‘American Pressure on Israel? Perhaps Just a Smidgeon’…

The former ambassador to Washington, Yoram Ettinger, plays down the reports about
American pressure to make political concessions: When prime ministers
said ‘no’ they were respected.

Translated from the Hebrew Arutz 7 article by Shimon Cohen

In last week’s conference for the application of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria organized by Women in Green and Am Chazak,that was held in Hashmonaim, former Ambassador to Washington Yoram Ettinger presented the proper way for the Israeli government to stand up to any American pressure by being aware of the real political power struggle in the American government.

Ettinger stated that the claims of unbearable American pressure are totally unrealistic. “I say that anyone who says that Israel cannot withstand the an American president’s pressure, especially when Israel is faced with existential threats such as a nuclear Iran and Islamic terror, is either very dramatically wrong or is scandalously misleading” says Ettinger, who believes that the claims result from not understanding the American political structure and the regard that
the United States grants to its interlocutors.

As he spoke, Ettinger brought up a number of examples from the past in which Israeli prime ministers proved that they have the power to stand up fearlessly to American pressure that was several times stronger than that of today. “In ’48 Ben Gurion did not have an army, an economy or demographic strength. The United States imposed a military embargo on Israel even as the British were transferring weapons to the Arab countries. The United States adopted the CIA evaluation according
to which the State of Israel had no chance against the Arab countries, and even stated that Ben Gurion would be responsible for a second holocaust within a decade. Ben Gurion’s response was ‘no’ and he declared the State of Israel”. Ettinger also mentioned additional examples of Ben Gurion’s stand vis a vis the American government when the US demanded that he stop the conquest of the Negev, not apply the law over western Jerusalem and demanded that he take part in negotiations for the transfer of Israeli territory. In these cases as well, Ben Gurion responded with ‘No’ and acted according to his understanding of the correct way for the young State of Israel to act.

The Americans learned to respect the government of Israel at that time. The first American ambassador describes in his book the meetings with the short Jew who dared to say no to every ultimatum of Secretary of State George Marshall, a hero of the Second World War, a man to whom the entire world listened attentively to every word he said. He wrote the book because of his great admiration for Ben Gurion and the
idea of the State of the Jews.

Ettinger continued, mentioning the influence of Ben Gurion’s statesmanship on American military people. “In light of Israel’s stamina and skill in war, the Chief of General Staff called for Israel to be declared an ally.”

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol was also pressured by America, threatening that if he carried out a preemptive action the United States would consider supporting Egypt, which was being attacked, but he did not respond to the American pressure and “this did not detract from the growing American respect for him and for the Jewish State.”

“When Begin daringly blew up the Iraqi nuclear plant in opposition to the American line instructing him not to carry out this action, it added to the respect for Israel. In an event held by the security establishment in Washington after the Second Gulf War, Dick Cheney, the American Secretary of Defense spoke, saying ‘I want to thank Israel, which, a decade ago blew up the Iraqi nuclear plant and saved
us from having to deal with such a nuclear plant now”, said Ettinger and added that “Yitzhak Shamir also stood up to the American leadership’s pressure and understood how an Israeli prime minister must stand persevere when faced with American pressure”.

“Standing up to pressures increases respect for the person who stands up to the pressures, even if it harms his popularity”, states Ettinger and defines current reality as “very minor pressures compared to the pressures that existed then”. According to him, pressures from the United States are insignificant in general and especially in light of the dramatic weakening of President Obama, a weakness that very much concerns the members of his party, who fear, based on Obama’s low popularity, that they may lose their majority in the mid-term elections next November.

According to Ettinger we must internalize the fact that “when an American president is weak in his own country, his ability to exert pressure approaches zero outside”. He added that if there will be a Republican majority in the senate, Obama will become a lame duck until the end of his term. “Obama must keep the majority in the Senate and that is why he cannot turn great segments of the public against him.
The sympathetic feeling toward Israel is one of the last common denominators in American politics and therefore, at least until November Obama must tread very carefully when he speaks to Israel”.

