Change Needed in U.S. Policy Toward Israel
November 10, 2006
Another week, another Israeli atrocity.
On November 8, as progressives were celebrating electoral successes here in the U.S., Palestinians in Gaza were under attack.
The Israelis shelled the town of Beit Hanoun, killing 18 civilians, most of them women and children, and wounding at least forty more.
Israel said it was an accident, but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he cannot promise that more such accidents won’t occur in the future.
That’s mighty consoling of him.
And what he doesn’t appear to understand, and what George Bush doesn’t appear to understand, and what the Democrats don’t appear to understand is that these indefensible actions by the Israeli government do not make Israel any safer, and they don’t make the United States any safer.
Israel is simply speeding up the cycle of violence.
The Israeli peace group Gush Shalom published the following ad in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on November 10: “The Israeli army Invaded Beit Hanoun And killed 50 Palestinians.
“In revenge, Palestinians launched Qassam rockets at Askalon.
“In revenge, The Israeli army committed A massacre in Beit Hanoun.
“In revenge . . . “Until when?
“Until the end of the occupation!”
True to form, after Beit Hanoun, Hamas leaders vowed more suicide bombings in Haifa and Tel Aviv.
Hamas leaders also announced that the United States would be taught some “hard lessons.”
For Hamas knows, just as everyone knows in the Arab and Muslim worlds, that Israel is the chief U.S. ally in the Mideast and the leading recipient of U.S. aid worldwide. It is the empire’s outpost.
So long as the United States lets Israel get away with brutalities like Beit Hanoun, we here at home become more imperiled.
There’s a lot of talk now in Washington about change, about a new direction.
One place this change, this new direction, is needed most is in U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians.
For too long, Democrats in Congress have provided unconditional support for every barbarous Israeli action, including its summer invasion of Lebanon.
To continue to do so would be as unwise as it would be immoral.
On November 11, the Bush Administration once again gave diplomatic cover to the government of Israel. Washington vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s “disproportionate” use of force at Beit Hanoun and called for Israel to immediately withdraw its troops from Gaza. The resolution also denounced the firing of rockets into Israel, “calling upon the Palestinian Authority to take ‘immediate and sustained action’ to end the rocket fire,” according to the New York Times.
The United States was the only country to vote against the resolution.
John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said it wasn’t “even-handed.” He added: “Nor does it advance the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace to which we aspire and for which we are working assiduously.”
If it weren’t so obscene, that remark would be laughable.
The United States is not working assiduously to advance the peace; it is subverting that cause. Its veto is just the latest—and one of the crudest—exercises in this subversion.
And it shows the world yet again that the United States stands behind the Israeli government, no matter the barbarism.