Israeli begs US to stop “sucking up” to Israel

by Yaniv Reich on November 1, 2009

Many Israelis are frustrated with the US for its unconditional support of anything Israel does, including the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and Jerusalem. Although we don’t hear many of these voices in the US, they are much more widely disseminated in Israel. I hope to bring some of these perspectives to an American audience, which might not have been exposed to them.

Here is Gideon Levy in Haaretz:

Obama heaps sticky-sweet praise on Israel, even though he has spent nearly a year fruitlessly lobbying for Israel to be so kind as to do something, anything – even just a temporary freeze on settlement building – to advance the peace process.
[…]
Before no other country on the planet does the United States kneel and plead like this. In other trouble spots, America takes a different tone. It bombs in Afghanistan, invades Iraq and threatens sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Did anyone in Washington consider begging Saddam Hussein to withdraw from occupied territory in Kuwait?

But Israel the occupier, the stubborn contrarian that continues to mock America and the world by building settlements and abusing the Palestinians, receives different treatment. Another massage to the national ego in one video, more embarrassing praise in another.

Now is the time to say to the United States: Enough flattery. If you don’t change the tone, nothing will change. As long as Israel feels the United States is in its pocket, and that America’s automatic veto will save it from condemnations and sanctions, that it will receive massive aid unconditionally, and that it can continue waging punitive, lethal campaigns without a word from Washington, killing, destroying and imprisoning without the world’s policeman making a sound, it will continue in its ways.

Illegal acts like the occupation and settlement expansion, and offensives that may have involved war crimes, as in Gaza, deserve a different approach. If America and the world had issued condemnations after Operation Summer Rains in 2006 – which left 400 Palestinians dead and severe infrastructure damage in the first major operation in Gaza since the disengagement – then Operation Cast Lead never would have been launched.
[…}
Israel of 2009 is a spoiled country, arrogant and condescending, convinced that it deserves everything and that it has the power to make a fool of America and the world. The United States has engendered this situation, which endangers the entire Mideast and Israel itself. That is why there needs to be a turning point in the coming year – Washington needs to finally say no to Israel and the occupation. An unambiguous, presidential no.

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