All Muslims Wonder:

0
130

“Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that, before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East”

Fr. John Sheehan of the Jesuit order

Introduction

There is a question that makes its rounds every time the Arab-Israeli conflict heats up and the US is expected to “do something about” this mess. At one time not so long ago the US was perceived to be an “even broker” in the Arab-Israeli equation. At another time in the not-so-distant-past the US was courted by all-stripes of Middle-Eastern politicians to use its good offices and come down on any party to the conflict that veers from a just and equitable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dichotomy. But as the events went on, as the violence increased, as both sides stuck to their guns, the US government came unglued from that “equa-distance” position. People of reason and objectivity began to realize – in a slow motion way – that the US was and is beholden to the Israeli interest. On some occasions it looks like the US is not able to draw a line between its national interests, its strategy, its future, and its pursuits and those of Israel.

American presidents from one administration to the next have become progressively impotent in standing up to an increasingly aggressive Israel that sees no limits to its military cravings and no ceiling to its political desires. Nothing demonstrates this more than the official US position pertaining to Israeli settlements that have been swelling in sensitive areas of the West Bank and Gaza in the course of the past 35 years of Israeli occupation. At first, these settlements were referred to (by American politicians) as illegal settlements. But in a matter of years (and in a creeping manner) no longer were these settlements illegal. AS if there was a stealth process of American political reassessment of what Israel was doing on the West Bank and Gaza, and without prior notice, American officials began to refer to these illegal settlements as “an obstacle to peace.” The Israeli creep into American officialdom did not stop there. After a period of years (the pro-Israel crowd knows how much time it takes and looks for the “right” political chemistry in Washington before it springs its next move.) And when the time was right these illegal settlements became “disputed areas.” As you can see, this evolutionary political process managed to give Israel political credit. It took time. It was sneaky. But it worked.

The question remains: why does the American government place itself in a position that is secondary to Israel? Why does it seem at times that the US is infatuated by Israel? Could there be a religious connection? And the answer seems to be no, there is none. Israel claims to be Jewish and the US says it is Christian. And if history is brought in there is not much common religious affinity between Jews and Christians. But this may be relatively true concerning Eastern Orthodox and Catholic history vis-é-vis the Jews. But it is not necessarily true regarding Protestant history with the Jews. In the United States there is a sizeable Protestant Christian bloc of people who are religiously tied to Israel. This Evangelical bloc of voters, constituents, taxpayers, and elected-officials believe that America was founded upon God, the Bible, and evangelical Protestant Christianity. Gary Bauer, a 2000 Republican presidential candidate said the following: “even if there was not one Jew, if for some reason no Jews had ever come to America, so that there was no Jewish lobby of any sort, everything that America is built on would require us to be pro-Israel, not because of the Jewish lobby, but because of an American lobby.” [1]

The Religious-Political Riddle

The entanglement of Israel the state with evangelical religious fervor has churned out such words as “the apple of God’s eye” when some of these evangelicals speak about Israel. In their pro-Israel fervor these types of evangelicals call themselves “Christian Zionists.” The Reverend Jerry Falwell, who is one of the central figures of this Hebrew-phile crowd, says it quite openly: “Bible-believing Christians in America are the best friends the nation of Israel has. We must remain so.” [2] The following Falwellian statement says it all: “I personally believe that God deals with all nations in relation to how these nations deal with Israel… I therefore think America should without hesitation give total financial and military support to the State of Israel. My political support for Israel is unconditional.” [3]

On another level, could the Israeli-American alliance be attributable to strictly political considerations? This may have been a convenient assumption during the cold-war era when the Middle East was divided between American and Soviet spheres of influence. Within that regional polarization that took its political prompts from Washington or Moscow, there was some rationalization for this American-Israeli partnership. But it has been over a decade now since the collapse of the Soviet Union and cold-war politics. So, can we still assume that these antics are still at work? Obviously that is not the case. For anyone who knows anything about that region of the world, the US has all the allies it wants, and still a little more. Some of them are overtly pro American and others are covertly pro American. This fact extends from Morocco to Pakistan. The only other difficult factor here is the “radical state phenomenon” something the US refers to as “rogue” or “pariah” states. These are on-and-off an American National Security and State Department Lists of states that “sponsor terrorism.” The unvoiced flip side to this official jargon (which will never be spoken of in public) is that these “state sponsors of terrorism” are the governments who are (in their own strategies) opposed to the state of Israel. And given the way American officials are coached to think, that could also mean that these states are opposed to the United States. This list has included from time to time Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Syria as states who sponsor terrorism, or without the obvious Israeli slant, states that are against Israel. But even if this were to be considered a serious threat to American interests (and we have our serious doubts about that) it does not absolve the US government from trying to be more involved on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide.

How about explaining the American diplomatic hug of Israel in terms of American strategic interests in the area. Foremost in this regard is petroleum. Can the US justify its blind support for Israel by invoking a presumptuous fear of a possibility that one day in the future American national interests are going to be threatened because the Arab petroleum producing countries will impose an oil embargo or expel Western oil companies from the oil fields in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula? This argument does not carry much weight because a) never before have petroleum companies had as much clout in the area as they have nowadays, and b) because these countries themselves are on a downward trend as they will begin to lose their oil exporting capabilities and would have to rely on investments and expenditures to continue with their prosperous economies. This would have them more predisposed towards the US than they would be to think of something as wild as using the “oil weapon” to threaten the US.

The Zionist Lobby: The Unthinkable Power

Could the American embrace of “Israel right or wrong” be attributed to the Zionist lobby in the US? This question is a very good one. It cannot easily be answered. The difficulty in answering this question lies in the fact that no one really knows how strong the Israeli lobby is on Capitol Hill. Someone once said that the support for Zionism in the US is like a pool that is one mile wide and one inch deep. It is obvious though by the figures of political action committees (PAC’s) that the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which is the second largest lobbying organization in the United States (second to AARP), with all its derivatives contributes no small cash to Congressmen, Senators, national, state, and local officials who are running for office. These contributions are used like a noose around the recipients’ necks. This noose is jerked every time an elected official may feel the need to either be neutral or (God forbid!) move into a more pro-Arab position. Capitol Hill (as some insiders will say privately) is as occupied by Israel as Bethlehem and Nazareth.

The only difference is that Capitol Hill is occupied using the carrot, while Bethlehem and Nazareth are occupied using the stick. I don’t think we would be declassifying secrets if we say that when it comes to Israel and Israeli related issues, the Senators and Congressmen, by and large, vote with their pockets, wallets, and bank accounts in support of Israel and in acquiescence to the Israeli Zionist lobby. The million dollar question here is: do the elected officials (elected more by money than morals) who occupy legislative positions in Congress, do they represent their constituencies and the average American citizen when it comes to voting on critical Middle East issues? We hazard an answer and so “no” they do not represent the American public. Because the American public (as honest and un-political as it is) is not willing to give Israel lethal weapons to use for aggressive purposes as has been done by the Israelis for many years and administrations now. IF the American public were presented with the fact that the US is supporting Israel at the risk of antagonizing the world’s one and a half billion Muslims, we do not think this is what the American public wants. “Europeans and other Palestinian partisans point to the fact that the Israel lobby in America is one of the strongest anywhere, and Jewish individuals and organizations give millions of dollars to political candidates in order to reward pro-Israel policies and punish those who support the Palestinians. Another reason, however, is the near-complete domination by pro-Israel partisans of the punditocracy discourse. [4])

Have the American Jews perfected the American political and partisan electoral process, in as far as they have managed to motion into the decision making corridors of power individuals who are at their maximalist positions die-hard Zionists and others who are at their minimalist positions rubber-stamps to bills, legislature, and laws that promote the Israeli national interest rather than the American national interest? The well-established fact is that the American Congress is bone-marrow deep in its pro-Israel voting and petitioning records. If this Congress is pro Israel in a random and unsystematic way then our hats go off to a Zionist lobby that did not have to lift a finger to make all this possible, for many years, with many elected-officials, and with no end in sight!

