On September 17, the New
York Post quoted Henry Kissinger saying:
"In 10 years, there will be no more Israel. I repeat: In 10 years, there
will be no more Israel."
He didn't mean Israel will self-destruct or collapse. His view mirrors
the combined assessment of 16 US intelligence agencies. Months earlier,
its report headlined "Preparing For A Post Israel Middle East." It wasn’t
released publicly so no link.
It concluded that Washington's national interest is at odds with Israel.
The so-called special relationship is counterproductive. What benefits
Israel geopolitically often harms America.
It's time to stop letting the tail wag the dog. America loses more than
it gains. Serious reassessment is long overdue.
In their book titled "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy,” John
Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt argue that Israel is "increasingly a strategic
liability....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."
Doing so "means no longer pretending that Israel and America's interests
are identical, or acting as if Israel deserves steadfast US support
no matter what it does."
James Petras said "(t)he US-Israeli relationship is the first in modern
history in which the imperial country covers up a deliberate major military
assault by a supposed ally."
He referred to the 1967 USS Liberty attack. Israel bombed and strafed
it. Dozens of US seamen were killed. Around 170 were wounded. The vessel
was heavily damaged. Israel got away with murder. It wasn't the first
or last time.
It's time to cut ties and move on. In May 2008, former US official Richard
Holbrooke headlined a Washington Post op-ed "Washington's Battle Over
Israel's Birth," saying:
In early 1948, Washington witnessed an "epic struggle." Behind the scenes,
policy makers wrangled over how to respond to Israel's May 14 declaration
of independence. Influential Truman officials shared opposing views.
Lesser ones favored recognition.
Notable ones against included Defense Secretary James Forrestal, diplomat
George Kennan, Defense Secretary Robert Lovett, presidential advisor
John J. McCloy, defense strategist Paul Nitze, Secretary of State Dean
Acheson, and General George Marshall, whom Truman called "the greatest
On May 12, Truman held an Oval Office meeting. Supposedly it was to
resolve things. Marshall, Lovett, and others made the case for delaying
recognition. By "delay," they meant "deny."
Truman asked Clark Clifford to be present. At the time, he was a young
aide. He argued for recognition. Marshall was furious. When Clifford
finished, he said:
"I don't even know why (he's) here. He is a domestic adviser, and this
is a foreign policy matter. The only reason (he's) here is that he is
pressing a political consideration."
Truman was up for reelection in November. Polls showed Republican Thomas
Dewey ahead. Winning the Jewish vote was important.
After the meeting, said Holbrooke, Marshall wrote "an unusual top-secret
memorandum….for the historical files." He wanted his view on the record,
"I said bluntly that if the President were to follow Mr. Clifford's
advice and if in the elections I were to vote, I would vote against
His comment was stunning. Marshall was a consummate diplomat. He was
Truman's Secretary of State and Defense Secretary. Forrestal reflected
his view and other recognition opponents, saying:
At issue is oil, numbers and history. "There are thirty million Arabs
on one side and about 600,000 Jews on the other." He told Clifford:
"Why don't you face up to the realities?"
It didn't matter. It was a done deal. Truman decided earlier. On March
25, 1948, he met secretly with Chaim Weizmann (Israel's first president).
He pledged support for the future Jewish state. Minutes after midnight
on May 15, 1948, America was the first country to extend recognition.
Holbrooke said many believe Marshall, Forrestal, Lovett, and others
were right. "Israel, they argue(d), has been nothing but trouble for
the United States."
Holbrooke tried having it both ways. He said it didn't matter whether
Washington extended recognition then or not. With or without it, Israel
was created right or wrong.
Failure to offer support might have jeopardized its survival. "Truman's
decision, although opposed by almost the entire foreign policy establishment,
was the right one….despite complicated consequences that continue to
Rethink time is long overdue. Perhaps it's happening behind the scenes.
In April 2010, The New York Times headlined "Obama Speech Signals a
US Shift on Middle East," saying:
He said resolving the longstanding Israeli/Palestinian conflict is a
"vital national security interest of the United States." At issue was
balancing support for Israel with other regional interests.
