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U.S. supports PLO, not Israel


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You sure know where to find articles to support your ideas. The one by Dr. Gil-White is the most intriguing, IMO. For all these years it appeared to me that America's words and actions indicated they were strong allies, even protectors of Israel. Blow me down, now I find out that the US foreign policy has been pro-PLO all along!

Of course, it's hard to suspend disbelief for too long. It gives me a headache.

U.S. words indicate support of Israel, not actions (and lets not forget the aphorism "actions speak louder than words"). This is achieved by redefining the terms and boundaries of the debate. Being explicitly anti-Israel won't fly with most Americans, as that would be just a little too, you know, blatantly Nazi-esque. I suggest you actually confront Gil-White's documented facts, rather than voicing your disbelief (with nothing to back it up). These articles, by the way, are not things I just found to "support my ideas," rather, they have shaped my thinking on the issues.

Let's start with just the two I have already brought up: Why did the United States rescue the PLO from Lebanon, and then why did they browbeat the Israelis into participating in the Madrid peace talks (with the goal of getting the PLO back into the Occupied Territories) by threatening withdrawal of financial aid? If the U.S. was truly pro-Israel, they would have let the PLO (which was still seen then for the terrorist organization that it actually is) be exterminated, thus ending their supposed "resistance" to Israeli occupation (how interesting that in the PLO's original charter, before the Six Day War, when Israel gained Gaza and the West Bank, they explicitly disavow any interest in these areas, which were then occupied by Arab states and the living conditions were worse than they became under Israeli control).

Also, do you still hold that the Palestinian leadership is not responsible for the living conditions in the territories that they have actually been running for over a decade now?

Let's engage in a real debate here. I have continually cited sources; you have been waving your hands and avoiding issues, seemingly only because you have a prior belief in Israeli villainy and U.S. complicity in said villainy. I started out with this position also (Norman Finkelstein used to be one of my favorite "experts" on the conflict), but reexamined my position and changed. You might not do this, but at least try to support and back up your pronouncements.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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You sure know where to find articles to support your ideas. The one by Dr. Gil-White is the most intriguing, IMO. For all these years it appeared to me that America's words and actions indicated they were strong allies, even protectors of Israel. Blow me down, now I find out that the US foreign policy has been pro-PLO all along!

Of course, it's hard to suspend disbelief for too long. It gives me a headache.

U.S. words indicate support of Israel, not actions (and lets not forget the aphorism "actions speak louder than words"). This is achieved by redefining the terms and boundaries of the debate. Being explicitly anti-Israel won't fly with most Americans, as that would be just a little too, you know, blatantly Nazi-esque. I suggest you actually confront Gil-White's documented facts, rather than voicing your disbelief (with nothing to back it up). These articles, by the way, are not things I just found to "support my ideas," rather, they have shaped my thinking on the issues.

Let's start with just the two I have already brought up: Why did the United States rescue the PLO from Lebanon, and then why did they browbeat the Israelis into participating in the Madrid peace talks (with the goal of getting the PLO back into the Occupied Territories) by threatening withdrawal of financial aid? If the U.S. was truly pro-Israel, they would have let the PLO (which was still seen then for the terrorist organization that it actually is) be exterminated, thus ending their supposed "resistance" to Israeli occupation (how interesting that in the PLO's original charter, before the Six Day War, when Israel gained Gaza and the West Bank, they explicitly disavow any interest in these areas, which were then occupied by Arab states and the living conditions were worse than they became under Israeli control).

Also, do you still hold that the Palestinian leadership is not responsible for the living conditions in the territories that they have actually been running for over a decade now?

Let's engage in a real debate here. I have continually cited sources; you have been waving your hands and avoiding issues, seemingly only because you have a prior belief in Israeli villainy and U.S. complicity in said villainy. I started out with this position also (Norman Finkelstein used to be one of my favorite "experts" on the conflict), but reexamined my position and changed. You might not do this, but at least try to support and back up your pronouncements.

Could you please post the link to the article on this thread for all to see.

The article is a truly bizarre exercise in looking at an issue from only one perspective. I intend addressing many of Dr. Gil-White's historical "interpretations" of what constitutes an ally at some length over the coming days but it would be helpful to have the link on this thread.

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Sure, the link is here. I reiterate my opinion that the article is solid. It does not become "bizarre" merely by virtue of it contradicting your worldview, or most establishment opinion.

Seeing as how most supposedly "left" and "progressive" material looks at the issue from "only one perspective," its useful to have a counterpoint.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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Yes, I appreciate your offer to discuss the injustices (alleged or otherwise) perpetrated by the Israelis on Palestinian targets but I'm asking why Dr. Gil-White doesn't mention them in his lengthy piece? Alleged injustices by both sides should be analysed in an even handed article shouldn't they? His article is peppered with references to attacks allegedly made against Israel but mentions nothing of Israel's on Palestine. Anyway, it will be interesting discussing the matter. I'll address future comments about it to that thread.

Gil-White does a debunking of both the Deir Yassin massacre and the more recent Jenin "massacre" elsewhere on his website, as two examples. His main focus in the article we are discussing is U.S. foreign policy.

On Piper, I disagree. I believe he's got a strong argument.

His argument is circumstantial in the extreme, and his claim that his book has been banned appears to be based on nothing. I find it strange that you can so easily brush off his holocaust denial views.

