State of Israel: Built on lies, lying, beginning w. the name, "Israel"--really state of Jews, NOT "Israelites," "Jews" descending only fm Pharisees


Guest Columnist

White House officials know Israel is an apartheid state, but they can’t say so​


Beltway scholar Mark Lynch says even the White House understands Israel practices apartheid, even if it won't say so publicly, because Palestinian intellectuals have led the way in shifting the foreign policy establishment.


Four editors of a new book about the One State Reality in Israel/Palestine-- who characterize it as apartheid -- speak at an April 11 panel at George Washington University. From left to right, Shibley Telhami, Marc Lynch, Nathan Brown, and Michael Barnett. Screenshot from GWU video.
Even in the White House officials know that Israel practices apartheid, but they can’t say so publicly. No, they have to cling to the two-state paradigm, says a Beltway scholar, Marc Lynch, who co-authored a breakthrough report in Foreign Affairs using the word apartheid to describe Israeli rule.
Lynch said that report was heavily influenced by Palestinian experts, who helped break a Washington “taboo” on saying apartheid. He cited Yousef Munayyer, Tareq Baconi, and Noura Erakat as intellectual leaders.
For many years Palestinians have told us that Israel imposes apartheid. In time, public figures such as Jimmy Carter and Betty McCollum and Rashida Tlaib and Jim Klutznick (of Americans for Peace Now) echoed that view. Then two years ago a number of human rights groups, notably Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, joined the chorus with reports labeling Israeli rule “apartheid.” They were followed by the Carnegie Endowment and the young Jewish group IfNotNow, and so on.

This month two important shoes dropped. Foreign Affairs published its paper on the “One State Reality” by Lynch and three other mainstream figures using the word apartheid. And now a respected poll reveals that 44 percent of Democrats say that Israel is “a state with segregation similar to apartheid” (in keeping with Gallup’s poll of last month showing way more Democrats are sympathetic to Palestinians than Israel).
The Foreign Affairs authors charted the emerging awareness of apartheid in a D.C. panel earlier this month, launching the book of essays they have co-edited.
Lynch said the “cascade” of experts’ reports on apartheid has reached policymakers, even in the White House:
There’s much less of disconnect than you might think. The deputy assistant secretary of state for Israel Palestinian affairs [Hady Amr] was here at the Elliott School last week and he knows all of these things, and I would say that everybody in the White House knows all these things, they all know these things, but they don’t act on them for various other reasons, because of political considerations, because of structural constraints and that sort of thing. I don’t think this is a knowledge issue. People [who spend their lives working on policy] are not unaware of the one state reality. It’s more the sense of paralysis and impossibility of finding anything else. Hence clinging to the idea of a two state solution in order to avoid having to come up with something different. That’s why I think there’ s more stasis in the policy debate than there is in the academic and civil society debate right now.
Co-author Shibley Telhami, a scholar who has worked as a policymaker, said that the death of the two-state solution is now an accepted fact in official circles, but officials can’t say as much.
I know both worlds, and the policymakers are not as detached as we assume they are. I know a number of high level people in government who have said, that it’s too late for two states, yet they’re advocating two states publicly. They’re not going to take that on, they’re not going to change the paradigm, it’s too costly, it’s not a high priority issue, no one is going to lead from within.
Just as the end of the peace process was a factor in Human Rights Watch declaring Israel an apartheid state in 2021, so it motivated these authors, co-editor Michael Barnett said:
We thought the peace process died certainly in the early 2000s. If the peace process does not exist, it leaves you with very few options in terms of what to think about what Israel/Palestine is… It really is based on control.
When the four published their piece in Foreign Affairs, Lynch said he expected pushback, but there hasn’t been much. Because the acceptance of apartheid has been “sudden and rapid”:
It’s been quite interesting to see the response… We all anticipated quite a bit of fireworks. In fact that has not happened, because everyone now pretty much agrees with us, which was certainly not the case five years ago. And that to me is one of the most interesting puzzles, is, How can you have intellectual and policy stagnation for decades and decades, followed by a very sudden and rapid intellectual and discursive change.
Lynch pointed to the inclusion of Palestinians as a factor in that change. He cited Munayyer’s article in Foreign Affairs in 2019, titled “There Will be a One State Solution” and said until that piece, the foreign policy establishment of the United States regarded the idea of one state as “toxic.” Today the “One State Reality” book is ahead of the curve of Washington and mainstream academia, Lynch said, but “we were well behind the curve of Palestinian intellectuals.”

