By Dr. Aslam Abdullah, TMO Editor-in-chief
The day our vice president talked of peace in Israel, the right wing religious fundamentalist government of Benjamin Netenyahoo slapped him by making the announcement that the Jewish state would construct 1600 new houses in the occupied territories. Of course, building of illegal settlements is nothing new. Israel has been indulging in illegal construction against the will of all the civilized world, but humiliating a friend the way Biden was treated is something new in Israelâ€™s defiant diplomacy.
It is learned from reliable sources that the prime minister knew of the announcement well in advance and many US Jewish leaders also knew about before the start of the Biden visit.
It is believed that the act of making the announcement was deliberate and the purpose was to teach the Obama Administration a lesson in promoting a new Jewish lobbying group against AIPAC and conventional Zionist groups. The Muslim Observer has learned from close Washington sources including many congressional sources that Israel wanted to hurt the Obama Administration at a time when Washington is divided over health care reform and financial stimulus package. Israel had hoped that its supportive members in Congress from both the parties would ensure that the decisions to construct illegal settlement is accepted.
The Israeli prime minister knew about the announcement in advance as he was briefed by the interior ministry. It is obvious that the purpose was to punish Americans and hurt the Obama Administration. Israel however did not realize that the reaction of the Administration would be strong. It did not expect the State Department to reprimand the fundamentalist government.
Obviously, the AIPAC is doing all it can to intimidate and placate congressmen on both sides. With elections in November, many congressmen feel that they are in a corner. In tight races, they believe they cannot afford to anger AIPAC and Jewish voters. They are trying to influence the vice presidential office and the state department to tone down their condemnation.
The Muslim Observer has learned from sources close to several l congressmen that AIPAC supporters allegedly threatened to withdraw their support to them if they did not openly oppose the State Department.
Simultaneously, the religious right and pro-Zionist Christian groups are being approached by the pro-Israeli lobby to ensure that those who are take the side of Biden and Clinton on this issue are taught a lesson in November election.
It is apparent that Israeli lobby is making determined efforts to impact the Administration and the forthcoming congressional elections. Certainly, this is going to hurt the interests of the US as it s engaged in a war against terrorism. By opening a new front to humiliate the US and hurt its interests, the so called closest ally has tried to weaken American resolve to fight terrorism and defend its dignity.
Israel is telling 300 million Americans, we do not care about you and about the international community because we own the congress as our supportive organizations are in total control of the electoral manipulations.
With friends like these who would need enemies.