Your original quote in post #47 was that being explicitly anti-Israel won't fly. Of course it won't. Being explicitly anti-Iceland or anti-New Zealand won't fly either. There's no point. Why would the US Government needlessly voice anti-Israel sentiments? A very confusing comment even when attempting to contrast the US Government's words and actions. Over to the other thread with this also. Better still, forget it altogether.

My point was that there is no reason for the U.S. Government to say what its policy actually amounts to, because you had brought up the fact that the government's words indicate support of Israel. Nothing confusing here.

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http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=7572

Just to bring myself up to speed, I looked up the issue of what is going on in the disputed territories and many sites came up. The above site contains an article written by a journalist who recently visited the occupied territories. Some of the observations are interesting:

1."In the Hebron area, the villagers of Yetta discovered that Israeli settlers had placed poisonous feed and pellets on Palestinian land. Investigated and confirmed by the Christian Peacemaker team, they reported many animals have died".

2. "The Israeli Government is in the process of building another 3500 housing units in the West Bank. The project is designed to make Palestinian claims less viable. Along with settlement expansions, which are in direct opposition to international law and the 4th Geneva Convention, which states that occupying powers must not resettle their populations on occupied land, Israel continues to build the controversial "separation barrier" throughout the West Bank on Palestinian land, annexing thousands of acres into the state of Israel".

3. "Of course the media is generally complicit to uncritical reporting. Most information comes from the Israeli Government itself and few repoters leave Israel proper or Jerusalem. During my 6 week visits to the West Bank, foreign journalists were rarely seen. This should not be considered a surprise. Israel regularly refuses journalists (as well as foreign citizens and human rights workers) from travelling to Palestinian areas. Israel believes part of its' war with the Palestinians is a public relations war. Israeli officials actually speak openly about their need to control the way the conflict is represented in the US and Europe.

People who get all their news about the conflict from the mainstream media in the US and Europe will never be able to understand this conflict. Without searching for alternative news sites that cover events that occur there, most people in the west misunderstand the conflict as a "war between two peoples" or "Israeli response to Palestinian violence" without understanding the basic fact that the Palestinian people live under a harsh military occupation by a foreign army--which today is the longest occupation in history".

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http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=7572

Just to bring myself up to speed, I looked up the issue of what is going on in the disputed territories and many sites came up. The above site contains an article written by a journalist who recently visited the occupied territories. Some of the observations are interesting:

1."In the Hebron area, the villagers of Yetta discovered that Israeli settlers had placed poisonous feed and pellets on Palestinian land. Investigated and confirmed by the Christian Peacemaker team, they reported many animals have died".

http://www.btselem.org/English/Testimonies...by_Settlers.asp

http://www.cpt.org/hebron/documents/Tuwani_media_packet.doc

These are our primary sources. The first notable thing here is that there is no evidence linking the settlers to this incident accept propinquity. Second, alleged actions of settlers should not be taken as reflective of Israeli government policy. I'll leave this one at that for now, but may come back to it. The reporting here is so bad, btw, that he got the name of the village completely wrong.

2. "The Israeli Government is in the process of building another 3500 housing units in the West Bank. The project is designed to make Palestinian claims less viable. Along with settlement expansions, which are in direct opposition to international law and the 4th Geneva Convention, which states that occupying powers must not resettle their populations on occupied land, Israel continues to build the controversial "separation barrier" throughout the West Bank on Palestinian land, annexing thousands of acres into the state of Israel".

[From the article: "The project is designed to make Palestinian claims to Jerusalem less viable."]

I will first say that the only reason Jerusalem (which the Jews have an understandable attachment to) was split was because Jordan occupied this part of it during the 1948 war and later annexed it. Funny how no "left-wing" anti-Israel writers make a fuss about this. (Source)

Now, here is a lengthy quote that will put this factoid about the 3500 housing units in context:

"In March 2005, Israel announced the intention to build 3,500 homes on a strip of territory that has been declared state land between the community of Ma'aleh Adumim and Jerusalem. The decision immediately caused an uproar as Palestinian officials claimed it was "a kind of terror against the peace process and against the Palestinian people" and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said it was at odds with U.S. policy.

This is a good example of where it is important to understand not only the politics of the issue, but the geography.

Ma'aleh Adumim is a settlement in the West Bank. It is also a suburb of Israel's capital, barely three miles outside the city limits, a ten-minute drive away. Ma'aleh Adumim is not a recently constructed outpost on a hilltop; it is a 23-year-old community that is popular because it is clean, safe, and close to where many residents work. It is also the largest Jewish settlement in the territories, with a population of 32,000.

Because of its size and location, it is understood by both Israelis and Palestinians that Ma'aleh Adumim will not be dismantled or evacuated; it will be part of Israel after a peace agreement is reached. That is why the recently announced housing plan was conceived during Prime Minister Rabin's term. The development was part of his plan to link all of the large settlement blocs just outside Jerusalem's city limits.

To understand why the plan has the support of Israel's majors parties, just look at a map. If Ma'aleh Adumim is not linked to Jerusalem, the city would be an island. We hear a lot about Palestinian concerns about the contiguity of a future Palestinian state, but the same principal applies to the future boundaries of Israel.

Why should it be a problem for Israel to fill in the empty gap between the city and this bedroom community? The corridor is approximately 3,250 acres and does not have any inhabitants, so no Palestinians will be displaced. And why shouldn't Israel be able to build in and around the city that the U.S. Congress said "should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel" and "should remain an undivided city"?"

