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Israel-US Relations: Blockhead and the Judge?

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Message Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
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An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.    -    Buddha

America's relations with Israel has always been explained by politicians on both sides as "friendship'.     Today, more than any other time in the course of their   "friendship', this relationship brings to mind the story of "Blockhead and the Judge".


According to English folklore, Blockhead complained to the Judge of being annoyed with flies.   The Judge granted Blockhead permission to strike them wherever he saw them.   Observing a big fly   on the judge's nose, Blockhead delivered a powerful blow with his fist, smashing the fly -- and the Judge's nose.  


Israel, annoyed at Iran's refusal to abrogate its rights granted under international law and treaties, and for resisting injustice, has demanded that the United States not only impose crippling sanctions on Iran, but place an embargo on Iran's crude oil.   America's compliance with such irrational and harsh demands has in turn raised the prospect of retaliation which could halt the flow of oil from the Strait of Hormuz, depriving the world of an estimated 35% of its total oil needs.  


As Ted Koppel   wrote rather candidly in the New York Times (February 24, 2006)   "Keeping oil flowing out of the Persian Gulf and through the Strait of Hormuz has been the bedrock of American foreign policy for more than half a century." [i]   In complying with Israel's wishes,   not only has America acted contrary to its long-standing foreign policy, violated international treaties, but it has also inflicted harm on its national interest by creating a shortage which has sent gas prices skyrocketing setting back the economy.   


A March, 2012 Gallup Poll is indicative of the dire effects of this decision on the US economy.   The poll shows that 85% of Americans want the President and Congress to "take immediate actions to try to control the rising price of gas."   Ironically, it is the President and Congress, hedged on by Israel and its lobbies in the U.S. that have caused the gas price increase.    


A simple equation determines the price of oil: supply and demand   (granted, at times other variables factor in such as speculators, specifically at times of political crisis, and oil refinery related issues, bearing in mind that much of the oil   refineries in America and elsewhere are Israeli owned -- see footnote [1] ).   There is ample empirical evidence pointing to price increases whenever   oil supplies are disrupted.   


The Iranian revolution and the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war is estimated to have cost the US a total of $355 billion in higher oil prices (T. Stauffer, 2003 ) [ii] .     The oil strikes leading up to the 1978-79 Iranian revolution reduced Iranian oil production by 3.8 million barrels per day for 3 months.   Although outside production increased by 1.8 million barrels to make up for the loss, the net loss to the world was 150 million barrels of oil, this fact alone had a   compounding result which resulted in a net loss to U.S. economy of an estimated billions of dollars in 1979 and 1980 (Deese & Nye 1981) [iii] .    It is crucial to note that in this period China was a net exporter oil and became a net importer in 1993.   


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Soraya has lived and studied in-Iran, UK, France, and has obtained her Master's degree in Public Diplomacy from USC Annenberg and USC School for International Studies, Los Angeles.- She is an independent researcher, public speaker, radio (more...)

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