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Who's the boss –
Israel or the U.S.?

Posted By Ilana Mercer On 11/14/2003 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad recently gave voice to a growing consensus in the Muslim world. He, along with many Palestinian Authority leaders and “intellectuals,” countless Islamic clerics, the Hamasniks, a Grand Mufti or two, plus powerful elements in the press and governments of Egypt, Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, all agree that Jews control the world.

It is quite clear for which constituency the Malaysian Prime Minister spoke when he claimed that “today the Jews rule the world by proxy,” and “get others to fight and die for them.” When they let their hair down, these types also proclaim that Jews use human blood to make Purim pastries and Passover matzo balls.

Studious disregard for reality or reason is to be expected from warped haters. But what excuse do Europeans and Americans of the far Left and Right have for agreeing with the Mahathir Mohamads of the world? (Being a rightist, I’m naturally more concerned with aberrations on the Right; the Left is beyond help.) Lately, representatives from these corners regularly accuse the allegedly all-powerful Ariel Sharon and his Likud Party for instigating America’s unjust war on Iraq. Sharon is even depicted as being behind alleged U.S. plots to invade Syria, Iran and Lebanon.

The same madcap theorists also draw sweeping and sloppy parallels between the American unwarranted offensive on Iraq and Israel’s decades-long defensive battles against Palestinian and Arab aggression. But such comparisons won’t wash.

A new poll reveals “59 percent of Palestinians believe that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad should continue their armed struggle against Israel even if Israel leaves all of the West Bank and Gaza, including East Jerusalem, and a Palestinian state is created.” In the face of such uncompromising and ongoing hostility, Israel has been forced to fight purely in self defense. Her raison d’etre has nothing in common with Bush’s quest for domination in the name of global democracy. It is not Israel that now insists on keeping a military presence in over 120 nations across the world.

The comparisons between Ariel Sharon and Emperor Bush are equally mismatched. Hated though he is abroad, Sharon was a soldier in the style of “Stonewall” Jackson, not Dubya the Deserter. As a Special Forces commander, he personally led his troops into battle, performing daring assaults that saved Israel in the 1967 and 1973 wars.

Agree or disagree with his methods, it is unarguable that Sharon’s overriding concern is with the security of his citizens. He sees himself as bearing a “historic responsibility” for “the fate of the Jewish people.” Repeating for the umpteenth time what has been a life-long credo, Sharon told the Israel Times: “I will make no concessions now or ever … with regard to anything that is related to the security of Israel.” By contrast, it is hard to see how Bush’s Wilsonian, global missionary movement relates even tangentially to the future and safety of the American people.

It so happens that Israel, incorrectly, thinks that American foreign policy serves her well – although, arguably, for Israel to have endorsed the war on Iraq so enthusiastically is bad for a future Arab-Israeli relationship. As one who supports the Jewish state, but also opposes current American foreign policy, I would prefer to see Israel refrain from conflating America’s unlimited worldwide war on terror with the narrowly delimited battle for survival that Israel has conducted since her inception.

But once again reality bites. Israel is a small country that is necessarily dependent on a large state. It is Israel who is obliged to support the U.S. and acquiesce to American foreign policies, not the other way round.

The growth and expansion of the American state are the unchanging objectives for neoconservatives of both the Republican and Democratic persuasion. Israel’s required support for our neoconservative administration’s expansionist agenda understandably makes her look bad in the eyes of those who oppose big, interventionist government. But as an American satellite state, Israel has no option … she is beholden to U.S. policy interests, and not vice versa. That these policies are ostensibly to Israel’s interest is no proof that Israel forced them on the U.S.

Bush is no philanthropist – no politician is. However, if he has indeed decided, unconstitutionally, to sacrifice American lives to serve the needs of other nations like Israel, the wrath of the murdered, maimed and mugged American people should be directed at him, and not against the Jewish state. Unless small, dependent Israel wields paranormal powers over the American hyper power, reasonable people – the kind who don’t see “Zionists” under their pillows – must surely realize how silly it is to saddle Israel with the moral blame for U.S. policy.

In the unlikely case that the American hegemon has dedicated itself to doing Israel’s bidding, whose responsibility is that?


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