(Source) Also, see this article.

And please note how Condi voices her displeasure with this development.

As for the "separation barrier," I suggest you read this link.

3. "Of course the media is generally complicit to uncritical reporting. Most information comes from the Israeli Government itself and few repoters leave Israel proper or Jerusalem. During my 6 week visits to the West Bank, foreign journalists were rarely seen. This should not be considered a surprise. Israel regularly refuses journalists (as well as foreign citizens and human rights workers) from travelling to Palestinian areas. Israel believes part of its' war with the Palestinians is a public relations war. Israeli officials actually speak openly about their need to control the way the conflict is represented in the US and Europe.

This is totally unsubstantiated. If Israel were actually attempting to keep journalists out of the territories, one wonders how Mr. Petrovato, a political radical, manages to visit as often as he does. It would have also been nice if Petrovato would have provided some actual quotes from these "Israeli officials." Meanwhile, there are many documented instances of Palestinian Authority intimidation of journalists. Also, see here.

People who get all their news about the conflict from the mainstream media in the US and Europe will never be able to understand this conflict. Without searching for alternative news sites that cover events that occur there, most people in the west misunderstand the conflict as a "war between two peoples" or "Israeli response to Palestinian violence" without understanding the basic fact that the Palestinian people live under a harsh military occupation by a foreign army--which today is the longest occupation in history".

It should be noted that John Petrovato is an "International Solidarity Movement activist." Said Solidarity Movement claims to be involved in peaceful protest, but nevertheless has admitted to knowingly working with Hamas and Islamic Jihad members (Source) (Source). For peaceful purposes, of course. In addition, ISM cofounder Adam Shapiro is in favor of suicide bombing, but only against "Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip."

Fascinating.

And again, the "Occupied Territories" are not occupied in the sense implied, as 99% of the Palestinian inhabitants of the territories have been living under Palestinian Authority rule for over a decade now. The bit about "harsh military occupation" has been a lie for some time now.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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I knew you would revert to attacking the reporter. Never mind.

I was about to discuss how I believe Dr. Gil-White has a strangely skewed view of how allies should behave. Apparently he believes that Israel's allies have a duty to assist Israel to destroy its enemies. Also, I would like to know the actual method by which he attaches positive, negative, mixed etc to the US's behavior vis-a-vis Israel and if there is any scientific method employed. However, I discovered this article in today's "The Australian" newspaper. I believe it has relevance here:

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story...73-7583,00.html

DON'T LET LOBBY SHUT DOWN DEBATE:

Two distinguished US International relations experts are being demonised for criticising Washington's close relationship with Israel, laments Anthony Loewenstein:

A recent academic study on the "Israel lobby' by political scientists John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government has caused a political storm in the US.

Their article was accepted, but then rejected, by The Atlantic Monthly; it was eventually published in the London Review of Books.

The study says the US has been "willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state" and that the Israel lobby has managed to convince Americans that "US interests and those of Israel are essentially identical", when they are not.

The authors argue that the Israel lobby has every right to pursue its interests in the political arena and through the media. However, they also note that one of the "most powerful weapons" against honest debate is the perennial accusation of anti-Semitism.

The carefully reasoned study concludes that by blindly supporting Israel's agenda--a brutal occupation and desire for war against Iraq and Iran--the US has aided an aggressor state in the heart of the Middle East. US support is underpinned by a loose affiliation of journalists, politicians and lobbyists who operate on the assumption that the only language understood by Arabs and Palestinians is force.

The extraordinary reaction to the Mearsheimer-Walt article suggests that the Israel-US relationship is out of bounds. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has labelled the authors bigots and compared their study with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Leading neo-conservative intellectual Eliot Cohen has called the academics "anti-Semitic". The Anti-Defamation League sees a "classical conspiratorial anti-Semitic analysis invoking the canards of Jewish power and Jewish control".

The American Enterprise Institute's resident scholar Michael Leeden argues that the study gave comfort to "Ayman al-Zawahiri and his buddy, the Ayatollah Khamenei" because it tells the "Big Lie" and is "anti-Semitic in the grand tradition". He further calls for donors to cease granting funds to the two professors' university departments. Harvard University has removed its logo from web version of the study. Overwhelmingly hostile commentary has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The New York Sun, LA Times and The Boston Globe.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, more nuanced responses have appeared in Europe and Israel. The Financial Times in Britain has described the debate on US-Israel relations as overdue and defended the academic thesis. LRB editor Mary-Kay Wilmers told Britain's The Observer that, being Jewish, she is very alert to anti-Semitism "and I do not think criticising US foreign policy, or Israel's way of going about influencing it, is anti-Semitic".

Daniel Levy, a former prime ministerial advisor in Israel, writes in Haaretz that "defending the occupation has done to the American pro-Israeli community what living as an occupier has done to Israel--muddied both its moral compass and its rational self interest".

Public debate on the subject is routinely curtailed by intimidation and slander initiated by the Zionist lobby. In a healthy democracy, Israel's policies should not be immune to criticism. However, this seems to be the status quo: Israel remains a blind spot of the US Administration.

