Israel’s stranglehold on US policymakers

Israel rules USA

By Jamal Kanj

Jamal Kanj views the extent of Israel’s stranglehold on American policymakers as highlighted by US threats to the European Union not to support the Palestinian bid for UN observer status and by President Barack Obama’s cancellation of a meeting with world leaders at the UN because the Israeli prime minister was absent.

The US State Department is has sent a confidential letter urging European Union members and other “friendly” countries to help block Palestinian attempts to secure non-member Observer State status at the United Nations General Assembly.

The memorandum, seen by this writer, falsely asserts that the US and the Quartet on the Middle East are working towards a two-state solution that envisages “a secure, democratic Jewish state of Israel and a Palestinian state as a homeland for the Palestinian people”.

While the Quartet has endorsed the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, it never agreed on defining Israel as a “Jewish state”. In fact, this issue was a sticking point leading to the failure of the Quartet’s meeting in July last year.

…the US is conspicuously treating Palestinian diplomatic efforts at the UN as more serious than Israel’s interminable breaches of the 20-year-old Oslo Accords.

The State Department communiqué also claims the US continues “to urge both parties to avoid provocative one-sided actions that could undermine trust”.

Sadly, the US is conspicuously treating Palestinian diplomatic efforts at the UN as more serious than Israel’s interminable breaches of the 20-year-old Oslo Accords.

Phlegmatic on Israeli violations, the US State Department is mobilizing its own diplomatic corps on behalf of Israel to undermine the basic right of Palestinians to a state of their own.

In the private US document, the administration cautioned that “a General Assembly resolution on Palestinian statehood could also open the door to Palestinian participation as a state in other international fora, including at the International Criminal Court (ICC)”.

Why is the US concerned about this?

UN Observer State status will only grant the ICC jurisdiction over war crimes committed within the geographical area of the state.

In the absence of war crimes, the ICC’s jurisdiction becomes immaterial.

Perhaps US apprehension over Palestinian entry into the UN – with power to adjudicate on matters related to war crimes – is an implicit admission of Israeli culpability in such crimes.

The letter carried an oblique warning to European countries that Palestine joining the UN will have “significant negative consequences”, including “our ability to maintain our significant financial support for the Palestinian Authority” – implying that EU countries will be left with the burden of supporting a Palestinian economy strangled by the Israeli occupation.

Last month, US President Barack Obama cancelled a 20-year-old tradition of meeting world leaders present for the opening of the UN General Assembly session because the Israeli prime minister was not there.

Israel’s grip on US foreign policy is bizarre.

Last month, US President Barack Obama cancelled a 20-year-old tradition of meeting world leaders present for the opening of the UN General Assembly session because the Israeli prime minister was not there.

To avoid the appearance of meeting world leaders but not Binyamin Netanyahu, Obama called off his meetings altogether.

This measure of Israel’s hold over American foreign policy was investigated at length in a book called The Israeli Lobby and US Foreign Lobby by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, who argued: “It is time for the United States to treat Israel not as a special case but as a normal state, and to deal with it much as it deals with any other country.”

In his farewell speech in 1796, the founding father and first American president, George Washington, presaged these type of relations and forewarned about the danger of “the insidious wiles of foreign influence”.

“The jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government,” he said.

Indeed, the Israeli lobby’s diabolic “influence” over elected American officials is the most destructive threat to US democracy.

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