By : A.Molaei, Middle East expert
Over the past few decades, and especially since the Six-Day War of 1967, relations with Israel have been at the heart of US Middle East policy. The legal structure of the United States of America has provided a good platform for the emergence, empowerment and influence of pressure groups or influential people on the domestic and foreign decision-making system. Meanwhile, pro-Israel lobbying activities are the product of the rise of a number of influential Jewish organizations, most notably the role of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). It is responsible for planning and coordinating the activities of most Jewish organizations in the United States and plays a key role in coordinating US policies with the interests of Zionism.
In fact, for many years, Israel, with the help of this powerful lobby, has tried to endanger its security and existence with its policy of oppression and hostility, and thus attract international support, especially US aid; Aid that has always been used for heavy investment in military equipment and training. Accordingly, Israel, with a population of 9 million, is currently the largest recipient of US foreign aid and in 2020, US aids to Israel was $ 3.8 billion, almost all of which was spent on military spending.
Of course, the United States also provides significant assistance to Egypt and Jordan, which are also indirectly linked to Israel’s security, with the aim of ensuring that the two countries maintain their peace treaties with the Israeli regime. In 2019, US aid to each of the two countries was equivalent to one and a half billion dollars (Horton, May 4, 2021); the costs, which are justified in the interests and security of the United States, but in fact the product of the influence of a powerful Jewish lobby in American domestic politics and have little to do with the strategic interests of the United States, itself. In addition to huge and ongoing assistance, one of the main reasons for the US military presence in the West Asian region, which has cost the country a great deal of financial and human resources, has been to support “Israeli security” (Byman, Bjerg Moller, 2016: 94)
Hence, it is important to say that the American people have paid a high price for maintaining and promoting US-Israeli relations over the past half century!
For decades, the foundation of American foreign policy, both for Democrats and Republicans, has been to ensure that Israel can defend itself against regional threats. For example, in the 2020 Democratic campaign, there was an issue entitled “Irrevocable Support for Israel,” that has been criticized by some left-wing Democrats, especially the senator Bernie Sanders, because of its high costs for American taxpayers.
However, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said in response to the protests: “The purpose of US assistance is to ensure that Israel is secure enough to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians as well as the regional comprehensive peace (!)” (Horton, May 4, 2021).
Thus, the cost of the Israeli regime’s strategic goals and the influence of its powerful lobby in the US political structure, under the guise of maintaining peace in the strategic regions of the world and the interests and national security of the United States, is imposed on the US people. In this regard, since the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the main enemies of the Zionist regime and has never been willing to recognize the existence of this regime as an independent and legitimate state, it is natural that Israeli officials and influential Zionist lobbies direct the forefront of their activities toward Iran and will not give up any attempt to incite various US governments against Iran.
One of the most important influences of Israel on the foreign policy decisions of the US government has been its role in the illegal assassination of Martyr Qassem Soleimani, which, according to Israeli intelligence officials, was carried out by inciting and infiltrating of the regime. “Our intelligence service has informed the Americans that the commander of the Quds Force is planning a large-scale operation against US forces in the Persian Gulf. The news was transferred to the US Army and the US Army was against Iran on this basis, ” said Tamir Hayman, head of the Israeli military intelligence service, in an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 ”(The Zionist regime has a hand…, October 3, 2021). The allegations were made by Israel as General Soleimani and his entourage arrived in the neighboring country on a civilian flight, and the purpose of their trip, according to then-Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, was to convey Iran’s message about the “Baghdad initiative” to reduce regional tensions to the Iraqi prime minister.
Thus, it is clear that the Israeli regime, in line with its goals and interests to strike at the Islamic Republic of Iran and remove its key elements, used the US government as a toy and the then US administration (Trump administration) turned a blind eye, without investigation and Ignoring US interests, complied with Israel’s demands and launched an illegal terrorist attack, which led to Iran retaliating and attacking the Ain al-Assad base. In addition to injuring a large number of American soldiers, the attack led to unprecedented discredit and humiliation of the US government in the regional and global arenas. However, if it were not for the restraint of the Iranian authorities, this illegal and criminal act of the US government in following the policy of state and organized assassinations of Israel could have endangered regional and global peace on a much wider scale.
At present, the regime’s opposition to the US return to JCPOA, the insidious visits of the Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and other intelligence officials to the US and European countries are other examples of the regime efforts to put pressure on Islamic Republic of Iran and change it into a global concern, convince European countries, especially the United States, of the futility of JCPOA and the need to implement Plan B (war and military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities). According to US National Security Strategic Documents, the United States is working to bring peace and stability to the West Asian region and the Persian Gulf so that it can compete with its emerging rivals, China and Russia (Interim National Security, March 03, 2021).
As John Joseph Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt emphasize in The Israel Lobby and American Foreign Policy, the axis of US foreign policy in the Middle East is based on full and unwavering support for Israel. While this is not only not the best way to protect the national interests of the United States, but also to its detriment. The authors cite the main pillar of the Israeli lobby’s effectiveness is in influencing the US Congress and believe that the Israeli lobby plays a key role in supporting the view of the necessity of a US military invasion of Iraq and confrontation and psychological warfare with Iran and Syria, as well as the Israel-Lebanon war (2006). At the same time, such a policy incites the anger of the Muslim nations of the region and causes them to oppose and act against the interests and security of the United States (Mearsheimer, 2008: 32-46).
In this regard, it seems that against the will of the nations of the Middle East and, of course, in contradiction with the strategic interests and goals of the United States, this is the only Israeli regime that seeks terror and warfare in the region and the establishment of military bases by superregional powers, especially the United States.
Moreover, the regime’s powerful lobby seeks to paint and glaze over this policy and persuade US officials to continue supporting Israel’s security and interests.
However, the continuation of this policy will seriously damage the credibility and soft power of the United States of America and further weaken its hegemonic position in the international arena. As in recent decades, the US government’s adherence to Israel’s demands has increased insecurity and instability, and as a result, reduced its credibility throughout the world, and especially in the Middle East.
However, US officials have introduced the reason of military intervention and presence in the Middle East for supporting Israel’s security in order to achieve lasting peace, fight terrorism and improve security in the region in order to securely transfer energy resources to other parts of the world (Mueller & Others). , 2017); but the reality is that this policy has backfired, and not only the Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains unresolved under US unilateral support for Israel; rather, opposition to the United States and efforts to expel it from the region have become an important factor in joining militant jihadist groups in the Middle East, raising the tide of terrorism and extremism.
So perhaps it is time for public opinion, members of Congress, and the United States government to become more sensitive to Israel’s Victim playing policies and its conspiracies in displaying their private interests as public ones, and to avoid wasting public funds and the life of American troops to secure the interests and security of another regime.
Byman, Daniel. Bjerg Moller, Sara.(2016). “The United States and the Middle East: Interests, Risks, and Costs”. In Sustainable Security: Rethinking American National Security Strategy, edited by Jeremi Suri and Benjamin Valentino, Tobin Project. Reproduced with the permission of Oxford University Press.
Horton, Jake. (May 4, 2021). “How much money does Israel receive from the United States?” https://www.bbc.com/news/57170576. Retrieved: Desember 13, 2021.
“Interim National Security Strategic Guidance”. (March 03, 2021). https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases. Retrieved: Desember 13, 2021.
Mearsheimer, John J.(2008). “Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG).
Mueller, Karl P. & Others. (2017). U.S. Strategic Interests in the Middle East and Implications for the Army. Washington: Rand Corporation.
“The Zionist regime has a hand in the assassination of “Martyr Soleimani”. (October 3, 2021). https://sachkhabrain.com. Retrieved: Desember 12, 2021.