Maidhc Ó Cathail
If Israel’s stranglehold over US foreign policy is to be broken, Americans will need to be informed about the harm that Washington’s unconditional support for the Jewish state is doing to American interests, say leading analysts of US-Israeli relations.
According to John J. Mearsheimer, co-author of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, “The only plausible way to weaken the lobby’s influence on US foreign policy is for prominent policymakers and opinion-makers to speak openly about the damage the special relationship is doing to the American national interest.”
“Plenty of people in the United States, especially inside the Beltway, know that Israel is an albatross around America’s neck,” says Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. “But they are afraid to stand up and say that for fear that the lobby will attack them and damage their careers.”
“Hopefully, some of them will develop a backbone,” he adds.
Philip Giraldi, executive director of the Council for the National Interest, believes that Tel Aviv’s stranglehold over Washington can be broken “only by directly challenging the power of the Israel lobby and the false narrative about how it is of value to the United States.”
Giraldi, a contributing editor to The American Conservative, says that “it must be done from the bottom up as Israel cannot be challenged in the mainstream media, Congress, and in the White House.”
“The American people must learn that Israel is and always has been a strategic liability that has done immense damage to the United States and its worldwide interests,” concludes the former CIA officer.
If there is to be an end to Israel’s decades-long “sway over Congress and intimidating presidents,” says Jeffrey Blankfort, a prominent Jewish American critic of Israel and its American lobby, “it will require appeals and actions beginning on a local level that inform the American people not so much about what Israel has done to the Palestinians but what its unregistered agents in the U.S., euphemistically described as ‘lobbyists,’ have done to destroy what little is left of American democracy and the attendant costs in flesh and blood, as well as its tax dollars.”
A long-time pro-Palestinian activist noted for his trenchant critique of Noam Chomsky, Blankfort attributes the failure of such efforts to get off the ground to “the continued unwillingness of the leading figures of the Palestinian solidarity movement in the U.S. to acknowledge the invidious power of the Zionist Lobby,” who, following Chomsky’s anti-imperialist analysis, prefer to “place the primary responsibility for Israel’s crimes and U.S. Middle East policies at Washington’s doorstep.”
“So the first steps,” Blankfort suggests, “may be to publicly challenge these figures while at the same time moving past them and addressing the American people directly.”
No American president will ever have enough latitude to resolve the conflict in Palestine “unless and until enough Americans are informed enough to make their democracy work,” according to Alan Hart, former Middle East Chief Correspondent for Britain’s Independent Television News.
“In other words,” explains Hart, who was also a BBC Panorama presenter specialising in the Middle East, “if President Obama or any of his successors is ever going to be free to confront and defeat the Zionist lobby’s stooges in Congress and the mainstream media, there has got to be created a constituency of understanding about why it is not in America’s own best interests to go on supporting Zionism’s monster child right or wrong.”
The essence of the problem, Hart argues in the three-volume American edition of his book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, is that “Americans have been conditioned, brainwashed, to believe a version of history, Zionism’s version, which is a pack of propaganda lies.”
Jeff Gates, former counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, believes that “transparency, accountability and better design” are required to break Israel’s hold on American foreign policy.
“At present, the American public is ignorant of Israel’s all-pervasive influence. Its control includes the media-enabled deployment of fixed intelligence to induce this nation to war for Greater Israel,” says Gates, author of Guilt By Association: How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War.
“We will know that accountability is underway when we see federal grand juries convened to consider charges against Israel’s agents, assets and sayanim (volunteers). When a jury brings in the first verdict for treason, Americans will know that the rule of law is being restored. We will know that a solution is within sight when the many appendages of its lobby are required to register as foreign agents.”
Maidhc Ó Cathail is a widely published writer based in Japan