My reference to the "creation" of the idea of Israel as "a US gendarme
in the Middle East," which Bill Mandel calls attention to, should have
been that the notion (which the pro-Israel lobby had been pushing for a
number of years in order to justify inordinate amounts of tax-payers
dollars to a country most Americans cared little to nothing about), was
that this became the official position, relegating the explanation that
Israel was "the only democracy in the ME" to second place. The election
of Begin was an embarrassment to Washington so it needed to stressed
Israel's strategic value. Former Israeli General Matti Peled, who had
studied in the US and became a leading force for Palestinian
recognition, the only Israeli general or military of any rank to do so,
analysed the change in "rationalizations" some years back. A number of
Israeli journalist, who are not inhibited from criticizing Israel as are
their colleagues in the US, agreed with Peled's analysis.
In fact, until 1967, at the time of the Six-Day War, France was the
leading arms supplier to Israel and US aid was relatively low. When the
French felt betrayed by an Israeli double-cross, DeGaulle promptly
cut-off aid. In the atmosphere of Israeli triumphalism that swept across
America that easily fed into a long-standing anti-Arab prejudices, the
US took over the arming and increasing the funding for Israel.It is an
issue that despite Israel's oppression of the Palestinians and invasions
and depradations against Lebanon and its peoples, has never raised a
blip on the US political spectrum.
> Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 10:12:36 -0700
> From: William Mandel <email@example.com>
> Subject: [Fwd: [sixties-l] Re: sixties-l-terrorist???]
> On Jeff Blankfort's two posts. 1977 is, by a quarter century, too
> late a date to mark the treatment of Israel as U.S. military
> outpost in the Middle East. I have before me as I write the
> notorious October 27, 1951 issue of the mass-circulation
> Collier's, which in those years shared with the Saturday Evening
> Post the status of weekly Bible of Middle America. The issue was
> unique in being devoted to a single subject, announced on the
> cover as "Russia's Defeat and Occupation 1952-1960." The cover
> picture was of an American soldier, with UN and U.S. insignia on
> his helmet, standing guard with bayonetted rifle over a map of
> the USSR, marked "Occupied," with the UN flag flying over Moscow.
> The contributors included Walter Reuther of the CIO, explaining
> how we were running the Soviet labor unions, Sen. Margaret Chase
> Smith, economist Stuart Chase, contemporary historian Robert
> Sherwood, literary figures like J. B. Priestley, distinguished
> editor Edwin Canham, a galaxy of journalists from the full
> spectrum of dailies and radio: N.Y.Times military expert Hanson
> Baldwin and its Russia expert Harry Schwartz to Walter Winchell
> with Edward R. Murrow reporting on his "A-Bomb Mission to Moscow"
> in the B-36 which bombed the city.
> The best-known electronic voice of the era, Lowell Thomas,
> wrote: "I Saw Them Chute Into the Urals," in which one finds: "At
> the Tel Aviv air base, they had assigned me to a transport due to
> land the moment UN paratroopers seized the Soviet flying field."
> Clear enough.
> Jeff's post on the Black Panthers is simply superb.
> William Mandel
> Jeffrey Blankfort wrote:
> > Actually, most Jews prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948
> > considered bith the Stern Gang and the Irgun, headed by Menachem Begin,
> > to be "terrorist" gangs. In fact, an advertisement that appeared in the
> > NY Times and signed by many leading Jews such as Albert Einstein,
> > describing, not inappropriately, Begin as a fascist, proved to be an
> > embarrassment when Begin was elected prime minister in 1977. It was at
> > that time, with the need to convince the US public that it was necessary
> > to continue support of Israel despite Begin's presence, that the notion
> > of Israel as a "US gendarme in the Midle East" was created. For a
> > variety of reasons, this rationalization of US support for the Begin
> > regime was embraced across the political spectrum, despite any evidence
> > that Israel has ever played this role. In fact, when Lebanon was
> > experiencing a democratic challenge to its reactionary regime in 1958,
> > it was the US military and not Israel that stepped in, and in 1991,
> > during the Gulf "War," Israel was directed to sit on the sidelines.
> > Again, in 1983, the US sent troops to Lebanon again, to assist an
> > Israeli-installed government after Israel proved unequal to the task.
> > Personally, I don't think "terrorist" is necessarily a bad word.
> > Certainly, the concept of "state terror" as employed by the US, Israel
> > and Turkey, to cite three examples that come to mind, is a good
> > description of what those countries are frequently involved in.
> > Jeff Blankfort
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