2006-11-14

The Israel lobby's most important Member

The Israel lobby may wield even more power than its critics claim. Evidently, it counts among its numbers God -- and not just any old God but the fire breather fetishized by the likes of Fallwell, Pat Roberts, and their ilk.

According to the NYT, a certain well-connected Jesus freak called the Israel-Palestine conflict a:

“battle between good and evil” and said support for Israel was “God’s foreign policy.”
The next day he took the same message to the White House.
Many conservative Christians say they believe that the president’s support for Israel fulfills a biblical injunction to protect the Jewish state, which some of them think will play a pivotal role in the second coming. Many on the left, in turn, fear that such theology may influence decisions the administration makes toward Israel and the Middle East.


Count me among their number.

This is especially disturbing, given that the Bush administration evidently urged on Isreal's ill-advised and brutal (cluster bombs in civilian neighborhoods?) foray into Lebanon. I know some of you reformed leftists probably think the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh is some sort of unreliable American who should probably be experiencing firsthand the rigors of Guantanamo. which his work has done so much to expose, to the detriment of the war effort. (This is not a knock against Paul who at least has the good manners to deplore the torture and secrecy that has been so central to the Bush war policy; but rather at Six, who seems to take his cues from blustering philistines on TV). Yet here again is Hersh--the reporter who exposed the My Lai atrocity--exploiting divisions with the military apparatus to get at something like the truth:

The Bush Administration ... was closely involved in the planning of Israel’s retaliatory attacks. President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced, current and former intelligence and diplomatic officials told me, that a successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hezbollah’s heavily fortified underground-missile and command-and-control complexes in Lebanon could ease Israel’s security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American preĆ«mptive attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations, some of which are also buried deep underground.


Just like their moves on Iraq and even Afghanistan, this one has proved a bitter failure. Isarael's foray only bolstered Hezbollah's popularity and credibility. Just as the War on Terror in Iraq has only brought terror to Iraq.

8 comments:

Paul Hue said...

What are you proposing, Tom? Should the Isrealis pack up and move out? That seems to be the only possible way to get people in surrounding territories to stop bombing them. Then what? Should the governments of Syria, Egypt, and Jordon also dismantle, seeing as how they also derived from undemocratic, unjustifiable means?

Please explain to me an obviously successful plan by the Isrealis to achieve their stated goal of peaceful coexistence with all of their neighbors. It is obvious to you that any military response by Isreal to any military attacks on it will fail. What could succeed?

I agree with you in denouncing as rubbish and fairy tales any notion that god "favors" the Jews in any way, such as "giving" them some special land. Even if you buy such nonsense, you worship a god and King David who are as evil as are the god and Mohammad in the Koran.

Paul Hue said...

Tom, You oppose cluster bombs in neighborhoods? What about missile-launching terrorists in neighborhoods, drawing fire?

Perhaps Israel should merely accept daily attacks from low-quality missiles and a few dead troops every year forever.

sixstringslinger said...

"...but rather at Six, who seems to take his cues from blustering philistines on TV"

Really? You'd be surprised how little TV I watch Tom.

Tom Philpott said...

As for Israel, it would have been real interesting to see what would have happened with the Oslo process if the settlements had stopped instead of accelerated. The jacked up pace of settlements during the Oslo days cost Palestinian moderates a lot of credibility. ("See where their peace plan is leading? More settlements! They're land away cand calling it peace!")

At this point, any Israelis interested in peace (and there are many more of them than the US press allows) are pushing for offering a contiguous, unfragmented Palestinian state that includes at least part of Jeresulum. Other are calling for a one-stae solution--everyone's a citizen, everyone votes, sort of post-apartheid South Africa.

As for Six, I was hoping my unfair crack would goad you into denying that journalists critical of the US are "unreliable Americans." denouncing torture, etc.

Paul Hue said...

I like the United States of Isreal and Palistine solution that I posted a few months ago, where Isreal and Palistine shared a single nation, with each voting on a seperate and equal legislative branch. The Palistinians and other Arabs can solve all this instantly by simply accepting Isreal's existance as they do the existance of the other nations that now occupy portions of old Palistine (Jordon & Lebonon), and then focus on improving their own lives within this context.

Nadir said...

While Paul is proposing a Plessy v. Ferguson doctrine as a solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict, I would argue that this wouldn't quite work. Palestinians should be allowed at least an autonomous state if Israel isn't forced to give up lands that it jacked through aggressive warfare and terrorism.

I agree that Bush's Israel policy may be influenced by his belief that he is aiding the second coming, though Bush isn't the Christian that the radical right would like him to be or that lefties fear he is.

I think it is more on target that Israel is a friendly ethnic European, nuclear powered enclave in an oil-rich Middle East. The preservation of that state is also necessary as a strategic partner in unfriendly territory.

Efforts to buy support from governments in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan are failing as anti-American sentiment is high among the people of those nations. The conquest of Iraq was to be an antidote, but poor military planning by non-soldiers has turned that opprotunity into a FUBAR.

That Israel would rely on the same American military planners for its failed attack on Lebanon is telling and a miscalculation on their part.

Paul Hue said...

Nadir: The US of Israel & Palestine does has nothing to do with "separate & equal". All of the "two state" solutions propose "separate but equal". Please see the Free Muslims website for details of this One State, Two People solution:

http://www.freemuslims.org/issues/israel-palestine.php

Paul Hue said...

Nadir: I agree with you that the Bush non-military draft-dodging military planners proved to be a bust.