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Why America gives Israel its unconditional support (From The Economist)

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norml Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:21 PM
Original message
Why America gives Israel its unconditional support (From The Economist)
Middle East policy

To Israel with love
Aug 3rd 2006 | WASHINGTON, DC
From The Economist print edition

Why America gives Israel its unconditional support

AP


ANYBODY who doubts the size of the transatlantic divide over Israel should try discussing the Middle East conflagration in Britain and then doing the same in America. Everybody watches much the same grisly footage. But, by and large, people draw very different conclusions. The emphasis in Britain is overwhelmingly on the disproportionate scale of the response. Americans are much more inclined to give Israel the benefit of the doubtand to blame Hizbullah. Some Jewish organisations are so confident of support for Israel that they even take out slots during news programmes, pleading for donations.

Opinion polls confirm that Americans are solidly on Israel's side. A USA Today/Gallup poll conducted on July 28th-30th showed that eight in ten Americans believed that Israel's action was justifiedthough a majority were worried about the scale of the action. A plurality (44%) thought that America was doing about the right amount to deal with the conflict. An earlier USA Today poll found that 53% put a great deal of the blame for the current crisis on Hizbullah, 39% put the blame on Iran and only 15% blamed Israel.

Similarly, Americans are far more likely than Europeans to side with Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A Pew Global Attitudes survey taken between March and May found that 48% of Americans said that their sympathies lay with the Israelis; only 13% were sympathetic towards the Palestinians. By contrast, in Spain for example, 9% sympathised with the Israelis and 32% with the Palestinians.

The political establishment is even more firmly behind Israel than the public is. Support for Israel stretches from San Francisco liberals like Nancy Pelosi to southern-fried conservatives like Bill Frist. The House and Senate have both passed bipartisan resolutions condemning Hizbullah and affirming Congress's support for Israel. The House version passed by 410 to 8 (of which three were from districts in Michigan with concentrations of Arab-Americans). The Senate resolution, sponsored by 62 senatorsincluding the leaders of both partiespassed unopposed.

Indeed, the parties are engaged in a competition to see who can be the most pro-Israeli. Twenty or so Democrats, including Ms Pelosi, the House leader, and Harry Reid, the Senate leader, demanded that Iraq's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, retract his criticisms of Israel or have his invitation to address Congress cancelled. (Mr Maliki, strongly backed by the administration, was eventually allowed to go ahead.) Several leading Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, have addressed pro-Israeli rallies. The contrast with the simmering rage within the Labour Party over Tony Blair's support for George Bush could hardly be more marked.


snip


http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?stor...
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. Holy shit, that photo is very scary
:scared:
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UndertheOcean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Indeed..
:)
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Nuremberg redux?
The zealotry of nationalism and military might(-makes-right) knows no ethnic boundaries, imho.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. nationalism = right on point.
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Nationalism with an Israeli flag behind him? nt
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. anyone can be guilty of nationalism.
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Why?
Because he's waving to someone?
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Well the photo appears posed, the arm is outstretched as in a Nazi salute
...the symbolism of the flags used in the background and the coloring/lighting effects. It looks very authoritative, militaristic and fascistic.
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norml Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. Yep, nothing familiar about it. Just the leader waving to someone.
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 10:55 PM by norml





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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
7. I read the polls differently -- especially the Pew poll
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 01:05 PM by HamdenRice
The politicians are lining up almost unanimously not only in support of Israel, but for unconditional support of Israel.

The public has a more nuanced and divided perspective. The Pew poll shows a plurality, 47%, not a majority, in favor of Israel, when the question is, do you support Israel or the Palestinians.

But if you add up the categories of support for Palestinians, support for neither and support for both, you get around 34%. The rest say, don't know.

So there is a fairly small margin between those who support Israel only, and those who either support the Palestinians and who prefer an even handed (or pox on both your houses) approach.

