December 20, 2011

Israel, US, and WikiLeaks

Bradley Manning, alleged Wikileaks leaker, is finally getting his day in court, even if it is just a military court that does not allow for the full exercise of rights that civilian courts have.

One overlooked aspect of the WikiLeaks releases is what it says about US subservience to Israel's interests. For example, recall the failure of the talks last year between Israel and the Palestinian leadership. M. J. Rosenberg describes how the US government, both the White House and the Congress, is controlled by the Israel lobby led by AIPAC, and says that "here is only one reason that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations collapsed. It is the power of the "pro-Israel lobby" (led by AIPAC) which prevents the United States from saying publicly what it says privately: that resolution of a conflict which is so damaging to US interests is consistently being blocked by the intransigence of the Netanyahu government and its determination to maintain the occupation."

Israel has shown that it can extort what it wants from the US. Last year, the US requested that there be a moratorium on settlement building in the occupied territories. Israel refused, even rejecting the US offer of a bribe of three billion dollars in return for which Israel would simply have a moratorium on settlement for just 90 days. And despite being publicly humiliated time and again, the US government continues to be servile to Israel.

Apart from being one of the major enablers for these Israeli policies and lavishing the country with huge amounts of aid that enable Israelis to have a high standard of living, the US also provides it with diplomatic cover in the international arena. The US even vetoes UN resolutions on the settlements even when the resolutions are exactly in line with publicly stated US policy. WikiLeaks revealed that the US had secret deal with Israel to expand settlements even as they publicly decry it.

Is there any more glaring indication of the fecklessness of US political leaders and their subservience to Israel? But one notable feature is how few of the leaked WikiLeaks cables deal with Israel. Israel Shamir suggests that this is part of the western government-media subservience to the Israel lobby, which we also saw demonstrated with how they downplayed reports that the US, French, and German leaders view the Israeli prime minister as an incorrigible liar.

The Guardian and the New York Times, Le Monde and Spiegel are quite unable to publish a story unacceptable to Israel. They may pen a moderately embarrassing piece of fluff, or a slightly critical technical analysis in order to convince discerning readers of their objectivity. They may even let an opponent air his or her views every once in a blue moon. But they could never publish a story really damaging to Israel. This is true for all mainstream media.

Furthermore, no American ambassador would ever send a cable really unacceptable to Israel – unless he intended to retire the next month. Yet even supposing this kamikaze ambassador would send the cable, the newspapers would overlook it.

Even with thousands of secret cables about Israel in their hands, the mainstream media delays and prevaricates. They don't want anyone to yell at them. That is why they have postponed publishing the articles. Once forced by circumstance or competition to publish the contents of the cables, you can bet they'll twist the revelations into toady headlines and bury the truth in the final paragraph.

Robert Fisk comments on one aspect of Middle East politics gleaned from the few WikiLeaks releases:

It's not that US diplomats don't understand the Middle East; it's just that they've lost all sight of injustice. Vast amounts of diplomatic literature prove that the mainstay of Washington's Middle East policy is alignment with Israel, that its principal aim is to encourage the Arabs to join the American-Israeli alliance against Iran, that the compass point of US policy over years and years is the need to tame/bully/crush/oppress/ ultimately destroy the power of Iran.

There is virtually no talk (so far, at least) of illegal Jewish colonial settlements on the West Bank, of Israeli "outposts", of extremist Israeli "settlers" whose homes now smallpox the occupied Palestinian West Bank - of the vast illegal system of land theft which lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian war. And incredibly, all kinds of worthy US diplomats grovel and kneel before Israel's demands - many of them apparently fervent supporters of Israel - as Mossad bosses and Israel military intelligence agents read their wish-list to their benefactors.

As long as the US continues to be subservient to Israeli interests and impervious to justice, there will be no resolution of the Middle East conflict.


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I have read million of articles and opinions about the Israel - Palestinian conflict, but what I am longing to read is that these two countries have finally solved their problems and live in peace!I hope that one day I will read that too!

Posted by Nansy Gibson on December 20, 2011 09:34 AM

If the primary objective of U.S. Middle-East policy is the containment and ultimate destruction of Iran, then removing Saddam Hussein from Iraq was a spectacular miscalculation. The U.S. helped Saddam throughout the bloody, protracted Iran-Iraq War, then suddenly forgot about his usefulness.

Why? Was the "peak oil" hypothesis that persuasive to Dick Cheney and Halliburton? Were we trying to placate someone else besides the Israelis, like the Saudis? Was there simply a rush of blood away from the brain towards the muscles? Or were the neocons playing a really long game, looking to place us in just the situation we're in now, so they can present Iran as their next, necessary military target?

Whatever the reason, George Washington is turning in his grave.

Posted by Richard Frost on December 20, 2011 11:09 AM

There are no "settlements" on Palestinian land. At best, they are squatters.

More accurately, Israel's building on Palestinian land can be equated to Germany's expansion into the Sudetenland under the "Munich Agreement".

And no, I don't care if anyone is offended by comparisons of Israel today to Nazi Germany. Israel engages in collective punishment, creating ghettos where people starve, and bombing civilian areas, all of which were declared war crimes at Nuremburg. Of all people, jews should know better having been the victims of atrocities.


Posted by P Smith on December 20, 2011 01:49 PM