Bush’s parting lesson

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Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's diplomatic spat with outgoing US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been a bonanza for strategic minded gossips. Olmert says that Rice was "embarrassed" because she planned to vote in favor of UN Security Council Resolution 1860, which calls for an immediate cease-fire between IDF forces and Hamas terrorists. But, Olmert brags, he wrecked her plan by getting outgoing President George W. Bush to force her to abstain.

As far as the commentators are concerned, Olmert's puerile attack on the American secretary of state in the midst of a war shows that the he is still the same prideful, vain, motor-mouth that Israelis have come to know and despise over the past several years. Then, too, by responding with borderline hysteria to Olmert's statement, Rice has demonstrated, once again, that she remains a thin-skinned whiner.

These insights make for piquant news analyses. But they miss the most important truths that the Olmert-Rice slap-down brought to the surface. Their fight tells us two crucial things. First, it tells us that when President-elect Barack Obama enters office next week, Israel's relations with the US will be at a low point.

The US's abstention from the vote on Resolution 1860 is a stunning statement of hostility toward Israel. As former UN Ambassador Dore Gold wrote in The Jerusalem Post on Sunday, Resolution 1860 is drafted in a manner that presumes moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. Both Israel and Hamas – an illegal terrorist organization – must stop fighting, it says. The resolution also draws a false moral equivalence between Hamas's illegal rocket campaign against Israeli civilians and Israel's assertion of its right to close its borders to enemy traffic.

While Olmert presents the US's abstention in the vote as a major diplomatic victory for Israel, in truth it is a stunning defeat. The US was a cosponsor of Resolution 1860, along with Britain. The fact that the US sponsored such an anti-Israel resolution in the first place is a major rebuke of Israel. And the fact that Washington then allowed the deeply adversarial and dangerous resolution to pass only compounds the failure.

The second aspect of the US abstention on Resolution 1860 that is deeply disturbing is the fact that Israel's leaders say they were taken completely by surprise by the move. On a simplistic level, the fact that apparently until the last moment, Israeli officials were certain that the US was planning to veto the resolution or, at a minimum force a significant delay in voting on the measure, bespeaks a remarkable incompetence on the part of Israel's UN mission and in particular, it bespeaks a personal incompetence on the part of Ambassador Gabriela Shalev.

What were Israel's representatives at the UN doing in the days preceding the vote? Whom were they talking to? What messages were they communicating to their UN colleagues and back home that the government could have been blindsided by the US action?

And while this fiasco provides just cause for recalling Shalev to Israel, the buck on this one cannot stop with her.

Shalev is not a professional diplomat. She had no notable experience in international affairs or public diplomacy to speak of before Livni – who insisted that she would only appoint a woman to the post – sent her to Turtle Bay. Shalev receives her guidance on how to deal with the US from Livni. And throughout her tenure as foreign minister, Livni, together with Olmert has insisted that Israel's relations with the US have never been better.

But this has been anything but the case. On the issues of the most urgent importance to Israel, the US has repeatedly, and with an ever growing degree of contempt and hostility, adopted positions diametrically opposed to Israel's interests.

FOR INSTANCE, this week The New York Times reminded us that the US has refused to sell Israel refueling planes and bunker-buster bombs necessary to attack Iran's nuclear sites. The US has also consistently refused Israeli requests to overfly Iraqi airspace. The Times story reports that the administration answered Israeli requests to this effect with a hearty, "Hell no!"

And it isn't just that the Bush administration has in recent years preferred to indulge the Iraqi leadership's kneejerk anti-Semitism over supporting Israel's need to preempt threats of national annihilation. The Bush administration has also belittled those threats and so allowed them to grow. Rice pushed the US on the road toward accepting Iran as a nuclear power when she opted to join the EU-3 in their feckless negotiations with the mullahs in May 2007. Her decision was followed by the deeply mendacious US National Intelligence Estimate released in November 2007, which claimed wrongly that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

The US's coddling of Iran at Israel's expense has also included its preference for the Hizbullah-dominated Lebanese government and military over Israel's national security. In the 2006 war between Hizbullah and Israel, the US forbade Israel from attacking Lebanese government targets, and so left Israel with few good options for fighting Hizbullah to victory. The reason the US acted in this manner is because Rice wished to prolong the fiction that the pro-Western March 14 movement was in charge of the Lebanese government when, in fact, it was subservient to Hizbullah.

