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Nov-21-2010 21:07printcomments

US Offers Bibi 20 F-35 Fighters, The Jordan Valley and a Free UN Pass

Hillary Clinton and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in New York
Hillary Clinton and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in New York. Learn more, visit Jim's Website: Wall Writings

(CHICAGO) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been meeting with his seven-member inner cabinet. They are discussing the offer Hillary Clinton made as an incentive to Israel to “freeze” settlement construction for 90 days.

If you are not a Palestinian or an American tax payer, what’s not to like in this proposed deal?

Israel agrees to reinstate a 90-day freeze on West Bank settlement construction, not including East Jerusalem. This means that a freeze that was never in effect will now be reinstated.

In return for reinstating, for 90 days,a freeze that was never frozen, Israel is handed a gift which even the New York Times‘ Tom Friedman, Israel’s Greatest Friend in American media, called a “bribe”.

Friedman is correct. For reinstating a freeze that was never frozen, the U.S. agrees not to keep bugging Israel about any future freezes beyond the 90 day agreement.

The bribe includes 20 F-35 fighters, Israel’s control of the Jordan Valley for a year after a final border is established, and a guarantee that the US will veto any UN actions aimed at Israel.

Stephen Lendman, a Research Associate of the Center for Research on Globalization reported in Veterans Today that the New York Times gives its typical pro-Israel slant on Clinton’s offer.

Times writers Ethan Bronner and Mark Landler, wrote on November 14, “A 90-Day Bet on Mideast Talks”:

The vote by Mr. Netanyahu’s cabinet on (Obama’s) proposal is expected to be very close but (it’s) likely to pass by at least one vote, analysts said.

Likewise, while the Palestinians have objected partly because the proposed construction freeze does not include East Jerusalem which they want as the capital of their future state, that is not considered an issue likely to dissuade them from rejoining the talks,

Lendman’s analysis of the Bronner-Landler report:

The Times and other major media writers are clueless on East Jerusalem. Palestinians don’t want it as their future capital. [It is already] non-negotiably theirs now, [a reality] neither The Times or other Western media will acknowledge, showing one-sided support for Israel.

Of course, a large portion of the rest of the world sees through this humiliating charade, described by the London Independent’s Robert Fisk, as an act of appeasement:

In any other country, the current American bribe to Israel, and the latter’s reluctance to accept it, in return for even a temporary end to the theft of somebody else’s property would be regarded as preposterous.

Three billion dollars’ worth of fighter bombers in return for a temporary freeze in West Bank colonization for a mere 90 days? Not including East Jerusalem – so goodbye to the last chance of the east of the holy city for a Palestinian capital – and, if Benjamin Netanyahu so wishes, a rip-roaring continuation of settlement on Arab land.

In the ordinary sane world in which we think we live, there is only one word for Barack Obama’s offer: appeasement.

It is a sign of just how far America (and, through our failure to condemn this insanity, Europe) has allowed its fear of Israel – and how far Obama has allowed his fear of Israeli supporters in Congress and the Senate – to go.

Three billion dollars for three months is one billion dollars a month to stop Israel’s colonisation. That’s half a billion dollars a fortnight. That’s $500m a week. That’s $71,428,571 a day, or $2,976,190 an hour, or $49,603 a minute.

And as well as this pot of gold, Washington will continue to veto any resolutions critical of Israel in the UN and prevent “Palestine” from declaring itself a state.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (FSJ) is not your run of the mill fighter.  It is part of a “joint, multinational acquisition program for the US Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and eight cooperative international partners.”

By the addition of F-35s to its Air Force, Israel joins the US and its eight other international partners as members of a western alliance working together to create  what is “expected to be the largest military aircraft procurement ever.”

The stealth, supersonic F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) will replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft for the U.S. armed forces and its allied defense forces worldwide, which now includes Israel.

In short, Israel is not just receiving a gift of 20 F-35s. It is also becoming part of a procurement program designed to run through 2026 and possibly longer. According to the Global Security Report, the F-35 worldwide fleet “may well stay in service until 2060 or longer”.

This international procurement program benefits the US company Lockheed-Martin, which on October 26, 2001 won “the largest military contract ever, a possible $200 billion competition to build the Joint Strike Fighter,” winning a competition over Boeing.

Lockheed Martin Corp. is developing the F-35 at its fighter aircraft plant in Fort Worth, where the new stealth warplane is expected to provide about 9,000 jobs over the next three to four decades. Northrop Grumman Corp. is to build the F-35′s center fuselage in California and BAE Systems the aft body in England. The Defense Industry Daily, reporting on the “largest single military program in history”, described the international dimension of the F-35 program:

For much of the free world’s military forces, the F-35 represents the future–a new family of affordable, stealthy combat aircraft designed to meet the twenty-first-century requirements of the US Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, as well as the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy.

