“Of all the nations in the Middle East, only Israel stands with America on each of those issues, just as it is the only one that shares America’s democratic values. Israel is such a key American ally because of its strategic importance to US security interests. That importance does not depend on Jerusalem’s consent to everything Washington says about the Arab-Israeli conflict. It does depend on Israel’s remaining a potent military power with a deterrent capacity feared by its enemies. And that in turn sometimes means saying no to the United States.
In 1948, David Ben Gurion resisted US pressure not to proclaim Israeli statehood. In 1967, Levi Eshkol, defying US wishes, launched a preemptive strike against Egypt. In 1981, Menachem Begin braved American fury to bomb the Iraqi nuclear plant at Osirak. In each case, saying no to Washington led to short-term tension in US-Israeli relations. But today even Washington would agree that in each case, Israel was right.” — Jeff Jacoby, Sharon should have said no to US, Boston Globe, 4/23/2001 — This story ran on page 11 of the Boston Globe on 4/23/2001.
There are a number of fables presented in Jeff Jacoby’s commentary, and each of these has the survivability rate of cockroaches after a nuclear holocaust. No matter how many nukes we throw at them (not yet folks, but just wait), how many swats with a broom, stomps with our shoe souls, and gallons of hazardous chemical poisons that probably will kill us in the long run, the roaches remain. And so the same holds for Israel’s fables. The amazing thing about these fables, aside from their ugliness rivaling that of the ubiquitous roaches, is that no matter the number of refutations, including ones offered by Israeli scholars using official Israeli documents, the fables continue to live.
Consider the above quotations from Jeff Jacoby’s Boston Globe op-ed:
* “Of all the nations in the Middle East, only Israel “shares America’s democratic values.” No contemporary “democracy” openly or subtly engages in ethnic or racial apartheid save one: the sacred Jewish State. To say Israel shares America’s democratic values is to debase the meaning of those values. Israel may resemble in shape and form, some of America’s democratic values, and certainly her academic and intellectual culture of self-criticism is commendably stronger than any existing in the Arab nations (or American Jewry, for that matter), however, that alone does not make for a genuine democracy.
* “Israel is such a key American ally because of its strategic importance to US security interests.” In what respect, especially since the Cold War ended more than a decade ago? Israel is the primary reason why American embassies, passenger planes, and tourists have been the target of retail terrorists for the past three decades. Take away America’s unconditional and unjustly biased support for Israel, and you will witness a near total decline in retail terrorism directed at the United States. Was Israel a vital, strategic interest when she deliberately attacked the USS Liberty in 1967? Or when her spy, Jonathan Pollard severely compromised US security? Or perhaps when President Clinton did lasting damage to the Presidential pardon process with the pardon of Mossad darling Marc Rich? How about the way in which the meaning and potency of American citizenship has diminished in recent years as citizens from more than a dozen nations are now permitted to carry dual citizenships? There was a time when this was not granted to any American citizens. Who started this procession of erosion? Israel was the first country for which the US permitted the holding of dual citizenry. US security interests, assuming these were ever legitimate, held up well during the Gulf War precisely because the US told Israel to “bug out.”
* ” [America’s security in the Middle East] does depend on Israel’s remaining a potent military power with a deterrent capacity feared by its enemies. And that in turn sometimes means saying no to the United States.” Wrong again, absolutely wrong. The airfields, harbors, and innumerable “pre-positioned” military bases stockpiled with American weaponry located throughout Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other Gulf States are what provide the American security umbrella in the Middle East. Israel is a liability, not an asset in the region. The Soviets ultimately were defeated in Afghanistan and Iraq was driven from Kuwait, and in neither case did Israel play any “vital” security role. The “security” claim is a canard. The Chinese jet fighters that recently buzzed a US Navy EP-3 spy plane a tad too close were armed with Israeli-manufactured air-to-air missiles. How does this enhance US global security? Saying “no” to the US might one day result in Israel having to forego the annual $4.5 billion, Congressionally-granted, US taxpayers’ sugar snack to the diabetic client-state.
* “1948, David Ben Gurion resisted US pressure not to proclaim Israeli statehood.” And the result of such Chutzpah was that a people who consisted of only seven percent of the population of Palestine in 1948, took possession of fifty-five percent of the land while simultaneously denying sovereignty and political rights to the other ninety-three percent who were not Jewish. The other result of that action by the unprincipled atheist was to set off innumerable wars, dispossess 750,000 people of their property and land, and produce a nation that continues to suckle on the generous tits of a guilt-besotted Democratic Germany and an overtly sympathetic America to the tune of untold billions of dollars and Deutsch Marks (estimated at $140 billion US and 60 billion in German “Deutsch Marks since 1948 in the former, and 1953 with the latter). Not since Romulus and Remus has the world witnessed such suckling of a generous she-wolf. And that ancient fable served as a “founding myth” of the Rome. History repeats!
* “In 1981, Menachem Begin braved American fury to bomb the Iraqi nuclear plant at Osirak. In each case, saying no to Washington led to short-term tension in US-Israeli relations. But today even Washington would agree that Israel was right.” That criminal act covered up the fact that only one nation in the Middle East possesses nuclear weapons while at the same time arrogantly denies their existence and refuses therefore, to participate in the nuclear, nonproliferation programs. Also, the raid on the Iraqi nuclear reactor only served to enhance Arab world distrust of the United States, generate an “arms race” as the Arab nations sought to allay their fears of an Israel run amok, and heightened, not reduced, Arab suspicions about Israel’s claim that her arsenal was merely for self-defense.
Many of us wished Sharon had said no to Secretary of State Colin Powell but not for the reasons supported by Jacoby. We hope Sharon’s delusional arrogance will lead to a confrontation with the United States for three primary reasons: (1) it will dispel the notion of Israel as an indispensable US ally; (2) create greater instability in the current and already fragile “coalition government”; and (3) show the American public the level of ingratitude from a nation that has been nothing but a headache for the US since its founding nearly fifty-three years ago.
Mr. Michael Lopez-Calderon taught High School Social Studies in Miami, Florida for seven years until March 2, 2001, when he was asked to leave the Jewish Day school where he had taught for the past five years. Michael was asked to leave for having posted pro-Palestinian comments on Palestine Media Watch’s subscriber-only e-mail. He remains an activist in the Miami area.