I'd thought it would just be a breezy Friday afternoon, when I clicked on today"s post of M.J. Rosenberg, here on Huffington Post.
Director of Policy for the Israel Policy Forum, Mr. Rosenberg's blog entry concerns the upcoming Israeli election -- and he tells us the outcome is "really not our business." After all, he blithely notes, "As Americans, our job is to promote policies that are best for America, and for Israel."
(NOTE on Sunday, Feb 8: The above quote is from his original column on Huffington Post, which he changed over the weekend -- deleting the controversial "and for Israel" part. The column, however, can still be read on the Israel Policy Forum at http://www.israelpolicyforum.org/ -- as of Sunday at least.)
There weren't comments when I started reading -- but by the time I read through his post and hit the reply button, there were already five comments and more pending. All of them saying the same thing -- no, Mr. Rosenberg -- our job is to promote policies that are best for America. PERIOD.
I am truly alarmed at the idea that Israel is indeed our 51st state -- falling, apparently between Indiana and Kansas -- but this idea is fairly entrenched in US foreign policy. After all, unbeknownst to most Americans, Israel -- an affluent country -- receives more US foreign aid than ANY other country in the world -- and the bulk of it goes for arms, a result of the 1979 Camp David Agreement that brought Israeli-Egyptian peace, as I note in this entry.
Thus, everytime Israel makes a military move, it reflects on the US -- since they're using our freebie arms, as I note here.
The neocons who dominated both the Bush administrations, son's and father's, adopted the idea that what's good for Israel is good for the US, and there are those that argue that in fact our 2003 march into Iraq was more about conquering a threat to Israel than destroying a threat to the US.
And certainly, if Israel makes a move on Iran -- which remains a distinct possibility whoever wins the election -- and perhaps even before, as I discuss here -- it will not only reflect on the US yet again, it may pull us directly or indirectly into the ugliest war we've yet seen in the Middle East.
So, sorry, Mr. Rosenberg, it is our business who wins the elections in Israel -- nevertheless, Israel is not our latest state. And Mr. Rosenberg, I will be happy to debate you on this issue in any forum you name.
-- Melissa Rossi is the author of What Every American Should Know about the Middle East