Sunday, August 03, 2014

Israel - Where America's Balance is Questioned

"Now give me that annual $3 billion, another $225 million for the Iron Dome, and shut the f*** up."

-- Andrew Sullivan, The Dish

Essentially that is how Netanyahu has been screwing around John Kerry and Obama Administration. First, he had the gall to come on USA Television in the midst of American Presidential Election and openly try to tilt the balance to Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Next, whenever Sec. John Kerry tried to avoid innocent deaths of Gaza women and children; Kerry was criticized as if he was sleeping with Terrorists. Since when having a conscience and trying to save lives of innocent people has been a sin?

Next, we have a Congress where every American Politician is falling over each other to pour cash into Israel's coffers. These Republicans in Congress would pinch every penny when it comes to spending money on Americans. They cannot borrow money (emergency funding is nothing but increasing debt) for Americans, but Israel - no problem! 

Everyone knows why Bibi is so gaga at this point. Overwhelmingly Israeli's back his initiative against Hamas. Clearly Hamas deserves it. Any organization which cowardly puts their own innocent women and children in harm's way as a way of politics is fundamentally wrong headed. That Europeans are the vocal voice in the generated outrage is a proof of Hamas strategy here. (Add to that American Politicians blindly back Israel makes it relatively easy for Europeans to place their bet on the opposite site. After all 'Tony Blair as the lap dog of Bush' caricature should be deeply ingrained in minds of Europeans. Add to all that - substantial presence of Islamic population in Europe.)

The problem with the current Israeli approach is they are engaging with Palestinians in a way by diminishing viability of any future Palestinian state. I am talking about relentless expansion and settlements by Israel in West Bank. Imagine if Israel would have continued the current 'tough approach' but at the same time had not undertaken settlements in West Bank and had conveyed to the whole word about its willingness to entertain Palestinian state on that land as and when it thinks conditions are right. What Palestinians and rest of the world would see is an Israel which is perfectly alert about its security needs, non-compromising with Hamas and other terrorists while keeping the option of West Bank for Palestinian State. At that point Israel could even demand that West of Jordan river Israel would not be hostage to any other security apparatus except their own even though it might allow a Palestinian state in some certain sense; if not fully sovereign. Point is not that the entire peace process be sorted right now. Point is "don't destroy viable options for Palestinian state" unilaterally. Because when 'all hopes' are gone for a people, sense of morality for folks with their backs on wall is very different than what is conducive to solve the problem. Again no-one is justifying Hamas or no-one is denying Israel's right for current military reprisal of Hamas (though obviously Israel made mistakes in that); but one is talking about Israel conducting affairs in principled manners so as it retains a moral high ground without compromising its security. As a result it would retain 'edge over Hamas' in the global court of public opinion.

Every time Israeli foreign policy is subject to wishes of extreme ideologues on Right, every time American Politicians sign a blank check to Israel; we are collectively taking one step forward towards an apartheid regime in Middle East. American Political Class essentially becomes an enabler here as they ignore a more balanced approach. 

No comments: