It was Bob Gates, the former US Defence Secretary who called Israel an ungrateful ally. (If this is what he said in public, his private comments must have been interesting.) Ever since Netanyahu very publicly raised two fingers to his paymasters when he refused to halt the building of more settlements in the Occupied Territories and effectively brought peace negotiations to a halt, relations between the White House and Netanyahu’s right wing government have been well below freezing.
The Palestinian’s reaction to Netanyahu’s deliberate scuppering of the peace process has been to apply to the UN to be recognised as an independent state – which it will do tomorrow. But how things have changed since bully boy Netanyahu threw a spanner in the works. The Arab Spring has left Israel isolated and friendless. The US is in the same boat. It backed all the wrong horses: its Middle East policy is now in tatters and its moral compass is spinning like a top. It’s continuing blind, unquestioning support for Israel and its intention to veto the Palestinian bid in the Security Council has given it pariah status in the Middle East – and beyond.
The ramifications of the US vetoing the Palestinian bid are huge. President Obama realises this, which is why he’s been desperately trying to get the Palestinians to back down. He’s turning the screw on Netanyahu too. Bully boy has even offered to start talking again. But it’s probably too late. The die is cast.
And the root cause of America’s problems? The Israeli lobby. It has been so successful that most Americans consider that to be anti-Israeli is to be anti-American. Congress now bends to the will of the Israeli government. How? Because AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) members donate vast amounts of money towards the election campaigns of every member of Congress. Congressmen and women are actually scored by AIPAC on how well they support Israel. Get a low score and election donations dry up. And it doesn’t end there. It is positively dangerous to say anything against Israel in the US. If you do you’re accused of being anti-semitic and life can get very tough. And the media? It’s been bought, literally.
The Island Empire, the land of the not so free and the place where free speech comes at a price.
That a foreign country and the will of a fanatical minority has the ability to hold the US to ransom is unbelievable, but it’s reality. The US is going to pay a heavy price for allowing this to happen. If only Obama was prepared to sacrifice his second term and instruct the US ambassador at the UN to vote ‘yes’ tomorrow. The world would be eternally grateful. Dream on.