Take the example of US Jewish historian Norman Finkelstein. His recent book, Beyond Chutzpah, alleges that Dershowitz lifted some passages in his work The Case for Israel from another book, From Time Immemorial, and challenges the Harvard professor's claims about Israel's outstanding human rights record. Dershowitz, well known in the US as a fighter for human rights, attempted to prevent publication of the book, even urging California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to intervene and demand that Finkelstein's publisher, the University of California Press, abandon the project. This supposed free speech advocate appears to believe some subjects are beyond debate.

The situation in Britain is more enlightened. In mid-2004, 347 British Jews wrote to the Board of Deputies of British Jews and said the time had come to "distinguish the interests of the community in Britain from the policies adopted by the Israeli Government. These issues must be brought into the open. Silence discredits us all". Mearsheimer and Walt are merely calling for an appraisal of a key US relationship that has remained a no-go zone for too long.

For those who seek a just and peaceful solution to problems in the Middle East, it is disheartening to witness the attack on a reasoned paper analysing the US-Israel relationship. Beyond the vilification of two distinguished US academics lies the more disturbing question of why a healthy democracy fears a frank analysis. It would be an indication of an ailing democracy if interest groups prevailed in the public sphere.

Anthony Loewenstein is author of My Israel Question, to be released in August by Melbourne University Press.

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I knew you would revert to attacking the reporter. Never mind.

No.... I first rebutted his charges and then, after seeing his bit about superior "independent" and "alternative" journalism, revealed the hypocritical, somewhat irrational millieu he operates in. This seems like an excuse for you to avoid engaging with my critique by painting it as an ad hominem argument, which it wasn't. We are once more back to handwaving.

I was about to discuss how I believe Dr. Gil-White has a strangely skewed view of how allies should behave. Apparently he believes that Israel's allies have a duty to assist Israel to destroy its enemies. Also, I would like to know the actual method by which he attaches positive, negative, mixed etc to the US's behavior vis-a-vis Israel and if there is any scientific method employed.

Have you even read what he wrote? It is not about "Israel's allies [having] a duty to assist Israel to destroy its enemies." This is a straw man. Rather, he shows that the U.S. has been helping Israel's enemies (namely, the PLO, a terrorist organization with genocidal goals that traces its origins back to the Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was an active participant in Hitler's Third Reich), not just refusing to destroy them. I don't know why you keep harping on "scientific method." Gil-White explains his reasoning with each example and writing political analysis is not exactly a science, in any case. This seems like an excuse for you to avoid engaging in a substantive debate. Lets look at Gil-White's examples case-by-case, starting with the two I mentioned in the first post of this thread. We can then debate whether these U.S. actions were pro- or anti-Israel.

However, I discovered this article in today's "The Australian" newspaper. I believe it has relevance here:

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story...73-7583,00.html

On the Mearsheimer and Walt paper, I will point you here for some critiques of the myriad errors in their paper (Here) (Here). I don't think that calling them anti-Semitic is warranted, at least not until they start denying the holocaust and saying that the "Jews" run the media. At that point, they become fair game ;) . I do think calling gentlemen such as Piper and our friend Mark Wilson anti-Semitic is warranted however, as they fit one or both of the above two criteria.

Now, lets get to the topic at hand, namely, whether U.S. foreign policy favors Israel or the PLO.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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You talk fast but you talk rubbish. It's hard to believe that you could make a statement like "the bit about harsh military rule has been a lie for some time now".

Aren't you aware of housing demolitions, shelling of Palestinian villages and the matrix of control employed by Israel? The following link is to an organisation of Israeli citizens dedicated to ending demolition of Palestinian homes to make way for settlement expansions. Read it. Don't try to say they are merely troublemakers with an agenda.

http://www.icahd.org/eng/

As for the "myriad of errors" in the Mearsheimer and Walt paper, you're wrong again, as usual. They merely make the claim that America's foreign policy vis-a-vis Israel should be debated, insofar as its overall benefit to America is concerned. Naturally, you and the hardline commentators you regularly cite as "references" disagree and want all debate quelled.

I can see why the paper causes such angst among you and your fellow travellers. It's like Daniel Levy says, Israel has been an occupying power for so long now that it has muddied its moral compass. Also, I'm a little tired of reading your links to hardline pro-Israeli sites, claiming them to be justification of your position and "effective rebuttal" of my arguments. "The Commitee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting". Yeah, right.

Back to Gil-White, I see he evaluates the 1964-1967 period and the 1967 period as a "negative" in America's support for Israel (and somehow this indicates American support for the PLO ;) ). What about the massive arms sales which went to Israel in this period and the fact that, in contrast to JFK's position, LBJ allowed the nuclear project at Dimona to proceed unhindered ? (albeit with sham "inspections" added). Did the good Doctor forget this? Can you tell me how this wasn't factored in to his evaluation? The Doctor drones on about how newly acquired territories were "indispensable to Israeli defence" and America put pressure on Israel to relinquish these gains. Wow! America daring to formulate Middle East policy without getting approval from Israel. No wonder he gave it a negative.

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You talk fast but you talk rubbish. It's hard to believe that you could make a statement like "the bit about harsh military rule has been a lie for some time now".

