Sunday, June 06, 2010

I Don't Get It

Seriously. When did even the slightest deviation from the Israeli line become a radical, unthinkable policy for a US President to pursue? It wasn't always like that.

Truman had grave misgivings whether to recognize Israel at all.

Eisenhower was furious when Israel, Britain and France invaded the Sinai, condemned their actions at the United Nations, and put strong pressure on them to withdraw.

Nixon send Kissinger to mediate a cease-fire between Israel and the Arab governments in the Yom Kippur War.

Carter mediated a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

Reagan opposed Israel's invasion of Lebanon, made an effort to restrain Israel, and negotiated the withdrawal of the PLO.

Clinton mediated an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The roles of mediator and marionette are incompatible. It is impossible to be perceived as an honest broker if you make it a policy to automatically rubber stamp everything one party wants or does.

I can only conclude from this that our relationship with Israel moved from ally to poodleduring the presidency of G.W. Bush. Up till then, the belief that our only proper association with Israel was one of unconditional obedience was one policy viewpoint, and not such an uncommon one. But it was not the only one to hold any sway in serious policy circles. But G.W. Bush adopted a clear policy -- we would be Israel's poodle, and everyone else was expected to be our poodle.

Now Obama is making some feeble, half-hearted steps from poodle back to ally and everyone who is anyone is throwing a collective fit at his radical, unheard-of actions.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Roger Moore said...

When did even the slightest deviation from the Israeli line become a radical, unthinkable policy for a US President to pursue?

Presumably some time around 11 September 2001. That's when many Americans decided that the idea of a reliable Muslim ally was an oxymoron, so we had to stick with Israel or be without allies in the area. Of course it doesn't help that the religious crazy wing of the Republican party has decided that Israel is essential to their apocalypse cult and must be protected until Armageddon.

8:33 PM  

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