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MIDDLE EAST: Divergence between US and EU views



The gap between the American and the European views on the Middle East is widening, even in the UK, the most pro-US European country. John Heelan asks: "Given that Sharon is obstructing United Nations inspectors in a similar way to Saddam Hussein, is the Bush Administration not hypocritical in threatening to bomb the latter yet continue to provide political support and armaments to the former?" This view is common in the US, as this article shows, written before the attack on Jenin. Most Americans are frightened to speak out for fear of being falsely labelled anti-Semitic:

A Pop Quiz on the Middle East By Charley Reese The Orlando Sentinel

Question: Which country alone in the Middle East has nuclear weapons?Answer: Israel.
Q: Which country in the Middle East refuses to sign the nuclearnon-proliferation treaty and bars international inspections? A: Israel.
Q: Which country in the Middle East seized the sovereign territory of other nations by military force and continues to occupy it in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions?A: Israel.
Q: Which country in the Middle East routinely violates the international borders of another sovereign state with arplanes and artillery and naval gunfire? A: Israel.
Q: What American ally in the Middle East has for years sent assassins into other countries to kill its political enemies (a practice sometimes called exporting terrorism)? A: Israel.
Q: In which country in the Middle East have high-ranking military officers admitted publicly that unarmed prisoners of war were executed? A: Israel.
Q: What country in the Middle East refuses to prosecute its soldiers who have acknowledged executing prisoners of war? A: Israel.
Q: What country in the Middle East created 762,000 refugees and refuses to allow them to return to their homes, farms and businesses? A: Israel.
Q: What country in the Middle East refuses to pay compensation to people whose land, bank accounts and businesses it confiscated? A: Israel.
Q: In what country in the Middle East was a high-ranking United Nations diplomat assassinated? A: Israel.
Q: In what country in the Middle East did the man who ordered the assassination of a high-ranking U.N. diplomat become prime minister? A: Israel.
Q: What country in the Middle East blew up an American diplomatic facility in Egypt and attacked a U.S. ship in international waters, killing 33 and wounding 177 American sailors? A: Israel.
Q: What country in the Middle East employed a spy, Jonathan Pollard, to steal classified documents and then gave some of them to the Soviet Union? : Israel.
Q: What country at first denied any official connection to Pollard, then voted to make him a citizen and has continuously demanded that the American president grant Pollard a full pardon? A: Israel.
Q: What country on Planet Earth has the second most powerful lobby in the United States, according to a recent Fortune magazine survey of Washington insiders? A: Israel.
Q: Which country in the Middle East is in defiance of 69 United Nations Security Council resolutions and has been protected from 29 more by U.S.vetoes? A: Israel.
Q: What country is the United States threatening to bomb because "U.N.Security Council resolutions must be obeyed?" A: Iraq

US support for Israel has hardened as the Democrats accuse Bush of not being solidly pro-Israel. Bush has some idea of the complexity of the problem, but in the US foreign policy is determined by domestic politics. In addition, Bush seems to be acting in accord with oil interests, determined to use whatever force is necessary. That may well be the correct policy, but it should be presented in a more moderate way. In view of what is happening in France and Germany, it seems that moderation is out of fashion. More's the pity, as the world may learn to its regret.

Ronald Hilton - 5/2/02


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