When Israel became bogged down, the US forced Jerusalem to accept a cease-fire that left Hizbullah in charge of southern Lebanon and allowed it to rebuild its arsenals and present its campaign against the Jews as a strategic victory for the forces of jihad. After Hizbullah staged a putsch against the pro-Western forces in the Lebanese government last May, rather than acknowledge that Hizbullah is now in full control over the government and the military, the US has showered Lebanon with money and guns.

As for the Palestinians, over the past three years, the US has been expansive, indeed obsessive in its support for Fatah – and through it for Hamas – at Israel's expense. Rather than recognize that the Palestinian voters' decision to elect Hamas to lead them in January 2006 constituted a rejection of the notion of a two-state solution on the part of Palestinian society, the Bush administration judged the move as an act of civil disobedience reminiscent, in Rice's view, of the US civil rights movement.

Far from cutting the Palestinians off, the US massively increased its assistance to the Palestinian Authority. For the first time US taxpayers began financing the PA's budget and so, indirectly paying the salaries of both Fatah and Hamas terrorists. Moreover, the US began a massive effort to train Fatah commandos in Jordan. With Fatah terrorists in Gaza shooting missiles at Israel alongside their Hamas terror buddies today, it is unclear what good can come of these US-trained Palestinian special forces.

IN THE face of all of this clear US hostility toward Israel, marked as well by the continued criminal prosecution of former AIPAC lobbyists Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, and former Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin for their "crime" of discussing their concern about Iran's nuclear weapons program, Israel has played the role of Chicken Little.

Israel has offered no significant protest against the US's moves. It has treated Rice and her colleagues at the CIA as friends and trusted allies. And Livni and Olmert have repeatedly boasted that Israel's relations with the US have never been better, when in fact they have arguably never been worse.

It is because of the government's refusal to contend with difficult truths that Israel was caught by surprise at the Security Council last week. And due to the government's refusal to acknowledge the true state of Israel's relations with Washington, the government has given little consideration to either how to improve them, or
to how to work around Washington's hostility.

This situation is liable to only get worse next week with the inauguration of President-elect Obama. Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton pledged in her Senate confirmation hearings that the new administration will immediately seek to engage Iran diplomatically. She also stated that the US intends to actively pursue better relations with Iran's Arab satellite-state, Syria. Moreover, she pledged that the Obama administration will make an immediate push to establish a Palestinian state.

Clinton's testimony makes clear that Obama's major initiatives will all involve forcing Israel to pay a price. According to a source in close contact with Obama's transition team, the first price that Israel will be pressured to pay will be the Golan Heights.

Obama has pledged that soon after taking office he will make a major speech in an Islamic capital to strengthen US ties to the Muslim world. And the source asserts that Obama intends to make that speech in Damascus. Moreover, he intends to pressure Israel to surrender the Golan Heights to Syria as "payback" for any Syrian indication that it will weaken its ties to Iran.

While Israel must treat the US with diplomatic deference, it must also base its policies toward the US on how the US is actually treating Israel and not on fictions. There is no doubt that Israel would have handled the cease-fire diplomacy at the UN and elsewhere differently if its leaders were willing to notice that official Washington views Israel's defense of its citizens and Hamas's assaults on Israel's citizens as morally indistinguishable actions. Certainly, Israel wouldn't have been taken by surprise by America's decision to allow Resolution 1860 to pass.

THROUGHOUT HIS tenure in office, Bush has been outspoken in his warm statements about Israel. Both his advisers and the many people who have come to know him over the past eight years are unanimous in their belief that Bush truly cares about Israel and views Israel as an important US ally. He recognizes that Israel and the US share the same enemies and that our enemies seek to destroy us because we represent the same thing: freedom.

But as many of his friends and advisors have ruefully noted over the years, Bush never learned how to translate his personal views into policy. As former Pentagon official Richard Perle wrote in an article this week in The National Interest, Bush was undercut on the most crucial foreign policy issues he faced by the State Department and the CIA, which either ignored his policies or openly sought to discredit them.

As Perle described Bush's presidency, "For eight years George W. Bush pulled the levers of government – sometimes frantically – never realizing that they were disconnected from the machinery and the exertion was largely futile. As a result, the foreign and security policies declared by the president in speeches, in public and private meetings, in backgrounders and memoranda often had little or no effect on the activities of the sprawling bureaucracies charged with carrying out the president's policies."

