of lacking impartiality in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and they go as far as suggesting that America is in Israel’s pocket.

As it is, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extremely difficult to resolve and is further burdened by differing historical and religious accounts and claims, and every day that passes without a solution makes the conflict ever more intractable. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes he can defy the U.S. with impunity; one can count on him (contrary to his public protestations) to make every effort to stymie the creation of a Palestinian state.

Only when the U.S. changes its policy and is prepared to exert, in the main, political pressure on Israel, will the U.S. be able to save Israel from its destructive path. The U.S. must now work closely with its European and Arab allies to come up with a binding United Nation’s Security Council resolution that will compel both Israelis and Palestinians to sit down and negotiate a peace agreement.

If Israel refuses to abide by the resolution or negotiate in good faith, the U.S. should withdraw its political cover, thereby exposing Israel to international censure. Netanyahu, like most Israelis, simply takes American political support for granted. When he realizes he can no longer do so, he will have to heed the U.S.’s advice and together develop new plans that will advance the peace process, or resign.

That said, the current extreme right-wing coalition government led by Netanyahu will under no circumstances accede to the establishment of a Palestinian state, and it will unravel under international, especially American, pressure.

Needless to say, this in no way exempts the Palestinians from fulfilling their own responsibility in negotiating in earnest and making the required concessions, however painful, with the objective of reaching an agreement. Like all of his predecessors, having judiciously watched Israel’s back, President Barack Obama has the obligation and moral responsibility to demand that Israel resume the negotiations in earnest.

Although Israel has enjoyed tremendous political support from both Congress and the American people, there is a definite shift among the public and leading politicians toward putting the onus on Israel. This seven decades-old debilitating conflict that has destabilized the Middle East and continues to feed into the region’s sweeping violent frenzy must come to an end.

The U.S. ought to be clear by explaining to the Israeli public in particular that time is running out. If Israel continues to build new and expand existing settlements, it will seriously and rapidly erode the prospect of a two-state solution.

Israel must choose now between a) remaining a Jewish and democratic state by ending the occupation and creating two states, b) becoming a one-state democracy (in which case the Palestinians will be the governing majority), or c) end up being an apartheid state subject to international condemnation, sanctions, and isolation.

A change in American policy toward Israel in no way suggests that the U.S. is less committed to Israel’s national security. On the contrary, because of the U.S.’s unwavering commitment, it becomes incumbent upon it morally and materially to end its enablement of Israel’s addiction to building more settlements, expropriating more land, and maintaining the occupation, which will destroy Israel as we know it.

By demonstrating tough love, the U.S. can fulfill its moral obligation to best serve Israel’s national security and preserve it as an independent Jewish and democratic state, which for nearly all Israelis is their most cherished dream.

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies. alon@alonben-meir.com           Web: www.alonben-meir.com

39 comments for “Can US Stop Enabling Israel?

  1. hammersmith
    June 23, 2015 at 22:26

    The “U.S.” does not have the volition to enable or disenable Israel.

    • Anonymous
      June 24, 2015 at 12:00

      So, you are saying that Israel must disable itself to stop committing war crimes? Or are you saying the rest of the world must put enough pressure on Israel or her chief enabler, the US, to disable Israel?

  2. Denis
    June 21, 2015 at 16:57

    I find the drunken friend analogy not just misplaced, but entirely misleading, and misleading in a way that conceals a much darker relationship.

    Countries may have allies and enemies in times of war, but countries never have “friends,” they only have interests. In order to understand the seemingly inexplicable “dedication” of USG to GOI, one has to understanding their complimentary and competing interests.

    GOI’s interests are patently clear, no need to waste words with the obvious.

    USG’s interests are more complicated and dishonest, for USG has been conducting a shell game with the taxpayers’ money for 50 years. The racket works like this.

    Step 1: US taxpayers pay a large portion of their income to USG and they elect USG politicians.

    Step 2: US politicians get elected in part because they get money indirectly from two very powerful lobbies: proxy lobbies for GOI and direct lobbies for the war weapons industry.

    Step 3: The politicians provide $3bn/yr to GOI, mostly in military aid.

    Step 4: 80% of that aid (Step 3) is then spent on goodies from the US war weapons industry.

    Step 5: Some of the aid to GOI (Step 3) and some of GOI’s expenditures to the US war weapons industry (Step 4) is used to elect (Step 2) those USG politicians that send money to GOI (Step 3), which brings us back to Step 1.

    It looks like a cycle, but it’s not. It’s a spiral — it keeps going up and up and up. . .

    I don’t see any drunken friends here. I see, essentially, US politicians turning American tax dollars into shekels and then receiving the shekels as kick-backs from GOI. The US taxpayers are too thick to see what’s going on, and until they do see it, it will continue to go on. And get worse.

    When necessary USG will send American kids to die in proxy wars for GOI in order to keep this shell-game going. I’m lookin’ at you John McCain, Chas. Schumer, Lindsey Graham, and about 400 others.

