Europe: A sphere of influence of Tel Aviv? [Archives:2003/651/Opinion]

July 17 2003

We understand the background leading to the success of the American Zionist lobby in the United States, and are even sympathetic to the American people for being so easily misled to believe that accession to the Zionist cause is the only proper direction for American foreign policy to pursue. This goes without saying that American citizens should guard against loosing their grip over an important element of their foreign relations, which are bound to have recalcitrant long term implications, not only for the United States but for the world at large. This is already present in the unclear orientations this policy has taken over the last two and a half years with the right wing and evangelical coalition prevailing in the present White House Administration. On the other hand, one is at a loss in finding rational justifications for the American people allowing their government to be used as the arm-twister of the Zionist state against other sovereign states as the latter decide on their internal and external state of affairs. Even when these states or their respective institutions are acting well within their sovereign rights and jurisdictions, the United States finds no reason to hesitate to placate Zionist interests in fulfilling the latters' wishes in influencing the actions of these states.
This dangerous precedence in relations between the United States and other sovereign states (some of which have enjoyed long standing close alliances and mutual interests with the US) is manifested by two significant events in bilateral relations, which should raise eyebrows among civic and civil society organizations, working on the domestic front and within the scope of the international community.
The first involves the recent scolding by the British Government directed against one of the most outstanding news service organizations, the British Broadcasting Corporation – an autonomous agency of Her Majesty's Government, which is well known for its objectivity and professional acumen. The scolding was over a report on Israel's unchecked nuclear capability, which is not subject to any monitoring or control by the International Atomic Agency or any other world monitoring agency, because Israel is not a party to any nuclear arms control agreements. Of course, it is already known that Israel possesses about 200 atomic warheads of some sort or another, and is theoretically capable of destroying most of the major cities of the Middle East, while not raising any alarms anywhere. It is worthwhile to mention that this dangerous buildup has been compiled with the tacit blessings of the United States, not to mention US funding and technology (a good share of which was stolen!).
One need not worry about the standards that the BBC applied in presenting an important issue, such as the threat the Israeli nuclear capability presents to world peace, since the BBC is reputed for its professional competence and attention to professional ethics, but more important, for its reliance on substantive facts. The worry that arises from this development in inter-governmental relations, is that the scolding represents a clear interference in the operations of an autonomous news service, which must continue to enjoy that autonomy if it is to continue to enjoy the high international respect that it justly deserves. Moreover, that this scolding comes due to interference in the domestic affairs of the UK, by Israel or the United States, represents a serious breach of the concepts of sovereignty of an important and reliable ally, which the UK has proven to be for the US. It is clear that Israel does not wish to face any public concerns vis a vis its unchecked armaments programs, which is why the insistence of heavy doses of pressure on the UK government to clamp down on reporting such “sensitive issues”.
The other issue is the amendment of the Belgian legislation that once brought Belgium to the forefront, as a defender of human rights; i.e., the law that allows for international perpetrators of crimes against humanity to be tried in Belgian Courts. For a while this law stood without facing any real heavy controversy, although some countries did ask questions as to how far should legal jurisdictions of sovereign states be stretched But, because the law was deemed sound by most civil minded human beings and justified, the arguments against the law were kept on the soft scale. This questioning mainly came from states that are aware that some of their officials might face litigation in such a legal context. But when the first perpetrator to be tested under the law happened to be Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister of Israel, who has been superficially convicted for some of the responsibility for the Sabra and Shatilla massacre of well over 1,500 Palestinian civilians, including men, women and children, the pressure keg of the Zionist establishment was turned on high. Initially, this led to a postponement of summoning the perpetrator, pending completion of the systematic elimination of the residents of Gaza and the West Bank (his tenure as Prime Minister). But that was not enough for the international Zionist lobby, and pressure was brought on Belgium to soften the law, until it lost the real significant value which it originally had.
We are not sure if we feel sorry for Belgium or should really make it clear that Belgium was helpless in ascertaining its sovereignty, since its other European friends could do nothing to help their colleague in the European community. The American pressure was just too great on them as well to get them to agree to moving NATO headquarters from Belgium and other arm twisting tactics, which the US has put to service, for the sake of an obvious criminal, even as judged by his own people (400,000 Israelis protested Sharon's involvement in the Sabra and Shatilla Massacre).
We believe that in the light of these events, it is clear that Washington should set out a definition of sovereignty that it expects nations to be guided by, implicitly indicating that sovereign acts are subject to a stamp of approval from Tel Aviv.