Jake Tapper, a reporter for ABC News writes that “there won’t be any daylight between the US and Israel.” The rationale? A senior administration official says “The president has always said that it will be much easier for Israel to make peace if it feels secure.”
Of course, that’s nonsense. Israeli security has nothing to do with it. The reality is that Israeli aggression is possible only because Israel understands that the US is its poodle and that the US will work on its behalf in the UN and elsewhere, no matter what Israel does. The Israel Lobby is ultimately to blame, meaning ultimately the influence of Jewish money on the political process.
AIPAC’s spin on this is an amazing piece of propaganda. AIPAC’s article is headlined, “Radical Hamas Supporters Beat, Stab Israeli Soldiers“–a breathtaking lack of context. The ADL said pretty much the same thing, calling the flotilla “a deliberate provocation against Israel.”
From Israel’s point of view, “the government appeared anxious to make an example of this six-ship flotilla — the largest effort to date to break the blockade of Gaza — to show the world that it would not tolerate efforts to break the blockage, international condemnation notwithstanding.” The main Israeli talking point, apparent in the AIPAC press release and the ADL statement, is that they had offered to unload the cargo at the Israeli port of Ashdod where it would be shipped overland to Gaza.
But that doesn’t square with the common understanding that Israel has erected a barrier of red tape for getting supplies into Gaza. A 2009 Christian Science Monitor report pointed to delays and arbitrary exclusions and stated that around 25% of the pre-blockade supplies were getting into Gaza. Another CSM article from June 2009 pointed to growth stunting in Palestinian children.
Despite Israel’s claims, there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
Israel’s actions will likely make it far more difficult to develop a consensus against Iran, and that’s all to the good. It will also greatly increase the cost of the Israeli-American alliance, as the US attempts to shore up support for Israel in the teeth of moral outrage around the world. That may well result in some push back here, as happened recently with the statement by General David Petraeus that Israeli policies oppose vital US interests in the Middle East. (He later denied it, doubtless under pressure.) Even Meir Dagan, the head of the Mossad, acknowledges that Israel is becoming more and more of a burden to the US.
Israel’s supporters in the US never tire of playing the role of innocent victim. They will continue to do so, as indicated by the statements of AIPAC and the ADL. But such rhetoric is so far out of touch with reality that at some point politically aware Americans must realize that US support for Israel is based on nothing more than Jewish power with no moral justification at all. That doesn’t mean that the lobby will lose its power, but at least we will all know that it’s about power, and can’t be intellectually justified.
In turn, that may well help Americans to see Jews in a more realistic light–not as morally blameless victims, but as cynical and ruthlessly self-interested ethnic actors . The egregious double standard in which Jews profess to be dedicated to democracy, ethnic tolerance and human rights in the US while supporting a vicious ethnonationalism in Israel will be more and more difficult to hide.
And that should give us hope, because the collapse of the Jewish position commanding the moral high ground is a critical support for the multicultural left in America and throughout the West.