The role of the United States of America in the Israel-Palestine conflict – Government Essay
For centuries the Middle East has been an area of conflict over land sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews. The conflict between Israel and Palestine is one of the most enduring and explosive of all the world’s conflicts. It has its roots in the historic claim of the land
which lies between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan river.
For the Palestinians the last hundred years have brought colonisation and military occupation. For their filling they just lost there nationality and independence. Moreover they are persuaded, that the Jewish world with the help of the Western civilization will destroy their territory and religion. All of these facts make the Palestinians believe that the cruel and dreadful attacks are the only solutions of their problem.
For the Jewish people of Israel, on the other hand, the return to their historical land after centuries of persecution of around the world and years of genocide in Europe has not brought peace or security. Nowadays they still face many crises, dangers and fears in their own promised by God land.
Obvious there are a lot discussions about the Israel-Palestine question, where a lot of external parties are involved. All of the countries, which are involved have their own interests and profits from this war. For some countries it is a solidarity, which is based on the religion convictions, for the other it is a stride for power on the continent and for the international organisations such as United Nations it is a peace making process. But what is the role of the United States of America in this conflict?
According to the media and different historical sources United States has traditional a close relationship with Israel. Probable it depends on the foreign policy of American governments and on the motivation of the population of the United State
The U.S. aid relationship with Israel is unlike any other in the world. There are many reasons on many levels for the strong bond between the US and Israel. The US was the first country, which to recognized Israel, after it was officially created in 1948, consistent with a 1922 Congressional resolution backing the League of Nations mandate for a Jewish homeland in Palestine . It was the president Harry Truman to support the creations of the Jewish homeland. Since then, the two countries have developed a friendship that depends not only on the parties and governments in Washington or Jerusalem.
Of course, there were some misunderstandings and periods of political distance between the countries, but still, Israel is the only country in the Middle East, which resembles America and their democracy. Further, after the years of dilemma about the weapon sale to Israel, US decided to start the first sale of HAWK anti-aircraft missile in 1963. Moreover America supported Israel after the Yom Kippur War in 1973 . In the following decades, Israel and the US worked together to counter the greatest threats to American and Israeli interests in the Middle East. Later the cooperation was extended to programs for sharing technology and valuable intelligence, conducting for military exercises, researching and developing new weapons and establishing of anti-terrorism strategies. Today is Israel one of the United States largest arms importers. The U.S. weapons are usually used in the conflict between Israel and the Palestine.
Obvious, there is an economical vision about the foreign policy of the United States in the Middle East. For many years Israel received U.S. financial assistance. As the Israeli economy grew, this situation was a bit changed and nowadays there hundreds companies in the US, witch are sponsored by the powerful Israeli magnates. Moreover, in the USA are a lot of public known business leaders and politicians, who regularly receive financial support for the their electoral campaigns and co-operatives from very powerful American Jews, who do support Israel.
Moreover, it is advantageous for the government of the United States to carry a pro-Israel foreign policy, because of the position of the Jewish state in the Middle East. In the past, for example, Israel has kept Syria, for many years an ally of the Soviet Union, in check. Or because of Israeli intelligence service Mossad, which is one of the world’s most well-known intelligence agencies, and is often viewed in the same regard as the CIA.
The United States of America is probably the only country, which even formed a special Committee to support Israel. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has control over the detailed information about the key issues facing Israel, Palestine and the United States. Besides that, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) plays an important role in the foreign policy making process. On the 2.May 2005 the Senate and the House with the help pf AIPAC expressed their support for Israel in its military actions against the Palestinians. There were a Israel lobby created. Today is remarkable that AIPAC is regarded as the most powerful foreign-policy lobby in Washington. The AIPAC is not the only pro Israel organization, with a lot of influence. There are fifty-two Jewish organizations involved in the lobby process. Situated in New York and abroad, these organisations have connections and long ties with the Israeli Likud Party. Obvious all these support is based on thousand hundreds of dollars which flow from the Jewish supporters to the American politicians.
