Te lezen hoe Israelische regeringsleiders opeenvolgende Amerikaanse presidenten voor het blok en naar hun hand hebben gezet, is leerzaam voor hen die zich afvragen of Obama voldoende weerstand kan bieden aan de druk vanuit de zionistische (pro-Groot)Israel lobby om ‘nucleair’ Iran aan te vallen. Ik vrees dat de schrijver gelijk heeft in zijn eindconclusie: Today, with many powerful friends inside the United States – and with Obama facing intense political pressure over his domestic and national security policies – the Israeli government has plenty of reasons to believe that it can out-fox and outlast this new U.S. president.
By Morgan Strong (A Special Report in The Consortiumnews.com)
May 31, 2010
At the end of a news conference on April 13, President Barack Obama made the seemingly obvious point that the continuing Middle East conflict – pitting Israel against its Arab neighbors – will end up “costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.”
Obama’s remark followed a similar comment by Gen. David Petraeus on March 16, linking the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the challenges that U.S. troops face in the region.
"The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel,” Petraeus said. “Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the [region] 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 truth behind what Obama and Petraeus said is self-evident to anyone who has spent time observing the Middle East for the past six decades. Even the staunchly pro-Israeli Bush administration made similar observations.
Three years ago in Jerusalem, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice termed the Israeli/Palestinian peace process of “strategic interest” to the United States and expressed empathy for the beleaguered Palestinian people.
“The prolonged experience of deprivation and humiliation can radicalize even normal people,” Rice said, referring to acts of Palestinian violence.
But the recent comments by Obama and Petraeus aroused alarm among some Israeli supporters who reject any suggestion that Israel’s harsh treatment of Palestinians might be a factor in the anti-Americanism surging through the Islamic world.
After Petraeus’s comment, the pro-Israeli Anti-Defamation League said linking the Palestinian plight and Muslim anger was “dangerous and counterproductive.”
“Gen. Petraeus has simply erred in linking the challenges faced by the U.S. and coalition forces in the region to a solution of the Israeli-Arab conflict, and blaming extremist activities on the absence of peace and the perceived U.S. favoritism for Israel,” ADL national director Abraham Foxman said.
However, the U.S. government’s widespread (though often unstated) recognition of the truth behind Petraeus’s comment has colored how the Obama administration has reacted to the intransigence of Israel’s Likud government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The U.S. government realizes how much it has done on Israel’s behalf, even to the extent of making Americans the targets of Islamic terrorism such as the 9/11 attacks (as the 9/11 Commission discovered but played down) and sacrificing the lives of thousands of U.S. troops fighting in Middle East conflicts.
That was the backdrop last March for President Obama’s outrage over the decision of the Netanyahu government to continue building Jewish housing in Arab East
Jerusalem despite the fact that the move complicated U.S. peace initiatives and was announced as Vice President Joe Biden arrived to reaffirm American support for Israel.
However, another little-acknowledged truth about the U.S.-Israeli relationship is that Israeli leaders have frequently manipulated and misled American presidents out of a confidence that U.S. politicians deeply fear the political fallout from any public battle with Israel.
Given that history, few analysts who have followed the arc of U.S.-Israeli relations since Israel’s founding in 1948 believe that the Israeli government is likely to retreat very much in its current confrontation with President Obama…
…In a sense, Israel can’t be blamed for standing up for itself, especially given the long history of brutality and oppression directed against Jews. However, Israeli leaders have used this tragic history to justify their own harsh treatment of others, especially the Palestinians, many of whom were rooted from their ancestral homes.
Over the past six decades, Israeli leaders also have refined their strategies for taking advantage of their staunchest ally, the United States.
Today, with many powerful friends inside the United States – and with Obama facing intense political pressure over his domestic and national security policies – the Israeli government has plenty of reasons to believe that it can out-fox and outlast this new U.S. president.
Morgan Strong is a former professor of Middle Eastern history, and was an advisor to CBS News “60 Minutes” on the Middle East.