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Switch to Forum Live View ICEJ - the Christian argument for Jerusalem - the undivided capital of Israel
6 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2012 - 7:18PM #111
Posts: 18,418

Thanks...... I think : ))

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6 years ago  ::  Feb 15, 2012 - 1:31AM #112
Posts: 6,223

Leah, you asked when did the USA foreign policy establishment become more pro-Israel. 

There had been an off and on conflict between the office of the American President and the State Department. At State, Israel was seen mostly as a complication to American foreign policy goals. Until 1947 the American President followed the State Department lead on ME policies. Roosevelt, for instance, met with the Saudi King who presented the Arab side and Roosevelt was suitably impressed. In fact Britain was the dominant power in the Middle East though the USA had already gained access to Saudi oil and through the help of the CIA in the early 1950's gained control of Iranian oil (displacing the British in the process).  

President Truman was in direct opposition to his State Department when he backed the UN Partition plan in 1947. However, American support was limited and short lived as there was no official military help from the USA even though the passage of the Partition Plan and the end of the British Mandate led to war. 

During the Eisenhower Administration the Department of State was the dominant element in creating American Middle East policy. That policy tried to be pro-Arab but Nasser saw more opportunity in being a Soviet client rather than an American client. The USA was engaged with the Soviets in a bidding war for Middle Eastern clients and the State Department saw Israel's presence as a complicating factor. This began to change under President Johnson as he took an interest in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The French and to a lesser extent the Iranians had been Israel's main supplier of armaments. The Iranians made a deal to sell Israel used American tanks. Nasser put up a public fuss about this and the Iranians cancelled the deal. Johnson ordered that the tanks be supplied directly from American inventories and this was the first time that a major arms delivery had been made officially from the USA. State was furious but could not over rule a direct order from the President. 

When the 1967 war took place the IDF was armed mainly with French military equipment. The French imposed an embargo on Arms shipments to Israel, while the American Secretary of State announced upon the outbreak of that war that the USA was neutral in thought, word and deed, a comment which made the White House very uncomfortable. 

In 1968, President Nixon took office and installed Henry Kissinger as his foreign policy advisor. Kissinger brought a team of bright young people with him and began reformulating American foreign policy. The opening to China, for instance, was a Kissinger idea. Little by little the formulation of American foreign policy moved from the Department of State to the White House. The last major area of foreign policy where State held sway was the Middle East.

In September 1970, during the (very uncivil) war between King Hussein and the PLO, Syria intervened by sending the Syrian army across its border with Jordan. Hussein appealed to the USA and Great Britain for military help. He hoped to see a repeat of the 1958 American-British action which included sending military formations to Jordan. In 1970, the USA was heavily committed in Viet Nam and for domestic political reasons could not get involved in another foreign war. The Department of State recommended sending American military units to aid in Jordan's defence against Syria. This was a recommendation that the President found most unhelpful. Kissinger recommended that the President have a chat with the Israeli ambassador, who at that time was Yizhak Rabin. Rabin told Nixon that if the American Sixth Fleet would manuever in a way to shield Israel from the Soviet Mediteranean fleet, Israel would take care of the rest. President Nixon agreed.

With no fanfare the Sixth Fleet performed the required maneuvers and Israel openly sent a very large force to the Golan Heights clearly threatening Damascus. The Israelis informed Jordan that it could safely employ its airforce against Syrian forces in Jordan, which it did. Jordan established air superiority over the invading Syrian force and after battering that force from the air, drove the Syrians back across the border. It took the Jordanians another year to drive the PLO out of Jordan.

The succesful use of Israel as an American client was an administrative catastrophe for the American State Department. State had lost all credibility with the President. State reversed this situation by succeeding in getting Kissinger named Secretary of State. Kissinger brought over many of his White House team with him. One consequence of this was that the Department of State, which had been the last North East WASP dominated department in the government saw the barriers to advancement within State broken and all sorts of non-WASP Americans obtained positions of influence. Along with this there was a re-evaluation of Israel's role in American Middle East foreign policy from being a liability to being an asset.