This reality has been apparent since at least the middle of 2003, and yet, Israel's leaders stubbornly refused to acknowledge it. They preferred instead to believe that Bush would never let anything bad happen to us. As if he had the power to stop it.

The passage of Resolution 1860 could be a blessing in disguise if Israel is capable of learning its principal lesson: No one, not even our friends, will fight out battles for us.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

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  • Marc Handelsman, USA 01/16/2009 at 19:41

    The incoming Obama Administration will use a so-called evenhanded approach to resolve the ongoing Arab-Israeli Conflict. When that happens, Israel will be under pressure to surrender more territory, and be forced to make foolish agreements with Islamist entities. Until Israel restores a credible strategic deterrent, it will be forced to make unwise concessions. And Israel cannot afford to show weakness. To gain respect, Israel needs to retake Gaza and force Hamas to unconditionally surrender. Anything less, would be a strategic loss to Israel and to those who cherish freedom.

  • marcel cousineau 01/16/2009 at 19:44

    ‘it is unclear what good can come of these US-trained Palestinian special forces.’
    The CIA school of sniper training really paid off in Gaza as the Palestinian’s who were once such bad shot they couldn’t hit the side of a building have now become much more accurate in killing and wounding many Israeli soldiers.
    How can Israel call Bush a freind when he steals their land to creat another Islamic state and for refusing to release Jonathan Pollard ?
    The level of delusion within the zionist community is only because they have no other god to turn to and so they keep their false hope idols polished and pray often to them.
    It’s amazing the degree of denial which Israel’s secular leadership suffers from.
    The hard reality is Israel loses in this game of influence peddling.
    Israel is thrown under the bus by her closest friend and ally for one simple reason.Russia is gaining influence in the Ilsamic world and America has lost much of what she had bt standing with Israel and her adventure in Iraq.
    What better way to garner credibility and loyalty from the Moslem world than to turn on Israel.Pandering to the Arab street in competition with Russia is what is going on and Israel is foolish for her trust and assuming America as a moral power.
    Those days are long gone and the rules have changed.
    Israel had better get rid of the failed, secular,leftist political leadership who know no other trick but to grovel before Washington and say ‘yas sur masta’ because this game now leads to the death camp for the nation.
    I think one good hting which will come out of Gaza is the realization that the end has come for the secular Jew and his failed agenda and it is time for Israel to seek Hashem and return to Him. There is no other friend Israel can rely on as Avraham and Melek David learned early on.
    It’s late Israel,very late indeed and you choice idol has turned on you.

  • Ron Grandinetti 01/16/2009 at 21:56

    Caroline, I mentioned it in my last comment.
    Time has come for American Jews to step up to the plate and take an active role in persuading the U.S. Government to back Israel in theses difficult times.
    Obama will make a colossal mistake to deliver a major speech in an Islamic capital, especially a rouge government of Syria. Syria and friend Iran have been instrumental in supporting both Hizbullah and Hamas in terrorizing Israel. So why does Obama feel it’s necessary to strengthen ties with any Islamic country?
    Budding up to gangsters only encourage their bad behavior.
    Again, bag any idea of giving up the Golan Heights. That should never be on the table. Don’t allow any government to dictate terms for Israel.
    Unfortunately governments such as Iran and Syria, among others cannot now or ever be trusted to adhere to any kind of agreement.
    Just take a look at their human rights track record. Governments that treat their citizens like crap are certainly not good partners to any agreement.
    This is why it is so important that American Jews stand together along with their Christian friends to put pressure on Washington.
    Remember, a majority of Americans support Israel. Let’s pull together.
    Likewise time has come for a stronger Israeli leadership in dealing with Washington.

  • Linda Mattila 01/17/2009 at 0:23

    Hello Caroline,
    I enjoy reading your concise, analytical articles, posted at the Jewish World Review site. I have been following this latest Isreal/Gaza conflict with more interest than usual, pehaps because I am not optimistic about the new Obama gov’t in the U.S. in general.
    I have been wondering why since the latest conflict began, Isreal hasn’t defended itself very vocally in the UN (Isreal’s UN Rep should be replaced a more experienced, tougher negotiator). Also, the U.S. is home to a large wealthy Jewish population, esp. New York City. Why is it that they don’t have more influence in the federal gov’t with regards to Isreal’s interests? Would you or one of your Staff direct me to some information about this. I live in Canada so the scale the U.S. polictical scene is huge compared to ours.
    Thank you.

