Welcome to the Middle East Today

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.

Sep 26, 2010

The Middle East - Obama’s Political Dilemma

In his speech at the U.N. (9/24/10), President Obama called on Israel to extend its partial freeze on building new Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The moratorium is set to expire at the end of September. If the Israelis fail to extend the freeze, the Palestinians are threatening to pull out of the peace discussions.

The trouble with President Obama’s speech is the fact that he failed to state that the construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank is illegal and was condemned by the U.N. and the International Court of Justice. Furthermore, the U.N. has issued resolutions calling on Israel to withdraw its forces back to the 1967 boundaries. Israel has defied international law and ignored all U.N. resolutions. This defiance by Israel is attributed to one basic factor: the American umbrella that protects Israel from the passage of any resolutions that will force it to comply with the U.N. The U.S. government has used its veto power more than any other member in the Security Council. It has been estimated this power has been used more than 70 times to protect Israel. For that basic reason the Israel government has been able to implement their Zionist ideology (“greater Israel”). When the Palestinians resist occupation (this resistance is permitted by the Geneva treaty of 1948), they are referred to as terrorists. Even the U.S. government has classified most Palestinians, including Hamas, as terrorists, despite the fact that they were the winners of the Palestinian election of 2006. The American public lacks knowledge about terrorism in the Middle East. Jewish Zionist organizations such as the Irgun, the Sterring Gang and the Hagana introduced terrorism in Palestine when it was under British mandate in the 1930s and 1940s. Hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed as a result of explosives put in public places such as King David Hotel and in buses and crowded public places*. Professor Benny Morris speculates, “The Arabs may well have learned the value of terrorist bombing from Jews.” (Righteous Victims, p. 147, 201). See also J. Mearsheimer & S. Walt, “Storm Over the Israeli Lobby.”

One of the basic factors behind the U.S.’s foreign policy in the Middle East is the influence of lobbyists in the U.S. Despite the fact that Americans vote and send their representatives to the American Congress, decisions are influenced by lobbyists who are on the pay rolls of big economical, political, ethnic, racial, religious and educational groups. Their financial contribution to members of congress during elections runs into the hundreds of billions of dollars, leading to the fact that the majority of the members of the American Congress are put under the thumbs of lobbyists. Senator Reid put it clearly when he said that the U.S. Congress is the most corrupt in the history of the U.S. The situation has even been recognized by President Obama, who during his campaign promised to curtail the lobbyists’ influence in Washington D.C. It is a well-known fact that the Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is the most influential lobbyist group in the U.S.

According to ex-Senator Jim Abourizk, the Pro-Israeli lobby does most of its work without publicity. But every member of Congress and every would-be candidate for Congress comes to quickly understand a basic lesson: the money that is needed to run for office comes with great ease to those who support Israel, provided the candidate makes certain promises in writing to vote favorably on issues considered important to Israel. What drives much of congressional support for Israel is the knowledge that money will be given to one’s opponent if one does not support Israel. This situation led to the defeat of a few members of congress who opposed Israeli policy, such as ex-Senator Charles Percy and Congressman Paul Findley, who explained this in his book They Dared To Speak. Also, former Senator Fritz Holling wrote in an article in the Charleston Daily Post Courier (May 6, 2004) that the role of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the most important lobby group in Washington D.C., is determining U.S. policy in the Middle East. “You can’t have an Israeli policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here. I have followed them mostly in the main, but I have also resisted signing certain letters from time to time to give the poor president a chance. I don’t care whether it’s a 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.” He further pointed out that the U.s. has lost its moral authority. There are other members of the Senate and House who spoke of the power of AIPAC’s influence on U.S. foreign policy. The tragedy of this is that AIPAC has succeeded in blending Israel national interest with U.S. national interest and has misled the American public. In reality, Israel puts its national interest ahead of the U.S. national interest. Since its creation, Israel has been biting the hand that feeds it. Between 1948 and 2009, Israel received more than $160 billion of American taxpayers’ money in foreign, economic and military aid. Despite all of that, Israel has been caught spying on the U.S. on several occasions, and some of the vital military information was passed to both Russia and China.

Recently (Sept. 24th, 2010) the press reported that some members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama to release the American Jewish spy J. Pollard from jail, who is serving a life sentence for passing vital military information from the U.S. to Israel. Mr. Pollard’s case is one among several others spying cases. The reaction to such a violation by Israel has been minimal due to the power and influence of AIPAC on the U.S. Congress. Any members who attack Israel are automatically labeled anti-Semitic. For more on this, read Professor Norman Finkelstein’s book Beyond Chutzpah. He noted that whenever Israel is criticized for its violation and abuse of human rights, its supporters sound the alarm “new anti-Semitism” is upon us.

For that and other reasons, President Obama has failed to condemn Israel’s abuse of the human rights of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

President Obama has lost his courage to stand up for the truth. He has been snubbed by Prime Minister Netanyahu several times and failed to challenge the Israeli prime minister. One of the basic reasons for this, from my point of view, is the position he finds himself in because of the influence of AIPAC on the majority of the members of the American Congress. As a matter of fact, during the past few months, letters were signed by some members of Congress telling the president to stop pressuring and challenging the Israeli government to participate in the peace process. President Obama is in a very awkward position. He was elected with a promise to implement a national reform agenda and foreign policy agenda and for that reason he is trying to avoid a clash with members of his own Democratic party, whose support he needs to pass his national agenda. It is a pity that there is no party discipline in the American political structure. Sometimes, members of one political party desert their own party and join the other, or call themselves independent members of Congress. What matters to many members of Congress is their personal interest to assure their reelection regardless of the cost to American national interest. President Obama, in my judgment, might compromise on his agenda regarding Israel to win the support of at least some of the members of his own political party.

Since lobbyists play a very influential role in shaping the national and foreign policy of the U.S., Arab political leadership, especially in the gulf region, has failed to create their own lobbyists. This is especially true in the oil exporting countries and with financial institutions where they have invested hundreds of billions of dollars. The only lobby that can stand up to the Jewish Zionist lobby AIPAC is the oil business and financial institution lobbyists. In my judgment, the solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is in the hands of a half dozen Arab political leaderships and not in the hands of President Obama.
Your comments will be welcomed

*For more information read Joseph Heller’s The Stern Gang: Ideology, Politics and Terror. Also read Haim Levenberg’s Military Preparations about how the Irgun introduced the practice of terrorism by

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