U.S. Speaks Softly for Israel
Underneath a deadly rainfall of continuing rocket attacks, the State of Israel is also reeling from a severe diplomatic and strategic wound—this one delivered by its greatest ally.
Since mid-May, Palestinian militants have launched hundreds of rockets into Israel from locations inside the Gaza Strip. Ending a six-month period of limited operations, the Israeli Air Force has responded by striking a number of targets inside the Gaza Strip, but it has been unable to slow the barrage. Israeli military leaders say that the only way to stop the attacks is to invade the Strip using ground forces.
With rockets still falling from a territory it ceded in a “land for peace” deal, what has Tel Aviv’s most important ally been doing about it?
In a “with friends like these …” moment, it was reported in mid-May that the u.s. State Department had assured the Palestinian Authority (pa) that Israel would stay out of the Gaza Strip and avoid launching any large-scale military operations there.
Even before Israel could double-check the definition of “ally” in the English dictionary, it found itself in the midst of a storm of Kassam rocket explosions, many of them targeting the town of Sderot. Although the administration of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has not confirmed that it is under pressure from Washington, it has, as of this writing, constrained its operations to airstrikes, raids and some infantry being sent across the border; meanwhile, rockets continue to fall on Israeli soil.
As the American foreign policy umbrella continues to shrink and its friends find less and less shelter from this rainfall of rockets, expect Israel to look for new friends.