By Jamal Kanj
President Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle culminates months of diplomatic and military meetings between American and Israeli officials preparing Israel’s “Shopping List” for Biden’s trip.
In parallel, the Administration sent several envoys to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia negotiating quietly the political price the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Salman (MbS) is willing to pay to exculpate him from Biden’s “pariah’s” list.
After insisting he would not meet MbS, Biden relented once he secured a gathering of local leaders to sign on an Israeli custom design plan, “Regional Defense System, RDS.” Besides the irony of including Israel, the country that introduced the sin of nuclear power to the region, to oppose the nuclear expansion in the Middle East, the misnomer RDS is only a subtle catalyst to integrate Israeli in the region under the guise of a hyperbolic Iranian nuclear ambitions.
Biden’s Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan reiterated this on July 12 when he explained that a main objective for the President’s visit is “to deepen Israel’s integration into the region.” In fact, Biden has pointed earlier to the Israeli factor as one reason he would meet MbS.
It’s not the US economy, not the 80-year strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia, not mutual interest that took President Biden to Saudi Arabia. But it is how Biden can surpass Trump’s servitude to Israeli lobby. A foreign lobby with an irrational grip on American politicians, and hence the obsession of US political leaders, especially presidential hopefuls, to placate Israeli firsters and deliver to Israel before Country.
Then, President Donald Trump, and the highest-level Israeli insider in the White House, Jared Kushner, willfully jettisoned the main pillars of the US constitution such as democratic values, human rights, and self-determination to deliver to Israel. US agreed to bailout a military dictatorship, denied the people of Western Sahara the right to determine their future, agreed to sell the most sophisticated fighters to an authoritarian Arab dictator, and provided cover for the murder of a journalist, and an American resident, all as a reward for establishing a relationship with Israel.
Israel thrives on conflict; it is how it builds alliance; it’s how it achieves acceptance. This explains why Israel opposes all peaceful efforts to control Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
When in 2015 president Barak Obama secured an agreement to stop Iran from developing nuclear power, the Israeli prime minister, and for the first time in American history, a foreign leader was afforded a national platform to challenge the President’s leadership.
Israel’s amen corner in Congress invited Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu to speak directly to US Congress demanding American elected officials to reject an agreement negotiated by their own president. In a rare occurrence in Washington, even the president Party’s most Senior Senator, Charles Schumer, supported the call from a foreign country leader to defeat his Party leader, and president.
Schumer, boasts, albeit falsely that his name is derived from a Hebrew word, shomer meaning “guard.” He believes god gave him the role of guarding Israel’s interests in the US Senate. When in fact his name came from a North German word meaning good-for-nothing, vagabond. But for the real meaning of his name, Schumer came close to helping a foreign leader defeat a US president, from his own Party, in US Congress.
It begs to ask, what do the obsequious toady politicians get in return for the unprecedented American political servitude to a foreign entity?
At the start of the Russian invasion, Ukrainian officials expressed interest in acquiring the Israeli-US Iron Dome missile defense system, Israel blocked the request so as not to ire Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In February 2022, the US requested non-voting allied countries, like Israel, to endorse a Security Council (SC) resolution condemning Russia. While more than 50 countries signed on, Israel refused to co-sponsor the United States-backed resolution. Then, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid explained Israel’s refusal not to undermine “our mechanism of cooperation with (Russian) them . . .” in Syria.
In May 2022, Israel turned down a US request to allow Germany to supply Ukraine with anti-tank missiles manufactured in Germany under an Israeli license. Israel’s excuse the anti-tank Spike missiles―a technology most likely financed by American taxpayers―could harm Russian soldiers and hurt regional security with Russia.
“Only Permanent Interest,” Israel perfected Nicholas Machiavel’s rule. In addition to signing the largest financial aid package for Israel — over $4 billion ahead of his trip, Israel’s Shopping List includes delivering Saudi Arabia, at least in small steps, like RDS, toward eventual normalization.
This week Israeli Prime Minister called for open relations with Saudi Arabia to change the “history for our children.” This is at the same time when the Israeli government approved to displace, change the history, for one of the largest Palestinian children from their homes in Masafer Yatta and make room for another Jewish-only colony.
Israel is not even willing to grant Biden a mere fig leave before his meeting with Arab royals. It continues to block Biden’s efforts to open the US Consulate in occupied East Jerusalem. This time using the same tired ruse, requesting the US to wait until after the election. It’s worth noting, after the last election, Israel denied the same request claiming it could collapse the elected government.
Israel is out for what it can get for self, even if it means creating perpetual conflicts. History has shown that Israel has nothing to offer the US, a “shomer,” vagabond, good-for-nothing milking its US welfare cow.
– Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America, and other books. He writes frequently on Arab world issues for various national and international commentaries. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle