U.S. aid, Israel and wishful thinking

By Bernd Debusmann
April 12, 2010

In June 1980, when an American president, Jimmy Carter, objected to Jewish settlements in Israeli-occupied territories, the Israeli government responded by announcing plans for new settlements. At the time, settlers numbered fewer than 50,000.

In 2010, another American president, Barack Obama, is calling for an end to settlements he considers obstacles to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Israeli authorities responded by announcing new ones, illegal under international law. Settlers now number close to half a million.

In the three decades between 1980 and 2010, there have been multiple U.S.-Israeli spats over the issue and they often fell into something of a pattern, spelt out in 1991 by James Baker, President George H W Bush’s secretary of state: “Every time I have gone to Israel in connection with the peace process … I have been met with an announcement of new settlement activities. It substantially weakens our hand in trying to bring about a peace process.” That is as true now as it was then.

Also part of the routine: suggestions from critics of Israeli policy that the United States uses its vast aid program to Israel as a lever to change its behavior. “Cut off the Cash and Israel Might Behave” said a headline at the height of the latest U.S.-Israeli spat over settlements. The headline ran over an essay in a British newspaper, The Independent, by Avi Shlaim, a professor of international relations at the University of Oxford who served in the Israeli army.
The folder in which to file that idea might be labeled Wishful Thinking.

Since the end of the Second World War, Israel has been the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign aid, according to the Congressional Research Service, the research arm of Congress. Since 1985, aid to Israel has run at around $3 billion a year, a sizable sum for a country with a population roughly equal to that of New York City.

Attempts to use aid as a lever have been few and far between. In 1991, the elder Bush asked Congress to delay $10 billion in loan guarantees to get Israel to stop building new settlements. This sparked a determined lobbying effort by the American Israeli Political Action Committee, the biggest pro-Israel advocacy group, and prompted Bush to describe himself as “one lonely guy” facing powerful political forces in the shape of “a thousand lobbyists on the Hill.”

The quip illustrated both the limits of presidential power and solid congressional support for Israel. It runs across partisan divides and was highlighted once again during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington in March, when President Barack Obama made known his displeasure over yet more settlements by dispensing with standard protocol. No joint declaration, no dinner, no photo opportunity, exit through the back door.

NO SPACE BETWEEN U.S. AND ISRAEL

That contrasted markedly with warm remarks from the Democratic House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the leader of the House Republicans, John Boehner. “We in Congress stand by Israel. In Congress we speak with one voice on the subject of Israel,” said Pelosi. “We have no stronger ally anywhere in the world,” said Boehner.

Vice President Joseph Biden, a staunch defender of Israel in his 36 years in the Senate, even after he was blindsided during a Jerusalem visit by an announcement of 1,600 new  Jewish settlements, said “there is no space absolutely no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to security, none. No space.”

Such joined-at-the-hip thinking is the reason why U.S. military aid to Israel has been designed to give the recipient a “qualitative military edge” (QME) over its potential adversaries. The QME dates back to President Lyndon Johnson and is not connected to the ups and downs of the relationship – a day after Netanyahu’s tense meeting with Obama, the Pentagon announced an agreement to supply Israel with three new tactical transport aircraft, part of an order worth up to $1.9 billion.

Providing Israel with generous economic and military aid made sense, from an American point of view, during the Cold War when the Soviet Union was propping up its client states in the Middle East and the United States needed a reliably pro-American outpost. As the late Secretary of State Alexander Haig once put it: “Israel is the largest, most battle-tested and cost-effective U.S. aircraft carrier that cannot be sunk, does not carry even one U.S. soldier, and is located in a most critical region for U.S. national security. ” In short, a strategic asset.

Is it still? Or is lack of progress on making peace with the Palestinians turning Israel into a liability for its long-term benefactor. In March, in written testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Central Command chief General David Petraeus, listed “insufficient progress towards a comprehensive Middle East peace” as number five on a list of 15 threats to U.S. national security.

Petraeus, whose Central Command covers 20 countries in the Middle East and South and Central Asia, assigned no blame for the lack of progress but said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fomented anti-American sentiment “due to a perception of U.S. favoritism to Israel. ” Al Qaeda and other militant groups, he said, exploited Arab anger over the Palestinian issue to mobilize support.

That places Israel and foot-dragging over settlements in the liability column of the ledger. But that won’t affect continued U.S. military aid. Under a ten-year agreement signed in 2007, military aid will reach $3.15 billion a year by 2013 and will stay at that level until 2018. Progress towards peace or not.

