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Israel Lobby asks Congress to Approve Attack on Iran & to Exempt Israel from Sequester

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  • Cort Greene
    Israel Lobby asks Congress to Approve Attack on Iran & to Exempt Israel from Sequester Posted
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4 3:30 AM
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      Israel Lobby asks Congress to Approve Attack on Iran & to Exempt Israel
      from Sequester<http://www.juancole.com/2013/03/congress-approve-sequester.html>

      Posted on 03/04/2013 by Juan

      News from what Ross Perot used to call the guys in sharkskin suits and
      alligator shoes� the lobbyists who routinely outvote you and me on Capitol
      Hill:

      The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which ought to be a
      registered foreign agent, opens its annual conference in Washington today.
      Its three big goals right now are to make sure US government aid to Israel
      is exempted from the across the board budget cuts of the sequester; to make
      sure Israel can with impunity go on stealing Palestinian land in the West
      Bank; and to get permission from Congress for the Israeli Air Force to bomb
      Iran�s civilian nuclear enrichment facilities.

      Since Israel is a middle-income country with a nominal per capita income
      higher than Spain or South Korea, it is mysterious why the US taxpayer
      should outright give it so much money every year� more especially since the
      Israelis are breaking international law with their aggressive colonization
      of the West Bank, which causes no end of trouble for the United States in
      the Muslim World. Why it should be exempted from the effects of the
      sequester, when ordinary Americans will
      not<http://rt.com/op-edge/aipac-israel-aid-us-761/>,
      is further mysterious.

      But the maneuvering around the sequester and aid is a minor issue compared
      to the attempt to do an end run around President Obama and Secretary of
      Defense Chuck Hagel by getting senators to sign a permission slip for
      Israel<http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/sites/default/files/AIPAC_Back_Door_To_War.pdf>
      to
      attack Iran, saying that the senate:

      �urges that, if the Government of Israel is 3 compelled to take military
      action in self-defense, the 4 United States Government should stand with
      Israel 5 and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the
      Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and
      existence.�

      Although the resolution denies being an authorization for war, that is
      clearly what it is. It was introduced by Lindsey Graham (of course) and
      Robert Menendez.

      The resolution also seeks to expand America�s unilateral war on the Iranian
      economy<http://www.niacouncil.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=9029&security=1&news_iv_ctrl=-1>,
      which is arguably illegal in international law, by trying to punish
      European companies, including pharmaceuticals, that sell to Iran. The US
      financial blockade is already making some medicines hard to come by for
      strapped Iranian families with ill children.

      An Israeli attack on Iran would certainly draw in the United States.
      Thousands of US personnel in Baghdad, Qatar and Bahrain would be vulnerable
      to covert, proxy attacks in response. The Pentagon has repeatedly warned
      the Israelis about doing anything that might force the US into hostilities,
      and the brass won�t be happy about this irresponsible resolution.

      Former National Security Council staffer and Columbia professor of
      Political Science Gary Sick
      notes<http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/28/senators-press-to-green-light-israeli-attack-on-iran.html>,
      �Initiating a war is the gravest step any nation can take. This legislation
      would effectively entrust that decision to a regional state. Such a
      decision is an American sovereign responsibility. It cannot be outsourced.�

      Just Foreign Policy<http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1439/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=12660>
      has
      suggestions for how you can protest this irresponsible resolution to your
      elected representatives.

      http://www.juancole.com/2013/03/congress-approve-sequester.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+juancole%2Fymbn+%28Informed+Comment%29


      By Noam Sheizaf <http://972mag.com/author/noams/> |Published March 4,
      2013Dennis
      Ross: Netanyahu's attorney in Washington

      *Dennis Ross presents a framework for renewing the peace process, which
      he apparently lifted directly from the Israeli PM�s hard disk � including **de
      facto**recognition of permanent Israeli control over eight percent of the
      West Bank. *
      <http://972mag.com/netanyahus-attorney-in-washington/67052/800px-dennis_ross/>

      Allowing free hand to the Israeli leadership. Dennis Ross (Nrbelex/ CC-BY
      2.5)

