Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Crunch time coming for America in the Middle East?

By Alan Hart - posted Thursday, 3 February 2011


If more and more Arabs breach the wall of fear that has prevented them for decades from demanding their rights, expressing their rage at the corruption and repression of their governments and at regime impotence in the face of Israel’s arrogance of power, there’s one question above all others America’s policy makers will have to ask themselves. Who do we need most if America’s own real interests are to be best protected - the Arabs or Israel? And that, of course, begs the mother and father of all questions for them: Is Israel our most valuable ally in the region or our biggest liability?

Eisenhower was the first and last president to contain Zionism’s territorial ambitions. Kennedy might have been the second if he had been allowed to live. But from Johnson to Obama, and whether they really believed it or not (I think most if not all of them didn’t), every American president has paid extravagant lip-service to the idea that Israel is the US’s most valuable ally in the Middle East.

Obama’s relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government has not been good to say the least, but there are informed and influential Israelis who think the manifestation of people power in Egypt could provide both men with the opportunity to change the relationship for the better. Writing in Ha’aretz under the headline "For Obama, Eygpt protests may garner a new friend - Israel", Aluf Benn wrote this (my emphasis added):

Advertisement

“If Netanyahu plays his cards right, he could leverage the fall of neighbouring regimes into a significant improvement in Israel's relations with the United States.

“Obama wants to be popular among the citizens of Arab states at the expense of their leaders, as he tried to do in his Cairo speech some 18 months ago. He is betting that the new regimes will be grateful and will continue to rely on Washington for diplomatic and military support. But he is taking a risk: What if the revolution doesn't stop at the moderate interim stage and keeps going till it reaches Muslim extremism? And what will the United States do in the interim phase, when the Middle East is sunk in uncertainty?

When Obama and his advisers look at a map of the region, they see only one state they can count on: Israel. The regime is stable, and support for America is well-entrenched. Obama may dislike Netanyahu and his policy toward the Palestinians, but after losing his allies in Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, and with the uneasiness gripping his friends in Jordan and the Gulf, Washington can't afford to be choosy. It will have to move closer to Israel, and for another reason as well: An anxious Israel is an Israel that is prone to military adventures, and that's the last thing Obama needs right now.

“Now is the time for Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to justify their claim that Israel is a ‘villa in the jungle’, the West's outpost in the Middle East.”

Netanyahu’s own contribution to fear mongering was the statement that “Egypt could follow the path of Iran”.

In my view it is not difficult to imagine the line the Zionist lobby in America was taking with the Obama administration. It might well have quoted a sentence from the National Security Network’s press release of 27 January. “The Obama administration seeks to encourage political reforms without destabilizing the region.” Then something like the following. “Your policy is failing. Your encouragement of political reforms is destabilizing the region, but what is happening is far more menacing than destabilization in the general sense. What we are witnessing is the beginning of a regional Arab intifada. The tide is turning in favour of the forces of violent Islamic fundamentalism in all its forms. If the war against global terrorism is not to be lost, America now needs Israel more than ever.”

Advertisement

In reality there is no evidence to suggest that change brought about by people power in Arab states would lead inevitably to rule by, or even popular support for, extremist and violent forces which use and abuse Islam in much the same way as Zionists use and abuse Judaism. From Tunisia and Eygpt in particular there is a great deal of evidence to the contrary (but as I will indicate later, everything will ultimately depend on whether or not policy makers in Washington D C put America on the right side of history).

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All


Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

9 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Alan Hart has been engaged with events in the Middle East and their global consequences and terrifying implications for nearly 40 years, starting as a correspondent for ITNs News At Ten and the BBCs Panorama programme (covering wars and conflicts wherever they were taking place in the world). He is the author of Zionism: The real enemy of the Jews

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Alan Hart

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 9 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy