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November 1998 
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QUOTE of the WEEK:

"...the memorandum which we signed yesterday reflects...a quantum leap in the strategic relationship between Israel and the United States."

Israeli Prime Minister
Netanyaha, 10/30


E X T E N S I V E   W E B   O F    A G R E E M E N T S

MER - Washington - 2 November:

What the recent Wye meetings were all about trickles out in bits and pieces. Wye is leaking.

What one can be certain about is that the public diplomacy and the public documents resulting from Wye are not even the tip of the iceberg this time. Just hours before they were all smiles and handshakes at the White House TV extravaganza, the principles had been screaming unprintable invectives and insults at each other.

Rather the public aspects to this political theatre mask the truly important and mostly secret things that were being worked out during those long 9 days at the Wye Plantation. And while the roots put down at Wye remain deeply secret, a few aspects are popping up to the surface.

* Pollard was to be released 20 days after the Wye deal. But the Israelis pushed too hard, Clinton tested the waters and realized it was too dangerous to appear to be giving in, especially pre-election time, and the whole episode blew up in their faces requiring a long Friday morning of damage control.

* Arafat has secretly "agreed" to "put off" the May "deadline" of next year for two more years; Sharon whispering much to his Palestinian interlocutors to convince them to "convince" Arafat.

* And most important of all, the "quantum leap" in, and a major new emphasis on, the U.S.-Israel "Strategic Relationship" was highlighted by the dual signing ceremonies a few days ago (in both Washington and Jerusalem) that didn't make it onto TV.

Many forget that this U.S.-Israel "strategic relationship" was formally created in the Reagan years while the Cold War raged and as part of the continuing pay-off for Camp David. Since then a great deal has been done, including the U.S. Navy using Haifa as a port away from home, and extensive growing relations between the U.S. military and the CIA and their Israeli counterparts.

Now a "strategic planning committee" is being set up to continually upgrade and expand military and technological cooperation and coordination between the the two countries.

This newest and latest "strategic cooperation" "quantum leap" binds the U.S to provide money and technology to counter ballistic-missile and mass-destruction weapon threats against Israel. The immediate ramifications will be stepped up American help to counter and undermine the Iranian military build-up, with further steps to be taken against both Syria and Iraq. The new "Ankara Pact" will also be further implimented and pushed forward, with considerable U.S. involvement.



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