by Jamal Kanj
The recently published comments by former US Secretary of Defense, who served also as the CIA Chief in an earlier administration, that Israel was “ungrateful ally,” warrant a serious review of the one-sided US/Israel relationship. Especially, since this statement is coming from a person who is considered as a good friend of Israel.
Gate was irate for despite the vast US financial aid, unconditional US support at all international forum, supplying Israel with the latest US defense technologies, financing Israel’s missile defense system, sharing of high level intelligence data, insatiable Israel was still ungrateful.
In layman terms: former Secretary Gate articulated the frustration of many US officials with regards to Israel’s arrogant and blatant indifference to US strategic interest in the world.
For instance, Israel was known to having turned around and shared US technology with potential US adversaries. In the early 1990s, Israel provided China with “back door” access to sensitive technology related to the US Patriot missile program.
According to American intelligence, China used the American technology to improve its surface to air missiles, and likely incorporated countermeasures in its ballistic and cruise missiles to overcome the US missile defense program. In early 2000, notwithstanding US expressed displeasure, Israel sold China Harpy Killer, unmanned anti radar drones.
In mid 1980s Israel was also suspected of sharing sensitive intelligence information with the Soviet Union in exchange for releasing Jewish dissidents and easing the immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel. Israel acquired the sensitive US information illegally from indicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. Pollard, a Jewish American was granted Israeli citizenship while in US jail, and a Jerusalem park was renamed after Pollard rewarding him for spying on Israel’s only benefactor.
The recent tantrum from an “Israeli friend” was the result of accumulative factors self evident by recent Israeli condescending remarks delivered to US leaders on Middle Eastern issues. The last was reported when Israeli prime minister Netanyahu blathered for more than an hour to “educate” US President on the indefensible1967 border.
Gate himself was incensed with Netanyahu bleating Israel’s disapproval of arm sales to America’s Arab allies and Turkey, who unlike Israel, at least they pay for their purchases. Gate assuaged Netanyahu by assuring him the sales were in full consultation with Israel and its supporters in US Congress.
Unfortunately, Israel’s pompous attitude is empowered by Congress’ servitude to Israel’s powerful lobby in Washington. Israel’s undue influence was manifested recently when members of the US Congress groveled with 29 standing ovation to Netanyahu’s effervescent speech at the joint session. Ironically, no US president has ever received this level of unitary adulation from both sides of the aisles.
To insure Congress’ continued submission, an Israeli lobby group recently invested around one million dollar for 81 members of Congress, 1/3 of them freshmen, in an all paid trip to attend obedience orientation crash course in Jerusalem. Israel exploited a loophole precluding US Congress members from accepting foreign money by using a not for profit Jewish organization to finance the trip.
Alas, the Obama administration was not very far behind the submissive Congress. In fact, the newly appointed Israeli “High Commissioner” to Washington, ambassador Dan Shapiro had nothing but praise for Obama’s commitment to Israel’s security, ecstatically adding that Obama has expanded the US commitment to Israel to “unprecedented levels.”
On the top of the standing $3 billion of annual aid and despite US economic downturn, Obama is conferring additional $1.1 billion in the coming fiscal year; meanwhile he had generously requested US Congress to cough up $205 million to finance the deployment of Israeli anti missile program, known as the Iron Dome System.
On the Diplomatic level, the US administration is blackmailing the Palestinian authority with cutting its meager annual aid and threatening to block UN Security Council vote if Palestinians try to seek UN recognition of their state.
In Spite of all this, the unthankful Israel and its loyalists are not content. In a recent congressional election, former Democratic Mayor Ed Koch threw his support behind a Republican candidate in a New York Jewish district, calming that Obama was not doing enough for Israel. Notwithstanding a 3 to 1 Democratic registration, with a parochial Zionist agenda, the pro Israeli Jewish Democrats opted for a Republican candidate who had professed to be more pro Israel.
Israel and its Washington’s aficionadas are indeed “ungrateful.” Like the peace process with Palestinians, Israel won’t be satisfied until it “has the cake and eats it too.”
Jamal Kanj writes frequently on Arab World issues and the author of “Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America”, Garnet Publishing, UK . Jamal’s articles can be read at www.jamalkanj.com,
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|Timothy V. Gatto|