June 24, 2008

  • Question 79 - Israel's Power in the Middle East

    Question 79 - Israel's Power in the Middle East

    Robert, what do you make of the following "quiz" I found on the Internet? Is this stuff true or is someone just trying to slam Israel?

    -Max Powers

    It's time for another pop quiz on America's favorite region of the world the Middle East. Let's get started with the subject of nuclear weapons.

    Which country in the Middle East actually possesses nuclear weapons?


    Which country in the Middle East refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?


    Which country in the Middle East refuses to allow international inspections of its nuclear facilities?


    Which countries in the Middle East have called for the region to be a nuclear-free zone?

    The Arab countries and Iran.

    Which country in the Middle East occupies land belonging to other people?

    Israel, which occupies a piece of Lebanon, a larger piece of Syria, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

    Which country in the Middle East has for 60 years refused to allow refugees to return to their homes and refused to consider compensation to them for their lost property?


    Which country has roads on which citizens who are Arab may not drive and housing developments where Arabs may not live?


    Which country in the region has violated more United Nations resolutions than any other?

    Israel. The United States has on more than one occasion gone to war ostensibly to enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions, but when it comes to resolutions directed against Israel, the U.S. is like the amoral monkey that sees, hears and says nothing. That raises the question of who's the dog and who's the tail?

    Which country in the region has in the past been led by men who at one time were terrorists with a price on their heads?

    Israel. Former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir once led the Stern Gang and ordered, among other things, the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte, a Swedish diplomat working for the United Nations. Former Prime Minister Menachem Begin led the Irgun, a terrorist gang that among other things blew up one wing of the King David Hotel, killing nearly 100 people.

    Which country in the Middle East openly employs assassination against its political enemies?

    Israel. There have been assassinations carried out by some of the Arab governments, but they usually don't own up to them. Israel has created a euphemism that the suck-up American press has readily adopted: "targeted killings." A British journalist told me once, "The Palestinians have a talent for picking bad leaders, and the Israelis have a talent for murdering their good ones."

    What are the top five countries from which we import oil?

    Here they are in order of volume: Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Nigeria and Venezuela. The next time you hear some blowhard politician ranting about how the Arabs control our oil imports, remind him or her of the facts. By far, a majority of oil imports come from non-Arab countries.

    Which country in the region receives an annual gift of $3 billion or more from Congress?


    Which foreign-aid recipient is the only one allowed to receive its aid in a lump sum and which routinely invests part of it in U.S. Treasuries so that taxpayers pay them interest on the taxpayers' gift?


    Which country in the Middle East has the most powerful lobby in the U.S.?


    Which country in the Middle East are most American politicians, journalists and academics afraid to criticize?


    On behalf of which country has the U.S. vetoed the largest number of U.N. Security Council resolutions?


    What country do the people in the region consider the world's biggest hypocrite?

    The United States.

    Which countries in the Middle East have attacked U.S. ships in international waters?

    Iraq and Israel. A lone Iraqi plane fired one missile at a U.S. ship by mistake. The Iraqi government quickly compensated the U.S. In 1967, Israeli airplanes and torpedo boats attacked the USS Liberty, killing 34 Americans. The U.S. government declared it an accident even before the ship limped into port, and to this day Congress has never held a public hearing and allowed the survivors to tell their story. Their story, by the way, is that the attack was deliberate. Israel compensated the families of those who were killed, but resisted for years paying compensation for the ship.

    R. Sungenis: Unfortunately, most of it is quite true. The main reason that Israel enjoys these strategic and political advantages is because of the money and allegiance from the United States. If you are a US citizen, you must resign yourself to the fact that Israel is, more or less, our unofficial 51st state, and the US will do anything to protect Israel, whether the means are good or evil. (Perhaps that has its benefits, since it keeps a balance of power in the Middle East, otherwise Israel would be completely overwhelmed, or, if Israel were to be destroyed by its neighbors, it would take everyone within nuclear range with them). Moreover, the US believes that, even though it gets about 90% of its oil from non-Arab countries, the oil in the Middle East represents power and the US wants that power, especially after 1989 when it seemed they could rule the world once Russia and East Germany were out of the way. One of the ways the US gets this power is by making its presence felt in the Middle East. Unconditional relations with Israel is one means of doing so. Trumping up charges against Arab leaders is another (e.g., Sadaam Hussein), and the two are related. The consensus in the US to unconditionally support Israel is stoked by the political power of the numerous Jewish lobby groups, in addition to the money that wealthy private and corporate Jews use to influence the political landscape, and the inordinate number of Jews in the upper echelons of American government, especially the cabinet posts and sub-posts of the president. It is the same reason why John McCain (whose father, Admiral McCain, was behind the covering up of the USS Liberty incident in 1967) recently stood before Israel’s Wailing Wall in deep meditation with a yarmukle on his head, or why Barrack Obama can make a campaign pledge that Jerusalem should be given solely to the Jews. And, of course, if you don’t go along with this agenda, especially if you are in political leadership, you will be branded with the career-stopping epithet of “antisemitism.” In fact, the Jewish author, Norman Finkelstein, who is totally unafraid of exposing the underhanded political machinations of his own Jewish people, has made quite a case for the fact that the new definition of “antisemitism” is, as he says in his new book, Beyond Chutzpah, “any challenge inimical to Jewish interests” (p. 27). (Incidentally, Alan Dershowitz, one of the leading Jews pushing for this new definition of antisemitism, was highly instrumental in having Finkelstein terminated from his professorship at DePaul University). As it stands, the United States and Israel, for mere political advantage against the rest of the world, are about as close as any two nations have been in earth’s history, although they spy on each other and use each other like two jealous sisters. This unconditional relationship is the reason that, despite the numerous documented cases of Israeli abuse and outright murder of Palestinians and other Arab leaders over the last 60 years, the US simply looks the other way. And, of course, the Neocon/Israeli drumbeat to war against Iran is increasing daily, but if war happens, it is going to put the whole Middle East into turmoil and the world’s economy into a tailspin. All we can do is pray for peace and know that God will make the best of it, for as Isaiah says, that nations are like a drop in the bucket or as dust on the scales (Isaiah 40:15).  


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