18 March 2010

Eureka! American top brass make the Israel/Palestine/terrorism connection

General David Petraeus, head of the United States Central Command and perhaps the most influential member of the American armed forces, has solved a simple equation. Earlier this week, in testimony before the Senate armed services committee, the general declared that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict posed a threat to American interests. He said it "foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favouritism for Israel" and that "anger over the Palestinian question" aided al-Qaida and other jihadist groups to recruit supporters.

This follows a briefing of the top brass at the Pentagon by senior officers of U.S. Central Command that Israeli intransigence was damaging American standing in the region, and that Arab leaders now considered the U.S. too weak to stand up to Israeli.

The only question is what took these guys so long to figure out the obvious. Survey after survey of the Arab people has shown an overwhelming antipathy toward Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians. Indeed, if the Americans had listened to the Arab street, they would never have blundered into Iraq. Or they could listen to the terrorists themselves. Every time Islamic extremists justify their violence, at the top of the list is the suffering of the Palestinians.

And how could it be otherwise? How could the Arab people be anything but furious at the treatment of their Palestinian brothers and sisters at the hands of the Israelis? And how could they not be angry at the United States for its massive support of the oppressor?

The toxicity of the Palestine problem has spread throughout the world, reaching New York on September 11th, 2001. The American military may be primarily concerned about the cost building Greater Israel brings to American soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, but American civilians have also paid a heavy price. The military, largely immune to the pressure of the Israel lobby, are free to say so. Now if only the politicians will listen.

1 comment:

  1. "...a perception of US favouritism for Israel." What a curious idea. "Anger over the Palestinian question" aides al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups? Quelle surprise!

    I like Gwynne Dyer's take on Muslim extremism. He suggests it would largely die on the vine without the financial support of moderate Muslims, the Arab Street. However many of them want reforms that are denied them by pro-Western tyrants we keep in place. For example, moderate Egyptians may turn in frustration to the Islamic Brotherhood because that's the only group actually standing up to Mubarak.

    If we want reform in the Arab world the place to start is in the countries that are already pro-Western, notably Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Democratic reform in those countries would do more to spread the idea through the region than threatening Iran or pouring money into Afghanistan.