  3. elmerfudzie
    June 20, 2015 at 02:17

    In strict terms of this article, Israel is just another cover story. The under currents, the deeper reasons that preserve this bizarre alliance, are strong, hidden, tucked well below the surface, and in more ways than one! Distractions are everywhere, and lull readers into forgetting that it’s STILL about oil, pipeline distribution systems for that oil and an estimated one trillion dollars of mineral wealth, (rare earth metals, among others) in Afghanistan, just waiting to be culled. Israel in effect is the lackey for a group of international corporations who want hegemonic control over these vast resources. It seems that no-one broaches the subject of enforcing the FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) anymore, as this would surely impact AIPAC activities, thus weakening it’s influence over secret W.H.and Pentagon decision-making. How strange; so seldom are comparisons drawn between what our pioneers did to the American Indians and what Zionists are doing to Palestinians today, this historical similarity indeed constitutes a “tough-love” more than any other reason. Further, only a handful of journalists tackle the ongoing failures of the TAPI pipeline project, which was the main reason behind the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. Even the coffers of the Mossad would have benefited to the tune of billions of dollars, if only our Imperial forces (US and NATO) had success, getting that gas to India via TAPI. In a real sense, it’s actually Israel that has become the Enabler for American Corporate interests. All in vain I’m afraid, all in vain.

    • Mark
      June 20, 2015 at 07:33

      The US/Israel relationship is a strange one indeed. They definitely have a symbiotic criminal relationship. While the US pretends to be the good cop at times suggesting Israel should stop the illegal settlements, Israel never complains about US aggression and it is possible the zee-eye-on-ist Yinon plan and their PNAC’s ‘New Strategy for Securing the Realm’ where merely convenient for the US to adopt while blaming Israel — the regime change actions taken according to Israel’s plans where still illegal either way — considering dual citizenship Israelis were embedded in the Bush Jr. administration — with Israel’s lobbyists displacing ME experts, so they could further the propaganda initiative against the US public, it is hard to discount the extent of Israel’s influence on US Mid-East policy — search ‘the New Pentagon Papers’.

      Some want to blame one or the other but the truth is they both criminally conspire with each other. On who’s behalf does the pro-Israel controlled media propagandize the US public? And on who’s behalf are US politicians not challenging the lies? On who’s behalf does AIPAC coerce US representatives to support Israel by threatening to fund election campaigns for the opponents of sitting “US representatives” that don’t vote for whatever it is Israel wants?

      Partners in crime with voluminous mountains of double-speak between them. Blame either and both as they are guilty — and would the American public have democratically supported our crimes in the ME without Christian zee-eye-on-ism being promoted by Z-ism and it all being presented as part of Gods will? — Except that Israel’s massacres and expulsions don’t fit in with the teachings of Christ — search = Scofield Bible…

      Hypocrisy and double-speak — if the proposed actions had been legal and just there would have been no valid reason for anyone to lie and propagandize the US to wars in the ME which were separate crimes under US and international law…

  4. Jeff Davis
    June 19, 2015 at 19:38

    “Israel must choose now between a) remaining a Jewish and democratic state by ending the occupation and creating two states, b) becoming a one-state democracy (in which case the Palestinians will be the governing majority), or c) end up being an apartheid state subject to international condemnation, sanctions, and isolation.”

    These various options a, b, and c, appear regularly in comments about the eventual end-stage of the situation Israel faces. Absent from these options is a further possibility almost never — in my experience never — mentioned.

    Israel’s behavior on the world stage implies, so long as the Palestinians and their Muslim brethren do not disappear or surrender, a state of perpetual war. Perpetual war with a billion-and-a-half Muslims populating the planet from Morocco to Mindanao has a very high likelihood of ending not with the destruction of a billion-and-a-half Muslims, but rather with the destruction of the State of Israel. That is to say the eventual military defeat of the State of Israel, with whatever consequences that implies for the inherently vulnerable humanity that is the flesh-and-blood citizenry of Israel. This is the option (d) never spoken of — apparently never even imagined — but this is the outcome which in fact has the greatest likelihood of being the actual real-world outcome of the situation on its current trajectory: Israel’s eventual military defeat, the elimination of the State of Israel as a sovereign entity, and human consequences which may very well constitute the next Holocaust.

    It seems some form of narrative blindness keeps the world from seeing this tragic possibility, tragic likelihood even. Perhaps the world’s awareness can be awakened by noting that Israel possesses a substantial nuclear arsenal and that its defeat may involve a tragedy of unprecedented proportions extending substantially beyond the boundaries of the Levant.

    • Mark
      June 19, 2015 at 20:33

      The fact is that Israel’s policies and “success”, if you can call willful killing and destruction “success”, are the result of the religious supremacist extremist cult that zee-eye-on-ism is.

      Israel’s ‘Sampson option’ is to fire all their nukes if things don’t work out to their liking. Like a spoiled child who can’t have someone else’s toy, they’ll destroy the toy or in this case the world — and with their perverted and twisted logic some of them see this as just and sane — just and sane — like all their criminal behavior to date as well as what seems like their total distain for humanity other than that which exists and takes place among and between themselves…

  5. JWalters
    June 19, 2015 at 18:19

    More discussion of Israel’s “toxic personality”.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/israel-personality-michael/

  6. Abe
    June 19, 2015 at 12:15

    Israel practices “continual deployment of large-scale, indiscriminate force against people and space of Gaza – and, equally important, the West Bank as well…”

    These acts constitute “not merely the context for war crimes but for crimes against humanity and, because of their clearly aggressive nature, a crime against peace.”

