02 August 2006

Alabama, Alaska... Iraq, Israel... Wisconsin, Wyoming

Do I need to update my flag? Do we have 52 states now?

A fine op-ed from The Guardian on America's foreign policy intransigence where Israel is concerned.

It is plain to anyone... that Israel could not behave as it does without the diplomatic protection of the United States. If the US government announced that it would cease to offer military and diplomatic support if Israel refused to hand back the occupied territories, Israel would have to negotiate. The US government has power over that country. But can it be used?

And here's a long but worthwhile piece (albeit biased) on the power of the Israel lobby in the U.S.

Jewish Americans have set up an impressive array of organisations to influence American foreign policy, of which AIPAC is the most powerful and best known. In 1997, Fortune magazine asked members of Congress and their staffs to list the most powerful lobbies in Washington. AIPAC was ranked second behind the American Association of Retired People, but ahead of the AFL-CIO and the National Rifle Association. A National Journal study in March 2005 reached a similar conclusion, placing AIPAC in second place (tied with AARP) in the Washington ‘muscle rankings’.

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