‘Israel is free to choose. But America needs a Middle East policy made in the USA, not in Tel Aviv or at AIPAC or AEL.’ [i]
‘Journalists and diplomats alike, returning from the Middle East, attest that our almost blind support of Israel is a major cause of the anti-Americanism that is sweeping the Islamic world.’ [ii]
There is no shred of doubt that the unconditional and unrestrained financial and military U.S backing of the State of Israel has been a significant source of Arab and Muslim resentment over the West in general and USA in particular. Despite the conspicuous Israeli atrocities and massacres of Palestinians, U.S succeeding administrations have always treated the Palestinian cause with disregard and indifference. Two examples are cited here:
1. The Truman Doctrine of 1947, promised U.S support for free people who were resisting ‘attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.’ For many immigrants from the Arab world, this promise should have qualified the Palestinians for American support in resisting the foreign Jewish armed terrorist gangs such as the Haganah, Stern, and Irgum, which were trying to displace them. Consequently, on May 15, 1948, when President Truman recognized the State of Israel eleven minutes after Ben Guruion declared its formation, Arab-Americans perceived this recognition to be without regard for the hopes or even the rights of the Arab people. It shattered the image of American political values held not only by Arabs overseas but by the immigrant communities in this country. Justifying his posture, Truman is reported to have said, ‘I am sorry, gentlemen, but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism; I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents.’ [iii]
2. Under the administration of Jimmy Carter, this double standard became even clearer in the Camp David agreement. This accord, so highly acclaimed in the West, is seen by the Arabs as a wedge to divide the Arab world, isolate Egypt and give Israel a free reign to rearrange the map of the Middle East. Early in his tenure, President Carter in a public statement in Massachusetts, seemed to affirm the right of the Palestinians to self-determination, saying that 'There has to be a homeland provided for the Palestinian refugees who have suffered for many, many years.' However, after the Camp David Israel continued to establish Jewish settlements in the West Bank by appropriating Arab land. Carter, under strong pressure from the Israeli lobby and to the intense disappointment of the American Muslim community, acquiesced.[iv]
As far as American Christian right is concerned, this one-sided policy appears unquestionably true. Pat Robertson, the famous fundamentalist says, ‘There is regard and concern among Christian fundamentalists for the Arabs, but it pales into insignificance compared to our feelings towards Jews. ’ [v] This statement exactly reflects the U.S policy towards Palestine. In April 1998, the U.S Assistant Foreign Secretary, Martin Indick, declared that the term even-handed mediator between Israel and Arabs, does not exist in the American [political] dictionary. Because the relationship between the US and Israel is very special. (Al-Riyadh, 24 April 1998). [vi]
Sorrowfully, as political history demonstrates, it is the national interest and political expediency rather than morals, ethical commitment or religion that are primarily the determinant factor in the formulation of a foreign policy.
[i] Patrcik Buchanan, When the Right Went Wrong, 2004, p. 241, cited in Malik, Iftikhar. Crescent Between Cross and Star. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.) p. 286.
[ii]Pat Buchanan, American Conservative Magazine, January 13, 2003.
[iii] Haddad, “American Foreign Policy in the Middle East and Its Impact on the Identity of Arab Muslims in the United States.” In The Muslims of America. Edited by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad. (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991 ( . pp. 218-219.
[iv] Ibid., p. 220.
[v] Cited in Zein, M. Faruk. Christianity, Islam and Orientalism. ( London: Saqi, 2003). P. 180.
[vi] Ibid,. p. 181.
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