Aren't you aware of housing demolitions, shelling of Palestinian villages and the matrix of control employed by Israel? The following link is to an organisation of Israeli citizens dedicated to ending demolition of Palestinian homes to make way for settlement expansions. Read it. Don't try to say they are merely troublemakers with an agenda.

http://www.icahd.org/eng/

While I can not say that I approve of housing demolition in all or many cases, what is missing from your presentation is context. Namely, why the houses are demolished in the first place: to stop weapons smuggling. The IDF has a lengthy list of weapon smuggling tunnels uncovered here. See also here. They are NOT for settler expansion (citation).

Also, they do have an agenda. Here is ICAHD founder Jeff Halper as terrorism apologist: "The acts of terrorism most condemned by the US and other states are those of non-state actors, in which the legitimate resistance of oppressed peoples to their oppression gets tragically lumped with the loony and pointless terrorism of Bin Laden, Carlos and other 'professional terrorists," and here he is again, "The Palestinians' need to resort to terrorism raises questions of fundamental fairness. One cannot expect a people to suffer oppression forever, to abrogate their own rights in favor of those of others." Also, here is Halper denying Israel's right to exist: "A Jewish state has proven politically, and in the end, morally, untenable." All these quotes can be found here. Also check out his latest op-ed on the ICAHD website where he tries to make a bizarre comparison between Hamas and Gandhi.

Israeli shelling, btw, is in response to terrorist rocket firing.

As for the "myriad of errors" in the Mearsheimer and Walt paper, you're wrong again, as usual. They merely make the claim that America's foreign policy vis-a-vis Israel should be debated, insofar as its overall benefit to America is concerned. Naturally, you and the hardline commentators you regularly cite as "references" disagree and want all debate quelled. I can see why the paper causes such angst among you and your fellow travellers.

The above links show actual factual errors in the paper. This is not about debate being quelled. Surely both sides of a debate should be presented.

It's like Daniel Levy says, Israel has been an occupying power for so long now that it has muddied its moral compass. Also, I'm a little tired of reading your links to hardline pro-Israeli sites, claiming them to be justification of your position and "effective rebuttal" of my arguments. "The Commitee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting". Yeah, right.

Now you are doing exactly what you accused me of doing, attacking the messenger but not the message. CAMERA is one of my favorite sites on this subject because their articles are detailed and heavily factual. Contrast this with the pro-Palestinian watchdog group "Palestine Media Watch" which tends to use sweeping claims and generalities.

Back to Gil-White, I see he evaluates the 1964-1967 period and the 1967 period as a "negative" in America's support for Israel (and somehow this indicates American support for the PLO ;) ). What about the massive arms sales which went to Israel in this period and the fact that, in contrast to JFK's position, LBJ allowed the nuclear project at Dimona to proceed unhindered ? (albeit with sham "inspections" added). Did the good Doctor forget this? Can you tell me how this wasn't factored in to his evaluation?

Read this. Johnson was not an ally of Israel. Here is a relevant portion:

"President Johnson and Secretary of State Rusk were particularly concerned about the threat of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, and Rusk warned Israel that it would "lose U.S. support" it if developed nuclear weapons. The administration probed the possibility of an indirect arrangement to prevent the introduction of advanced weapons by Israel and the United Arab Republic. After an exchange of letters with President Nasser, President Johnson sent veteran diplomat John J. McCloy to Cairo to discuss possible limitations on missiles. Nasser told McCloy the problem in the Middle East was not missiles but Palestine; nothing could stop the arms race in the area except the solution of the Israeli problem. U.S. efforts to reach an agreement with the Soviet Union to reduce the flow of arms to the area were unproductive.

Bilateral U.S.-UAR relations also continued to be problematic. President Nasser's intervention in Yemen and the Congo, acceptance of Soviet arms, and frequent anti-American statements undermined President Johnson's efforts to develop good relations with him. The U.S. Congress threatened to cut off all P.L. 480 aid to the UAR, but Johnson and Rusk argued successfully for legislation that permitted carrying out the remaining commitments of the existing P.L. 480 agreement. Rusk advocated continued engagement with the UAR, and in February 1966 President of the UAR Assembly Anwar al-Sadat visited Washington, bringing about a moderate warming of relations.

By mid-1965 the number of terrorist incidents and skirmishes on Israel's borders were on the rise. The United States opposed Israeli reprisals and in 1966 voted for a UN Security Council resolution censuring Israel after a large-scale Israeli retaliatory raid into Jordan. After threatening Israel with suspension of military shipments, President Johnson assured King Hussein of U.S. support, and in December 1966 the United States and Jordan reached agreement on a military aid package. After Israel protested the agreement, the Johnson administration, under domestic political pressure, approved an offsetting Israeli request for additional arms."

Also note that Kennedy also had "sham" inspections and the only reason Johnson approved the arms package was after "domestic political pressure" to provide a counterpoint to a Jordanian arms deal.

The Doctor drones on about how newly acquired territories were "indispensable to Israeli defence" and America put pressure on Israel to relinquish these gains. Wow! America daring to formulate Middle East policy without getting approval from Israel. No wonder he gave it a negative.

Again, did you read it? The quote about the territories being "indispensible to Israeli defence" is in reference to a Pentagon study of the time. The question being asked is why would an "ally" of Israel embark on an action to remove what is, in its own estimation, "indispensible to Israeli defence"?

While we are speaking of territories, I would like to emphasize again that living conditions in the Occupied Territories improved vastly under Israeli control over the previous Jordanian and Egyptian occupation.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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The problem you and Dr. Gil White have is one of balance. White's paper is a chronology of Israel's history and relationship with other countries as told from an Israeli perspective. If I read an identical history as told from an Arab/Palestinian perspective it would be markedly different. Perhaps that is what is required to get the full picture, but at this point I don't have the time and am more interested in other things, such as the assassination.

