Israel is empowering al Qaeda, Petraeus warns

As erupting violence in Jerusalem suggests a third intifada may soon take hold, the CENTCOM commander Gen David Petraeus, testifying before the US Senate Armed Services Committee today, gave a grave warning about the wider impact of a conflict that has been the epicenter of Middle East hostilities ever since the creation of Israel.

In issuing his warning, Petraeus — arguably the most influential even if not the highest ranking member of the US military — was reiterating a statement he made almost a year ago. The only difference between what he said in April 2009 and what he said today, was that he now acknowledges al Qaeda is being strengthened by the conflict.

He now says:

The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR [CENTCOM’s area of responsibility]. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.

If such a statement was being made outside the American political arena, it could be regarded as a rather bland expression of what has long been utterly obvious. Yet from the lips of a celebrated general, regarded by many as a potential future president, these words come as a bombshell.

Neoconservatives and the Israel lobby have worked hard and long to obscure the deeply corrosive regional impact of a conflict that successive Israeli leaders have either been unwilling or seemingly incapable of resolving. Others, who earlier said what Petraeus now says, have either been dismissed as poorly informed or worse, branded as anti-Israeli or by insinuation, anti-Semitic.

No such charge will stick to Petraeus. Indeed, if the Israel lobby was so foolhardy as to try and go after an American general who sometimes gets treated like a latterday Eisenhower, the lobby will be at dire risk of being visited by its own greatest fear: being branded as anti-American.

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  1. Israel leadership really believe that they are the masster race, and that all must bow to them, while they take what-ever of anything they decide they want. They use anti-semtic accusations even on their own people, when they oppose their criminal behaviors. The best thing the US could do to promote a more peaceful world would be to stop helping Israel when they bully their neighbors and friends. When my children missbehaved, in their young years, I insured that they paid their own due consequences the consequences. Now, as mature adults, unlike Israel, they know how to conduct themselves and are respected members of their communities. We should dump Israel until they decide to be a constructive member of their community.

  2. What planet do you live on? If nothing has been shown in the last fifty years, the pro-Israeli lobby fears no one or anything. The last time the US really punished Israel for actions that threaten our interests was under President Eisenhower. Every president since then has avoided angering the Lobby. Those few voices that dare to challenge it are silenced. The fear of being labeled anti-semetic usually does the trick. If that doesn’t work, then political contributions and bad press will. If the rumors of Petraeus are true about his political ambitions, then this “fearsome and respected” general will bow and kiss the ring. Not even the Defense Department can stand up to the Lobby.

  3. What is significant here is that Petraeus includes Israel/Palestine in his Centcom report even though the area comes within the area of responsibility of the US command structure in Europe. Presumably it is the Europe command that is currently building up the supposed regionally stockpiled munitions in Israel — allegedly for the use of American forces in the area — but the European command has no activity in the area.
    It seems that the next step up of the administration’s pressure on Netanyahu would merely be a military decision taken within American command structures — transferring Israel/Palestine responsibility to CENTCOM. The munitions are for the use of American forces ? Let Petraeus use them.

  4. Norman Morley says:

    Bait & switch? Very real here. Bring Israel/Palestine under the Centcom umbrella, perhaps to resole an issue of how to protect Israel in the event of hostilities towards Iran? Of course, the Palestinians would have to be included, due to the fact they are in such close proximity. Another view, using the Israeli’s to attach Iran’s Nuclear facilities with the idea of slowing down or preventing their ability to produce an Atomic Bomb. There is another possibility, Israel will gamble that attaching Iran, will drag the United States of America into covering their backside.

  5. Alex Bell says:

    I’m sorry, I don’t quite see the point of the last line of the article. What’s so bad about being branded Anti-American? L0ts of non-Americans feel that way.


  6. AIPAC is pro-Israel, right or wrong, that means its heads are foreign agents and should register as such. Only 34% of Jewry supports them. AIPAC has to be confronted because an organization that puts Israel first doesn’t support America.

  7. Ahmed from Bahrain says:

    Gen Petraeus is reported above to be saying:

    “The conflict (meaning between Israel and Palestinians) foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel.”

    Why can’t he calls a spade spade instead of hiding behind vague adjectives like “due to a perception”?