Ettinger continues, describing the power struggle in the American governmental structure, a power struggle in which the Congress neutralizes every step that the president takes if it doesn’t agree with him, as has happened many times in the past. The Congress’ pro-Israel positions have led it to block American presidents’
sanctions and threats against Israel again and again. Regarding this matter as well, Ettinger presents several examples from the history of Israel-United States relations.

As part of his speech at the conference, Ettinger continued his ongoing campaign of shattering the demographic myth, a process that he has been carrying out energetically in recent years. Ettinger presented statistical data that tells of a dramatic increase in Jewish fertility and the steep drop in Arab fertility since the seventies.

Ettinger noted that the current reality is a majority of 66 percent for the Jews in the area that includes the State of Israel and the territories of Judea and Samaria. He emphasized that the Palestinians try to inflate their numbers demographically with an additional million people and declare a population of 2.7 million people, while the reality is actually only 1.7 million.

Ettinger also mentioned the demographic threats of the more distant past, threats with which respected statisticians tried to threaten Herzl in the beginning of the previous century and Ben Gurion in the forties. Against Herzl it was the historian Shimon Dubnov, who defined the Jewish State as a delusion and claimed that in the year 2000, according to the most reliable predictions, there would be at most 500
thousand Jews between the river and the sea. These predictions did not deter Herzl from laying the foundations of modern Zionism. “In ’47 ben Gurion stood up against the same phenomenon. Against him stood the great statisticians and demographers who presented predictions of the demographic situation in 2001 with the claim that there would be a 30 percent Jewish minority between the river and the sea”.

Ettinger notes that “the central player”, as he defines it “is aliyah (immigration to Israel), which is the body and soul of the Jewish State”. According to him the government of Israel must not sit idly and expect the immigrants to come from the ends of the earth, but it must act to encourage aliyah in practical ways.

In his opinion, aliyah of a half million Jews in the next decade is a realistic prediction and even a conservative one when compared to the potential of aliyah which the government of Israel might see.

Note that more than one hundred and fifty people from Hashmonaim and surrounding communities took part in the conference, which was organized by Women in Green in cooperation with a new movement being formulated currently, the ‘Am Chazak’ movement. The event took place under the influence of the disturbing consciousness that the speakers and those present had regarding the civil administration’s intention to carry out the destruction of buildings in three communities in Judea and Samaria by the end of the week. The heads of Women in Green, Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, see the vision of sovereignty as an inclusive answer to such destructive steps, “We cannot continue to simply run to every outpost and to every agricultural area built on state land. In order for the Arabs not to take over, we need a general, realistic and structured solution, which is the vision of Israeli sovereignty over the entire area”, say the two women.

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May 22, 2014 | 25 Comments »

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25 Comments / 25 Comments

  1. yamit82 Said:

    bernard ross Said:

    Israel has the responsibility to carry through the Palestine mandate on behalf of world jewry and has instead obstructed that mandate. “the facilitation of immigration and the encouragement of close settlement of the Jewish people”……!!!!!!!!

    Yamit said:
    ” its prime raison d’etre.” is the fulfillment of the Biblical mandate not the one you refer to.

    To which interpretation of the “biblical mandate do you refer?
    Is it the interpretaton of yamait, Kahane?
    Or the interpretation of the Naturei Karta or the satmar?
    OR the interpretation of Bennett?
    Perhaps it is the interpretation of the chief Rabbi demanding that the state fulfill the biblical mandate and immediately settle jews in YS and banish the muslim presence from the Temple MOunt?
    Perhaps it is the orthodox who believe that the Muslims should be sovereign on the MOunt because it is impure for Jews to ascend; yet conveniently do not notice that they need not ascend in order to prevent the muslims from the MOunt?
    Perhaps it is the interpretation of the political religious parties whom we daily hear protest the GOI for perks and draft evasion, protesting women IDF soldiers, and demanding the immediate settlement of YS according to the “biblical mandate”?
    Perhaps it is the state of Israel whose current PM NEVER mentions that land belongs to the Jews, perhaps he forgot.
    Perhaps it is the state of Israel who has apparently subscribed to the biblical mandate to which you refer. 750, 000 find attendance at a rabbi’s funeral more important.