I am aware of Jewish persecution in many parts of the world prior to Israel's partitioning, the pogroms in Eastern Europe and the Nazi persecution and 'Final Solution' being the two most well known examples. However tragic this was (and it was), it doesn't justify what I believe is the brutal repression of the Palestinians which occurs today. The fact that you deny this occurs, to the extent of claiming 'the bit about harsh military rule has been a lie for some time now' proves you are just reading what you want to read and are shutting out the rest. Truth is, the bit about harsh military rule has been a FACT for a long time now. Your failure to acknowledge it doesn't alter that fact.

Take terrorism for example. You immediately rounded on ICAHD founder Jeff Halpin as a terrorism apologist in order to justify criticising his site and his message. Agreed, he's telling the other side of the story but that doesn't mean it has less legitimacy. There was a time when Jewish terrorists wreaked havoc on civilians, such as the 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel, killing 91 people. One of the terrorist leaders was Begin, the future Israeli PM:

http://www.etzel.org.il/english/ac10.htm

How about that. You and Gil-White criticise the US for failing to help destroy the PLO and your own former PM was once a terrorist. The only difference, of course, is back then it was known as the "Noble Hebrew War of Liberation". Think about Halpin's statement which so offends you, "The acts of terrorism most condemned by the US and other states are those of non-state actors, in which legitimate resistance of oppressed people to their oppression gets tragically lumped with loony and pointless terrorism of Bin Laden, Carlos and other professional terrorists". If all terrorism is to be lumped in one basket then you must also condemn Begin and Ben-Gurion, Israel's founder (and perhaps others). Does the fact that Israel was founded and led by former terrorists make Israel a terrorist state? If you lump all terrorism in one basket, I guess it does.

It's pointless you constantly linking sites like CAMERA and IDF because they're only there to justify Israel's side of the debate. Who the hell runs and funds CAMERA anyway?

Your claim that they are heavily factual is heavily subjective.

Your argument pertaining to the Mersheimer and Walt paper is also very weak. You say "surely both sides of the debate should be presented". I agree. Then why have attempts been made by the US Jewish lobby to cut funds to their University Departments and curtail public debate with accusations of bigotry and anti-Semitism? Over in England the Financial Times called the debate "overdue" and the Jewish editor of the LRB denied such a debate was anti-Semitic. Given your foregoing statement, you should be encouraging this debate rather than pointing to "factual errors" and again referring me to a heavily one-sided website.

On LBJ you're unequivocally wrong. Johnson said so himself,"you've lost a friend but found a better one" etc. As Senate leader in 1957, he successfully lobbied against sanctions being imposed on Israel as a consequence of the Suez crisis. On Dimona he did much more. The two inspections which occured during JFK's tenure were brief and unsatisfactory--one lasting just 45 minutes. After the CMC, JFK became much more aggressive with Israel, demanding bi-annual inspections as well as other conditions which, as it turned out, he never got. Israel dragged her feet, giving various excuses. Curiously, because I don't really believe in coincidences, on 5 December 1963, thirteen days after the assassination, Israel invited US representatives to visit Dimona but the groundrules were changed. Under LBJ, only annual visits were required and Israel set the rules. "Sham" inspections were back. Avner Cohen's "Israel and the Bomb" is my source. He's Jewish.

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The problem you and Dr. Gil White have is one of balance. White's paper is a chronology of Israel's history and relationship with other countries as told from an Israeli perspective. If I read an identical history as told from an Arab/Palestinian perspective it would be markedly different. Perhaps that is what is required to get the full picture, but at this point I don't have the time and am more interested in other things, such as the assassination.

That's fine with me, if you now see that the issue is perhaps not so black and white. I'm getting a little weary of this discussion myself.

I'd also like to clarify that my thoughts are not identical to Gil-White's on American foreign policy towards Israel. I certainly think the CIA has an anti-Israel/pro-PLO stance (he does a good job showing this in some of his other articles), which can probably be traced back to its absorption of the Gehlen organization, and select Presidents (specifically Reagan, Bush 1, possibly 2, and Nixon before Cold War concerns led to him supporting Israel in the Yom Kippur war) also have such a stance. I don't see a consistent American policy to undermine/destroy Israel, as Gil-White does, but I think his article does a good job of demonstrating that America gives Israel no special preference over other Middle-Eastern countries, sometimes less. I also hold Jimmy Carter in higher regard than he does. My thread title was perhaps a little too sweeping.

I am aware of Jewish persecution in many parts of the world prior to Israel's partitioning, the pogroms in Eastern Europe and the Nazi persecution and 'Final Solution' being the two most well known examples. However tragic this was (and it was), it doesn't justify what I believe is the brutal repression of the Palestinians which occurs today. The fact that you deny this occurs, to the extent of claiming 'the bit about harsh military rule has been a lie for some time now' proves you are just reading what you want to read and are shutting out the rest. Truth is, the bit about harsh military rule has been a FACT for a long time now. Your failure to acknowledge it doesn't alter that fact.