    Like all aggressive criminal actors, Israel would prefer to meet no resistance, and thus naturally insists that the Palestinians do not have “any right to use force, even in self-defence”. Such desperate claims give “important insight into how Israel interprets the law to project the legality of policies and practices it wishes to pursue.”

    By Definition, An Aggressor Cannot Act in Defense
    By Robert Barsocchini
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/06/by-definition-an-aggressor-cannot-act-in-defense.html

  7. Vesuvius
    June 19, 2015 at 08:12

    Dr Ben-Meir fails to mention that the ultimate goal for Zionism is to recreate Ancient Israel, which leaves absolutely no room for Palestinians or any other people. The “two-state solution” is just a smokescreen behind wich Zionists are taking Uncle Sam and everybody else to the cleaners.

    U.S. Citizens reading Consortiumnews webpage, you should read Alison Weir’s excellent “Against Our Better Judgment, How the U.S. was used to create Israel” (2014)! The thugs of Zionism (Israel) are still doing just that, i.e. fooling American politicians and taxpayers in absurdum.

    Of Dr Ben-Meir’s three alternatives for the future of Israel, the only one possible under present policies of Israeli politicians is “c) end up being an apartheid state subject to international condemnation, sanctions, and isolation.”

  8. Mark
    June 19, 2015 at 07:45

    Another misconception promoted today is that Israel is currently a democracy — how can it be a genuine and true democracy when all citizens don’t have equal rights, voices and representation?

    Search: “Israel discriminatory laws” and even a half hearted effort will uncover the wicked truth and could start you on a journey that might take years to complete or find closure.

  9. alexander
    June 19, 2015 at 07:39

    Dear Mr Ben-Meir.
    Thank you for a fine article on the Israel /Palestine, Israel /United States symbiosis.

    I would like to focus on the following paragraph(synopsis) for discussion :

    “Israel must choose now between a) remaining a Jewish and democratic state by ending the occupation and creating two states b) becoming a one-state democracy( in which case the Palestinians will be the governing majority, or c) end up being an apartheid state subject to international condemnation ,sanctions and isolation…”

    This is a fine ,and generally agreed upon “synopsis”(of options) by most of the “world community” that is reasonably well educated on the topic. Certainly Israel is aware of these “options”.
    But the” synopsis” fails to include a final option, option d)….which is, tragically, “perpetual war”, expulsion, extermination ,and genocide of the vast majority of Palestinians and Palestine itself,
    Given the “extreme right wing tilt” of the current Israeli government, this option,”option d)” , however horrific in its implications, must be addressed and taken seriously !
    So lets do it !
    If Israel wants “ALL the land from the Jordan to the sea”(meaning all the West Bank and Gaza, including Israel pre- 1967 ) and Israel wants to remain a” democracy” with a predominantly Jewish majority, then to achieve those twin goals necessitates the “extermination” and “expulsion” of several million Palestinians through a process of “perpetual war”, “genocide” and “conquest “!
    The implications of this reality is doubly tragic….because if this is ,indeed, Israels goal, then in achieving it, Israel ,in effect, has to become what is has always most despised !
    If one has monitored the “rhetoric” inside Israel in the lead up to the Gaza conflict last year, this horrific reality is not far from the mark !….. However one might be loathe to admit it !
    My guess is that if this is Israels” true goal” and it hopes to succeed at it, it must do so under cover of “self-defense” !
    That would require placing a “completely sympathetic” individual at the helm of the Presidency of the United States in the next election cycle, as well as having an overwhelming influence over the vast majority of the US Congress and the US Media !
    If , Indeed ,Israel seeks to “accelerate” the “genocide” of Palestine, it might need another” big war”….Like a US lead war with Iran……This” terrible war” would be accompanied by an” extreme cruelty” in behavior by Israel toward the Palestinians…..designed to elicit a new “Intifada”(uprising) and a subsequent “culling” of the Palestinian” herd” in extraordinarily large numbers….all under the “cloak” of self-defense !
    As Iran is bombed to smithereens ( by, lets say, Hillary or Jeb) Israel engages in the most “pronounced ethnic cleansing” of Palestine since 1948….With perhaps several million slaughtered and a massive military take over of the West Bank and a re-occupation and resettlement of Gaza !
    Hundreds of thousands of “resistant” Palestinians would be herded into humongous concentration camp-like “detention centers”, the remaining”free” population areas of Palestine , fully enclosed and quarantined !
    As the United States bombs Iran into its new “stone age” perhaps with the use of multiple “mini nukes”, Israel turns it attention on Lebanon and engages in a “clean sweep”annihilation of its southern region, command and control centers, and its Hezbollah forces, all under the cover of “self defense”!
    Meanwhile, the United States Government, in response to massive public protests to the new” Iran War” engages in its own “military ‘crackdown” and declares” Martial law”, herding hundreds of thousands of “resistant” Americans into ” Israeli-like” detention centers throughout the country….the state and local police already fully militarized , mobilizes into systematic and widespread repression….
    The “new ” state of the Union” and its overwhelming militarization , swells the national debt to over 26 TRILLION DOLLARS as the well connected contractors make trillions and everyone else does not !
    After several years and the dust has settled, “Greater Israel” is formed from the Jordan to the Sea….the remaining 2.6 million Palestinians are invited to join in Israels “democracy” as a “permanent minority” with equal rights as citizens, or they are invited to leave and go elsewhere !
    Palestine is Gone !
    Iraq,Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and finally Iran are all pulverized into shattered and failed states…..
    As the “great war” subsides ,the United States finally rescinds its “martial law” and returns to a ” fractured semblance” of its once great status as a champion of liberty and justice for all !