Considering that the Pew poll has showed pro Israel numbers have dropped as low as 37% in recent years, I would say that the response is quite volatile.

Certainly, the polls do not support the politicians' position of unconditional support for Israel. And hence we have to ask, why is the position of politicians so markedly out of step with the more nuanced views of the public?

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
8. The US Cables pump Propaganda at us 24/7. Do Brits have nothing
but Christian Radio and Rush Limbaugh and his clones? We have little to combat the propaganda. Only recently have we gotten any liberal or moderate talk radio and even then it's not carried by enough radio stations to make a dent in the onslaught of the Christian and Hate Radio.
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
10. Neocon Olmert: "Thank God we have AIPAC"
That pretty much sums it up...
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norml Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Opinion: AIPAC's Hold (The Nation)
Opinion
AIPAC's Hold

Ari Berman
Fri Aug 4, 12:00 AM ET

The Nation -- In early March, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) held its forty-seventh annual conference in Washington. AIPAC's executive director spent twenty-seven minutes reading the "roll call" of dignitaries present at the gala dinner, which included a majority of the Senate and a quarter of the House, along with dozens of Administration officials.

As this event illustrates, it's impossible to talk about Congress's relationship to Israel without highlighting AIPAC, the American Jewish community's most important voice on the Hill. The Congressional reaction to Hezbollah's attack on Israel and Israel's retaliatory bombing of Lebanon provide the latest example of why.

On July 18, the Senate unanimously approved a nonbinding resolution "condemning Hamas and Hezbollah and their state sponsors and supporting Israel's exercise of its right to self-defense." After House majority leader John Boehner removed language from the bill urging "all sides to protect innocent civilian life and infrastructure," the House version passed by a landslide, 410 to 8.

AIPAC not only lobbied for the resolution; it had written it. "They were given a resolution by AIPAC," said former Carter Administration National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who addressed the House Democratic Caucus on July 19. "They didn't prepare one."

AIPAC is the leading player in what is sometimes referred to as "The Israel Lobby"--a coalition that includes major Jewish groups, neoconservative intellectuals and Christian Zionists. With its impressive contacts among Hill staffers, influential grassroots supporters and deep connections to wealthy donors, AIPAC is the lobby's key emissary to Congress. But in many ways, AIPAC has become greater than just another lobby; its work has made unconditional support for Israel an accepted cost of doing business inside the halls of Congress. AIPAC's interest, Israel's interest and America's interest are today perceived by most elected leaders to be one and the same. Christian conservatives increasingly aligned with AIPAC demand unwavering support for Israel from their Republican leaders. (In mid-July, 3,000-plus evangelicals came to town for the first annual "Christian United for Israel" summit.) And Democrats are equally concerned about alienating Jewish voters and Jewish donors--long a cornerstone of their party. Some in Congress are deeply uncomfortable with AIPAC's militant worldview and heavyhanded tactics, but most dare not say so publicly.


snip


http://news.yahoo.com/s/thenation/20060804/cm_thenation...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
13. How about this reason:
This paper is a history of the Israeli nuclear weapons program drawn from a review of unclassified sources. Israel began its search for nuclear weapons at the inception of the state in 1948. As payment for Israeli participation in the Suez Crisis of 1956, France provided nuclear expertise and constructed a reactor complex for Israel at Dimona capable of large-scale plutonium production and reprocessing. The United States discovered the facility by 1958 and it was a subject of continual discussions between American presidents and Israeli prime ministers. Israel used delay and deception to at first keep the United States at bay, and later used the nuclear option as a bargaining chip for a consistent American conventional arms supply. After French disengagement in the early 1960s, Israel progressed on its own, including through several covert operations, to project completion. Before the 1967 Six-Day War, they felt their nuclear facility threatened and reportedly assembled several nuclear devices. By the 1973 Yom Kippur War Israel had a number of sophisticated nuclear bombs, deployed them, and considered using them.

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/cpc-pubs/farr.htm
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