Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Careful Dancing

Bob Burnett dances around the Israel issue. He blames our support on the christians, of course, but he makes some reasonable points about policy.

Carter and other American statesmen argue that the Administration's Israeli policy has been counter-productive: It's inflamed the Middle East at a time when we're trying to reduce tension there, when the stated objective of the Bush Administration is to usher in a new era of democracy. As a consequence, the Bush strategy has fueled terrorism at a time when a more rational approach would be to do the opposite.

The dysfunctional Bush Israeli-Palestinian policy gets a lot of attention in the world press: it's a frequent subject on outlets like Al Jazeera and The International Herald Tribune. But the failed Administration policy receives scant mention in the U.S. press. Apparently because of America's new political religiosity, it's become politically incorrect to appear to criticize Israel.

This shift in policy and public sentiment has produced an unbalanced and unhealthy American attitude about Israel, and the Middle East, in general. America has a responsibility to protect Israel, but that's not the same as supporting their actions without reservation. Dogmatically approving of Israeli treatment of Palestinians is not only inhumane--because, on occasion, Israeli action is unjustified and brutal--it's bad global politics: The Bush Administration wants Arab states to help the US control the Iraqi civil war. But Iraq's neighbors aren't interested in helping America because of our one-sided approach to the Israeli-Palestinian problem. They see our foreign policy as self-centered; ask why they should help us when we are unwilling to curtail Israel's bellicosity.


Bob Burnett


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