  • David Custis Kimball 01/17/2009 at 7:40

    Caroline, the following post says what you and most level headed people have concluded. That Hamas is a threat to humanity itself, as well as Hezbollah, Ebola Virus, and Iran’s present Theocratic government. There are many small, but relatively well funded, Enabling Idiots, one headed by George Soros and others who profit on chaos, like Marc Rich, perhaps. Weapons here, weapons there is good business as long as you limit weapons’ size and power. There are many Hamas fighters eager to replace their fallen victimizers. Hopefully they will hear how they are being used by the likes of Rice, Livni, Olmert – to prop up a need at the bargaining table.
    I hope Obama will look to his former Professor at Harvard Law, Dershowitz, for some moral advice and good judgement: There is no equivalency of Hamas and Israel. The Israeli soldier stands infront of children, the Hamas fighter stands behind. That is not cowardice; that is as evil as man has ever gotten, short of devouring his fellow man, like Jeffery Dommer. I am ashamed of my country for not vetoing that resolution 1860, but if it were written by an Enabling person such as Rice or Jimmy Carter, Israel should not have expected to win; these two are simple-minded people. They might see saving the children by having both sides put down arms, not realizing that when Israel puts down its arms, Hamas will continue to abuse its children and Israeli children until both are dead. But then Iran will be finished with them, anyway. By then they will have nuclear weapons for New York, DC, Atlanta, California. But they will start the stealth nuclear explosions somewhere near Gaza anyway, and thereby be able to blame Israel… or in India perhaps.
    And the Bushs, well they’ve been trading with the enemy for a long time… so they must keep up appearances, afterall, and support was necessary to a point … to drive up the price to the other side, perhaps … or their share. Oh wait … am I confusing the Bailout? Seems I’m Tarping when I thought I was just Harping. Now it’s Kennedy’s turn again … is it Schlossfund or …berg, I forget. Obama doesn’t need it yet; his kids are not even teenagers. Watch out for the Biden; his time on the subject may get expensive.
    Now to the following post:
    . 41Anonymous on Jan 16, 2009 at 7:18 pm: “A mob’s a monster. All heads and no brains.” – Benjamin Franklin
Even when I was an immature kid I thought adults could always be held up to the standard of being mature and reserved when talking about an issue, regardless of how controversial, but then I forget that it is wholly possible for someone to stop growing up before they have grown up.
This mob response to the Gaza conflict is just psychotic!
 The questions very few people entertain regarding the conflict are:
1.) Does Hamas have the moral right to exist?
2.) Who is responsible for the killing of innocents in war?
3.) Should a killer or army be acquitted of aggression just because of its lack of competence?
These are essential questions to have answers to when coming into an argument about the conflict. Even if one does not have a potent array of knowledge of the matter the good that they can do is make an opponent or honest inquirer to question his beliefs.
My responses to the questions:
1.) No, Hamas does not have the moral right to exist. By attempting to murder Israelis and using the Palestinians as war fodder they have forfeited their own right to life. Think of this in terms of deductive logic: What is the point of rights as an absolute if one can violate another’s and still retain one’s own?
2.) The responsibility of the killing of innocents in war belongs to the aggressor wielding immoral force, that is, the collective that does not have the moral right to exist. This is because if it were not for the aggressive collective to begin with then the innocents in war would have never been in danger to begin with. An example to illustrate would be the hypothetical of a bomber who straps a bomb to a baby which will kill the baby if diffused. Who is directly responsible for the baby’s death if someone should diffuse the bomb? The bomber, for the baby would not have been in that situation if it were not for him.
Hamas is to be blamed for the deaths of the Palestinians.
3.) No, to do so would evade entirely the subject of moral rights and only postpone the problem until a later date. To acquit a man today who tried to kill you with a butter knife is to ensure he will have time to get a more potent weapon at a later date. Just because Hamas has a pitiful army at this particular point in time does not mean that they will be unable to build it up as time passes or that their puny attacks have any less moral significance.
Another two points that is rarely entertained is that Hamas will be more dangerous to the Palestinian people more than Israel will ever be, and that in order to win a war one has to totally destroy one’s enemy (an enemy is willing to tolerate an eye for an eye, but not an arm and a leg for an eye. Think in terms of the double atomic bombing of Japan as a result of Pearl Harbor.)
 The first point is that Hamas is dangerous to the Palestinian people, as they are viewed as merely war fodder when convenient. They are taking up stock (weapons and soldiers) in places like the U.N. schools purposely to make Israel look bad and as an attempt to use its accepted code of morality against it (referring to question two).
The second point has to do with how *much* of a defeat either side of a war is willing to tolerate until giving in. To bring back in the example of Pearl Harbor and the double atomic bombing, in this case Japan gave in because the ratios were *way* off, tons more Japanese people were dying as opposed to Americans. If America had responded to Pearl Harbor by going over to Japan to perform an attack of an equivalent scale, what do you think would happen? War would persist.
Once war has been forced there is no other choice but to win.
“To those who oppose war, I ask: If not now, when? How many more corpses are necessary before this country should take action?”—- Leonard Peikoff

