By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
September 16, 2012
In today’s Haaretz, Barak Ravid cites anonymous Israeli government officials claiming the U.S. ignored their repeated warnings of anti-Western “radicalizing trends” in the wake of the Arab uprisings. Writes Ravid:
For months before the most recent attacks on U.S. embassies in North African states, Foreign Ministry and U.S. State Department officials had been arguing over developments in these countries. Senior figures in Jerusalem claimed that Washington was burying its head in the sand and ignoring the increasing radicalization in states such as Tunisia and Egypt.
The Obama administration, which since the beginning of the Arab Spring has aided, directly or indirectly, the forces that brought down the dictatorial regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Lybia [sic], now finds itself in a position of helplessness.
Not surprisingly, the Israeli officials conveniently seem to have forgotten Tel Aviv’s role in inducing Washington to provide this aid to the radical forces they are now warning against. For example, during an April 2011 visit to the Israeli-occupied Capitol Hill, President Shimon Peres urged support for “the awakening of the Arab world,” arguing that “the spread of democracy in the region could dramatically improve the staunch US ally’s circumstances.”
Instead, Ravid’s piece gives the impression that a concerned Israel was frustrated with Washington’s stubborn refusal to listen to its friendly advice about the dangers posed by this “awakening.” Exuding a condescending “we told you so” tone, the article concludes:
“Only now, after what happened to their embassies, the Americans are beginning to understand the situation,” the senior official concluded, “to hear the president of the United States declared [sic] that Egypt isn’t an ally, but also isn’t the enemy – that’s a real earthquake,” he said.
Of course, the implicit narrative being advanced by these Israeli officials through their “trusty stenographer” is that now more than ever — thanks to the so-called “Arab Spring” — the Jewish state is America’s sole remaining reliable ally in a dangerously radicalized region.
Update: On NBC’s Meet the Press, Netanyahu made that narrative explicit:
We’re the best of allies. And Israel is the one reliable ally of the United States in the Middle East — and if that wasn’t understood until yesterday…