Israel – The tail that wags the dog |

Israel – The tail that wags the dog

Hal Sundin
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
As I See It

I find it difficult to understand why we are allowing our Middle-East foreign policy is to be dictated by Israel. But first, a little history.

After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the League of Nations gave Britain a mandate over Palestine (now Israel) and Transjordan (now Jordan), and a migration of Jewish people back to the area from which they had dispersed centuries ago was encouraged. With the rise of Hitler in Germany, what had been a trickle became a flood, much to the displeasure of the indigenous Palestinian Arabs, resulting in a series of violent incidents. In 1947, the UN General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into separate Arab and Jewish states. Instead, an independent State of Israel was created in 1948, under the assumption that there would be predominantly Arab and Jewish parts of the country, enabling a possible future partition.

However, the Israeli government immediately adopted a policy of aggrandizement by confiscating Palestinian lands and constructing Jewish settlements, infiltrating the Arab territories, thereby staking out a claim to a growing portion of the Arab lands – a policy which continues to this day despite U.S. remonstrance. Quite naturally this has created animosity from the Palestinians and a continuing violent response. It parallels how we dealt with the Native Americans, whose lands we coveted. We conned them into signing treaties taking huge portions of their lands, with the understanding that in return they would retain the remainder. But soon settlers and prospectors began to infiltrate the remaining portions, and when the Native Americans tried to defend their lands from these invasions, our government responded by crushing them with overwhelming military force, just as Israel has responded to the Palestinian’s resistance to the usurpation of their lands. And our bloody actions in the 19th Century do not justify Israel’s behavior in today’s world.

Our continuing tolerance of Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians and failure to put a stop to it is the primary source of the hatred of the U.S. throughout the Middle East – a hatred that only increased with our unprovoked 2002 invasion of Iraq. That hatred is an effective tool for recruiting more al Qaeda and Taliban fighters and suicide bombers, costing us billions of dollars and thousands of lives. Yet Israel continues to do pretty well what it pleases, and we stand by and let them.

We don’t have to put up with the current state of affairs. Israel needs us a lot more than we need Israel, and we do have the means for getting their attention. The U.S. has poured over $100 billion in aid into Israel since its founding in 1948, and it would be very difficult for it to survive without the continuation of that support. Israel has been acting like a reckless teen-ager with overly permissive parents, and it is time for a little “tough-love”. There is no question that we must make it clear to both sides that we will continue to honor our commitment to guarantee Israel’s survival in a hostile neighborhood, but Israel must be willing, to do its share to improve relations with its neighbors by ceasing its provocative actions, which are only digging it and us into a deeper hole. The tremendously powerful Israel lobby in this country had better realize that continuing to put the interests of Israel ahead of those of the U.S. will be counterproductive, and may very well backfire on them, with catastrophic results for the very people they support.

– Glenwood Springs resident Hal Sundin’s column runs every other Thursday in the Post Independent.

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