    In closing, maybe we all need to take a good hard look at ” option d”…..and see what we can do, beyond hope and prayer, to overcome its potentiality !

  10. alexander
    June 19, 2015 at 05:42

    Dear Mr Ben-Meir.
    Thank you for a fine article on the Israel /Palestine, Israel /United States symbiosis.
    I would like to focus on the following paragraph(synopsis) :

    “Israel must choose now between a) remaining a Jewish and democratic state by ending the occupation and creating two states b) becoming a one-state democracy( in which case the Palestinians will be the governing majority, or c) end up being an apartheid state subject to international condemnation ,sanctions and isolation…”

    This is a fine ,and generally agreed upon “synopsis” by most of the “world community” that is reasonably well educated on the topic. Certainly Israel is aware of these “options”.
    But the” synopsis” fails to include the final option, option d)….which is, tragically, “perpetual war”, expulsion, extermination ,and genocide of the vast majority of Palestinians and Palestine itself,
    Given the “extreme right wing tilt” of the current Israeli government this option,”option d)” , however horrific in its implications, must be addressed and taken seriously !
    So lets do it !
    If Israel wants “all the land from the Jordan to the sea”(meaning all the West Bank and Gaza) and Israel wants to remain a” democracy” with a predominantly Jewish majority, then to achieve those twin goals necessitates the “extermination” and “expulsion” of several million Palestinians through a process of “perpetual war”, “genocide” and “conquest “!
    The implications of this reality is doubly tragic….because if this is ,indeed, Israels goal, then in achieving it, Israel ,in effect, has to become what is has always most despised …..,”Nazi Germany” !
    If one has monitored the “rhetoric” inside Israel in the lead up to the Gaza conflict last year, this horrific reality is not far from the mark !….. However one might be loathe to admit it !
    My guess is that if this is Israels” true goal” and it hopes to succeed at it, it must do so undercover of “self-defense” !
    That would require placing a “completely sympathetic” individual at the helm of the Presidency of the United States in the next election cycle, as well as having an overwhelming influence over the vast majority of the US Congress and the US Media !
    If , Indeed ,Israel seeks to “accelerate” the “genocide” of Palestine, it might need another” big war”….Like a US lead war with Iran……This” terrible war” would be accompanied by an” extreme cruelty” in behavior by Israel toward the Palestinians…..designed to Illicit a “new intifada” and a subsequent “culling” of the Palestinian” herd” in extraordinarily large numbers….all under the “cloak” of self-defense !
    As Iran is bombed to smithereens ( by, lets say, Hillary or Jeb) Israel engages in the most “pronounced ethnic cleansing” of Palestine since 1948….With perhaps several million slaughtered and a massive military take over of the West Bank and a re-occupation and resettlement of Gaza !
    Hundreds of thousands of “resistant” Palestinians would be herded into humongous concentration camp-like “detention centers”, the remaining”free” population areas of Palestine , fully enclosed and quarantined !
    As the United States bombs Iran into its new “stone age” perhaps with the use of multiple “mini nukes”, Israel turns it attention on Lebanon and engages in a “clean sweep”annihilation of its southern region, command and control centers, and its Hezbollah forces, all under the cover of “self defense”!
    Meanwhile, the United States Government, in response to massive protestations to the new” Iran War” engages in its own “military ‘crackdown” and declares” Martial law”, herding hundreds of thousands of “resistant” Americans into ” Israeli-like” detention centers throughout the country….the state and local police already fully militarized , mobilizes into systematic and widespread repression….
    The “new ” state of the Union” and its overwhelming militarization , swells the national debt to over 26 TRILLION DOLLARS as the well connected contractors make trillions and everyone else does not !
    After several years and the dust has settled, “Greater Israel” is formed from the Jordan to the Sea….the remaining 2.6 million Palestinians are invited to join in Israels “democracy” as a “permanent minority” with equal rights ( and much discrimination) or they are invited to leave and go elsewhere !
    Palestine is Gone !
    Iraq,Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and finally Iran are all pulverized into shattered and failed states…..
    As the “great war” subsides ,the United States finally rescinds its “martial law” and returns to a ” fractured semblance” of its once great status as a champion of liberty and equality for all !

    In closing, maybe we all need to take a good hard look at ” option d”…..and see what we can do, beyond hope and prayer, to overcome its potentiality !

  11. Abe
    June 19, 2015 at 00:56

    Europe also is busy demonstrating its “relevance” by enabling Israel.

    A High Level International Military Group, sponsored by the Friends of Israel Initiative (FOII), submitted its findings to the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry

    The multi-national group of senior military officers visited Israel 18th – 22nd May 2015.

    The group was led by General Klaus Naumann, former Chief of Staff of the Bundeswehr and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, the most senior officer in the NATO Alliance.

    Other members of the group:

    Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister of Italy.