For a statistical confirmation of the above, I would suggest looking at the levels of military aid which went to Israel from the USA and compare the period from 1948 to September of 1970, to the period after September of 1970. In answer to your question Leah, the American foreign policy establsihment became pro-Israel after September of 1970.


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6 years ago  ::  Feb 15, 2012 - 2:35AM #113
Posts: 16,967

Good history lesson, Hab.

By 1973 I know we were fully supporting Israel because we sent  a lot of munitions, and also many tanks to Israel to replae losses during the Yom Kippur War. It was after that, that Israeli and American officers began doing some serious training together. When I did a bit of that in the early 1980s we were for all intent sharing everything and actually testing each other's equipment. I don't know about the state department, but in my opinion the defense department is nearly as pro-Israel as the congress. The Obama administration is not nealy as pro-Israel as past administrations. However, since Obama's overtures to the various Arab countries have been rebuffed, whatever he had in mind hasn't worked.

I rather doubt that Obama will move our embassy to Jerusalem. But I certainly wish he would do so. actually, it would be a cynical move, but a politically wise one for him to do it this summer, thereby regaining some political credit from Jewish voters before our election. If he thinks he needs that I expect he'll do it...he is a good politician...lousy president in my opinion, but good politician.


Libertarian, Conservative, Life member of the NRA and VFW
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 15, 2012 - 3:00AM #114
Posts: 5,021

Most likely I'll vote for Obama this time, partly because he's only lukewarm to Israel.  He is a lousy president, but I'm not impressed at all with the anti-Islam idiots running on the GOP ticket.

Disclaimer: The opinions of this member are not primarily informed by western ethnocentric paradigms, stereotypes rooted in anti-Muslim/Islam hysteria, "Israel can do no wrong" intransigence, or the perceived need to protect the Judeo-Christian world from invading foreign religions and legal concepts.  By expressing such views, no inherent attempt is being made to derail or hijack threads, but that may be the result.  The result is not the responsibility of this member.

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6 years ago  ::  Feb 15, 2012 - 4:39AM #115
Posts: 3,014

Feb 14, 2012 -- 11:42AM, rocketjsquirell wrote:

Feb 14, 2012 -- 5:15AM, shmuelgoldstein wrote:

Feb 13, 2012 -- 11:20AM, SherriMunnerlyn wrote:

This is why there are no Embassies in Jerusalem, a UN Resolution that declares the annexation of East Jerusalem to be illegal under international law.

The lack of embassies in Jerusalem existed before the Six-Day War and the quoted UN resolution.

There are no embassies because countries are afraid of the Arab backlash, AND according to the UN partition plan of 1947, Jerusalem was supposed to be an international area, not belonging to the Jewish Palestinian state, nor the Arab Palestinian state.

Even today, when a US citizen is born in Jerusalem, his birthplace is listed as "Jerusalem", not "Jerusalem, Israel". That is State Department policy, and it's a cowardly policy.


While there has been some progress, the State Department is still a vipers nest of Arabists

Very very true.

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6 years ago  ::  Feb 15, 2012 - 8:11AM #116
Posts: 8,301

Vipers... not rats? (watch the linked video from minute 2:30 onward)

Motto: dehumanise first, what comes after will be seen...

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6 years ago  ::  Feb 15, 2012 - 8:16AM #117
Posts: 19,045

Obama is a surprisingly good president. He is the second best Republican President in the last 100 years. (The best was Clinton. The fact that Clinton and Obama have been the only Presidents who actually delivered on Republican promises - while being Democrats - is what lies underneath much of the hate the Republican party expresses for these two gentlemen) Obama's Middle East policy is more or less the same as prior US Presidents. His only addition is an extreme naivete and his unfortunate tendency to ask only the reasonable side of a dispute (in this case the Israelis) to make concessions while caving to extremists (in this case the Palestinians and other Arabs) who are given whatever the heck they want.

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