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Friday, April 24, 2009

Israel to 'lose' Arab support on Iran

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday that the Arab countries need Israel to 'enter into discussions' with the 'Palestinians' in order for the Arab countries to 'deal with' Iran.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Israel on Thursday that it risks losing Arab support for combating threats from Iran if it rejects peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

Clinton said Arab nations had conditioned helping Israel counter Iran on Jerusalem's commitment to the peace process.

"For Israel to get the kind of strong support it is looking for vis-a-vis Iran, it can't stay on the sidelines with respect to the Palestinians and the peace efforts. They go hand in hand," Clinton told the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.

"They (Arab countries) believe that Israel's willingness to re-enter into discussions with the Palestinian Authority strengthens them in being able to deal with Iran," she added.
Clinton's testimony is rather odd. First, it is in the Arab countries' interest for Israel to 'deal with' Iran or for the US to do so on Israel's behalf. The Arab countries, especially the countries in the Gulf and 'moderates' like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are at least as threatened by Iran as Israel is. It is entirely possible that Iran would use its first nuclear weapon to destroy Arab oil assets in the Persian Gulf rather than using it to try to destroy Israel. Why would the Arabs sacrifice their own interests for the 'Palestinians,' who despite being a convenient excuse for despots maintaining their respective holds on power are viewed by the Arabs with nothing but utter contempt?

Second, what support have the Arab countries offered Israel? Clinton acts as if the Arab countries are providing Israel with troops, funding, logistical support, flyover rights (Jordan? Iraq?) or other tangible measures of support for an Israeli strike against Iran - and that the US is attempting to coordinate that strike. But the US - which controls Iraqi airspace - has thus far denied Israel rights to flyover Iraq on the way to a strike in Iran. And Israel has never asked Jordan for those rights, assuming that if necessary it could fly over Jordan and the Jordanians - who have plenty to fear both from Iran and from a second 'Palestinian' state (Jordan being the first itself) to which it pays lip service - would be fools to even try to shoot down Israeli planes or warn Iran they were coming. So what did Clinton mean by that statement?

Third, why does Israel entering into negotiations with the 'Palestinians' strengthen the Arab countries' hands in 'dealing with' Iran? How do the Arab countries propose to 'deal with' Iran? So far, the only measures I have heard - cowering in fear and setting off a nuclear arms race themselves - are not in Israel's interest, and there is no reason Israel should support them. And accepting Clinton's statement at face value, why is it in Israel's interest to strengthen the hands of the Arab countries at all to 'deal with' Iran, when in fact it is not the Arab countries who will ultimately 'deal with' Iran, but Israel or the United States?

Secretary of State Clinton's testimony on Thursday raised far more questions than it answered. It would behoove the Israeli government to insist on getting those answers before making any commitment to enter into any kind of new negotiations with the 'Palestinians.' The connection between 'progress' on the 'Palestinian track' and 'dealing with' Iran is tenuous at best and imaginary at worst.

If anything, it appears that the Israeli government got it right when it insisted that dealing with Iran is a precondition to being able to make 'progress' with the 'Palestinians.' Iran is providing military, financial and tactical support to the most rejectionist among the 'Palestinians' and their allies, including Hamas and Hezbullah. Removing Iran from the picture could have the effect of toning down 'Palestinian' demands and making a settlement possible.


At 8:59 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - if you haven't already seen it this morning, there's a preview of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's full interview, due to be published Tuesday in the Jerusalem Post. His reading of the situation is the opposite of Hillary Clinton's. There's also a very funny Lieberman laxative parody in the Opinion section that makes some wonderful points as well as being entertaining reading.

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I saw this on Drudge last night. For Israel to lose anything, it first has to have it in order to lose it.

Ms. Clinton is showing herself to be at best, a fairweather friend.

The Obama administration has managed, in its first hundred days, to decimate the US'es foreign policies of long standing, encourage tyrants and dictators, encourage terrorists, and alienate many allies.

And we thought Obama was a lightweight ... an empty suit.

He is very good at what he does.

But we need him out of the white house and out of power as rapidly as the electorate will allow.

At 3:27 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Last i checked the "arab" world still has a boycott against Israel...

Might I suggest the following?

Let the "arab" world be destroyed by the Iranians, they deserve each other...

The truth? The "peace process" with the so called "palestinians" is worthless, the "palestinians" do not seek peace...

Israel KNOWS it, the USA knows it, Europe and the arab world knows it..

BHO is setting up poland, israel and MANY others to fight without US backing as BHO doesnt believe in America and what she USED to stand for...

At 3:48 PM, Blogger R-MEW Editors said...

Not to worry; Hilary has assured the world that after Tel Aviv and Haifa have been left smoldering by an Iranian bomb, the US will attack Iran.

As Carl might ask, "what could possibly go wrong?"

At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And how would Arab countries "deal with" Iran? Why, by shivering in their boots, and messing themselves. Isn't Hillarity a brilliant strategist?

BTW, Here's the real "cycle" that's driving chaos in the M.E.
1.- Arabs fear Israel
2.- America fears the Arabs
3.- Israel fears America
4.- loop to 1.
...and on it will continue, until Israel has sense enough to break out of the loop.

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Iron Chef Kosher! said...

It's unfair to blame Hillary for any of this: she is subject to Obama, not the other way around.


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