Michael Barnett described the “difficult” and “incredible intellectual and emotional journey” of making the book as a Jewish person with deep involvement in the Israel issue. But he said he sought to be analytical, not emotional, in describing the reality. Israel has never had clear borders, and its occupation is far from temporary after 56 years.
“The language of occupation seemed awkward and probably a misnomer. At least back in the post World War Two period when international legal authorities began to draft doctrines of occupation, they never had in mind something like this… Occupation was supposed to be temporary, but here is something quite permanent or so it seems.”
Barnett said that understanding led to the idea that Israel exercises “coercive control” over subjects in ways that today’s world does not accept:
“The land that we’re talking about today, which Israel claims control over– that’s not legally recognized by any other state, as we speak…. We are now talking about a state where there are different levels of membership. Full members are Jewish Israelis.
But it’s simple, and Israel is doubling down:
“To simplify things, there are just two classes of people in this new state. There are Jewish Israelis, and then there’s everybody else. And if you have any doubt about it, look at the Basic Law from a few years ago. And look at the slew of bills that are coming down the pike in the Knesset. It makes it clear that there are two classes of resident.”
Israel has ceased to be a liberal democracy, it’s about “Jewish supremacy,” there’s no way around it. Barnett said:
For the longest time Israel was understood as a liberal democracy. And it had shared values with the west on those grounds. But Israel… has ceased to be a liberal democracy… Israel is a state that is built for, by and about Israeli Jews, that’s what it’s about. It’s about Jewish supremacy. That’s a hard word to actually evoke. But I don’t think there’s any way around it. This was a state that was intended to be for Jews and if it’s going to be a Jewish state then there are going to be those who are not not full members, and it also means to preserve the Jewish state means to preserve systematic discrimination against those who are non-Jews.
The apartheid frame:
Where does it leave us? The one [idea] that’s clearly being evoked more and more, is apartheid. It may not be an exact analogy, but it’s pretty close. And so if in fact it’s an apartheid state, then one has to question… where is it then in relationship to other kinds of states [and it] imposes a slew of difficult and complicated challenges, certainly for the U.S. It was one thing to say we have shared values with a liberal democracy. It’s very difficult to make that same statement once you cast the frame as apartheid.
Nathan Brown says everyone knows it now:
This isn’t news. There are political actors in the region who have oriented themselves around this [one-state] reality increasingly over the last decade… Now everybody’s noticing, that’s what is new.
Lynch said that naming apartheid says to some that it cannot possibly survive. He disagrees:
I see nothing in history to suggest that’s true. Injustice can survive a tremendously long time. Once the initial impact of the apartheid level sinks in, politics moves on, nothing necessarily changes… People can live with an extraordinary amount of hypocrisy and evil in their lives, so long as it does not inconvenience them. and the power in the world today is not one which is leading toward greater liberalism or greater justice…by naming it.. it might simply be put on like a fine dinner jacket, and become the new reality, and that would be quite tragic.
Barnett disagreed. He said the discourse will force change. Israel is already in freefall due to elites seeking to emigrate:
“You can’t go on as normal once you say that it’s an apartheid state. I think we learned that in South Africa. As a consequence, things are gong to change globally… This creates economic instability, as we see in Israel. I have so many Israeli friends who are now applying for a passport elsewhere, who now want an exit option… What happens when those providing the gold decide to leave?
Barnett described apartheid as a “taboo” term that is no longer taboo:
Apartheid has been such a taboo language to talk about Israel that people get harrassed for using it. But at the end of the day, apartheid is a legal language, apartheid is about international law, and it is about systematic discrimination by one group of another group based on any number of considerations, but largely around… race.
The racism of Israel that Palestinians have long identified is now dawning on others. Barnett described his own awakening to the idea of “Jewish supremacy”:
For those who have supported Israel– let’s just recognize up front it was created in 1948 as a state of the Jews…. We know that since 1948 that Arab Israelis now Palestinian Israelis were systematically discriminated against. That I think is undisputable. Then when you widen that to include the so called territories… That discrimination is simply about Jews against others. And as we say today, and [under] this current Knesset it will become further institutionalized, in that Jews have more rights than non Jews, and it’s designed to maintain Jewish power. I don’t think that’s controversial. It may be difficult to hear in those terms, but it is about Jewish supremacy. You can’t call it a liberal democracy… But acknowledge, that whatever you call it it has to include practices of discrimination, by Jews against non-Jews. That’s undebatable.
The Jewish community is splintering because of this awareness. Barnett said that a “great number of Jewish Americans” are becoming indifferent to Israel, to the point they “actually don’t want anything to do with it anymore.”
Lastly, but very importantly: Barnett said as we move into the one-state reality, Americans need to rethink the nature of Palestinian violence. He described attacks on civilians as terrorism but said that the decolonization movement showed that violence directed against conscripted forces and not against civilians is legitimate. Washington has a long way to go on that one.

Nakba: Thousands march in London to mark Palestinian mass displacement​


Participants say new generation of Palestinians will not forget forced expulsion by Zionists in 1948 and continuing Israeli crimes

Thousands of protesters marched through the streets of London to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nakba on 13 May 2023 (Anadolu Agency)

By MEE staff
Published date: 14 May 2023 12:53 BST | Last update: 1 day 17 hours ago
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Thousands of people marched in London on Saturday commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, or catastrophe, which refers to the mass forced expulsion of Palestinians by Zionist militias to make way for the creation of Israel in 1948.
The demonstration, titled "Nakba 75 – End Apartheid, End the Occupation", gathered in the heart of London outside the BBC headquarters before participants made their way to Downing Street, where the office of the British prime minister is located.
"The Nakba was not just a singular event, today we are still living the effect of the Nakba," Leanne Mohammed, a British Palestinian activist attending the rally, told Middle East Eye.
"Seventy-five years ago my family was expelled from their home in Haifa, Palestine, by Zionist militias. They ended up as refugees in Lebanon. Three-quarters of a century later they are still living in that same refugee camp," she said.

The London event was organised by the Palestinian Forum in Britain, Friends of Al-Aqsa, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and the Muslim Association of Britain.
"We mark the Nakba not just as a historical event but as a continuing process of oppression enacted over the past 75 years through ongoing colonisation of land, enforcement of apartheid and military occupation," said the PSC on its website.
The march was attended by the former leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who has been a lifelong campaigner against the Israel occupation of Palestine.
"Today we marched through London to mark the 75th anniversary of the Nakba and speak out against the ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian people. End the occupation. Free Palestine," said Corbyn in a message on Twitter.

Between 1947 and 1949, Zionist forces seized more than 78 percent of historic Palestine and expelled at least 750,000 Palestinians from their lands and homes.
Many of those joining the rally were young Palestinians who spoke of the need to continue to remember the Nakba.
"They say 'the old will die, the young will forget', and for my generation of Palestinians we have proven that no one has forgotten and, if anything, our existence is our resistance," one demonstrator told MEE.
More than 80 percent of the Palestinian population was expelled from their homeland in 1948 after Zionist forces killed at least 13,000 people and destroyed over 500 villages and towns.
Nineteen years later, Israel occupied the remaining 22 percent of historic Palestinian not captured in 1948, which remains under Israeli military rule in what is known as the longest occupation in modern history.

Nakba: Britain and the secret 1948 Palestine memos​


Classified cables found by MEE reveal that the UK knew of mass killings and displacement of Palestinians in May 1948, but downplayed them and refused to intervene
A British soldier holding a British-made Bren machine gun in Jerusalem on 1 May 1948, a few days before the British Mandate in Palestine ended (AFP)

A British soldier holding a British-made Bren machine gun in Jerusalem on 1 May 1948, a fortnight before the British Mandate in Palestine ended (AFP)

By Rayhan Uddin in
Published date: 15 May 2023 15:00 BST | Last update: 1 day 15 hours ago
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It’s late April 1948, in Haifa, northern Palestine.
After more than 25 years, British officers are leaving their "mandate" over the territory and have set a withdrawal date: 15 May.
The exit is not going smoothly. Ethnic cleansing and violent atrocities are taking place across areas Britain is about to vacate.
Zionist armed groups, allowed to flourish in Palestine by the British over three decades and subsequently trained and armed by the colonial power, are sweeping across Palestinian towns and villages, forcibly displacing residents from house to house.
Palestinians put up some resistance, helped by nominal forces from neighbouring countries, but are vastly outnumbered and under-equipped. Britain states that it is remaining neutral.

