Israel is NOT America's 51st state!
WHAT ARE AMERICA'S INTEREST IN THE MIDEAST?
By Joe Sansone
When discussing the Middle East there are usually two points of view that consistently come to the surface. You are either pro-Israel or an anti-Semite. Seriously, there are many people that actually believe that these are the only two possible positions on the situation in the Middle East.
Many, especially in the media and in politics, have confused the national interests of Israel with those of the United States. In fact, they might even be surprised to know that Israel is not America's 51st state.
So the question must be asked, what are America's interests in the Middle East, and how do they differ from Israel's?
U.S. interests should be centered on creating peace and stability in the region and protecting the flow of oil. They also entail preventing the Israeli-Palestinian war from spreading into a larger regional conflict, which may in turn lead to a global conflict.
Israel's interest should simply be the survival and prosperity of its nation state as well as a peaceful coexistence with its neighbors. Unfortunately, there are orthodox factions in Israel that want to create a greater Israel. This includes expanding settlements in the west bank and displacing Palestinians.
The Palestinians have resorted to terrorist tactics in an attempt to drive Israel out. The recent military aggression by Israel has ignited the whole situation.
It is actually a moot point to try and determine whether the Palestinians or the Israelis are right or wrong. In truth, both sides have blood on their hands. They are filled with hate toward the other, which is fueled with religious zeal. But it doesn't really matter. The only thing that should matter is what are American interests in the region and what is the best way to implement them.
If peace and stability are in America's interest, then Israel must stop its aggression toward the Palestinian people and withdraw its settlements. If such actions were followed, then as long as terrorist activities by the Palestinians do not reoccur, the creation of a Palestinian state should come next. The United States has to propose a peace plan that is equitable to both sides, and quite simply, use leverage to implement it.
Israel receives three billion dollars a year from the United States. Although this aid is something that should be phased out anyway, for the present, a threat of removing this aid and of any continued military aid, if Israel does not stop its aggression and begin pulling out of its settlements, would be an effective one.
Unfortunately there isn't much leverage that could be used on the Palestinians until they actually have something to lose. In the mean time hopefully the end of Israeli military aggression would suffice.
The idea of placing troops in the Middle East is ridiculous. Such n action would likely draw the U.S. into a regional conflict that could easily become global. Economic means is the best leverage in this case.
Insight Magazine's recent reporting on a couple hundred Israeli spies that were recently deported should be a reminder that American and Israeli interests are not always the same. Isn't it possible that Israel may be attempting to draw the U.S. into a Middle East conflict to destroy Israel's enemies?
When viewing the Middle East from an American point of view as opposed to a Palestinian of Israeli perspective, it really isn't that confusing. After all, only three percent of America is comprised of Jews and another three percent Muslims. What other perspective should we be assessing the situation from?
Israel's war is not America's war. The Palestinian cause is not America's cause. When pundits and politicians try to draw a line between Israel problem with terrorist attacks and America's war on terrorism, the dots simply don't connect. These congressmen and senators were elected to represent Americans in the U.S. federal government. When they begin acting as mouth peaces for Israel's interests or any other foreign influence, they do a disservice to the people they were elected to represent.
Influencing Israel to stop its aggression and withdraw its settlements would not be rewarding terrorists; it would be implementing what should be America's goals for the region.
About the Author
Joe Sansone is a columnist and the Vice-Chairman of the American Reformation Project. Joe has previously hosted a Central Jersey Talk Radio Show and is the former chairman of the Reform Party of New Jersey. He is currently active as a consultant for conservative Republican candidates and is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
Published in the April 18, 2002 issue of Ether Zone.
Copyright (c) 1997 - 2002 Ether Zone.
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