    Everyone including Obama is on record that US/Israeli bonds are unbreakable and US guarantees military support for Israel. What is this business about perception when US official are talking about facts.

    Arab and Muslim public are not as stupid as they make them out to be.

    Let there be peace and let truth set you free.

    Ahmed from Bahrain

  8. The kabuki theatre goes on in its deceptions, obfuscations and usurpations at the expense of the Palestineans and the rest of the Arab world. Nothing has changed, will change, or can be hoped to change anytime soon.

    Obama has his gonads, firmly in the hands of his Zionist handlers, and are squeezed every now and again when he shows any sign of “rebellion” againt the Zionist Bible. He is a weak man and a fake. Observe his emmiseries at APAC this weekend and enjoy the way they “kneel” down and kiss asses of their masters. In this case, Clinton will be the one on her knees this time and publicly osculating jewish genitols.

    Israel is first and foremost a totally illigitamate state, having been recommended for its creation by the General Asemmply, which absolutely has NO right to make any laws beyond recommendations and that the Security Council is the ONLY body that could have made it law (even though, there as well, it would have also been an illegal creation since it goes against every article of the UN and the non interference in the internal affairs of countries)…… Ergo, regardless of any protestations, Israel is an illegal creation and an illegal entity.

    Everything going on right now as a result of the so called Biden humiliation is nothing but theatre for the masses. NOTHING will be done. Get off your pontificating high horses about America and the General that is going to save its virtue in this case. If it walks like a whore, looks like a whore and sounds like a whore… them it is a whore.

    America is a whore for the Zionists.

  9. Erudite commentary and to a certain extent very rational.

    And answers the question(s) as to whom benefits the most from the existance and/or acts by Al qaueda.

  10. This is miserable that lone super power is slave of Israel and the history says that decieved always their own friends. If Oslo accord has been implemented fully, we had peaceful middle east and their was no massacres in Paleatine. the same case is with indians they must have to resolve Kashmir issue to have peace in the continent instead of killing hundred thousand Kashmiris. It is a pity both the countries are most unreliable to keep their agreements.

  11. Here is how the relationship with israel works
    a) we give them billions per year = then should thank them for accepting the money
    b) we fight wars they instigated thru their amen corner in washington and neocons=we thank them for not shedding any money or blood
    c) they deliberatly attack USS Liberty in 67 killing 34 sailors= we sent them the napalm and torpedos used
    as an old polish peasant proverb says “the jew screams in pain as he is slapping your face”

  12. DICKERSON3870 says:

    Israel will always remain within the the European Command (EUCOM) because Israel is a “white” nation. CENTCOM is for “coloureds”, and AFRICOM is for “blacks”. Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever! It’s an American tradition (what the Bush administration referred to as “our way of life”).
    If changing demographics in Israel should at some time in the future cause it to “go coloured” (i.e., the coloured natives “take over”) then it will be moved towards the back of the bus to CENTCOM (unless EURCOM retains it for reasons relating to the Rapture™ ). If, “G-d” forbid, Israel should “go black”, then it will go all the way to the back of bus and become part of AFRICOM. Such are the ways of “Western Civilization”. (Note: I am only half joking!)

  13. william james martin says:

    It is slowly and gradually sinking in. Israel is a serious libaility for the US.

  14. I find it shocking, but encouraging, that Petraeus is actually flirting with the concept of “blowback”.

  15. Saleem Toor says:

    It’s time that we all realize the truth as stated by Petraeus and not be bullied by the Israeli Lobby. We should do what is best for the US and not the Lobby. The US has sacrificed a lot for the Lobby and is paying a price for it’s support for the Lobby. It’s time to stop all this non-sense and make friends with Arab and the Muslim worlds.

  16. Though George Bush did a great deal to tie the American president’s hands with regard to exertingt effective pressure on Israel, that was not always the case. A courageous American president does have leverage over Israeli policy.

    This is a quote from Jimmy Carter’s book, “The Blood of Abraham”, whose strength and courage as US president was nver significantly recognized, largely because of constant Zionnist attempts to discredit and undermaine his presidency.

