Connect with us

OPINION

WHEN IT COMES TO ISRAEL, IT’S NEVER “AMERICA FIRST”, BY OSMUND AGBO

Published

on





It’s high time for the United States to recalibrate its alliance with Israel by adopting a strategic approach that prioritises American interests above all else. Instead of blindly adhering to longstanding policies, each decision regarding military aid, arms sales, and other matters should be guided by a meticulous assessment of concrete US interests. Washington’s foreign policy towards Israel, just like other nations, must embody a “America first” stance.

In March 2014, about two years to the 2016 United States presidential election, all roads led to the Venetian, a five-star resort in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, owned by the legendary American Jew, Sheldon Adelson. Mr Adelson was the billionaire owner of the Sands Corporation and the single biggest donor to the Republican Party.

Sands Corporation owned the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and was the parent company of Venetian Macao Limited, which operated The Venetian Las Vegas and the Sands Expo and Convention Center at some point. Adelson is also the proud owner of two Israeli newspapers, including the daily, Israel Hayom and the weekly, Makor Rishon.

Prior to his death on 11 January, 2021, Sheldon Adelson was worth well over $32 billion. Together with his wife, Miriam, he donated more than $500 million to the Republican party campaigns and Republican-leaning Political Action Committees, fondly known as super PACs, over the course of several years.

Just so we know and contrary to all people have been told about the famed American democracy, creating and funding a Super PAC is how the super rich in the United States buy elections without breaching the law. This process is akin to the methods employed by drug barons to launder money, albeit without facing legal repercussions. But I digress.

Advertisement

The meeting between Mr Adelson and the then Republican Party presidential hopefuls, which included Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, and John Kasich, took place during the spring meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition held at his resort. One-on-one, the mega-donor engaged in discussions with each of the potential nominees in what was jocularly referred to as the “Adelson Primary.” It resembled an audition, with each candidate explaining their policy positions in the hope of garnering support from Adelson’s deep pockets.

Adelson sought to ascertain their stance on issues, particularly those concerning the state of Israel. He made no pretence about his staunch support for Israel and was deeply connected to his Jewish identity, to the extent that upon his death on 11 January, 2021, he was buried, not in the United States where he was born and lived, but on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

In that particular election cycle, Adelson ended up pitching his tent with the party’s nominee, Mitt Romney, who ultimately lost to Barack Obama. Fast forward to 2016, and Donald Trump emerged as the Republican nominee for President. Adelson and his wife once again emerged as major contributors, becoming the largest donors to his presidential campaign. In fact, Adelson’s contributions to Trump and the GOP for the 2020 election cycle were estimated to exceed $200 million, eclipsing all other donors by a considerable margin.

Upon Trump’s election, he proved himself a stalwart ally to Adelson, the influential benefactor of the Republican party and biggest contributor to his presidential campaign. In fact, Trump was in such a hurry to flaunt his pro-Israel bona fides that he made the risky political decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that defied decades of diplomatic tradition and sparked international uproar. This ill-advised action was swiftly followed by the initiation of plans to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Because of Israel, America is making a mockery of itself by claiming to be a bastion of democracy. Israel’s war in Gaza, fought with money from American taxpayers, has led to the loss of about 32,000 lives, predominantly women and children. The infrastructure in Gaza lies in ruins, fuelling widespread famine and disease. Despite the US airlifting aid to Gaza, it paradoxically persists in furnishing Israel with sophisticated weaponry, a stance that defies logic.

Advertisement

While it would be disingenuous to suggest that the formidable influence of the Jewish lobby in American politics is confined to the Republican Party, it is clear that its reach extends across the political spectrum. George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist and former hedge fund manager, also emerges as a significant figure in this arena, being one of the foremost donors to the Democratic Party. Through his Open Society Foundation, Soros champions liberal causes, not just in the US but all around the world.

Despite differences in approach, particularly regarding Israel, where Adelson’s fervent support contrasts with Soros’ more nuanced stance, it is notable that the majority of Jews maintain a strong pro-Israel sentiment. This unwavering loyalty to Israel transcends party lines, evidenced by the consistent alignment of both Republican and Democratic administrations with Israeli interests. This allegiance, characterised by a lack of critical scrutiny, mirrors blind devotion, akin to a path fraught with peril, yet devoid of a clear escape route.

Since the inception of the Jewish state in 1948, unwavering US support for Israel has defined American Middle East policy. President John F. Kennedy aptly termed it a “special relationship” in 1962. Central to this bond is the substantial aid Washington extends to Israel. As the foremost recipient of US military assistance, Israel has received over $300 billion since World War II, when adjusted for inflation. Annually, Israel benefits from approximately $3.8 billion in military aid from the United States, alongside additional arms deals and security benefits.

