Ex-US commander: “I paid a military security price” for American support of Israel

The United States establishment is waking up to the fact that Israel is bad for America and bad for the American people’s security.

Just over three years General David Petraeus, then commander of the US Central Command (CentCom), whose area of responsibility covers the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, shocked Israel and its lobbyists and underlings in Washington when he told the US Senate Armed Services Committee that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories

foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of US favouritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of US partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR [area of coverage] and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, Al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.

Now Petraeus’s assessment has been echoed almost word for word by his successor, General James Mattis, who is now retired. In an interview with US journalist and television news anchor Wolf Blitzer at a session of the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, USA, on 20 July, he said:

I paid a military security price every day as the commander of CentCom because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel and that moderates, all the moderate Arabs, who want to be with us, because they can’t come out publicly in support of people who don’t show respect for the Arab Palestinians.

Eager that the point is not lost on his audience, he stressed that the lack of progress on peace front “shortstops a lot of support for us because all politics are local… And I would just tell you that they [Washington’s Arab allies] can’t come out in support of us if we don’t see some progress where Secretary [of State John] Kerry is wisely focused like a laser beam right now.”

Not mincing his words, Mattis bluntly stated that Israel must decide between being a  Jews-only state or an apartheid state. He described a hypothetical situation in which 500 Jewish settlers live among 10,000 Arabs – not dissimilar to the situation in Hebron, where 500-850 Jewish colonists squat under Israeli army protection among a quarter of a million Palestinians – and what this means for where Israel imposes its border. He called it a choice between giving up the idea of a Jewish state or becoming an apartheid state.

Needless to say, Israel will carry on regardless, burying its head in the sand and blissfully ignorant of the shifting sands under its tanks’ tracks.

You can watch Blitzer’s interview with Mattis below. The passages about Israel start at 42 minutes, 03 seconds.

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