42Benpercent on Jan 16, 2009 at 7:21 pm: Pardon me, but the comment entry filed on Jan 16, 2009 at 7:18 pm is credited to me. Since the information fields were faded out I mistakenly thought that I could not fill them out.
    My post, my last word: This is your Churchill moment; a blessed wind, I pray, will be at your side, and you, Netanyahu, and whoever sees this so very easy fact of life, will have sufficient power over your adversaries to win a smile on every child’s face throughout the world … not just in your world.

  • Dan 01/17/2009 at 8:44

    The United States is slowly, but surely, distancing itself from Israel.
    Think of it this way, if Iran is allowed to go nuke, then no country is going to want to be seen as UNIQUELY linked with Israel. Because to do so, would be to court nuclear terrorism being visited upon that country.
    The Europeans saw this coming a full decade ago easy, and are now in an out and out race to show islam that they can be as anti-semitic as anyone.
    The world, fearful of the children of mohammad, will increasingly be in an out and out sprint away from Israel.
    Or think of it this way, with muslim votes growing in Europe, what’s in it for a European politician to be seen taking up the cause of Israel.
    Black Americans increasingly are jettisoning Christianity, which is viewed by some as the white man’s religion, and they’re taking up mohammad.
    Don’t you think that Democrats are savvy to that?

  • Bill K. 01/17/2009 at 8:53

    I’m afraid you’ve left George Bush off the hook far too easily. Regardless of how Bush may have felt about Israel he was infected by the mephitic, pragmatic fog that permeates the atmosphere in Washington. Pragmatism eschews thinking on principle. The only method of thinking left is range of the moment and emotionalism.
    Let’s say that Bush really did have an admiration for Israel. What did he admire about it and why? Obviously this is not a question Bush dwelled on. If he did, he would have thought something to the effect that Israel is an outpost of rationality and thus an island of political and economic freedom in a swamp of Islamic and Arabic tyranny and mediocrity. To have supported the Palestinian and Hezbollah terror states to the north and south would have been to negate everything he supposedly admired in Israel. Inside Bush’s head were half-baked assumptions, erroneous conclusions and an enormous self doubt about brought about by the debilitating effects of pragmatism.
    Into this vacuum came Condoleezza Rice, surely one of the more inept persons to become Secretary of State. She was a disaster for Israel and the United States right from the start. North Korea, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza are all Rice’s foreign policy failures.
    Bush should have fired her long ago but this assumes he would have had at least a couple firm principles himself. Since he doesn’t have any, he has betrayed everything of importance he was once presumed to have stood for. Letting the terror states of North Korea and Iran get the bomb and destroying capitalism at home in order to “protect” it?
    The elastic premises of Bush and Rice allow them to contradict their earlier stances without embarrassment.
    In reality Israel can do whatever it wants to do with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria if its leadership is determined to ignore the complete impotence of the “international community”. Sure they’ll raise a ruckus but not one of them will do so much as lift a finger to stop Israel. That would involve taking a principled stand, even though it may be wrong. The United States and Europe have dropped acting on principle. Israel should pick them up.

