Setback for America’s pro-Israel hawks

By Bernd Debusmann
March 5, 2009

Bernd Debusmann - Great Debate– Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. –

“The brutal oppression of the Palestinians by the Israeli occupation shows no sign of ending … Israel no longer even pretends to seek peace with the Palestinians, it strives to pacify them … American identification with Israel has become total.”

These are excerpts from a 2007 speech by Charles (Chas) Freeman, a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, whose appointment as chairman of the National Intelligence Council was announced on February 26 and is turning into a test case for the strength of Washington’s right-wing pro-Israel lobby.

Signs are that its influence might be waning under the administration of President Barack Obama. Does that mean the days of unquestioning American support for Israel are coming to en end? Probably not.

But the furious reaction to Freeman’s appointment from some of the most fervent neo-conservative champions of Israel points to considerable concern over the possible loss of clout.

In his new job, Freeman will be responsible for compiling intelligence from the the United States’ 16 intelligence agencies into National Intelligence Estimates, detailed and lengthy analyses that play a key role in shaping U.S. foreign policy.

The initial drumbeat of criticism came from conservative pro-Israel bloggers, including Steve Rosen, former policy director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Rosen has been indicted for giving “national defense information to persons not entitled to receive it,” legalese for spying.

“Freeman is a strident critic of Israel and a textbook case of the old-line Arabism that afflicted American diplomacy at the time Israel was born,” Rosen wrote.

While remarks critical of Israel are common coin among human rights groups and independent scholars, they are virtually taboo in official Washington, whose elected leaders – or those running for office – tend to stress unflagging support for the Jewish state.

Even small departures from the standard line can prompt the ire of the Israel-right-or-wrong camp. During his election campaign, Obama learned how tricky seemingly innocent remarks can be when he said “nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people.” There was so much criticism, he later “clarified” the remark.

The initial blogger assault on Freeman, whose lengthy and impressive resume of public service includes Assistant Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan, then moved to the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the conservative Washington Times. The attacks widened to suggest that he is beholden to the Saudi government.

That allegation stems from the time he ran a Washington-based think tank, the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC), whose donors include Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a member of the Saudi royal family and billionaire entrepreneur, who gave the council $1 million.

CRITICISM THREATENS PEACE?

The appointment has been made but the quest to dislodge or discredit him is not over. Nine Republican members of Congress wrote to the inspector general in the office of the Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair, demanding “a comprehensive review of Ambassador Freeman’s past and current commercial, financial and contractual ties to the Kingdom to ensure no conflict of interest exists in his new position.”

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor has urged Obama to reconsider the appointment, saying that Freeman’s comments about the U.S.-Israel relationship “raise serious concerns about his ability to support the administration’s attempts to bring security, stability and peace to the Middle East.”

Criticism of Israel threatens peace? Israeli settlements on the West Bank, in violation of international law, have nothing to do with the flagging peace process? Making peace is made easier by the U.S. refusal to talk to Hamas, the group that won elections in Gaza and runs the war-shattered territory?

One of the critics of the appointment, Gabriel Schoenfeld, noted, with a tone of disapproval, that Freeman’s MEPC had published “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” a controversial assessment of U.S.-Israeli relations by two prominent American academics, John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard.

They argued that the United States, through its unquestioning support of Israel, was neglecting its own security interests to advance the interests of another state. The influence of hawkish pro-Israel lobbies, chief among them AIPAC, had established a stranglehold on Congress to ram through decisions favoring Israel.

In the 60 years since its establishment on May 14, 1948, Israel has been by far the largest recipient of U.S. assistance, military and economic, in the world, according to the Congressional Research Service. Aid has been running at around $3 billion a year since 1985, a sizable sum for a country with a population smaller than that of New York City.

Walt, who blogs at Foreign Policy magazine, weighed into the Freeman debate as it gathered steam even before the actual appointment. Apart from trying to get it revoked by Dennis Blair or get Freeman to withdraw, Walt said, the anti-Freeman campaign had a third aim.

“Attacking Freeman is intended to deter other people in the foreign policy community from speaking out on these matters. Freeman might be too smart, too senior and too well-qualified to stop, but there are plenty of younger people eager to rise in the foreign policy establishment and they need to be reminded that their careers could be jeopardized … if they said what they thought.”

But the Obama administration appears to have no problem with people who say what they think about U.S.-Israel ties. Take Samantha Power, the former Harvard professor whose outspoken views echo those of Walt and Mearsheimer. Obama gave her an important job on the National Security Council.

– You can contact the author at Debusmann@Reuters.com. —

128 comments

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Nice Piece

Looks like the obligatory kneel in front of almighty AIPAC is going out of fashion. The fact that Rosen and other neo-cons are bending over backwards to discredit Freeman is a sign of how desperate they are.

I think the reluctance by U.S. policymakers to seriously address Israel’s behavior in the occupied territories has been a major obstacle to peace. Knowing that AIPAC and other pro-Israeli groups were able to steer the debate and coerce anyone who did not adopt their version has encouraged successive Israeli governments to extinguish any hope of a viable Palestinian state. Having an open and balanced debate about this conflict is something the U.S. badly needs.

Acting as an honest broker for once will only improve the image of the US, especially in the Arab and Muslim world.

Posted by Nu'man | Report as abusive

My opinions is that AIPAC is far more cunning and not forthcoming in its response to criticism of Mr Freeman. I have always wondered that how could pro-Israel lobby be so effective. I think they staff the senator and congressmen offices, give contributions to pro-Israel republican and democratic candidates and actively try to defeat neutral and or those who question support of Israel without any qualm. This is a bigger question as they do have extremely left wing agenda and mind you not with their own money but tax-payer money. Most op-ed articles in major left wing newspapers have pro-Israel columnist and they are for propagation of their agenda irrespective of which party candidates belong.

Posted by vj | Report as abusive

The Israel-right-or-wrong crowd may be losing a bit of influence but Israel’s interests are still being looked after in high places. Look at Dennis Ross in his new post in charge of a region that includes Iran. Will he engage in even-handedness? You bet he won’t. So one could say its an even trade, Freeman on one hand, Ross on the other.

And Clinton’s visit to Ramallah did not indicate one millimetre of change on the tried-and-true course.

Posted by Ariel | Report as abusive

Just another Obama campaign lie to get elected.

Posted by Patrick Henry | Report as abusive

finally, a commentary exposing the truth. There is much more that can come out about the relationship between members of cognress and AIPAC. the fact that members of congress are so outraged over an appointment of some like Mr. freeman who has served this country well and always looked out for the best interest of AMERICA first. We have destroyed our reputation and put a target on our backs all over the middle east by this unjustified and blind support of israel. our support of the zionist regime is contradictory of what america stands for and the principals on how we were founded. we can reduce at least 80% of our security threat and animosity towards us in the middle east by treating the palestine-israel issue FAIRLY and pragmatically. its the only way to ensure a peace process actually works and that innocent people on both sides are able to live their lives peacefully.

Posted by sidney | Report as abusive

If this is indeed a sign of a reassessment of the policy toward Israel it is a very small one and long overdue. It is after all, we Americans, who subsidize this policy and we have a right and obligation to act, within the parameters of fairness, in our own national interest. Blindly following the desires of pro-Israel hawks leads us ever deeper into wars (now that Obama appears to extend the reach of war to Pakistan), international isolation and crisis at home. It is a time to carefully examine all aspects of the American policy in the Middle East and act according to the best interests of the USA. Pepole at home must be honestly informed about the issues and not given a constant strem of one-sided propaganda. It is the attitude that is supported by many Jews here, friends of Israel as well as many Israelis. It is time for America to wake up.

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

It is interesting that you label Pro-Israel advocates as “hawks” … I call them “realists.” When you suggest peace for Israel, please make reference to (non-existent) Palestinian peaceful ACTIONS, not the politics of the US Government.

Their hawkish Koran won’t accept a Jewish entity in Israel, nor will it allow peace as the final answer. The Koran is built on Jihad and incremental apocalypse as the final answer. Even if the “land for peace” formula were to be resurrected, the Islamic world would be the one that would need to demonstrate THEIR peaceful intentions.

The Durban II Conference will clearly show that the Islamic world are the real “hawks.” They would remove Israelis from the land Israelis have occupied for millennia on the East and West Bank.

Removing the Israeli “occupation” would be the same as erasing history. It would be yet another expulsion of Jews. THAT is racism.

Posted by Ari Hirim | Report as abusive

Ariel:

“And Clinton’s visit to Ramallah did not indicate one millimetre of change on the tried-and-true course”

Good point. She called Israel’s plans to demolish nearly 90 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem as ‘unhelpful’. I doubt Olmert and Netanyahu are going to lose any sleep. As for Dennis Ross, I expect him to continue what he does best: groveling to Israeli leaders and lecturing Palestinians about the benefits of an ‘enlightened occupation’

Posted by Nu'man | Report as abusive

so israeli ideaological are labeled “realist” and “hawkish” and muslim and arabs are called “extremist” and “fundamentalist”. let’s not forget that the whole concept of israel is based of a jewish extremist religious idealogies, challenged by many “moderate” jews. the zionist misinturpret the torah and are carrying out an agenda that goes against their own religious beliefs much like the taliban/al-qaeda jihadis themselves. there is no difference between them, except one side calles themselves muslims and the other jewish but neither represents the true beliefs of their respected religions and teachings of their holy books. the “realist” zionist believe that after every non-jews is killed, removed, displaced or all of the above off of “their” land, then the messiah will come. is that any different then the osama bin laden’s perdiction of removing every “infidel” out of the sands of the middle east so he can establish 10th century caliphate?? not at all. israel has shown that peace is not one of its ideals and has no interest in it what so ever. the taliban were recently given permission to carry out their agenda in swat valley of pakistan and israel recently elected a genocidal extremist government in israel. its sad to see that religious extremist are endangering the lives of millions of jews and muslims as well all other faiths of this world.

Posted by roscoe | Report as abusive

I was surprised by the support of Senator Obama by the Jewish community as well as Wall Street during the primaries. I am just a High School graduate so I thought maybe I could be wrong. Our scholars know what is best. Now I believe you reap what you sow.

Posted by JC14 | Report as abusive

Basically, Zionism is an morally bankrupt idea involving expulsion of Palestinians from Palestine. This has been accompanied by ongoing terrorism of Palestinians, demonization of the few that fight back, and land grabs, apartheid, all backed by the West since the beginning of this fiasco. At this point the only solution of this mess is a one-state-solution whereby all people in the area have equal rights, and equal votes. All else appears doomed to failure, leading to endless strife and possibly even nuclear war. Israelis need to be compelled to give up the Zionist quest. Palestinians need to be repatriated and compensated. Let serious boycotts begin!

Posted by Bob H | Report as abusive

I get sick and tired of the Isreali crap! Isreal technically stole the land in 1949, buy invading Palestine before the allies could finalize a treaty between the palestinians and jews from ruined europe after WWII.

Next, the Isreali’s won the miracle war in 1967 and started making settlements in the ‘west bank’ areas. I’m sorry, but if history can teach us anything, it is that Isreali’s in charge of Isreal Do NOT want anything less than what is in a stupid religious text. Oh and there are other stupid religious texts that state that isreal was removed to babylon hundreds of years ago. Seeing as after someone looses a war the pay for the loss. Isreal isn’t eligible for anything that they lost thousands of years ago… i. e. that means that yes, they get to keep what they got in 1949. They should be sharing the lands won in the 1967 war and NO permanent settlements in Palestinean land!!!!!

I really am sick and tired of paying for what happened to a ethnicity 60 damn years ago.

Also, human beings DO not give back lands when someone looses them. So the isreali argument that the plaestinean lands were given to the isrealites by GOD thousands of years ago is pure GREED and RUBBISH.

People want to talk about human decency.. then just split the damn area in two. isreal gets what they had. All settlements from after a set time say… 15 years from teh winning of the 1967 war, isreal keeps the rest get turned over to the palestineans. Hell, if that was done that might ease the angst from the european jews stealing the original lands back in 1947.

It’s so damn funny that for hundreds of years muslims, jews and christians lived in relative harmony in jerusalem when it was governed by the muslims.