    “As president, I considered this major invasion to be an over reaction to the PLO attack, a serious threat to peace in the region, and perhaps part of a design to establish a permanent Israeli presence in southern Lebanon. Also, such use of American weapons including cluster bombs violated the legal agreement between the United States and Israel, which specified that such armaments sold by us could be used only for defensive purposes against an attack on Israel.

    “In spite of my expressions of concern and worldwide outcry, Begin seemed determined to keep his forces in Lebanon for an extended period and – in another direct violation of American law — to transfer American weapons, including artillery and armored vehicles, to the Lebanese militia commanded by Major Saad Haddad. These troops had been trained and supported by the Israelis, in order to seal off the southern portion of the country against Palestinian terrorists. In carrying out this assignment, they also prevented Lebanese regular troops and UN peacekeeping forces from entering the area.

    “After consulting with Secretary Cyrus Vance and with key supporters of Israel in congress, I decided that we could not permit the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon to continue. In the event that Begin would not accede to our wishes, we prepared to notify Congress, as required by law, that US weapons were being used illegally in Lebanon, which would have automatically cut off all military aid to Israel. Also, I instructed the state department to prepare a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s action.

    “The American consul general in Jerusalem was instructed to deliver a message to Prime Minister Begin that explained these plans and urged that he withdraw his forces. The report came back from Jerusalem that Begin read the message, stood quietly for a few moments, and then said, “Its over.” “

  17. Israel’e enemies practice apartied. They persecuted their minority groups

  18. AIPAC has always been un American….unless being American benefited Israel in some way. We have so many American -hyphens we ought to formsally declare the DisUnited – States of Hyphens.
    Over the years many people have tried to make them register as a foreign lobby.
    Now I see IRmep has filed documents with the Justice Depart to try to force them to do so.
    If Kennedy had lived they probably would have come under FARC way back, he was pursuing it as was Robert, and also pursing having Israel open their nuke facilities to inspection.
    Sort of boggles the mind when some US congresspeople take a stand against the US President in favor of a foreign country.
    Maybe a better name for us would be Orwellington USA.

  19. anti_republocrat says:

    Ahmed from Bahrain has nailed it. Petraeus says the problem is “perception,” nothing a little better PR can’t fix. “Tensions often flare into violence,” apparently for no discernible reason. Nobody is to blame for the problem, though the effects on “our interests” are often lamentable.

    We’ve simply got to work harder to overcome non-Israeli “perception” of what we — and the Israelis — are doing over there.

  20. Long live our SACRED COW

  21. All of you Israel haters will receive what you do not wish. The false god of Islam will be shown to be just that, while the God of the Bible, the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-progenitors of Israel, will be shown as the one true God. Read Ezekiel Chapters 36 & 37 for background on Israel coming together as a nation, then Chapters 38 & 39 for the coming war. The Bible is still the only Holy Book to be 100% accurate in its predictions. Jerusalem will never be divided, nor will Israel ever be removed from the face of the earth again. It is not too late for you scoffers. Jesus Christ still offers salvation for all who will come to Him, ask for forgiveness of their sins, and believe in Him as the one and only Son of God/Messiah. The God I worship sent His Son to die for my sins and for me. The other false gods dictate their followers must die, or kill others, to gain “paradise”. You have a free will to decide for yourself which path you will take.

  22. I would like to make a suggestion here that the differences between the US and Israel and the Muslim world are not something intirely new and different that hasn’t occured between the western world and the Muslim one in the past. On October 10 726 Charles Martel representing the western world confronted a Muslim army in the battle of Tours (in France) and was victorious and stopped the Muslim advance in Europe. If it was not for that the whole of Europe could have been reading from the Koran instead of the Bible in a short period of time. In a later time in about 1805 President Thomas Jefferson dispacted forces to the Mediterranian to confront the Barbary pirates (Muslim pirates) and stop the US paying of tribute to insure safe passage of US shipping in the Mediterranian. It later fell to Britan in about 1815 to finally put a stop to the pirates.

    I only cite the above examples (not in any way anti Muslim) to suggest that it has been a part of Muslim culture and practice for some time to confront the west and to try and take territory for Islam and to retake territory that had once been Muslim. The way that translates today is that Israel being situated in a place once a part of the Ottoman Empire and thus finding itself in the crosshairs of Muslim angst every since its founding.
    The Jewish people have historical ties to the land territory of the nation of Israel that predate Muslim expansion by at least 1,500 years.

    Resolving the issue of on one hand the Muslim (Palastinian and other Muslim groups)
    desire for land and it Israel’s very long standing ties to its land not simple and
    and easily resolved. It is not necessarily the fault of one side or the other because they have stong fealings about land.

    My question would be “What can rational reasonable people do whith such a complex matter?”

  23. Since I don’t think anyone’s attitudes about Jews will be changed here, I shall leave unaddressed the myriad of appalling comments above. However, WJM’s bold revision of President Carter’s tenure does merit a response.

    The historical consensus of the American people is that Carter was a wholesale failure, but he is most widely despised for the deterioration of US national security and military readiness that happened under his watch. His most recent legacy is a nuclear Iran that you would all call “Israel’s fault.”

    Here is the scenario you should all be considering. Let’s say that regional forces from whatever nation, territory, or alliance of nations should manage to annihilate Israel and completely subjugate any of its citizens left alive. This is a mere daydream, impossible of realization, but let us suppose that your collective preferences are realized in the near future. Let’s also assume that once it is over the United States congratulates the responsible parties and publicly bids Israel and Jewry good riddance. Is it then that you think that we can herald in the heretofore elusive era of cooperation and harmony of interest with the Islamic nations at large? May God help you see the truth. I would think that even the dimmest observer among this crowd would say to himself “it’s a good thing they have those ignoble Jews to occupy them.”

  24. You guys are clueless. Watch what happens once we abandon Israel. America will no longer be needed and its on the near horizon.

    “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee”

  25. Ron Craig says:

    Sane on Israel for not trying to gain peace, for not giving back land they had won after being attacked and would have given them a buffer against the rockets that come in daily. Why don’t they forgo taking the temple mount for the sake of peace. Why won’t they allow thier Arab Israelies live in peace among them. Why do they think they deserve a homeland and why do they defend themselves when attacked, don’t they know the world expect them to just lay down and die?……….I think that the world should remember that Isreal has stated that they will not go peacefully to the gas chambers again and that when they do speak it is not to be taken lightly, and Obama ….this is a founded christian nation and as such should support Israel as should all other christian nations. If this were the case I bet there wouldn’t be much of a problem in the middle east.

  26. eric siverson says:

    Why should it be bad for Israel to strengthen AlQaida ? United States strengthened AlQaida in Afganhistan , Bosnia , Kosovo and maybe Iraq , Iran ,Palestine and Chechyna

  27. john brodt says:

    Watch out a lot of comments here are from CIA personal. Undermining certain parties to advance there agenda. The Lord God almighty will protect Israels back. Nuff said.

  28. Bill Blais says:

    Maybe they are not the master race, but they are the Chosen people of God. The God of Abraham, Isaac , and Jacob. And the Father has decreed, I will bless those that bless you, and curse those who curse you. General Petraeus needs to keep this in mind when he so casually blames Israel for the problem with Al Qaeda. Who was the first to stand with America when the twin towers came down by Arabs. Israel, they have been our friend and support us through thick and thin, and it is shameful what this current administration including General Petraeus is saying and doing to a loyal friend of the United States.

  29. Israel’s presence in S. Lebenon was to help the Christian Lebenese who were being systematically slaughtered. I once read a story about a Leonese girl who was injured, taken to the border by a Lebonese taxi who took most of her money and then transported by Israelis to a Hospital at no cost despite her efforts to pay them.

    When she was in the hospital getting treated, for free, she witnessed the cursing of Muslims whose lives were being saved by those same doctors.

    This attitude prevails today. Why does the world hate Israel? The British mandate was fulfilled and Israel became a nation again after 2,000 years of not existing. They ceased to exist in AD70. Some theologians say the ceased to exist in 587 BC when Nebuchanezer detroyed Solomon’s temple.

    When will the ignorant world wake up and see that Israel is not the bad guy here?