  • Bruce O'H. 01/17/2009 at 13:46

    I am ashamed of my country (USA) for not standing firm with Israel against our common enemies. Know this: No matter what official U.S. policy is , if Israel calls for volunteers She will be flooded with Rightious Gentiles ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with Israels brave soldiers against the cowardly killers of women and children. Long Live Israel! UsaBruce

  • Fernando Carreras 01/17/2009 at 13:50

    As we all know, Israel is often accused of taking advantage of US aid, which is a very nasty accusation reminiscent of very nasty accusations in the past.
    This sort of critique ignores the facts about the returns the US gets from its aid to Israel, paraphrasing a previous article by Caroline “THE US held Israel at arms length until after its stunning victory against Soviet clients Egypt and Syria in the 1967 Six Day War. In the aftermath of Israel’s victory, the US realized that Israel was a natural ally in checking Soviet power in the Middle East. As a result, in 1968 it began providing Israel with political and military aid. This policy paid off in spades in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and in the 1982 Lebanon War when the IDF handily beat the Soviets’ proxy armies.”
    I would add a few others, like the raid on Osirak, although it was ostensibly condemned by the US at the UN, it was an implicitly applauded move by the Reagan Administration, and retrospectively, nobody in its right mind can think of a better use for those F-16s.
    These sort of critiques also ignore the facts about the aid given to other countries and entities such as the PA. In many cases this aid is just a giveaway of cash (doesn’t have to be spent back on the US), and more unsettling, it effectively ends up funding terrorists like Fatah and Hamas.
    Now, as I am researching this issue of US foreign aid, and I heard Caroline recently in a video in David Horowitz´s Restoration Weekend stating that Israel is receiving 10 times less assistance from the US than Pakistan right now, I would like anybody to please point me to sources to substantiate this claim, and in general, to reliable sources that discuss US assistance to Israel and other countries. I find it a difficult issue to research, with wild discrepancies depending on the source.
    And if you anybody can point me to sources discussing the History of US State Department in relation with Israel and the Middle East at large, that would also be great.
    Many thanks in advance.
    PS: Caroline, you are the best!

  • marcel 01/17/2009 at 14:19

    The leadership has become too tired to win and can only grasp at a useless ceasefire which gives Hamas the open door to rearm and fight another day.
    The darling idiot Livni raced to her masters in Washington for more worthless paper and empty promises to comfort Israel with.
    My how the idol worshipers have such great faith in their useless idols even after the 100% record of failure starting with Oslo,Wye,Tenant,Mitchell,Zinni,Aquaba,Sharm El Sheikh ,Road Map,ect failures ect.
    They have great faith in their useless idols to deliver Israel.
    The concept of victory,defeating Hamas in Gaza is no longer a goal with the losers of Kadima and Labor.
    They choose another failure for Israel.
    The stupid leadership think that after many years of Egypt assisting Hamas in smuggling weapons into Gaza that anything wil change now with a worthless ceasefire.
    It was not possible for Hamas to smuggle in Grads and Katushya’s without Egypts help.
    Now you will trust the wolf Egypt ?
    Israel ,the peace is killing you.
    It used to be that an ounce of pervention was worth a pound of cure but with Israel the fantasy truce and ceasefire has replaced both.
    Not too long ago Israel understood the importance of defeating those who threatened it’s existence.
    The new Israel has degenerated under the U.S. led counterfeit peace scam to a nation which can only snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as we see the clowns Barak and Livni press for failure once again.
    Once again no goals met , no Gilead Shalit but an emboldened and no where near defeat Hamas understanding Israel’s weak and fearful state.
    I am sure Kadima and Labor will dance around and call it another victory for Israel as the Kassems,Katushya,Grads and Fajhr rockets rain down on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem only days after their great diplomatic success of an agreemet with pathological liars Hamas and the wolf Egypt..
    All of this incompetence,defeatism,weakness and stupidity at the highest level make it sure that Israel will have to engage her last stand Sampson Option in the very near futute so that never again really means never again.

  • Ron Grandinetti, USA 01/17/2009 at 16:03

    Caroline, in reading some of the comments, a lot is written with a little said.
    I do believe that those commenting are real supporters of Israel, no question about it.
    We should all try to keep it short and to the point and trust our points will persuade the liberal-left and secular progressives to wake up. Time for a reality check.
    A small nation, a democracy in the ME has been threatened since its birth by a number of Islamic countries and terrorist groups. Their objective is simply to destroy this Jewish Nation. Their ambition is fueled by jealousy and hate. Sad, but true.
    The secular progressive movement in the U.S. has been at work to tuck away the Judeo-Christian principals this country was founded on. Their aim is to weaken our resolve to stand up to those that prey on Nations such as Israel.
    Linda Mattila has valid questions. Why the American Jewish population is so disengaged with Israel? Where is this wealthy and influential Jewish population when they are needed?
    Time for them to stand up and be counted, they have at their disposal many American Christians who feel the U.S. should fully support Israel now.
    Let’s begin by providing whatever Israel requests to help in her defense and shut down any aid to those that support Hamas and Hezbullah. Put a stop to American companies doing business with any of the Islamic countries who support the terrorist.
    Let’s begin today.