50 comments

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Shalom. Welcome to Israel. American tax money at work.

Posted by VadimNYC | Report as abusive

Even if Israelis and Palestinians do come to some sort of a peaceful agreement – Radical Muslims will find another cause to rally up the troops against the Great Satan. Israel just too convenient a target not to use it.

But it is in the interests of organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah to keep the conflict alive. Look what they did to Gaza once Israel turned it over to Palestinians. Gaza was once a resort with robust business life. They had a chance to show the World that those folks are capable of building peaceful society. What did they do? Used their resources to launch rockets into the Israel and smuggle weapons from Egypt. Does that look like they wanted peace and a better life for themselves and their children? They could have survived on the tourist industry alone, given their location. But no… its more productive to cultivate hate and death…

Posted by MuhammedRules | Report as abusive

I nearly said don’t confuse the Palestinian issue with the Arab issue, but you got to it in the seconds last paragraph.

To me Haig’s comment should read: The Palestine is an ‘aircraft carrier that cannot be sunk’, etc. by word substitution,i.e a ‘strategic asset’.

As always we comment on matters with no firsthand experience, but I like Mr Netanyahu’s style, if only more ‘western’ politicians would be so matter of fact and straight up-and-down.

For the rest, things look nebulous, and don’t tell me it is about the Dome of Rock. The Arabs own most of the deserts AND oil, why can’t they just leave Israel alone and let them grow their vegetables and milk their cows and entertain their tourists ? Come on !

Posted by Ghandiolfini | Report as abusive

America should offer every Israeli a couple of million dollars to go and live in the USA then stop any further aid for the hardliners that remain. I nice cheap solution.

Posted by enel | Report as abusive

There can be no peace as long as A’rabs occupy the historic land of Israel. There can be no peace as long as A’rabs covet the historic land of Israel.

As well, “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” — Golda Meir.

Posted by dcwmark | Report as abusive

When the American people realize sending money to Israel (and the payoffs to Egypt to not bother Israel) matter more to our politicians than keeping their promises to our own people on Social Security and Medicare, things will change. Amazing what we can afford when we have elections with no choices on the ballot where Israel is concerned. That will change too.

Posted by txgadfly | Report as abusive

So let me be sure I understand. Israel needs our aid to survive militarily.

Israel continues its illegal expansion using US money. How can you possibly promote peace while funding one side with the ability to work against peace? It’s completely counter-intuitive and makes attempts at diplomacy an utter joke.

If you think the Palestinians are so terrible and are terrorists, simply review the numbers at:

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/

Moving on, lets look at other details of the “liability” factor:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Liberty _incident

We don’t OWE Israel anything and I find it rather infuriating that my tax dollars go to this country.

Posted by pyradius | Report as abusive

The US sells military staff to Israel because it is benefits the US too.
1) The money is not a gift but a loan that Israel pays back
2) Most of the money is paid back to American military industries and oil their activity and profit
3) Israel improves the US technologies and shift the improvement back to the Americans for free
4) Israel, which is known by her hi sophisticated technologies and science developing, helps the US by either giving allowance to use those new technologies or taking part in mutual developing projects (for example: Arrow missiles, UAV’s, electronic military devises, airborne technology and technical improvements).
5) Israel’s military operative advises and training helps the US soldiers to act better in the war zone and be more efficient in their war against terror.

Abe Bird
Brussles

Posted by AbeBird | Report as abusive

the military aid to israel must be used to buy military equipment from US companies…PROVIDING US JOBS! seems to be the best stimulus money out there…hand the money to another country to spend efficiently who does not have state senators looking for pork and force them to reinvest in america…If you support israel is one thing but don’t try and make it economic because that is just more traditional blatant media bias (I expect nothing less from this author)

Posted by tomarine | Report as abusive

Israel = American National Security

Bret Carpenter

Posted by bret.carpenter | Report as abusive

1. The aid, or at least the greater part of it, was implied in Camp David pact as part of a payoff for peace and the Sinai peninsula. It was meant to last indefinitely. If we stop the aid, we should think about returning Sinai to Israel, or at least not making obstacles if Israel decides to do so.
2. A similar amount is being paid to Egypt, because of the same Camp David pact. Are we getting any more value from Egypt for the money? Doubtful, to say the least.
3. Of course we can sell Israel to Arabs, Taiwan to Communist China, South Korea to Kim, and so on. But then, who would help us when (it’s not IF – it’s WHEN) we need it? Who’d want to deal with us knowing that we sell out allies as it becomes opportune?
4. We already sold (no, gave out for nothing!) the Shah to mad mullahs in Iran. Did we get any advantage from the deal?
5. The Brits and the French already sold out their ally Czechoslovakia in 1938 in Munich. Did they really profit from the deal?
6. Did the history ever teach us a lesson?

