By Felix Quigley
April 26, 2008
The Jewish writer Ami Isseroff has written about the relationship between Israel and the US. But as our examination of what Isseroff has written amkes clear, what all of this means is that Jewish people and Israel must break totally from US Imperialism and join completely with the US ordinary people
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It should be clear that “reducing the size of Israel” was always a goal of the United States since June 1967. On May 23, 1967, President Johnson had made a statement regarding US commitment to the territorial integrity of all nations, seemingly with the intention of reassuring Israel.. Following the June war, this statement was repeated, but now that Israel had conquered chunks of Jordanian, Egyptian and Syrian territory, it took on a new meaning: The US would pressure Israel to withdraw from the conquered territories in return for peace. In a State Department telegram sent on June 12 to the US Embassy in Israel, the following wording was included:
As far as the attitude of the US is concerned, our principal points of departure are (a) President Johnson’s reaffirmation on May 23 of long-standing American policy that “the United States is firmly committed to the support of the political independence and territorial integrity of all the nations of the area”; …(c) the vital interest of the United States in its own relations with the Arab and Muslim world, a relationship in which Israel itself has an important stake…
Source: 273. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel/1/ Washington, June 12, 1967, 10:37 p.m. /1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Eugene Rostow on June 11, cleared by Kohler and Battle, and approved by Katzenbach. Rostow had earlier initialed Rusk’s approval. Repeated to Luxembourg as Tosec 20 for Rusk.
Ambassador Barbour replied on June 13 that he had in fact apprised Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban of these positions:
As to United States points of departure I mentioned President’s reaffirmation on May 23 of our commitment to support the political independence and territorial integrity of all nations in the area, the necessity to establish a regime of peace eliminating claims by either side of the right to infringe on the rights of others because of belligerency, U.S. vital interests in relation to the Arab world, and the overriding necessity that through magnanimous and imaginative policies, the foundations laid for a genuine reconciliation among peoples of the area.
Source; 277. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State/1/ Tel Aviv, June 13, 1967, 1730Z. /1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Received at 3:16 p.m.
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The question which is implicit in much of this by Isseroff is: Is the US a friend of Israel as is repeated by the antisemites who hate Israel; we find those everywhere today, in Counterpunch and the ISM etc?
Is the US seeking to reduce the size of Israel? A strange question to ask because by pushing for the Palestine Arab state the answer is obvious. It is! And is the US an enemy of Israel and seeking to destroy Israel.
These questions lead nowhere and Isseroff goes nowhere. It is necessary to begin with the overall world and historical crisis of Imperialism, that is US capitalism, EU capitalism, all with their components such as German capitalism (really as in Yugoslavia German Imperialism). It is the historical crisis which is driving, not these subjective questions, is the US a friend, a limiter or an outright enemy.
What Isseroff leaves out is that the crisis demands that Imperialism in all its forms must make war on China and Russia in particular and one way or another must control those two great countries, the power of those countries must be controlled by Imperialism in a drive to maintain power and do not overlook please…profit.
And this crisis necessitates the alliance of all forms of Imperialism with Islam which of course is a very special type of Imperialism, based on a very special type of religion, with Fascist drives written into its core texts. (for confirmation here read up on many recent texts as in the Jihadwatch site)
Isseroff leaves out the historical crisis in capitalism (Imperialism) and so leaves out the necessary alliance of US and Islam.
There is also the point that Gil White makes. All religions are NOT the same. Marx made great advances in understanding the commodity, the crux (to borrow a word) of understanding the capitalist system as a whole. But for whatever reasons he did not do his research on Judaism. According to the research of Gil White the Jews were driven by a revolutionary type programme at the time of the Roman Empire, with great attractive power for the poor masses. It was revolutionary in that it led to combat with the Roman ruling class at the time, whereas Paul’s Christianity led to compromise and to the defence of the ruling class interests, which is in actual fact the Vatican throughout history. I as an historical materialist believe very strongly that historical memory does not die, not ever completely. I also feel that the American ruling class do not like the Jews and I offer that as a possible explanation.
Conclusion from the above which Isseroff does not draw: Rusk is instinctively drawing together in alliance with the Islam of the Arab rulers who had attacked Israel. He is being an antisemite. Fairness has nothing to do with his thinking. And his antisemitism is laying down one rule for the Jews, who are attacked and who have to retreat after being attacked, and another for himself and the US, which did not retreat after the Mexico attack on its North (and the US South of the present).
So final conclusion: The alliance of Imperialists like in the US or Britain with Islam is certain as a birth will follow a pregnancy. No way to stop it.