  • Jack Schwartz 01/17/2009 at 18:49

    Caroline, we also need to understand the role of the so-called “Left” in Washington and London policymaking. We know that almost all of the Left is anti-Israel and pro-Arab. Hence, the Left objectively supports Anglo-American diplomacy against Israel. Indeed, most of the Left is so moronic about Israel in general and about the Islamic world in general that they verge on the insane or sometimes cross the line. But the Left does make an impact on policy, in my opinion, and therefore the foreign policy establishments that hate Israel may encourage them to take such pro-Muslim, pro-Arab, anti-Israel positions rather than worry about the poor foreign workers in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Dubai, etc., who live in conditions akin to slavery. This is because the “Left” supports the anti-Israel, pro-Arab, pro-Muslim aims of Anglo-American diplomacy which has been pro-Arab etc. for many years. Let’s say since Anthony Eden, UK foreign secretary, encouraged the Arabs to form the Arab League in 1941. By the way, I put Anglo before American because I think that the British lead the Americans in this policy.

  • David Scott 01/17/2009 at 21:39

    I hope the Israeli electorate (which includes myself) will take this opportunity to disabuse itself of it’s illusions regrading both our own leadership as well as what we can reasonably expect from our so-called allies. Frankly, I’m not optimistic about either. After the Lebanon debacle of 2006, I recall reading your “Talkin’ About a Revolution” piece in the Jerusalem Post. Like many, I shared the sentiments and perceptions expressed in that article; namely, that the exposing of Israel’s incompetent leadership would result in fundamental change. Well, two years and another strategically pointless conflict later, the only revolution has been the civil authority better prepared citizens for the onslaught of rockets from our neighbors. The only thing we are getting better at is reconciling ourselves to perpetual attacks on our citizens. Until Israel’s corrupt and corrupting political mechanisms and culture are addressed, it matters not a whit what I or any other citizen may think or believe.

  • Chanoch Ne'eman 01/17/2009 at 22:20

    A good insight into Pres. Bush. When I was visiting my family in the summer in the States, my Father told me that VP Cheney was known as “the power behind the throne”, often keeping the President in the dark.

  • David Tatosian USA 01/18/2009 at 0:35

    Bush has proven himself to be a loyal friend to the illegal immigrant population within the US (at the expense of his own countrymen) and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the House of Saud.
    Did the Israelis really think a man who betrayed his own countrymen while he armed and trained Israels enemies was their friend?
    And make no mistake; what Bush started Obama will finish.
    Western civilization has no friends in Washington.
    You’re on your own my friends.
    Stay strong.

  • David Tatosian USA 01/18/2009 at 0:35

    Bush has proven himself to be a loyal friend to the illegal immigrant population within the US (at the expense of his own countrymen) and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the House of Saud.
    Did the Israelis really think a man who betrayed his own countrymen while he armed and trained Israels enemies was their friend?
    And make no mistake; what Bush started Obama will finish.
    Western civilization has no friends in Washington.
    You’re on your own my friends.
    Stay strong.

  • cantbelievemyeyesandears 01/18/2009 at 2:51

    Good analysis of Bush, Caroline. I think many future historians will devote themselves to the theme of “What made W tick?”. Personally, I think he has had (at times) a soft spot for Israel, recognizing that his grandfather did business with the Nazi Germany (well documented), even AFTER the US declared war on Germany. (The US Govt then ordered him to desist). However, blood is thicker than water, and when push came to shove, GW in practice listened to people who more in line with with his Saudi- butt-kissing father than with internal moral compass. Every time I heard the words “our Saudi friends” I cringed. ….Another point that no one raises is that why do some Americans who endorse the Colin Powell war doctrine component of deploying “overwhelming force” complain about Israel’s ‘disproportionate response”? Seems like a double standard, right?