    It appears to me that the majority of those who are entrusted with the spiritual leadership of the Jewish people, and who should be demanding the fulfillment of the “biblical mandate”, have either forgotten it, conveniently invented brain games for avoiding it, or outright campaign for its opposite. I do not appeal to the biblical mandate because those who claim to adhere to it, in contradictory ways, have already decided their position and will not change whether for or against. Whereas. the secular, uneducated and ignorant jew can still be swayed through education as to the real facts and through lawfare by being exposed to the real law. The Palestine mandate, which recognized the Jewish historical connection to the land, is to what the state of Israel subscribed and the international community, to as its raison d”etre. Israel has been harmed by its position of not defending Jewish interests in YS. In so doing it has turned the world to question its entire reason for being. If Israel had defended its positions in law and public opinion it would now be considered a dispute whereas Israel gives the opinion that it is a thief of the pal land.

    I realize through many comments that you do not credit approaches which do not directly use as a basis the biblical foundations. I however consider everything to be a weapon just like missiles and bullets. The problem with your approach is it tends to dilute Jewish survival efforts and divide Jews. I am for uniting Jews whichever basis they respond to in order to achieve the goal. Instead of focusing on the goal of Israel annexing YS we end up discussing whether the reasons should be biblical or legal.

    WRT Jewish settlement the state of Israel is a rogue state who violates international law, TO WHICH IT SUBSCRIBES, by obstructing the immigration and settlement of Jews in YS.

    I am for this conclusion:

    yamit82 Said: It’s not their Land, it’s ours.

    For me the motivation is secondary.

    yamit82 Said:

    Genesis 15:18
    On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates–

    did He include Ishmael and the other descendants. A smart (assed) Jewish biblical expert might conclude that the land should be shared wit ALL Abrams descendants.

  2. dweller Said:

    Take it up with Him.

    I shall, must stop e-mailing huge storm approaching [could it be an answer] and my Loki [computer] is acting up. Goodnight

  3. @ honeybee:

    “But primarily He’s masculine”

    “One of the problems with Judaism is that it lacks the feminine.”

    It does NOT lack for the feminine. But most people don’t know where to look for it. E.G., I showed you, He answers prayer; that’s a feminine aspect.

    “I do not agree that The Almighty is male!”

    Take it up with Him.

  4. dweller Said:

    But primarily He’s masculine

    One of the problems with Judaism is that it lacks the feminine. I do not agree that The Almighty is male !!

  5. @ honeybee:

    “My curse in life is to ‘like’ super masculine men.”

    Not a problem as long as you know one when you see one. It’s not always as obvious as meets the eye. (“Things aren’t always as they seem; skim milk masquerades as cream…” Gilbert & Sullivan.)

    From an old post:

    “The essence of maleness is DIRECTION (not erection) & ASSERTION (not insertion). The essence of femaleness is RECEPTIVENESS & RESPONSIVENESS (not ‘passivity’).

    What makes God the ultimate Male is that He is the Prime Mover, the Originator, the Creator.

    This needn’t mean that He doesn’t ALSO have a feminine aspect, a responsive quality, as well

    — e.g., He answers prayer.

    But primarily He’s masculine.

    ‘Let there be light’ is all Male

    — especially if Light follows a command like that

    (otherwise it could be embarrassing, to say nothing of megalomaniacal).

    In fact, in a real sense, God is the only true male.

    All the rest of us, physical males — with the bass voices & the bulging biceps & that weird little appendage that picks the strangest times to stand up & salute (and not to) — are in the final analysis, essentially impostors.

    The truth is that whichever Toolbox one is equipped with upon arrival in this world, his/her soul is ALWAYS female in relation to God, i.e., intended to be receptive to his/her Maker.”

  6. @ honeybee:

    “I think the wishful thinking maybe on your part…”

    Hardly. Can’t imagine why I wouldn’t be thoroughly content with the way God made me.

    “…any way you don’t have correct equipment.”

