Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dulles and the Eisenhower administration were the last to stand up to "the Jews" on Mideast foreign policy; it's been obsequious weakness ever since

Why I’m voting for Eisenhower over Obama

(Mondoweiss) -- by Philip Weiss --

Below is a riveting story about Eisenhower and Ben Gurion. But first a comment.

If you read the history of the special relationship, the same patterns of political pressure exerted by the Israel lobby to nullify national policy re Israeli expansionism that we see today with Obama's capitulation on Jerusalem and the West Bank occurred 50 and 60 years ago over other borders-- Partition's and Egypt's-- and the return of the refugees, too. And the resistance to this simple political understanding on the left is one of our greatest obstacles to doing anything about it in the U.S. discourse, indeed why the same story has repeated itself over and over for decades of Palestinian dispossession.

The story about President Eisenhower's insistence that Israel withdraw from Egypt, which it had invaded in 1956, comes from The Passionate Attachment (1992) by the late George W. Ball, a former Under Secretary of State, and Douglas Ball. Eisenhower was of course a Republican; which brings up one more point about the discourse on the left: I grew up in a Democratic household, being told that John Foster Dulles was a bastard and maybe an anti-Semite, too. In fact, his position below is a stirring one; but I have had to overcome a lot of cultural/political programming to say as much.

Jewish American organizations tried hard to generate congressional resistance to Eisenhower's position. On February 1, [1957] Senator William Knowland, the Republican minority leader, protested to [Secretary of State John Foster] Dulles against the administration's stand. Knowland agreed that the policy might be right in theory, but pointed out to Dulles the domestic political implications and threatened to revolt. Dulles answered Knowland by noting, "We cannot have all our policies made in Jerusalem," and he justified the American position on the following grounds:

"First, sanctions would be necessary to compel Israel's withdrawal and a withdrawal was needed to maintain the American position among the Arabs...

"[Second] I am aware how almost impossible it is in this country to carry out a foreign policy not approved by the Jews. [Former sec'y of state under Truman George] Marshall and [first Defense Secretary James V.] Forrestal learned that. I am going to try to have one.

"That does not mean I am anti-Jewish, but I believe in what George Washington said in his Farewell Address that an emotional attachment to another country should not interfere."

On February 20, Eisenhower called a meeting of the congressional leadership. When the lawmakers, ever sensitive to the pro-Israeli lobby, refused to help, Eisenhower resorted to television that same night.

Eisenhower did more than talk. He issued an ultimatum to Ben Gurion to pull Israel's forces back to the Israeli border. He also laid plans with Dulles that, if the Israelis did not comply, the United States would cut off the flow of all aid to Israel, including not only development assistance but technical assistance and shipments of agricultural products under Public Law 480. He would also delay the disbursement of an already arranged Export-Import Bank loan and terminate all forms of military assistance, including those in the pipeline. He canceled export licenses for the shipment of munitions or other military goods. Finally, he ordered Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey to draft a change in U.S. tax regulations so that the Jewish American organization benefactors would no longer be entitled to a federal income tax deduction for contributions that benefited Israel.

In spite of further efforts by Israel's supporters to deflect White House pressure from the Jewish state, Eisenhower did not cave in; so, as the Israeli government began to run out of money, Ben Gurion, on March 5, 1957, grudgingly capitulated. On March 16, Israel withdrew from almost all the territory it had occupied in the Suez offensive.

1 comment:

phyllis66 said...

What an encouraging fact of information in this article. To think that one man could stand up to a group of psychopaths and win. Oh, America how far you have fallen in the capitulation of these bastards today.