Dear America....from your pal, Israel

The IDF bombed the 150 million dollar power plant in Gaza, putting it out of commission- and American taxpayers are stuck with the bill
Government to vote on supplying electricity to Gaza - Haaretz - Israel News

OK…now lets look at what the article really says…

[quote]"The power station was insured by a U.S. government agency, according to The Boston Globe.

The U.S. Foreign and Defense Ministry departments that oversee foreign relations were unaware of the decision to target civilian facilities in the Strip, or the decision to attack the power station. Because of this, officials did not know that the station was insured by a U.S. government agency. Israel did not inform the U.S. prior to attacking the power station.

The power station in Gaza was built over a period of five years, at a cost of $150 million. In 1999, the Enron Corporation, along with Palestinian businessman Said Khoury, began working on the project. In 2000, Khoury’s Morganti Group purchased Enron’s share of the project.

The power station began operating in 2002, reaching full commercial capacity in 2004. The owners of the power station insured it, through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, for a sum of $48 million due to “political risks.” OPIC is a U.S. government authority that insures U.S. investments in developing markets.

A spokesman for the agency said the insurance purchased by the Morganti Group covers instances of political violence, which include wars and acts of terror."[/quote]
Perhaps a lack of commo in making the decision to strike the power station. But then aain, Israel is known for quick retaliation to attacks.
Simple business tactics to insure the operation. I can’t see anyone building or operating a vital facility such as this in an area such as this without insurance. And finding an insurer would obviusly pose a problem. I’d say they were darn lucky to find this insurer. Now as to “…and American taxpayers are stuck with the bill”…perhaps you should familiarize yourself with how insurance such as this works. And the total of coverage is listed at US$48 million.
Looks like a good opportunity for Haliburton or Kellog-Brown & Root to get busy rebuilding!
Provide some jobs for the locals, make some $$$'s…Yaa Hooo!

Here is some background on OPIC -

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Myth and Realities, June 26, 1997

OPIC via Google

Israel costs us a lot more every year than $150 million.

The Izzies have the Yanks by the genitals…I often wonder why a large, rich, and powerful nation would let this happen…It seems to be something new in the history of international geopolitics to have a smaller and weaker nation dictate to the larger and stronger one! The Yanks act as proxy for the Izzies.

[quote]“If the Israeli government wanted a law tomorrow annulling the 10 Commandments, 95 U.S. Senators (at least) would sign the bill forthwith.”
–Uri Avnery, former Knesset member[/quote]

Amnesty International’s take on the situation is below:

[i]The deliberate destruction of the Gaza Strip’s only electricity power station, water networks, bridges, roads and other infrastructure is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and has major and long-term humanitarian consequences for the 1.5 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip.

Almost half of Gaza’s inhabitants are now without electricity and water supplies have also been cut in several areas both by the lack of electricity, necessary to operate the water pumps used to extract and deliver water, and by the destruction of water mains as a result of the bombings of bridges and roads[/i].

full text here:

700,000 Gazans are without power…possibly for the next 6 months,…all for one or two Israeli soldiers…(Legitimate targets)…a somewhat disproportionate response!!!..a war crime

According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, “collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited” (article 33) as is the destruction of private or public property, “except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessar by military operations” (Article 53). The Convention requires all states party to it to search for and ensure the prosectution of perpetrators of the war crime of “causing extensive destrucdtion … not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly”. “Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects” is also a war crime under Article 8 (b) (ii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Ah the poor, poor poor POOR Palestinians with their wailing, weeping women and children (usually on cue for photographers)… I deeply sympathize that they are still stuck in the same rut that they have been in for the past 60 years. Gosh. What an unlucky, unfortunate people. They just seem to keep facing the same problems over and over and over and over again and quite frankly, I am bored. Perhaps, loss of territory and ethnic cleansing need to be put on the table. This has been the norm in all other wars. But somehow the Palestinians are different? yawn.

hey that is an intelligent response! (straight out of an AIPAC press release?) :laughing: :bravo:

But you do admit that ethnic cleansing should be discussed…that is a start.

I would say that there is another group in that particular conflict that loves to play the victim to the world press, and has been doing so for a bit longer than the Palestinians.

Well, then…

Did or did not the Palestinian people elect the Hamas government? And has or has not the Hamas government which was elected by the Palestinian people called for Israel’s destruction? And has or has not the Hamas government which was elected by the vast majority of the Palestinian people engaged in rocket among other attacks against Israeli civilians and government forces? And given such aggression, what is your proposed solution? What do you suggest that the Israeli government do? And looking at history, what have other nations in similar situations done? and why would such actions be inappropriate in this particular case?

so first question: Does Israel have a right to exist? If you say no, then we can speed past all the other usual sidestepping evasions immediately. But if you say yes, then what do you suggest Israel do about securing its borders and protecting its citizens?

No. there should be no “Jewish” states, “Islamic” states, “Catholic” states, “Hindu” states, “Proddy” states, “Buddhist” states. There should only be secular states where all citizens are equal. less divisive. But that wouldn’t suit the neo-cons who have made a whole industry out of fomenting division, disharmony and disunity. It provides the fuel that drives their xenophobia.

Israel is a pain in the arse.


Fair enough but you do realize that 20 percent of Israeli citizens are actually Arab mostly Muslim? and that this percentage is increasing?

fuels our xenophobia? So acceptance of various religious, ethnic and other groups in the West is the problem? or is it that the xenophobia of certain groups in the Middle East is causing the trouble?

Can be. So can Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Which of these nations would you say is a bigger pain in the ass? or all of the above? Then, of course, there is France not to mention Germany, Russia, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Zaire (Congo) or Congo (Zaire) etc. Somalia, Sudan, but I think that you get the idea…


I think that this recent article in the New Republic was quite to the point… … tier063006

[quote]Dogmatism makes great demands upon language. It requires a flexible rhetoric to defend–better, to disguise–your inflexibility; to secure your intransigence against new ideas and new circumstances. For many years now, the articulateness of the spokespersons (official and unofficial) for the traditional Palestinian refusal to accept any plan for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel has provided a fine example of this verbal cunning. Camp David in 1978, Oslo, Camp David in 2000, Taba, the withdrawal from Gaza and more generally the historical opportunity presented by the ascendancy of Kadima: In all these cases, the Palestinian refusal to take yes for an answer, the all-or-nothing-at-all-ism, had to be explained away. Palestinian apologetics has consisted in a million fancy ways of saying no. They have become so trained in arguing against the “viability” of every proposed version of Palestinian statehood that they appear to have lost sight of the non-viability of Palestinian statelessness.

But once in a while they break creative new ground in their tragic casuistry. Such a moment occurred Wednesday night on “The Charlie Rose” show, in a discussion of the muscular Israeli response to the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Hamas militants. Among the defenders of the Palestinians on the show was Khalil Jashan, a former president of the National Association of Arab Americans, who teaches at Pepperdine University. When Rose asked him about the Hamas position on “the right of Israel to exist,” this was part of what he replied: “In Arabic, people in Hamas and throughout the Palestinian national movement call it a policy of tajlis, in other words making peace impossible, in the sense that, you know, I mean what other state requires people to acknowledge its right to exist, particularly as a religious-based state? No state does that.”

Leave aside the bit about “a religious-based state,” which is just shorthand for one of the oldest and most willful misrepresentations of the character of the Israeli polity. I have no idea what tajlis means, but Jashan’s point is awful in an Orwellian way. For a start, since the late 1960s the Palestinians have complained precisely that their existence has been denied by Israel and its governments and its people; and in the course of the on-again, off-again peace process in those tortured decades, Israel has obliged the Palestinians with all forms of explicit recognitions (there is now not a serious politician in Israel who does not speak about the establishment of a Palestinian state). The Palestinians were perfectly correct to demand the recognition of their existence: The denial of the other is the very foundation of conflict and oppression. So how dare Jashan impugn the Israeli desire for the same moral and historical courtesy? His hypocrisy is breathtaking. After all, the denial of the other, having once been a sin of both sides, is now a sin only of one side, the Hamas side. And Hamas is more or less in control of Palestine. Jashan errs in his belief that no state but Israel requires people to acknowledge its right to exist–the de-legitimation of new states and breakaway states and ethnically heterodox states is a common feature of our world; but if Israel requires people to acknowledge its right to exist, it is because people deny its right to exist.

