I am reluctant to write about the “Israel problem” at the heart of U.S. foreign policy two weeks in a row but it seems that the story just will not go away as the usual suspects pile on the Barack Obama Administration over its alleged betrayal of America’s “best and greatest friend and ally in the whole world.”
Even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his gaggle of war criminalscontinue to foam at the mouth over the United Nations vote it is, in truth, difficult to blame Israel for what is happening. The Israelis are acting on what they see as their self interest in dominating their neighbors militarily and having a free hand to deal with the Palestinians in any way they see fit. And as for their relationship with Washington, what could be better than getting billions of dollars every year, advanced weapons and unlimited political cover in exchange for absolutely nothing?
Surely even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows that the settlements are illegal under international law and are an impediment to any peaceful resolution with the Palestinians, which is what Resolution 2334 says. It has been U.S. policy to oppose them since they first starting popping up like mushrooms, but Netanyahu has encouraging their expansion in full knowledge that he is creating facts on the ground that will be irreversible. He has also pledged to his voters that he will not permit the creation of a Palestinian state, so why should anyone be confused about his intentions?
Daniel Larison over at The American Conservative summed up the situation perfectly, observing that “Calling out Israel for its ongoing illegal behavior becomes unavoidable when there is no progress in resolving the conflict, and the current Israeli government has made it very clear that there won’t be any progress… Israel isn’t actually an ally, much less a ‘vital’ one, and it certainly isn’t ‘critical’ to our security. The U.S. isn’t obliged to cater to some of the worst policies of a client government that has increasingly become a liability. The real problem with the U.S. abstention on the resolution is that it came many years after it might have done some significant good, and it comes so late because Obama wasted his entire presidency trying to ‘reassure’ a government that undermined and opposed him time and again.”
So stop blaming Israel for acting selfishly, since that is the nature of the beast, as in the fable of the frog and the scorpion. More to the point, it is the American Quislings who should be the focus of any examination of what is taking place as they are deliberately misrepresenting nearly every aspect of the discussion and flat out lying about what might actually be at stake due to Washington’s being shackled to Netanyahu’s policies. I will leave it to the reader to decide why so many U.S. politicians and media talking heads have betrayed their own country’s interests in deference to the shabby arguments being put forward on behalf of an openly apartheid theocracy, but I might suggest that access to money and power have a lot to do with it as the Israel Lobby has both in spades.
The Quislings are making two basic arguments in their defense of surrendering national sovereignty to a troublesome little client state located half a world away. First, they are claiming that any acknowledgement that the Israelis have behaved badly is counterproductive because it will encourage intransigence on the part of the Arabs and thereby diminish prospects for a viable peace agreement, which has to be negotiated between the two parties. Second, the claim is being made that the abstention on the U.N. vote violates established U.S. policy on the nature of the conflict and, in so doing, damages both Israeli and American interests. Bloomberg’s editorial board has conjoined the two arguments, adroitly claiming in an over-the-top piece entitled “Obama’s Betrayal of Israel at the U.N. Must Not Stand” that the abstention “breaks with past U.S. policy, undermines a vital ally and sets back the cause of Middle East peace.”
Citing the damaged peace talks argument, which is what the Israeli government itself has been mostly promoting, Donald Trump denounced the U.N. resolution from a purely Israeli perspective, stating that “As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations. This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.” He subsequently added “We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect,” a comment that just might be regarded as either tongue in cheek or ironic because that is precisely how Israel treats Washington. It is reported, however, that Trump does not do irony.
The pundits who most often scream the loudest in defense of Israel are often themselves Jewish, many having close ties to the Netanyahu government. They would undoubtedly argue that their ethno-religious propinquity to the problem they are discussing does not in any way influence their views, but that would be nonsense. One of those persistently shouting the loudest regarding the “peace” canard is the ubiquitous Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has never seen anything in Israel that he dislikes. He commented that Obama had stabbed Israel in the back and had made “peace much more difficult to achieve because the Palestinians will now say ‘we can get a state through the U.N.’”