At the same time, General David Petraeus told Congress that lack of
progress created a hostile environment "within which we operate."
At the same time, administration officials then and now insist US support
for Israel is unwavering. Close cooperation is policy. Perhaps what
goes on secretly is less rock solid than earlier.
At the time, AIPAC publicized letters to Hillary Clinton signed by 76
senators and 333 House members. They urged the administration to defuse
In addition, World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder published
an open letter to Obama asking:
"Why does the thrust of this administration's Middle East rhetoric seem
to blame Israel for the lack of movement on peace talks?"
Netanyahu expressed support. He omitted saying Israel bears full responsibility
for longstanding conflict conditions. For over 40 years, so-called peace
talks went nowhere.
Israel obstructed them. It still blocks resolution. It demands. It doesn't
negotiate. It expects unconditional acquiescence. Palestinians never
had a willing peace partner and don't now.
Maybe Kissinger is right. Privately and secretly perhaps the dog is
beginning to bark. Anti-Israeli sentiment gained adherents for years.
Many Jews are fed up and say so. US and Israeli ones are vocal. Expect
new supporters to join their ranks.
Growing numbers of ordinary people and analysts know Israel menaces
regional peace. Perhaps policy makers admit privately that it's more
liability than ally.
Change comes incrementally and imperceptibly. Breaking or substantially
pulling back from longstanding ties won't come easily or quickly.
Israel is notorious for dirty tricks and unprincipled tactics. It’ll
do anything to get its way. It may take a future US leader with chutzpah
enough to challenge what none so far dared do. One day, expect it. When,
Maybe Israel will help out by shooting itself in the foot once too often.
Occupation harshness has shelf life limitations. Pressuring Washington
for favors harming US interests can't go on forever. Push has an appointment
with shove. We'll know when at the moment of truth.
On September 24, Al Haq published a Palestinian Human Rights Organizations
Council (PHROC) joint statement. It's titled "Oral Statement of Culture
of Impunity in Israel."
It covers longstanding Israeli crimes against humanity. It highlights
what's too intolerable to let go on. Whatever strains exist between
Washington and Tel Aviv, Palestinian grievances are longstanding, grave,
and destructive of an entire people.
Al Haq represented 10 other PHROC organizations. It presented their
case and its own at the Human Rights Council's 21st session. It argued
that conditions in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories are
It said impunity granted Israel lets international crimes go unpunished.
Palestinian victims get no "semblance of justice." Facts on the ground
demand corrective measures. Delay no longer washes. Action is needed
The joint submission was titled "Escalation in Forcible Transfer and
Demolitions in Area C." It comprises over 60% of the West Bank. Israel
exerts total control.
It calls Palestinian land sovereign Israeli territory. Land theft is
policy. Israel acts extrajudicially. It does whatever it wants. It gets
away with it because world leaders turn a blind eye. Instead of denouncing
what's lawless, support if extended.
Its policies are extreme enough to make some despots blush. How do you
characterize unconscionable oppression. Nonviolent Palestinians are
terrorized for not being Jewish.
Their land, homes and other property are stolen and/or destroyed. They're
denied their own resources. Free movement, expression, and assembly
are prohibited. Building on privately owned land is criminalized.
Ethnic cleansing is policy. So is institutionalized racism. Fundamental
international laws are spurned. It's long past time to hold Israel accountable.
Alarm was expressed about its culture of impunity. Virtually all Palestinian
rights are denied. They face "violent intimidation, severe restrictions,"
and denial of their self-determination right. The International Court
of Justice (ICJ) called granting it "one of the essential principles
of contemporary international law."
The UN is responsible for protecting and promoting universal human rights.
It's obligated to act against international law violations. From inception,
it failed to do so repeatedly.
Al Haq and other PHROC organizations want the Human Rights Council to
address systematic Israeli lawlessness. Action is needed now. Enforcing
accountability is essential.
No one is above the law - no nation, organization or individual. Member
States are obligated to act. It's high time they fulfilled responsibilities
they're sworn to uphold. Delay, whitewashing crimes, and excuse making
no longer wash.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized
Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
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