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Storing American weapons in Israel

By Ibrahim al-Absi

In vain, it seems, we hope that one day the United States will adopt, just once, a fair position on Arab national issues, especially the Palestinians', whose bloodied story is open to everyone. And in vain we dream that this great champion of democracy, which regards itself responsible for the peace and security of the world, will take a neutral stance in our conflict with Israel, because the US knows, more than most, how ferocious the Zionist attack is against the Arabs, particularly the Palestinians. And we continue to dream of a balanced and responsible US sponsorship of the quest for peace which is slaughtered regularly by the Zionists – left- and right-wing alike who insist on the continued occupation of Palestinian and Arab land, killing, torture and state terrorism, and the Judaising process in Jerusalem.

Our media rushed to praise President Barack Obama when he asked Israel to freeze settlements, acknowledging in the process the injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people as well as the importance of ending this injustice by the Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory enabling the Palestinians to establish a state on their own land. But our praise and support fell on deaf ears as Obama dropped his demands, preferring the safe option when the Zionist political and media lobby swung into vicious action against him. The the neo-cons and the media, along with the "friends of Israel" in the House and Senate, directed sharp criticism at him, their insults added to Israeli media accusations of "anti-Semitism" and reminders of his Muslim roots. Obama kept silent and dropped his demand for a freeze on settlements and an end to the injustice against the Palestinians, to such an extent that there is little to differentiate between him and George W. Bush. They are identical with regards to how they view Israel and the need for America to place Israeli security at the top of US priorities, even at the cost of the ongoing occupation of Palestine and the oppression of the Palestinians.

The latest military cooperation between the two countries was announced a couple of weeks ago by the US Defence Department: Washington is going to take the American weapons currently used in Iraq and store them in Israel after its withdrawal from Iraq next year. These are no ordinary weapons; they are modern and sophisticated, including rocket systems and heavy artillery, tanks and other advanced weapons from the American arsenal.

Of course, it is part of the game being played by the US that it uses the word "store" when, in fact, it would be more accurate to say that the Americans are giving this weaponry to Israel, its strategic ally in the region. We know also that the weapons will be used against Arabs by the Israelis, such as happened in 1973 and 2006, for example, when Israel arms supplies were "topped-up" by US stocks.

Thus, Obama has brought about no substantial difference in American policies which support Israel, right or wrong, with no limits on the excess to which the US-surrogate is allowed to go. This is a very short-sighted policy, of course, for if Israel knows that it has the military means to do what it wants, with the full backing of its sponsor the USA, why should it worry about being "pushed" to make peace? Perhaps that is, in fact, the intention. Plus ça change…

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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