Jashan continued: “Israel exists by virtue of the fact that it does exist and that it enjoys the basically recognition [sic] of a large number of countries around the world.” This, too, is outrageous. It is certainly true that in some sense it is beneath one’s dignity to defend one’s right to exist, and that the fact of one’s existence should suffice to assure a decent respect. But this is precisely what was denied by Arabs and Palestinians for most of the decades of this conflict, and it is precisely what Hamas (and Ahmadinejad, and Al Qaeda, and the fevered universe of political Islam) is still denying. Jashan’s realism, his suggestion that the fact should establish the value, is actually quite sinister. For this appeal to facticity is in truth another denial of legitimacy. One way of denying legitimacy is by preempting its discussion, by making it moot. Would the Palestinians have been content for the question of Palestinian legitimacy to have been declared beside the point? I do not think so. But here is Jashan denying that the moral and philosophical and psychological circumstances of the conflict any longer matter. Israel is to be accepted as just another nasty fact of life, like toxic waste or Tom Cruise.

The objective of Jashan’s existentialism, of this new exercise of Palestinian casuistry, of this sudden reversal about the importance of basic recognition, is quite simple. It has been contrived to protect the Hamas worldview, to insulate it from the pressure that has followed upon its political ascendancy. Even as Abu Mazen is struggling to impose some requirement of mutual recognition upon the haters of Hamas, here is the professor from Pepperdine telling Hamas that they should tough it out, that it might be possible to change the terms of the debate in a way that would allow them to escape with their philosophy unshaken, with their ideology unreconstructed.

“You know, I’m not a fan of Hamas,” Jashan said almost parenthetically a few sentences later. He was right to insist upon the clarification, because there was nothing in his previous remark that gave the opposite impression. He seemed like a sane man, but he was making excuses for insanity. Can he really not curse Hamas and the occupation in the same breath? Then he has a completely politicized mind. If he thinks that the postponement of a war of ideas within the Palestinian community is a good thing, or that the misery of the Palestinians or the occupation of the Israelis is a proper reason for the postponement of such a war, then he is letting down more than my community, he is letting down his community. He is giving comfort to his enemy, and his enemy is Hamas.

Leon Wieseltier is the literary editor of The New Republic.[/quote]

I have two thoughts about this that I’d like to share. The first is that if the Israelis do indeed have the Yanks by the cojones, it’s because the USA uses Israel to do its dirty work. At least in the pre-Bush era, when America couldn’t afford to get caught kidnapping and/or murdering someone, they contracted the Israelis to do it. Of course, that also meant that Israel also knew all of America’s dirty secrets. But it was a marriage of convenience.

But since Bush, Jr. became president, America has pretty much run its own show. Kidnapping, torturing and murdering people is no longer being outsourced to Israel - indeed, when America requires assistance with torture, it turns to Muslim countries. So why Bush’s love affair with Israel? Indeed, Bush seems to go further than any of his predecessors in accomodating Israel. Is it really because of some huge, powerful “Jewish lobby?” I doubt it. Rather, it’s more likely because of the Christian fundamentalist lobby, which is one of Bush’s key constituencies. And why are Christian fundamentalists so pro-Israel? Well, you’d have to be familiar with their theories about the “end times” and the “second coming” to understand that. Many Christians look forward to the end times. They’re inspired the the Book of Revelations. Armageddon is not something they fear, indeed they want it to happen, the sooner the better, and they’re willing to use their political clout to help it along.

I do not claim to be a Biblical scholar, so if anyone here is, feel free to share your thoughts on this, but my understanding is that Armageddon will be a terrible disaster for Israel (the Jews will die by the millions), but will result in heavenly salvation for all good Christians. And the latter are Bush’s largest group of supporters.

