By Tarik Jan
The United States, Israel relations has to be seen from the viewpoint of their respective interests. For example, the U.S. wants to have the relatively cheaper Middle Eastern oil free from encumbrance. Second, it needs to ensure that the Islamic aspirations of the Muslim masses are denied fruition. In the U.S. threat perception the two are interlinked. The United States sees Israel as a natural ally that can act with the U.S. national and military prodding to secure its interests.
Also, the U.S. would not like to let Muslims have an entire Muslim Middle East to themselves with no geopolitical breach in its contiguous boundaries. Israeli presence in the Middle East map provides that breach serving as a watch dog in the region. Besides, in case of any untoward situation created in the Muslim countries that may compromise the American interests, Israel can preempt it, substituting for the U.S. till it lands into action.
On the other hand, Israel wants to see itself as a nation strong enough to deflect any threat that may come in its way from the neighboring countries. For that Israel not only wants to retain annexed territories but if possible to go beyond them. The U.S. is a credible source of money as well as of sophisticated military hardware.
The Judeo-Christian angle also pulls the two together against Islam that they think is an aberration, a major rival which needs to be checkmated and if possible neutralized. Secular
modernity or postmodernity that speaks of plurality is more a rhetoric and not a substantive reality. The world in their perception has to be secularized under the shadow of Western civilization. Islam has no place in it other than as a private religion, without any pretence for collective expression as an alternative civilization or having a sovereign status.
Two instances should suffice to show that the relationship between the two is symbiotic.
In January 19, 1982 Israelis launched a major operation against the PLO bases in Lebanon despite Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s assurance to the contrary. The U.S. responded with an approving silence. In fact, Secretary Haig was jubilant. For him it was an emotional situation; he forgot to distance himself from Israel and told the reporters that the Israeli war was his war. He said “we not only lost an aircraft and a helicopter yesterday…”
Later, on ABC’s “This Week with David Brinkley “Secretary Haig was heard saying that the Israeli strike against Lebanon had created a new opportunity for shaping a new political map in the region.
What was that new map he did not spell out? But it was obvious that if out of Israeli invasion Lebanon was annexed by Israel, the Palestinian movement would be quashed helping a greater Zionist state emerge in the region. The region’s oil resources would be theirs to enjoy. David Frum (The Right Man, 2003), a speechwriter in the Bush first administration, recounts his former boss say that “the war on terror” was designed “to bring new stability to the most vicious and violent guardant of the earth – and a new prosperity to us all, by securing the world’s largest pool of oil.”
In almost all the wars that Israel had with its neighbors, the United States sided with the Israel. To validate my point, one example will be enough.
The cold war had polarized the Middle East. Since Israel was in the United States camp, its neighbors joined the Soviet orbit. The Israeli-Arab wars became the wars between American supplied weapons and the Soviet armory.
Obviously, the U.S. government was keen to have information on the Soviet weapons. The Israelis whetted the American appetite.
In a Washington seminar May 17, 1978, General George Keagan acknowledged Israeli contribution saying “[it] has been a major help in improving our national security. This immeasurable contribution is worth at least fifty billion dollars. Five CIA’s would never have been able to do the same job for us.”
Later when Menachem Begin visited Washington, Jacques Derogy and Hesi Carmel (Untold History of Israel, 1980) recounts the event of Begin handing President Carter a top secret dossier detailing Israeli share in firming up the U.S. defense. Amazed, say the Israeli sources, Carter said to Begin, “It’s incredible! I had no idea of any of this.”
Any military cooperation, of course, leads to intelligence sharing. That this led to closer relations between the Mossad and the CIA was least surprising, though many sane Americans were carried about its ill consequences. In fact, the famous Pike Report cautioned the U.S. government of its fallout harmful to the U.S. in the end.
Tarik Jan is a scholar whose scholarship few can match. His knowledge of the subject and his fluent style of writing makes him stand out from miles. In his scholastic career, he has written several books and published numerous papers in various publications.
One of his most books is, “Secular Threat To Pakistan.” He has also written a book on the life of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Tarik Jan is a Member Board of Advisors, Opinion Maker.
To read the Part I, click HERE.