Oh the Koran is NOT just for jihad!!! just remember the ignorrant christians had and have ‘jihad’ also. they just called the crusades :)

Maybe if people just would think of other people as just people first and formost there would be a tremendous decrease in war-mongering in the stupid world. But, that would be sensible and we unfortunately do not live in anything resembiling a sensible world.

Oh and any reply about spelling errors i will most emfattically ignore.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

I agree 100% with the commentary made by roscoe.

I had just a small amount of hope that President Obama had more teeth and claws regarding this issue but it will remain as it is until something drastic occurs.

As for the future leaders in the region, I wonder if they think for themselves in arranging genuine, fair peace for all. It’s not going to be the politicians of today or the past that will live on the land forty years from now. They’re not even guaranteeing there will be land to live on but it’s the youth of today that will have to keep on living with murder, terrorism and injustice, all for the sake of these old men and women- who only fought for their own interests out of fear- not for the interests of their offspring. If there was true interest in the well-being of their children, these old people would have been more than eager to make peace with their neighbors, instead of going down the war path from the start. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict wouldn’t even exist. At least at the level it does today.
I don’t see why would the religion of one side or the other take such importance in running a country. Any country that truly wishes to live in peace will make their constitutional or parlamentary government independent of religious law, even if morally inspired by it because it’s been tried and proven true that religion-based governments cause great social and economic inequality.
At the moment I’m observing that current militarist interests are forcing the youth to inherit disaster and I can’t wait for the old generations to die off without leaving any more poisoned seed to grow.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

Israel has no better friend in the world that the US and they’ve taken advantage of it every chance they got. It’s time someone told them “enough; no more colonies in the West Bank, no colonies in the Golan Heights, you already have the bomb, time to stop acting like the biggest bully on the block. None of your neighbors like you and it’s not a surprise given the way you treat them. Would you like a neighbor who behaves as you do? I’m guessing no. So grow up and figure out some better ways to deal with your problems because the ways you’ve been doing it sure haven’t worked.”

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

Zionism is the #1 threat to the average American’s safety. After 60+ years of this failed experiment its time to cut Israel loose.

Posted by daniel | Report as abusive

Is there even a rational basis for what the pro-Israel lobby advocates? All they do is mouth off about “unconditional support for Israel” as if this were the end all and be all of our foreign policy in the region. I mean, if Israel were seriously being threatened, fine….but it’s been over three decades since there was any credible military threat to them. Hamas and Hezbollah are the absolute scum of the earth, but if Israel is going to engage in excesses for the sake of defense and then expect us to cover for them when peace doesn’t materialize, then there’s not much we can do for them.

Posted by Jacob | Report as abusive

lets set the record straight with facts and logic not hype and emotion. The land was given to Israel in a UN resoltion in 1947. That resolution -which established a Palestinian state in the west bank – was rejected by the arabs. The arabs subsequently launched a war and lost. NO one seemed to be bothered that Jordan ruled the west bank between 48 and 67. Additionally, the PLO was established in 1964 – 3 years before th 6 day war. what were they looking to liberate? Also where are all the refugees from WWII? usually settled by host countries.
The Palestinians have been kept in refugee camps as tools for the destruction of the state of Israel. Why should Israel not settle the land. According to international law Israel acquired ownerless territory in a war of defense – perfectly legitimate. Beware, 70 years ago greed, hatred and difference resulted in the deaths of 50 milion people not just 6 million Jews. The Palestinians -who refuse to live in peace- need to find another place to live. I suggest in 22 Arab states

So what is the solution to this mess?

Make Israel cease to exist? Please. Israel is a modern democracy. “Palestine” is yet to even formally exist. And the reason is a long line of dumb mistakes by the Arabic world. Egypt and the others have learned their lessons. Everyone has learned the lesson, except for Hamas.

A one state solution? What a joke. Such a result would result in Israel ceasing to exist, and the supporters of the idea know it very well. They just don’t have the common decency to admit it out loud.

Perhaps Israel should withdraw from Gaza? Oh, I forgot. They left years ago. And then Hamas rejected the calling of a democratic election, and took control of Gaza by force. Remember that?

If that is the “reward” for Israel trying to act reasonably, it is no wonder things are as they are.

So that leaves two alternatives. The first is that the “Palestinians” swallow their pride and start thinking of their children first. If they stop trying to commit terrorist attacks or sending suicide bombs over the boarder, Israel has no reason to blockade the “occupied territories”.

The other alternative? The “Palestinians” can stick to war. Israel has been defending itself for over fifty years. The civilised world, for all their apparent outrage, still see Hamas as the only reason that this problem still exists.

And then Hamas can go back to hiding among civilians, and feign surprise when innocent people end up dead in the crossfire they start. And the whole bloody mess will continue as long as Hamas wishes it.

Posted by John Smith | Report as abusive

World War I and II, like all wars allow the victors to redraw geographical and cultural borders. The political and economic crisis’ of our time are intertwined with the political settlements subsequent to both World Wars. A close study of the Treaty of Versaille and Nato(cold war),as well as Palestine, are quite revealing as to this subject.

It is said “To the victor goes the spoils of war”. The U.S. has certainly dominated world relations for the better part of the post war period. Our decline was inevitable. No nation has ever maintained a state of war capability for decades on end without going broke. Perhaps one day nations will eschew the intoxicating allure of victories and power for the values of peace.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

It is interesting to note that Admiral Freeman was asked to be vetted and yet you have so many officials with Jewish affiliation serving in this and previous governments, their loyalty is never questioned.As a foreigner, I can never understand why the US government is so beholden to Israel, even at the expense of your own national interests. Did Israel fight alongside with you in Korea, Vietnam, the first Gulf war, and Afghanistan? Israel is the only country that benefited from your war in Iraq. After developing their own nuclear weapons, they now want you to stop Iran from having just a nuclear power reactor. It is not inconceivable that they may ask your Congress to impeach President Obama because he poses a threat to Israel’s security.

Posted by Stephen Wong | Report as abusive

I find it very encouraging that by far the majority of posters above me can clearly see that Israel is the cause and not the cure of America’s problems.

After Obama’s and Clinton’s disgraceful pandering at the AIPAC last June I held out very little hope that anyone in Washington would be looking after the interests of American and Americans in this administration, and I still don’t really have any hope. But it is good to see that all of you, my fellow Americans, are finally coming around to the certain knowledge that Israel is a tremendous liability, and a shameless aggressor in Palestine as well. And we have more than enough liabilities at this point in time.

It’s time to cut Israel loose and to try to make up to the Palestinians for the tremendous injustice we have done them over the years with our blank check to Israel.

John Smith said:
“The first is that the “Palestinians” swallow their pride and start thinking of their children first.”
——-

That’s just the thing, none of you know Arabs as well as the Israelis do. An Arab would NEVER swallow his pride, his honor – that’s the only thing they have. Everything else be damned. In fact, for the past 600 years, defending their “honor” in 20,000 different ways against enemies real but mostly imagined has been their greatest contribution to the human family.

They’ll seek the removal of Israel from Israel 1,000 years from now, even if they finally sign a peace treaty with Israel – in their mindset that would be justice.
That is, if their mindset stays the same. A peace with Israel is only a temporary arrangement with infidels – in Q’uran ALL accommodations with infidels are temporary.

In fact, they don’t by and large fundamentally believe in a concept of sovereign state, democracy, individual rights, or secular legal code – those concepts are not endemic to them to this day.

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

No question: Iran, Hamas and all the others should recognize Israel’s right to exist. The problem is trying to figure out which Israel they’re supposed to recognize? Is it the Israel that’s prepared to live peaceably within the 1968 borders or the Eretz Israel one the Zionists keep going on about? The Israel that bombed Arafat’s headquarters into rubble or possibly the Israel that occupies the West Bank and is building settlements all over the place? Surely it’s not the Israel that’s laying on the siege of Gaza? So first things first—you don’t sign the agreement if you don’t know the terms. What Israel, the U.S. and the “international community” needs to do is come up with an answer to the question, “Which Israel?”

No question: Israel should lay off threatening to bomb Iran.

Posted by marcanizan | Report as abusive

It is truly double standard for the Israelis to be so barbaric and cruel in destroying Gaza.They wanted the world to remember
how bad it was Nazi but they forget how they are behaving now.
It is all about land grab, even now they want more land.
The Palestinians deserve to have a statehood not to be subjugated by Israel

Posted by rick | Report as abusive

It is a shame that most of the Law makers of such a great nation like the United States Of America, work for another state called Israel, represented by a shameful organization called AIPAC. American Voters must know the cost of supporting Israel, and How much that coming out of their own pockets.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

Mr.Debusmann,
Once again a great article from you. I salute you. Only this time the Americans should take time to read and see how much they have lost and losing directly and indirectly by their blind support for Israel. Its very sad indeed to see that any honest opinion and remark about the sufferings of Palestinians evoke so much condemnation. Its time that we ban contributions to politicians as that practice has made lobbyist effectively buy out every single position and politician in the white house.
Would like to see more articles like this that awakens Americans to think for themselves.

Posted by Kumar | Report as abusive

The columnist should have mentioned that after whereas Hamas won an election, it illegally overthrew the legal government and even threw Fatah members off buildings as part of its coup.

What a great article, the world view of blind Israeli support is dead but it’s still alive and well here in the US. I don’t put the blame on us U.S. citizens I put it on our puppet government and media that ALWAYS side with Israel no matter what atrocities they commit.

Also, the state of Israel doesn’t deserve to exist, the country does of course no one disputes that. However hardcore Jewish Israeli’s feel that certain lands were given to them by God and this is what is known as the state of Israel. They think they have the right to form settlements in Palestine, Egypt, other parts of Africa, etc. and this is a the same thing a German fella used to do in the 30′s and 40′s.

Iranian Prez Ahmadinejoud (sp?) said he loves all countries and that he loves the Jews of Iran, but the neocons in our country don’t wanna hear that and our media doesn’t wanna play those speeches for all to hear.

Here in this US our gov’t and media’s motto is death to Muslims and Christians and Jewish people can spread imperialism all over the world without consequence.

Maybe it’s changing, but probably not as the original writer said.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

Judging by the quotes and comments Mr. Debusmann cites, it seems Mr. Debusmann never misses an opportunity to take a swipe at Israel. Implicit in the article is the suggestion that somehow the “pro-Israel lobby” has controlled America’s foreign policy, when in fact Americans have controlled their own foreign policy and they have collectively decided that they want to support a democratic state that shares their values and which has been justified in defending its right to exist. If Mr. Debusmann really wishes to embrace a new approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he should consider the real obstacle to peace. The main obstacle is that Palestinian Arabs today do not want and they have never wanted a Palestinian state, hence, over 60 years of frustration in achieving the 2-state solution. The Palestinians Arabs refused to accept the state offered to them as part of the 1947 UN partition proposal; they showed no interest in creating a Palestinian state between 1948 and 1967; they refused Israel’s offer of peace for land after 1967 including former Israeli PM Ehud Barak’s offer in 2000. Even today, there is no strong interest in a Palestinian state. Opinion polls indicate that about 50% of the West Bank’s Arabs would like to see eventually some sort of federation between themselves and Jordan (which makes sense in view of the close family and historic connections between the two). Hamas sees a Palestinian state as only an intermediate stage, with the ultimate goal being the recreation of a pan-Islamic nation. And today, of course, there is the divide between the West Bank and Gaza. This divide is partly a quarrel between Hamas and Fatah for power, but mainly it reflects the lack of a national identity. Gazans are much more religious than West Bankers, who historically look down upon the Gazans. And there are many other important cultural, historic and socio-economic divisions between the two which makes the creation of a national identity difficult. The tragedy of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been the failure to develop successful Palestinian state institutions and more importantly a Palestinian sense of national identity. Instead, the focus for over 60 years has been the destruction of Israel, a state which many Arabs and Muslims have seen as an illegitimate entity in what they consider to be the Arab and Islamic heartland. Mr. Debusmann and his anti-Israel diatribes do little to contribute in a positive way to a solution. Judging by the anti-Israel invectives posted here by others, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue to focus primarily on the destruction of Israel rather than something positive.

Posted by Dan from Canada | Report as abusive

Washington gets a lot of financial support for reelection of politicians, they are all practically in Israel lobbyist’s pocket. Do you remember how Obama made a 180 degree turn when he made a supporting statement about the Palestinians right? American Jews own the media and that is a very powerful weapon if you want to be elected. We spend billions on Israel, a developed country, and a fraction in Africa, while China is going to take over Africa.