No, I say it is a lie because it is. Almost all of the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories live under Palestinian Authority rule, which has many of its own issues, to say the least. When Israel does intrude it is to take out terrorist cells in response to terrorist attacks. With the withdrawal from Gaza, btw, the Egyptian government has been given the responsibility for controlling weapon smuggling along the border.

Take terrorism for example. You immediately rounded on ICAHD founder Jeff Halpin as a terrorism apologist in order to justify criticising his site and his message. Agreed, he's telling the other side of the story but that doesn't mean it has less legitimacy. There was a time when Jewish terrorists wreaked havoc on civilians, such as the 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel, killing 91 people. One of the terrorist leaders was Begin, the future Israeli PM:

http://www.etzel.org.il/english/ac10.htm

How about that. You and Gil-White criticise the US for failing to help destroy the PLO and your own former PM was once a terrorist. The only difference, of course, is back then it was known as the "Noble Hebrew War of Liberation". Think about Halpin's statement which so offends you, "The acts of terrorism most condemned by the US and other states are those of non-state actors, in which legitimate resistance of oppressed people to their oppression gets tragically lumped with loony and pointless terrorism of Bin Laden, Carlos and other professional terrorists". If all terrorism is to be lumped in one basket then you must also condemn Begin and Ben-Gurion, Israel's founder (and perhaps others). Does the fact that Israel was founded and led by former terrorists make Israel a terrorist state? If you lump all terrorism in one basket, I guess it does.

Yes, I know about the King David Hotel bombing. I am not what you would call the greatest admirer of Irgun/Etzel's methods, but the crucial difference between what Irgun did and various Palestinian groups do can probably be summed up thus: the phone warning. I also think the Hotel could probably be classified as a military target. Killing civillians was not the goal. Also, Begin was never my PM because I am an American. Just a small point.

I do indeed have a great deal of admiration for Ben-Gurion though. He's my kind of Socialist.

Here is the total of his involvement with this bombing:

"He was also involved in occasional violent resistance during the short period of time his organization cooperated with Menachem Begin's Irgun, though he refused to be involved in terrorism of any kind, and insisted that violence only be used against military targets. Ben-Gurion initially agreed to Begin's plan to carry out the King David Hotel bombing, with the intent of humiliating (rather than killing) the British military stationed there. However, when the risks of mass killing became apparent, Ben-Gurion told Begin to call the operation off; Begin refused." (source)

It's pointless you constantly linking sites like CAMERA and IDF because they're only there to justify Israel's side of the debate. Who the hell runs and funds CAMERA anyway?

Your claim that they are heavily factual is heavily subjective.

I say they are heavily factual because they cite sources and statistics. As for "who the hell runs and funds CAMERA" see here. I could care less if the Mossad ran it, as I've found most of the information on the site to be unrefuted and thorough. Ditto with the IDF. Unless someone shows that the IDF is lying about the smuggling tunnels they've uncovered, the source stands.

Your argument pertaining to the Mersheimer and Walt paper is also very weak. You say "surely both sides of the debate should be presented". I agree. Then why have attempts been made by the US Jewish lobby to cut funds to their University Departments and curtail public debate with accusations of bigotry and anti-Semitism? Over in England the Financial Times called the debate "overdue" and the Jewish editor of the LRB denied such a debate was anti-Semitic. Given your foregoing statement, you should be encouraging this debate rather than pointing to "factual errors" and again referring me to a heavily one-sided website.

Again, the links I posted are solid. The second link is entirely dedicated to the deconstruction of a single footnote in the paper and the CAMERA link has many more examples along this line. In one instance, the Mearsheimer/Walt paper refers to a PNAC paper to support their point that Israel is trying to get America to fight its wars. The article then shows that the only reference to Israel in the paper has nothing to do with this and invites the reader to check for themselves by linking to a PDF of said paper. These are only a few examples.

On LBJ you're unequivocally wrong. Johnson said so himself,"you've lost a friend but found a better one" etc. As Senate leader in 1957, he successfully lobbied against sanctions being imposed on Israel as a consequence of the Suez crisis. On Dimona he did much more. The two inspections which occured during JFK's tenure were brief and unsatisfactory--one lasting just 45 minutes. After the CMC, JFK became much more aggressive with Israel, demanding bi-annual inspections as well as other conditions which, as it turned out, he never got. Israel dragged her feet, giving various excuses. Curiously, because I don't really believe in coincidences, on 5 December 1963, thirteen days after the assassination, Israel invited US representatives to visit Dimona but the groundrules were changed. Under LBJ, only annual visits were required and Israel set the rules. "Sham" inspections were back. Avner Cohen's "Israel and the Bomb" is my source. He's Jewish.

My point was that Johnson did not necessarily always give Israel top priority, and seems to prefer Jordan over Israel in many areas, particularly arms.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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I'm glad you've acknowledged that the title of this thread is too sweeping. Ridiculous, I would say and definitely not proven by Gil-White's offerings.While occasionally protesting the excesses of the Israeli forces, America has been firmly in Israel's corner since LBJ's tenure. Prior to that, America's policy towards Israel was more ambiguous.

On the issue of Israel's occupation, we can't agree. It's a harsh military regime and while the Palestinian Authority technically controls Palestinians in the occupied territories, Israel controls all the borders and regularly uses troops to enforce its overall authority in the region. That's military rule. Civilians are often killed alongside alleged terrorists in anticipation of terrorist attacks or incursions on the borders. I'm unaware exactly how many Palestinian civilians have died since the occupation began but it would probably be many thousands and to blame the Palestinian leadership for this is a plainly dishonest argument, IMO. I wouldn't expect you to agree as you're too firmly dug in, unfortunately.