  30. Paul Richardson says:

    All the political talk will be squelched one day soon by Jesus. What side are you on? You make your choice on this earth.(ref John 3:16,Eph 2:8,9))Every knee shall bow to Jesus.(Phil 2:9)God has always been in control here. Heed the warning in Genesis 12:3 all nations !

  31. It seems that everybody is forgetting the real cause of the conflict in the middle east. It is not a war of peoples it is a ‘conflict of Gods’, on one side is the God of Abraham and Israel and on the other side are the Gods of Islam, India, China to name a few. The real God does not need man’s puny attempts to fight, He is greater than all man can do – the false Gods run when he is near.
    The guns, Bombs and rockets only prove that the peoples of the area do not have enough faith that their God is the great and mighty true God that they preach is the Greatest

  32. Why is it SITCOM job to bring Peace between Palestinians and Israelis? Their job is to catch up on the latest weapon technologies and evolving defense strategies that they are falling way behind on, future wars to be fought by U.S. and NATO forces are not going to be relentless Arial bombardment of kids under 10 years old and their grandma from 80,000 feet because in such wars you could not even launch an aircraft or missile from anywhere, not even outer space. Petraeus sends a team of soldiers to talk to Bedouins all over Arabia, instead of sending a team to build schools and hospitals, roads and vocational training centers in those places his mad country bombed. He could have sent a team to investigate all those war crimes committed against civilians by his lead forces that can without a doubt be mentioned in Genocide and Crime Against Humanity Tribunal, if International Law is still enforce, which we all know, it not.

    One could not but have respect and admiration for Israeli, they have repeatedly offered to meet any Arab rulers and have invited all Arab rulers to come to them. They even did that for President Assad of Syria. What more do you expect from them to do for issuance of peace in the region? Surrender their sovereignty, the land, the places holy and reverent to them to Arab leaders who are too busy in London, Monaco and at the Palm Casinos VIP roulette rooms to deal with this Middle East issue beyond the Arab League ultimatums they fight each other’s bloody to manage for an issue of it. What evidence the Palestinians have shown since Arafat landed in Ramallah that they are capable of living peacefully with Jews in the land and have the means to develop a basic state and economic institution that can sustains them for some decades. None whatsoever, so anyone in Washington expect Jews in Israel to oblige to all these unreasonable demands incessantly made to them is a fool.

  33. Manzoor Alam says:

    Perhaps our General does not know Muslim /jewesh history. This is what all muslis want, the destruction of Israel. after the destruction of Israel muslims will be new friends of America and Europe who are already here with with their own agends and terrroism. They agends is to destry west from within not with Atom Bomb. This is sad ,responsible peoples think about today not about tomorrow. Just imagine, you destry Israel to please all muslim friendsand nations, do you think there will be peace in the World and they will will be your true friends and allys. just think……………….

  34. James Swader says:

    The so-called land of Palestine was set aside for as a home for all Jews from all over the wqorld and approved by the UN. Why do they now try to stop what they voted for? I have one piece of wisdom for all who oppose Israel. Keep your hands and retoric off her. Almighty God will repay your injustice toward Israel. The Holy Bible shows the land grant given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob(Israel). Why do you not acknowledge that it is written and a legal deed exists. The reason for the anti Israel movement is plain and simple; the world would destroy the Word of God. But fror the Jew you would not have the Word of God. They have been and are the keepers and conveyors of the book. Israel and all belevers are to win in the end. Face it world.

  35. Israel has an always will be a liability to U.S. relations in the middle east simply because Israel is only concerned with their own interests. They give little or no consideration to how their actions affect, the U.S. (or any other country for that matter). A friend/ally is someone you can count on. I do not for one second believe that, if called upon, Israel would be willing to provide the U.S. with the same level of support that the U.S. has shown them over the years (unless it benefited them somehow).

    I truly believe that if/when the day comes that the U.S./Israel relationship no longer has any value to Israel, they drop us faster than a pimp can cut loose an under performing hooker.

    anti-Semitic? No. Not at all. I don’t have any problems or issues with Jewish or Israeli people. My problem is the lopsided, selfish relationship between the U.S. and Israel. If I had two friends in lopsided marriage that was destroying one party for the benefit of the other, I could still love them both while simultaneously advising them to get a divorce.