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U.S. has turned 180 degrees in its Israel policy

September 17, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Shoshana Bryen

Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C. –On the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War and the yartzeit this month of more than 2,500 Israel soldiers who gave their lives in a war for the very survival of the State and the protection of their homes and families, the United States has nearly completed the turn of its policy.                                                                    
The objective of American diplomacy used to be to ensure that Israel received the recognition of the Arab States that it was due as a member of the United Nations. That recognition was to have resulted in the “secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force,” that Israel is due under the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 242. The American position was that as long as the Arab States threatened the security of Israel, we would provide the means for Israel’s defense.  
Now the goal of American policy is the establishment of a Palestinian State – or at least a rump state on the West Bank (Gaza is ignored). Now the Administration views Israel as the bigger, stronger country able to provide inducements to the smaller, weaker Palestinian Authority.  And if it doesn’t…
Israel’s security requirements are sometimes mentioned in the context of relations between Palestinians and Israelis, but the threat to Israel still posed by states in the region is off the table. The threat of Syria; of Iran – where there is evidence that the Administration is considering talking with the Mullahs about Afghanistan, even as Iran offers rewards for the killing of American soldiers; of the submission of the Lebanese government to Syria, Hezbollah and Iran; of weakness in Jordan and Egypt; of the continuing unwillingness of key Arab states to recognize Israel; of a $60 BILLION arms sale to Saudi Arabia; of Hamas firing white phosphorous shells from Gaza into Israel… what?
[Note here: Israel’s legal use of white phosphorous shells for the generation of smoke screens to shield IDF troops during Operation Cast Lead was called a “war crime” by the infamous Goldstone Report. This week, while Secretary of State Clinton and Senator Mitchell were in Israel, Hamas fired white phosphorous shells into the Negev. Please let us know if you have seen “white phosphorous” mentioned in your local or national newspaper, or in wire reports, or by the State Department spokesman – if they mentioned the resumed shelling of Israel by Hamas at all.]
Before leaving Israel yesterday, Mrs. Clinton was quoted in The Washington Post proudly saying, “I’m the first person ever associated with an American administration who called for a Palestinian state as a way to realize the two-state solution.” Aside from the odd syntax – the only way to have two states west of the Jordan River was always to add a Palestinian one to the existing State of Israel – “associated” is an odd word. She was First Lady at the time. We remember her cooing over Suha Arafat when Mrs. Arafat accused Israel of poisoning Palestinian air and water . 

Mrs. Clinton sat politely in the face of an offense against Jews that would have driven any remotely sensitive person out of the room. She…later (issued) a flip statement, complimenting her husband’s wisdom in urging “the parties to refrain from making inflammatory charges or engaging in excessive rhetoric and to deal with any issues at the negotiating table.” Her words raised Suha’s blood libel to the status of an “issue” for Palestinian-Israeli “negotiation.”
Maybe it is “progress” that as Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton has not accused Israel of poisoning Palestinian children. But the abandonment by the administration of even the pretense of dealing with threats to Israel’s legitimacy and security, coupled with its determination to establish a weak and corrupt Palestinian state that will be under siege from Hamas at its birth, leaves us very uneasy about the future this Yom Kippur.

Bryen is senior director of security policy of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.  Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, longtime JINSA supporter and national board member.

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