EDITORIAL: The government of Israel does not make US policy — or does it?

Olmert’s bitch

Many Americans cherish a vicarious pride in the power of the US presidency.

The idea that the President of the United States holds the most powerful office in the world, translates into a sense of immense collective power. Were these same Americans to discover that the president takes his marching orders from a petty crook who governs a country of seven million, they would be shocked, outraged and humiliated as American power was exposed as being hollow at its core. Yet how else can we interpret the play of power between Israel and the United States, if Ehud Olmert can be taken at this word?

Last week, as global leaders felt compelled to respond to a popular outcry of rage provoked by Israel’s barbaric assault of Gaza, the UN Security Council became the focal point of unavoidable pressure to act — even if its action was utterly symbolic and totally ineffectual. But what was unprecedented was that for once, the United States was prepared to stand in solidarity with other nations calling for an immediate ceasefire.

Israel’s prime minister saw the danger of an awkward precedent being set and thus made it clear that Israel would not tolerate what it seemed to regard as a diplomatic act of insubordination.

“In the night between Thursday and Friday, when the secretary of state wanted to lead the vote on a ceasefire at the Security Council, we did not want her to vote in favor,” Olmert said.

“I said ‘get me President Bush on the phone’. They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn’t care. ‘I need to talk to him now’. He got off the podium and spoke to me.

“I told him the United States could not vote in favor. It cannot vote in favor of such a resolution. He immediately called the secretary of state and told her not to vote in favor.”

As Olmert recounted this course of events while giving a speech in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, it seemed apparent that he took a certain pride in the fact that Condoleezza Rice had been “shamed” by the about-face that the US, under her leadership at the UN, was forced by Israel to take.

A State Department official felt compelled to assert that, “The government of Israel does not make US policy.”

The evidence seems to suggest otherwise.

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Comments

  1. My name is Chris, I live in Madison, Wisconsin. Actuarily, I’ve lived half my life at least. Growing up, I never really understood the anti-Jew sentiment that came along sometimes. I did know it was there and was forced to deal with it, as with anti-black sentiment, or anti-foreigner sentiment or whatever, sure. Most of us here know about these things. It just never did make sense to me not to take each person as an individual, rather than as a member of some group or other. Friendship and shared trust with members of such stereotype groups in my mixed country has always seemed to indicate that so clearly that I’d have been stupid not to figure it out. I’m very certain I have not known and loved only ‘exceptions’ – to my own benefit – in my life.
    To criticize the policies and actions of the government of Israel is to pretty much guarantee being labeled ‘anti-Semite’ – a fairly obvious knee-jerk defense involving both taking offense and taking the offense. Israel is, of course, full of Jewish people, but even the most modest brain could hardly fail to see that criticizing a government’s actions is not the same thing as ‘attacking Jews.’ One is reminded of the various obnoxious radio talk-show host and political types one occasionally hears, how they vehemently and assaultively insist they did not say the ‘bad things’ the tapes prove they did. The slightly less modest mind must surely see that the motives behind such poor victims’ bluster are really what’s important and interesting. That’s just real life, as any fool can surely see.
    Just like us with our ‘disappointments’ – as our president seemed to call them yesterday (though any fool can also see that some in this country have indeed benefited mightily) – in the Middle East, Israel should not even pretend to be surprised and hurt that doing what they are doing to other people causes resentment and, unfortunately, even hate. As there are lots of people, so there is potential for a lot of those things. That also is real life.
    I’m white, but even I can see that having been a victim is even less a reason to victimize other people than just being merely barbaric is. Israel has not been harmed like they have harmed, and been seen harming, the citizens of Palestine, this time around. It has to stop somewhere, or it simply never will, yeah? How about some of the peace and humility our various religions blather on about so fruitlessly??

  2. Of Course we are israel puppet..Have been for 8 years..Send them 8 billion a year, send them tons of up to date weapons, ..Without us they they would have to get along with their neighbors, but as long as we give them everything they want they continue to bully..

  3. I talked to an Israeli at a chat room and was surprised at the venom the guy felt for all Palestinians. He said they should all leave. I reminded him that it was their home and he said that historically it belonged to Israel and not to the Palestinians. I asked him why doesn’t Israel, instead of spending billions on the military, provide good living conditions and good jobs and schools for Palestinians–pointing out that a Palestinian living a decent life will be less likely to join a terrorist group and destroy his life. The Israeli answered that all Palestinians cannot be trusted and that they will ALWAYS try to destroy Israel.

    All I can say is, with that kind of mindset, there will never be peace. Basically, the guy is just advocating genocide or the mass kicking out of a people from their land–which is ironic considering this same situation happened to the Jews. Now that they have the upper hand, instead of vowing to stop that kind of evil, it seems they are now employing it. Sad.

  4. I hate being a colony of Israel. Shame on all but five in Congress, who voted nay to the Israel Lobby resolution saying that USA was on the side of the jewish state of Israel over the impoverished Gaza Strip, and none of those five were jews, muslims, or white women. USA is doomed!

  5. Israel is a Dead Man Walking.

    Within 3 decades, when the U.S. is no longer a Superpower, Israel will be wiped off the map. Politically, no need for H-bombs. China, India, Russia and the world that arises after the U.S. crashes and burns is not going to tolerate Israeli barbarity, after Peak Oil.

    Israel will be embargoed, sanctioned, surrounded and dismembered. They have pissed off the whole world, and their one protector is getting poor and weak.