    General Vincenzo Camporini, former Chief of the Defence Staff of Italy.

    Admiral Jose Maria Teran, former Chief of the Joint Staff of Spain.

    Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper, former US State Department Ambassador at Large for war crimes issues.

    Mr Rafael Bardaji, former National Security Adviser for the Spanish government.

    Lieutenant General David A Deptula, former Standing Joint Force Air Component Commander, United States Pacific Command.

    Major General Jim Molan, former Chief of Operations, Headquarters Multi National Force, Iraq and Commander of the Australian Defence College.

    Colonel Eduardo Ramirez, Member of Colombian Congress and former Chief of Security, Colombia.

    Colonel Vincent Alcazar, former senior United States Air Force officer in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Colonel Richard Kemp, former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan.

    The group agreed the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, who following the Pentagon’s fact-finding mission to Israel, went on record last November as saying that in the 2014 Gaza conflict, “Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties”.

    Founded in 2010, the Friends of Israel Initiative seeks to “counter the attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel and its right to live in peace within safe and defensible borders”. Its co-foubders include former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and British Conservative Party peer, former First Minister of Northern Ireland and Nobel Peace Prize winner David Trimble.

    As an observer, Trimble took part in hearings of the Israeli special independent public Turkel Commission of Inquiry into the Gaza flotilla raid. The panel concluded both Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza and the interception of the flotilla “were found to be legally pursuant to the rules of international law”.

    • Abe
      June 19, 2015 at 02:37

      Naumann was Chairman of the NATO Military Committee during the war against Yugoslavia in 1999. At the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, Naumann said that the Yugoslavian president had said, at a meeting in October 1998, that the Kosovo problem would be solved next spring according to Drenica model used in World War II. In other words, Naumann went on to say, Albanians would be “gathered in one place and shot to death”.

      Later, in his testimony at the 2006 trial of the six Serbian officials charged with crimes in Kosovo, Naumann changed his evidence, saying that Milosevic had used the phrase “final solution for Kosovo”.

      During cross-examination, the defense counsel tried to challenge Naumann’s claim that the military and police had responded to the KLA provocations with “excessive use of force”, causing great collateral damage among the civilian population. When he confirmed that a sovereign state had the right to respond to terrorist actions, Naumann clarified that according to the modern concept of sovereignty this could be done for as long as the sovereign state in question did not violate international law and did not endanger its citizens.

      When the defense counsel put it to Naumann that if NATO air strikes did not constitute “excessive use of force”, then neither did the activities of the military and police in Kosovo, the presiding judge warned that to prove NATO used “disproportionate force” would be an irrelevant line of questioning even if it turned out that NATO was “a great war criminal”.

      NATO and Israel are similar in their highly selective application of international law.

      Naumann was a co-author with General John Shalikashvili (former US chief of staff under Clinton and NATO’s ex-Supreme Allied Commander), Lord Inge (former British Chief of the General Staff), General Henk van den Breemen (former Dutch chief of staff) and Admiral Jacques Lanxade (former French chief of staff) of “Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership“, a 150-page joint document which calls for a first strike use of nuclear weapons.

      The military leaders affirmed that the option of a nuclear first strike is indispensable, “since there is simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world.”

      According to the joint document, the preemptive use of nukes would also be used to undermine an “increasingly brutal world” as well as a means to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction:

      “Nuclear weapons are the ultimate instrument of an asymmetric response – and at the same time the ultimate tool of escalation. Yet they are also more than an instrument, since they transform the nature of any conflict and widen its scope from the regional to the global.

      “Nuclear weapons remain indispensable, and nuclear escalation continues to remain an element of any modern strategy.

      “Nuclear escalation is the ultimate step in responding asymmetrically, and at the same time the most powerful way of inducing uncertainty in an opponent’s mind.”

      This nuclear policy outlined by Naumann and his colleagues mirrors Israeli thinking regarding its own nuclear arsenal.

  12. F. G. Sanford
    June 18, 2015 at 22:02

    Of course, on the face of it, this article makes a lot of sense. It suggests that the democratically elected representatives of the American people should have the wisdom to adopt policies which would discourage self-destructive behaviors inflicted on the Israeli people by their elected representatives, and to some extent, vice versa. This notion is predicated on the mistaken assumption that a democratic process is even remotely involved. U.S. and Israeli policies are formulated largely by processes which have absolutely nothing to do with ‘democracy’. Go back to the Clinton administration and reconstruct the events and identify the principle players responsible for where we are now. Monica Lewinsky and the ‘wag the dog’ military interventions are a good place to start. That was about the time the PNAC folks were crystallizing their plans and lamenting the absence of a “New Pearl Harbor”. All of the principle players were unelected advisors, analysts, strategists, cabinet members, careerists, militarists, diplomats, financiers and corporate moguls. Look at who was married to whom, who was related to whom, who sat on what boards of directors of which companies with financial ties to which other companies and which ones were financially or politically connected to which ‘think-tanks’. It’s a tedious process – one the average American will never undertake – that reveals an awful lot if incest. Which political insiders are married to which journalists, which State Department officials have financial ties to which defense contractors, which think-tank “experts” have been granted credentials by consensus based on ties to which Ivy League mega-donors, which designated cognoscenti get MSM face-time, etc? Surely, nobody believes Charles Krauthammer, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, Dick Cheney or Michael Chertoff got where they are because of their charming personalities. There is absolutely no daylight between the club members running Israel and those running America. Empire from behind the facade of the two-party duopoly is like an orgy. “Ash” is flirting with war in the Pacific, and “Yats” flirting with war in Europe. For those who’ve never visited, Israel looks more like a bizarre theme park than a country, and America looks like an episode from a survival show. Both are shooting galleries in an off-season carney town of the absurd. We’re not a friend and a drunk. We’re two drunks in a suicide pact, and I think we’ll probably succeed. As soon as we find our clothes, those car keys are bound to turn up.

