Israel’s Right And The GOP Are Cheerfully Chanting: “Bomb, Bomb Iran”
The victory of the GOP at the US midterm election was celebrated in Jerusalem by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party and his allies from the far-right. Israel’s right and far-right understand that, with Republicans controlling the US House of Representative,the modest attempts by the Obama administration to put pressure on Israel to stop the expansion of the illegal settlements in Palestinian occupied territories of the West Bank will be basically gone.
With the settlements issue more or less out of the way in dealing with a politically weaken Obama administration, Prime Minister Netanyahu feels that he will have “carte blanche” from his staunch Republican allies in Congress to focus his agenda on military actions against Iran.
On Sunday, while traveling in New-Orleans, PM Netanyahu told VP Joe Biden, during a meeting, that sanctions have hurt Iran but are not stopping Iran’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Netanyahu said that a credible threat of military action is the only way to ensure that the Islamic Republic will rethink its nuclear program.
But today, the Obama administration rejected Netanyahu’s claims that international sanctions on Iran are failing. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates rebuffed Netanyahu’s call to use force against Iran.
“I disagree that only a credible military threat can get Iran to take the action that it needs to end its nuclear program. We are prepared to do what is necessary, but at this point we continue to believe that the political and economic approach that we are taking is in fact having an impact in Iran,” Gates told a news conference during his visit to Melbourne, Australia.
Israel’s talk of a military threat is likely to be also a strategy by Netanyahu, who has rebuffed US and international calls to reimpose a freeze on West Bank settlements, to shift the focus away from the settlements stalemate.
The GOP Is Singing “Bomb, Bomb Iran” Again
While he was in Halifax, Canada, two days ago, Senator Lindsey Graham said that his fellow conservative support “bold” action to deal with Iran.
“If President Obama decides to be tough with Iran beyond sanctions, I think he is going to feel a lot of Republican support for the idea that we cannot let Iran develop a nuclear weapon,” said Graham. Senator Graham sees the United States going to war with the Islamic Republic “not to just neutralize their nuclear program, but to sink their Navy, destroy their Air Force and deliver a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard, in other words neuter that regime.”
And yet another disturbing news that an Israeli attack on Iran is very much an option “on the table”, Defense News’ Barbara Opall-Rome reported from Tel Aviv today that the United States is going to boost weaponry, ammunition and other military supplies stored in Israel to a record level of $1.2 billion to be reached by 2012.
“Under the new legislation, which has yet to be codified in a bilateral agreement, Israel not only gains access to more US stockpiles, but will enjoy greater latitude in the categories and specific types of weaponry it can request,” wrote Opall-Rome in her article.
In a few weeks, “Israel will also receive a special one-time payment of some $502 million to expedite production of the Iron Dome short range anti-rocket system,” added Opall-Rome.
US and Israel: The Special Relationship of The “Chosen Peoples”
On Sunday, VP Biden sent a clear signal of a much weaker diplomatic hand, dictated by the new political reality in Washington.
“Agreement (on the settlements issue) or not, our commitment to your security is unconditional. The United States and Israel have a critical strategic relationship, and it is one in which we will not yield one single inch,” Biden told Netanyahu, according to Israeli media sources.
So we are back discussing the “special relationship” of Israel and the United States again, wondering sometime which of the two “partners in crime” is in the driver seat. If the special relationship was a little bit less special before the midterm election, now with the GOP controlling the House, the relationship will be more special than ever.
A new book was just published by Simon & Shuster concerning the “special relationship”. It is untitled “The Chosen Peoples: America, Israel and The Ordeals of Divine Election”, and it is written by Todd Gitlin and Liel Leibovitz both academics, respectively at Columbia University and New-York University.
According to the authors, the deepest roots of the special relationship between the US and Israel lie not in the fact that they have identical interests or share democratic values. Rather, the unique relationship lies in an alliance between two peoples who have decided, for whatever reasons, they were chosen by God.
“The right-wing uproar against Obama and the democrats is fueled by resentment that America, which is used to be treated with favor, is currently being humiliated by unemployment, by presumably ungrateful immigrants, by Muslim insurgents, etc. It is precisely because the chosenness motif assumes that America is preordained to be a successful and satisfied country, that troubles seem to be more than bad fortune or the consequence of bad policy, but rather violations of some sort of fundamental covenant-a transgression of a covenant.
The Tea Party represents a resurgence of the most primitive, exclusivist and aggressive side of Americans abusing the notion of being “chosen”. It is a caricature of the idea of autonomy, of the American Revolution. The Tea Party is represented by people whose prime ethnic enemy seems to be Mexican, and whenever America gets into an uproar about aliens, it is not good for the Jews,” said Gitlin in a recent interview with the Haaretz.