The lingering query remains: What has the US gained in return for its allegiance to the State of Isreal? While some contend that Israel serves as the eyes and ears of the US in the Middle East, facilitating American interests, little is known about the extent of the reciprocity in this relationship. Despite intelligence gathering and sharing between the CIA and Mossad, recent events, notably the Gaza conflict, underscore the adverse impacts of this one-sided alliance.

Because of Israel, America is making a mockery of itself by claiming to be a bastion of democracy. Israel’s war in Gaza, fought with money from American taxpayers, has led to the loss of about 32,000 lives, predominantly women and children. The infrastructure in Gaza lies in ruins, fuelling widespread famine and disease. Despite the US airlifting aid to Gaza, it paradoxically persists in furnishing Israel with sophisticated weaponry, a stance that defies logic.

Advertisement

Facing unprecedented backlash at home and worldwide in an election year, President Joe Biden appears visibly unsettled. He now advocates for a ceasefire, but Mr Netanyahu, the controversial Israeli prime minister, views the war as a means to stay in power and shows no willingness to comply. In fact, he aims to expel Palestinians from Gaza and establish new Israeli settlements there, rejecting the notion of a two-state solution and openly opposing Mr Biden. Traditionally, the one who foots the bill sets the agenda, but in the US-Israeli relationship, this dynamic is inverted.

Washington’s steadfast backing of Israel in the Gaza conflict has triggered dire regional consequences. Stretching from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Red Sea, a web of volatile flashpoints looms, posing a grave risk of engulfing the region — and implicating the United States — in large-scale warfare. In recent years, Israel has persistently sought to push the United States into direct conflict with Iran, despite such actions running counter to both US interests and the stability of the region.

Jews persistently find themselves entangled in conspiracy theories, whether it pertains to the Rothschild family’s assumed orchestration of global financial manoeuvres from the shadows or figures such as Sheldon Adelson and George Soros’ wielding of an outsized influence over US political affairs. While I eschew subscribing to the concept of the Illuminati, it remains indisputable that these Sons of David wield a conspicuous and disproportionate sway across the globe. They not only ascend to the upper echelons of various sectors but prevail over pivotal realms of the global economy, spanning banking, finance, academia, business, media, politics and even Hollywood.

The purported “special relationship” with Israel yields minimal benefits for the United States, while actively undermining its strategic interests and often contradicting the values that Washington professes to uphold. As one writer puts it, Isreal has become a strategic liability for the United States.

Their acumen is notable, characterised by strategic foresight and a steadfast commitment to advancing the Jewish community on a global scale. Given their harrowing history, particularly marked by the Holocaust, one can hardly fault individuals for earnestly safeguarding their kin. A prevailing sentiment persists that one’s identity as a Jew takes precedence over all other considerations.

Advertisement

Successive administrations in the United States, spanning both political parties, persist in yielding to Israeli demands, notably under the leadership of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. Conversely, Netanyahu adeptly comprehends his position of influence and occasionally pushes boundaries without repercussions.

Whether entangled in disputes with President Obama over Iran or engaging in disagreements with President Biden concerning the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, Israel’s incumbent president demonstrates a knack for sidestepping US presidents and challenging their authority. Frequently, he leverages Congress to assert his dominance and advance his agenda.

However, it’s imperative to acknowledge that neither Israel nor Netanyahu are the primary drivers of this influence. Rather, it is powerful American citizens, residing within the continental United States, who just happen to have Jewish blood coursing through their veins. This influential cohort wields significant control over both the economic and political landscapes of the US and beyond, capable of compelling even the most powerful man on earth to align with their interests. They are the masterminds behind the scene, setting the rhythm to which Netanyahu continues to dance to.

As I pen this piece, the United States is dispatching 1,000 troops to construct a pier off Gaza’s shore, aiming to break the siege imposed by its supposed ally, which utilises US weaponry, yet refuses to lift the blockade. Israel remains adamant about advancing into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, disregarding objections from the US, despite over 1.5 million Palestinians — comprising more than half of Gaza’s population — seeking refuge there.

The purported “special relationship” with Israel yields minimal benefits for the United States, while actively undermining its strategic interests and often contradicting the values that Washington professes to uphold. As one writer puts it, Isreal has become a strategic liability for the United States.

Advertisement

It’s high time for the United States to recalibrate its alliance with Israel by adopting a strategic approach that prioritises American interests above all else. Instead of blindly adhering to longstanding policies, each decision regarding military aid, arms sales, and other matters should be guided by a meticulous assessment of concrete US interests. Washington’s foreign policy towards Israel, just like other nations, must embody a “America first” stance.

The danger of overindulging the petulant child goes beyond just personal consequences; it affects everyone. In a world already grappling with soaring inflation and struggling to recover from the COVID-induced supply chain crisis, the last thing we need is more conflict.

Osmund Agbo is the author of Black Grit, White Knuckles: The Philosophy of Black Renaissance and a fiction work titled The Velvet Court: Courtesan Chronicles, along with other publications.

Advertisement
Click to comment

COVID-19 STATS

Advertisement
Advertisement