Kiracofe on US/Israel relations

Church_natural_bridge "the inevitable Israeli test of Barack Obama's independence from AIPAC pressure"

Yes indeed. So for openers Team Obama should:

1. Task the intelligence community for a fresh NIE on Israel which includes counterintelligence issues.

2. Justice Department puts prosecutions on fast track for the AIPAC case/Franklin case.

3. Justice Department then requires AIPAC to register as a foreign agent (of Israel) just like other foreign agents/lobbyists around town must do.

4. Justice Department investigates status of "Religious Right" organizations, the Christian Zionist Lobby, to determine whether such organizations should also register as foreign agents of Israel. This would include CUFI, Christians United For Israel, led by Hagee.

5. Justice Department and appropriate intelligence community assets investigate any counterintelligence issues associated with "Religious Right" and its relationship to Israel and lobbying on the Hill and general influence peddling in Washington and nationally.

Once these openers are under way, we can move to some hard ball. Israelis forewarned that any attack on Iran by Israel to be treated like Ike treated Israel at Suez in 1956 (in an election year no less) along the following lines:

1. Embargo all US weapons to Israel.

2. Halt all foreign assistance to Israel.

3. Deny tax exempt status for State of Israel bonds and freeze all sales of such bonds in United States financial markets.

and so on.

Clifford Kiracofe

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37 Responses to Kiracofe on US/Israel relations

  1. Yohan says:

    That, of course, would be politically impossible for any president.
    However, instead of just flying off the handle and doing all those things, use the *threat* of them in order to pressure Israel into changing its behavior on important issues such as settlement building and saber-rattling re: Iran. Doing these things without negotiation is just throwing your leverage away. The threat of cutting off aid to Israel is more powerful than unilaterally doing it.

  2. dilbert dogbert says:

    With the “bipartisan” O admin running the show it is hard for me to see any toughening of the US policy towards Israel.

  3. McGee says:

    Hi Cliff,
    Nice wish list. And we’d really, really like a pony too…..

  4. zanzibar says:

    The cynic in me says “what are you smoking”?
    Yes. What you propose are what should be done. The focus should be on US national interests. Not guilt salves.
    But from what I saw in the campaign and more recently, I believe Obama is a cautious politician. He’s not one to make waves. He aint Ike and for that matter neither are Hillary or Biden or any Republican. I would be pleasantly surprised if he decided to stand on his own and for the best interests of the US in this context, specially considering the viciousness of the campaign that would be unleashed by the Israel-firsters if what you propose is implemented. I am sure even Cheney will extricate his dark shadow from the bunker wagging his finger!

  5. DOJ/IRS enforcement of tax ememption qualification and lobbying has long been short of anykind of uniformity. Maybe long overdue. As principal of a non-tax exempt non-profit corporation I believe that tax exemption should be denied to all non-profits that directly or indirectly lobby or attempt to influence directly policy. This can be clearlly identified through their budgets, staffing, and expenditures. The sad fact is that several key non-profits like the American Red Cross are federally chartered but unable to fulfill that charter due to mismanagement and excessive compensation schemes. How many tax dollars are lost each year to holders of tax-exempt foreign bonds–hard to find out from published IRS data.

  6. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Non Incautus Futuri
    Loose translation: very American and glad you have tenure.

  7. Keith says:

    Do you really believe that there is any chance this will happen?

  8. Charles I says:

    Clifford I’m with you 1000%, but this never going to happen.
    Look at Gaza, one big war crime. To me Israel is a train wreck that is already occurring, with the pedal-to-the-metal engineers outnumbering the brakemen by an inhuman margin. The unsustainable pathology of the Occupation is now glaringly apparent, but the malevolent momentum may yield exitential critical mass yet.
    Its going to take significantly more bloodshed – of somebody more . . . noteworthy than Gazan children – and some bloody great detonations to overturn the current order of ME which, after all, is basically disfunctioning largely as the people we wish to change currently intend.
    Israel Rampant. Arabs impotent. Americans ignorant. Europeans indignant. Here, I must quote William R. Cumming to describe the human terrain in general: “short of anykind of uniformity”.
    And what of the supra-national elites you write of previously, what say they and their bankers about Peace In Our Time?
    Its my thought that Israel should be calculating ICBM trajectories from Pakistan rather than Iran in any event. Just as some monkey gets it right, finally bangs out Shakespeare, the universe will drop a critical banana peel just so, and the poor chump, er, chimp, will hit delete instead of save, the ArchDuke will duck, the shite will hit some other fan on a different, but still inexoable trajectory.
    Obviously if there were some alleged Hamas or Hizbullah terrorist stike in the US, after say, some further notorious civilian slaughter that fails to move our policy makers – unmoved to date – it’d be all over except for the now drearliy familiar shreiking.

  9. Jon T. says:

    8 responses as of 809pm est 2.11. All say no way Jose.
    Translation: Sharon rules the US.
    Is that correct?
    What bribery works? (Either direction: them over US since 1945 liberation? US offer to them now ?)
    Sounds like Syria/Israel Treaty is a Realpolitik begin.
    Can we add Scowcroft and Brezinski, s’il vous plait? Et Maintenant, immediatement, vit vit – before the Israeli election is focused to compose a coalition government that crashes into DC – smile for the camera and bring its latest demands.
    Do you really really think Israeli pilots are that good and their leaders so incredibly touched they’ll challenge the carrier people from Jacksonville Naval Air Station now sitting in the Gulf of Oman or wherever they are and the stealth flyboys from Kirtland?

  10. Buzz Meeks says:

    Not going to happen in our or any other lifetime. The threat of cutting off aid isn’t anywhere as nearly effective as doing it. Obomba should have learned that lesson with trying to be “bi-partisan” with the Rethugs last week. The Israelis are twice as slippery.
    I would love to see the secrecy of the Israeli banking system open up to daylight- might find all of Madoff’s swag and a lot of other taxable assets/income from people who live off of this country.
    Buzz Meeks

  11. MRW. says:

    Look at this man’s credentials:
    Dr. Clifford A. Kiracofe, Jr. is a former Senior Professional Staff Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. He holds a B.A. (Foreign Affairs), M.A. (Foreign Affairs), and Ph.D. (Foreign Affairs) from the University of Virginia. He served as an Instructor (civilian) at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico, VA. and was a Research Associate at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Inc., Cambridge, MA.

  12. charlie says:

    “As principal of a non-tax exempt non-profit corporation I believe that tax exemption should be denied to all non-profits that directly or indirectly lobby or attempt to influence directly policy”
    I’d be curious to know what is non-tax exempt nonprofit corporation.
    AIPAC, I believe is a (c)(6). They don’t pay taxes, but people who donate don’t get a tax deduction.
    501 chapter organization are already under obligations regarding lobbying. Tightening the rules even more would choke off a lot of freedom of speech and association. I don’t think that is the answer.

  13. curious says:

    I don’t think the strategy above can happen. for one, all those will hit the “DC” political machine.
    second some of them only work if the “media” actually reporting it, otherwise…so what. (g. so what if half of aipac cought spying and in jail? nobody would care, except DC players. there is no public backlash. Condi tried “israel spies” trick in her waning days to coax the israelis to comply with annapolis term. it went nowhere.) also notice nobody ever heard of the aipac investigation anymore. it’s gone.
    third, some of those tricks have been tried by daddy Bush and Clinton. (holding loan guarantee, for eg.) Israel economy crashed, but they still go to war. (if you remember intifada II was combined with US soft loan reduction and embargo of loan guarantee.) There is some effect I suppose, but it is not enough for structural change.
    on top of that,….some aspect may be illegal, because of US-Israel free trade agreement (I think bond sale/taxation are included in it)
    Also, congress/senate control spending so Israel aid will kept getting inserted no matter what a president wants.
    US-Israel free trade agreement (1985)
    US-Israel tax agreement (1994)
    tho’ I am not sure what is presidential authority when it comes to protecting the security of US troops in Iraq from potential Israel-Iran conflict.
    I still think the best way is to
    a) make Israel sign US-Israel defense treaty. This will spell out US obligation to Israel in very precise manner. So Israel cannot drag US every which way it wants. (Including arm supplies)
    b) most advance equipments will be run by US operators in Israel. (eg. we protect you. but if you endangered us, we pull the plug and you are as naked as baby out there. so don’t fuck us.)
    c) create balance of power to contained Israel beyond US-Israel politics. (unfortunately this involved oil-Iran/Syria-Russia-China)

    all in all, with Israel new government political climate, DC money game, I am pretty sure things will stuck in a rut within months.
    and a war will happen in 2-3 years.

  14. MRW. says:

    I am in complete agreement with Kiracofe. I worry about our security. We need to allay any possibility that a bunch of crazies are prepared and quite willing to cause WWIII on our dime because they consider their security paramount to any group in the world. Well, their sense of entitlement is not acceptable to me. I am not willing to provoke the Russians to protect their Iranian interests, have the Iranians interrupt the oil flowing through the Hormuz, and allow Israelis to cause the needless slaughter of millions.
    If Israel can assume the right to play hardball with the Palestinians or any group in the region, then it should be neither shocked nor surprised that we can play hardball as well when it is in our interests.
    I want the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Israel in 2002 revoked. It’s the one “whereby the US stocks a strategic oil reserve for Israel even if it entails domestic shortages – at a cost of $3 billion (£1.9bn) in 2002 to US taxpayers.” We must also pay for storage and provide tankers to transport it.
    The best account of this is in Jane’s Defense Weekly but it requires a subscription. The 2002 first quarter price of oil was between $16 and $21. Using $20 as a conservative average that’s 150 million barrels of oil (at 42 gallons/barrel = 6.3 billion gallons)…for a country the size of New Jersey. The price was locked in no matter how much it might rise subsequently, and so was the edict that America’s needs were secondary to any supply demand here, including war. If oil is a national security issue and commodity, then this is a treasonous agreement in my book and those who wrote and arranged for it need to answer for it.

  15. Jose says:

    The Mossad will start to monitor your activities….

  16. castellio says:

    You know, I think we have to acknowledge that Hillary Clinton is still running for President, and is now doing so from the Secretary of State position. Anybody disagree?
    So, while Obama has the Presidency and theoretically could develop some spine in relation to Israel… Hillary Clinton will not do so. Can’t. Impossible.
    It’s a good wish list, and very reasonable, close to what the American people would want if given the option. But American democracy is, let’s be frank, too weak to achieve this.
    Does anyone think Hillary will lose her opportunity to be President by allowing Israel’s policies to be seriously confronted?

  17. dilbert dogbert says:

    I am reminded of a Japanese book: “Can Japan Say No To America?” This is a dimly remembered book title from long ago. I wonder if an
    American could write a similar book and if it could be a best seller.

  18. J says:

    I don’t see it happening, especially the way Israel uses U.S. economic aid to Israel as a weapon to buy off U.S. political persona[s] with secret bank accounts and laundered campaign monies that one of the Israeli dailys brought to light. Imagine the Israeli government is using our own U.S. tax dollars economic aid against U.S..

  19. confusedponderer says:

    you’re aware that there’s a hole in your argument? Just for the sake of being a nitpick:
    The Israelis are well familiar with the political situation in the US. The threat with something that is politically impossible is implausible when the other side knows it.
    I would like to see happen what you describe.

  20. confusedponderer says:

    I have to friends predicted something like that for a while.
    I see a dangerous road ahead for Israel. By 2030, about a third of Israel will be Arab, and social peace inside the country will be increasingly threatened by the Iron Wall tactics of the Zionist right-wing. Some Israelis, notably Avigdor Lieberman, see the demographic trend as a threat to Israel’s identity as a Jewish State. Liebermann apparently dreams of making Israel, what – in the words of Juan Cole – ‘Arabrein’?
    To me, Israeli demographics suggest a dire trend. There is a degree of emigration of Jews from Israel. It is not the most ardent of Zionists that are leaving. Those who are sick of the garrison state Israel has become are leaving, if they can afford it. Those who can’t afford it and those who don’t want to leave stay.
    Compared to national average, the fertility rate of orthodox Jews is considerably larger (1,7 vs. 6,7 to 8,5 for Haredi Jews). In my understanding, with exceptions, the religiously orthodox as a rule of thumb generally adhere to the right wing in Israel. Their growing numbers suggest that their views will reflect in greater political influence. All that suggests to me a permanent move of Israeli politics to the right, and an intensification of antagonist policies.
    Add to that the influence and ideas of oversized personalities like Liebermann, and it is predictable that Israeli policies will eventually drive the Israeli Arabs into the Arab realm altogether, leading to Israel facing both the Palestinian Arabs and the Israeli Arabs. The onslaught on Gaza has hurt the relationships between Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews. In that sense, Gaza was a glimpse on things to come. Liebermann’s tendencies suggest to me that he doesn’t see this as an undesirable result. Not at all. It gives credence to his claims, and allows him to put into reality the policies he prescribes. Speak about ‘rainmaking’.

  21. jr786 says:

    I applaud Dr. Kiracofe, but…
    For those interested, you might try this site:
    It is the link to the Boycott israel web page.

  22. fnord says:

    Obama could challenge the new fascist right in Israel by demanding inspections of Dimona. THAT would be a nice shot across the bow.

  23. David Habakkuk says:

    In the immediate future, the chances of Clifford Kiracofe’s proposals being adopted is zilch — as of course he knows perfectly well. But the point is of limited relevance.
    What Clifford is doing is drawing out, trenchantly and unapologetically, the logical implications of an increasingly common perception that the U.S.-Israel de facto alliance has become a kind of suicide pact. Events in Iraq and Afghanistan, the 2006 Lebanon war, and now the Gaza episode and the Israeli election have made this view look increasingly plausible.
    When circumstances change, views which appear marginal to the point of eccentricity can very rapidly become mainstream.
    To give you an example from British experience. In the early Seventies, the radical free market views of Enoch Powell were held by a tiny fringe, even in the Tory Party. When Thatcher became leader in 1975, they became mainstream in the Tory Party, and following her election victory in 1979, progressively became — for good or for ill — the basis of a new national consensus.
    Even more dramatic has been the sudden abandonment of these orthodoxies over the past few months. Had anyone suggested two years ago that either the British or American governments would adopt the kind of interventionist policies to which they have been driven by the credit crunch, they would have been considered crazy.

  24. JJackson says:

    I am in full agreement but why not widen the scope?
    I would like to make the case for grey; as opposed to the more traditional foreign policy categories of black & white. Painting some regimes as beyond the pail and others as friends when on closer examination they should both rated mid-grey is counter productive and has, and will continue, to paint us into a corner making it very difficult to make necessary course adjustments without making U-turns. Iran and Israel are topical but I would argue this is a long term problem with some horrendous dictators’ crimes quietly ignored (Pinochet, the Shah etc.) while the most obvious of the historical blacks is probably Cuba that has been misclassified and vilified for so long it is almost impossible to rehabilitate. The core of the problem is an over adherence to the ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ maxim backing mujahedeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan or Iraq against Iran may be short term fixes setting up much greater long term problems.
    An attendant failure is in the regime vs people problem. US attitudes polling data consistently shows some of our ‘friends’ (at a national level) to have a population that view us least favourably. The Iranian people are no less anti-the-west than Saudi’s, Egyptians or Pakistanis. If we keep selling weapons to the likes of KSA then we should not be surprised when the house of Saud goes the way of the Shah and we have Kamikaze Wahhabists in Eurofighters to deal with. Obama could do the world a big favour if he was a little more critical of friends that do not do nice things and a little less vitriolic when dealing groups that do not get Christmas cards. Divide and rule policies like Hamas – bad (do not get food and fuel)/ Fatah – good (given weapons), when there is so little dividing their objectives and methods, is not going to solve anything in the long run.

  25. Keith says:

    David Habakkuk –
    Margaret Thatcher was notable for the qualities that she didn’t share with Enoch Powell.
    If Thatcher were a blatant race agitator like Powell, she would have been consigned to the footnotes of history as well. Powell didn’t fail because his economic policies were ahead of their time.

