US treats Israel as the banana republic

By CAROLINE B. GLICK, The Jerusalem Post

As long as Livni remains powerful and loyal to their agenda, forces in the US gov’t that despise the Jewish state will be able to rest easy.

Two documents reported on this week shed a troubling light on the US government’s attitude toward Israel.

The first is a 27-page FBI search warrant affidavit from 2004 targeting then-senior AIPAC lobbyist Steve Rosen, published Wednesday in The Washington Times.

The second is WikiLeaks’ leaked secret State Department cable from October 2008 signed by then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice directing US officials to spy on Israel.

Both indicate that in certain quarters of the American government, Israel is viewed as at best a banana republic and at worst an enemy of the US.

The text of the FBI affidavit directed against Rosen makes clear that the FBI had no particular reason to suspect that he was an Israeli agent or was harming US national security. Rosen’s activities during his tenure as AIPAC’s senior lobbyist as described in the affidavit ­
meeting with government officials, journalists and Israeli diplomats ­
were precisely the type of activities that lobbyists in Washington routinely engage in.

Despite this, the FBI followed Rosen for five years and indicted him and his AIPAC colleague Keith Weissman on felony charges under the all-but-forgotten 1917 Espionage Act. The FBI probe and subsequent trial harmed AIPAC’s reputation, destroyed both men’s careers, and did untold damage to the reputation of both the State of Israel and its American Jewish supporters. That it took five years for the Justice Department to drop these outrageous charges is a testament to the strength of the FBI’s commitment to criminalizing American Jewish advocates of a strong US-Israel alliance.

And then there is Rice’s secret cable. Just days before the 2008 presidential elections, the secretary of state instructed US diplomats in Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia as well as the Defense Intelligence Agency and the CIA to conduct a massive espionage operation against Israel. The sought-for information covered all aspects of Israel’s political system, society, communications infrastructures and the IDF.

Regarding the IDF, for instance, among other things, diplomats and spies were asked to gather intelligence on planned Israeli military operations against the Palestinians, Lebanon and Syria, and to probe the attitudes of military commanders.

They were also told to gather information on “IDF units, equipment, maintenance levels, training, morale, and operational readiness[;] IDF tactics, techniques and procedures for conducting conventional and unconventional counterinsurgency and counterterrorist operations[; and] Israeli assessment of the impact of reserve duty in the territories on IDF readiness.”

As for political leaders, among other things, Rice instructed diplomats and spies to provide detailed information about government plans; influences on politicians; how politicians decide to launch military strikes; what Israel’s leaders think about the US; and much more.

Rice also sought information about various aspects of Israeli society. She instructed US diplomats and spies to gather information on everything from “Information on and motivations for any increased Israeli population emigration from Israel” to detailed information on Israeli “settlers” in Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.

Regarding the “settlers,” among other things, Rice wanted information on “Divisions among various settlement groups[;] details on settlement-related budgets and subsidies[;] settlers’ relationships with the Israeli political and military establishment including their lobbying and settlement methods.”

Rice expressed deep interest as well in all details related to Israel’s military and nonmilitary communications infrastructure. For instance, she directed US officials to gather information on “Current specifications, vulnerabilities, capabilities, and planned upgrades to national telecommunications infrastructure, networks, and technologies used by government and military authorities, intelligence and security services, and the public sector.”

Finally, Rice wanted personal data on Israeli leaders. She asked for “official and personal phone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mail addresses of principal civilian and military leaders.”

TAKEN SIDE-BY-SIDE, the first striking aspect of the US’s fabricated Israeli spy scandal on the one hand and its massive espionage operation against Israel on the other hand is the shocking hypocrisy of it all.

But hypocrisy isn’t the real issue. The real issue exposed by the documents is that the US is carrying out a deeply hostile policy against Israel in the face of massive public support for Israel in the US.

That is, whereas two-thirds of Americans support Israel, a minority constituency in the US government treats Israel with scorn and hatred.

And the question that arises from this is how is this minority able to get away with it? Part of the answer was exposed this week in the aftermath of Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s move on Monday morning
to break ranks with the Labor Party. To understand how the two issues are related it is important to understand the plight of Labor since the demise of the peace process with the PLO in 2000.

Since the peace process ended with the beginning of the Palestinian terror war in September 2000, the overwhelming majority of Israelis have viewed Labor’s policies of appeasement at all cost as dangerous and wrong. That is, since 2000, Labor’s policies have been the policies of the political fringe. This situation has only grown worse for Labor since Hamas’s takeover of Gaza and victory in the Palestinian elections held in the wake of Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.

Despite the fact that its policies are hugely unpopular, two factors have enabled Labor to continue to present itself as a mainstream ruling party.

The first factor has been the media. As has been their practice since the birth of modern Israel, since the demise of the peace process, the media have helped the likes of Labor by demonizing the Right, and rightist politicians and particularly the Likud. Working hand in glove with leftist politicians, the media have implemented the politics of personal destruction against right-wing leaders. By demonizing the likes of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, they have rendered the social cost of supporting Likud and the Right too high for many Israelis to bear.