  • Ron Grandinetti,USA 01/18/2009 at 3:35

    Caroline, some very good comments.
    Comments that should be ammunition for the conservative right in the U.S. including the Jewish Americans.
    Fernando is right on about the U.S. getting more than their moneys worth with Israel checking the Soviet power in the Middle East and putting down their proxy armies.
    A very good buy and investment for the U.S.
    Marcel is right on also. I said before, I don’t trust the Egyptian government. The great pretenders. Iran, Syria and Egypt all peas in a pod.
    Jack is right about the conditions for foreign workers in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi & Qatar. I mentioned before, how can you trust any country that treats others like crap.
    Now what does that tell you about the cast of characters Israel has to put up with. Sure they hate Israel, after all Israel represents something good.
    Oil may provide material things, good character is not one of them.
    When the U.S. and her allies come off the oil dependency just maybe the natives will get restless and begin to over throw the bad guys. Now remember these bad guys don’t wear black hats. No, they wear white towels on their heads and sun glasses.
    Now its time for American Jews to come together, get off the liberal track and start putting pressure on Washington to get behind Israel with full support.
    Israel is one hell of an ally we can’t neglect.

  • Pops in Vienna 01/18/2009 at 10:26

    Hi Caroline,
    Another great article. Keep up the good work!
    I left a comment on your last blog, predicting this will happen. Now we have a cease fire while Hamas rockets still land in Israel. We are reassured there aren’t as many (take comfort in that…for a while).
    In terms of crazy and evil US politics…where are the US Jews? Why did they support and vote Obama into office?
    I hope when Syrian tanks roll into Tel Aviv that the USA will open its borders to 7 million Israeli refugees.
    Good luck and stay safe Caroline.

  • marcel 01/18/2009 at 14:12

    In these days of cover up,delusion,lies and spin you have to dig a little deeper for the truth.
    Why after the call up of IDF reserves and almost moving to stage 3 after surrounding Gaza did the Israeli leadership settle on a sure to fail unilateral ceasefire ?
    The answer is because Israel has no leadership ,only serial panderers.
    They serve ‘other’ interests than Israel’s.
    If their masters tell them to halt operations they obey and to hell with the Isrsaeli pulic,there are more important people to please is what these arrogant idol worshipers believe deep down in their dark souls.
    They pander to the next king of Babylon in a far away land and his inaguration spectacle.
    They do honor their gods well these panderers of Israel.
    But where are the leaders who serve the Israel first and foremost ?
    There are none.
    from a buried news report ;
    Israel appears keen to halt Gaza hostilities before Barack Obama is sworn in as U.S. president on Tuesday, to avoid clouding a historic day for its main ally. Israelis mostly back the war, but much of the world wants the bloodshed to stop.

  • FulghumInk 01/19/2009 at 1:42

    This citizen believes that one reason (of many) the US is revealing growing unfriendliness as it relates to policy arrangements is that there are a number of faceless “bureaurats” in the State Department who are very much anti-Semitic.

  • Luigi Frascati, Canada 01/19/2009 at 6:12

    Respecting an updated report and statistical data on US financial aid to Middle Eastern countries including Israel, I would recommend “U.S. Foreign Assistance to the Middle East: Historical Background, Recent Trends,
    and the FY2008 Request” available also online at Amazon.com .
    As to the other matter of US Foreign Policy in the Middle East, there is an exhaustive list of sources out there for each and every political taste.
    With respect to specific books on the subject, my two personal favorites are “Eurarabia: The Euro-Arab Axis” by Bat Ye’or and “The Enemy We Treat Like A Friend” by Oriana Fallaci. Both authors delve in the matter of the ambivalence of US middle-eastern policies and contend, in rather unambiguous terms, that the lack of a forceful American stance is the primary cause for the islamization of Europe (Oriana Fallaci, now defunct, was sued by the Swiss Muslims Association over her perceived “racist” remarks).

  • Ron Grandinetti 01/19/2009 at 19:45

    ‘Arab initiative won’t last forever’ by king Abdullah
    Amazing, where was this so called king when rockets were raining in on Israel?
    No doubt sitting in gold plated room provided by a majority of Americans who feel to see the need to drill for oil in the U.S.
    First of all his country’s human rights track record sucks. Where does he come off advising Israel on war and peace?
    Bank rolling terrorist organizations I guess is his game.
    When was the last time his army went to war?


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