However America does support Israel on the arena of the international politics, there are a lot of different opinions about the direction of the foreign policy of the US. Since the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, there were again some internal debate regarding how far the United States should support Israeli policies, now under the control of leader Ariel Sharon. Some political figures of the conservatives, such as Colin Powell, have cautioned that unconditional support of extremely right Sharon’s government during a period of unprecedented repression in the occupied territories would make it more difficult to get the full cooperation with the governments of the Islamic countries. In antagonism to these points of view, some of the more right elements, such as Paul Wolfowitz of the Defence Department, was arguing that Sharon was an indispensable ally in the war against terrorism and that the Palestinian resistance was essentially part of an international terrorist conspiracy against democratic societies.
The case of Israel and Palestine is different. However, there are significant sectors of the population that, that have different opinions about the foreign policy issue of the U.S. in Middle East.
Of course the United States consist of different population groups, which have different and sometimes even contradictory points of view about the conflict between Israel and Palestine. One of these groups are the Christians, specifically evangelical Christians. These Americans form the most powerful support group for Israel. They believe that God gave the land of Israel to the Jews. The return of the Jews to Israel was prophesied thousands of years ago in the Bible and God is a keeper of His promises. And of course they believe the Bible when it says, in Genesis: “God blesses those who bless the Jews, and God curses those who curse the Jews.” and that if they want America to be blessed by God, than they need to not be cursing the Jews.
Another ethnic minority, which supports Israel is the group of the American Jews. It seems, that this group in particular has a lot of influence on the foreign policy making process in the Middle East. They are better organized, more vocal and contribute money to political candidates and vote for the politicians who support Israel.
Of course there were some large rallies against Israel. Especially anti-globalization, antiwar and Muslim and Arab-American groups and supporters have demonstrated and protested against Israeli treatment of Palestinians and the American government’s policies in the Middle East.
But of course, there are an other level of the American society, where the most important decisions about these issues are made.
Each of the past six U.S. presidents has become deeply involved in the diplomacy surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict. Remarkable that the political convictions of the leaders, were diverse and brought diverse changes and solution in the Middle East.
The same has certainly been true for President Bill Clinton. His relationship with Prime Minister of Israel of those time Yitzhak Rabin could be seen as very close and friendly. Clinton made the peace process in the Middle East one of his top priorities in the foreign policy. And that is why, with the inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1993 a new era began for Israel. The United States became the stable and trustful mediator between Israeli and the Palestinian authorities. For about six years the relatively peaceful situation in both countries was achieved. But after the whole world shocked death of the leader Yitzhak Rabin the situation dramatically changed. Moreover, the foreign policy of the United States took a bit different direction as well.
Even President G.W.Bush never stopped to support Israel in the Middle East conflict, but the reasons to carry out this foreign policy were changed. As the matter of fact, the president is a Bible-believing Christian. In contrast to his father. George H.W. Bush was Christian as well, but his political consideration had more a mainstream Protestant shade.
And probably if the pro-Israel lobby was the priority in American’s foreign policy and if the support of Israel was based on the solidarity to Jews, President Bush would support of Israel, and if it were synonymous with Jews, President Bush would hardly be active with his boundless support. It is known, President Bush receives few Jewish votes and few Jewish money. Nowadays Bush’s mean goal in the Middle East is to improve the position of Israel. As it already have been said above, that except the strong bonds between the countries, Israel is still depended from the US on different areas. Receiving tree and a half billion dollars per year, Israel is the single largest recipient of U.S. By knowing these facts and using his foreign policy G.W.Bush tries to spread the American power over the Middle East.
While U.S. supports Israeli occupation policies, like U.S. support for its allies elsewhere, is primarily based on support for own security interests. U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere is not reflecting the American public’s believes that U.S. international relations should be guided by humanitarian principles and ethics. Unfortunately, after month of the negotiations and attempts of the peace creation, international community was confronted with the announcement by Ariel Sharon and President Bush of new policies which are one-sided and illegal and which will cost yet more Israeli and Palestinian blood.
In fact, the so-called “special relationship” is a domestic political arrangement whereby lobbying organizations in the United States, directed or sponsored by the Israeli government, try to manipulate the power against Palestine. Unfortunately, here can be no talks about the creation of peace in the Middle East until every external member such as the United States of America, who is involved, still haunt their own interests in this war. And maybe this ideological motto of America “peace in the Middle East” is only a myth and an illusion, by using which G.W.Bush and his surrounding want to take control over the Arab countries.