Cyril Marriott, consul-general in Haifa, is one of the last British officials to leave the embattled city.
He wonders, in a 21 April diplomatic cable sent to London and seen by Middle East Eye, whether Britain's reputation will be damaged by “abandoning the pretence of keeping law and order before the expiry of the Mandate”.
“Any loss of prestige we may suffer is insignificant compared with the strong feeling that will be aroused in the United Kingdom if heavy British casualties are caused by our armed intervention between Jews and Arabs,” he writes.
Months before Marriott's cable, in November, the United Nations passed a resolution to split Mandatory Palestine into Jewish and Arab states - a policy Palestinian Arabs rejected.
Britain, which by then was coming under violent attack from the Zionist groups it had once propped up, declared it would leave by midnight on 14 May.
Haifa 1948

Jewish fighters in Haifa, 1948 (Wikimedia)

But 15 May 1948 would not just be remembered as the day that Britain left Palestine.
It was also the day that the State of Israel was declared, and the date generations of Palestinians continue to mark as the Nakba - or Catastrophe - 75 years later.
At least 13,000 Palestinians were killed and hundreds of villages were destroyed. In the end, 750,000 people were forcibly displaced from their homes.
More than 6,000 Israeli Jews, including 4,000 soldiers and 2,000 civilians, were killed.
Previously classified diplomatic cables, seen by Middle East Eye at the National Archives in London, show that Britain was well aware of mass killings and displacement, in Haifa and beyond, during the final days of its Mandate.
But London would play down the scale of the events, refuse to intervene or allow others to do so, and would eventually label Palestinians and their allies as masters of their own downfall.

Regional leaders warn of massacre​

By the final days of April, leaders in Egypt and Syria were raising the alarm about the spiralling situation across their borders.
Azzam Pasha, an Egyptian diplomat and the Arab League’s first secretary-general, told British envoy Ronald Campbell in Cairo that Palestinians were being massacred in Haifa, Tiberias and Deir Yassin.
“This massacre was, [Pasha] was convinced, part of a Jewish military plan designed to terrorise the Arab population inside the Jewish state so that by May 15th they would be relieved of having to deal with any fifth column,” Campbell recounted to London on 22 April.
Pasha told journalists that same day, as transcribed in a British foreign office memo: “They have committed at Haifa acts as reprehensible as at Tiberias [and Deir Yassin] attacking women, children and old people. So far the British forces have displayed their inability to protect defenceless persons.”
On 9 April, in what became known as the Deir Yassin massacre, Zionist groups went house to house, killing over 100 Palestinians in the small village near Jerusalem, despite having agreed to an earlier truce.
Nine days later, Tiberias fell to Zionist militias too, where 6,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled.
Then on 21 April, Jewish paramilitary organisations ethnically cleansed Haifa, ejecting tens of thousands of Palestinians.
Phillip Broadmead, British envoy in Damascus, wrote to the foreign office on 23 April following a meeting with Syrian President Shukri al-Quwatli, who was disturbed by events in Haifa.
Quwatli complained to Broadmead that a local British commander in Haifa had refused “to take measures to stop the killing of Arab women and children”, unless Palestinians delivered all their arms to Zionist groups, as per a truce proposal rejected by the Arabs.
nakba military campaigns graphic

Damascus lamented that Britain had promised to maintain law and order by 15 May, but “the events at Deir Yassin and Haifa made it clear this was no longer the case”.
In Cairo, Pasha told Campbell that there was “a fully mobilised Jewish force in the country whose activities were out of control”, but no counter-balancing Palestinian force.
According to British figures at the time, there were around 15,000 troops from Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, in addition to 5,000 volunteers from the Arab Liberation Army. They were comfortably outnumbered by over 70,000 Jewish troops.
Cairo pleaded with Britain to turn a “blind eye” and allow volunteer Arab forces to enter Palestine before the Mandate expired to provide that "counter balance" to the mass killings and ethnic cleansing. London refused.
Pasha told Campbell that if the British continued this stance until 15 May, “the result would be that Jewish forces would by that date have occupied all the strategic positions they required and the Arabs would find themselves at a great disadvantage”.
He was right. Arab armies did enter Palestine to push back Israeli military advances after the expiry of the Mandate, but by then most of the key areas of what is now modern-day Israel had been depopulated and taken over by Zionist groups.

'Reports have been exaggerated'​

Despite the warnings, British officials significantly downplayed the scale of what was happening, including in Haifa.
On 23 April, facing pressure from Arab governments, the foreign office wrote to its envoys in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
“You should inform [the] Government to which you are accredited accordingly, and point out that previous reports have clearly been exaggerated,” it said. “In particular press stories of evacuation of 23,000 Arabs [in Haifa] are a considerable exaggeration.”
Five days later, junior foreign minister Christopher Mayhew would take to the floor in parliament and state: “Early reports of widespread massacre in the town [of Haifa] are untrue and were merely rumours caused by panic.”
Eventually, a few days later, British officials admitted in classified memos that the vast majority of Palestinian inhabitants had indeed left Haifa. The officials were nevertheless keen to promote the idea that those residents would return immediately.
“There are 6,000 Arabs in Haifa and many more are returning. Others wishing to return may be assured that under present conditions their security is guaranteed and that there is every reason to think that after 15th May they will be safe there,” said Alan Cunningham, then British High Commissioner in Palestine.
“We are giving publicity to the fact that many are returning in the hope that this will spread confidence.”
They did not return. The Palestinian population of Haifa was reduced from 70,000 to around 6,000 in a matter of days.
There are at least 250,000 registered refugees from Haifa living around the world, according to figures from 2008.
British officials parrotted the claim, which proved wholly untrue, that Jewish leaders would not allow for the mass evacuation of Palestinians due to the adverse impact it would have on the local economy.