Posted by aalamaram | Report as abusive

Thanks for a good column.
We need see more pieces like this.
PLEASE keep it up!!

Posted by Shotta | Report as abusive

I’d like to hear where Dan from Canada gets his news. No one wants the destruction of Israel, we just want them to stop starving out an already 3rd world country through their illegal blockades. We want them to stop mercilessly killing children in the street and letting them bleed out despite being within their own borders. To stop bulldozing homes with families still inside just because of not having some impossible to obtain building permit. 1,300 people killed, the IDF is nothing but ruthless, gutless barbarians. When there’s one person in a building you need to kill you don’t drop a cruise missile on a village full of civilians.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

Israel,
Do not become greedy businesman and ignorant politicians or use your nuclear weapons as a means of forcing your neighbors to accept a “just peace”.
I do not think that that “Holocaust”, was caused by Sheperds in the River Valley of Jordan, do you? Once the insanity of Hitler and others before him including the Catholic Church “picked out” an enemy, to blame, they were called “Jews”. But these “so called human beings” pretending to be men, knew they were wrong because they more or less believed in the God of Abraham and Moses and the Ten Commandments and their confusion was built in part upon “Social Darwinism”, which gave them power, for “ineffectual” ideas.
We/You must make peace with the Palestinians and give them a few thousand square miles of semi-arrid land to call a “home”.
Israel, forget the past, right now in the turmoil of this world, we have no choice! I think you know what I mean, General Motors, Citicorp, Bank of America, Lockheed-Martin, etc. are selling lke “penny stocks”. However, peace is a dividend of understanding and of “basic life” which we need now. And how much can the United States of America and Israel afford?

Jon T.

Posted by John Tamalavage | Report as abusive

Where were all these outpourings of sympathy and demands for just treatment when steel ball bearings shredding their way through Israeli buses? Borders are closed to prevent these happenings. Palestinians only seek a total destruction of Israel. This is their sole goal.There is no other motive for their action.

Posted by Sigismund | Report as abusive

Gosh, the Jews control US Foreign Policy, the Banks, the labor unions, and the Media too. Why no mention of the daily rockets coming from Gaza aimed at civilian targets (a war crime) or the Hamas charter that calls for the destruction of Israel. Yes, the Hamas was democratically elected (so was Hitler), so I guess Gazans are collectively responsible for the mess they made of their own nest. Israel left Gaza to the Gazans after pulling out all Jewish settlers in the hope for peace…they get rockets instead.

Posted by hal vivaldi | Report as abusive

Indeed , great article. Careful, but precise.
Liberty of speech is proclaimed to be a great legacy of democratic quest in the West. Yet, any anti-Israel talks,that criticize strictly the politics, are still considered antisemitic ,and a taboo subject. It is no freedom of speech, but its supression .
America is a great country, that should be an anchor to peace talks, not it`s torpedo. The cost to Israeli-American relations , and the blind support are granted ad escalating costs. Both economic and political.
To have a 2nd runner up for presidency chant ” Bomb bomb Iran ” and then watch THE president elect boycott ( not assist and enforce own position, but refuse to attend) an anti-racism conference, is yet another sign of this all-for nothing alliance.
If we will preach justice and respect of international laws, we must do so , regardless of the race or faith of the transgressor. We need to address, not seek to justify them. Now more than ever, USA can play a vital role in the peace process in the middle east. After the trillions of dollars spent on financing this conflict, it would be unacceptable for the “sponsor” to deny at least verbal support to the party oppressed. The time has come to set aside AIPAC , and the phobia of calling things by their names : apartheid , occupation , humanitarian crisis, and act with integrity and the good will once sold to us, during election campaign.

Israel, give peace a chance
USA, monitor so that chance is not bombed with DIME or phosphorus.

Posted by Samantha Smith | Report as abusive

To hal vivaldi, the Palestinian are prisoners living in concentration camps, refugees because someone else stole their land and homes, and rename it Israel, what would you do if the same happened to you and your family providing you are not the thief. Israel is not only occupying the Palestinian land but also the American Congress and senate, and the American political and financial systems, America is under an Israeli occupation and all American politicians must adhere to their master wishes and commands.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

America’s blind support of Israel is religious. According to fundamentalist Christians (aka Holy Rollers, Southern Baptists, Pentecostals, Assembly of God freaks, etc.)God blesses those countries that bless Israel and curses those countries that curse Israel. That has been U.S. foreign policy since Truman, who himself was a Southern Baptist, a Zionist supporter, and believed in all this Second Coming nonsense. It is funny to me how when any Arab nation commits an act of terrorism the United States is quick to condemn but when Israel commits an act of terrorism the United States turns its head and mumbles that Israel has a right to defend itself. The Jews own America and are responsible for the mess in the Middle East.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

I am frankly stunned that, on the one hand, posters like ‘Michael’ can say that nobody wants the destruction of the state of Israel and in the same breath praise Ahmadinejad. Iran has been a massive supporter of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezb’Allah for decades, and Ahmadinejad himself is a holocaust denier and a bigot. For shame.

Israel has nothing to gain by oppressing Palestinians; they don’t need or want the land back, they don’t want the Palestinians’ resources… there’s nothing they have that Israel wants.

If it were Israel’s goal to simply do away with the Palestinians, it would have been well within their power. Heck, Israel’s army and air force were able to completely wipe out the armies of Jordan, Syria, and Egypt all at once in the Six Day War – do you think they couldn’t do the same to the Palestinians if that was their aim?

Israel does want peace, but it wants long, lasting peace. Can they really be expected to negotiate with groups whose stated objective is Israel’s destruction?

Yet as bad as Hamas is, it still has a mandate from the masses. If Hamas truly abandoned violence, stopped sneaking in weapons, and agreed to peaceful coexistence with Israel, they would get it within the hour.

But of course, President Ahmadinejad wouldn’t stand for that.

Posted by Matt Brendzel | Report as abusive

I have one little observation to make. Note how when even people who don’t support the Zionist hardline refer to Israel building in the West Bank they call it “settlements”, as if the land weren’t previously occupied by someone else, i.e. Palestinians. Choosing the word to use in a debate is a traditional means of predetermining how the debate will be resolved. If we called them “colonies” instead, which is an arguably more accurate term, would this debate be still occurring or would it have been settled by now?

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

Wow, i hope this article was not published, to add visibility to this outrages attack on freedom of speech.

I mean Republican Jewish Coalition already began its absurd smear campaign , along with other players, to condemn and demonize a man for stating the obvious, in a very careful way! This is a psychosis and an oppression of American people, by AIPAC interest.

Freeman`s donations at least are known,while Clarion Fund is still a fairy tale “do good” ?

Hypocrisy and manipulation.

Posted by Michael M. | Report as abusive

Matt I can tell reading comprehension isn’t a big thing of yours so I’ll retype what I already said and see if the time of the time causes it to sink in a little more clear.

No one wants the destruction of the Israeli COUNTRY, Israel doesn’t have the right to go around forming settlements wherever they want and this is the STATE of Israel.

I invite you to youtube all of Ahmadinejad’s speeches, rather than just the garbage the Neocon American gov’t and media spit in your face. Iran is a much more peaceful country than Israel or my homeland of the US, they were Iraq’s biggest enemies when we supported Saddam Hussein originally.

All Israel has to do is go back within their own country’s borders and all will be fine, that’s it, that’s not a lot to ask. Imagine if Mexico started settlements in Texas, I’m doubting you’d be cool with it.

Like the other poster said it all comes down to religion, but also skin color. Nobody cares about a bunch of dark skinned “godless muslims” here in the US, 1300 dead Palestinians is no big whoop, but 13 dead IDF soldiers is worthy of determining our entire Middle East foreign policy.

Save the poor people of Palestine, who are so desperate for their lives they’ll vote for anything that they feel helps defend them from the monsters of Israel.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

Hahaha, time of the day that is, seems typing clearly isn’t a skill of mine.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

In his new job, Freeman should be concentrating on compiling intelligence on development of Nuclear Arms by IRAN !!!!

Posted by Realist | Report as abusive

Bernd,
Great article. Israel has been a renegade country since it was createdm always crying when they don’t get what they want. I welcome the fresh prospective that Freeman will bring, after all isn’t change waht Obama and his adminsitration is all about. I look forward to the day the illegal Israeli settlements stop and the UN actually enforces Un resolution 242 against Israel. I also hope we can place Rosen behind bars for spying on the USA for the benefit of Israel. Who needs friends like that.
Its quite refreshing to read an article that just tells it like it is. Keep the blogs/articles coming.

Posted by Steven M | Report as abusive

The Reuters anti-Israel propaganda machine churns day and night, night and day, relentless in its hatred and vilification of a tiny democracy trying to survive in a vast oily sea of Arab tribal entities bent on genocide.

The Freeman appointment is not a test case for the strength of Washington’s “right-wing pro-Israel lobby” but rather one for Washington’s Saudi paymasters. It is the sheiks — by virtue of their vast oil reserves, hundreds of billions of petrodollars plowed back into US Treasuries and equity stakes in American corporations along with an ignoble history of lavish contributions and lucrative job offers to former presidents, secretaries of state, ambassadors, think-tanks and academics — that in fact rule the roost and always have in the nation’s capital.

There is resistance to Freeman as Chairman of America’s National Intelligence Council not simply because his Middle East Policy Council is funded by and serves as a mouthpiece for the Saudis but because he justified the attacks on the World Trade Center, proudly maintained business ties with the bin Laden family after 9/11, and sided with the Chinese government over the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

In fact, those famous “neo-conservative champions of Israel” – a group of 87 Chinese dissidents — just wrote a letter to Obama asking him to reconsider Freeman’s appointment in light of the latter’s reference to China’s democracy movement as the “propaganda of dissidents” and his “longstanding record of defending China’s authoritarian regime”.

But of course, for anti-Israel polemicists like Bernd Debusmann, the world always turns on the “Israel Lobby”.

Posted by HIS | Report as abusive

Good article. It is time that we have an open and objective discussion of our Middle East policies, without the personal attacks and ridicule for the wrong view. Are not innocent people dying on both sides? Since we are supporting Israel with our financial aid, we have a right to ask the questions, and we have the right to hear both sides.

Posted by Bernard Croghan | Report as abusive

hı bernd

thank u for thıs very ınterestıng artıcle .ıf u ask me ı ll say the days of unshaken support of ısreal from an amerıcan admınstratıon ıs far from endıng .

but ıf u say from other members of the world .. yes u mıte be rıte ..

cuz after the outburts of trukısh pm ın davos and what happened ın venezuela and also maurıtanıa and cry of many contrıes ın afrıca and the rest of the world that wıll send a sıgnal to ısreal that movıe tıme ıs over cuz nobody ıs gıvıng u audıence anymore except amerıca .

ı waıt for that day ısreal faces charges for crımes agaınst humanıty and the un ındıctıng ıt for ıts resolutıons dat ıt has dısrespected .

ın a unıpolar world controlled by amerıca there wıll never be justıce for anybody but amerıca frıends lıke ısreal dat ıs y we all are tryıng to get weapons tto protect ourselves .

fınally ı am an advocate of a multı polar world of checks and balances . gıvıng everybody equal rıghts and status .

Posted by yakubu | Report as abusive

It’s interesting to learn that a man close to the centre of government in the USA actually believes that the Chinese may have had a point about the demonstrators in Beijing in 1989 (no criticism intended). Freeman has moved over time from being an official of the Reagan administration to taking up a key post in President Obama’s. It is not clear that America’s proper role in the Middle East is anything other than being an honest broker in facilitating an (eventual) solution that benefits the people who live there – all of them. The precise way in which an appointee carries out the duties of a post cannot always be predicted on the basis of past behaviour, and it cannot be ruled out that perhaps Mr Freeman has something about his approach to the whole subject that has eluded every other person since 1948, which will guide the US to a reasonable conclusion of the entire Middle East problem far more quickly than anyone else seems to expect.

Posted by Howard G Kiernan | Report as abusive

I think something ‘His’ needs to do a bit of research on Arab countries gov’ts feelings towards Israel. Most of the gov’ts support Israel, the people they govern don’t, but the gov’ts do.

