Time for America to un-intervene in Israel-vs-Palestine

Washington’s bipartisan groveling to and knee-jerk support for Israeli actions are nearing an epic success. They are shattering the last of the thin veneer of Westernization in Turkey; reminding the Turks they are Muslims; pushing the Turks into the Muslim world; and encouraging Islamism in Turkey. This is a nightmarish achievement of Homeric dimensions and was caused by Israel and its U.S.-citizen friends corrupting, intimidating, and ultimately dictating policy to U.S. politicians and media. With an economy on the rocks, two wars being lost, and Obama’s lynch-law-style chase of BP unfolding, we find the decision about war in the Levant, and whether the United States joins it, is in the hands of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his ability to divine what God wants done to protect His chosen people. This is insane.

The solution to the problem is for America to stop intervening. No U.S. politician should tell the Israelis how to defend themselves. If Israel’s leaders believe their country’s security depends on the IDF boarding and shooting up relief convoys then that needs to be done. Israelis alone are responsible for shaping their security requirements and living with the consequences. On the Palestinian/Arab side, Washington should stop telling Muslims what to do or not do in dealing with Israel. The Israelis and Muslims are locked in a religious war where compromise means turning your back on God. God, Mr. Netanyahu says, gave the Israelis an eternal deed to Palestine, and innumerable Muslim leaders claim God did likewise for Muslims. We should walk away and let them test the validity of their God-given deeds in a war sure to ruin both.

From the U.S. perspective, moreover, non-intervention would allow us to stop saying “yes” to the question: “Are we really obligated to be endlessly damaged politically and diplomatically, put at increasing disadvantage on the battlefield, and drained of financial resources to protect Israel, a nation whose actions in and toward the United States — espionage, technology theft and transfer, political corruption, humiliating and rousing dissent against a sitting president, etc. — can only be seen as an enemy’s behavior?” Once we can answer in the negative, most Americans will see how crazy it is for the world’s greatest power to be involved in the Levant. If we stand aside, what possible impact can an IDF raid on a relief convoy or strafing of Palestinians have on U.S. security? Or what possible impact can a Hamas suicide bomb in Israel have on U.S. security? If Israel goes to war against Syria or vice versa, so what? Israel and its Muslim neighbors want to fight this religious war for their God. Let them. Stability is a much over-valued commodity; in fact, more stability would be found in a post-war period after both sides burned out their lust for religious war.

Israel particularly merits Washington’s cold shoulder because it has bred a fifth column in the United States. I hope many Americans have read or heard the messages delivered by their war-wanting, fellow U.S.-citizens since the IDF raid. In print and on television and radio, Americans have been lectured by Israel-First propagandists like Charles Krauthammer, Eliot Cohen, Mark Steyn, Daniel Pipes, and Steven Rosen on their absolute duty to support Israel, and on how questioning or opposing Israel’s actions weakens U.S. security and connotes anti-Semitism. They argued, in other words, it is the duty of Americans to shut up and feel honored to see their taxes aid Israel’s territorial aggrandizement and have their soldier-children die as Israel’s cannon fodder.

If Americans doubt where the primary loyalty of the Israel Firsters is fixed, I would recommend listening to Steven Rosen’s discussion with Peter Beinart last week on NPR’s “On the Media.” Rosen spoke as if there is a codicil to the 1st Amendment that forbids Americans from even mild criticism of Israel; he left no doubt he would support such a ban on his fellow citizens. Steyn and Pipes, on the other hand, made a strange attempt to paint Turkey as a U.S. enemy because Istanbul took exception to the IDF killing its nationals. Cohen and Krauthammer were more traditional, using the stale but always reliable make-Americans-feel-guilty-about-the-holocaust ruse.

Cohen: “The folly here is to think that leaving the Israelis open to these kinds of diplomatic attacks [from other nations] will buy goodwill in the Middle East that gets its opinions from Al Jazeera and a venomous media that routinely prints outrageous lies and hate literature that echoes Nazi Germany.”

Krauthammer: “The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million — that number again — hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists — Iranian in particular — openly prepare a more final solution.”

Using Cohen’s words more accurately, the “folly here” to think the existence of Israel or Palestine matters to U.S. national security. For forty years, Washington has spent untold time, diplomatic resources, and money promoting peace between Muslims and Israelis who want war. For the effort, Americans have: (a) earned the undying hatred of many tens of millions of Muslims; (2) led Israeli politicians to believe we are a rich, militarily powerful automaton they can cynically manipulate by using terms like “holocaust” and “Nazi” and “final solution” whenever their acts bring war near; (3) convinced Arab tyrants we will intervene at the last second to stop all-out war when their murderous surrogates spur Israel to defend itself; and, worst of all, (4) allowed the growth of a fifth column of U.S.-citizen Israel Firsters (see above) that corrupts our politics, opposes free speech, and wants to take all Americans to war for their own personal religious beliefs.

This is too high a price for the United States to pay for anything that goes on in a sandpit at the Mediterranean’s eastern end.

America first … and a pox on all in the Levant.

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.