    Quite so.

    But it wasn’t I who tried to give me that name. (And not for the first time either.) As I said, it would appear that this was “Yamit’s way of expressing his personal preference [in re me].” It’s actually quite telling when somebody goes to such lengths; it reveals a great deal.

  7. @ honeybee:

    “Barbie”

    “Odd name for a man ??”

    That’s just Yamit’s way of expressing his personal preference; it’s essentially wishful thinking on his part.

  8. @ yamit82:

    “The Jewish nation‘s objective — the Jewish people‘s objective — must INDEED be fulfillment of the Biblical mandate. The responsibility of the (present) Jewish state, however, must be predicated on the explicit international legal provisions & parameters on which the state was grounded — and that is the LON Mandate for Palestine. The two objectives needn’t necessarily conflict with each other. But they shouldn’t be confused either.”

    “Up yours Barbie”

    Ooh, good argument. Very lucid. Shkoyekh.

  9. @ BethesdaDog:

    Rand study seems to be more concerned in attempting to explain and even justify American and British operational Failures which were much worse than the Rand report credits them with. They destroyed Not a single Launcher or operational Scud but took out dummies instead.

    Here is a better more objective and inclusive study (MIT) and still not 100% accurate with regards to effectiveness and real damage incurred by Israel from 1 month of Scud attacks.

    Would Israel have been more effective than America? No doubt in my mind that we would have because we had the tactics and the training to do so but especially the motivation.

    Lastly our pilots are so much better than the American and British pilots. Our special OPS forces several levels above the Americans too. I say this as not just empty bravado but from first hand experience on both sides to compare with.

    Here is one link of several for your reference substantiating my contentions previously

    DACS Working Paper
    March 1993
    CASUALTIES AND DAMAGE FROM SCUD ATTACKS
    IN THE 1991 GULF WAR

  10. Ted,

    I’ve given up trying to post links properly on this message board. Please fix the link above to the Rand website that shows the Rand report on the Scud attacks during the Gulf War. It just skips over the linked sentence and includes the whole following section into the link, if you can see what I mean. Thank you.

    Now, I go back to the comments, and looks OK. You’re board sometimes frustrates me. Oh, well.

  11. @ yamit82:

    Are you saying 39 Scud hits destroyed 10 thousand homes? How is that possible? Were they apartment buildings? I had not read that, but I had very little information about what was happening in Israel back then, since there was no internet.

    From what I’ve been able to find, there were 42 Scud hits in Israel and the West Bank, with 38 in Haifa, Negev, and Tel Aviv. I can’t find any information on damage. I can find some data on the U.S. and coalition forces attempts at “scud hunting” and the picture was not good. Apparently the USAF was only able to acquire 8 mobile scud launchers with enough visual clarity to launch ordnance. The radars and other electronic targeting systems employed by the USAF were virtually ineffective in distinguishing mobile SCUD platforms from other vehicles and assorted clutter on the ground.

    See this report

    http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1408/MR1408.ch3.pdf

    I don’t know how many of the SCUDs were launched from fixed platforms, but I’m wondering, what did Israel have in its quiver that would have enabled it to be that much more effective than US aircraft and pilots in finding the SCUDs. Are Israli pilots that much better, their tactics superior, better electronics, what? Could Israel have done a much better job?

  12. Is it completely accurate to describe Ettinger as the “Ambassador to Washington”? That suggests he was the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, which he was not. He was, according to a biography I found, “Minister for Congressional Relations (with the rank of Ambassador)” which I suppose is something less than the Ambassador from Israel to the U.S. I don’t know how significant that is, but usually the full amabassador from a foreign country is accorded a level of status that far exceeds any other diplomatic post. I don’t think this is a minor quibble, but I’m not accusing Ambassador Ettinger of being misleading. He was not, as far as I know, at the level of Rabin, Dinitz, Arons, Harman, Eban, Dermer and Oren, or the many others who had that distinguished position. To be sure, he must have occupied a very important and respected position, in addition to being a consul-general in Houston.