I’d also like to know his definition of “genocide”, is it 13 dead soldiers or is it starving out 2 million 3rd world country civilians and killing 1300?

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

This article is pure hogwash. As an American christian I fully support Israels right to not only exist but flourish. Nobody critizes Palestinians when they expand illegal settlements and fire rockets at civillians. How sad that Europeans have bought the Arab propoganda that they are fed.

Posted by scott | Report as abusive

Israel should consider Hillary a ticking bomb; she is out of the closet now on her pro-palestinian attitude. I’d sooner trust a pit-bull. And lipstick won’t help.

Posted by JuanitoVerde | Report as abusive

Real Jews who understand “Torah” very well that God mentioned clearly in their holy book “Jews will not have their own independent country and they will live under other countries rules around the World.” How long they will hide behind powerful people and powerful countries to commit crimes. One day when Jews will no longer have support from any one of them then it is quite obvious they will be wiped out automatically from the face of the earth. Bottom line it is the truth and it is the reality.

The best thing for Israel, the U.S., and the Palestines is some open honest debate in the U.S.. In the past, if anyone stated an objection to anything Israel did, you were immediately labeled as Anti-Israel or Anti-Semitic.
We don’t even agree with everything that our own government does, so to fail to agree with everything Israel does is far from being against Israel. Perhaps by honestly criticizing some of Israel’s actions may be the very best way to showing a true concern for Israel’s future. It is time for open honest debate on the Middle East without the name calling.

Posted by Jim West | Report as abusive

Mr. Debusmann,

You are in DEEP DEEP trouble! How dare you write something this honest and to the point against Israel? How dare you separate the interests of U.S. and Israel? Yes U.S. and Israel are two separate countries, but thanks to AIPAC, it was always portrayed that U.S. must FIRST think and take action in the interest of Israel EVEN if it was against the U.S. interests. Now you come out in broad daylight and write about it? Don’t you know what’s is waiting for you? In short: Don’t mess with AIPAC. PERIOD.

So Mr. Debusmann, please be assured a file will be opened under your name in AIPAC and alike think tanks and you will be their next project as anti-Semite and so many other things you are hiding in your cousin’s closets. Oh, they go and find things and they make sure to put your DNA and fingerprints on them. God help you!

Posted by Alex | Report as abusive

If all your Senators and Congressmen can be bought by special interest groups such as AIPAC they are unfit for seats in Washington. We have controls on parliamentarians in Europe, who have to declare their outside interests. The result of AIPAC’s work was very clear in Gaza, where Israel committed War Crimes on the civilian population, worse than Hitler ever did to the Jews, over the same period of time.

Posted by Graeme Warren | Report as abusive

America should stop supplying Israel with arms, the Israilies have made Gaza a concentration camp, the israilies speak with forked tounge, they dont want Iran to have have even a nuclear power station, yet they themselves have nuclear capability.
Let the Palistine people have the same way of life as we have in the west.

Jeff

It’s not just Israel, it’s Capitalism and the GOP too. Every group heavily dependent on propaganda for support is falling from power. It’s an inevitable result of the era in which we live. The propaganda was rather effective back when TV was high tech, but the world has clearly changed.

The people are more knowledgeable now than at any point in history. We have access to information like never before, news archives, global communication, social networks, search engines, opinions galore, and a comment section on every corner. Welcome to the information era, where the people have a voice, and Democracy is rising.

The momentum for peace is building fast, and the ‘movement’ has grown significantly. Here on the net, our “we” is a global community that has only just begun to organize and unite. Our “we” includes kings and queens, rock stars and socialites, big wigs, the little guy, and people from all walk of life. The people are making a stand. It’s time for peace, and we’re not backing down.

Posted by James Hovland | Report as abusive

So, … why Israel never offered an Israeli citizenship to its Arab/Palestinian population?! Is it a hard decision for the Zionist state between being “democratic” (and not being exclusively jewish) and being actualy; “Jewish”. The last democracy applicable only to those of the propper blood-line ended about this time 64 years ago. I thought that such a powerful democracy like Israel’s could easily eat-Hamas-alive in some future assembly of israeli/palestinian Knesset? Why do they need ethernal american protection when they already have “nuclearized” their “free and democratic” stand, nicely packed in to the state policy with expectations of “messiah 2nd. comming”?!

Posted by Bo | Report as abusive

I know very little of the conflict involving Israel and Palestine, so I type Israel in wikipedia. The second paragraph stated the League of Nations, after WW1, followed the British mandate for Palestine, basically occupying Palestine like they did India and Hong Kong until the end of WW2. After WW2, 1947, the United Nations approved the partitioning of Palestine into two countries, one Jewish, one Arab.

On May 14, 1948 the state of Israel declared independence and this was followed by a war with the surrounding Arab states, which refused to accept the plan. The Israelis were subsequently victorious in a series of wars confirming their independence and expanding the borders of the Jewish state beyond those in the UN Partition Plan. Since then, Israel has been in conflict with many of the neighboring Arab countries, resulting in several major wars and decades of violence that continue to this day.

Looking at the facts of history, the actions of Israeli leaders, (not the whole state or peoples) seem to forgot their august leader, Moses, brought the ten commandments to the world. Israel seems to covet their neighbors land, (Illegal west bank settlements), and forgot the first commandment, “Thou shall not kill”. I believe Jewish people have a right to live and love where ever they wish, but they stole that land from Palestine, by force, years ago with the help of England, France, and the U.S.

Posted by cdwalker | Report as abusive

Wow.. if everyone was as able as this author to distill large issues to their core points of contention as they ACTUALLY exist, instead of parroting the viewpoints of outside lobbies,
I think matters in the middle east could be readily resolved. Take away all the benefit/subsidies to each side to continue their terrorism and/or stonewalling respectively, and this becomes a draining, costly affair, for BOTH sides to engage in.
Assess matters fairly and in there totality, as this author does, and it is becomes rather transparent how the parties to this affair have managed to accelerate the conflict and its intesity over time, as opposed to both groups being left with little option but to both give ground and settle.
No person recieving foreign cash or consideration, should be allowed to serve in any US elected position, and should in fact be under indictment.
The fact that this is not universally acknowleged in all quarters as it once was, is why we are in the middle of this mess.

Posted by victor hanson | Report as abusive

“Though they spoke of terrible human suffering, reality was sealed off by their trite, lifeless vernacular: ‘capabilities’, ‘objectives’, ‘our chips’ ‘giveaway’. It was a matter, too, of culture and style. They spoke with the cool, deliberate detachment of men who believe the banishment of feeling renders them wise and, more important, credible to other men. They neither understood the foreign policy they were dealing with, nor were deeply moved by the bloodshed and suffering they administered to their stereotypes”.

Roger Morris on the ‘Wise Men’ around President Nixon.

It’s also a fitting description of AIPAC. The vocabulary they deploy is no different then that of Israeli politicians and IDF commanders. Palestinians who bow before Israeli superiority are ‘moderates’. Those who defend against the theft of their land are ‘terrorists’. Refugee camps are a ’wasp nest of terror’. Palestinians are not murdered but are on the receiving end of ‘targeted killings’. Kids who are shot at point blank range, or charred beyond recognition are ‘collateral damage’ – regrettable but expected. Roads that are Palestinian-free are ‘sterile’. Illegal settlements are ‘neighbourhoods’. Israeli soldiers don’t massacre civilians but carry out ‘pinpoint surgical strikes’, like removing a tumour. And now this diseased jargon has been adopted by journalists, particularly in the US.

This is why the planned demolition of almost 90 homes in East Jerusalem has elicited barely zero media attention in the US. Palestinians are seen as a surplus of humanity. And the strongest word Clinton could come up with? ‘unhelpful’.

The Harvard Professor Sara Roy, a long time advocate of Palestinian rights, summed it up beautifully. Entitled ’A Jewish Plea’, she writes:

“Why is it virtually mandatory among Jewish intellectuals to oppose racism, repression, and injustice everywhere else in the world and unacceptable–indeed, for some, an act of heresy–to oppose it when Israel is the oppressor, choosing concealment over exposure?”

Posted by Nu'man | Report as abusive

setbacks? what setbacks? maybe, it’s just the columnist making an easy buck? I understand, life’s expensive… so, it’s a setback for reuters, mainly.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

This has gone too far as far as human rights are concerned. Killing 1200 people for revenge for 11 or 12 killed about half of them in aggression were soldiers who were members of IDF and died in battle.

Bigger question is who is dictating the foreign policies of USA. There are few facts to bear in mind.

AIPAC at one point was considered to be representing foreign government and in the time of Kennedy Administration they were required to register as foreign agents. Never happened. The last President of AIPAC was accused of transferring sensitive material to Israel and his case is still pending.

69% of Jewish faith people are pro-Israel and are politically active. They contribute heavily to both parties whether it is Democratic or republican, They want to have both sides of the isle so that their interest is served.

There are about 5,000,000 jews in Israel and 6,500,000 in the united states. They are part of left wing agenda from George Soro down the line.

Instead of contributing to American Politician machine if they gave all the contributions to Israel directly it will decrease US burden of not giving them that much entitlement every year.

Military Machine which killed in Gaza was supplied by American taxpayer money. We should have had some say in which way the weapons are used.

They have about 9-11 nuclear reactors and 50-200 nuclear warheads which could be even more. Although they have not admitted to it officially even once.

Fighting planes, helicopters, tanks against AK47, Grenade launchers from back of pickup truck does not appear to me as even odds of fight.

Soldiers can walk into any house any time and occupy for as long as they want because they have back of helicopters and terrorize anybody they want.

They want to demolish palestinian houses which are claimed to be illegally constructed but about 500,000 are living in occupied areas and they are building more and more.

They are stealing even sand and stones from west bank for their construction and can get away with impunity.

They at their whim can stop delivery of food, medicine,fuel and even transfer of money so they will starve and become more resentful and result in further anger. They can not receive any aid from sea which recently has been shown to be intercepted by Israel navy and expect to live in peace with each other till eternity considering who has been aggressive in acquiring land from who at what human expense should have some impact on final decision in the solving of the conflict.

This whole affair is gross human right issue and should be addressed at a world body rather than at local level.

Posted by VJ | Report as abusive

While I certainly respect Israel’s right to exist there is nothing I can think of that is more contrary to the United
States national interest then its unequivocal support of
Israel in its tortured relationship with the Palestinians.

This is the burning issue that unites Muslims all over the world to hostility against the U.S. and the inevitable terrorism that results from those feelings.

Until the U.S. addresses this core issue and begins a fair evenhanded treatment of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict there will be no security for Americans, Israelis, or Palestinians.

Posted by Hugh Giblin | Report as abusive

Well, having read all these comments I am finding our perception is skewed based on our backgrounds. I am agnostic and asian. I pondering what is best for humanity, as technology narrows gaps in every field. Everything in moderation is key, too much influence from either side! What bothers me about both jews and arabs/muslim are they think they are absolutely righteous in their ways. Coming from horrid poverty I believe education and more higher(college)education is key. Most people of jewish faith that I have met are educated and the opposite for muslim/arabs. Educate the people with knowledge not from the Koran or Torah but math and science. This will not solve the probelm as highly educated jewish persons, still put religion first. The key is to respect another human being’s values and life, before anything else. Also we must allow technology to loosen the grip from centralized media which feeds the public. Just like food, if you eat one group of food, for example diary, is that enough to nourish your body completely?

Posted by JACK JOHNSON | Report as abusive

This is the most refreshingly honest article I’ve read in the mainstream media in perhaps my whole life. Wow. Great job.

Posted by Democracy | Report as abusive

Today United States policies stands for injustice. The history of USA association with Israel is a glaring example of USA pseudo democratic values and of false freedom advocacy.

Sudan was tried why not USA ?

Posted by Mohammed | Report as abusive

The unquestioning support of the U.S. towards Israel is at the roots of its problems in the Middle East. The U.S. can choose to continue with that policy and watch its power and influence fade more and more in the region. Or it can simply change that policy. It’s really up to the U.S.

