Defusing Israel’s ‘detonator’ strategy

Patrick Tyler writes: Over six decades and through as many wars, the U.S. has escalated its commitment to Israel’s security, but it has neglected a corresponding insistence that Israel develop the institutions of diplomacy, negotiation and compromise necessary to fully engage the Arabs during a crucial period of Arab awakening. Every president since Eisenhower has pressed Israel to make the kind of concessions that are necessary for peace.

President Nixon said he would give Israel the “hardware” of weapons if Golda Meir would supply the “software” of diplomatic flexibility.

“The philosophical underpinning of U.S. policy toward Israel,” President Ford said, “had been our conviction — and certainly my own — that if we gave Israel an ample supply of economic aid and weapons, she would feel strong and confident, more flexible and more willing to discuss a lasting peace.” But after serial wars and a strong aversion within the ruling elite to compromise, Ford lamented, “I began to question the rationale for our policy.”

Israel deserves our attention and protection. But 60 years after its founding, it remains in the thrall of an original martial

impulse, the depth of which has given rise to succeeding generations of leaders who seem ever on the hair trigger in dealing with their rivals, and whose contingency planners embrace only worst-case scenarios in a process that magnifies the sense of national peril, encourages military preemption and covert subversion, and undermines any chance for a more engaging diplomacy based on compromise and accommodation.

Israel’s second prime minister, Moshe Sharett, a lifelong diplomat whose political career was destroyed by the circle of strong militaristic figures who coalesced around David Ben-Gurion in the 1950s, admonished his countrymen that “the question of peace must not be lost sight of for one single moment.” Yet Israel in the modern era has lost sight of peace.

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3 thoughts on “Defusing Israel’s ‘detonator’ strategy

  1. BillVZ

    “Israel deserves our attention and protection.”

    Protection from who, from what, and why? Please, tell us again…..

    President Ford lamented his conviction decades ago. And the present President?

    “”Guaranteeing Israel’s security is more than a policy position for me. It is a personal commitment that will never waiver.”

    Oh, I get it!

  2. Miriam

    “protection ” from all the enemies they work to create.

    there is not a doubt in my mind that if they HAD any leadership they would not keep their population on the edge of their seats with constant bellicosity and threats of impending doom from all corners. They have dug themselves into this hole and look to US to protect them..but in reality if you had such a paranoic and hysterical friend, seeing ‘existential death’ at every turn, you’d recommend a psychiatric intervention. However, what we should be wary of is FALSE FLAGS….watch this video clip (3 mins) of Patrick Clawson, Neocon extraordinaire of WINEP, the pro Israel think tank in Washginton that guides “executive/WH leadership” in foreign policy.” VIEW HERE:

  3. Colin Smith

    I have just finished watching the 2008 film “Lemon Tree“. For my own health I have to ration the amount of time I spend contemplating the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians. Again the arrogant swagger of the chosen people, the overwhelming violence and cruelty directed against the Palestinians, the disproportion in power, the evident racism leaves me apoplectic with rage that this has been allowed to happen. The Palestinians are helpless. They have many friends, but no allies. The Israelis have one or two important allies, but no friends in the region. I would like to live long enough to see Israel forced back behind 1967 lines, more than it deserves, and forced to accept the right of return of the 800,000 Palestinians and their descendents who were ethnically cleansed from Palestine during the 1948 Nakhba. See the film. It is a bit one-dimensional, but it gives a good context to the oppression the Palestinians have suffered and the courage and dignity with which they face overwhelming force and injustice.

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