The Nakba: All you need to know explained in five maps and charts
Read More »
“If the Jews press their terms too harshly the Arabs would be likely to evacuate Haifa, a course not welcome to the Jews as the life of the town would be interrupted,” a 23 April memo sent from Palestine to London stated.
“It is probable therefore that the Jews will temper their terms to prevent total evacuation.”
Britain appeared to be presenting a narrative contrary to the reality on the ground.
It asked its various envoys in the Middle East to remind Arab governments that British troops had engaged Jewish mortars, referring to military action taken against Zionist fighters in Jaffa.
British troops briefly halted Operation Hametz, an ultimately successful attempt to blockade Palestinian towns around Jaffa.
It was the first direct battle between British forces and Irgun, the militant right-wing Zionist organisation that had bombed the British administrative headquarters at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem two years earlier.
Following that confrontation, British officials claimed several times that “the morale of the Jews had considerably deteriorated, as Arab morale had risen”.

Palestinian existence will 'become precarious'​

Any such high morale was short-lived. Zionist advances on Jaffa were only halted temporarily.
Britain knew, and admitted in private, that Palestinians stood no chance of remaining in the port city that would become part of Israel's Tel Aviv.
In a top-secret telegram memo from late April, the commanders-in-chief of the Middle East Land Forces (MELF) predicted what would happen once its forces left the city.
'Arab military forces in Palestine are now suffering the inevitable consequences of incompetent leadership'
- Alan Cunningham, British envoy
“The Jewish community is firmly and securely established and once our own security forces withdraw there will be little question of the Arabs seriously threatening Jewish life or property,” they told the defence ministry back in London.
“Indeed, the existence of Arabs will become precarious.”
That assessment was correct. Jaffa was completely obliterated, with around 96 percent of Arab villages there destroyed by May 1948. Its entire population of over 50,000 Palestinian inhabitants were expelled, according to Ilan Pappe's The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.
There are now over 230,000 refugees from Jaffa living across the globe.
In total, those expelled from Palestine in 1948 and their descendants number 5.8 million refugees, mostly living in neighbouring countries.
They have never been allowed to return, making it the longest unresolved refugee crisis in modern history.
British commanders in Palestine knew that Jewish groups would take control, not just of Jaffa, but in towns and cities across Palestine.
“Between now and the surrender of the Mandate[,] clashes are likely to intensify in numbers, scope and duration. In these clashes the Jews are likely to hold their own,” the Land Forces central command said.
“Ultimate success is likely to be with the Jews with their far greater material resources and intense unity of purpose.”
That superiority did not occur in a vacuum: during the Arab Revolt of the late 1930s, British forces weakened Palestinian society, including gutting its paramilitary forces.
Palestinian historian Rashid Khalidi argues in The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, that Palestine was not lost in the 1940s, but the decade prior, by the British crushing of its civil and military institutions.

Britain blames Arab 'ineptitude'​

In the final days of the Mandate, in several different memos across a number of days, Britain's ambassador claimed that Palestinians and their allies only had themselves to blame.
“Arab military forces in Palestine are now suffering the inevitable consequences of incompetent leadership and lack of discipline and morale,” said Cunningham.
“In their hearts the Arabs realise that their much vaunted Liberation Army is poorly equipped and badly led; they feel that their monetary subscriptions have been squandered and they themselves misled.
“They must pin blame on someone and who more deserving than the British!” he added sarcastically.
British military leaders also took aim at other Arab governments in the region, blaming them for provoking Zionist miltias.
“Foreign Arab irregular forces, having stirred up a hornets’ nest have now been prudently withdrawn, leaving unfortunate Palestine Arabs to be stung,” said Cunningham.
israel flag raised 1948

A picture released on 8 June 1948 shows an officer raising Israel's flag for the first time since its proclamation as a state a month earlier (AFP)

“The Jews for their part can hardly be blamed if in the face of past Arab irregular action and of continued threats of interference by Arab regular forces, they take time by the forelock and consolidate their position while they can.”
The military central command agreed with Cunningham's appraisal of Arab forces, hitting out at their "cowardly behaviour" and "refusal to follow our advice to restrain themselves".
On 15 May, Marriott, the consular-general in Haifa, was one of the few Brits to remain in the territory, after 100,000 officers had left in the days and weeks prior.
He gives a mistakenly optimistic final assessment.
“Jews control the town but their armed forces are little in evidence. They obviously want the Arab labour force to return and are doing their best to instil confidence,” Marriott said.
“Life in town is almost normal even last night[,] except of course for the absence of Arabs. I see no reason why Palestine Arab residents of Haifa and neighbourhood should not return.”
Seventy-five years later, those residents of Haifa and their descendants are still waiting for that return.
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Leading liberal Zionist voices call for ending U.S. aid to Israel​

A New York Times Op-Ed featuring liberal Zionist leaders calls to end military aid to Israel as the country passes a law gutting its judiciary. This is the moment people working to end U.S. aid to Israel have been waiting for.



Daniel Kurtzer (left), Aaron David Miller (center), and Martin Indyk (right).

The damage Israel is causing to its support base in the United States is becoming more apparent. A very bright warning flare went up this weekend, appearing once again in the New York Times. This time, it was columnist Nicholas Kristof who took a much bolder and far less speculative step than his colleague, Tom Friedman did last week by suggesting that the very heart of AIPAC’s mission—annual military aid to Israel—should be phased out.
Friedman, you might recall, floated the idea that a “reassessment” of the United States’ relationship with Israel might be on the horizon, if not already starting. As I noted, that was meant as a warning to Israel, not a reflection of any actual steps by Joe Biden’s White House to launch a policy process of reassessment. Indeed, as subsequent events confirmed, and as was indicated by the fact that Friedman cited no sources, even anonymous ones, this was the columnist trying to use his column to get Israel to back off because political winds are shifting. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not heed the warning, instead moving forward uncompromisingly on his domestic agenda and misleading the media about his conversation with Biden. Needless to say, that didn’t sit well in Washington.

A liberal Zionist argument for ending military aid to Israel

Kristof launched his next volley on Saturday, the Sabbath. That was likely not a coincidence, as it meant that many religious Jews in the U.S. would not see it for a while and Israel would be slower to respond than usual, much like when the U.S. government releases controversial statements late on Friday afternoon.

Kristof’s column strikes at the very heart of the lobbying might of pro-Israel forces, and uses noted liberal Zionists to do it. Former Ambassadors to Israel Dan Kurtzer and Martin Indyk, former diplomat Aaron David Miller, and J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami all chime in on why they think it would be a good idea to stop sending billions of dollars in military aid to Israel every year.
Kristof’s column strikes at the very heart of the lobbying might of pro-Israel forces, and uses noted liberal Zionists to do it.
These voices, all appearing in the New York Times under the byline of one of the United States’ most prominent columnists calling for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel is no small thing, although it’s tempered a bit. Kristof is quick to note, “…the reason to have this conversation is that American aid to another rich country squanders scarce resources and creates an unhealthy relationship damaging to both sides.” In other words, it’s not that we don’t still love you, Israel, it’s just that we think you’ve grown up and don’t need the money anymore.
But that is absurd on its face. There’s nothing about this moment that is any different for Israel economically than it’s been for at least the past thirty years. Israel’s economy has been capable of paying for its own military for a very long time.
Kristof also claims that the money sent to Israel each year could instead be used to aid countries in much more dire need. That’s true, but doing so would hardly necessitate cutting aid to Israel. The annual $3.8 billion that Israel gets is a drop in the ocean of annual U.S. spending, which totaled $6 trillion in 2022, and that was a significant downgrade from the $7.25 trillion spent in 2021. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the U.S. ranked 22nd out of 24 developed countries in the amount of aid it gives as a percentage of GDP. So we can, and should, be giving more without cutting anything.
Digging deeper into Kristof’s piece, we see the real reasons behind his thinking. Dan Kurtzer, ambassador to Israel during George W. Bush’s first term, told Kristof, “Aid provides the U.S. with no leverage or influence over Israeli decisions to use force; because we sit by quietly while Israel pursues policies we oppose, we are seen as ‘enablers’ of Israel’s occupation.”
How seriously we oppose those policies is a matter of debate, but Kurtzer is not alone in his concern over how aid to Israel makes the U.S. look to people around the world. Although by now, it is a mundane point, and taken as normal, American officials have voiced such concerns in the past. Still, the relationship has endured for all these decades, and even now, when Israel’s public image in the United States is at a historic low, criticism directed at it is perilous, as Pramila Jayapal saw just last week.
Yet the voices of people like Kurtzer and Martin Indyk, ambassador to Israel under Bill Clinton, might have been mildly critical of Israel in the past, but they had always stopped well short of calling for even slowing U.S. military aid. Obviously, the current far-right government of Benjamin Netanyahu has managed to irritate Israel’s more liberal supporters in Washington in a way Israel has never done before.

Netanyahu escalates the insults

The proposed judicial reform is the key reason, of course. Netanyahu’s attempt to render Israel’s judicial system unable to do anything but obey the Knesset’s every word threatens all the propaganda about “democracy” and “shared values” that are the only way Democrats have to justify their lockstep support of Israel regardless of its many crimes. But it is more than that.
Netanyahu has made a mockery of the United States as its patron. While the Biden administration has fallen over itself to keep the cash flowing to Israel; to shield Israel at the United Nations and other international fora; and to promote the truly evil myths that anti-Zionism and BDS are nothing more than forms of antisemitism, Israel has responded by making commitments to Washington it never intended to keep, often abrogating them as soon as the meetings where they were made were over. Netanyahu also misled the media about the phone call the two had last week. That didn’t sit well with Biden at all.
All of this has led these key figures in the liberal Zionist, Washington community to beat the drums on the most sacred of cows on Capitol Hill — U.S. aid to Israel. Yet even there, the calls are tempered with a sense that they don’t believe it to be possible.
Aaron David Miller, who coined the phrase “Israel’s lawyer” in reference to former U.S. “Peace envoy” Dennis Ross, told Kristof, “Under the right conditions and in a galaxy far, far away, with U.S.-Israeli relations on even if not better keel, there would be advantages to both to see military aid phased out over time.” Clearly, he does not believe it to be possible, even if cutting off the aid to Israel might be desirable.
Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street offered a similar sentiment. “There’s a serious conversation that should be had ahead of this next memorandum of understanding about how best to use $40 billion in U.S. tax dollars. Yet instead of a serious national security discussion, you’re likely to get a toxic mix of partisan brawling and political pandering.”
Ben-Ami is certainly correct when it comes to Congress. The shameful display of Israeli President Isaac Herzog addressing a joint session of Congress right after the debacle of Democrats joining Republicans to browbeat Rep. Pramila Jayapal for daring to point out that Israel, which deprives millions of Palestinians of freedom, rights, property, and often their very lives for no reason other than their ethnicity, is a racist state, shows that Congress, with a few notable exceptions, remains unwilling to challenge Israel and its American supporters.
Given the tidal shift the current Israeli government is causing, that can change, but it would require two things. One is time, as that sort of entrenched support doesn’t turn around overnight. The second is leadership, and that must come from the White House. Joe Biden is both personally and politically disinclined to provide that leadership. He’d much rather grit his teeth and bear the humiliations, as he has in the past. But Netanyahu is pushing it so hard he may not leave Biden much choice.
Even as Republicans absurdly blast Biden as “antisemitic” for trying to convince Israel to stop record-setting settlement expansion and expanding its brutal authoritarianism from Palestinians to its own Jewish citizens, they will have a much stronger case in describing him as weak if he continues to allow Netanyahu to spit in his face with only a metaphorical “thank you, sir, may I have another?” in response. They won’t say it directly as that might imply that they think Biden should not do as Netanyahu says. But they will capitalize on Biden’s kowtowing to Netanyahu’s extremism in roundabout ways.
In any case, Biden is not there yet. In a recent speech to the Atlantic Council, his Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the audience that “I think we’ve seen Israeli democracy in all of its vibrancy. It’s telling a remarkable story right now. That’s playing out, and I’m confident the system will be able to deal effectively with it.” As I asked last week, how the mere existence of protests, which are seen frequently in authoritarian states, demonstrates the existence of a “vibrant democracy” is, at best, unclear.
But Blinken is setting up the narrative the Biden administration wants to use if Netanyahu’s judicial reform fails. They will double down on Israel’s democracy, shout to the heavens about the shared values that were demonstrated, and how the bond between us is more “unbreakable” than ever.

Opening the door to ending military aid to Israel

That might be starting even now. Just hours after I wrote these words on Monday, the Knesset voted on the first major bill in the overhaul process. It passed, and now the Israeli judiciary’s power to check any excesses of the government has been erased. In an effort to stop this, President Herzog tried to broker a compromise with the considerable added leverage of the threat of some 10,000 military reservists refusing duty—an unprecedented threat in Israeli history—along with a planned strike called by a forum of some 150 Israeli businesses. These factors were also bolstered by another public statement from Biden calling for Netanyahu to stop the bill from moving forward.
But still, the bill passed. Now, it must be used by advocates for Palestine in Washington to press forward with calls for the end of aid to Israel.
The current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which laid down the terms for ten years of aid to Israel, runs through September 2028. The negotiations for the next one will likely start to gather steam in late 2025. Netanyahu has given advocates in the U.S. an opening to build political momentum against a new MOU, and that could have the effect of either diminishing it, placing conditions on it, or even stopping it altogether. The time to start building that momentum is now, taking advantage of the opening this moment provides.
That wall has finally begun to crack. This is the moment people who want to see that aid stopped have been waiting for.
Even if future parts of the judicial reform doesn’t pass, the topic has been broached, and that opening must be exploited. For decades, AIPAC has succeeded in its founding goal, its prime directive: to sustain and maximize aid to Israel. It built an impenetrable wall around that aid.
That wall has finally begun to crack. This is the moment people who want to see that aid stopped have been waiting for. Now is the time to go after U.S. aid to Israel, but not for the reasons Kristof proposes. That aid should stop for one reason above all others: because it is used to fund the oppression of the Palestinians, whether one wants to term that occupation or apartheid. It’s the argument that can’t be countered, and its time has finally come to Washington.
Truman Adviser Recalls Fateful 1948
US Decision to Recognize Israel


By Richard H. Curtiss

With US President George Bush [in 1991] increasingly frustrated by the Israeli-Palestinian problem, a new generation of Americans is asking an old question: Why must the US deal with this seemingly intractable dispute?

The answer, unfortunately, is that the US is largely responsible for the problem because of two American decisions in 1947 and 1948. Now, only the US can break the impasse, by forcing its Israeli client state to give back all or most of the land the United Nations allotted to Muslim and Christian inhabitants when it partitioned Palestine in 1947.

An “insider’s account” of the discussions leading up to these decisions has just been published by former Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, one of the few living parties to the discussions leading to partition.

Most people who knew the Middle East at first hand opposed the partition plan, adopted by the United Nations on November 29, 1947. Patently unfair, it awarded 56 percent of Palestine to its 650,000 Jewish inhabitants, and 44 percent to its 1,300,000 Muslim and Christian Arab inhabitants.

Partition was adopted only after ruthless arm-twisting by the US government and by 26 pro-Zionist US senators who, in telegrams to a number of UN member states, warned that US goodwill in rebuilding their World War II-devastated economies might depend on a favorable vote for partition.

In a Nov. 10, 1945, meeting with American diplomats brought in from their posts in the Middle East to urge Truman not to heed Zionist urgings, Truman had bluntly explained his motivation: “I’m sorry, gentlemen, but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism. I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents.”

Immediately after the plan was adopted, however, extensive fighting broke out between Jews and Arabs, just as US diplomats had predicted. The Arab states categorically rejected the partition by outside parties of an overwhelmingly Arab land.

David Ben-Gurion, soon to be Israel’s first prime minister, had ordered his representatives at the UN to accept the plan, but not to enter into any discussion or agreement defining the new Jewish state’s borders. To his followers, who, like the Arabs, laid claim to the entire land, Ben-Gurion promised that his acceptance was only tactical.

As well-organized Jewish militias seized village after village assigned by the UN plan to the Arabs, and badly organized Arab villagers retaliated with bloody but purposeless attacks on Jewish vehicles and convoys, Secretary of State George C. Marshall urged Truman to reconsider.

The British Army was resolved to withdraw from Palestine on May 15, 1948 regardless of the outcome of events in the UN. The fighting was spreading all over the mandate, including Jerusalem, which was supposed to remain a “corpus separatum” under international control and not be assigned either to the Jewish or the Arab state.

Marshall and a majority of diplomats at the UN saw a direct UN trusteeship, succeeding the British mandate, as the only solution to halt the bloodshed. Otherwise, they knew, neighboring Arab states would send military units across the border into Palestine the day the British withdrew, in an attempt to reoccupy the Arab towns and villages seized by Jewish forces. The State Department urged Truman not to grant diplomatic recognition to the Jewish state when the British withdrew, but instead to side with rapidly growing sentiment in the United Nations in favor of trusteeship. Truman wavered and, for a time, both sides in a bitter battle for the president’s ear thought they had his support.

Forty-four years after these events, Clifford, Truman’s principal domestic advisor, has produced his memoir. Written in two parts with Richard Holbrooke, the first part of the memoir was published in the March 25, 1991, New Yorker. It covers events from 1944, when Clifford, a 37-year-old lawyer and newly commissioned lieutenant, junior grade, in the naval reserve from St. Louis, Missouri, Truman’s home town, took up duties in the White House, through the decision to recognize Israel on May 14, 1948. Astonishingly, it confirms the key role of Clifford, Truman’s inexperienced domestic political adviser, in overriding the wishes of General of the Armies George C. Marshall, the World War II chief of staff.

Marshall had returned to government to serve as Secretary of State to the inexperienced former Vice President, who was ill-prepared for the presidency when it was thrust upon him by the sudden death of Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, 1945, just a month before the Allied victory in Europe and four months before the victory over Japan.

A Hasty Decision

Confirming charges by “Arabists” that the decision to recognize Israel was hasty and based upon domestic political considerations, Clifford writes:

“Marshall firmly opposed American recognition of the new Jewish state; I did not. Marshall’s opposition was shared by almost every member of the brilliant and now legendary group of presidential advisers, later referred to as the Wise Men, who were then in the process of creating a post-war foreign policy that would endure for more than 40 years. The opposition included the respected Under Secretary of State Robert Lovett; his predecessor, Dean Acheson; the No. 3 man in the State Department, Charles Bohlen; the brilliant chief of the Policy Planning Staff George Kennan; (Navy Secretary James V.) Forrestal; and … Dean Rusk, then the director of the Office of United Nations Affairs…

“Officials in the State Department had done everything in their power to prevent, thwart, or delay the President’s Palestine policy in 1947 and 1948, while I had fought for assistance to the Jewish Agency.

“At midnight on May 14, 1948 (6 pm in Washington), the British would relinquish control of Palestine, which they had been administering under a mandate from the old League of Nations since the First World War. One minute later, the Jewish Agency, under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion, would proclaim the new state.

