An excerpt from Target Iran: Drawing Red Lines in the Sand.
A balanced analysis of the security interests of the United States vis-a-vis Israel requires a careful review of their security interests and the history of their interaction.
That review demonstrates that Israel will always put its interest before any other nation, including the United States, if its leadership believes Israel's existence is at risk.
One should not expect anything different, given the experience of the Jewish people in Europe during World War II; however, that experience does not give Israel the right to dictate the foreign policy of United States, whose interest may diverge from Israel when all risks are evaluated.
The people of the United States, and those who make international policy on their behalf, must be mindful that the interests of the two countries have not always coincided.
Several examples from the history of the past 60 years are instructive.
Baghdad and Egypt Bombings. Following independence, the Israeli government encouraged the immigration of Jews from other countries to quickly increase its population. This was known as making Aliyah (Hebrew: ascent).
In 1948, more than 140,000 Jews lived in Iraq, making up one-sixth of Baghdad's population. These were the descendants of the Jews who chose to remain in 536 B.C., when the Tribes of Israel were freed from their captivity by the Persian king Cyrus the Great.
Israeli Zionists encouraged the Iraqi-Jewish population to leave Iraq; however, the Iraqi government declared Zionism to be a capital offense, required registration, a renouncing of citizenship and a forfeiture of property to leave. Many Iraqi-Jews were able to escape through Iran to Israel; however, many were afraid or unwilling to disturb the status quo.
Commencing in March 1950, a series of bombings occurred in Baghdad at the American Cultural Center and Library, the U.S. legation's information office, and other locations where Jews gathered. The Jewish population was seized with panic, and ultimately all but a few thousand left the country.
The Mossad denied it was involved in the bombings; however, the acts served to sour American-Iraqi relations and the rapid emigration of the population did in fact take place. The British embassy in Baghdad concluded that the bombings were done by Zionists, and a former CIA senior officer wrote that they were done by Zionists to "portray the Iraqis as anti-American and to terrorize the Jews."
The Mossad also recruited a group of Zionist Egyptian Jews in 1954 to plant bombs in the U.S. Information Service library and other American targets in Cairo and Alexandria. The Mossad intended to blame the Muslim Brotherhood for the attacks; however, the plot failed and the conspirators were arrested and convicted.
The conspiracy was code named "Operation Susannah," and the failed attempt became known as the "Lavon Affair" after Israeli defense minister Pinhas Lavon, who was forced to resign as a result. After denying complicity for 50 years, the surviving agents were provided with a certificate of appreciation by Israeli President Moshe Katzav in 2005.
All of these acts of terrorism were denied by Israel, and historians are divided as to responsibility; however, the adage Cui bono (Latin: to whose benefit?) often correctly identifies the party that had the most to gain or the least to lose.
Suez Crisis. In 1956, acting in conspiracy with England and France, Israel invaded the Sinai Peninsula without warning. The purpose of the invasion was for England and France to regain control of the Suez Canal, which had been nationalized, and to remove President Gamal Abdel Nasser from power in Egypt.
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