Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, June 2009
Hiding in Plain Sight:
Israel's Clean Break from America is in Progress
By Hesham Tillawi
ccun.org, June 20, 2009
Note from author--To all young people--please force yourself to read this to the end, and if you still don't understand, research it.
"An important step forward"
--this is what President Obama called Netanyahu's most recent speech.
It is beyond my mental comprehension to understand why we, as Palestinians and Arabs, do not act on Israel's long term plans and yet continue to react to their frequent petty games and distractions. The truth is that the Netanyahu speech was written back in 1996 but could not be delivered because Clinton did not agree with the "Clean Break" group and their plans at that time.
As strange as it may sound the fact is that the speech Netanyahu recently gave is in fact actually 13 years old. The problem was that at the time it was initially written (1996) the players involved (including Netanyahu and a few other infamously well-known individuals such as Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, et al) could not implement its proposals because “events on the ground” had not materialized as they had originally hoped or planned, namely that the Jewish state break away from the mother ship, the United States of America.
The document written for Netanyahu was entitled "Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" by a group of people who (during George W. Bush administration) came to be known as the Neo Conservatives (or Neocons for short) and has been hiding in plain sight all this time. These people (who became Bush’s top foreign policy makers, namely Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenburg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser) all had direct policy making positions that had direct influence (or control) on policies leading to the destruction of Iraq and "removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq” (an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right as stated in the Clean Break document) five years before the September 2001 World Trade Center towers demolition. Yes, I did say demolition.
One of the main objectives of this document was to weaken Labor Zionism which they felt had “dominated the Zionist movement" for 70 years. They framed a new title to the region, calling it the "New Middle East". They did not like the Labor-inspired "peace process" because it was involved in negotiations over Jerusalem." Their ideas (Likud and Netanyahu) of peace were those based on an "entirely new foundation, one that ignores comprehensive peace" and replaces it with a "traditional concept...based on balance of power".
In other words he who has the power gets to dictate to those who lack it what the terms of "peace" are. They wanted Israel to have "the right of hot pursuit" into Palestinian areas for reasons of "self defense", something we have witnessed taking place since the inception of the Palestinian Authority until today. They wanted to find an alternative to Arafat's "grip" on power, and so they murdered him.
But the most important break of all--the “mother of all breaks” if you will was the following--The need of forging a “new basis for relations with the United States—stressing self-reliance, maturity, strategic cooperation on areas of mutual concern, and furthering values inherent to the West” only possible if “Israel takes serious steps to terminate aid, which prevents economic reform." The writers of the Clean Break did not like the concept of "land for peace" which they felt placed Israel in a position of compromise and retreat. They wanted Netanyahu to use and promote a new system based on " Western values" which they said would be received well in the United States. A system that uses slogans such as " peace for peace", and "peace through strength" and a system based on the “balance of power". They did not mind Israel (Netanyahu) engaging in "peace" negotiations as long as those negotiations were "a means, not and an end" to accomplishing their Zionist dream of the aforementioned "New Middle East". Their idea was as follows--Why should Israel negotiate land for peace with the Arabs when the Arabs are not giving anything in return? The Arabs are not enough a threat to Israel that requires the Jewish state to exchange land for peace. Therefore, this deal is not good for Israel. Simply put, the concept of “peace for peace” is one where Israel agrees not to attack any Arab country in exchange for complete submission and recognition of Israel as a “Jewish” state by the Arabs, an idea that can only be gleaned by reading between the lines of the document which read as follows--
"Israel can make a clean break from the past and establish a new vision for the U.S.-Israeli partnership based on self-reliance, maturity and mutuality — not one focused narrowly on territorial disputes. Israel’s new strategy — based on a shared philosophy of peace through strength — reflects continuity with Western values by stressing that Israel is self-reliant, does not need U.S. troops in any capacity to defend it, including on the Golan Heights, and can manage its own affairs. Such self-reliance will grant Israel greater freedom of action and remove a significant lever of pressure used against it in the past."