At the same time, the media have colluded with the Left to present leftist leaders as earthy, heroic, sophisticated and responsible statesmen. By keeping the content of their policies firmly out of the discussion and framing the debate instead around personal attacks and symbols, the media have successfully kept rightist leaders on the defensive and shielded leftist politicians from substantive attacks on their radical policies.

The second reason that Labor was able to retain its mantle as a ruling party is that it has enjoyed the energetic support of the State Department and European governments, both of which support its radical policies.

Until the formation of the Netanyahu government two years ago, Labor was the State Department’s favorite political party. Labor leaders from Shimon Peres down were the objects of constant attention and praise. Labor’s leaders in turn were happy to help the Americans and Europeans hide their basic hostility towards Israel by claiming that their anti-Israel policies were actually pro-Israel policies.

So it was that in 2003, Labor leaders actively colluded with the State Department in drafting the so-called road map plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace despite then-prime minister Ariel Sharon’s opposition to the plan.

Labor’s importance took a hit with the formation of Kadima in late 2005. Comprised of newly minted leftists from Likud led by Sharon and veteran leftists from Labor like Peres, Kadima inherited Labor’s mantle as the Left’s new ruling party.

Labor was able to retain its relevance to the US by joining Ehud Olmert’s coalition and advocating even more radical policies than those advocated by Olmert and Tzipi Livni.

But then Likud and the Right won the 2009 elections. Kadima, led by Livni, went into the opposition and Labor, under Barak, joined the coalition.

As head of the opposition, Livni has become ever more vocal in advocating the policies of the radical Left and the Obama administration. Livni has placed the blame for the absence of the peace process and for the Obama administration’s sour relations with Israel squarely and entirely on Netanyahu’s shoulders.

For his part, Barak has been stuck in an untenable situation. To justify his partnership with Netanyahu, he worked closely with the Obama administration and actively lobbied Netanyahu to adopt the US’s favored positions. The Obama administration rewarded him by regularly hosting him in Washington and openly extolling him as its chosen “Israeli foreign minister.”

But given both his own party’s radicalism and the Obama administration’s hostility towards Netanyahu, Barak was never able to fully satisfy either his party or the Americans. He was never able to move to the left of Livni.

According to Haaretz and to Labor leaders who opposed Barak, the end of the line for Barak came in early January with Haaretz’s publication of a report claiming that the Obama administration had soured on Barak due to his failure to convince Netanyahu to extend the Jewish construction ban in Judea and Samaria for an additional 90 days.

Livni, Haaretz reported, had replaced Barak as the Obama administration’s favorite Israeli politician.

Since the article was published, Barak could no longer maintain the contradiction between Labor’s radical policies and its protestations to ruling party status. Without American support, there was no way to
keep Labor together.

This is why, when he announced his break with Labor on Monday morning, Barak explained that Labor had become a radical party that was home to post-Zionists who believe that Israel alone is to blame for the absence of peace. The post-Zionists rejected him when he lost his international support.

So he had nowhere to go but into Netanyahu’s waiting Zionist arms.
This is also why Livni and Kadima have so harshly attacked Barak. In an interview with Army Radio on Tuesday, Livni ­ whose political career owes entirely to her decision to betray Likud voters ­ called Barak’s split from Labor “the dirtiest act” in history. More importantly, the woman who claims that Netanyahu is solely to blame for the absence of peace with the Palestinians and that he is wrong not to bow to every US demand protested, “For Barak to call whoever wants peace post- Zionist is unheard of.”

THIS BRINGS us back to the FBI’s anti-Israel witch hunt and Rice’s spy cable.

Barak lost his ability to serve as the puppet of the anti-Israel wing of the US government because he was unable to both serve under Netanyahu and overthrow him. By pressuring Barak to do the impossible, the anti-Israel officials in the US government inadvertently caused the demise of the Labor Party.

However, with Kadima under Livni, these officials can take heart. Their support for Livni makes her powerful. Owing to their support, Livni is able to maintain her control over the largest party in the Knesset.

And as long as Livni remains both powerful and loyal to their agenda, those forces in the US government that despise the Jewish state will be able to rest easy. Although the majority of Americans want their government to support Israel, shielded by Kadima, these US government officials will be able to continue to implement policies that treat Israel with the contempt due to a banana republic.

January 28, 2011 | 9 Comments »

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9 Comments / 9 Comments

  1. So much hand ringing and so little action. The question for me is ‘how does Israel act to stop the enemies within? I
    don’t want a lecture about freedom of expression. It’s like listening to a gaggle of geese argue in front of a Hamas
    tank. Take your country back for God’s sake.

  2. Ted, while mutual efforts to spy on each other may not be unusual, it is untoward that only the Americans seem to be making an issue of Israel spying on America.

    Israel I am sure has had more than enough evidence to make that a tit for tat game, so that both America and Israel would stay their spying course, but both be silent about it.

    That however, is not the case. Israel tolerates, without taking any action, at least not publically against Americans spying on Israel.