Posted by An0nym0us | Report as abusive

Israel has a far better claim to Judea and Samaria than the local Arabs. Sovereignty over Palestine was transferred to England in trust for a homeland for the Jews in 1920 in Article 95 of the Treaty of Sevres. The British Mandate in 1924 spelled out the terms also. The civil and religious rights of the Arabs were preserved but they could not preserve the political rights because the local Arabs never had any. The political rights were given to the Jews who did have sovereignty at one time. The Arabs didn’t lose any rights. The Ottoman Empire held sovereignty over Palestine for 400 years commencing in 1520. England had suzerainty over it from 1920 to 1948. Jordan exercised sovereignty over the West Bank from 1948 to 1967. It seems to me that when England abandoned its trust responsibilities in 1948, the trust res belonged to Israel.

Posted by Salubrius | Report as abusive

We need to cut Israel off

Posted by Story_Burn | Report as abusive

1. Late Secretary of State Alexander Haig was definitely right. Think what the alternative scenario would be if the US needs to directly deploy and maintain a huge navy and military to protect US interests in the region, instead of using the “large aircraft carrier” and friendly base that is provided by Israel on a permanent basis.
2. General Petraeus comment about “insufficient progress towards a comprehensive Middle East peace” is a bit naive. I believe that peace is extremely needed in this area of the world, but hey … does he really believes that making “sufficient progress” will be enough to turn all the American haters into American lovers? and really how much is sufficient?
Better results are achieved on military fronts when
generals and army officers keep their focus on the campaign targets and objectives instead of making political-like statements.
3. Moreover, let’s assume peace is achieved between Israel and Palestinians, then all the Islamic-related conflicts in the world would suddenly end? Open your eyes and look around the globe (Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Philippines, India, Chechnya, China, the Balkans, let alone Iraq, Iran … you name it). How Israel actually relates to it? Don’t you see a common denominator, a clash of civilizations rather than a limited Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
4. And one final comment about the Cold War. More and more people is lately being convinced that the Russians are trying to reopen it. There seems to be a common thread that links all the last year events within Russia’s neighbor countries with Putin’s desire to revive the Soviet empire: Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan … (Poland?). We can go further and look at their warm friendship with Venezuela, Iran, etc.
5. Bottom line is that the free-world democratic countries should keep a big eye open on all those trying to destroy it. More specifically President Obama, recently characterized as a novice by Iran’s president, that should demonstrate more decisive actions and assertiveness in dealing with such leaders.
God Bless America

Posted by openeyes | Report as abusive

“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

Posted by xzanthan | Report as abusive

Giving a religion a country obviously was not intelligent. The amount of people that can join it are endless. The land is finite. How well does that add up?

You have a group of nomads in a religion that are all over the world, in every country. Now they can all return and automatically get citizenship. Problem? Sure is.

Palastine having an opportunity to prosper under Israeli rule? Wow! I never heard anyone in the world mention that. It must be an Israeli inside joke like the one regarding Arab and Israeli brains.

Israel is no one’s ally. They are all about business.

Read the facts not what Hollywood or Jewish owned press feeds you.

Read “By Way of Decpetion” and you will be enlightened to reality.

“I sit with my friend but he does not sit with his.” I think it was Ran that was teaching this.

If a religion does not preach equality or tolerance for those of other religions how can it be good for man kind?

It only is good for itself.

Hey! Believe in what you want be be wary about with whose tune you march. There is usually an agenda.

I think the ecosystem of the Middle East breeds a negative parasitic lifestyle. If someone can do something for them they are friends otherwise they need a new host.

This is from my opinion from experience and is not religion based.

Whomever said Israel improves the US’s technology is propagating a lie. Look it up. Don’t be a sheep. Israel steals technology. It doesn’t develop it because it is too costly. Fact.

If Israel doesn’t listen to the US then they should not receive funds or they should be minimized. The US can live without any other country and if it acted more that way it would have a more positive relationship with the world.