Posted by Ahmet Armagan | Report as abusive

Before deciding or squabbling concerning American policy in the Middle East it behooves American policy makers to consider what their final goals are. Clearly an intermediate goal is to retain the support of the Saudi’s. But even the Sunni Saudi’s are not interested in prolonging the brutality of the Shiite supported Hamas regime. It is also clear even to the Palestinians, that Israel has as of yet to reach the brutality of the Hamas. If one criticizes Israel today, the idea is suggested that the present democratically elected regime of the Hamas should be recognized. However, this is to the detriment of the vast majority of the Arab regimes. It seems that if Israel is to seek peace it should do so with the Hamas but it is not entirely clear that such a policy would be higly beneficial to the long term goals of American policy. On the other hand the continuation of the support of the puppet regime of Abu Mazan tends to erode all of American influence in the region. It seems therdfore to be prudent policy to wait decision on these issues until those long term goals of the present American government are made explicit.

Posted by mpav | Report as abusive

The solution is simple and the reaction to it by the parties concerned will let you know where they really stand.

First – Jerusalem belongs to GOD so it cannot belong to Israel, Palestine or Christians. Religion is co-opted by each group not for reverence to deity but to their own quest and lust for power and domination. So Jerusalem needs to become an independent entity that has as a peace force people from each faith who wish to live and work together in peace. As an independent city any of the three religions who recognize its divinity can purchase a building and house their capital there to conduct the business of their government with the backdrop of peace and not power or control.

This is where all US funding should go to support peace and humanitarian efforts in the region should flow from here and through those committed to peace from the three faiths that have major tenants of their faith tied to this city.

Second – Turn the West Bank over to the Palestinians to govern as they see fit based on the boarders discussed.

It is not necessary for Jewish Settlers to leave the West Bank, but they must realize that their land will become part of the Palestinian Nation and if they remain will become Palestinian citizens subject to its laws.

Third – It is more likely that with a formed and eventually stable state and government Palestine will be in a better position to maintain the peace and minimize criminal activities, and with their own state Palestinian’s will have as a deterrent any state sponsored attacks towards Israel will be considered acts of war. Other random violent acts must be recognized by the populations of each state as criminal and dealt with.

If each state wishes to have open or closed boarders it will be up to them. The United Nations or other peace centered bodies can put at both nations disposal peace troops and observers to monitor the actions and situations in and around boarders to foster peace and as impartial witnesses.

Even with this everyone must understand that there are and will be those who wish conflict because they will not live in peace with each other and power is their base desire.

Posted by Tristam Harrington | Report as abusive

Many opinion writers it seems, like to state that Hama’s should be included in talks with the U.S. because they are the duly elected political group running the west bank. It is always forgotten or maybe left out on purpose, that yes Hama’s is the ruling authority on the West bank, but not until after they overthrew the PLO and booted them out. As for support dwindling from the Obama admin, yes I think it is too. It stands to reason it would, why with Obama’s family muslim ties and his own practicing of it in his past. As for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she absolutely favors middle eastern countries over Israel mainly due to the hundreds of millions of dollars in donations her and Bill received from them while trolling for $ to build his library. I don’t always like how Israel acts, but when you are surrounded by enemies who live to destroy you, what are they to do. Hama’s doesn’t want peace no way no how. Their own charter calls for the destruction of Israel, if they did, when the settlements were given to Hama’s, instead of moving their people into these already built homes and tend the gardens that were left, they just burned it down. As for this land that Israel has been took, it was the spoils of war, one started by the others. I also believe in a two state remedy. It won’t happen though, Hama’s doesn’t want it. They want to continue to play the victim so they can try to keep world opinion on their side. It truly is a sad situation there. I only wish someone would start to look out for the people that are truly suffering, the Palestinians and average Israeli’s.

Sad to see the same old Arab propoganda about Aipac again. Aipac nor the media dictate American citizens perceptions of Israel. Americans support Israel because they are defending their land. If the Arabs had not attacked Israel there would not be any “withdraw to the 67 borders” argument. Arabs lost the war fair and square. There are no do-overs in war. So get over your selves. If the Arabs care so much about Palestine then start accepting more Palestinan refugees. Very simple

Posted by brian | Report as abusive

Bravo Mr. Debusmann!
Thank you very much for making my day today. I feel a ray of freedom in the air. Freedom for, as an American Citizen, I am definitely a subject of the State of Israel when it comes to US foreign policy.
Emotions aside, thank you for your outstanding article, its honesty, its truth and your objective and unbiased analysis.
For the sake of our US interests and peace even for the Palestinians and Israelis, isn’t the selection of Mr. Freeman an excellent choice? I see only two groups of people who can disagree: one, the fanatic Israeli (and Zionist) supporters and two, their new-found brethren, the Pat-Robertson evangelists.
Please keep up the good work and I am certain, in a few years, we will owe you a measure of success for helping advance our American interests and peace in the Middle East.
Peace and Kindest regards

Posted by yaz | Report as abusive

All American politicians must show respect for the Fuhrer, Israeli masters in the form of AIPAC by standing and saluting: Heil AIPAC, Heil Israel.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

The suffering of the Palestinian people rests just as much on the shoulders of the Arab countires in the region, who have almost never allowed the Palestinians citizenship in their countries, despite their desperate situation, as it does on Israel. This sort of commentary does not enable reasonable discussion of the situation in the Middle East (especially as any criticism of the militant Hamas government in Gaza is absent), it only provokes outlandish and unfounded criticism of one of the parties involved. To deny that parties such as Hamas or Hezbollah are dangerous and untrustworthy, diplomatically or otherwise, is to look at the situation with some sort of pro-Palestinian and (therefore) anti-Israel agenda. Hamas’s complete disregard for civilians on either side of the Gaza border is wrong (and a violation of international law, as the popular criticism of Israel is put). Furthermore, Mearsheimer and Walt’s book recieved heavy criticism on both sides of the debate, from Alan Dershowitz to the ever-popular Noam Chomsky. This sort of biased commentary is unhelpful and completely irrelevant, and gives way to anti-Semitic propaganda, such as the 75th comment on this article.

Posted by Nathan | Report as abusive

A one-sided approach to the Mideast conflict is not in America’s interest. But I also expect Israel to show its gratitude for the support they have received from America and Europe in securing a homeland. Now is the time for Israel to show some fairness to their neighbors for their struggle to have a homeland. That would be the best way for Israel to say “thanks!”.

Posted by Bruce Leighty | Report as abusive

The majority of people who have posted to this site have obviously bought into Mr. Debusmann’s canard about the pro-Israel lobby. Perhaps they should pause and consider for a moment Israel’s polices in the past decade and America’s foreign policy.

Several years ago the Israeli government sensed a change in Syrian attitudes toward peace. The Israels wanted to open peace negotiations with Syria and they wanted the Americans to be participants. The Bush Administration adamantly refused to engage in any negotiations with Syria. After repeatedly pleading with the Americans, the Israelis gave up in frustration, and turned to the Turks as mediators. For the last few years not-so-secret negotiations between Israel and Syria have gone on with Turkish help. The talks have been rather successful and Israel and Syria have resolved the major differences between themselves. However, the Syrians pushed for regional issues to be included, and that required the participation of the USA, which was not forthcoming. The talks were suspended during the recent Israel-Hamas conflict, but Turkey this week indicated its willingness to continue mediation so the “secret” negotiations will likely resume in the near future. Hopefully, the Obama administration will participate, and align its foreign policy on this issue with that of Israel (that is, talk to the Syrians), which was not the case under George Bush.

Take the Iraq war as another example. Having bombed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear project in the early 1980′s and having been targeted by Iraqi Scuds during the First Gulf War, the Israelis naturally were happy to see the demise of the Iraqi dictator. However, they saw Saddam Hussein as being contained and no longer a threat to the region. The Israelis wanted the Americans to focus on the nuclear threat from Iran, and they saw the Iraq war as a diversion. Everyone now knows which way American foreign policy went. Now that the USA is pulling out of Iraq, America may shift the focus of its foreign policy to Iran, which has not been the case so far.

Also, take the many examples over the decades of the sale of huge quantities of sophisticated weapons to the Gulf states, in particular, the Saudis, despite Israel opposition.

Mr. Debusmann conveniently overlooks the foregoing examples and suggests that there is a cabal of pro-Israel lobbyists who somehow have manipulated American foreign policy to the detriment of the USA. When American foreign policy has supported Israel it has been because Americans sincerely believe that these policies are the right ones.

Posted by Dan from Canada | Report as abusive

Wow; Obama has actually appointed SOMEONE who is not just there to roll over for Israel? Gotta say I am amazed (in a good way) as it’s important that the U.S. does what we CAN to aide Palestinians in this horrendous Holocaust — perpetrated by a group of people (the Zionist-Jews) who should certainly KNOW better. Of course, IF you actually delve into Jewish-Holocaust history, you will see that MANY Zionist (who are surely not Good Jews) also aided and abetted the Nazis.
Someone NEEDS to stand up for the Little GUY– and, I mean Palestine; 60 percent (or more) of the children in Gaza are suffering from malnutrition AND from water-borne illnesses. The children who were not permanently maimed or KILLED by Israel are starving to DEATH! Israel has stolen more and more of the Land belonging to the Palestinians..; stolen their clean water (and turned off water to the area)..; Israel has only allowed a certain// minimal amount of food into Gaza, which is not enough for these children (and their parents; those who are not yet quite dead) to subsist, even..; Israel has placed an embargo on heating-oil AND cooking-oil, to say nothing about gasoline for automobiles. Israel has refused entry into Gaza to ships carrying HUMANITATRIAN, including Medical supplies.
And, we, the U.S., are backing these atrocities? Finally, with Freeman in there, WE MAY BEGIN TO DO THE RIGHT THING. Certainly, as a humanist, I do hope this IS so!! It’s far past time to say, “NO”, to Isreal and, “YES”, to helping the civilian populations of Palestine.
Even HAMAS tried to sit=down with Isreal; the Zionists would have no part of it. It’s simply disgusting and we really NEED to align ourselves with the dead and dying.
Truly, even though there is a “supposed cease fire”, Palestinians are STILL BEING KILLED on a DAILY BASIS.. Should we actually GO along with THAT?? I don’t think so!

Posted by Anne Beckett | Report as abusive

The USA has criticized Israel many times: for building settlements, for making Jerusalem the capital, for talking to Fatah, for not talking to Fatah, for responding to Arab terrorism not hard enough or too hard, etc., depending on the administration. In any case some of the discussion here is over the top.

Posted by Sar Chasm | Report as abusive

The United States’ vital interests do not lie in protecting Isreal. It’s that simple. We have no overwhelming strategic interest in the Middle East much beyond oil.

The Jewish Lobby has been lobbying U.S. politicians for decades with big bucks and heavy pressure to support its Zionist agenda. Conservative Christians support Isreal because they fervently believe that when Armegeddon occurs, which they expect immimently, Jesus Christ will return triumphantly to Israel and save the world as it evaporates. That is the main reason why white Republicans support Israel. The Israelis take their money and support and hope the Republican Christians never turn on them or attempt to convert them.

The U.S./Israel relationship has a few parallels in the China where U.S. relationship where China needs America to buy its merchandise and even lends America the money to do it. But the relationship is fundamentally unequal and when the music stops, what will be the result?

The U.S. is a highly developed country with a stable political history. The same cannot be said of China or Israel. The relationship is based on mutual need, but whose need is greater and what will be the likely outcome of a break? A break in either relationship U.S./Israel or U.S./China will have a considerably more severe impact on the other countries than the U.S. The balance of power rests with the U.S. The United States needs to better analyze its own strategic interests and act accordingly.

Posted by Just Mark | Report as abusive

” the Arab countires in the region, who have almost never allowed the Palestinians citizenship in their countries,” — Do you mean to say that ALL Palestinians should leave their lands and take up residence in OTHER Arab countries and let Israel have ALL of Palestine?

Posted by awabnavi | Report as abusive

I getting tired of hearing how Israel is our “best friend” or how AIPAC has little influence on U.S. mideast policies.

America’s continued support of Israel in the face of that nations criminal punishment of the Palestinian people is an embarrassment in the world and only fuels the flames of Arab discontent.

With “friends” like Israel and their strong advocate lobby AIPAC who needs enemies.

Posted by Tom Long | Report as abusive

As an anglo saxon protestant who actually lives in the middle east and has friends in the aid agencies I can hopefully offer some objectivity.

The genoicide that took place in Gaza and the appalling aparthied that exits in Palestine are humanitarian disasters that no right minded human being can condone – the stories told to me by my friends in the aid agencies are horrific. The binary approach of successive administrations to supporting Israel and the billions of dollars provided annually are I contend counter productive to a sustainable peace. Binary approval of anything as important as the middle east is not rational and must therefore be based on a pre disposition or influences of those in charge of policy. Call it a lobby or whatever you want to call it but it is not objective nor is it desirable from a humanitarian perspective.

If the Obahma administration engages people with a broader perspective then this can only be a good thing. When I lived and worked in te US and Europe I had no real understanding of the middle east and many of my views must have been influenced by the media as I certainly felt more anti Arab even if not pro Israeli. Being in the region and talking to educated people has given me a broder perspective. We all should look at this objectively and support a more balanced perspective from the incoming administration. Also forget Iran launching a nuclear attack on Israel – might make a good story for the TV show ” 24″ but it will not happen ! – it is nonsense whatever we are led to believe.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

As Arabs we learn it as early as possible in our lives that we should not distinguish between Israel and the USA because of the unconditional support the USA has been given to Israel. Can you imagine how damaging this is to the relationship between Arabs and Americans? I let you guess…..How long this hate between Arabs and Americans can go before Americans start to be more objective to the Middle East conflict?

Posted by Mahmoud | Report as abusive

“Do you mean to say that ALL Palestinians should leave their lands and take up residence in OTHER Arab countries and let Israel have ALL of Palestine?”

Absolutely not. What I am saying is that the Palestinian refugee problem has become a tool used by the powerful Arab states in the region to apply international pressure on Israel. People seem to forget that before 1967 Egypt occupied Gaza and Jordan occupied the West Bank, and Palestinian refugees (the lower classes of Palestinians) were forced into refugee camps and refused help they desperately needed by those who swore to defend their cause at all costs. People on this board speak of “criminal actions” by Israel, but refuse to look at the exploitation of Palestinians on behalf of the Arab countires in the region. These are not arguements for peace, they are arguements for the punishment of Israel based on faulty, one-sided logic.

Posted by Nathan Hersh | Report as abusive

A good way to form our opinion based on facts and not on emotions is to stop taking sides. When I become an “Israeli” or “Pro-Palestine”, I take a side which would inevitably bring my ego into the equation (my side is right). Israel is not moving anywhere close to peace by building and expanding settlements or by killing 450 children in Gaza. Recently met with a person who visited Gaza and he states that children no longer react to gun shots, shells or air strikes. Please do not desensitize a whole generation because if they do not have the time to mourn their own than they would certainly not care for anyone else. The injustices committed against any one person leaves a stain on all of our hearts and souls.

Posted by Irfan | Report as abusive

“People seem to forget that before 1967 Egypt occupied Gaza and Jordan occupied the West Bank, and Palestinian refugees (the lower classes of Palestinians) were forced into refugee camps and refused help they desperately needed by those who swore to defend their cause at all costs.”

Great argument, they kept Palestinians land for 20 years so its okay for us to keep it as well. Don’t just follow what is happening because when a great number of people start to follow authority without questioning it than grave things happen, this is what caused holocaust in Germany and is causing it in occupied Palestine. Think and do the right thing because this time you will be responsible for the holocaust.

Posted by Irfan | Report as abusive

Am totally in agreemet with David and all others who posted similar views. It is the time for the USA ro reset its ties with Israel all arab countries. USA cannot claim to be a democracy when it supports the Israel criminal acts against Palestinians. In 1992 only, 1.2 million russians immigrated to Israel! How can they prove any tie with that land, since, historians claim that they are of a khzar-turkish race? No surprise some young russian-”jews” painted swastikas in the synagogues recently.

what’s with the unconditional support of troops who participated in Gaza massacre? If they have not done anything wrong, why Israel is shielding them from international courts?

Israel has committed massacres in the past and is continuing with them. Watch “Waltz with Bashir”, an Israeli soldiers account of Lebanon and learn what actually happened in Palestinian camps and what did Israeli did to punish the General responsible, hmmmm…. made him their prime minister.

Posted by Irfan | Report as abusive

What two things coming out of the Middle East do others want? They want Oil and Opium. Exxon has gotten to Iraq’s oil. The CIA has gotten (back to) the Afghan Opium. Israel is the US’ oldest ally in the area. Now Saudi and Iraq will join the ranks. Exxon is happy but not yet done.

Exxon aims for big role in Iraq’s oil sector
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/i dUSTRE52812L20090309

And if you want any info on the CIA go to Google and type in CIA Drugs and sit back and read for a while.

Will the US give up on these countries? It is not likely. We may force Israel to back off from its current position but let’s face it both sides have committed enough stupidity that anyone can tell either side to back off. The reality that both sides miss is quality of life for everyone. The Palestinian’s Hamas can’t seem to compromise and just want Israel gone, which they should have discovered by now is not going to happen so, the people suffer. Seems stupid to me but Hamas has the guns so what are the regular people to do.

Israel could be better but let’s fact it why? If you won’t their right to exist why should they recognize yours? Yes the Hawks will suffer but they will not go away. As long as world’s economies run on Oil and Opium funds the CIA the Middle East will be in turmoil just the way those in real power want.

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

The new American president does not support the jewish state like the previous presidents have done. It is time for Isreal to pay-up. And it it time for America to stop paying for Isreal. It won’t be long before we are no longer interested in the well being of Isreal. We now have a president who does not follow the religious beliefs of others blindly.

Posted by Greg Shell | Report as abusive

I really believe people are missing a key element in this whole argument. This is first and foremost a religious issue and that needs to be dealt with from within Islam. I have traveled to Saudi multiple times, Israel, Egypt and so forth. Until the feuding between Shiite and Sunni ends (which is theologically impossible under certain conditions of Sharia law) no responsible Muslim state is going to have the leverage to approach this issue objectively.

While many believe that this is a Jewish versus Muslim issue, it is actually a fight between the Syrian-Gaza-Iranian Alliance versus’ the GCC alliance, a turf war if you will. You go into Saudi Arabia and they will tell you that, they may hate the United States…they may hate Israel…but they hate no one more than Iranians. They label them ‘enemy’ from within as opposed to Western countries who are the enemy from the outside.

So sorry if I went off on a tangent but it really boils my blood when people bring up ‘McDonald papers’, British decrees of 1923 or Bill Clinton. Until unilateral Muslim consensus is achieved, a stabilizing agreement is unlikely.

As for this oil argument, commodities are and always will be a whores market.

America is one of the most religious countries in the world and Judea-Christian values are much more aligned. Only 30% of Americans believe in Evolution so before you go argueing this blood for oil argument, you better take a closer look at Militant Christianity.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

cdwalker, you are right on, you should look up Dryfus, he and Hertzel started the whole Zionest movement, good job cdwalker.

Posted by tony sacco | Report as abusive

Israel enjoys widespread support in the United States because they are in the right. Who would ask the French to leave France, the Germans to leave Germany, the Poles to leave Poland? As for the Arab occupiers of Palestine (and Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria), they can go back to where they came from. The Spaniards got it right: answer Arab brutality with Spanish brutality.

Posted by Sophocles | Report as abusive

Glad to see that at least some here in the U.S. are finally getting it. To echo past comments, “we need to cut Israel loose”
No doubt the Arabs and many Islamists are a disconnected and complicated group to be dealing with and Israel has its work cut out but its recent past history of refusing to come up with a reasonable peace offer (ie a contiguous chunk of land for the Palestinians) and their support of West Bank “settlers” speaks volumes about their desires and motives for peace and their desire for land. If Israel would truely be willing to give up something worth something, (ie a solitary decent piece of land with contiguous borders) for the Palestinians, then we in the U.S. should continue to support them in their existance and stuggles with the Arabs but otherwise I feel we should be treating them the same as any other foreign country-no more, no less.

Posted by Ed Miller | Report as abusive

lol @ sophocles

Even Israeli leaders (Sharon for one) have admitted they are like the French in Algeria, except they have nowhere else to go. As for Arab occupiers of Palestine, you’re absolutely right.

Two Rabbis from Vienna were dispatched to Palestine in 1897 to investigate whether building a Jewish state there was feasible. The Rabbis reported their findings: “The Bride is Beautiful but she is married to another man”.

Your ignorance is matched only by the thickness of your skull.

Posted by Palestinian | Report as abusive

Charles Freeman is the wrong candidate for this job. It is not simply his position on Israel that is wrong. There are his comments about China that condone the Tiananmen massacre; his past commercial ties to a Chinese state owned company; the financial support from Saudi Arabia for an organization he headed. These make him unfit for such an important intelligence position. Now that he has withdrawn his name from the appointment, of course, the anti-Israel crowd will somehow suggest that it was all part of a nefarious Zionist plot.

Posted by Dan from Canada | Report as abusive

It appears that all the Israel-haters here have found their forum here to vent. While Israel has certainly made mistakes, it is the main democracy and beacon of hope in the Middle East. Yes, democracy is messy, complicated, and cumbersome…you know, things like demonstrations, court decisions, bad political decisions, and fractured elections..
.What is the Arab alternative? Nothing.. They offer little to the Palestinians or most of their own citizens….
I have little doubt that nobody wants peace more than the Israelis, who (sadly) have concluded that one can’t negotiate with barbarians (Abbas notwithstanding)
I actually think there is hope now with Netanyahu coming to power again soon. It seems to me that it has been the weak Israeli leaders who have made bad military decisions, and the strong leaders (Begin, Sharon) who actually have made peace more likely.

Posted by Tony | Report as abusive

Well, the broad issue here in Israel and Palestine is political manipulation.
I’ve been to Israel a few times, and have very goods friends who are Israelis and Zionist in the traditional sens.
There’s always been a strong Zionist Right-wing in Israel, matched by an equally strong Hammas party.
Both Hammas and Right Wing politician and best friends and ennemies, because without their respective existences, they have no raison to exist first place.
Hammas terrorist action fuel Zionnist Right Wing action, and Zionnist Right Wing actions fuel Hammas actions.
As long as there seems to be a treat form Hammas or other terroriste group, Israel Zionnist will keep on receiving help and funding, same goes for teh hammas, as long as there’s agression from Isreal Hammas will received support and funding.
This has been going on for decades, and the first casuaties are both the palistinian and Israeli people to a lesser degree.
Israel is a trhird world country, with pothole on its road, non paved pavment, crippling poverty and lack of business opportunity.
Seems that 1/2 GDP of this country is spent on the IDF, the other half spent on generous welfare, but in no way Israel can hope to develop by continuing this policy.
The last 2 wars, lebanon and gazza have proven to the common Israeli people that their respective government policies of military action against terrorists aren’t working since hammas is getting out stronger every time.
The only solutio, and everybody knows this, is a two states solutions, but nor the hammas and Zionnist party want it, because peace means an end to their respective existence and good bye to all the funding and support they have been receiving.
As long as the USA keeps suporting Right wing zionism, there will be no peace or solution. the solution is the complete withdraw of support for extreme zionism and Judaism Fundamontalisme from the common Israeli people.
Unless Israeli electors stop being manipulated by such party as the likud party or crooks like Olmert they won’t be abble to fianlly move on.

David says,

“As an anglo saxon protestant who actually lives in the middle east and has friends in the aid agencies I can hopefully offer some objectivity,”

and immediately forfeits his “objectivity” by saying,

“The genoicide [sic] that took place in Gaza…”

Genocide? David, when you’re pretending to be “objective” you should avoid hyperbole.

I’m not claiming Israel is perfect but it is far from committing genocide. But exaggeration at Israel’s expense doesn’t seem to bother some “objective” people.

Never mind that Israel does not *target* civilians the way Hamas does.

Never mind that Hamas *intentionally* keeps forces and arms close to civilians so there will be plenty of them killed every time Israel targets militants.

Never mind that Hamas knows “objective” anglo-saxon’s will consider these deaths as being Israel’s fault, not theirs – thus winning a public relations game, and encouraging more of the same behavior on Hamas’ part.

Never mind that Hamas has vowed to destroy Israel no matter what Israel gives up (except for “everything”).

Never mind that Hamas shot over 6000 rockets into Israel before it finally responded.