Netanyahu, back in 1996 on his first visit to the United States was supposed to announce that "Israel is now mature enough to cut itself free immediately from U.S. economic aid and loan guarantees" but not Military aid for the moment to make sure Israel dose not encounter a supply problem. They counted on Speaker of the House at that time Newt Gingrich to spearhead their efforts in moving electrifying support for the venture. In other words, they did not want Israel to be seen as subservient to the U.S. because of the "few" dollars Uncle Sam spares the Israelis, they wanted Israel to be on the same footing as the United States and as an equal partner in the building of the "New Middle East' in which Israel is its own superpower. This is Israel’s neighborhood, and if anyone wanting anything to change better ask the Godfather -Israel- and receive his blessings. Otherwise, hit-men flying F-18's will send you "sleeping with the fishes", a line borrowed from the movie the Godfather.
They (the writers of the “Clean Break” document) wanted Netanyahu to anticipate the reaction of Bill Clinton and (in the language of the document itself) "plan ways" to manage those reactions by “formulating language familiar to the Americans” by "tapping into themes" experienced by the Americans which may apply to Israel. In other words, say something the American President would like to hear, but stick to Israel’s theme of "balance of power". In dealing with Arabs, the new strategy should be based on "principle of preemption, rather than retaliation".
Bringing all of this to 2009, is it not odd that Congress and the media are not screaming bloody murder against the Obama Administration for his recent maneuvers? Is it not odd that a group of 2000 American rabbis recently sent a letter to Obama showing their solidarity with his Middle East program? Why we do not see the same kind of Jewish demonstrations we saw back when Clinton was president when (comparatively) he did not say a fraction of what Obama said?
Make no mistake about it, Israel is 100% protected here in the U.S. No American government can go against the wishes of Israel.
How many times must someone get "bitten" from the same snake slithering in the same hole before we stop putting our hands in?
The strangest reaction though is from those organizations calling themselves Arabs, Muslims, or advocating for the Palestinian cause. These people--like some fish who thinks himself clever because he just swam off with a mouth-full of worm--are eating the bait big time. Where are their cries to Obama's speech, a speech that did not have any substance but yet is being hailed by them as a “turning point” in American policy? Where are their cries to Obama as he describes Netanyahu's speech as “an important step forward” just because it had one sentence in this whispering of a Palestinian state for the Palestinian Authority, the only thing which sounded good to Obama's ears. Remember what the Godfathers of the “clean break” document said in “formulating language familiar to the Americans?” If Netanyahu’s speech was "a step forward", what would Obama call Netanyahu's comments about the refugees, Jerusalem and the Right of Return? A declaration of War on the World? A “Clean Break” not just from the U.S. but from the World?
Well, why not, they have the "balance of power" and they are using it.
On the other hand, the Arabs have a power they don't know how to balance. But Netanyahu did say that he wants peace with his Palestinian and Arab neighbors. He said he will go to Riyadh and Damascus and any Arab capital for the “cause” of peace.
The agony in this whole thing, that neither Palestinians, nor the Arabs have any plans. Not now, and not for the future. The Arabs put out a peace resolution, calling it the Arab Peace Plan back in 2002 in Beirut, rejected by Israel (of course) before their planes left Lebanon and it still on the table. Every once in a while an Arab leader threatens to remove it off the dusty table if Israel doesn't pick it up.
Remove it please, what are you going to do after you remove it?
Well, you do have some options: the first of which is an Arab "Clean Break". Arabs deal with Israel based on Arab and Muslim cultural values of "keeping your agreements" even the ones you make with your enemies. The problem is Israel deals with a completely different sets of values, i.e. say everything, but do nothing. We will start seeing what will seemingly look like a conflict between Washington and Tel-Aviv that some Arabs might think its real and run towards Uncle Sam with much love and much petro-dollars. In the mean time Israel is accomplishing the status of a superpower next to the U.S. not in its shadow. As usual the Arab countries and many of the organizations that advocate Palestinian and Arab issues, especially in the U.S. will be used in this debut. The Arabs must plan their own " Clean Break" to compete with Israel's new status. Now you might understand what Iran, and Turkey are doing, jockeying for positions in the New Middle East. The Arab countries have no choice but to break away from the influence of the U.S. and draw their own plan to compete with Israel's, Iran's and Turkey.
Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent ccun.org.