The phone warning prior to the King David Hotel bombing is a slightly mitigating factor but it was still a cowardly terrorist attack committed by Jewish extremists and condemned by world leaders. You can try to justify present day killing of Palestinians as an effort to eradicate terrorism but Israel has had Prime Ministers who were former terrorists themselves.

Finally, on the Mearsheimer/Walt paper, you point out errors of history which may or may not be contained within but the point is this--should there be an appraisal of America's current relationship with Israel vis-a-vis the benefit to America of this relationship, or should there not? On this I would appreciate an answer (not a link to "factual errors" contained within the paper). Let's agree to conclude the debate with your response.

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I'm surprised that Gil-White didn't also point out the

  • Remarkably disproportionate representation of Arabs among the USA's billionaires (more than 50% according to a Palestinian sociologist and expert on Palestinian power within the USA)
  • Extraordinarily high number of Arabs in positions of influence, authority and control within the US mass media, the publishing industry, banking and the military-industrial complex
  • Fact that more than half of the members of Congress show up, when invited, at American Palestinian Public Affairs Committee (APPAC) meetings
  • Impressively high proportion of both major US political parties funds received from Arab donors
  • Longstanding sweetheart deals between key elements of US 'and Palestinian 'intelligence' agencies
  • Billions of dollars of aid, including high-tech military assistance, that the USA regularly donates to Palestine
  • Constant hyping of the case for Palestine in the US mass media (and in general, the western mass media)
  • Incessant vilification of Israelis as a hapless people responsible for their own desperate plight who have a natural propensity to 'terrorism'
  • Wholly disproportionate coverage given to Palestinian deaths and injuries in the continuing struggle – and contrasting tendency to downplay Israeli deaths and injuries and portray the Israeli victims as ‘militants’
  • Way the US mass media repeatedly overlooks the blatant injustice to Israelis, for more than 50 years, in view of their uncompensated eviction from their land of origin and / or confinement as second class citizens within an Arab-supremacist State and / or highly restricted freedom under armed occupation by high-handed and heavily armed Palestinian troops
  • Freezing of all US aid to the Israeli Administration, even when its people face economic ruin up to and including starvation, because of Israel's refusal to recognize the State of Palestine and refusal to condemn ALL attacks against Palestinians - even though Israelis themselves are repeatedly subjected to attack by Palestinian troops and far more Israelis are killed in the conflict each year than Palestinians.

... and many other powerful and easily documented arguments that might further assist his case.

One must also consider the large number of Arabs in positions of power within the US Administration - not only under Bush II, but Clinton as well and others before him - and the tendency within America to speak of the Palestinian 'Lobby' in hushed tones because it's known to be remorseless when crossed.

All in all, Gil-White is a most courageous and patriotic American.

I do hope his exceptional courage in speaking on this important but highly sensitive topic out doesn't completely wreck his career. B)

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I'm surprised that Gil-White didn't also point out the
  • Remarkably disproportionate representation of Arabs among the USA's billionaires (more than 50% according to a Palestinian sociologist and expert on Palestinian power within the USA)
  • Extraordinarily high number of Arabs in positions of influence, authority and control within the US mass media, the publishing industry, banking and the military-industrial complex
  • Fact that more than half of the members of Congress show up, when invited, at American Palestinian Public Affairs Committee (APPAC) meetings
  • Impressively high proportion of both major US political parties funds received from Arab donors
  • Longstanding sweetheart deals between key elements of US 'and Palestinian 'intelligence' agencies
  • Billions of dollars of aid, including high-tech military assistance, that the USA regularly donates to Palestine
  • Constant hyping of the case for Palestine in the US mass media (and in general, the western mass media)
  • Incessant vilification of Israelis as a hapless people responsible for their own desperate plight who have a natural propensity to 'terrorism'
  • Wholly disproportionate coverage given to Palestinian deaths and injuries in the continuing struggle – and contrasting tendency to downplay Israeli deaths and injuries and portray the Israeli victims as ‘militants’
  • Way the US mass media repeatedly overlooks the blatant injustice to Israelis, for more than 50 years, in view of their uncompensated eviction from their land of origin and / or confinement as second class citizens within an Arab-supremacist State and / or highly restricted freedom under armed occupation by high-handed and heavily armed Palestinian troops
  • Freezing of all US aid to the Israeli Administration, even when its people face economic ruin up to and including starvation, because of Israel's refusal to recognize the State of Palestine and refusal to condemn ALL attacks against Palestinians - even though Israelis themselves are repeatedly subjected to attack by Palestinian troops and far more Israelis are killed in the conflict each year than Palestinians.

... and many other powerful and easily documented arguments that might further assist his case.

One must also consider the large number of Arabs in positions of power within the US Administration - not only under Bush II, but Clinton as well and others before him - and the tendency within America to speak of the Palestinian 'Lobby' in hushed tones because it's known to be remorseless when crossed.

All in all, Gil-White is a most courageous and patriotic American.

I do hope his exceptional courage in speaking on this important but highly sensitive topic out doesn't completely wreck his career. B)

It is good to see that satire is not dead. A very gentle way of showing the absurdity of Scott’s arguments.

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