    That’s not to say that I don’t find his many writings and ideas interesting and informative. His writings a few years back on the demographics were eye-opening. I love his work on scientific and technological updates. He is always very provocative and interesting.

  13. dweller Said:

    The responsibility of the (present) Jewish state, however, must be predicated on the explicit international legal provisions & parameters on which it was grounded — and that is the LON Mandate for Palestine.

    Up yours Barbie

  14. @ yamit82:

    “Israel has the responsibility to carry through the Palestine mandate on behalf of world jewry and has instead obstructed that mandate. ‘the facilitation of immigration and the encouragement of close settlement of the Jewish people’…”

    ”its prime raison d’etre is the fulfillment of the Biblical mandate not the one you refer to.”

    The Jewish nation‘s objective — the Jewish people‘s objective — must INDEED be fulfillment of the Biblical mandate.

    The responsibility of the (present) Jewish state, however, must be predicated on the explicit international legal provisions & parameters on which it was grounded — and that is the LON Mandate for Palestine.

    The two objectives needn’t necessarily conflict with each other.

    But they shouldn’t be confused either.

  15. bernard ross Said:

    I note that according to ewttinger the last PM to stand up to US pressure was shamir. Hardly an analogy for todays times and generation, 35 years ago.

    As I recall Shamir wilted under Pressure not to attack Iraq during Desert Storm and we took 39 Scud hits for a month, causing some 10,000 homes destroyed, and inflicting upon the country terror. He sat on his hands and ass and did nothing to defend us. The American Patriot missiles never hit anything coming out of Iraq and caused more damage on the ground than did the Scuds. The American Air Force did not take out a single Scud launching site or vehicle. The Scuds stopped when they ran out of Scuds. He endangered the whole country becuase of his fear of America. He too was a weak piece of shit.

    As I recall Shamir wilted under American pressure and agreed to attend Madrid conference which defacto recognized the PLO and led to OSLO agreements…..

    Ettinger is full of shit and not only about this issue. He was pro Obama in the first couple of years too. I think he is a paid American Lackey. He was never an ambassador but held the job of congressional coordinator (Liaison)(Lobbyist) out of the Israeli embassy in Washington.

  16. bernard ross Said:

    Israel has the responsibility to carry through the Palestine mandate on behalf of world jewry and has instead obstructed that mandate. “the facilitation of immigration and the encouragement of close settlement of the Jewish people”……!!!!!!!!

    ” its prime raison d’etre.” is the fulfillment of the Biblical mandate not the one you refer to.

    Every place upon which the soles of your feet will tread, will be yours: from the desert and the Lebanon, from the river, the Euphrates River, and until the western sea, will be your boundary. Deut 11:24

    Genesis 15:18
    On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates–

    Exodus 23:31
    “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out beforeyou.

    Deuteronomy 1:8
    See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the LORD swore he would give to your fathers–to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob–and to their descendants after them.

    Joshua 1:3
    I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.

    Joshua 14:9
    So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.’

  17. Israel has the responsibility to carry through the Palestine mandate on behalf of world jewry and has instead obstructed that mandate. “the facilitation of immigration and the encouragement of close settlement of the Jewish people”……!!!!!!!!
    In abandoning that obligation Israel abandons its prime raison d’etre. The land of Israel is STILL needed for expected waves of Aliya from the west and the EU. It is absurd to consider that the internationally designated homeland and the masses of vacant land in YS can be the property of the arabs as opposed to the returning Jews. Israel must abandon that canard or there is no reason for its existence.

  18. I note that according to ewttinger the last PM to stand up to US pressure was shamir. Hardly an analogy for todays times and generation, 35 years ago.

  19. Obama is doing overtly what many presidents before him did covertly. How many presidents promised to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem? You may list them.

  20. This talk by Ambassador Ettinger is very informative. It should remind all of us that Israel CAN stand up to American pressure. It also is a record of U.S. treachery that would have had Israel destroyed had Israel buckled. Obama my be weak in defending America but he is also the most hostile President we ever faced and he is allowing Iran to go Nuclear while tying Israel’s hands.