Saturday, October 22, 2005

Bush ? Israel

     Getting to "Israel" when one starts getting into politics doesn't take long, but mastery of the topic isn't easy.  The history isn't so long, but there are a plethora of wars to learn about.  I'm sure you already know the Straights of Tiran, and how it occured five years after the Cuba blockade?  Of course.

     The consensus in the US Congress is pro-Israel.  Less immediately relevant than the members of the US Senate's Foreign Relations committee is the membership of the US House's International Relations committee.  There's not much hope from either party, not even a little.  I say that only to defend the two or three people who are decent.

     The far right, usually from anti-semitism, and the far left, usually based on anti-apartheid/anti-occupation sympathies, tends to be anti-Israel.  The people themselves, the Israelis and Palestinians, have more than a little land on the line, and more than a few differences.  With all the real estate and blood letting over the years, it is almost impossible to find a detached "local."

     Disreali, Peel, a UN created state, Irgun and Hamas.  It is a mess.

     So, I have long put a lot of credence into Rick Perlstein's Jesus Landing Pad thesis, which states that Bush's policy is, in large part, "pro-Israel" in the sense that the Holy Land must be safe for the imminent second coming.  Jesus is waiting for everyone to put their toys away, too.

     But Bush, we all know, isn't really in charge.  He doesn't have the mental faculties to detect, nevermind foil, the extra-curricular plans of his less theological minded lackeys (namely, Rumsfeld and Cheney), conservatives in the more ultra-right mold.

     So, what the hell am I talking about?  Bush is far more anti-Israel than he can afford to have you believe.  Clues.  The Franklin/AIPAC investigation and Gaza withdrawal.  Admittedly, Franklin was caught as a result of an accident, but it is very rare that leakers are prosecuted.  In fact, you probably can't name a leaker case.  Motions to Suppress the leaked material, and charges later dropped?  Sure, you can name Ellsberg.  Will the Franklin case be dropped?  If so, you can ignore this post.

     And as the blogger known as Bionic Octopus noted, the Gaza withdrawal is not some high-minded gesture of the Israelis or the PM Sharon. 

     Kerry, after some shaky beginnings, found himself supporting the Israeli cause during his campaign. 

     What am I saying?  Neither party is willing to make a public stand against Israel.  But that this Republican President, in part because the Jews are, in fact, not Christians at all(Heavens above! Say it isn't so!), has less tolerance for Israel than his recent Democrat opponents.

     In the Franklin case, the result is ok.  The Gaza withdrawal is little more than a PR stunt, especially as it relates to the Synagogues they intentionally left, but it is some action. 

     It is entirely clear that even though the political parties are in agreement, there are plenty of people, for good reasons or ill, who don't favor Israel.  Do them a favor and just chew on this idea, without spreading it around.

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