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The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Jun 7, 2010

Israeli Influence Over U.S. Middle East Foreign Policy

The Israeli military attack of the Free International Flotilla - a "mercy mission" to break the Israeli Gaza siege - brought condemnation of Israel worldwide. A CNN poll revealed that 54% of the respondents were in favor of Israeli condemnation. However, as usual, the American representative at the U.N. tried to shield Israel from the harsh condemnation submitted by Turkey. During a closed-door meeting that lasted nearly ten hours, the U.S. representative succeeded in watering down the Turkish proposal that was also backed by all the Arab states. The resolution called for the implementation of the U.N. resolution 1860, which calls for Israel to lift its siege on Gaza. Israel, as usual and with the help of the U.S. government, has ignored the resolution. The other four permanent members of the Security Council - Britain, France, Russia and China - expressed their regrets about the Israeli military attack. Based on the U.S. policy of shielding the Israelis from other members in the Security Council, I will not be surprised if the U.S. representative threatened to use its veto power if Turkey refused to modify its resolution. It has used its veto power more than 75 times and more than any other members.

In the meantime, the Human Rights Organization of the U.N. in Geneva passed a new resolution condemning the Israeli attack and also called for the appointment of a U.N. commission to investigate the Israeli raids. The U.S., Italy and Holland voted against the resolution. The U.S. went against the international trend that condemns the Israeli attack. The main reason behind the U.S. support of Israel is attributed to the strong influence of "AIPAC", the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee over the American Congress.

A year ago, when President Obama delivered his speech at Cairo University, he promised Arabs and the Muslim world that the U.S. will establish a new American foreign policy based on respect and cooperation with the Arab and Islamic world. He further stressed that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians will be settled on the basis of two states, an Israeli and a Palestinian one. Unfortunately, President Obama met resistance from the Israeli government regarding his peace proposal and no progress has been made. In the mean time, the Israeli government mobilized its supporters in the U.S. through AIPAC and other Zionist Jewish organizations by pressuring the American Congress to oppose President Obama's policy toward Israel. The American Congress, as usual, expressed their support of Israel in a letter signed by 334 out of 435 members in the House and a similar letter was signed by 75 members out of 100 in the Senate. Furthermore, President Obama met with 33 Jewish members of Congress behind closed doors to assure them of the U.S. support of Israel.

Israeli influence on the American Congress and politicians have been mentioned quite frequently over the years. Congressman Paul Findly wrote an interesting book, "They Dare to Speak Out" in which he thoroughly explained the influence of AIPAC as the most powerful lobby in Washington D.C. Later on, Congressman Findly was defeated by AIPAC through financial contributions to his Republican opponent. Senator Charles Percy of Illinois and others who opposed Israel met the same fate. Few high ranking members of congress and high government officials, such as the late Senator William Fulbright, Adlia Stevenson,Paul Mclosky,and George Ball warned against AIPAC and other Zionist Jewish organizations influence over American foreign policy in the Middle East. The basic concern is the fact that the Israeli national interest supercedes American national interest.

Former Senator Fritz Holling (D. of S. Carolina) cited publicly the influence of AIPAC as the most important pro-Israeli lobby group in Washington in determining U.S. policy in the Middle East. He said one couldn’t have an Israeli policy other than what AIPAC gave. Furthermore, he stated that no president takes office, whether Republican or Democrat, that all of a sudden AIPAC will tell him exactly what the policy is and senators and members of congress out to sign the letters. (Charleston Daily Courier, 5/6/2004).

In an article titled, "Washington Asks: What To Do About Israel" (NYT 6/4/2010), Helen Cooper points out that, "A list of recent moves by the Netanyahu government that potentially threatens American interests has grown steadily, many foreign experts argue".

She further noted an article written by Anthony Cordesman, a well-known think tank military strategist, who wrote, "Israel is a strategic liability." Mr. Cordesman noted that, "Recent Israeli government, particularly the one lead by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have ignored the national security concerns of its biggest benefactor the United States, and instead have taken steps that damage American interest abroad and its unnecessarely actions makes Israel a strategic liability." In previous posts, I have been saying that the Israeli government has been biting the hand that feeds it. The influence of AIPAC and other Jewish organizations on American foreign policy is no longer a secret affairs.

Osama bin Laden, the leader of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda issued a public warning in the late 1980s asking the U.S. to stop supporting Israel and play an even handed role in its Middle East foreign policy, especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He warned that if the U.S. continued its support of Israel, al-Qaeda would then declare war against the U.S.

The U.S. government dismissed the warning and continued to conduct its policy as usual. This lead bin Laden and his terrorist group to declare war against the U.S. by bombing American embassies in Africa and later on, his 9/11 terrorist attack in the U.S. that led to the killing of more than four thousand innocent Americans. The killing of innocent people does not solve any problems and only makes matters worse. The al-Qaeda terrorist activities helped to created a negative image of Islam. It is regrettable that every religion has its share of ignorant religious fanatics. Some Jewish Zionist organizations have done their own share of terrorist activities against the Palestinians.

Looking at the positive side of religion, the vast majority of Muslims are not supportive of bin Laden's terrorist activities. Neither are all Jews supportive of Zionist violent activities. In the last few years, two Jewish organizations, J. Street and Jewish Voices for Peace, began to question Zionist support for Israel. They began to advocate that Israel is here to stay but also that the Palestinians are here to reckon with their legitimate rights to have their own state.

Let me conclude by saying that as long as the Israeli Palestinian conflict is not settled, terrorist acts will continue to threaten the U.S.'s national interest and security. The total American support has cost trillions dollars of taxpayers'money in addition of the death of many innocent Americans.

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