Thursday, July 03, 2008

Have American Jews Been Duped?

Stephen M. Asbel

American support weakens Israeli resolve

If you take a step back and look at the past 40 years, one can make the case that the American policy of providing assistance to Israel has had the effect, if not the express intent, of weakening Israel's political resolve, Golda Meir refused to launch a preemptive strike for fear of angering Washington, making Israel more easily bend to the American will, and has also been a means to channel and at the same time control the political energy of the American Jewish community. We saw this process begin in earnest in 1973. In1967, Israel, with no world powers supporting it when it was being
strangled by blockade and massed enemy forces on its borders, acted resolutely on its own and won a decisive victory. In 1973, a few years into the period of active American support, Israel had intelligence that Egypt and Syria were going to attack, but Golda Meir refused to launch a preemptive strike for fear of angering Washington. The result was a near catastrophe for Israel.

In the decades since, Israel has allowed itself to become highly dependent
on the US, rather than rely on its own skills and resources. Israel has
been willing to make huge and dangerous strategic sacrifices because a
belief has been fostered that the United States is going to guarantee
Israel's safety. The hostility of the US toward Israel's limited
efforts to defend itself (affirming its right of self-defense, but then
criticizing every actual attempt to do so) is an indicator of this.

At the same time, American policy has had the effect of duping and
controlling the American Jewish community. American Jews have
essentially been sold the idea that all will be well with Israel if the
US keeps doling out the military aid and casting some votes at the UN.
This has had the effect of causing American Jews to line up behind
policies such as creating a new Arab Palestinian state and giving up
vital territory, because they think they are keeping Israel strong by
keeping the aid spigot open. It appears that American Jews have been
made the indirect useful idiots of a policy driven by the US State
Department at the behest of the Saudis and other Arab oil producers.
Israeli leaders, of course, adopted these policies to curry favor with
Washington, rather than making the case for keeping territory vital to
Israel's safety.

Both the Clinton and Bush Administrations were quite willing to push Israel
into dangerous concessions, but it was sugarcoated with words of
friendship and commitment to Israel's security and healthy doses of
military aid credits. The real underlying agenda is to make the Saudis
happy. In May we saw President George Bush go to Riyadh, where he got
down on his knees in front of his overlord, King Abdullah, to beg for
more oil. Abdullah gave Bush the back of his hand this time, but the
pattern that has emerged is that Israeli concessions are one of the
forms of currency with which American administrations seek to buy Saudi

I fear Israelis and American Jews are going to sit back and do little
because of the combination of having been taken in by this notion that
Mahmoud Abbas is some sort of peacenik and by Congress continuing to
dutifully vote big military aid packages to Israel. While Israel is
pressured to give up vital territory, they are being lulled into a
Israelis need to wake up and see this dangerous aspect to the over-dependence upon the United States.
false sense of security.

Israelis need to wake up and see this dangerous aspect to the over-dependence
upon the United States. Israelis need to demand that their government
take steps to end dependence on American aid and move the basis for
relations with the United States to a more normal mode that exists
between allies. Israel must stop putting all of its eggs in one
American basket. Israel should not be viewed as a charity case.
According to the CIA's statistics, Israel's GDP in 2007 was over $190
billion and it has a per household income that is comparable to states
in Europe. Israel should be able to wean itself of dependence on
American aid credits, which carry too high a price in other aspects of

Israel is not a pathetic, backward state. Israel is a strong, powerful nation
and it should start acting like one. I am afraid Israelis have bought
into their own public relations about being weak and needing help to
the point that they have become afraid to anger America. They are
wrong. Most Americans admire Israel and will respect it for standing up
for itself against its enemies. Friendship and mutual respect should be
the basis for the US-Israel alliance, not dependence and vassalage.

American Jewish organizations should be encouraging Israel and helping it to be
more independent. Israel needs to start acting with the confidence to
make decisions that benefit its interests, rather than putting
Washington¢s interests ahead of its own.

The "two-state solution" of two states west of the Jordan is a bill of
goods. It will never work. It will create a terrorist-infested state
which will put rockets in range of nearly all of Israel's population
and then demand even more territory. Israel's justification for going
along with this is fear of demographic problems. Studies and articles,
such as those by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, have shown the
demography fears to be unfounded especially with Israel having left
Gaza. An Israel that annexes Judea and Samaria will have a stable, 67%
Jewish majority. Jewish birthrates are rising (thanks to very high
birthrates among Israel's most religious Jews), Arab birthrates are
falling and there have been more Arabs leaving the territories than

Annexation of Judea and Samaria, coupled with dismantling of the Palestinian Authority and destruction of the terrorist organizations it aids and abets, will give Israel secure borders on the east that are defensible;
close the door to millions of Arabs who would flood a Palestinian state
(and then demand more of what was left of Israel). It would offer the
possibility of Israeli citizenship to the Arab residents of those
territories, if they are law-abiding and would like citizenship, thus
ending their condition of statelessness. Such new Arab citizens of
Israel would also have freedom of movement throughout this larger
Israel and the ability to live in any part of the country - perhaps
Developers will flock to build in these regions, with benefits for both Jewish and Arab residents.even in regions that they or their parents left in 1948.

Of course, Jews would be free to live anywhere in the core of the ancient
homeland in Judea and Samaria. Freed from the political uncertainty of
these territories, developers will flock to build in these regions,
with benefits for both Jewish and Arab residents including improved
infrastructure and services. Once terrorists are rooted out, there
would be an end to roadblocks and removal of the disliked, but
currently necessary, security barrier.

This is a solution that Israel can implement itself with no treaty. It will
not be easy, but it is the best way to promote an Israel that remains a
Jewish state, a democracy and that has militarily defensible borders.
The so-called "two-state solution" is a plan born out of the politics
of fear and despair. A policy in which Israel once and for all
incorporates the heart of the ancient Jewish homeland and makes a place
in its society for the inhabitants of those territories is a plan born
out of hope and confidence in the strength and future of Israel as a
Jewish-majority, democratic state.29 Sivan 5768 / 02 July 08

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