Policy Shifts in Israel
What is going on between the United States and Israel? These two long-time allies have in recent months exchanged some unusually biting criticisms. Israel’s policies have undergone little change. Rather, it is the U.S. that has become more critical of its best friend in the volatile Middle East.
Two recent points of contention include the Bush administration’s disapproval of the security fence—about a quarter of which is completed—built by Israel to screen out Palestinian terrorists, and the expansion of Israeli settlements for which, in late November, Washington administered a mild punishment by reducing loan guarantees.
The sharpest dissonance arose in December when the U.S. administration supported, in the face of Israeli opposition, the “Geneva initiative,” put forward as an alternative to the “road map to peace” process previously endorsed by the U.S. Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon warned it was subverting the democratic process.
As Charles Krauthammer wrote in the Washington Post, “[T]his agreement was negotiated in defiance of the democratically (and overwhelmingly) elected government of Israel. If a private U.S. citizen negotiated a treaty on his own, he could go to jail under the Logan Act. If an Israeli does it, he gets a pat on the back from the secretary of state” (Nov. 28, 2003).
Why has the U.S. supported this charade of a “peace” effort? Former U.S. mediator Dennis Ross stated that “[I]n encouraging the project, the Bush administration is ‘trying to send a message to Sharon without saying so explicitly’” (Associated Press, Nov. 26, 2003).
It appears the U.S. is trying to build on the momentum of its war against terrorism, coupled with its significant presence in Iraq, by taking the middle ground to gain more regional support on the Middle East peace process. But is Washington compromising democratic principles to push through its own policies?
We can be certain that U.S. pressure on Israel to toe the American line, while risking the alienation of Sharon and increasing pressure on him from the Arab world, will only frustrate efforts for the long-term peace which Israel seeks. Refer to our booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy on theTrumpet.com under Literature. The chapter “Israel’s Deadly Wound” will further explain why, whichever plan the U.S. and Israel follow, the “peace process” will end tragically. It will take intelligence far superior to that of which man is capable in order to bring peace to this historically troubled region.