US State Dept. Should Exercise Restraint Towards Israel

Coming off the heals of a devastating war, Israel announced that it has appropriated nine-hundred and eighty-eight acres of largely uninhabited land in and around the Jewish village of Gvahot in the Gush Etzion bloc of Judea officially categorizing it as ‘state land’.  This is not even an annexation of land, but rather official acknowledgement that the real estate is now a fiscal asset of the government of the Jewish state (as is about 93% of land inside pre-1967 Israel).  In other words, Jewish property rights on a barren strip of desert that has never been occupied by Arabs (and is currently inhabited by Israeli Jews) has been recognized by the state of Israel.

As predicted, the US state department felt compelled to offer their two cents releasing a statement saying the move was “counterproductive” to efforts to achieve a two-state solution between Israel and the ‘Palestinians’. They then urged Jerusalem to reverse the decision.  Why the State Department cares about Israel appropriating a barren piece of desert that no Arab has ever lived on (and probably never intends on living on) is beyond me.  But what really gets me is the timing of the State Department’s response.

It has been exposed that during Israel’s conflict with Gaza this summer, the US State Department issued a discriminatory decree to the FAA to cancel all flights to Israel since Hamas fired a rocket close to Israel’s international airport.  The reason I stress the word discriminatory is because no such warning was issued to countries like Pakistan and the Ukraine where airlines have actually been shot down. And they didn’t just boycott Israel commercially.  It was also revealed that the US State Department halted a much needed shipment of arms from the US to Israel.  When confronted, they brushed it off as a bureaucratic hiccup. And who can forget John Kerry’s secret meeting with Hamas’ handlers Qatar and Turkey to find another ‘solution’ to end the conflict while completely snubbing any Israeli representation.  You’d think that after all this nefarious behavior toward its ally, the staff in Washington would exercise a bit of discretion to the country they have systematically stabbed in the back.

But no. Without an iota of shame, the US felt it appropriate to preach their ‘solution’ which of course, involves a baseless critique of Israeli policy. Why do I say baseless? Has there ever been a peaceful resolution or ‘solution’ resulting from simply dividing a conflicted country that both sides are fighting for into half in the history of the world?  Or better yet, giving one side (Arabs) only half of what they’re fighting for? It is akin to allowing King Solomon to cut the baby in half and it is precisely the same ignorant agenda of the US state department that ultimately led to the current crisis in Iraq.

Whenever American diplomats pretend to know the first thing about ‘solutions’ or creating peace in the Middle East, we Israelis can’t help but roll our eyes. We all saw the disaster that was Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The US occupied that country for seven years.  What exactly was accomplished?  Peace? or a modern day Holocaust of ethnic Kurds and Christians. Now the Islamic State (ISIS) has reached Israel’s northern border and the fighting has already began to spill over into the Golan region of Israel. This means that here in Israel, we’re suffering from the collateral damage of a pathetically misguided US foreign policy and their imaginative ‘solutions’ for a better, brighter Middle East.

Before the US state department preaches to Israel about peace or ‘two state solutions’, they better give us Israelis a darn convincing resume stating why we should trust them as Middle East peace facilitators. Until then, let’s hope and pray that Israel ignores their bickering and moves on.


David Sidman is the correspondent from Israel