by Matthew Clark
Last October 7th (2023) members of the Hamas military invaded the state of Israel, killing approxiametely 1200 Israeli's ("Israel Revises down toll from October 7th attack to around 1200, Al Jazeera, 10 November, 2023). Initially shocked by the situation , the government of Israel, with majority support from it's citizenry, declared vengeance against the Palestinian political/military movement. In short order the IDF (Israel Defense Force) launched land, sea, and air attacks against Gaza, the territory in Palestine controlled by the Hamas forces. By December 6, 2023 the Reuters News Service reported 17,487 Palestinians killed by IDF actions. Since that date the Isrraeli warriors have continued to wreak havoc against the inhabitants of Gaza, most of whom are civillians.
Throughhout the globe populations have, for the most part, expressed condemnation of Israeli actions. There is one notable exception to this statement. In western nations the populations have split between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine advocates. Nevertheless western governments led by the Biden administration in the United States of America, have thrown their support behind the authorities in Tel Aviv. Response in the Middle East and North Africa to this western choice has been sharp to say the least. Iran's rulers have increased support to their allies in Syria and Lebanon (the Hezbollah movement). Members of Hezbollah appear to be on a collision course with Israel. Iraqi lawmakers have denounced American Middle Eastern policy while lining up with the Iranians. Turkey's political leadership has become quite vocal in their denouncement of the military campaign in Gaza. Yemen based Houthis are using their munitions to attack Israeli and Western shipping in the Red Sea.
Meanwhile Western naval forces, lead by the United States, have sent vast number of warships to the waters off the Middle east. It does not take much imagination to realize that there is a possibility the military campaign in Gaza could result in a regional conflict, or perhaps even something more dire.
Of what benefit is it for the nations of Europe and North America, to protect Israel, at the risk of war in far away lands and seas? How is it that Israel, a country of a little over 7 million people, thousands of miles away from North America, and also a considerable distance from Europe, has become so vital to the Western political leaders?
There appears to be no rational answer to these questions. Unlike many of her Arab neighbours Israel contains a negligent amounts of fossil fuel. Rare earth minerals are not mined in the Holy Land. Trade between Israel and her allies is healthy yet hardly abundent. While possessing a first rate military, the authorities in Tel Aviv have to keep it close to home to discourage any of her numerous adversaries from attacking the Jewish homeland. Therefore the IDF would never be in a position to aid a western nation if they were facing attack from some foe. When also considering what a bone of contention political, and military support for Israel has become amongst her many detractors, one is left scratching their head in puzzlement. Perhaps an answer can be found by looking back in history to when the Israel/ Western (principally American) bond was first formed.
Back in the 1930's when the fate of all Palestine started to interest the international community, rather than just being an Imperial British concern, the general reaction of the political body was one of caution. United States President Franklin Roosevelt assured Arabs that the United States would not intervene without consulting both parties. Throughout the Roosevelt and Truman administrations the Departments of State, and War, advised against U.S. intervention on behalf of the Jews. General George Marshall wanted all of Palestine to be ceded to the United Nations trusteeship. In late 1947 the Joint Chiefs of Staff had written that "A decision to partition Palestine, if the decision were supported by the United States, would prejudice United States strategic interests in the Near and Middle East" to the point that "United States influence in the area would be curtailed to that which could be maintained by military force."
What the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were telling President Harry Truman was that if America sided with the Jewish leaders in their creation of the State of Israel then the United States influence in the area would be restricted to territory they could militarily occupy! What was the Presidents reply to those who did not want him to side with the Jewish state. Truman said on recognizing Israel, " I am sorry gentleman, but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism. I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents. " With this statement Truman that his policy for the Holy Land was driven by domestic electorial concerns, rather than the best interests of Americans.
Jumping from 1948 to contemporary times it would appear that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were impressively prophetic. National governments in Egypt and Jordan exhibit a hostile neutrality toward the United States. Political administrations in Iraq, as well as Saudi Arabia, appear to be outright adversarial. They are forming bonds with the Syrian Iranian alliance, an alliance which is conducting war with western armed forces through the use of third parties. Then there is the complex relation developing between Turkey and Western countries.
Turkey is part of the western alliance, better known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It is arguably, with 2 million military personnel, much of it highly modernized, the second strongest conventional military force in the military organization. Yet under the determined Turkish President Erdogan the Turks have fallen into a tense relationship with the government in Tel Aviv. Relations with her NATO partners have been complicated by this situation. With Western regimes giving unilateral support to Israel in the present conflict it seems that Turkey will soon re-evaluate their status with NATO nations. Political Journalist Selina Koru of WarontheRocks.com commented in a July 31, 2023 article (NATO's Prodigal Son is Not Returning) that " Turkeys goal is to be distinct, and ultimately independent, from its western allies." President Erdogan's dominion is presently moving toward being a Middle East adversary to the West!
Yet another strike against siding with Israel is her treatment of Christians in the Holy Land. Last April a story appeared in NBCnews.com entitled "Christians In The Holy Land Say They're Under Attack As Israeli-Palestinian Violence Soars." One item in the story stated, "In Christianity's Holiest City (Jerusalem) churches have been graffitied and clergy who live and work here report being frequently spit on, harassed and even physically attacked by extremist Jews. Christian leaders say most incidents are never thoroughly investigated."Coupled with the recent report of two Christian females being killed by (supposedly) an IDF sniper while they were in Church, raises further doubts on the wisdom of siding with Israel over her Arab neighbours.
If nothing else the citizens responsible for attacking Christians have unmitigated gall. It is one thing to victimize enemies, quite another to do so to those who offer you a helping hand. In the long run attacking Christians is a counter productive policy which will not end well for the Zionist cause.
How the present campaign in Gaza will eventually end up is not obvious. Whatever the result Western governments, foremost among them the United States, should reasess their political policies regarding Israel. At present it appears when it comes to Israel the vested interests of North American and European countries are not being considered. The political leaders in these nations need to explain to their constituents why.
When Some Americans Opposed The Creation of Israel, Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, February 24, 2015, 3:30 EST