Ah, common sense? Why would anyone want to use that?

Posted by UglyTruth | Report as abusive

Ugly Truth speaks wisely, but uses an inappropriate name. “Truth” seems more appropriate.

Money speaks in the USA and the Jews have controlled Congress through that medium forever.

The British, through the Treaty of Sevres seized control and created the worst nightmare this planet has ever seen. Just like they ruined every continent and island they ever set foot on (witness the disasters in South Africa, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), India/pakistan, Ireland, etc.) they never had a clue what to do internationally (nor even domestically) and giving them a mandate to govern Palestinia established the seed for every radical Islamic cell. Without a doubt you can trace 911 back to the British giving Palestinia to the Jews.

The USA should take the blinkers off and start realizing that supporting Zionism and the Jews blindly is in nobody’s interest – except the Hewbrews.

Posted by Oppieknoppie | Report as abusive

The funny thing is that Jews and the Arabs are a semitic race. They have a God and customs in common yet because of property they hate each other. Its the city Jews against the country arab Jews.
I’ll take the city, I enjoyed Sienfeld, dark age Islam does not attract.

Posted by enel | Report as abusive

I will take my own Government, thank you, and self-rule rather than subservience to Tel Aviv and their creatures here. Why do they have the right to rule me? Why do the religious evangelicals have a RIGHT to rule me? Altogether they are not my friends and do not wish me well. I want their collective hands out of my pockets.

Together they are way less than 1 American in 5. Why do they rule us if we are a democracy? What if most of us do not accept either group as “God’s Chosen”??

Posted by txgadfly | Report as abusive

There are far too many people who make stuff up and ignore the obvious! If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

Islamic extremists formally declared war against us and waged war against us by killing the innocent and taking down the Trade Towers. This obvious fact of reality stares you in the face!

It is also observably and undeniably clear that Islam has not yet collectively decided what Islam is. There are many in Islam who still think killing for your God is okay and not evil. There are many in Islam who think Sharia law is okay. They do not accept freedom of religion.

I do not think it is possible for those who do not accept freedom of religion and think “their” religion should rule will ever be at peace with those who are different than them. I hardly think resolving the Israel/Palestine conflict will make much difference.

Radical Islam was a problem long BEFORE Israel even existed!

Posted by Dave1 | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Debusmann – are you consistently against Israel in all of your columns. I am yet to see a single one that is even neutral towards Israel. Would you like Israel to be erased off the map? Take a number.

Posted by DDL | Report as abusive

its no wonder jews are so successful in holly wood, look at how good they are telling stories and making things up, lol. bravo people bravo. my favorite is the fairy tale about the holocaust. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. keep it up guys, the world really loves you so much.

Posted by sidrock23 | Report as abusive

you guys will love this:
Albert Einstein, on April 17, 1938, in a speech at the Commodore Hotel in New York City, said:

“I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from practical consideration, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain — especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state.” [1]

In January, 1946, in a reply to the question of whether refugee settlement in Palestine demanded a Jewish state, Einstein told the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry,

“The State idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with narrow-minded and economic obstacles. I believe it is bad. I have always been against it.” [2]

Posted by sidrock23 | Report as abusive

let them all kill each other. fend for yourself israel. i am tired of paying for you. i am not an arab or jew. all i know is that these idiots (both sides) have been dragging the world down for the past 50 years.

Posted by fdf | Report as abusive

During the next election, perhaps Israel will be a larger issue than it has in the past.

If members of Congress have been speaking with “one voice” on that issue as Pelosi and Boehner claim, then we need to add some opposing views when the opportunity arrises in November.

Maybe internet donations can provide a counterbalance to the Israeli lobby.

I have never missed voting in an election since I turned 18, but I have only donated cash to a campaign on one occasion in all those years.

I’m ready to open my wallet once again.

Posted by breezinthru | Report as abusive

Unfortunatly many people do not know or ignore that 80% of palestinians in Gasa are refugees, and israel continue to occupy their land, and after a complete siege of more than years it went in and destroyed the city killing about 1400 civilians among them about 400 kids. bcz premitive rackets killed 4 israeli people.

Posted by allaash | Report as abusive

An0nym0us, haven’t you worked out by now that history does not count anymore or repeat itself, its like trying to apply trigonometry to 911, you know, going directly to the vestal virgins at 90 degrees, straight up, screw Superman.