With all this American infusion into the Zionist national interest, the question is: how long will it be tenable for the US to maintain this dubious position and still hold on to its interests in the Arab and Muslim parts of the world? You have to think a lot of the Israeli procuro-politicians who have blurred the line between the US and Israel. The frightening fact at the end of this imprecise and indistinguishable merger of US and Israeli politics is the final disappearance of the “American act” and the ultimate emergence of the distinct “Israeli act.”

The more Israel militarizes its policies in the Middle East the more Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims will interpret this as an “American-Israeli ganging up” on the desperate people in the area; Palestinians and non-Palestinians alike. The Israeli cause in the American media has its high-volume snipers across the political spectrum. They occupy strategic positions from free-lance correspondents to network executives. Their dictionaries and scripts are Israeli centered. They are entrenched on the American right as well as the American left. Israel’s American war of words are launched periodically by such opinion molders as William Safire, A.M. Rosenthal, Charles Krauthammer, Martin Peretz, Daniel Pipes, William Kristol, Mort Zuckerman, John Podhoretz, Norman Podhoretz, Mona Charen, Jonah Goldberg, Irving Kristol, Peggy Noonan, George Will, Michael Kelly, Fred Barnes, Rich Lowry, Andrew Sullivan, John Leo, Tony Snow, Thomas Sowell, Emmett Tyrrell, William F. Buckley, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Cal Thomas, Oliver North, and so forth and so on. An army of publicists and pundits marching to the tune of Israeli policies…

The Urgency For an Arab-Muslim Momentum

With all the above in mind, the question does not fade away. It begets a more serious question. Can or will the Arabs and Muslims, who are the targets of this American-Israeli mix-up and muddle, take corrective action to force the United States government into a more reasonable position; and if at all possible to disentangle both these countries from each other? Can a sensible person ever entertain the idea that one day in the future the US government will see the light and distance itself from reckless and warlike policies and “initiatives?”

The answer to this question is still in the affirmative, even though time is quickly running out. There is still room for the US to maneuver itself out of the Israeli dead-lock. This will require an Arab and Islamic strategy. The US government will have to be led to understand that its unqualified and unlimited support for Israel will cost it dearly. The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Arab League will have to work in unison to advance a common program and a grand strategy with the Palestinian issue as its center- piece. Every other issue will have to be suspended or shelved for the time being. All of these member states belonging to these two bodies (around sixty of them) will have to speak with one voice when it comes to the issue of Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. If a decision is made in the confabs this decision has to be binding on all member states. If they decide to withdraw assets from the United States, or to limit the export of oil, or even to reduce diplomatic representation, they should all do so at the same time and in sync with each other. If this is not done as a matter of initiative and ceasing the political moment by these governments, it will eventually become policy by the force of popular pressure and popular will. The US government has to realize that Palestinian blood is not cheap. So far Arab and Muslim public opinion are at an all time high in their bitterness towards the United States because of its unconditional support for Israeli war policies and aggressive tactics. The Muslims the world over do not like the US government because (as some have stated endlessly) the Muslims are against freedom, democracy, and modernization. This is a grand tall tale. The earthly truth of this matter is that many Muslims seek this freedom; many others are looking with anticipation upon that day when they will finally have a free and fair electoral process in their own countries; and no Muslim in his right mind is opposed to modern technology and scientific progress. All these are hallmarks of the United States. But why are Muslims nowadays very agitated against the US? And the straight answer to that is because the US is the main and virtually the only supporter in the world of Israeli policies of aggrandizement and triumphalism. Israel has managed quite successfully to pull the US into its “insecurity” zone. The US feels threatened in other parts of the world not because of the technology, modernity, freedom, and democracy that it stands for; it is threatened because of the oppression, wars, military policies, and occupation that Israel stands for, and which the US has been horridly supporting ad infinitum. The European countries and Japan are in the same league with the United States when it comes to freedom, technology, and modernity. But why is it that these countries are not soliciting the type of revulsion from the Arabs and Muslims that the US is? It does not take a rocket-scientist or a Pluto to figure out that the reason why the US is disliked across the board throughout the Arab and Muslim world is because the US is the major and the minor devotee and defender of Israel and its warmongering politicians. The US stands alone in the pantheon of nations sponsoring and supporting every type of conceivable Israeli aggression and continued occupation of Palestinian territories. The Israeli fire-wall of finances around Capitol Hill, the White House, and the Pentagon cannot be extinguished by writing letters to the editor or flooding the State Department and other US government agencies with e-mails and faxes. These types of efforts may be useful but only in the context of a larger thrust. It has to be assaulted with consistent and coordinated policies coming from the bloc of Muslim and Arab countries in the world. With public opinion throughout the Muslim world rife with resentment and indignation against an America that is financing and supplying Israel with all the weapons to kill without accountability and to occupy without responsibility, the time has never been better for the governments in these lands to consolidate this public outrage into constructive policies that will become meaningful in uncoupling Washington from Tel Aviv.

The Arab and Muslim decision makers will be taking a historical decision, no doubt, if they stand up to the plate and bat. The crowds that will cheer them are not only the Arabs and the Muslims, but also the Asians and the Africans, the Latin Americans and the Chinese, the Europeans and the Russians, virtually the whole world will see the legitimacy of a united Arab and Muslim bloc that stands up to the American/Israeli bully that has been terrorizing the Middle East for over three and a half decades. These international spectators will root for the Palestinian issue. They will applaud every move that will curtail an Israel that has run amok with American vetoes, American taxpayers’ dollars, American military hardware, and American political cover.

What is called European “anti-Semitism” may not be what the American media want us to believe it is. The peoples in Europe have had an acrimonious history with their Jewish population. But it is not far-fetched to say that people across Europe experience periodic spasms due to the excesses of Jewish demands. The Germans have been liberal and generous in trying to “atone” for their treatment of the Jews during World War II. Laws have been enacted and moneys have been paid to assuage the survivors of that era. But then the Jews reappear a few years ago and thrust into a campaign with trails throughout all of Europe to recover or “reclaim” what they called “Nazi-gold.” These types of Jews began with Swiss Banks, and then they set their sights on deposits in banks all over Europe. From France, to Portugal, to Italy to Spain; they even were working their way to Turkey! Reparation demands were made for forced “Jewish” labor in Germany, and potentially other countries. The recent incidents all across Europe: throwing rocks at Jews, assaulting Jewish individuals in public places, defiling Jewish cemeteries, attacking Jewish synagogues, painting swastikas in Jewish neighborhoods, all of these are symptomatic of the unrestrained behavior that the world has identified in these types of people, but which the United States government remains incapable of seeing.

There seems to be a universal condemnation of Israel and its advocates and minions throughout the world. And why shouldn’t a runaway Israel (with American protection) be cast as the criminal state-government that it is. It speaks volumes to know that the whole world was against Apartheid in South Africa and Apartheid eventually ceased to exist. Now the whole world is turning against Apartheid in the Holy Land, but because the US defies the whole world, Israel is not ceasing to exist.

American politicians are looking the other way when they know that non-Jews cannot buy or lease land in Israel. It seems like racism along the Washington-Tel Aviv axis did not really vanish; it just moved from its American pathological expression to its concentrated Israeli articulation. Some of this Israeli racism is demonstrated in the following facts:

“1-Israel allots 85% of its water resources to Jews, and the remaining 15% is divided among all Palestinians in the territories.

2- Palestinian license plates in Israel are color coded to distinguish Jews from non-Jews.

3- Israel refuses to prosecute its soldiers who have acknowledged executing prisoners of war.

4-Israel sits on the former sites of more than 400 now-vanished Palestinian villages.

5- Up until 1988 Israelis were still running “Jews Only” job adds.

6- Four Israeli prime ministers (Begin, Shamir, Rabin, and Sharon) have taken part in either bomb attacks on civilians, massacres of civilians, or forced expulsion of civilians from their villages.

7- Despite a ban on torture by Israel’s High Court of Justice, torture has continued by Shin Bet interrogators on Palestinian prisoners.

8- Israel has for decades routinely sent assassins into other countries to kill its political enemies.

9- Sharon’s coalition government includes a party by the name of Molodet; this party advocates expelling all Palestinians from the occupied territories.