  26. Ingolf says:

    Ever since Obama picked Clinton, I’ve wondered about his long term game plan (I’m still assuming he has one because of the strategic ability he showed throughout his campaign).
    The choice of Mitchell, (and Miller) and the granting of his first formal interview to al Arabiya also suggest his thinking on these matters is far from one dimensional.
    Such, at least, are my impressions from out here in Australia. What do the more informed local denizens of SST think?
    P.S. I’ve just listened to two recent and very interesting interviews that have some relevance to the issues raised by Clifford:
    – The first is with Avraham Burg. He spends a fair bit of time on what he sees as the ambivalent and frequently destructive role played by AIPAC et al.
    – The second was with Shlomo Ben Ami (former Israeli Foreign Minister) and Norman Finkelstein. Ben Ami’s views are remarkably frank.

  27. MRW. says:

    AIPAC, I believe is a (c)(6). They don’t pay taxes, but people who donate don’t get a tax deduction.
    You’re wrong. See

  28. David Habakkuk says:

    I think you are absolutely right in seeing Israel’s demographic problem as fundamental.
    There is another aspect to this. The collapse of realistic prospects of a two-state solution, which is in substantial measure due to the United States giving Israel a rope with which to hang itself by allowing it to colonise the West Bank, means that violent repression of the Arabs, in one form or other, becomes the only strategic option available.
    Once it becomes crystal clear that the two-state option is dead, and that there is no route for Zionism other than an indefinite and almost certainly ultimately fruitless practice of repression, many Jews outside Israel are going — whatever the psychological cost — to part company with the identification with Israel.
    A definition of Jews as a tribe which people want to kill — which is in essence Netanyahu’s definition — does not provide an attractive identity for people in societies where tribalism is regarded with suspicion, and only the tiniest minority has the least desire to kill Jews.
    It also means marginalising the many rich and diverse strands in the Jewish heritage.
    The failure of Enoch Powell has nothing to do with the issue. It was perfectly possible to hold his kind of radical free market views without holdings his views on race, and indeed some people did so. An example would be John Biffen. The point is that, until the election defeat of February 1974, they were very few.
    As Sir Keith Joseph later put it — he was Margaret Thatcher’s mentor and the principal direct architect of Thatcherism — it was ‘only in April 1974 that I was converted to Conservatism’: by which he meant radical free market policies.
    What produced Joseph’s conversion was the patent failure of existing approaches, which was also what produced Thatcher’s victory in the 1979 election, which followed the collapse of the Labour strategy of cooperation with the trade unions in the ‘winter of discontent’.
    Sometimes, when existing approaches are patently failing, people stick with them doggedly, lurching from disaster to disaster — sometimes ideas change dramatically very rapidly. It may be that elite and popular opinion in the United States is too hopelessly wedded to disastrous approaches to abandon them, even in the face of the patent evidence of their failure.
    As someone who has never lived in the United States, I do not feel qualified to judge. But I do not see any reason to give up hope.