Do a Google search on: “end times” Christian fundamentalist support Israel

You’ll find heaps.

If, instead of blowing up themselves and innocent Israelis at pizzerias in Tel Aviv, the Palestinians had held hands, released doves and sung Bob Marley and Peter, Paul and Mary songs, they’d have the whole world eating out of their hands. In fact, they’d probably have owned Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula by now.
I don’t necessarily agree with what the Israelis are up to, but the Palestinians are their own worst enemies.
Theirs has been a stupid, short sighted, (and ongoing) strategic blunder.

There’s a saying in science that the correct explanation is often the simplest one. Trouble is, this ain’t science, and the only thing propping up this thread IMHO is ideology. Support of Israel serves current U.S. interests, and that’s that.


The primary motives behind U.S. support of Israel can be explained by Washington’s foreign policy aims of securing a Middle East capable of producing a stable supply of oil at a low price that buoys the economies of oil dependent countries. Israel, a state that is dependent on the United States due to its strategic and cultural isolation in a region that is hostile to its existence, can be relied on by Washington to assist in maintaining the status quo by preventing any Middle Eastern country from accruing enough power to alter the regional balance in a way that would damage the interests of the United States and other oil dependent countries.[/quote]

Unrestricted Access
By John J. Mearsheimer, professor of political science at the University of Chicago, and Stephen M. Walt, professor of international affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

"America’s relationship with Israel is difficult to discuss openly in the United States. In March, we published an article in the London Review of Books titled “The Israel Lobby,” based on a working paper which we posted on the faculty Web site at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Our goal was to break the taboo and to generate a candid discussion of U.S. support for Israel, because it has far-reaching consequences for Americans and others around the world. What followed was a barrage of responses—some constructive, some not.

Every year, the United States gives Israel a level of support that far exceeds what it provides to other states. Although Israel is now an industrial power with a per-capita GDP roughly equal to Spain’s or South Korea’s, it still receives about $3 billion in U.S. aid each year—that is, roughly $500 per Israeli citizen. Israel also gets a variety of other special deals and consistent diplomatic support. We believe that this generosity cannot be fully explained on either strategic or moral grounds. Israel may have been a strategic asset during the Cold War, but it is a strategic burden in the war on terror and the broader U.S. effort to deal with rogue states. The moral rationale for unconditional U.S. support is undermined by Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and its unwillingness to offer them a viable state. We believe there is a strong moral case for Israel’s existence, but that existence is not at risk. Palestinian extremists and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may dream of wiping Israel “off the map,” but fortunately neither has the ability to make that dream a reality.

The “special relationship” with Israel, we argue, is due largely to the activities of the Israel lobby—a loose coalition of individuals and organizations who openly work to push U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction. The lobby is not synonymous with Jewish Americans, because many of them do not support its positions, and some groups that work on Israel’s behalf (Christian evangelicals, for example) are not Jewish. The lobby has no central leadership. It is not a cabal or a conspiracy. These organizations are simply engaged in interest-group politics, a legitimate activity in the American political system. These organizations believe their efforts advance both American and Israeli interests. We do not.

We described how the Israel lobby fosters support within the U.S. Congress and the executive branch, and how it shapes public discourse so that Israel’s actions are perceived sympathetically by the American public. Groups in the lobby direct campaign contributions to encourage politicians to adopt pro-Israel positions. They write articles, letters, and op-eds defending Israel’s actions, and they go to great lengths to discredit or marginalize anyone who criticizes U.S. support for Israel. The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is the lobby’s most powerful organization, and it openly touts its influence over U.S. Middle East policy. Prominent politicians from both parties acknowledge AIPAC’s power and effectiveness. Former House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt once observed that if AIPAC were not “fighting on a daily basis to strengthen [the relationship], it would not be.”

We also traced the lobby’s impact on recent U.S. policies, including the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. Neoconservatives inside and outside the Bush administration, as well as leaders of a number of prominent pro-Israel organizations, played key roles in making the case for war. We believe the United States would not have attacked Iraq without their efforts. That said, these groups and individuals did not operate in a vacuum, and they did not lead the country to war by themselves. For instance, the war would probably not have occurred absent the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which helped convince President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to support it.

