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The Israelization of American policy

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  • ummyakoub
    The Israelization of American policy By Marwan Bishara The International Herald Tribune 27 June 2003 http://www.iht.com/articles/100893.html PARIS For the past
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 5, 2003
      The Israelization of American policy

      By Marwan Bishara

      The International Herald Tribune
      27 June 2003


      PARIS For the past few months I have watched with bewilderment as
      America has adopted Israel's mistaken strategy in the Middle East.
      Will America take as long as Israel to realize that starting a war
      is nothing like finishing it, and that military occupation does not
      bring about peace or security?

      Two pictures in the International Herald Tribune on the same day,
      June 16, spoke volumes. One showed an Israeli soldier in Hebron
      pointing his automatic rifle at civilians with their hands in the
      air, and another of an American soldier doing exactly the same thing
      in Falluja, Iraq. If there were no captions, you couldn't tell one
      photograph from the other.

      America, like Israel, is getting increasingly bogged down by an
      open-ended military occupation, as attacks on its troops continue
      almost daily in Iraq. The situation has been aggravated by America's
      break-up of state institutions such as the army, rendering millions
      of Iraqis unemployed.

      Powerful but vulnerable, America and Israel seem to bring out the
      worst in each other. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, Washington has
      internalized Israel's claustrophobic view of a world full of hatred
      and terrorism. Its post-Cold War optimism has given way to vengeful

      President George W. Bush is walking down Prime Minister Ariel
      Sharon's path as he uses the dramatic events of the past two years
      to whip up a new theological patriotism to strengthen his governing
      base and confront those - mostly Muslims - who "hate us for what we

      Neither Israel nor America is bothering to ask why the Palestinians
      and Muslims of the Middle East are carrying out suicide attacks,
      something not previously seen in Islam or Palestine for the last 14
      centuries. Have Israeli military occupation and American military
      domination transformed Middle East killing fields into fertile
      ground for hatred and conflict that has taken on a religious fervor?

      Instead of extracting the source of tension, Washington has added
      another occupation to the Israeli occupation. Like pyromaniac
      firemen, U.S. officials are implementing Sharon's war philosophy of
      putting out fire with fire.

      Israelizing America's war on terrorism means globalizing Sharon's
      warfare: unprovoked military invasions, covert operations, armed
      interventions, disproportionate retaliations, extra-judicial
      assassinations and other measures long considered war crimes and
      crimes against humanity.

      These measures have also proved ineffective. Israel has grown less
      secure despite its continuous use of force to resolve political

      Today, America risks internalizing the way it fights and those it
      fights against. As one of Israel's leading military historians,
      Martin van Creveld, puts it, if you fight the weak for too long, you
      become weak yourself. Unfortunately, instead of learning from
      Israel's strategic mistakes, Bush is advising the Palestinians to
      learn from the lesson of Iraq.

      If America continues to Israelize its foreign policy, it will
      globalize the kind of conflict found in Palestine, with grave
      consequences not only abroad, but also at home in America.

      Israel's experience shows that fear-based national fervor curtails
      the democratic process, depicting rationalization as justification
      and tolerance as immoral. Two-thirds more Americans support
      political assassination today than two decades ago and an increasing
      number support torture.

      Just as there is a diplomatic alternative to Israel's failed
      policies in Palestine - based on international legality and
      sustained development, rather than the imbalance of power and
      exploitation - a better alternative must be found to America's
      unilateral and muscular foreign policy.

      Attaining national security in a transnational world means accepting
      and respecting interdependence. Once security is understood as a
      universal right, interdependence becomes a sign of wisdom, not

      If America must draw on another tradition, why not look to the long
      history of Jewish tolerance and survival, - or to America's own
      constitutional tradition? It is time to dust off those great
      documents sitting on the White House shelves.

      The writer, who teaches international relations at the American
      University of Paris, is author of "Palestine/Israel: Peace or



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