(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - As the upcoming presidential election approaches, many politicians are beginning to overemphasize their support for Israel. Sadly enough, this support isn’t confined to either the Democrats or the Republicans, but is a wide-scale effort by the pro-Israeli lobbying groups to make sure that they get what they want. Amid the many disagreements between the parties, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one issue that they both seem to agree on.
Obviously they have to or the majority of their campaign contributions would go down the drain. MJ Rosenberg, who worked for years on Capitol Hill for the Democratic Party, couldn’t have said it any better. “You just gotta say, ‘Yes sir, I agree, absolutely, nothing better than Israel,’ because you don’t want them to get mad at you. You wanna keep the campaign contributions going.” Unfortunately, in American politics, this wretched statement is the truth. To some extent, the Israeli lobby dictates our policies for us, whether we like it or not, and there’s absolutely nothing we can say about it.
According to Howard Berman, a member of the House of Representatives, “American foreign policy has been - and must continue to be - based on unequivocal support for Israel's right to exist and to be free from terror.” He’s a Democrat. According to former US president George W. Bush, “We will stand up for our friends in the world. And one of the most important friends is the 'State' of Israel.” Bush is a Republican. The fact of the matter is, no matter which political party we cast our vote for on the ballot, Israel is always a “friend.” It’s okay when they construct illegal settlements, build illegitimate separation walls, deny the unalienable right of return, and murder hundreds of Palestinians, because they’re our “friend.” This viewpoint hasn’t changed ever since the establishment of the 'state' of Israel.” Let me ask them: what policies? What did Obama do that was so “anti-Israel”? He denied the Palestinian bid for statehood, covered his mouth when the illegal settlements were constructed in Jerusalem, and failed to criticize many of Israel’s military tactics in the Gaza Strip. According to the Republicans, Obama is the worst president ever—even after the capture of Bin Laden and the death of Qaddafi—because unfortunately, he doesn’t support Israel as much as he’s supposed to.
Through their campaigns for presidential election, Republicans want to overemphasize this lack of support for Israel. Herman Cain, who recently dropped out of the election, proclaimed, "If you're messing with Israel you're messing with the USA." I personally have to disagree with that statement. Israel has never put our country at any advantage. As a matter of fact, our support for Israel has caused more harm than good, both financially and militarily. Unfortunately, our politicians want us to believe that supporting Israel is for our own good. But scratch under the surface a little bit and to your surprise, you’ll find that it’s not. Our support for Israel is only an important issue when it comes down to elections. Mitt Romney accused Obama of "throwing Israel under the bus.” Michelle Bachman stated that if she is president “not one inch of Israel will ever be on the chopping block." Rick Santorum went so far as to say that the Palestinians are an “illegitimate people.” Are you kidding me? The Palestinian people have a common language, culture, and a tradition that goes back for many centuries. Do Israelis have a common language, culture, and tradition? No. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from countries all over the world. Newt Gingrich also criticized Obama’s policies and further stated that “a president who can’t control his own border probably shouldn't lecture Israel about their border.”
While a majority of support for Israel is coming from Republican presidential candidates, it is important to point out support from the Democrats as well. Earl Blumenauer, a Democratic US representative, stated that “Congress is concerned about the future and security of our close friend and ally, Israel.” George Ball, a Democratic US diplomat, said,“There can be no doubt that we have an interest in, and special responsibility for, that valiant nation [Israel].” Many politicians are overemphasizing the fact that we wouldn’t be where we are today had it not been for Israel. Is that a logical proclamation, or should it be the other way around? The American population is starting to believe that the American-Israeli partnership is a prerequisite for peace and stability in other regions. The fact that Israel is the main cause of America’s political, economic, and foreign policy dilemmas is hidden beneath these pro-Israeli remarks, funded by the delegates of AIPAC and other pro-Israeli groups. And sadly enough, due to the way our government operates, these delegates will continue to work behind the curtain to ensure the long-term financial and political stability of Israel. These delegates are pulling the strings of both the Democratic and Republican policy makers and dictating the decisions our politicians make on a daily basis.
(Mousa Alshanteer is a Palestinian-American teenager who advocates for the Palestinian cause. He is a senior at High Point Central School in High Point, North Carolina.)