Bibi Netanyahu’s Babe: Kneepad Diplomacy

There has been something verging on the surreal in the US-Israel interplay over the past year or so, culminating in the kick in – er, the face delivered to Vice President Biden two weeks ago with Israel’s surprise announcement of yet more new settlement construction, and capped by Secretary of State Clinton’s groveling submission to Netanyahu at a recent AIPAC conference. Her speech was the verbal equivalent of what a White House intern allegedly did for her husband once (or more) upon a time, supposedly earning “Presidential kneepads” thereby.

Israeli officials have repeatedly not only ignored but also openly insulted in word or deed the persons or policies of almost every senior American official with whom they have dealt, including Clinton, Biden, Middle East Envoy George Mitchell, and President Obama, himself.

And they have taken it, one and all, occasionally with brief bursts of verbal anger that rapidly subsided into yet another steadfast affirmation of the eternal, undiminished, unchallenged and unchallengeable US willingness to underwrite the security of Israel, and especially to its absolute unwillingness to deny Israel a single dollar, bomb or bullet. God knows, I wish they had even half the same demonstrated commitment to the security of the United States and the well-being of the American people — but then, no one can easily serve two masters.

Creating a Shambles and Calling it Policy

Sure, America’s Middle East policy is a shambles. America’s standing is much lower now than when Obama came into office. The Iraq war is winding down, with no certainty at all how that country will go. Afghanistan is a mess, but then, Alexander the Great couldn’t do much with it either, so that’s no surprise. And Israel — not wanting America to be bored with only one and a half wars — evidently is trying to help by encouraging us into war with Iran, to spare them the cost of attacking it.  Such a friend!

Then there are the long-suffering Palestinians, a people whose situation Obama, himself, declared in his one bright moment in Cairo last June to be “intolerable.” Hello? Mr. Obama, did you sleep through so many classes that the meaning of that word slipped past you? Something that is “intolerable” needs to be put right, and by any objective measure, the US has the power on absolutely every dimension needed to do just that.

Ah, but that would mean actually doing something to Israel, or at least withholding something from it, or perhaps even voting against it in the UN. And that would mean bypassing Congress and going to the American people. And that isn’t going to happen, at least with this Administration. Obama just isn’t the man to do that job.

From Bad to Worse

The whole thing almost reminds me of a turnabout “battered spouse” exercise, in which the stronger lets the weaker do the beatin, murmuring “now, dear” at intervals but letting the beatings continue. And, as usual, whenever anyone else dares to point out what is happening, the battered spouse staunchly affirms a determination to stand by the battering partner no matter what happens.

What is manifestly going to happen is that a demonstrably bad situation is going to get worse, and more than a few people are making that abundantly clear. Probably the only thing that might jolt the Israeli-dominated train of US Middle East mismanagement off its tracks, would be a catastrophe following a US strike against Iran producing US casualties way beyond those from the Vietnam War — something that could happen all too easily. And then, yet again, there is Gaza and the rest of the Palestinian Bantustan….

More dangerously, Clinton’s hat-in-hand, I-love-you-now-and-forever verbal burlesque at the AIPAC conference makes two things abundantly clear. One is the extraordinary extent of Zionist control within and over the US Government — when you hurt someone or some Administration and it comes back for more, you have them. The other is how little the members of AIPAC, themselves, at least nominally US citizens, care about the US, itself — there isn’t any longer even a facade of “dual loyalty,” only loyalty to Israel alone.

I am very old-fashioned, and a decade in the US Marines gave me an odd affinity for qualities such as pride and loyalty and duty and honor. I’d like to hope that somewhere way down deep these supposed “leaders” of the most powerful country on earth would find something of those qualities in themselves, or at least acquire a sense of shame, and understand that they are there to safeguard America and Americans, and not to sustain Israeli militarism, racism and colonialism.

If they did, then Israel would find itself confronting sanctions and embargoes, its aid from the US would end, and the illegal blockade of Gaza would be forcibly broken — and that would be just for starters.

But that, too, isn’t likely in the here and now. In the Middle East, as in so many other areas of public policy, the US Government and its so-called “leaders” simply are not a part of any workable solution. So perhaps we should just send them all some diplomatic kneepads emblazoned with the Star of David — although I do wonder what kind of a cigar Netanyahu will flash.