And how does the United States government deal with this?

1- The US awards Israel around $5 billion in aid each year.

2- The US aid to Israel exceeds the aid the US grants to the whole African continent.

3- US aid to Israel accounts for $14,346 for each man, woman and child in Israel.

4- Most countries receiving US military aid funds are expected to use them for US arms, ammunition and training. Israel, though, can spend part of these funds on weapons made by Israeli manufacturers.

5- Israel has never been required to repay a US government loan. Most US loans to Israel are forgiven.

6- Israel receives its annual foreign aid appropriation during the first month of the fiscal year, instead of in quarterly installments, as do other recipients. This enables Israel to invest the money in US Treasury notes. That means that the US, which borrows the money it gives to Israel, pays interest on the money it has granted to Israel in advance, while at the same time Israel is collecting interest on the money.” [5]

The gestating question in American Israeli relations is: will there be a future American spasm against this Israeli milking of the American budget and the American body politic? Will the American people go the way the Europeans and the rest of the world have gone in reacting to Israeli imposed demands and the psychological web of guilt that goes with it? The query here is: could the whole world be wrong, and the United States be right in approaching this Israeli debacle? Israeli policies (and the truth has to be said) are managing to cave in the pillars and temples of the American empire. But, more sinister than that, Israeli policies are doing well in corralling the Zionist believers into the most insecure and vulnerable position in their history. Israel was meant to be a safe haven for its “Jewish nationals and citizens.” But as it is turning out Israel is becoming the most dangerous place on the planet for a Zionist Jew to live in. Israel has the dubious distinction of blurring the line between the US and Israel and also blurring the line between a “Jew” and a Zionist. This Herculean accomplishment in the political and psychological binding of the sole superpower with “world Jewry” is bringing the international community into one of the most dangerous cataclysmic scenarios the world has ever experienced. That is why time is of essence. The Jewish history of “victimization” has found access to nuclear technology. Not only does Israel have between 200 and 500 nuclear warheads and weapons, it also has found common purpose with the champion in the nuclear club, the USA. Now is the time for all people of reason, faith, and justice to diffuse a historical will (Israel) to use nuclear devices from its Godfather the US. American Jews are strategically located to do just that. But alas! Instead of seeing the abyss that Israel is drawing the US and the world to, American Jews (at least their mainstream) are applauding Israel at every turn of its methodical war of extermination of people called Palestinians. There seems to be more criticism in Israel of American policies than there is in America of those same policies.

Conclusion

Dread the thought. As long as the US continues to finance and fuel Israeli killer policies it (the US) will prove its undeclared intentions of war not only against the Palestinians and Arabs, but also against the Muslims and every freedom loving and justice adoring people in the world. Maybe it is time for the US to change the dynamics inside of Israel before Israel changes the world by dynamite. This time around, the Hebrew state is playing with global fire. Imagine, If it chooses the Samson option (I.e.; the nuclear suicide bombing) it will not bring down the temple on a race, it will bring it down on all the races in the world.

Notes:

[1] Gary Bauer’s Remarks at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Republican Presidential Candidates Forum; December 1, 1999, http://www.rjchq.org/bauershortspeech.html.

[2] Jerry Falwell, Listen, America! (New York: Bantam Books, 1980), p 98.

[3] Merrill Simon, Jerry Falwell and the Jews, Middle Village, NY: Jonathan David Publishers, Inc. 1984), p64

[4] The New York Press, Top Drawer-Le Maitre, Taki, The Israel Lobby, Vol 15, Issue 15)

[5] Sources: Mazin Qumsiyeh al-‘Awda, Ph.D, Yale University; Jerusalem – One City, Three Faiths, By Karen Armstrong, MIFTAH.org (Hanan ‘Ashrawi’s Website), The Arabs, Peter Mansfield, and the article “The Cost of Israel to US Taxpayers,” (http://www.alhewar.com/CurtissEtAl.html) by Richard Curtiss.

Dr. Ahmed Yousef is Director of United Association for Studies and Research (UASR) and Editor-in-Chief, Middle East Affairs Journal.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here