Never mind all that, and more.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

“The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East. The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.”

Chas Freeman deserves the Medal of Freedom for telling the truth.

Posted by Saul | Report as abusive

“The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth”

Freeman is committed to breaking the chokehold the lobbyists have on US policymakers, and recognizes the gross imbalance of power between the Israelis and Palestinians. He’s right in saying that Israel couldn’t care less about the Palestinians or their imagined state. One only needs to look at the marauding settlers and their IDF allies to witness Israel’s notion of peace.

Moshe Ya’alon, a former IDF General and now a member of the Likud Party, once said the Palestinians “must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.” He also compared them to cancer and his tactics amounted to chemotherapy. He is all but assured of the defense post under Netanyahu. Add Lieberman into the equation and you’ll get a sense where ‘Palestine’ is heading. Yet these three politicians will be seen as ‘men of peace’ by AIPAC and their racist ilk. US policymakers will stumble over each other trying to prove who loves Israel more when they next visit the Beltway.

This is what Freeman couldn’t stand. And that’s why he lost

Neo-conservative lynch mob 1 : Truth 0

Posted by Nu'man | Report as abusive

Post-script to a lively and contentious debate:

The office of Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair has released a statement announcing that Chas Freeman will not be National Intelligence Council Chairman:

“Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair announced today that Ambassador Charles W. Freeman Jr. has requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed. Director Blair accepted Ambassador Freeman’s decision with regret.”

Posted by bernd debusmann | Report as abusive

Hamas makes it very difficult for well wishing by-standers to judge what is fair in the Mideast. It seems to be blind hate driving Hamas to commit absolute stupidities which work against their cause and to disgust possible sympathizers.
Israel pulled out of Gaza in good faith and was rewarded with rockets. The rockets were more provocative than dangerous. They were certainly stupid. This incompetence makes it easy for Israeli expansionists to defend their position.
The motives of Hamas are unclear. But they are an utter failure. America could control the Israeli expansionist if Hamas would not make it so awfully difficult.

Posted by Bruce Leighty | Report as abusive

Paul maybe you’re right genocide isn’t the right word, maybe it is.

Israel has left 61,000 families homeless and literally living in rubble

Their illegal blockade is starving out 1.4 million people in a 150 mile radius directly dependent on food rations.

1,300 people dead, tens of thousands injured.

Dead starved babies found suckling on their dead mothers toes because the IDF won’t allow families and aid workers to go in and recover the dead and dying. Children found half eaten by dogs.

People like to pretend this just started a few months ago, Israel has been killing at minimum dozens of civilians every year of the 2000′s and decades before that.

So if genocide isn’t the right word, and maybe you’re right, you tell me the correct terminology for these barbaric acts as if that matters to anything.

Everyone should look up George Galloway if you’re unaware of him, a hero to the modern world and a champion of peace.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

Another candidate shot down in the confirmation process because of background flaws. Another “I screwed up” moment for Obama.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

I do not know if what Israel is doing is genocide. I am not there on the lines and the media is tainted. I will say this though; the Palestinians can make this stop. It is called surrender. Japan did it. Germany did it. Italy did it. And, now those countries are flourishing. It is obvious to outsiders that Hamas does not care about the Palestinian people. They only care about their ideology and what imaginary power they think they have. Was Israel over the top with this assault? Yes they were. And all it proved was that Hamas was willing to sacrifice every man, woman and child to get their name on CNN. Well, Michael, they succeeded. It was at a high price. And, the news covers the death and destruction Hamas caused. I am sure most of those killed and injured would have wanted no more than to live in peace along side the Jews but Hamas won’t allow that. We all feel for the people who tried to get out and go to Egypt to escape the insanity but Egypt closed their boarders too. I wonder why you didn’t mention that.

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

Forget the Israel/Palestine 100 year war for a minute. How many Israeli spies has the US caught over the years? What about the USS Liberty and how Israel blew it out of International Waters, 25.5 nautical miles (47.2 km) northwest from the Egyptian city of Arish? Why does a foreign nation have such a large lobbying group in another? Why did Britten occupy Palestine from WW1 to WW2 with the help of France and the USA, only to turn it over to Israelis, who immediately started a war with its neighbors? Why waste the time, money, manpower, and resources to occupy a country- Strategic idiocy-, only to turn it over to other people without any benefit to Britten, France, or US? Why are so many countries helping Israel at the cost of their own Citizens?

I don’t know, wish i did. Logic points to some sort of agenda by the leaders of the countries involved, why else ignore the wants and needs of their home countries for a foreign nation?

America has enough problems at home, why are we promising money to fix what Israel broke in Gaza? Why are we not making them stand up like men of God and take responsibility for their actions? They bombed it, they pay for it. Don’t Republicans spout on about personal responsibility?

America has A war in Iraq and Afghanistan that is spreading into India and Pakistan; Mexican drug cartels are taking over parts of Mexico, close to home; Growing Russian military might is a problem as they are gaining countries like Venezuala and Bolivia by selling them arms; China is flexing its military as well, and at the same time China is letting go of the leash on its country North Korea.

I am afraid American leaders are so disconnected from the problems at home, they fail to see them as major problems; just bumps in the road, as they continue their Global objectives. Why else keep the global objectives and put bandaids on the localized problems?

Posted by cdwalker | Report as abusive

Over 300 UK academics signed a letter to The Guardian newspaper saying ‘Israel must lose’. It’s worth reprinting:

** “The massacres in Gaza are the latest phase of a war that Israel has been waging against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years. The goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel’s ongoing appropriation of their land and resources. Israel’s war against the Palestinians has turned Gaza and the West Bank into a pair of gigantic political prisons. There is nothing symmetrical about this war in terms of principles, tactics or consequences. Israel is responsible for launching and intensifying it, and for ending the most recent lull in hostilities.

Israel must lose. It is not enough to call for another ceasefire, or more humanitarian assistance. It is not enough to urge the renewal of dialogue and to acknowledge the concerns and suffering of both sides. If we believe in the principle of democratic self-determination, if we affirm the right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation, then we are obliged to take sides… against Israel, and with the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

We must do what we can to stop Israel from winning its war. Israel must accept that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its neighbours, and not upon the criminal use of force.

We believe Israel should immediately and unconditionally end its assault on Gaza, end the occupation of the West Bank, and abandon all claims to possess or control territory beyond its 1967 borders. We call on the British government and the British people to take all feasible steps to oblige Israel to comply with these demands, starting with a programme of boycott, divestment and sanctions.” **

They’re right. The humiliating rituals taking place daily under Israeli occupation shows whose existence is really at stake. Blaming Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah, Arafat, Carter, ‘self-hating Jews’, Saddam, Islam, and… whatever else they can add onto the pile has served Israeli politicians well. Until now.

I think it’s beginning to dawn on many American and European policymakers that Israel’s behavior is a liability. They’re finding it increasingly difficult to justify the near total collapse of Palestinian civil society as ’self defense’.

It’s also heartening to see the rise of a similar movement amongst U.S. and Israeli academics calling for an end to the settler enterprise. What started as an experiment in military colonialism is now a foreign policy disaster. And one threatening the moral character of the Jewish state.

Posted by Nu'man | Report as abusive

The deliberate and systematic murder of over 400,000 civilians in Darfur by Arab militias certainly qualifies as genocide.

One may also consider the 200,000 people killed in Algeria during the (ongoing) civil war.

Or the 500,000+ killed in Somalia since 1975.

And let us not forget the 1 – 2 million Bangladeshis liquidated by Pakistan in 1971.

And the 200,000 people of East Timor killed by the Indonesian army during occupation.

On the other hand, a few hundred Hamas killed in reply to over 6,000 rockets and mortars targeting Israeli children on their way to school does not qualify as “genocide” no matter how noisily their supporters insist otherwise.

One may however, wish to consider the intent behind the following statements:

The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.

– Hamas Charter

If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.

– Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah

This is the raison d’etre of the Arabs and what their idiotic sycophants like nu’man are defending.

Posted by HIS | Report as abusive

I am interested in these comments about how Israel must lose when it is militant Islam that call for the total destruction if the State if Israel. I do not here the State of Israel calling for the total destruction of anyone including the Palestinians. They just happen to be the ones who attacked last. When Hezbollah sent rockets into Israel it took awhile and quite a few rockets before Israel finally responded. Then Hamas started and again it took awhile and quite a few rockets before Israel attacked. Then Hamas didn’t stop sending rockets over and Israel escalated the attack until it got to the point that what was left was rubble and death. And, Hamas still sent rockets. So some how this is Israel’s problem? Surrounding nations are sending arms and explosives into Hamas controlled areas guised as relief and you blame Israel for shutting down the boarders. Hamas imbeds itself with the non-combatants, they fire rockets from non-combatant areas, and they store arms in Mosques. And, when Israel tries to stop Hamas innocents die because of the tactics of Hamas. I believe the majority of Palestinians just want to live in peace and prosperity with their neighbors. I believe they are the true victims. But, they are the victims of Hamas ideology and action and it is Hamas that must lose.

Take any to nations, like England and France, and one starts firing rockets into the other. How long before the one being attacked attacks back and tries to take out the group attacking. How long will it take before the Arab/Islamic world will accept the fact that Israel has a right to exist?

As for the lobbying for Israel here in the US, I am not in favor of any country lobbying our Congress. The State Department should be where foreign countries or their advocates go to ask for anything. I believe the Lobbying laws should be reevaluated. The idea that a country can lobby congress is just not right. It leads to discussions like this where we are trying to discern if a country has the moral right to have influence in our Congress.

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

HIS, the Bible also says to kill everyone who doesn’t worship the Christian God through stoning.

Power is in the hands of those who have the money, so essentially the most evil of regimes are those with the most of it. If we cut off all our aid and checks to Israel watch how more peaceful and friendly of a state they become when they no longer hold fiscal leverage.

The anti-arabs here in the US and here on this comment board base their opinion on one thing, scary one liners that they repeat as often as possible.

Why does no one listen when the Israeli prime minister says they need to wipe Palestine off the map? Why does no one listen when the Iranian president says he loves all nations? This is simple, we must find quotes that speak to our fears and give us reason to hold on to them because our fears help to push our arrogance that our way of life is more moral and humane than anothers.

The common goal needs to be peace, not to wipe out those we deem less human than us.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

HIS, the Bible also says to kill everyone who doesn\’t worship the Christian God through stoning.

Power is in the hands of those who have the money, so essentially the most evil of regimes are those with the most of it. If we cut off all our aid and checks to Israel watch how more peaceful and friendly of a state they become when they no longer hold fiscal leverage.

The anti-arabs here in the US and here on this comment board base their opinion on one thing, scary one liners that they repeat as often as possible.

Why does no one listen when the Israeli prime minister says they need to wipe Palestine off the map? Why does no one listen when the Iranian president says he loves all nations? This is simple, we must find quotes that speak to our fears and give us reason to hold on to them because our fears help to push our arrogance that our way of life is more moral and humane than anothers.

The common goal needs to be peace, not to wipe out those we deem less human than us.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

Michael writes: Power is in the hands of those who have the money, so essentially the most evil of regimes are those with the most of it.

Sorry, non-sequiturs carry no weight in a debate. But you have successfully demonstrated your Marxist credentials.

Michael writes: If we cut off all our aid and checks to Israel watch how more peaceful and friendly of a state they become when they no longer hold fiscal leverage.</em?

“Fiscal leverage”? What the hell is that? Israel gets $2.7 billion from the US; Egypt gets $2 billion, Jordan nearly $1 billion; the Palestinians will be getting over $4 billion thanks to Obama and the Europeans. If you want to cut off all financial assistance to Israel, let’s agree to do the same to the Arab states and see who is best able to adapt and survive.

As money is fungible and every dollar or euro provided to the Palestinians by Western nations is a dollar or euro Hamas can spend on materiel to build or buy rockets to target Israeli civilians, I would be more than happy to end ALL financial assistance to countries in the Middle East.

Michael writes: The anti-arabs here in the US and here on this comment board base their opinion on one thing, scary one liners that they repeat as often as possible.

Er, no. Actually, those who oppose Arab-Muslim hegemony in the Middle East (at the expense of Israel) do so based on their grim history of invading, conquering, colonizing, subjugating, and killing those of other sects and faiths. The abbreviated list below of those murdered in the last four decades should give pause to anyone who believes that Arab-Muslim imperialism is simply about “scary one-liners”.