So Israel was intended by the Nasserite Arabs to be eliminated, to be by this time in the same state as Monty Python’s parrot, dead, by this time, and in that situation Rusk takes up his narrative, courtesy of Isseroff:
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Yet again, from the same file, in response to Saudi and Aramco pressure on the U.S. regarding Israeli withdrawal, the following text was included in a telegram sent, also on June 13, from the U.S. State Department to the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia:
3. In connection problems growing out of recent Arab-Israel hostilities, you may call attention addressee governments to long-standing USG support for territorial integrity and political independence of all states of the Near East. This position was re-stated by President Johnson today./3/ The USG desires the maintenance of friendly ties with all the countries of the region. In our view it is of the first importance for all to take steps now to assure that there is an end to the periodic hostilities and the state of belligerency which have marked Near Eastern history in the last two decades. The USG is fully prepared to join the other states to work for lasting arrangements which will serve permanently to reduce tensions in this region.
Source: 282. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia/1/ [Washington, June 13, 1967, 9:54 p.m. /1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret. Drafted by Brewer on June 12; cleared by Battle, Solomon, and Director of the Office of Fuels and Energy John G. Oliver; and approved by Eugene Rostow. Also sent to Kuwait and repeated to Dhahran and London.]
And, from a later file of declassified documents, we have this statement:
The tough question is whether we’d force Israel back to 4 June borders if the Arabs accepted terms that amounted to an honest peace settlement. Secretary Rusk told the Yugoslav Foreign Minister: “The US had no problem with frontiers as they existed before the outbreak of hostilities. If we are talking about national frontiers–in a state of peace–then we will work toward restoring them. But we all know that could lead to a tangle with the Israelis.Source: 455. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson/1/ Washington, October 3, 1967. /1/Source: Johnson Library, President’s Appointment File, October 4, 1967. Secret; Nodis.
There was, therefore, every reason for both President Nixon and Henry Kissinger to make the statements they had made about Israeli withdrawal, and they were by no means expressing their private opinions, but rather the stated policies of the United States government.
The Johnson administration was unable to fulfill its ambition of forcing Israeli withdrawal. The Arab states under the leadership of Nasser were too intransigent to make even a show of peaceful intentions, and adopted the Khartoum resolutions. At the same time, the United States had no leverage whatever on Israel, since it had not supplied the arms with which the Six Day War was won, and had in fact, reneged on its promise to support Israel’s navigation rights when it was put to the test. In order to force Israeli withdrawal, the United States would first need to gain some leverage on Israel. The US adopted a two fold approach to regaining its standing in the Middle East. The first part was to make Israel dependent upon it for arms and diplomatic backing, while at the same time working for a permanent peace settlement and Israeli withdrawal. The “peace settlement” part would be satisfactory to the pro-Israel faction that was generally in charge in the White House, while the Israeli withdrawal part would satisfy the rank and file career diplomats of the State Department, who never had excessive love for Israel or people of the Jewish persuasion.
This policy could be marketed to supporters of Israel as a pro-Israel policy that sought peace, and would, as Kissinger noted even to the Iraqis, oppose the destruction of Israel, while it could be marketed to Arab states and their supporters as US opposition to annexation of Arab territory, and reduction of Israel’s size. The most complete public expression of the policy was the Harold H. Saunders testimony of 1975, which explicitly called for a settlement of the Palestinian issue through Israeli territorial concessions. Implementation of the policy was aided by the fact that Israel lost the backing of France, which meant that it had neither a diplomatic champion nor an arms supplier, and was greatly dependent on the US. Yitzhak Rabin, when he was ambassador to the US, understood and emphasized that US support for Israel was due only to the perception that such support served US strategic interests. The US supports Israel in order to use return of the territories conquered in the Six Day War to gain leverage with Arab states. This policy worked admirably for many years.
By 1975, the US had purchased the leverage on Israel by its role in the Yom Kippur War, in which it had agreed to resupply Israel through the air-lift. The Yom Kippur war made it clear to Israel that the scale of military engagements in the Middle East had changed radically since 1967, and that it could therefore no longer be militarily independent. The quantities of armaments and materiel consumed in a few short days of fighting necessitated a replacement capacity that could not be provided in a practical way by increasing the capacity of the Israeli military industries, and the technological innovations required were beyond the capabilities of Israel. Kissinger persuaded Nixon to resupply the Israelis in 1973, and Kissinger then used the leverage purchased by resupply to push for Israeli withdrawals in Sinai. The fruits of this policy for the US were the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty and US displacement of Russian influence in Egypt, and eventually, the Jordanian – Israeli peace treaty and the Oslo process. In a masterly stroke, President Carter cemented both Israeli and Egyptian dependence on the US with large foreign aid deals.
It has been very important for the United States to maintain this dependence. The torpedoing of the LAVIE interceptor project in the 80s was a great victory for US policy and another nail in the coffin of Israeli political independence. Thanks to that defeat, every time Israel attacks Palestinians or Hezbollah, it must use US aircraft, allowing anti-Zionists to point out that the “Zionist war criminals” are using US supplied weapons.