With Saddam Hussein removed from power, the Israel lobby is now focusing on Iran, whose government seems determined to acquire nuclear weapons. Despite its own nuclear arsenal and conventional military might, Israel does not want a nuclear Iran. Yet neither diplomacy nor economic sanctions are likely to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Few world leaders favor using force to deal with the problem, except in Israel and the United States. AIPAC and many of the same neoconservatives who advocated attacking Iraq are now among the chief proponents of using military force against Iran.

There is nothing improper about pro-Israel advocates trying to influence the Bush administration. But it is equally legitimate for others to point out that groups like AIPAC and many neoconservatives have a commitment to Israel that shapes their thinking about Iran and other Middle East issues. More important, their perspective is not the last word on what is good for Israel or the United States. In fact, their prescriptions might actually be harmful to both countries."

worth about two cents?

Really? So pony up. When has the US used Israel to do its dirty work… Must be tons of examples that you can provide…

We have been more than capable of doing our own kidnapping and murders for quite some time, certainly without Israel’s help in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Chile under Allende in 1970 etc. etc. so I would love to see where this takes you. Please do give us a few links and a few examples. Should be a piece of cake since this is cleary, in your view, a marriage with many involved relationships.

As to the rest of the comments, can someone show how the US foreign policy has been shanghaiied by radical Christian elements. I realize that this is a bit of a “known” a “given” among the bien pensants on the left but where is the proof? By this I mean, show that Bush has acted in a way that differs greatly from how foreign policy toward Israel was conducted under past presidents. The truth of the matter is that the US has been extremely harsh on the Israelis and that any talk of special favoritism is simply not true.

In fact, given that Israel is the only democracy which really is no threat to its neighbors, it is not surprising that the US is willing to support a nation that differs greatly from its thugocracy neighbors.

As to Spook’s concerns, might I direct him to the special relationship that the US has with Britain that is completely out of proportion with the size and importance of that nation and how it stacks up in world affairs. Then there is the close relationship that many US government officials have with Saudi Arabia. Many (after their tenure) often take highly paid positions with Saudi government or PR agencies. Can anyone imagine the hew and cry if something similar were occurring with respect to Israel? So yes, I fully recognize that Israel has a very strong lobby in the US as does Taiwan as does Greece as does Saudi Arabia as does Britain, etc. etc. I merely like to point out that when it becomes a special obessession with one nation that positive proof should be supplied and it usually is NOT forthcoming.

How for example do Israel’s goals with regard to Iran and Iraq and Islamofascism differ remarkably from those of Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and even Jordan. Remember now that what passes for public pronouncements from these nations about solidarity with their brethren etc is not what actually occurs behind closed doors. So? Anyone? Spook? How different were the Israeli and Kuwaiti and Saudi positions on dealing with Iraq? Iran? Would you suggest that ONLY Israel was concerned about Saddam? Would you say that ONLY Israel is concerned about a nuclear weapon in Iran? Or would you suggest that the devious, scheming British, French and German interests are at work in our country to get us to do all the dirty work for them? Again, you would have an example of US forces dying for nations who are able to manipulate us into doing their bidding. Damn those French, German and British interests!

That’s a good one. Fred, are you active in AIPAC? (No, I don’t really expect you to answer that question.)

"America’s allies in the Gulf also believe that an attack on Iran would endanger them, and many American military planners agree. “Iran can do a lot of things—all asymmetrical,” a Pentagon adviser on counter-insurgency told me. “They have agents all over the Gulf, and the ability to strike at will.” In May, according to a well-informed oil-industry expert, the Emir of Qatar made a private visit to Tehran to discuss security in the Gulf after the Iraq war. He sought some words of non-aggression from the Iranian leadership. Instead, the Iranians suggested that Qatar, which is the site of the regional headquarters of the U.S. Central Command, would be its first target in the event of an American attack. Qatar is a leading exporter of gas and currently operates several major offshore oil platforms, all of which would be extremely vulnerable. (Nasser bin Hamad M. al-Khalifa, Qatar’s ambassador to Washington, denied that any threats were issued during the Emir’s meetings in Tehran. He told me that it was “a very nice visit.”)