“I had already had several serious disagreements with General Marshall’s protégé, Dean Rusk, and with Loy Henderson, the director of Near Eastern and African Affairs, over State’s position … He had no use for White House interference in what he saw as his personal domain in American policy in the Middle East. A number of Middle East experts in the State Department were widely regarded as anti-Semitic. On May 7th, a week before the end of the British mandate, I met with President Truman for our customary private day-end chat …

“I handed the president a draft of a public statement I had prepared, and proposed that at his next press conference, scheduled for May 13th, the day before the British mandate would end, he announce that it was his intention to recognize the Jewish state. The president was sympathetic to the proposal, but, being keenly aware of Marshall’s strong feelings, he picked up the telephone to get the Secretary’s views … I could tell that Marshall objected strongly to the proposed statement. The president listened politely, then told Marshall he wanted to have a meeting on the subject …

“On ending the conversation, the president swiveled his chair toward me. ‘Clark, I am impressed with General Marshall’s argument that we should not recognize the new state so fast,’ he said. ‘He does not want to recognize it at all — at least, not now. I’ve asked him and Lovett to come in next week to discuss this business. I think Marshall is going to continue to take a very strong position. When he does, I would like you to make the case in favor of recognition’. . .

“President Truman had asked me to debate the man he most admired, a man whose participation in the administration was essential to its success. I was 41 years old, in my third year at the White House as a presidential aide. Virtually every American regarded General Marshall, then 67, with a respect bordering on awe. He had capped his central contribution to victory in the Second World War with his speech at Harvard a year earlier proposing what became known as the Marshall Plan … Without his towering presence, the administration would be much diminished, perhaps even mortally wounded, at home and abroad …

A Crucial Meeting

“At 4 pm on Wednesday, May 12 … seven of us joined President Truman in the Oval Office … President Truman did not raise the issue of recognition; his desire was that I be the first to raise it, but only after Marshall and Lovett had spoken, so that he would be able to ascertain the degree of Marshall’s opposition before showing his own hand.

“Lovett began by criticizing what he termed signs of growing ‘assertiveness’ by the Jewish Agency … Marshall interrupted Lovett. He was strongly opposed to the behavior of the Jewish Agency, he said. He had met on May 8th with Moshe Shertok, its political representative, and had told Shertok that it was ‘dangerous to base long-range policy on temporary military success.’ Moreover, Marshall said, he had told Shertok that if the Jews got into trouble and ‘came running to us for help … there was no warrant to expect help from the United States, which had warned them of the grave risk which they were running.’ The United States, he said, should continue to support those resolutions in the United Nations which would turn Palestine over to the UN as a trusteeship, and defer any decision on recognition.”

Clifford then relates his own arguments, citing the British Balfour Declaration of 1917 promising a Jewish homeland, the European Holocaust, and the possibility of establishing “a nation committed to the democratic system” in the Middle East.

“The new Jewish state can be such a place,” Clifford reports he told the group. “We should strengthen it in its infancy by prompt recognition. I had noticed Marshall’s face reddening with suppressed anger as I talked. When I finished, he exploded. ‘Mr. President, I thought this meeting was called to consider an important and complicated problem in foreign policy. I don’t even know why Clifford is here. He is a domestic adviser, and this is a foreign-policy matter.’

“I will never forget President Truman’s characteristically simple reply: ‘Well, General, he’s here because I asked him to be here.’ Marshall, scarcely concealing his ire, shot back, ‘These considerations have nothing to do with the issue. I fear that the only reason Clifford is here is that he is pressing a political consideration with regard to this issue. I don’t think politics should play any part in this.’

‘Injurious to the Prestige of the President’

“Lovett joined the attack. ‘It would be highly injurious to the United Nations to announce the recognition of the Jewish state even before it had come into existence and while the General Assembly is still considering the question. Furthermore, such a move would be injurious to the prestige of the President. It is obviously designed to win the Jewish vote, but in my opinion it would lose more votes than it would gain.’ Lovett had finally brought to the surface the root cause of Marshall’s fury: his view that the position I presented was dictated by domestic political considerations …

“When Lovett concluded his attack, Marshall spoke again. Speaking with great and barely contained anger and with more than a hint of self-righteousness, he made the most remarkable threat I have ever heard anyone make directly to a president. He said, ‘If you follow Clifford’s advice and if I were to vote in the election, I would vote against you.’ Everyone in the room was stunned.

“Here was the indispensable symbol of continuity, whom President Truman revered and needed, making a threat that, if it became public, could virtually seal the dissolution of the Truman administration and send the Western Alliance, then in the process of creation, into disarray before it had been fully structured. Marshall’s statement fell short of an explicit threat to resign, but it came very close.

“Lovett and I both tried to step into the ensuing silence with words of conciliation. We both knew how important it was to get this dreadful meeting over with quickly, before Marshall said something even more irretrievable … President Truman also knew that the meeting had to be ended … Seeing that Marshall was still highly agitated, he rose and turned to him and said, ‘I understand your position, General, and I’m inclined to side with you in this matter’…

“Marshall did not even glance at me as he and Lovett left. In fact, he not only never spoke to me again after that meeting but, according to his official biographer, never mentioned my name again. At the end of that day, still steaming, he did something quite unusual, which the president and I were unaware of at the time. Certain that history would prove him right, he wanted his personal comments included in the official State Department record of the meeting. His record, exactly as he wanted historians to find it when it was declassified, almost three decades later, reads as follows:

‘”I remarked to the president that, speaking objectively, I could not help but think that the suggestions made by Mr. Clifford were wrong. I thought that to adopt these suggestions would have precisely the opposite effect from that intended by Mr. Clifford. The transparent dodge to win a few votes would not in fact achieve this purpose. The great dignity of the office of the president would be seriously diminished. The counsel offered by Mr. Clifford was based on domestic political considerations, while the problem which confronted us was international. I said bluntly that if the president were to follow Mr. Clifford’s advice and if in the elections I were to vote, I would vote against the president.”‘

Clifford’s article details at length his further negotiations, through Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett, to stick to his own plan to recognize the Jewish state while keeping the general from resigning. To do this, he pretended to take to President Truman Marshall’s suggestions, as relayed by Lovett. In fact, Clifford did not consult Truman on some of Marshall’s proposals, but simply waited for a while and then called Lovett back, saying in one case, the President “is not going to budge an inch.”

