President Barach Obama’s bringing back the centrality of the 1967 borders of a future Palestine has put an end to much bitter debate within the White House on whither US policy in the Middle East.
Today’s ‘New York Times’ [21 May 2011]brought to the public’s attention the ‘vital role’ of Mid East envoy to three presidents — Clinton, junior Bush, and Obama — Dennis Ross. At present, he’s Obama’s advisor on the Middle East, and has for a good many years an influence in shaping US policy in that region but also on Iran.
In tight and heated discussions in the White House and at Foggy Bottom, Ross has always favoured Israel to the broader strategic interests of the US in the Arab world. His standpoint is hardly surprising: America has not too finely cut its cloth to Israeli measurements. Now, Obama has broken the tight stitches of the past by bringing back to his country’s consciousness the 1967 borders, which had long slipped out of American radar.
[As Henry Kissinger has amusingly noted: history counts for little for Americans, when a longer and deeper view is very much needed in the corridors of a major world power on the decline.]
Ross has ended up on the losing end of the argument to reorientate US policy in the Arab World. The Times reported that Abdullah of Jordan in his tete a tete with Obama ‘concluded [Ross] is giving wrong advice to the White House’.
Is it because Ross is a Jew? Maybe. It is a known fact that he became ‘religiously Jewish’ after the Six Day War, a war which has coloured the way he fashions his ideas and advice on the Middle East. He is not unlike many Jews and friends so affected. One only has to consider the case of the Lubavitcher rebbe Menachem Schneerson who withheld his support and recognition of Israel for only an Israel could arise at the coming of the ‘Moshiach’ [messiah]. Yet after Israel’s lightning Six Day War, thus extending Zionist state from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, in his eyes, did Israel become ‘kosher’ or religiously licit for Schneerson and his global community of followers. [The ultra Orthodox heredi, the Satmar remain true to the Biblical injunction of the coming of the Messiah, thereby refusing to accord legitimacy to the state of Israel.] And then there’s Eliot Spitzer the Iran contra fame who is a rabid support of Zionism out of religious and philosophic and political reasons.
Therefore in Ross’ optique, war plays a crucial rule in the way he advises and influences American presidents towards the Mid East. Change if change be should come gradually and in small steps. So we can imagine how earth shaking Obama’s position on a two states’ solution leaves him on the outs when he so often is the man with the magic touch on Middle policy.
Obama’s call to attention of the 1967 borders has the weight of international law and opinion. The International Court of Justice as well as the UN General Assembly, recognises the 1967 borders that includes East Jerusalem, the American president’s silence on the status of East Jerusalem notwithstanding.
Events in the Arab world are forcing the slight change of focus in the once Isrealo centric US policy, one which Ross has argued against. The visible waning of America’s influence among the Arabs is a trend which has to be reversed. Obama’s 20 May speech at the headquarters of the department of state at Foggy Bottom put some muscle into a tired, flabby outlook. And the realisation that time is no longer on America’s side: it is more than probable that the UN General Assembly would override a UN Security Council veto cast by the US by conferring ‘de facto’ and ‘de jure’ status on a Palestinian state, the territory of which is under 43 years of Israeli occupation and of which great swaths of land have illegally been seized and occupied by Zionist settlers. Hence the haste for redefining US policy in the region.
Will Ross step down? Unlike the Republican whip in the House of Representatives he did not put in writting his allegiance as a Jew to the state of Israel, which he had hours later had to repudiate, for by his eagerness to please prime minister ‘Bibi’ Netenyahu he brought to the fore of an elected official loyalty to another country than his own, otherwise known as ‘dual loyalty’.
[Eric Cantor and dual loyalty and the rise of anti Semitism
Eric Cantor, soon to be the Republican majority whip in the US lower house of Congress, is a political naif,in spite of the fact that his Virgina congressional district sent him back to Washington for a fifth term.
As a Jew, he keeps kosher home. He may observe Jewish dietary laws and pray at his local synagogue and is a member in good standing of the pro Israel lobby group AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee, since he was first elected to Congress in 2001, but as a Republican whip with large powers, he has allowed his loyalty to the US to take back seat to his fealty to Israel.
After a cozy tete a tete with the conniving visiting Israeli prime minister ‘Bibi’ Netenyahu, his office issued a statement making clear that the security of the US is dependent on Israel’s.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency bureau chief in Washington qualified Cantor’s position as ‘extraordinary’. It was before long that the incoming Republic whip’s allegiance to a foreign government raised political uproar, the more especially since the Obama administration has been willing to sell its shirt in order to get Netenyahu back to talks with the Palistinian Authority. His personal commitment to Israel could have sabotage America’s two state strategy.
The uproar Cantor caused put him in a bad light. He beat a hasty retreat. He apologised in haste. [Cantor has a long history of as having a loose mouth followed by apologies.]
His thoughtless words reveal the immense influence Israel can and does exercise in the US government. They raise the anti Semite’s old bugaboo of dual loyalty. In other words, as a Jew, first political attachment is not to the US but to a Jewish state.
Jews in the Diaspora suffer from an existential insecurity that in whatever country they live in, someone will accuse them of disloyalty. Cantor’s thoughtlessness may have muddied the waters of America’s Jews political adhesion to the Constitution. And adds fuel to the fires of an energised anti Semitism in what Jews call ‘de goldene Medina’ or the US where they have been embraced and accepted. Now, Cantor has called that ‘security’ into question.
The fallout of a severe economic recession has awakened the sleeping dogs of anti Semitism in all segments of the right. It ain’t nothing that the shibboleths of a Jewish conspiracy. Consider the CNN’s sacking of reporter Rick Sanchez for condemning the Jewish control of the press. Consider, too, the dusted off innuendos of Glen Beck & his clones who raise the spectors of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy in manipulating the levers of banking, the media, education, the chattering classes, so on and so forth. GuamDiary 20 November 2010]