  29. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Thank you for your many comments.
    I have been looking for a phrase other than “folie a deux” and David Habakkuk’s phrase “suicide pact” is dead on. Thus we can perceive the current policy situation as “existential” for both the US and Israelis.
    Montefiore and other well informed and morally upright persons correctly warned in the 1920s about the consequences of political Zionism. Now, about a century later, we are getting into the end game era some might think.
    IF our President would recognize the existential threat to the US of the longstanding US “pro-Israel” policy line (operative especially since 1967) then he could make some fundamental changes.
    Standing in the way, of course, is the “pro-Israel” lobby in the US which is, of course, a subset of transnational forces. On the other hand, former President Carter has been quite frank on all this much to his credit so the public has been somewhat informed and warned by a former US President.
    The preliminaries I outlined would help break the legs and backs and necks of some significant “pro-Israel” lobbies such as AIPAC thus lessening their impact on Congress and the Executive.
    It does not take much imagination to note that perhaps 90 percent of both the House and Senate are owned and or cowed by the “pro-Israel” lobby. Just look at the voting record of both on bills of interest to the lobby.
    Anyone with Washington experience knows this to be a fact of life inside the Beltway. And it is no secret to the world at large.
    After the preliminaries I suggest per the lobby, the President would have more room for action in the US national interest. He would also be educating the mass public, gentiles and Jews, as to the nature of the existential problem and threat to our Republic.
    Our President could then tell “Israel” JUST WHAT Ike told them in 1956…no weapons, no aid, no tax exempt Israel bonds etc. That is what Ike, in fact, told them for those who do not recall the era and crisis.
    [NB] Secretary of State Dulles said at the time of Suez: “If we do not go along with sanctions that will be the end of any hope for us in the Middle East. We are doing all we can to avoid sanctions. We have no desire for them. I am aware how almost impossible it is in this country to carry out a foreign policy not approved by the Jews. Marshall and Forrestal learned that. I am going to try to have one. That does not mean I am anti-jewish, but I belive in what George Washington said in his Farewell Address than an emotional attachment to another country should not interfere.” And, he said he understood the “terrific control the Jews have over the news media and the barrage which the Jews have built up on Congressmen.” And, he said, “I am very much concerned over the fact that the Jewish influence here is completely dominating the scene and making it almost impossible to get Congress to do anthing they don’t approve of. The Israeli Embassy is practically dictating to Congress through influential people in this country.”
    Secretary of State Dulles said this in 1956. We are now in 2009.
    Again, for those interested in the Eisenhower policy during Suez I recommend Donald Neff, Warriors at Suez. Eisenhower Takes America into the Middle East (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981).
    For context, I recommend:
    Kathleen Christison, Perceptions of Palestine. Their Influence on US Middle East Policy (Berkeley: U of California Press, 1999)and
    George W. Ball, The Passionate Attachment. America’s Involvement with Israel, 1947 to the Present (New York: Norton: 1992).

  30. curious says:

    from Isn’t-that-obvious dept.
    Israel, Iran liable to clash in 2009 over nukes, says U.S. intel chief
    Israel and Iran are liable to enter into a confrontation or a crisis sometime this year due to Tehran’s progress in its nuclear weapons program and Jerusalem’s determination to thwart it, the head of U.S. intelligence told lawmakers on Thursday.
    In a report to the Senate Intelligence Committee on the potential threats as foreseen by the 16 intelligence arms of the United States, Dennis Blair said that Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based Shi’ite group which is backed by Iran, has beefed up its weapons arsenal in preparation for another round of fighting with Israel.
    Blair said Hezbollah presents a formidable threat to U.S. interests, particularly if the organization feels Washington directly threatens Iran or acts against the group’s targets, infrastructure, and leadership.
    U.S. may moderate shield plan if Russia helps on Iran
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will review “the pace of development” of its missile defense shield in Europe if Russia agrees to help stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb, a senior U.S. official said on Friday.
    The official was speaking as U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns was in Moscow to push ahead with Washington’s vow to hit the “reset button” on U.S.-Russian relations and halt a drift in relations.
    “If we are able to work together to dissuade Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, we would be able to moderate the pace of development of missile defenses in Europe,” a senior U.S. administration official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
    So Russia’s choice will be:
    a) abandoning Iran, which is their main point in central asia against US military expansion.
    or say b)”whatever”. We are going to armed Iran with latest solid booster and guidance and see how well that missile defense works. And btw, Kyrgyzstan is too crowded for two powers. And about afghanistan logistic….
    in the end Russia will just sit there, bargain hard and buying time. It works so well against Bush. They will do it again.
    basically stalemate, while everybody rot in afghanistan and Iraq.
    Netanyahu in, and Iran election coming. That will bring us to early summer, seasonal guerilla peak in afghanistan.
    this start to read like highschool baseball season.