Syndicated columnist and fellow Israeli zealot Charles Krauthammer added his two cents, noting that the resolution abstention had meant that Washington had “joined the jackals at the U.N.” Observing that the U.N. building occupies “good real estate in downtown New York City…Trump ought to find a way to put his name on it and turn it into condos.” Iran-Contra’s own Elliot Abrams, who opposes Jews marrying non-Jews, meanwhile repeats the Krauthammer “jackals” meme and also brays about the “abandonment of Israel at the United Nations.”
But the prize for pandering to Jewish power and money has to go to the eminent John Bolton, writing on December 26th about “Obama’s Parting Betrayal of Israel” in The Wall Street Journal (there is a subscription wall but if you go to Google and search you can get around it). Bolton, an ex-Ambassador to the U.N under the esteemed George W. Bush, is a funny looking guy who reportedly did not get a position with the Trump administration because of his Groucho Marx moustache. He currently pontificates from the neocon American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where he is something called a senior fellow. He has written a book “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad,” which is available for 6 cents used on Amazon, plus shipping. There is another John Bolton who wrote “Marada the She-Wolf,” but they are apparently not related.
In his piece, Bolton hit on both the peace talks and the “I’m backing Israel arguments.” He uniquely starts out by claiming that Barack Obama “stabbed Israel in the front” by failing to stop Resolution 2334, which he then describes as “clearly intended to tip the peace process towards the Palestinians…abandon[ing] any pretense that the actual parties to the conflict must resolve their differences.” That’s the peace argument plus the negotiations fiction rolled together. He then goes on to argue that Obama has betrayed Israel by “essentially endors[ing] the Palestinian politico-legal narrative about territory formerly under League of Nations’ mandate.”
Bolton concedes that the damage has already been done by Obama’s complicity “in assaulting Israel” and the opening can be exploited by what he describes as the “anti-Israeli imagineers” at the United Nations. He calls on Donald Trump to work to “mitigate or reverse” such consequences and specifically “move to repeal the resolution, giving the 14 countries that supported it a chance to correct their error.” That they cheered loudly when the resolution passed apparently will have to also be somehow expunged, though Bolton does not mention that. Nations that refuse to go along with the repeal “would have their relations with Washington adjusted accordingly” while “the main perpetrators in particular should face more tangible consequences.”
Bolton is unhesitatingly placing Israeli priorities ahead of American interests by his willingness to punish actual U.S. allies like Britain, Germany and France, as well as major powers Russia and China, out of pique over their vote against the settlements. He also recommends withholding the U.S. contributions to the U.N., which amount to over 20% of the budget. Bolton then goes on to reject any Palestinian state of any kind, recommending instead that a rump version of territory where the bulk of the Palestinians will be allowed to live be transferred to Jordanian control.
As always, there is scant attention paid by any of the Israel boosters for actual American interests in continuing to perform proskynesis in front of Netanyahu and whatever reptile might succeed him. American values and needs are invisible, quite rightly, because they are of no interest to John Bolton and his fellow knee jerkers at AEI, the Hudson Institute, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), Brookings, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and the rest of the alphabet soup that depends on the generosity of pro-Israel donors to keep the lights on.
Bolton provides precisely one short sentence relating to Washington’s stake in the game being played, noting that the U.N. abstention poses “major challenges for American interests.” He never says what those interests are because there are none, or at least none that matter, apart from godfathering a viable two state solution which Israel has basically made impossible. And that is only an interest because it would lessen much of the world’s disdain for U.S. hypocrisy while mitigating the radicalization of young Muslims turned terrorists who are in part enraged by the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians, blaming it correctly on American connivance. In reality having the U.S. finally vote on the side of sanity and fairness is really a good thing for Americans and hopefully will lead to severing a bizarre “special relationship” that supports a kleptocracy in Asia that has been nothing but trouble.