U.S. Middle East Policy rubs elbows with Olmert


Is President Bush’s Middle East Sound or is his Middle East Policy right on Target?

U.S. Middle East Policy rubs elbows with Olmert

by Andy Martin

Hypocrisy is a marvelous lubricant for politics and government. But sometimes hypocritical situations can help but provide us with a truer insight into the future that a leader may wish to reveal. Such is the case with President Bush and the current Erich Von Stroheim-style leader of Israel: Ehud Olmert.
Foreign policy will obviously be the defining legacy of the second Bush Presidency. I believe historians will ask: Who Lost Israel? The answer: George Bush.
Earlier this year Bush himself raised the “Israel issue” when he condemned efforts to link the invasion of Iraq to Israeli pressure. But in his charmingly uninformed and one-dimensional world President Bush has orchestrated and presided over the ultimate and inevitable loss of Israel.


Israel does not appear “lost.” The mighty Israel wehrmacht retains its impressive power to murder the innocent, including women and children. American taxpayer-subsidized industries in Israel turn out new and better weapons of death. Israeli leaders pound on their chests and treat Palestinians with contempt. And Israel is lost? Contrarian Commentary, how come?
When President Bush took office in 2001, Israel and Palestinians were within inches of a peace agreement. The Taba Round of peace talks had narrowed differences and brought matters close to an ultimate resolution. What remained to be decided were the trimmings and atmospherics, compensation and the “Right of Return” (“ROR”) prominently among them. America and Israel had hypocritically used the ROR and compensation issues to avoid a just peace. Israel’s Sharon and America’s Bush voted for endless war.
In the summer of 2000 I published the Andy Martin Peace Plan, in which I outlined how opposing parties could be brought to a deal. Compensation was and always will be at the core of resolving the ROR. Later, my radio talk show featured Palestinian callers who identified with the loss of Palestinian homes the way Israelis had once yearned for their own promised land. For Ehud Barak to have claimed in 2000 that he and President Clinton were “surprised” by the ROR was sheer nonsense and contemptuous behavior.
A push from Bush could have created a creative resolution of the Palestinian demand for a ROR, and ended the conflict. Instead, more than five years later, the bloodshed continues and there is no end in sight. No end that is, except for the limitations being imposed inexorably by the unwillingness of young Israelis to die for the greater glory of Israel.
And so we turn to the current Furhur of Israel. Ehud Olmert, who came to Washington recently stating he would negotiate with himself and thereafter pass on the crumbs to Palestinians. Who is this man Olmert? What hypocrisy does he embody? What can his own life tell us about the future of Israel? A lot, as it turns out.
Although she became something of an icon in left-wing circles, Dana Olmert’s name has not appeared in any major, mainstream media in the United States. No, not even the New York Post which delights in publicizing Israel’s activities. Uri Dan was silent. Why?
Dana Olmert is the daughter of Prime Minister Olmert. On June 10th Ms. Olmert demonstrated outside the home of the Israeli Army Chief of Staff Dan Halutz. She was part of a group that stated “Halutz is a killer” and “The intifada shall prevail.” In short, Olmert, the prime minister’s daughter, has rejected his policies and shown public contempt for his arrogance and imperial pretensions. Some leader.
Mr. Olmert also has sons. They refuse to serve in the Israeli armed forces and encourage others to do likewise. Indeed, one lives in New York, permanently; the other refused his compulsory military service. Some time ago, in one of my “Slow Death of the State of Israel” columns I predicted that Israeli youth would defeat their parents and end the insanity of the occupation. If Israel’s PM’s home is divided against him and rejects his insane and self-destructive policies, can the rest of Israeli society be far behind?
And so, while Ehud Olmert the hypocrite travels to America and Europe with his goose-stepping plan for an Israeli empire, and President Bush nods coyly, in the real world Israel’s children have increasingly begun to reject the racism and imperialism of their parents.
Ask yourself, what would the media reaction have been in the United States if the Bush twins had acted similarly, if Jenna Bush refused her compulsory military service and Barbara Bush picketed the Pentagon and called Rummy a “murderer.” But that’s what happened in Israel and no one in America’s mainstream media said a word. That’s why ContrarianCommentary.com is so critical: we take a mainstream approach to unconventional and often ignored news.
Bush could have/should have been a leader. He has been reviled because of the “pro-Israel hawks” in his administration. Agree with those accusations or not, he has allowed Israeli leaders to continue their destructive occupation policies while young Israelis are inexorably rejecting these policies. Instead of being a leader for peace in Israel and Palestine, Bush became a facilitator for extremist elements who will fight to the last Israeli or until their own children turn and shoot them.
The revelation of hypocrisy in this situation can be a profoundly stimulating elixir. Olmert is a hypocrite. At his own dinner table he cannot persuade his oldest son to live in Israel. He cannot persuade his daughter that his policies are right, that Israel’s future is in safe and just hands. His entire family rejects him. And yet he wants President Bush to believe Israel has a future and Americans to shovel more hard-earned dollars to Olmert’s imperialist dreams.
The hour is increasingly late for Israel. And for Bush’s failed foreign policy.    President Bush’s efforts to preserve one form of government in Israel have only created the conditions for an ultimate Israeli collapse. Bush had the power to resolve the situation, to cut the Gordian Knot of return and compensation. Instead, he made the situation worse.
It won’t happen next week. or even next month, or next year. But when the Prime Minister’s own son leaves the country in disgust and rejection, and his daughter calls her father’s government a den of killers, there is only one thing a parent can say: “Would the last Israeli to leave please turn off the lights.”

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