A retired American diplomat, who has experience in the Gulf, confirmed that the Qatari government is “very scared of what America will do” in Iran, and “scared to death” about what Iran would do in response."

Special relationship?

"People in Britain view the United States as a vulgar, crime-ridden society obsessed with money and led by an incompetent president whose Iraq policy is failing, according to a newspaper poll.

The United States is no longer a symbol of hope to Britain and the British no longer have confidence in their transatlantic cousins to lead global affairs, according to the poll published in The Daily Telegraph.

The YouGov poll found that 77 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that the US is “a beacon of hope for the world”.

Nope. But I take part regularly in the meetings of the Elders of Zion. I figure since they and we all know who THEY are don’t we have taken over all the key industries and financial segments that I should curry favor with THEM to ensure that I get a cut of the action. Simply a weakness for Champagne and all that. Hope you understand why I am selling out.

[quote]"America’s allies in the Gulf also believe that an attack on Iran would endanger them, and many American military planners agree. “Iran can do a lot of things—all asymmetrical,” a Pentagon adviser on counter-insurgency told me. “They have agents all over the Gulf, and the ability to strike at will.” In May, according to a well-informed oil-industry expert, the Emir of Qatar made a private visit to Tehran to discuss security in the Gulf after the Iraq war. He sought some words of non-aggression from the Iranian leadership. Instead, the Iranians suggested that Qatar, which is the site of the regional headquarters of the U.S. Central Command, would be its first target in the event of an American attack. Qatar is a leading exporter of gas and currently operates several major offshore oil platforms, all of which would be extremely vulnerable. (Nasser bin Hamad M. al-Khalifa, Qatar’s ambassador to Washington, denied that any threats were issued during the Emir’s meetings in Tehran. He told me that it was “a very nice visit.”)

A retired American diplomat, who has experience in the Gulf, confirmed that the Qatari government is “very scared of what America will do” in Iran, and “scared to death” about what Iran would do in response."[/quote]

You are sort of a one-trick pony, eh spookster? Seymour Hersh yet again? Nothing else but Seymour Hersh? and NOT ONE quoted source? Gee. Color me totally f***ing surprised. IF I were to present such a quote for your consumption, you would rip me to shreds. Why would you expect me or anyone else to accept this in return?

Good point. I undoubtedly would shred you a little – as I have on many occasions. Sorry if I’ve been too hard on you. I like you on a personal level and even respect much about you.

To make amends somewhat, an Arab voice on the issue:

"The key political dimension of all this may be Iran’s recent emergence as the Asian-Middle Eastern-Islamic fulcrum of a loose grouping of states and people who wish to resist American dominance of the region and the world. I suspect that robust and successful political defiance, rather than pure military threat, is what most worries the United States about Iran’s posture. We are probably witnessing the first significant move in the world to challenge U.S. hegemonic power since the end of the Cold War in 1989 - which explains why Washington’s initial hysteria has been replaced recently by more realism, to its credit.

Iran’s more measured response to Western offers in recent weeks suggests it is securing that which it most covets: national respect, serious political engagement, and the prospect of a normal relationship with the West, without the American threat of regime change or the UN-EU threat of sanctions. Consequently, Iran and the Western powers seem to be heading to a logical meeting point: Iran will continue uranium conversion and enrichment activities, and other small-scale research and development, but under strict IAEA supervision that effectively blocks the development of nuclear weapons.

Tehran has spoken in recent weeks in the more relative and nuanced vocabulary of realism and national interest, rather than absolutist rights and ringing ideology. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in recent days has named a new foreign policy strategy team, headed by experienced loyalists, to control policy as the moment of decision approaches on a reasonable deal with the West. The implications of an agreement for the Middle East and the world will be enormous and mostly positive if this issue is resolved through a meeting of minds rather than the use of muscle."

– Rami G. Khouri, editor-at-large of the Beirut-based Daily Star, published throughout the Middle East with the International Herald Tribune.