    • F. G. Sanford
      June 19, 2015 at 09:20

      Yes, Charles, I do realize I mistakenly spelled ‘principal’ wrong. Happens to the best of us.

    • Peter Loeb
      June 24, 2015 at 07:09

      “DEMOCRACY”???

      With special thanks to F G Sanford in his comment above, it seems to
      me that people tenaciously cling to “democracy” as a solution. It is
      not and never has been despite the Fourth of July peorations we
      will soon endure. Again.

      As a groupworker (part of social work) I long ago learned that it
      is natural for people to disagree with each other, sometimes
      for good reasons, sometimes for absurd ones. It is not a question
      of political parties only. To believe in the myth of the happy,
      happy “democracy” is like believing in the gloriously happy family
      which never ever has an argument about anything at all.

      This loyalty to “democracy” is prevalent on all sides. Advocates
      for Palestinians easily drift off into a most unlikely fairy tale of
      how some Palestinian legislature will be a solution. Of course,
      because it is…well..”grass roots” or something similar. Instead,
      should such a group come into existence it would undoubtedly
      be made up by some who are more “militant”, some who are
      less, some who have one life-experience (say rural) and
      some who have another.

      I am not for throwing anything away. But lets all stop fooling
      ourselves that a “real” democracy will guarantee some kind
      of paradise. Or that it is “those folks on the right (or
      “ultra-right”) who are to blame.

      Instead, our efforts should be put to better use discerning
      the reasons for differences in all kinds of groups.

      And if you have specific goals, focus on how to get those of
      varying beliefs and backgrounds to agree to those goals.

      “Democracy” is a concept which allows us all to “cop out”
      and blame it all on someone else.

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  13. Zachary Smith
    June 18, 2015 at 19:48

    My previous comment is in “moderation” because I spoke of “s_u_c_k-up politicians”.

    Just an opinion, but I think somebody ought to ‘tweak’ the forum nanny software.

    • Mark
      June 18, 2015 at 21:19

      My comment is also in purgatory — it seems zee-eye-on-ism is a dirty word for some who, even though they support what is religious supremacist extremism, they want to disassociate from that particular word — even though Israel would not exist today without their decades of planning that preceded the terroristic expulsion of Arab Muslims and Christians in Palestine.

      Controlling the narrative and limiting even the facts discussed is one tactic that has greatly contributed to Israel’s “success” in keeping the truth suppressed.

      • F. G. Sanford
        June 18, 2015 at 22:51

        Mine too! I mentioned R. B. Cheney by his nickname, and when I hit post comment, D@&k was highlighted in red letters!

  14. Zachary Smith
    June 18, 2015 at 19:45

    “The Palestinians appear to be trapped in their rancorous public narrative against Israel, even during the peace negotiations. Coupled with widespread anti-Israeli teaching in schools, regular media attacks, and indoctrination in many public and private institutions, this is what the Israelis see, hear, fear, and believe”.

    That’s from a 2014 essay by Alon Ben-Meir. It translates to me as “the Palestinians are getting what they deserve”.

    Professor Ben-Meir might as well have written about how the people in Nazi-occupied Europe shouldn’t have disrespected their conquerors by saying bad things and thinking worse ones. And the mere mention of military “resistance” would have been the icing on the cake.

    I’ve spent the last several minutes looking very hard for evidence of Ben-Meir’s doing anything besides verbal handwringing. I’ve learned he’s a war hawk regarding Iran, and a ravenous bloodthirsty one with regard to Syria.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alon-benmeir/irans-intervention-in-syr_b_1760316.html

    Assuming I’ve been researching the right guy, the author was born in 1937. He speaks Arabic and Hebrew fluently. Being an Iraqi native, the first one is understandable. One biography section says this: “Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at Tel Aviv University, Israel”.

    When did he get this degree? When did he leave Iraq? Did he serve in the IDF? If so, when, and in what capacity?

    The internet tubes seem to have been scrubbed of Ben-Meir’s life for the first half of his life. That makes the “suspicious” part of my nature get itchy. WHY?

    My searches for anything of a proscriptive nature the Professor has written other than the aforementioned handwringing have turned up a blank.

    Why can’t he make a flat declaration that the rest of the world has to crack down on the shitty little apartheid state? Boycott them – don’t buy their stuff. Discourage visits. Shame the suck-up politicians who travel to Israel to grovel. He might call for genuine sanctions on Israel. I’ve seen no sign that he has done so. Disinvest. Sell all securities of Israeli companies and don’t buy any more. Publish the names of foreign companies which do business with Israel.

    I’ll admit I may be completely wrong, but I’ve been unable to locate anything the gentleman has written about Israel where he does anything except that handwringing.

    No one can deny the close, abiding and unparalleled friendship between the United States and Israel. This tight bond has served both countries well, …

    This is total BS. Israel has us by the plums because the US is populated by an enormous number of semi-literate but very devout Christian Zionists. That’s a realty which means all the feel-good stuff is totally meaningless.

    I’m very skeptical of the Professor’s real goals with the pudding platitudes he keeps publishing. Recalling the old Wendy’s tv commercial – Where’s the meat?

  15. Mark
    June 18, 2015 at 17:23

    The picture of the US/Israel relationship being painted as mutually beneficial is a very long stretch and a product of an over active imagination. The US and Israeli relationship has not served the US in an overall positive way.

    First off, the US discarded the principle of keeping politics seperate and free from religious bias when we recognized Zionist terrorism, which birthed Isreal in 1947-48, as being legitimate based on the notion that Europen Jews held title to the land as decreed by God, or so the Zionists interpreted their own religious text — and the consequences of that interpretation were imposed on the ME and what has proven to be much of the world outside the Mid-East as some Muslims have taken revenge on some Western nations that have been complicit enablers of Israel’s terroristic massacres and land grabs to date — which were and are completely contrary to international law, and purely illegal and hence israel itself is illegitimate in that respect.

    All told, with Israel’s betrayals through spying and selling US technology, and events like the USS liberty, then having dual US/Israel citizen Zionist agents steer the US into fighting Isreal’s pre-planned and illegal wars of which 2003 Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran all were and are part of — and using the excuse of 9/11 after the US was retaliated against on 9/11 in large part precisely for blindly supporting and shielding Israel’s decades of war crimes (the major Arab complaint) that were also in part made possible thanks to Israel’s AIPAC lobby coercing “US” politicians with campaign funding (directly and by threatening to fund political opponents), and with a “us” network media industry that has propagandized the American public for generations, manipulating our minds on behalf of Israel — has all cost the US trillion$ to date including trying to buy peace with Israel’s neighbors while Israel continues with periodic massacres and land confiscations — all while Israel claims to want peace — and steals yet more land again. There are few who know the facts and are still fooled by Israel’s doublespeak when looking at the Zionists actions to date.

    Any minor benefit the US has gained from our relationship with Israel has come at a cost many times higher than whatever was gained…

    To even claim Israel has been a true and honest ally of the US is nothing but the result of perpetuating what is Israeli propaganda.

    • dahoit
      June 19, 2015 at 12:42

      I concur.

  16. Joe Tedesky
    June 18, 2015 at 16:30

    “A tight bond that has served both sides well” is a stretch. I can’t immediately think of any instance where Israel was a help to the United States. Sorry, I just can’t recall that event. Maybe I’m still hung up on the ‘USS Liberty’, but I apologize for that mental block. Oh, maybe Jonathan Pollack was actually an American hero, as he stole vital US secrets to be sold to the highest bidder. Better yet, how about Netanyahu coming to America to uncut the US President in front of a AIPAC bought off congress. Yeah, Israel serves the United States well.

    I don’t see a two state solution, as much as I see a one state government. In my mine, I picture a government which represents all of it’s citizens. Yes, Palestinians, Christians, Druze’s, Jews, and others would have a voice. I’m not even sure I would call this country ‘Israel’ either. In fact the US should stop all aid going to Israel.

    • Anonymous
      June 18, 2015 at 19:37

      I’d have to strongly agree with you here. The notion that the relationship between the US and Israel is “A tight bond that has served both sides well” was always propaganda in still is intended to garner public support from US citizens that didn’t understand the true origins of the conflict which preceded WWII — then Truman recognized Israel as legitimate after WWII to get the Jewish vote in 1948 against the advice of his Secretary of State and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

      Israel has been an obstacle for the US in obtaining a stable relationship with the Arabs and Persians — the US public has not benefitted from this relationship overall but a few US weapons manufacturers have benefitted greatly at cost of American lives and others and what has been trillions of US tax dollars to date.

    • Joe
      June 18, 2015 at 21:54

      Very true. Israel has been a curse for the US, bribing its politicians and alienating it from the world’s Islamic population and oil sources. Elimination of Israeli influence, or Israel itself, would be of great benefit to democracy in America, and to stability in the mideast.

  17. MrK
    June 18, 2015 at 15:56

    Can the US stop enabling Israel? Israel protects the Suez Canal, which ensures access to Saudi oil.

    Unless that changes – no.

    • Ashen
      June 18, 2015 at 17:53

      I’m not convinced that’s a big factor. The majority of Saudi oil leaves through the Ras Tanura terminal on the other side of the country, i.e., the Persian Gulf. Some oil does pass through the Suez Canal, but that’s primarily due to it being a faster route to the West, and the really large carriers (VLCC and larger) can’t actually fit through there at all. It could be worked around.

    • Anonymous
      June 18, 2015 at 19:12

      Either you’ve been listening to Israeli propaganda and believe it, or you’re just one more making the false claim that the US actually realizes a net gain from all the trillions of dollars we’ve spent for Israel’s benefit when it simply is not true.

