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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/11/17

Israel Palestine: For whom the bell tolls?

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Message Jean-Luc Basle

In 2008, John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt published "The Lobby and U.S. foreign policy" in which they reminded the reader that no two countries share the same vital interests. This obvious truth was ignored. On December 6 th , Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The decision was celebrated in Washington DC and Jerusalem with enthusiasm. Yet, together with Syria's Western debacle, it concludes the United States' dominant role in the Middle East. It is a Pyrrhus victory for Netanyahu, and it puts an end to the honest-broker and two-state pretenses for the Palestinians.

It is no secret, Netanyahu and other Israeli officials said it repeatedly: Palestine is Israel's homeland. But, Palestinians are in the way. So are the Saudis. The Kingdom, as the keeper of the Faith, is bound to side with the Palestinians. To break Saudi Arabia away from the Palestinians, Israel convinced the Saudis that Iran is their mortal enemy. In this vision, the Iranian threat erases any duty Saudi Arabia may feel vis--vis their Palestinian brothers for the safety of the Kingdom comes first. Israel and Saudi Arabia are now bound by a common enemy. If the plan succeeds, Israelis will have killed two birds with one stone. Iran will be crushed and Palestine will be theirs. Donald Trump's decision has no immediate impact on the plan. The Saudi Royal family, led by Mohammed bin Salman , will stick to it. However, not their subjects and the Arabs at large. The chasm between the rulers and the people in the Middle East will rise overtime.

On February 14, 1945, Franklin Roosevelt signed with Ibn Saud the Quincy Pact whereby the king traded oil for the protection of the United States. The creation of Israel on May 14, 1948 was followed the next day by the first Arab-Israeli war. Harry Truman who recognized the new state on the day of its creation was caught in a dilemma. He resolved it by posing as the "honest-broker" between the two parties. The posture worked reasonably well until the Yom Kippur War in 1973 when the United States sided with Israel. It no longer was an honest-broker. But the charade lived on with Jimmy Carter's Oslo Accord and other initiatives with the same end result.

Saying the American foreign policy in the Middle East is essentially defined by Israel is stating the obvious. In "A Clean Break, a new strategy for the Realm", Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and few others partially lift the veil on Israel's strategy. The goal is to eliminate any potential competitor in the Middle East. General Wesley Clark confirms it in his October 3, 2007 speech at the Commonwealth Club of California. A friend of his at the Pentagon tells him ten days after 9/11 that "we're going to attack and destroy the governments of seven countries in five years" Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Soudan and Iran." Not mincing his words, Clark adds: "This country [the United States] was taken over by a group of people with a policy coup: Wolfowitz and Cheney and Rumsfeld and you can name a half dozen other collaborators from the Project for a New American Century." In effect, Washington DC was planning to do Israel's job for none of the seven countries poses any threat to the security of the United States. The Iraqi war is a colossal failure (militarily, financially and humanly), and so is the "uprising" in Syria.

A Department of Defense memorandum released in May 2015 states: "Western countries, the Gulf States and Turkey are supporting [the Islamists'] efforts [to control Hasaka and Der Zor in Syria]" while at the same time admitting that "there is a possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principally in Syria." So, while officially declaring war on terrorism, the United States is helping the terrorists establish an Islamic state! The duplicity of these wars is sickening. Their stupidity is maddening. Besides reading Mearsheimer and Walt, Washington DC's officials should have read Isaac Newton. His third law states: "When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body." Russia was bound to come in at some point. It did at the invitation of Bashar al-Assad. It was joined by Iran and later by Turkey -- a NATO member.

Conclusion: The United States' policy in the Middle East is discredited. Israel has become an apartheid state -- something Ehud Barak warned against. As for the Palestinians, the two-state solution is dead and buried, they have no more illusion regarding their future. "Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

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Jean-Luc Basle Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Former Vice President Citigroup New York (retired) Columbia University -- Business School Princeton University -- Woodrow Wilson School

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