In recounting this, however, Clifford indicates throughout the New Yorker article that he represented President Truman’s own personal position, even when he did not consult the president. Truman’s own accounts, however, and those of his biographers, indicate that he vacillated and was honestly confused. He was pulled one way by Jewish White House adviser David Niles, and Truman’s old Jewish army buddy and business partner, Eddie Jacobson, and another by the professionals at the State Department.

Setting the Machinery in Motion

Meanwhile Clifford and Niles, as well as the Department of State, were dealing directly with Eliahu Epstein, the Jewish Agency (predecessor to the government of Israel) representative in Washington. Clifford describes his own role on May 14 as follows:

“Even without a clear signal from Lovett and Marshall, I felt, we had to set in motion the machinery for recognition, in the event that a favorable decision was made. At 10 am, I made a different call — one that I looked on later with great pleasure.

“… Mr. Epstein, ‘I told the Jewish Agency representative, ‘we would like you to send an official letter to President Truman before 12 o’clock today formally requesting the United States to recognize the new Jewish state. I would also request that you send a copy of the letter directly to Secretary Marshall.’

“Epstein was ecstatic. He did not realize that the president had still not decided how to respond to the request I had just solicited … It was particularly important, I said, that the new state claim nothing beyond the boundaries outlined in the UN resolution of Nov. 29, 1947, because those boundaries were the only ones that had been agreed to…

“A few minutes later, Epstein called me. ‘We’ve never done this before, and we’re not quite sure how to go about it,’ he said… With my knowledge and encouragement, Epstein then turned for additional advice to two of the wisest lawyers in Washington, David Ginsburg and Benjamin Cohen, both of whom were great New Dealers and strong supporters of the Zionist cause. Working together during the rest of the morning, he and they drafted the recognition request… ”

Clifford closes with the well-known story of how a Jewish Agency employee driving to the White House with the request for recognition of “the Jewish state” was overhauled by another Jewish Agency employee. Epstein had just heard on the radio that the new state was to be called “Israel” and instructed the second employee to write in that name in ink before handing over the request for recognition to the White House.

Meanwhile, General Marshall agreed that, although he could not support President Truman on the issue, he would not oppose it. When the news was broken to the American delegation at the UN, which had been lining up votes for continued trusteeship, US Ambassador Warren Austin left the building in order not to be present when US recognition of Israel was announced, just 11 minutes after the state’s creation. Dean Rusk subsequently had to rush to the UN to talk US delegation members out of resigning en masse in protest.

Lovett, who Clifford believes talked General Marshall out of resigning because “this issue did not merit resignation,” remained friendly with Clifford, who writes: “Lovett remained adamant for the rest of his life, however, in his view that the president and I had been wrong. So did most of his colleagues. Nothing could ever convince him, Marshall, Acheson, Forrestal, or Rusk that President Truman had made the right decision … Because President Truman was often annoyed by the tone and fierceness of the pressure exerted on him by American Zionists, he left some people with the impression that he was ambivalent about the events of May 1948. This was not true. He never wavered in his belief that he had taken the right action.”

Nor, apparently, does Clifford, who never once expresses any regret about the 750,000 Palestinians pushed out of their country during the 1947 to 1949 fighting, and never allowed by Israel to return to their homes. Nor does Clifford seem to realize that his opponents in the bureaucratic battle he describes are vindicated by the five Arab-Israeli wars. These and the Middle East instability that has led to the overthrow of several Arab governments and, perhaps, the two bloody wars in the Persian Gulf, are largely attributable to US recognition of Israel before it officially agreed to the borders assigned it by the United Nations in 1947. That recognition has led subsequently to the US military and economic support of every elected government of Israel, even the Likudist fanatics presently in charge there, that postpones the necessity for those governments to settle with the Palestinians on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 242’s land-for-peace formula.

Clifford’s story once again disproves the assertion that American diplomatic or military personnel ever viewed Israel as a “strategic asset.” The foreign policy establishment, 43 years ago as today, saw Israel as a geopolitical liability that owes its US support to the extraordinary clout of its apologists within the American Jewish community and the American political system.

Still-Pertinent Implications

Other implications of the story are still pertinent. Had General Marshall resigned the moment he realized President Truman was bent on his unwise course of recognition, the subsequent tragedies might have been averted. Too often leaders like General Marshall, who could have resigned without personal sacrifice, acquiesce in small evils in order to remain in office to fight larger ones. The small evils, however, become the larger problems that overwhelm their successors.

The US is once again the world’s only superpower, just as it was in 1947 and 1948 when it had the world’s only atomic weapons. Now, as then, it cannot afford to base foreign policy decisions on domestic political considerations without reaping a bitter future harvest.

Clifford, a cabinet member in the Lyndon Johnson administration and adviser to Democratic presidents for more than 45 years, has been described as the most powerful man in Washington and the “consummate insider.” … His article in the New Yorker, however, is not entirely candid. Biographies of Truman indicate Clifford was deeply concerned that if Truman, who had succeeded to the presidency on Roosevelt’s death, did not court the “Jewish vote,” he would not be elected president in his own right in 1948.

With his current article claiming more altruistic motives for supporting Israel, and taking such cheap shots as claiming that his State Department opponents in 1948 “were widely regarded as anti-Semitic,” Clifford once again demonstrates shrewd, and amoral, political calculation. Clearly he seeks mercy in his travails not from the courts, but from the media. What better way to get it than to remind a younger generation of American journalists, many of them avid Jewish supporters of Israel, that he, as much as any other American, was responsible for Truman-era policies that not only created Israel, but also turned it into the pampered client state of a reluctant America?

This item was first published in the May-June 1991 issue of The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (Washington, DC).

About the Author

Richard H. Curtiss (1927- 2013) served with the U.S. Army in World War II. After earning a B.A. in journalism from the University of Southern California, and work on newspapers and with a news agency in California, he served as a career foreign service officer with the Department of State and the U.S. Information Agency in Djakarta, Bonn, Stuttgart, Ankara, Beirut (three times), Baghdad, Damascus and Rhodes, Greece, where he headed the Arabic Service of the Voice of America, and in various positions in Washington DC. Following his retirement from the U.S. Foreign Service in 1980, he was a co-founder of the American Arab Affairs Council (now the Middle East Policy Council) in 1981, and of the Council for the National Interest in 1984. He was the author of two books on U.S.-Middle East relations, A Changing Image: American Perceptions of the Arab-Israeli Dispute, and, Stealth PACs: Lobbying Congress for Control of U.S. Middle East Policy. For years he was executive editor of The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.