MER FlashBack to December 1996:
It was just over a year ago now that even Bill Clinton said in public that Israeli settlements were an "obstacle to peace."
This made news of course precisely because it is understood by many, if not often said, that the Clinton Administration is the most pro-Israeli government ever in Washington.
Clinton hasn't repeated these specific words in public since; and his Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, has all but legitimized Israeli settlements with her repeated refusal to refer to them as illegal and with her public pleadings for a "time out" approach.
Plus of course it was just a few months ago that a former Israeli lobby official became Albright's Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East!
Meanwhile, the Israelis continue building for Jews throughout the occupied territories, while blowing up for Palestinians. More than 65 of the 130+ Israeli settlements -- many now approaching city proportions -- have active building projects underway; and Jerusalem itself is more and more surrounded on all sides by Israeli Jews-only housing expansion.
The Americans pretend to protest...but they keep piling on the arms and the money; and so its really not that difficult to understand what Washington's real policies are.
This MER article below was first published back in December 1996 back when Clinton last used the phrase "obstacle to peace."
It's front-page news! Bill Clinton says Israeli settlements are an "obstacle" to peace. But this isn't the real story; nor are settlements the real obstacle.
The tragic reality is that the Clinton Administration is the most pro-Israeli
and anti-Islamic government in U.S. history. Never in U.S. history
has there been a Cabinet more rife with personalities whose loyalties and
sympathies are to Israel, as well as to the U.S. And in many cases
these persons wouldn't be where they are but for the political and financial
intervention of the infamous "Israeli/Jewish
lobby", a collection of some 40 different interlocking organizations that together make-up this powerful entity which continues to have a stranglehold over U.S. policies in the Middle East.
And all this is not an accident.
Most people, and nearly everyone in the press, seem to have forgotten that just a few years ago during the election campaign of 1992, no less than the President of the main coordination organization of this Israeli/Jewish lobby (the President of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC]) was secretly recorded bragging that he and the Israelis had at least a dozen operatives in Little Rock working for Clinton and that when Bill became President he would be Israel's man in the White House. There was even going to be a kosher kitchen!
The disinformation agents quickly went to work of course. The AIPAC President was promptly removed (said to be over-worked and maybe a bit delusional) and new policies of not talking so openly (i.e. truthfully) on the phone were instituted. The cover-up worked well, especially in a town where the institutional memory of the press on matters of this kind is notoriously lacking...along with the courage to speak up of course.
Now it was Israel's Labor Party, led for years by Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, that originally launched and maintained Israel's expansion and settlement policies in the West Bank and Gaza. Indeed, in the Jerusalem area Labor has even been worse than Likud. But most of all Likud has simply spoken openly and forthrightly about Zionist intentions; while Labor and its "Peace Now" subterfuge has smiled, lied, and charmed their ways forward.
Overall Labor and Likud have pretty much played out the "good cop/bad cop" game when it comes to the Palestinians. And with the panoply of yes-men, thugs and self-serving businessmen that surround Yasser Arafat, the Zionist movement has been able to play the Palestinians soothing tunes while continuing to mug, rape, and plunder Palestinian society.
The biggest "obstacle" to peace is not the Likud, nor Bibi, nor new settlements. It's long-past time for the U.S. to stop funding Israel's multitude of abuses with ever-larger amounts of money and guns.
The real "obstacle" to a just and fair (and thus lasting) Middle East peace between Israel and the Palestinians is the United States of America.
* Mark Bruzonsky has visited the Middle East more than 150 times. In 1977 Bruzonsky personally arranged with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for the first public telegram ever to be sent from the Arab world to Israel. Bruzonsky produces and hosts the weekly TV program, MID-EAST REALITIES, that shows on all the major cable systems in the Washington, D.C. area.