Oppiknoppie, your mind works in bounds and leaps, Innisoppie.

Posted by Ghandiolfini | Report as abusive

American politicians judge Israel by the fuzziest and least measurable and least controllable standard imaginable: “Progress on the peace process”.

First of all, there are dozens of groups in the middle east who have or supply weapons to hundreds or thousands of terrorist contractors. Many of both groups actively oppose peace. Making all of both groups happy is impossible.

Second of all, most of these groups have social goals which are antithetical to American ideals. Execution of gays, restriction of women’s rights, denial of freedom of religion, denial of free expression and press, etc.

Thirdly, most countries in the middle east do not support Palestinians. They want to keep all the bad eggs as Israel’s problem not theirs. That is why Jordan and Egypt restrict movement.

Lastly, ownership of the territories is disputed. Many in Israel believe that they belong to Israel by right. The author and many others conveniently ignore that claim.

Posted by yaakov | Report as abusive

Let’s not forget the facts and remember that Israel has been stealing, occupying, depriving the Palestinians from their lands and exercised brutal exile to the Palestinians since 1948.

We as a nation of justice here in the U.S should realize that by serving our purpose of having a strategic ally “Israel” we’re supplying the Israeli army with weapons which kill children, women, men and innocent civilians. Is this what we Americans had signed up for??!!

This is our tax money in works….

Posted by GLBstar | Report as abusive

It is is a reverse Entifada, good on the U$ and the State of Israel.

Posted by Ghandiolfini | Report as abusive

Israel is the only US ally in the Middle East that won’t turn its back to America if it could.
Unlike citizens of other Middle Eastern countries, Israelis love America, and most of them identify themselves as Westerners.
This bond is priceless as far as long term reliability is concerned, and it’s one of the reasons Israel as a strategic asset for the US is priceless.
FYI, the so-called Cold War wasn’t necessarily cold in the Middle East, and Israeli pilots had to fight directly against Soviet pilots and Soviet-manned AA units, proving to the world time and again that the Soviet empire was a technological paper tiger.
Although there have never been US soldiers stationed in Israel, it’s America’s most reliable Middle Eastern ally, and the only democratic society in the Middle East.
Therefore, Israel is pivotal when American interests in the Middle East are concerned.

Posted by yr2009 | Report as abusive

An0nym0us-”6. Did the history ever teach us a lesson?”

No it hasn’t, or at least not Obama. He keeps making mistakes that we have been warned of, or have made, such as printing more money and spiraling us into another depression. But thats off topic, go Israel!

Posted by Mr.Snowy | Report as abusive

Can I ask in what conflict did the the Israeli’s fight with the US forces ?
I seam to have forgoten my history.

Posted by Wicki | Report as abusive

1) Who’s fighting the U.S. on all fronts? Jew OR Muslim?
2) Who fights behind civilions? Jew OR Muslim?
3) Who sends their youngsters to blow up civilions? Jew OR Muslim?
4) What country in the Mid East provides safe haven for U.S. Military?
5) Who perpetrated 9/11? Jew or Muslim?
6) Where is the U.S. fighting terrorism? Israel or Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria etc.
Answer these questions honestly & tell me who the enemy really is.

Posted by jerryatric | Report as abusive

Nope …dosent answer the question.

Posted by Wicki | Report as abusive

Israel is our only true Ally in the Mideast. God Bless Israel

Posted by mohammedissatan | Report as abusive

How can you call ‘democratic’ a country that is declared as ‘Jewish’? It is a democracy…oh but by the way, it has to remain ‘Jewish’. The reason why Israel don’t take all of Palestine at once is because they don’t want to make the palestinians citizens of Israel. For sure many would not vote for jewish candidates.
For those declaring that Israel is an ally and good for American progress -in weapon development-…Does that justify the apartheid kept in Gaza?

Posted by mzillow | Report as abusive

Israel is An ethnocracy, a regime promoting “the expansion of the dominant group in contested territory … while maintaining a democratic façade.” and subjagating a minority.
Infant mortality among Arab citizens of Israel is two and a half times higher than it is among Jewish citizens. One out of two Israeli Arab college graduates is out of work. Arabs make up 6 percent of the civil service, though they are over 15 percent of the country’s citizens. National testing shows Arab fifth- and eighth-graders trailing Jewish pupils in math, science, and English, and the gap is widening. That’s not surprising, since Arabs suffer much more poverty, and the national education system spends considerably more per Jewish child than per Arab child.