  3. I am appalled about Rice’s actions; thought she were a decent Secretary of State; working for GW Bush, who I considered to be sincere in his support for Israel.
    Where does Bush fit into this?
    The overwelming majority of americans-christians in particular-are very supportive, and it won’t change, no matter the politics.
    Since Obama, the most anti-jewish president ever, Rice now and then popps up in support of Obama, I thought it may relate to skin color, but after reading this, her support sheds more lights on her.

    It is shameful, that the US has turned into an almost banana republic – Not the State of Israel. I am hopeful, and take heart that 2012 will change that, by an conservative president.

  4. Did C. Rice pen that memo on her own? How high, deep and broad does this American administration anti-Israel cabal extend? Has it grown since its inception and is it still growing?

    It has often and long been reported that the State Department has been systemically pro-Arab/Palestinian and anti-Israel.

    Many public positions over many years regarding Israel taken by Secretaries of State for the Democrats, Cyrus Vance, Warren Christopher, Madeline Albright and Hillary Clinton and for the Republicans, Henry Kissinger, James Baker and Condoleeza Rice, have over the years given Israel and conservative-right leaning pro-Israel supporters, bad cases of heartburn, if not stomach ulcers.

    Obama has earned himself the reputation of being anti-Israel, though he crows as loud as America’s predecessor presidents that he is pro-Israel.

    In a number of respects, Obama’s words, deeds and policies in these past 2 short years, appear to be a natural progression of American presidential thinking regarding Israel and the Arabs/Palestinians, though Obama has been more obvious about where he is coming from and the direction he wants to head in that regard.

    If there is a systemic pro-Arab/Palestinian and anti-Israel cabal in the American government, it appears to have its roots in the American State Department and that department appears to be the tail that wags the dog.

    The anti-Israel influence of this cabal has reached into the FBI and CIA and that influence it might be fairly observed has shades of anti-semitism. See:

    Several years ago, reports emerged about Jews in both the FBI and CIA being suspected (without any evidence of course) of dual loyalties and that affected their chances for advancement or security clearances.

    Surmises of American government systemic anti-Israel or anti-semitic thinking have been expressed in relation to Jonathon Pollard’s excessively lengthy imprisonment. Those surmises might be denied by the WH and WH officials, but they are there because neither the WH, nor the WH administrations, present and past ever explain why Pollard remains in custody while so many spies and others who have committed far more grievous crimes either receive shorter sentences or Presidents have commuted their sentences.

    When it comes to thinking, words, deeds and policies regarding Israel and Jews, there has been a rot within the American government that has been revealed in a number of ways, such as this released C. Rice memo and what is further revealed is that this rot appears to be growing.

  5. yamit82 says:
    January 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Weakness wins the Jews no friends; strength makes our detractors respect us, especially the antisemites among them.

    Yamit (Uncle)you got that right. We both know and advocate Israel standing on their own two feet and quit listening to other governments.

    Now we see Egypt erupting.

    The Egyptian government is not a great friend of the US and government caters to Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, a dictator.

    You can only keep the folks down for a little while.

    Someone in the US government mentioned in the news that Egypt helped maintain stability in the ME. That’s a joke.

    Israel is the leader and stability in the ME. Mubarak sided with the US because he really fears the likes of Israel.

    Hey, still miss Ayn. Damn

    You haven’t mentioned your nephew lately.

  6. Although the majority of Americans want their government to support Israel, shielded by Kadima, these US government officials will be able to continue to implement policies that treat Israel with the contempt due to a banana republic.

    America has always treated her enemies better than her friends but Obama has elevated this paradox to levels not seen before in American policies towards other nations.

    It seems the more Israel clings to America and Americas apron strings the more she is detested and held in contempt by American Institutional and Power elites.
    The major force behind anti-Semitism is weakness. Respect is generally a function of power, sometimes of moral power. No one respects weaklings.

    Jewish weakness bears the “kick me” stigma: the superiority of one’s values and ego is most easily established by insulting those who challenge them. The very existence of the Jews challenges the traditional understanding of Christian values. The superiority of one’s clan is most easily established by beating the other clan’s members, thus the repeated beatings of the clannish Jews. Centuries under Christian and Muslim rule established the Jews as institutionally weak; the Gentiles could act against them with impunity.

    Sometimes, the Jews overcame their inherent weakness and fought bravely. In recent times, the 1967 victory sharply diminished anti-Semitism while the protracted scuffle with the insignificant Palestinians and Lebanese has caused anti-Semitism to surge.

    Minuscule Israel among the sea of Muslims parallels the Jewish ghetto in European cities. The lessons of European anti-Semitism fully apply to Israel’s coexistence with the Muslims. Even the Gentiles sympathetic to Jews switch to pitiful contempt over Israel whining about Palestinian attacks.

    Weakness wins the Jews no friends; strength makes our detractors respect us, especially the antisemites among them.

  7. None of this is a surprise really. Try reading, “The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed The Jewish People” . The Allen Dulles(USA), Jack Philby(UK) and ibn Saud connection. The west will readily sell Israel out for oil.