From Jim Houle
As I watch the Israeli onslaught in Gaza, I must ask who really controls American Middle East policy. Our strategic interests in the region are clear:
1st: We have much to gain through peaceful relations with the oil producing nations of the Middle East. Israel produces no oil or gas.
2nd : The major petroleum producers in the Arab nations buy our shaky treasury bills and keep much of their cash in our bank vaults. Israel by contrast receives $3 billion per year in economic aid to keep their economy afloat and another $3 billion to keep their military machine well oiled.
3th : We supply the F-16 jets, the anti personnel mines, and the missile systems Israel employs to keep their neighbors at bay.
4th : Without America’s weapons and money, Israel would have had to come to a lasting peace with its neighbors after the 1967 War, in accord with UN Resolutions.
So, do the majority of Americans feel we have some sort of obligation to support Israel in their battles with the Hamas, their continual suppression of the Palestinians in the West Bank, and with the Hezbullah in Lebanon? Is there any logic in our encouraging Israel to operating outside of the Nuclear Proliferation Agreement?
The answer is no: The American Jewish Lobby, representing no more than 2.2% of Americans, has managed to take control over what we can read in the press, what we can hear on our main stream broadcast media, and what our elected politicians in Washington can safely say on the subject of Israel. No politician, no television news show host, and no newspaper editorialist will dare to question the pro-Israel position. The power of the American Jewish lobby, working through the American-Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) and similar groups, has effectively stifled all dissent.
You will find far more dissent with Israeli policies in the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz than ever makes its way into print in the U.S.