Alan Sabrosky (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is a writer and consultant specializing in national and international security affairs. In December 1988, he received the Superior Civilian Service Award after more than five years of service at the U.S. Army War College as Director of Studies, Strategic Studies Institute, and holder of the General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Chair of Research. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Alan.

3 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on March 25th, 2010 at 10:03am #

    But the show business is show business. It must go on. Israel needs US very badly and US needs it s`mwhat badly.

    Israelis do not have a state of their own; its borders changing daily and americans baiting the `jews` with a tacit promise that goes s`mthing like this: if u want an israel to ur liking u must do s`mthing in return and keep doing it till we pacify syria, iraq, afghanistan and other stans.
    Then we won`t need u anymore to do some work for us and maybe we wld let u have a state for `jews` only and as big as u can get it.

    And uncle sam has already told clinton, biden, BHO to shut up already and to eat the insult for the Greatness of America sake. And God1 Bless America is not under attack.
    In any case u`r just bunch of safeway managers to us; so shuttayaface! Or Trump wld tell u where to go! tnx

  2. Rehmat said on March 25th, 2010 at 2:37pm #

    Only if the Americans wake-up and know the truth about Israel…

    The documentary I am Israel (watch the video at the bottom of this post) was written by Hashem Said and produced by Jihane in September 2009. It has been translated into several languages.

    The documentary narrates the native Muslim and Christian Palestinians’ expeience at the hands of European Zionist Jewish hordes since the end of the First World War.

    I am Israel – “When you read the history of Israel from objective sources, you discover that it is an outlaw state, created by the powers that be by stealing the land from its original inhabitants, and systematically exterminating them ever since,” John Kaminski.

    I am Israel – “If I had been an Arab leader, I will never negotiate with Israel. Arabs did not occupied our lands or expelled us from our homes. It is we who have occupied their land and expelled them from their homes…..” David Ben Gurion, first prime minister of the Zionist entity.

    I am Israel – ”All the current troubles in the world are because of that shitty little country Israel. Why should the world be in danger of World War III because of those people,” Daniel Bernard, French Ambassador to United Kingdom in 2001.

    I am Israel – “Zionism is fascism, exactly the same as Nazism. The terminology is slightly different, like the tribal affiliations, but in essence they are identical,” Roger Tucker, a Jew writer.

    I am Israel – “If the Holocaust can be shown to be a Zionist myth, the strongest of all weapons in Israel’s propaganda armoury collapse,” Professor W.D. Rubenstein, September 1979.

    I am Israel – “The only recognition that is needed now is Israel’s recognition of the Palestinians as human beings. If this is obtained, all the rest will be relatively easy,” Gideon Levy, Ha’aretz, April 22, 2009.

    I am Israel – Though I boast being world’s fourth strongest military power – I have been militarily humiliated by a few hundred freedom-fighters belonging to Lebanese Islamic Resistance group Hizb’Allah during 34-day war with Lebanon in Summer 2006.

  3. mary said on March 26th, 2010 at 7:02pm #

    Notwithstanding all these theatrics, a new arms deal has been signed by Israel for a quarter of a billion dollars for three Lockheed Martin Hercules aircraft, ‘bristling with Israeli technology’. You can bet they will be.

    Overnight Israeli tanks are rolling into Khan Younis in Gaza (where two Palestinians were killed yesterday) as retribution for the death of two Israeli military.

    We also heard that Palestinian fishermen were shot at by the Israeli navy and injured.

    Fisherman shot in the head and critically ill in Shifa’a Hospital in Gaza

    ‘They were fishing well inside the Palestinian waters, less than three nautical miles away from the shore with another hassaka, when they were approached by the Israeli speed boat who attempted to kidnap them and take them to Ashkelon.

    They panicked and tried to sail towards the coast. In response the Israeli soldiers opened a barrage of fire which critically injured Hazem. A collegue who was present in the hospital told us that there are a number of bullet holes in the hassaka.

    A group of Gazan fisherman whom ISM talked with recently told us that Israeli soldiers fire at the fishermen so frequently that incidents are rarely reported if they did not result in serious injury. Only a few weeks ago two hassakas were kidnapped by the Israeli soldiers and destroyed after being taken to Ashkelon, whilst the fishermen were being interrogated and later released.’