The program is truly international in its scope and participation: Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Denmark, Australia, and Norway recently joined the F-35’s system development and demonstration (SDD) phase. All SDD partners will be active in the F-35’s development process and stand to gain economically from the program.

This “free world” reference in the Defense Industry Daily, suggests that the Clinton package is intended to benefit US arms dealers as much as it benefits Israel’s long range military planners.  And, lest we forget, arms dealers are generous with their gifts to politicians around election time.

Stranger than fiction Order Now

The American war culture has become so dominant in our economy and politics, that official talk of peaceful solutions to world conflicts have become as antiquated as a Model T Ford sedan. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama know this, which is why they perform the “settlement kabuki dance” with their best international pal, Bibi Netanyahu.

Clinton and Obama are trying to play to their political base while they dance with Bibi. Their base, which is much more progressive/liberal than the official Republican War Party is also dominated by PEPs (Progressive except on Palestine).

The progressive/liberal segment of our culture is slow to shift its focus. We need only to look back to 1967, when Martin Luther King, Jr., shocked his civil rights followers and media promoters by taking a strong stand against the American war in Vietnam.

The critical cries were loud: “The Reverend has stopped preaching and gone to meddling”.

Five months before he was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, Dr.King called for his fellow Americans  to refuse to fight in an unjust and immoral war in Vietnam.

Dr. King’s November, 1967 statements in opposition to the war culture’s Vietnam project were not received well by the majority of the public and certainly not by the political leaders.

King was a Christian prophet demanding an end to a futile, immoral and unjust war in Vietnam. In his prophetic voice, King condemned his nation’s growing militarization. The Civil Rights hero had become a prophetic critic who ventured outside the nation’s consensus.

This was 1967-68, before opposition to the Vietnam War became more acceptable to the media and  the general public.

Glenn Greenwald found a clip of a 1967 King interview with TV host Mike Douglas. Greenwald posted a section of the interview on his website. His source for the video was the website, God Bless the Whole World.

Greenwald wrote:

King, among other things, is asked by a clearly hostile Douglas whether King’s emphatic anti-war position — which has now largely been whitewashed from his legacy — raises questions about the “loyalty” of black Americans generally.

King responded by saying his opposition to the war was not directed to his fellow African Americans (he spoke of “Negroes” at the time), but to all Americans. Douglas was so locked into the war culture’s endorsement of the Vietnam war, that he was unable to accept the reality that King’s prophetic voice reached beyond racial injustice.

Currently our nation is involved in two more wars. This time around, the war culture has delivered us into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, wars that are nothing less than a repeat of the Vietnam disaster which we prolonged seven additional years after King’s assassination.

We know about the missing WMDs that were used by Bush and Cheney to take us into war in iraq. What we are slow to accept is that in Afghanistan we are conducting a long term war in what should have been limited to an intensive criminal pursuit of the small number of men who planned and carried out 9/11.

Juan Cole reports on a recent survey of 1000 Afghan men:

An opinion survey carried out in Helmand and Kandahar provinces showed that 92% of the Afghan respondents (1000 men) had never heard of 9/11.

Most Americans are ambivalent about the Afghanistan War precisely because it is hard to dismiss the argument that the September 11 attacks were planned out there in some of 40 terrorist training camps that were aimed at waging war on the US.

If Afghans, 72% of whom are illiterate, have never even heard of September 11, then they have no idea why the United States and NATO are even in their country! And the entire lack of such knowledge would likely make them more hostile to that presence, since it would seem wholly unjustified and from out of left field to them.

Nothing has changed since 1967. We are still dragged into wars we do not understand by war makers who peddle their militant wares as essential to security and peace. King knew this, as we can see and hear from his prophetic words in November, 1967:

King’s vision is needed as each new American president promises peace and promotes war. The King vision still remains. Prophetic voices could still be raised in opposition to bribes to war leaders, bribes that include gifts of F-35 fighters that are just itching, to quote a former Republican presidential candidate, to “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”.


Journalism was Jim Wall’s undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. An ordained United Methodist clergy person; he and his wife, Mary Eleanor, are the parents of three sons, and the grandparents of four grandchildren. They live in Elmhurst, Illinois.

Jim served for two years on active duty in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF (inactive) reserve. While serving with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years, starting in 1972. Time magazine wrote about the new editor, who arrived at the Christian Century determined to turn the magazine into a hard-hitting news publication. The inspiration for Wall Writings comes from that mindset and from many other sources that have influenced Jim’s writings over the years, including politics, cinema, media, American culture, and the political struggles in the Middle East. Jim has made more than 20 trips to that region as a journalist, during which he covered such events as Anwar Sadat’s 1977 trip to Jerusalem, and the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. He has interviewed, and written about, journalists, religious leaders, political leaders and private citizens in the region. You can write to Jim Wall at Visit Jim's Website: Wall Writings

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Michel November 22, 2010 4:24 pm (Pacific time)

Can you explain why the Jordan Valley is less a part of Israel than Arizona is part of the US, or the territory of former East Prussia belongs to Lithuania, Russia, and Poland? The funniest thing is that your headline reads "US Offers...The Jordan Valley," as if it was theirs to begin with. What is happening here is similar to the Egyptian-Israel peace accords, where Sadat refused to negotiate with Israel, so the agreements were in fact US-Israeli and US-Egyptian. Asking Israel to prevent further Jewish residence in Judea and Samaria is like asking the Seminoles not to burden Anglos by living in Florida. Like the US trying to prevent Jews from building homes near their ancestors', the Byzantines tried hard to keep the Jews and Samaritans from living in the province of Palaestina, by heaping trash on the Temple Mount, building shrines on Mount Gerizim, and prohibiting Jews from living in Jerusalem, culminating in Heraclius' genocidal massacre of Jews in 628. The Arabs and Turks also tried, and failed, to wipe out the Jews from Jund Filastin and the sanjak of Jerusalem. There's a lesson in this for you people - it's hard to win against a homegrown insurgency, so as as you say, don't be "dragged into wars we do not understand." More importantly, don't assume, as an American or Christian, that the world is your oyster.

Eric November 22, 2010 3:41 pm (Pacific time)

Your article misses a lot of the context here. The US began extending Israel military aid only after 1973, to incent Israel into vacating the Sinai and appease the Arab League. Egypt attempted to destroy Israel 3 times, so it should be obvious why Israel needed better than empty promises in return for forfeiting a vital security buffer. That military aid is not an obligation - it's mostly a subsidy to US defense contractors, who have reason to fear Israel exporting fighters with more advanced avionics and targeting systems than the US can develop domestically. (India is buying most of its satellites and UAVs from Israel.) Also, Israel is getting bilked for the flyover cost per plane on its original F-35 purchase, so that must generate some jobs, or at least fat paychecks, for Lockheed Martin employees. On the matter of the Jordan Valley, you're apparently arguing that it, and all of the Shomron, belongs to Arabs - is that by virtue of ghazawat (Islamic conquest), building mosques atop Jewish shrines, or some other arbitrary basis? The valley was largely uninhabited before Jews brought their invention of drip irrigation to the arid region. And even B'Tselem, which pretends that use of land by Bedouins for nomadic grazing constitutes ownership (which must aggravate the effendis' descendants), concedes that in many cases, Arab tenants in the Shomron ("West Bank" is a modern concept) lack registered title and/or deed to the land under the government(s) that previously administered said territory (namely, the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate, and Transjordan/Jordan), all of whom have no outstanding land claims in the region. And you're evidently upset that Israel is not voluntarily clearing the West Bank of all Jewish residents, probably because you think they don't "belong" there. Here's something that's been said elsewhere, but drives home the point: the only Arabs living on Israel's modern-day borders at the time of the Mohammedan conquest were the Banu Lakhm and Banu Judham tribes; all others came as occupiers. Jewish residence in Israel continued through history, in spite of the Arabs' expropriation of land (via shari'a inheritance laws that favored false witness by Muslims over Jewish landowners), crippling kharaj and jizya taxes, the Fatimid civil war, Turcoman occupation, and even the Crusades. The Cairo Geniza and other documents point to majority Jewish residence up to the Crusades in Haifa, Tiberias, Hebron, Eilat, and elsewhere, with Samaritans holding their own in Shechem ("Nablus"). Even when the Mamluks (not an ethnic group - just mercenaries) and Ottoman Turks re-enacted the Greek Byzantine prohibition on Jewish residence in Jerusalem, Jews fought to maintain their existence in Peki'in and other towns. You must acknowledge that Arabs are occupiers. "Palestine" is not even accurate as a geographical term - Philistines (who were not Arabs) lived on the Mediterranean Coast, not among the Jews of Judea or the Samaritans of Samaria. As for a "Palestinian taxpayer," I wasn't aware that the PA needed that institution, since any Arab is eligible for living stipends from the UNRWA, in exchange for living in squalid refugee camps instead of modern apartment blocks that working Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza have built for themselves. The UN, US, and EU cover virtually every expense incurred by either the PA or Hamas, so if there are taxpayers in Ramallah, they must wonder why all that money hasn't persuaded Abbas to build state-level institutions. Do explain that one to me - preferably, in a response that has nothing to do with Martin Luther King, Jr., or Afghanistan.

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