Michael writes: Why does no one listen when the Israeli prime minister says they need to wipe Palestine off the map?

Perhaps because he never said it.

“The meeting at Annapolis is a landmark … on the path to negotiations and of the genuine effort to achieve the realization of the vision of two nations: the State of Israel – the nation of the Jewish people; and the Palestinian state – the nation of the Palestinian people”.

– Ehud Olmert

Reuters readers and Bernd Debusmann may buy and sell your rubbish but it is still rubbish.

Posted by HIS | Report as abusive

HIS, there was enough swinging and missing there to complete a major league baseball game, let me try and fix that mess.

1.) I voted for Ron Paul, the exact opposite of a Marxist.

2.) Where did I say we didn’t favor Egypt? The Egyptian gov’t is on the side of the Israeli gov’t giving their puppet regime money isn’t any better. I’m not talking about European support in this, a lot more European gov’ts exude some integrity in the middle east than the US does. Oddly enough I agree we should cut off funding completely for EVERY foreign nation, just because I’m against the lack of humanity in the Israeli gov’t doesn’t mean I want US money to go to their enemies.

3.) How many times did right wingers repeat a misinterpreted one liner from Prez Ahmadinejad in order to further fearmonger US citizens in this past election? This isn’t even debateable.

4.)Ahmadinejad said of Iranians, “We are opposed to war,” adding, “the Iranian nation loves the American people.” As for Americans, he said, “I’m certain that the American people are opposed to war.” You’ll never hear that here in the US because of how desperate we are to perpetrate the lie that all these Arab gov’ts hate america and hate christians bla bla bla. The more Hamas supportering civilians Israel kills the more Arabs there will be that support Hamas because they’ll feel they have no other defense from this murderous gov’t.

Here’s some scary Ariel Sharon quotes for you, I know he’s not the current PM but he’s a hero in the area.

“I don’t care if he is Christian, Muslim, Jewish or pagan. History teaches us that he who won’t kill will be killed by others. That is an iron law”.

“We shall start another war, kill and destroy more and more, until they will have had enough.”

“Let them tremble, let them call us a mad state. Let them understand that we are a wild country, dangerous to our surroundings, not normal, that we might go crazy if one of our children is murdered – just one! That we might go wild and burn all the oil fields in the Middle East! If anything would happen to your child, God forbid, you would talk like I do. Let them be aware in Washington, Moscow, Damascus and China that if one of our ambassadors is shot, or even a consul or the most junior embassy official, we might start World War Three just like that!”

“Let me tell me [sic] what is the most important thing, the sweetest fruit of the war in Lebanon: It is that now they don’t just hate Israel. Thanks to us, they now also hate all those Feinschmecker Jews in Paris, London, New York, Frankfurt and Montreal, in all their holes.”

“Even today I am willing to volunteer to do the dirty work for Israel, to kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport them, to expel and burn them, to have everyone hate us, to pull the rug from underneath the feet of the Diaspora Jews, so that they will be forced to run to us crying.”

How come you never hear or read these quotes in the American World?

I’m getting the feeling I’m talking to a Republican voting Neoconservative, someone who feels opinions are so black and white. Just because I hate the Israeli gov’t doesn’t mean I support Hamas or any other gov’ts in the area but facts are that Israel has all the power in the area, to start wars or create peace. History has proven the approach they prefer.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

Thank you for publishing the truth about the middle east.
It has been in short supply for too long.

Posted by Jim Bic | Report as abusive

Hello Michael,

Your post reminded me of statements made by Sharon’s senior advisor and architect of the Gaza disengagement plan, Dov Weisglass:

“The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process,”

“It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians”

“And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.”

Who says American identification with Israel isn’t total? You have Israeli officials boasting that the Knesset and the Congress are essentially one and the same.

You ask how come those quotes you posted hardly ever appear in the U.S. media. Because any journalist, analyst, or policymaker who dares to cite them, or the plethora of racist comments made by other Israeli officials, would probably be labeled an ‘anti-Semite’. As a result, his/her job will be placed in formaldehyde faster than you can say ‘chutzpah’.

Sharon may have convinced himself that he heard the death knell of ‘Palestine’ in the distance as he watched the theatrical performance by Gaza’s illegal settlers and their IDF counterparts. The Israeli public, he must of thought, would not have the stomach for another withdrawal. With Arafat and the Oslo process six feet under, the Palestinians would have no choice but to accept their miserable fate.

With the assistance of his fellow ideologues in the occupied West Bank, the demolition of homes, the checkpoints, assassinations, and other draconian tactics at the IDF’s disposal, the unbearable living conditions would be too much to bear. The thought of creating another mass exodus of Palestinian refugees must have titillated his senses.

But I’d like to imagine he’s experiencing a more unsettling sound- laughter in the dark

Posted by Nu'man | Report as abusive

To all the spin-doctors, read this and stop your stupid argument about how Israel is a Flourishing Democracy. It is a brutal regime that knows no mercy, even on little children. Who ever supplied them with the killing machines and paid for, are in fact guilty of accessory to murders.

Read this again

Over 300 UK academics signed a letter to The Guardian newspaper saying ‘Israel must lose’. It’s worth reprinting:

** “The massacres in Gaza are the latest phase of a war that Israel has been waging against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years. The goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel’s ongoing appropriation of their land and resources. Israel’s war against the Palestinians has turned Gaza and the West Bank into a pair of gigantic political prisons. There is nothing symmetrical about this war in terms of principles, tactics or consequences. Israel is responsible for launching and intensifying it, and for ending the most recent lull in hostilities.

Israel must lose. It is not enough to call for another ceasefire, or more humanitarian assistance. It is not enough to urge the renewal of dialogue and to acknowledge the concerns and suffering of both sides. If we believe in the principle of democratic self-determination, if we affirm the right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation, then we are obliged to take sides… against Israel, and with the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

We must do what we can to stop Israel from winning its war. Israel must accept that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its neighbours, and not upon the criminal use of force.

We believe Israel should immediately and unconditionally end its assault on Gaza, end the occupation of the West Bank, and abandon all claims to possess or control territory beyond its 1967 borders. We call on the British government and the British people to take all feasible steps to oblige Israel to comply with these demands, starting with a programme of boycott, divestment and sanctions.” **

They’re right. The humiliating rituals taking place daily under Israeli occupation shows whose existence is really at stake. Blaming Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah, Arafat, Carter, ‘self-hating Jews’, Saddam, Islam, and… whatever else they can add onto the pile has served Israeli politicians well. Until now.

I think it’s beginning to dawn on many American and European policymakers that Israel’s behavior is a liability. They’re finding it increasingly difficult to justify the near total collapse of Palestinian civil society as ’self defense’.

It’s also heartening to see the rise of a similar movement amongst U.S. and Israeli academics calling for an end to the settler enterprise. What started as an experiment in military colonialism is now a foreign policy disaster. And one threatening the moral character of the Jewish state.”

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

The unsavoury and homocidal “Arab Militias” in Darfur are not Arab at all. Notwithstanding this unfortunate nomenclature, it is quite clear that they are ethnically, culturally,and racially distinct from the semitic (and occasionally caucasian) Arabs (themselves a diverse group of races). The fact that they are “Islamicists” or “arab speaking” makes them no more “Arab” than say, the Nigerians or Eritraeans. I only point out what the media assume is taken for granted in the use of the term (originally a nickname of sorts)”arab militias”.

Posted by Ramsey Lawrence | Report as abusive

An ignorant few keep on repeating the fallacy (perhaps hoping that it will become yet another established myth that serves the Israeli interests)that Israel responded to Hizbollah’s rockets, thereby acting in legitimate, if disproportionate, self defence. In fact I recall two soldiers were captured (Hizbollah firing on some Israeli tanks on the border during the precipitative raid). Israel responded by refusing to discuss any prisoner swap and threatening to turn Lebanon to the stone age. They then proceeded to bombard civilian infrastructure, schools, hospitals, bridges, power plants etc for eight days (killing civilians and children almost exclusively) – yes, I repeat for eight whole horrific days, before Hizbollah fired the first retaliatory missile into Northern Israel. Indeed since the war ended nearly 3 years ago, over 230 civilians (usually children or farmers)have continued to die because of the 4 million Israeli cluster bombs dropped indiscriminately on civilian areas during the last two days of the conflict (in fact these were dropped after the ceasefire had been agreed, thereby serving no purpose). I suppose these children are dying and being maimed because Israel is “defending” itself. Incidentally the IDF have repeatedly refused to provide maps of the cluster bomb sites to the UN in order to facilitate their removal.

Posted by Ramsey Lawrence | Report as abusive

Michael

You’re in as much of a coma as Ariel. Sharon hasn’t been Prime Minister for over 3 years and despite what he may have said as a General in the IDF (and you’ve not provided any citations or context), as PM he formally committed to a Palestinian state, stated so a multitude of times and in many places including the UN, and ethnically cleansed Gaza of every last living Jew to accommodate the neo-nazi Palestinians who insist that their territory be judenrein.

More to the point, you’re holding a particularly weak hand on a day when,

1) reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah have collapsed because of Hamas’ refusal to abide previous agreements or recognize Israel’s right to exist, and

2) Hassan Nasrallah stated that the Lebanese people are “capable of defeating this entity [Israel] and can make it disappear,” and therefore, Hizbullah will not recognize Israel, “not today, not tomorrow, not even in 1,000 years.”

Reuters of course, has not even seen fit to report the above comments because it would inform their readers and upset their anti-Israel agenda.

You’re being duped, Michael. Wake up.

Posted by HIS | Report as abusive

It is time for American taxpayers and voters to identify those traitors who are in the congress or in the senate of the United States of America and working for another foreign country, agents of AIPAC and throw them out and charge them with treason. It is enough swindling the whole America in the name of the security of other country and instead we should be concerned about the security and well being of America

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

HIS, I think myself and 95% of the rest of the board know who’s being duped here. I don’t take a word of what Fox News, Sky News, CNN or BBC say seriously because they absolutely REFUSE to cover and show the rubble that Palestinians have been left to rot in.

It’s a shame we ever give or have given a penny to these crooks. The average american homeowner pays 40% of their income on taxes and all we get are failed attempts at American Imperialism.

Hamas and the IDF both are in the wrong but I completely understand why the people of Palestine would elect Hamas, they feel completely defenseless and they’ve been driven to believe that these people are their only hope, even though this belief is wrong. Both are wrong but Israel has all the power, making them even more in the wrong.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

2 interesting articles posted this morning by Haaretz correspondent Amos Harel:

“IDF in Gaza: Killing civilians, vandalism, and lax rules of engagement”:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072 040.html

“ANALYSIS / Can Israel dismiss its own troops’ stories from Gaza?”:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072 228.html

More testimony is expected Friday

Posted by Nu'man | Report as abusive

Well done HIS, you provide me one opinion from a coward’s who’s father himself was killed by an IDF soldier. I did learn something, there is someone even more neocon than our own crazed Fox and Sky news.

Not even the most right wing republican apologist has stated that Hamas attacked and invaded Israel for 2 years before the counter.

Posted by Michael Ham | Report as abusive

How many times we’ve heard Palestinin leaders said they would not negotiate peace until Israel stops building settlements on Palestinian land? Yet, Netanyuhu has the gall to say he never heard any preconditions to that effect. And our beloved Secretary of State standing next to Neyanyuhu said Israel is giving up more in order to have Palestinian leader come to the peace table. She’s no different than Netanyahu! Both stand their making statements that are “bold lies.” What our govt needs to do is stop aid and grants to Israel. We’ve given Israel in excess of 104 trillion dollars since 1948. Annual Grant to Israel is $1400 per person living in Israel.
Not enough? Israel has nuclear weapons, not a member of NPT, and according to US Law, Israel is not entitled to any aid because of its violations.

It’s pathetic that facts of how the Palestinians are treated by occupiers aren’t borne out. They are treated like caged animals!! How would Americans act if we were under occupation for any period of time!! Course AIPAC and its followers run our great nation! The politicians will do anything to support Israel to enhance their own campaign funding!

Posted by Adamwestiii | Report as abusive