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Daniel Levy (Haaretz): Ending the neoconservative nightmare

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regnaD kciN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 04:42 PM
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Daniel Levy (Haaretz): Ending the neoconservative nightmare
Disentangling Israeli interests from the rubble of neocon "creative destruction" in the Middle East has become an urgent challenge for Israeli policy-makers. An America that seeks to reshape the region through an unsophisticated mixture of bombs and ballots, devoid of local contextual understanding, alliance-building or redressing of grievances, ultimately undermines both itself and Israel. The sight this week of Secretary of State Rice homeward bound, unable to touch down in any Arab capital, should have a sobering effect in Washington and Jerusalem.

(...)

Israel does have enemies, interests and security imperatives, but there is no logic in the country volunteering itself for the frontline of an ideologically misguided and avoidable war of civilizations.

So what should be done, on both sides of the ocean? It is admittedly difficult for Israel to have a regional strategy that is out-of-step with the U.S. administration-of-the-day. However, the neocon approach is not unchallenged, and Israel should not be providing its ticket back to the ascendancy. A U.S. return to proactive diplomacy, realism and multilateralism, with sustained and hard engagement that delivers concrete progress, would best serve its own, Israeli and regional interests. Israel should encourage this. Israel may even have to lead, for instance, in rethinking policy on Hamas or Syria, and should certainly work intensely with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in encouraging his efforts to reach a Palestinian national understanding as a basis for stable governance, security quiet and future peace negotiations. A policy that comes with a Jerusalem kosher stamp of approval might be viewed as less of an abomination in Washington.

Beyond that, Israel and its friends in the United States should seriously reconsider their alliances not only with the neocons, but also with the Christian Right. The largest "pro-Israel" lobby day during this crisis was mobilized by Pastor John Hagee and his Christians United For Israel, a believer in Armageddon with all its implications for a rather particular end to the Jewish story. This is just asking to become the mother of all dumb, self-defeating and morally abhorrent alliances.


More here.

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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 04:57 PM
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1. Excellent article
Strange bedfellows.
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 07:17 PM
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2. If only it was sufficient to convince people
of the nefarious relationship that is hijacking the public policy of both nations.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 10:01 PM
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3. Rec'd
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farmbo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-07-06 07:02 AM
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4. Must read article.The moderate Israeli view of NeoCon hubris...More here:
<snip>The key neocon protagonists, their think tanks and publications may be unfamiliar to many Israelis, but they are redefining the region we live in. This tight-knit group of "defense intellectuals" - centered around Bill Kristol, Michael Ledeen, Elliott Abrams, Perle, Feith and others - were considered somewhat off-beat until they teamed up with hawkish well-connected Republicans like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Newt Gingrich, and with the emerging powerhouse of the Christian right. Their agenda was an aggressive unilateralist U.S. global supremacy, a radical vision of transformative regime-change democratization, with a fixation on the Middle East, an obsession with Iraq and an affinity to "old Likud" politics in Israel. Their extended moment in the sun arrived after 9/11.

Finding themselves somewhat bogged down in the Iraqi quagmire, the neoconservatives are reveling in the latest crisis, displaying their customary hubris in re-seizing the initiative. The U.S. press and blogosphere is awash with neocon-inspired calls for indefinite shooting, no talking and extension of hostilities to Syria and Iran, with Gingrich calling this a third world war to "defend civilization."<snip>

Internationalist Republicans, Democrats and mainstream Israelis must construct an alternative narrative to the neocon nightmare, identifying shared interests in a policy that reestablishes American leadership, respect and credibility in the region by facilitating security and stability, pursuing conflict resolution and promoting the conditions for more open societies (as opposed to narrow election-worship). The last two years of the Bush presidency can be an opportunity for progress or an exercise in desperate damage limitation. It sounds counter-intuitive, but Israel should reflect on and even help reorient American expectations. <snip>


Moderate and liberal Israelis are also starting to see through the self-serving claptrap of the US NeoCon power structure.

And they don't want any part of it.
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