      Veteran U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross had a full page op-ed in *The New York
      Times*<http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/03/03/opinion/sunday/opinion-israel-palestine-mideast-peace.html?ref=global>
      this
      weekend, in which he presents a 14-step program that is supposed to
      establish a framework for renewing the diplomatic process. The piece
      includes a lot of talk about peace, but the action items are lifted from
      Netanyahu�s policy book, demonstrating again why the Palestinians were
      right when they refused to meet Ross � the man is the informal Israeli
      ambassador to Washington. Only that in the past, his positions were closer
      to those of the Israeli center (Kadima/Labor); today he is teaming up with
      the Right.

      Ross juxtaposes a list of �demands� from each side � which are in fact
      directed only at the Palestinians. They are to publicly recognize Israel�s
      connection to Jerusalem � despite the fact that it is the Israeli
      government which refuses to acknowledge Palestinians claims to the city,
      not vice versa. They need to include Israel in their maps � Ross knows all
      too well that since 2009 it has been the Israeli side that refused to open
      maps in the talks. And so on.

      From Israel, Ross demands it stop construction of settlements beyond the
      separation barrier, but he accepts and even explicitly supports building
      projects west of it, in an area consisting of 8 percent of the West Bank.
      This is perhaps the most astonishing point in the article, because it: (a)
      encourages Israeli construction in the occupied West Bank � something the
      entire international community, including all American administrations,
      have refused to do; (b) it accepts Israel�s interpretation of the notion of
      �settlement blocs,� including the Ariel and Kadumim �fingers,� which cut
      through the northern West Bank, and; (c) it sees the security barrier
      Israel unilaterally constructed on Palestinian land (and not on the
      internationally recognized 1949 armistice lines) as the future borders of
      the Palestinian State.

      Thus, Ross is echoing Binaymin Netanyahu�s refusal to see the 1967 border
      as the starting point for any negotiations. It is worth noting that
      annexing 8 percent of the West Bank to Israel means dropping the idea of
      equal land swaps, because Israel won�t be able to come up with more than
      3-4 percent of land west of the Green Line with which to compensate the
      Palestinians for the annexed settlement blocs.

      In short, Ross� plan puts the entire burden on the Palestinians, and
      accepts the Israeli leadership�s preconditions, including an unprecedented
      recognition of most of the settlements *before negotiations even began*.

      The idea that the Israeli leadership should get whatever it wants (in order
      to accommodate Israelis� various anxieties, justified or not) � and that as
      a result, it should understand that the occupation needs to come to an end
      � is so bizarre and so disconnected from the realities of political
      behavior that it�s difficult to believe it has been the corner stone of
      American diplomacy for the last couple of decades. Left alone, Israeli
      leaders choose the easy way of accepting the status quo.

      Ross� has left the administration but his ideas are still popular in
      Washington<http://972mag.com/us-top-envoy-leaving-and-so-should-his-politics/27458/>.
      This is not because they have any chance of working � by now, its clear
      that he is one of the least successful diplomats ever to work for an
      American administration � but because they create the comfortable illusion
      that its possible to achieve �peace� without confronting the Israeli
      government and its powerful allies in D.C., something nobody really wants
      to do. Instead, he suggests redrafting American policy according to the new
      desires of the Israeli politicians, while applying the real pressure on the
      Palestinian side (acting as �Israel�s
      attorney<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/22/AR2005052200883.html>,�
      as Aaron David Miller, another American negotiator, has called this
      approach). If adopted again by the administration, this short-sighted and
      dangerous policy is only likely to bring more suffering on Palestinians
      (and consequently on Israelis), and further diminish whatever American
      credibility is left in the region.

      http://972mag.com/netanyahus-attorney-in-washington/67052/

      *Related:*
      US top envoy leaving, and so should his
      politics<http://972mag.com/us-top-envoy-leaving-and-so-should-his-politics/27458/>
      Haaretz�s pundit takes on US envoy Ross for aiding
      Netanyahu<http://972mag.com/haaretzs-pundit-takes-on-us-envoy-dennis-ross-for-aiding-netanyahu/17951/>


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