Yankees, go home, for the sake of peace
The American involvement in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has only served to deepen and perpetuate it.
It’s time for the U.S. to lay off.
By Gideon Levy | Oct. 19, 2014
Obama and Netanyahu. A wild sado-masochistic game.Photo by AP
This may be the greatest mystery of all: the relations between Israel and the U.S.A. They are everything but logical. We have a protégé that humiliates its patron power and a power that grovels in front of its protégé; a power that acts against its own interests and a president who acts contrary to his worldview. We have a protégé whose dependence on the power grows with its effrontery and a power’s unbelievable weakness in the face of its protégé’s brazenness. It’s a wild sado-masochistic game, in which it is not clear who is the slave and who is the master, which is the power and which is its protégé.
“America don’t worry, Israel is behind you” more than just a slogan on a T-shirt sold to American Jews in Jerusalem.
Nothing can fully explain this phenomenon, certainly not in its current dimensions. No Israeli government has permitted itself to disregard the American administration with such impudence as the current one. No American administration has received the spitting in its face as submissively as this one. No other ally in the world, including the European powers, has dared to act so explicitly against the United States’ positions. All this is happening with Israel isolated in the world and dependent on the United States’ mercy, while its policy endangers American and global interests. This state of affairs cannot be explained in full by the Jewish lobby, the Christian lobby or the weapons industry. Go figure.
But you don’t have to penetrate the roots in order to understand the full extent of its damages. This is the time to tell the “leader of the free world:” Hands off the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Leave the sides alone. You’ve never contributed anything to advance its solution anyway. On the contrary, your policy has only deepened and perpetuated it. Yankees, go home, for the sake of peace.
The United States has never been – and could not have been – an honest broker. The absolute patron of one side cannot serve in this position for even a moment. Indeed, the only peace flashes in the region — the treaty with Egypt and the Oslo agreements — were achieved behind America’s back. But the Palestinian Authority, weak and isolated, is forced to accept the broker Uncle Sam, despite the knowledge that nothing will come of this. The PA hardly has a choice.
Meanwhile this uncle finances the occupation, as it has always done, backs it and deepens its expansion. The White House and State Department’s frequent denunciations of the construction in the occupied territories, being sterile of content and devoid of any practical significance, only further legitimize the settlements. America restrains itself and accepts everything. Its weakness in the face of Israel’s policy is no less than astonishing.
The history of the relations between the two states in the last few years is a series of apologies, almost all American, and moralizing lectures, almost all Israeli. For example, over the weekend John Kerry said some things that made sense and were true, mainly that not solving the Palestinian problem feeds Islamic State.
The Israeli attack was not late in coming — this time it was launched by ministers Naftali Bennett and Gilad Erdan. These were followed, of course, by the State Department’s inevitable pseudo-apology. Perhaps the honorable ministers didn’t understand the secretary and anyway he didn’t mean it. That’s the pattern of relations.
When Sweden takes a tiny step to recognize Palestinian statehood, America reproaches it as “premature.” After 47 years it’s premature (to implement declared American policy). Any attempt of the world to increase its involvement to bring an end to the occupation is met with an automatic, blind American veto. Thus America also paralyzes Europe, where public opinion is more agitated over the occupation and is much more informed and involved than in the United States.
Every such move conveys to the Israeli occupation: Keep it up. Continue to rob and usurp, evict and purge. Bombard Gaza’s houses and shoot the West Bank’s children – no harm will befall you. America is behind you.