Posted by Wicki | Report as abusive

At least in ISRAEL, a Muslim or Christian has a vote!
In the Arab Muslim countries, they evicted all the Jews & destroyed most of the synagogues.
Can you imagine the screaming if Israel took over the Golden Dome & converted it to a synagogue?
If like some of your Arab writers here, had their way, instead of assimilating the millions of so called Palistinians READ JORDANIANS, into the vast Arab countries, they want to force them all into Israel. A very tiny sliver of land. By the way do not the “spoils of war” belong to the winner? Or this does NOT APPLY TO JEWS.The Arabs attacked THREE TIMES & LOST- get over it!

Posted by jerryatric | Report as abusive

Wicki,
You didn’t forget anything you didn’t know -
For decades, Israelis fought the Soviet expansion into the Middle East instead of having US troops do it in face-to-face combat.
By having Soviet backed regimes in the Middle East fail militarily time after time, the Israelis exposed the weakness of the Soviet military equipment and tactics, and showed the world that the Soviet state was not a dependable strategic partner.

Posted by yr2009 | Report as abusive

This so-called “friend” and “strategic asset” is actually neither. How many friends do you know who’d take money from you year after year, yet completely ignore you when you ask them to do something? And how many Israeli troops helped us out in the Gulf Wars, Iraq, and Afghanistan? So please tell me just what we Americans get out of this “special relationship.”

Posted by Antonius76 | Report as abusive

Lately during elections, I find amuzing watching US. politicians traveling to Israel, wearing Jewish clothes, and proclaiming that there is no one else in the world who loves Israel more than He or She does.Even Obama, did it prior to his election. Elections are coming in November and we will watch the same movie clips and proclamations again and again. This is the state that America is in.

Posted by adello | Report as abusive

yr2009, you are trying to make israel bigger than what it is. israel had absolutely nothing to do with stopping soviet expansion. the afghans took care of that. the only weakness that was exposed was isrel’s in its war against hezbollah back in 2006. we saw how the “mighty” IDF was brought to its knees and was sent home like cowards.

Posted by sidrock23 | Report as abusive

sidrock23,
In 1982 the Israeli air force destroyed over 100 Soviet made Syrian aircraft, and lost just 1 US made aircraft. Beat that.

Israel destroyed Saddam’s nuclear program. That was a pretty useful action, in hindsight.

Nasrallah admitted that had he known the outcome of the 2006 war, he would have not ordered the event that caused it. You see, for the Hizballah, the mere fact they weren’t completely annihilated by the IDF in 2006 is a great victory, but between us, it’s a somehow delusional way of looking at the facts.

BTW, Israel didn’t participate in the war(s) against Iraq simply because it wasn’t invited…

Posted by yr2009 | Report as abusive

Israelis have the misfortune of their country being run by a bunch of shoddy little war criminals – a bit like the United States, so no wonder there’s a sense of camaraderie. Why the United States even bothers to prosecute Israeli spies nobody is quite sure, since it sends the wrong message to American criminals that what they do may eventually be punished.

Posted by HBC | Report as abusive

How many JDF members does it take to monitor comment sections?

Posted by chinggutchuk | Report as abusive

The lack of a peace settlement keeps the money flowing! My concern is the effect of propaganda upon the US people and government. Middle East experts should be peace seekers – not perpetuators of BS.

Posted by chinggutchuk | Report as abusive

Israel will have peace when it admits that Palestinians are as much human beings as Jews.

Anyone wanting to know what really happened in 1948 should read Israeli historian Ilan Pappe’s book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. He explains that the Zionists used mass terror to expel the Palestinians from their ancestral homeland. Until this original sin is rectified by Israel, it has no right to complain about Palestinian terror.

In fact, Israel proved terror works. The Palestinians are just following the Zionist model.

Posted by Gaius_Baltar | Report as abusive

For America’s Middle East policy to ever be effective it must focus all it’s effort with a three pronged policy for Israel security:
1. No illegal settlements.
2. No illegal settlements.
3. No illegal settlements!

Posted by humanwrites | Report as abusive

America’s Middle East initiatives will only become effective when we truly demand that there is but one three-pronged solution:

1. No illegal settlements.
2. No illegal settlements.
3. No illegal settlements!

As GW once said: ‘What is it about no negotiation that they don’t understand?”

Posted by humanwrites | Report as abusive