  31. Keith says:

    Mr. Kiracofe –
    1. My understanding is that arms sales in any volume to Israel didn’t start until Kennedy sold Hawk missiles to Israel in ’62 or ’63.
    2. Ike’s platform was ‘no Middle East involvement unless the Soviets get directly involved first’. The policy is pretty much the opposite today – involvement in the ME trumps conflict with Russia. In 1957, Russian tanks were rolling on Budapest. For Ike, Suez was a side show which distracted world attention from the main show of Russian aggression in Hungary.
    3. My understanding is that Nasser basically said to Ike, “you deal with your allies England and France, and we’ll deal with Israel”. As such, most of the US wrath in ’57 was directed at the UK. Things like refusing to roll debt, and devaluing the £.
    My thought is that holding up Ike as some model of virtue in resisting the nefarious Jewish lobby is an entirely inaccurate portrayal on the basis of everything I’ve read. He was primarily concerned with the USSR, and actions with regard to the Suez crisis were primarily directed at American allies in Europe who didn’t consult with the USA before invading Egypt. Based on all I’ve read, Israel was of secondary concern in the American response to the ‘crisis’.

  32. Rider says:

    Think what a difference it would make if the Israelis knew they could no longer count on an automatic, protective US veto in the Security Council.
    I believe that message was sent back-channel sometime before January 18.

  33. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    For those interested in a close examination of US policy per Suez Crisis, the official State Department public record as presented in the Foreign Relations of the United States series is available online thanks to the University of Wisconsin. Volume XVI for 1955-1957 is entitled “Suez Crisis.” The volume is an official compilation of declassified US government documents relating to the crisis. Fascinating and revealing.
    And again the Donald Neff book, Warriors at Suez. Eisenhower Takes America into the Middle East (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981) is quite useful and well researched.

  34. Rider says:

    A couple of extremely interesting articles from Haaretz which show that the Israelis realize they are on a collision course with the Obama Administration and on any number of fronts:

  35. David Habakkuk says:

    Clifford Kiracofe,
    I would not want to take credit for the phrase ‘suicide pact’ — I took it from some remarks the Colonel made at a Middle East Policy forum on ‘Iraq, Iran, Israel And The Eclipse of U.S. Influence: What Role For America Now?’ back in January 2007. They seem worth repeating:
    ‘A famous American once said that the American Constitution was not a suicide pact, and that was quite true in the circumstance. Well, I think you can paraphrase that this day, today these days and say that we should hope that the U.S.-Israeli de facto alliance is not a suicide pact in fact because in the last six years or so, in the period of the present administration here and the Sharon and Ohlmert governments in Israel, our attitudes have approached a kind of state in which we have plunged our hands into the boiling water everywhere and apparently contemplated plunging our hands into more pots of boiling water. And there is a general underlying attitude which is very difficult to deal with because it is one of basically a sort of an endless belligerence. Really, an attitude in which, in fact, the idea seems to be that to negotiate with people is in fact a kind of sissified, weak sort of thing to do, unless in fact you are negotiating with them to dictate the terms of surrender.’
    Subsequent events have made the hope that the ‘de facto alliance’ is not a ‘suicide pact’, at least as far as Israel is concerned, distinctly hard to sustain. Reading the transcript of the most recent Middle East Policy forum, entitled ‘Can the Two-State Solution be Salvaged’, the logic seemed to me inescapable. Without a genuine ‘two-state solution’, Israel has small prospects of survival — and the only hope of salvaging such a solution lies in an extremely prompt application of the kind of ‘tough love’ from Washington which Professor Alon Ben-Meir called for at the forum.
    But AIPAC and the Zionist lobby will fight tooth and nail to make this impossible, and almost certainly succeed. The likely result will be that — as Ambassador Chas Freeman said at the forum — a one-state solution ‘may in fact be the very painful outcome, which is no longer impossible to imagine.’ Israel will have been killed with kindness, by its American friends.

  36. Patrick Lang says:

    Thanks for remembering that line. It is still apt. I notice that the Israeli press contains a certain foreboding over the possibility that the US is no longer quite so controllable and that the prominence of Lieberman (the Israeli) and his like may contribute to that loss of control.
    In re the MEPC, for some reason I am no longer among their invited participants in events. Like most such groups they are driven by their boards. pl

  37. Tom S says:

    End the policy or loophole that allows U.S. citizens to serve in the IDF without renouncing their US citizenship;
    Institute the same rules for dual nationality that apply for other countries and the US (you have to choose…);
    Demand that Israel sign the NPT and open its nuclear facilities up to inspection by the IAEA.

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