‘AIPAC must be kept for consensus issues only’: Israeli diplomat slams Israel lobby for engaging on Syria

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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Interesting tidbit from Ben Caspit in Al Monitor. He quotes a “long-standing diplomatic source” described as “an expert regarding the entire historical background of Israeli-US relations” who is extremely critical of AIPAC’s decision to push for a U.S. strike on Syria:

“It is not wise, it is not correct, it is excessive,” said the diplomatic source, “Israel is too often viewed as a country that drags the United States into conflicts and wars. Such a modus operandi should only be employed when we have no choice, and only with regards to a strategic issue that is vital to the very existence of Israel. The fate of the Syrian regime is no such issue.” He added, “No one really knows whether life in the Middle East after Assad will be better than before, whether the border in the Golan Heights will remain as quiet as before, and what will be the fate of the axis of evil. The conflict in Syria is a war between Hezbollah and al-Qaeda, between Sunni extremists and Shiites, between very evil and more evil. Thus it is not really clear who are the good guys there, relatively speaking.

“Israel’s image has already been tarnished and harmed by AIPAC’s deep involvement in convincing the American administration to invade Iraq, a pointless invasion that caused strategic damage to the entire world. AIPAC must be kept for consensus issues only. As it is, Israel is the object of much criticism, also among liberal American Jews. Nothing would happen if, in this case, we would sit for a moment on the sidelines and allow the Americans to argue privately about the fate of their soldiers. This would only give AIPAC more power the next time that it really has to go to battle. The ‘next time’ — I’m referring to a possible assault on nuclear facilities in Iran — will be really important, fateful and decisive. It is inappropriate that every time the Americans have doubts about adopting a military course of action or not, Israel should come running and goad them on. This causes greater damage than the possibility that America would occasionally agree not to take action.”

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