In any case, what Kissinger told the Iraqis was apparently, a slightly “adapted” version of actual US policy. If it was shocking to some people, it is because they never understood and didn’t want to understand what had been declared plainly many times. The same policy has been spelled out again quite recently by George Bush in his speech on the Middle East, and more recently by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in an interview with Sawa television. Israel will have to withdraw from the West Bank.
The evident facts about US policy in the Middle East, which are rarely if ever mentioned, have many implications. They have been obscured by traditional campaign malarkey about U.S. support for Israel and the “historic relationship” and the strategic alliance, and they have provided a fruitful field for demagogues.
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Yes it is indeed “malarkey” and you could not get a better word to describe all this guff about the US in support or being a supporter of Israel.
Of course, the US ruling class does have one very important reason for making a pretence of being in support of Israel. This is where the socialist revolutionary will part company with many and it is really the vital point to understand and will determine the future.
The US ruling class, the ruling capitalist class, does not rule uncontested. It has a mortal enemy which the Jewish bourgeois supporter of Israel cannot comprehend precisely because they are…well…sorry to say it…bourgeois. They cannot see the US working class and that there is a US American people whose interests are obviously not at all the same as the US American rulers.
The only real potential allies for Israel!
In the coming election it matters hardly at all whether it is Obama, Clinton or McCain who makes it into power. That is because they will all have to reptresent that US capitalist class and state machine. In fact they have been groomed to do so.
I will for the interest of our readers include also the next part of what Isseroff wrote. It is quite lamentable and shows the total bankruptcy of Isseroff as a political leader for the Jews, and also why in the past I have been so critical of Isseroff when he joined forces with an antisemitic Arab head of a University in Israel who was calling for the future Palestine state to be Judenfrei.
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Anti-Zionists who bewail American support for Israel and US aid to Israel and blame it on the Israel Lobby” are well aware of the reasons for American support for Israel, which have nothing to do with the “Jewish vote” or Christian Zionism.
Zionists in Israel and abroad who want Israel to keep the territories of the West Bank, and who sometimes label Israeli politicians as traitors because of concessions to Palestinians, need to understand that these concessions are concessions to the US government. In reality, the results and aftermath of the Six Day War are the full length novel version of the little episode of the 1956 Suez Campaign. After that campaign, President Eisenhower forced a precipitate Israeli withdrawal in return for “guarantees” that turned out to be worthless. Following the Six Day war, Israel has a better chance of getting guarantees that will not be worthless in return for withdrawal, but the withdrawal is evisaged by the US as equally inevitable.
(Sorry, Isseroff. Here you are just providing a kind of cover for the political and anti Judaic gangsters who make up the Israeli ruling class, the section around the Israeli Labour Party and the Stalinist Communist Party. The hatred of this Israeli elite for Judaism is real and no advance can be made until it is faced up to.
Isseroff himself is a man who has joined with the enemy against Jewish Patriots on the issue of Atalena Affair, also the Dir Yassin Big Lie. Isseroff takes the side of the Ben Gurion thugs who fired on Jews in the water swimming from the Atalena. And the side of the Jewish thugs who spread the lie of Dir Yassin…FQ)
Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak, Benjamin Nethanyahu, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert all recognized this immutable factor in Israeli geopolitical calculations. Personal preferences do not come into the equation. For Israel, American policy is an elemental fact of political life like bar’hash flies and hot weather.
(And here Isseroff is just showing himself as a pathetic little bourgeois. When he says that the US is an elemental factor he really means that the Jews of Israel are powerless. That is false and profoundly anti revolutionary. It is on that basis that Isseroff needs to be fought. It is also on that basis that the whole of the American Jewish leaders need to be fought, pathetic powerless little people that they really are…FQ)
It is fairly clear now why the editor of Israpundit, Ted Belman, who in particular I know has an affinity with Isseroff. Both are people of the word. And both are paralysed in the face of huge events and in the face of the enormous demands of the situation.
The answer, which is the revolutionary answer in the tradition of Leon Trotsky, the great Russian socialist revolutionary who defended revolutionary socialist thought and action by fighting Stalinism, is an answer which has as a central component the complete break of the Jewish people from US Imperialism. At the same time this means an alliance with especially the American working class and in a general sense the ordinary people of America, some of whom are the Christian Evangelicals.
Isseroff himself can never break from the pessimism of the Labour Stalinists of Israel, Belman can never break from the US Imperialists. But with Belman is the whole American Jewish leadership.
This site, 4international, has got no pessimism whatsoever about the future. As regards the Israeli and American Jews we say they are in great shape, all ready to fight and to struggle for Israel. The problem lies with their leaders. To create a new leadership is the key question and so it is necessary for all who support Israel to unite together, defend each other, and to create and defend the vital discussion so that ordinary people can see the way forward. But creating this discussion is a practical task. We Trotskyists on 4International are developing this discussion and we will never be silenced!