When American Politicians Adopt a Harder Line than Israel's
by Daniel Pipes
"Some Congressional Leaders Worry Gaza Pullout Amounts to Appeasement": That's the eye-catching title of an article by Geostrategy-Direct. The text is no less interesting: :
The article goes on to give one specific quote, from Rep. Dan Burton, (Republican-Indiana) in a speech on the House floor on June 20.
Comment: This cautious demurral follows in the tradition of other American politicians who worry that the Israeli government is not taking its own or American security enough into account. Here is how I summed up the views of two prominent senators in a December 2000 Commentary article:
My conclusion to that article, written at the tail end of the Oslo process, is worth hauling out again as the Gaza withdrawal looms large: "Israel's acute demoralization thus places upon the United States an urgent and unusual burden: the need to firm up a democratic ally's will to resist. One can only hope, for the sake of both countries' interests, that Americans rise to this challenge." (August 2, 2005)
Apr. 5, 2006 update: Again, Geostrategy-Direct pursues this theme:
Apr. 13, 2007 update: In December 2002, when he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (Republican of Pennsylvania) learned that Marwan Barghouti's right-hand man, Nasser Abu Hamid, had been sentenced a decade earlier to nine life sentences for his murderous ways, only to be released in 1995 by the Israeli government as a "confidence building measure." Then, in 2002, Abu Hamid, was re-indicted and re-convicted, this time sentenced to seven life sentences plus 50 years imprisonment.
Appalled by the Israeli release of Abu Hamid, Specter asked then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft for the extradition of Hassan Salame, a leader in the Izz ad-Din al-Kassam Brigades who had been sentenced in 1996 to 50 life sentences for his role in killing civilians in Israel, three of them U.S. citizens. Specter explained this unusual request on the grounds that "There is no reason in the world for this murderer not to be extradited to the US, in order to be punished for an offense that bears the death penalty." He was trying, in brief, to make sure that Salame would not be released as Abu Hamid was.
May 30, 2007 update: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, of all people, took a harder line than the Olmert government yesterday, when she discouraged negotiations with Syria, though she did so to keep negotiations with the Palestinians alive. According to a report in the Washington Post,
July 17, 2007 update: "Israel Embrace Of Terror Organization May Cost Congressional Support For Jewish State," writes David Bedein in the Philadelphia Bulletin. He notes that the government of Israel consistently pretends that the PLO has (1) ratified the September 1993 Declaration of Principles (DOP) between Israel and the PLO and (2) cancelled the 1968 PLO Covenant, which explicitly calls for Israel's destruction.
This old news is newly relevant, Bedein writes, as the Palestinian National Council (PNC) convenes. It can take these two steps, but will it? Bedein
July 23, 2014 update: When the Federal Aviation Administration banned U.S. carriers from flying to Israel for a day, Sen. Ted Cruz (Repulican of Texas) accused the Obama administration of using a federal regulatory agency "to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands," thereby raising a question no Israeli politician would dare touch.
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