      • Doc Hollywood
        June 19, 2015 at 02:56

        The trillions of American dollars taken from the public and poured into Israel is beneficial to the largest oil companies, technology firms, and weapons producers. If it wasn’t, they would soon direct the U.S. Government to use taxpayer money for something that was. Those who might momentarily avert their eyes from state-encouraged Islamophobia and see the harm done by the US government’s allegiance to Israel are told it’s the fault of AIPAC and the “Jewish Lobby”. But their power is a fraction of that vested to the MIC which owns and operates the American govenment.

        • Anonymous
          June 19, 2015 at 07:36

          Many of these powers (corporate, MIC, network media industry, and the special iterests of religiously theocratic Israel) that all influence and enable errent and illegal US policies, all benefit and influence policies to one degree or another and in concert as well. To see to what extent dual citizenship Zee-eye-on-ists played a part in the invasion of 2003 Iraq search: ‘The New Pentagon Papers’ where you’ll see Mideast experts in the Bush Jr. administration were replaced by foreign double agents for the purpose of propagandizing the American public into supporting the Illegal and costly 2003 invasion.

      • N Dalton
        June 19, 2015 at 04:44

        With all the trillions of dollars the US is giving Israel for decades,when will someone
        realize in Washington that Israel has been a ” State Sponsor of Terrorism ” for years.

        http://rt.com/news/268255-chur

    • Brad Owen
      June 19, 2015 at 05:19

      Read Jeane Manning’s book; “Breakthrough Power: How Quantum-Leap New Energy Inventions Can Transform Our World”. The World is just now at the breaking Dawn of a new era, and a new order of reality is upon us. Speaking of oil and the Suez will very soon be like talking about securing the whale population for the whale oil market. There are already dozens of breakthrough energy inventions that will not be held back forever. Just off the top of my head, I recall one that enables hydrogen fuel to be produced, by some electrolysis method performed upon water, at the carburetor itself. Fill-up from sea water and move on. Oil is only dreadfully important to the oil Barons. Iran knows this too…it is WHY they pursue a nuke-power program, as oil is already obsolete. There are other, better energy technologies on the way, too. Scarcity is a fraud.

      • Brad Owen
        June 19, 2015 at 08:12

        As far as the Jewish state of Israel is concerned: while Nations will still exist in the future, they will be less stridently “sovereign” than they are now. The common, universal needs of humanity will prevail, in the end; and “Nations” will become more like cultural cul-de-sacs. The landmass that strives to become known as “Greater Israel” will become some kind of secular Republic in the future, perhaps peppered with Jewish, Muslim, and Christian “Reservations” (Palestinians are also Christian), where one can go, to “Be Jewish”…or Muslim, or Christian, for awhile, before returning to the modern, secular World. Perhaps we’ll have an expanded “Williamsburg”, where we can go to feel exceptionally “American” for awhile, before returning to the modern World. I enjoy visiting Renaissance Fairs, for a trip through “Merry Olde England/Scotland/Wales/Ireland”, my tribal roots. There are peaceful ways to accommodate cultural distinctiveness…perhaps even some modern form of “Jousting Tournaments” (paintball-gun Battalions?) to accommodate the “Warrior Urge” for those afflicted with such impulses.

    • dahoit
      June 19, 2015 at 12:33

      No,Egypt protects the Suez Canal.
      And document any type of benefit to America from Israel,I’m curious?Of course the opposite is true,wo US there would be no Israel,but with Israel,we are losing America.

  18. Sello Mokotjo
    June 18, 2015 at 15:30

    A very erudite and telling piece of writing, Dr.Alon Ben-Meir. I take from your name you must be a Jew. In that case I am thrilled to realize there are people out there who still care about the truth. As a South African who literally experienced Apartheid first hand, I fully understand the conditions Israel will be facing if that scenario place itself in the absence of peace. I hope the U.S TAKE YOUR ADVISE FOR THE SURVIVAL OF ISRAEL. THANK YOU

    • Peter Loeb
      June 20, 2015 at 07:46

      BEGINNING AT THE WRONG PLACE….

      While the article may indeed be “erudite” it begins with horrifyingly
      incorrect premises. It begins:

      “No one can deny the close, abiding and unparalleled friendship
      between the United States and Israel. This tight bond has served
      both countries well…”

      What a friendly and truly FRIGHTENING beginning. Is it a “joke”?

      The Zionist project from its very beginnings with its colonial, racist,
      supremacist, exclusivist characteristics (by devine mandate),
      not that much different from most oppressive and brutal colonial
      projects for millenia has always been evil. Zionism before it became
      “Israel” by war, rape, dispossession, destruction, massacre, murder etc.

      How it has “served” either of the parties is carefully and
      scholarly documented in Naseer Aruri’s brief book,
      THE DISHONEST BROKER…” the best I have read on
      making clear the destructive relationship between the
      US and Israel for 35 years (it ends at 2000, the current
      Administration, which came after the years covered
      but which furthers many if not all of the oppressiion).

      “No one can deny…”??? I deny with all my heart and
      soul.

      Note that previous history of Zionism confirms again
      the oppression of the indigenous peoples
      before the so-called “formation” of Israel. Studies
      of other colonial efforts, many non-Jewish, are
      to be found in Michael Prior CM’s THE BIBLE AND
      COLONIALISM ; A MORAL CRITIQUE.

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

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