Prof. As’ad Abdul Rahman
Norman Birnbaum is one of the most respected thinkers among American Jews whose opinion is well regarded by many Jews and policy makers in the United States of America. His recent article titled, “Influence of Israel Lobby Declining in US, Opening New Possibilities” reveals the radical change taking place in America pertaining to Israel in particular and the Middle East and the world in general. The shift in American public opinion supporting President Obama and opposing the Israeli Prime Minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) who is being backed by Republican Congress represents, according to Birnbaum “a severe blow to the claims of the leaders of most American Jewish organizations that they represent a community united in unequivocal solidarity with Israel. It is also a rebuke to those in Israel who define Jewishness as requiring that solidarity”.
The republican base of support in USA stems from the community of the far right Christian religiosity which is a Takfiri doctrine that absolutely negates other religions and has absolutely nothing to do with true Christianity, except by name only. This so-called Christian base which lacks any spiritual credibility among the vast majority of Christians in the U.S. is the most ardent supporter of the far-right government of Israel and its colonial settlements in the occupied Palestinian lands. Indeed, Birnhaum reveals the very sinister agenda of these so-called “Zionist Christians”. He referred to them as “American Protestant Biblical literalism who thinks that the foundation of the state of Israel is evidence for the imminence of the end of the world and God’s final judgment in which most Jews will perish but a selected group will elect to convert to Christianity”. Birnbaum went even further by portraying Israel as seen by the majority of American decision makers as “an American ally in an unending conflict with Islam”. In other words, Israel is dragging the U.S. with it to confront Islam and all Muslims who oppose its religious agenda which is Judaizing historical Palestine negating the Muslim and Christian heritage in the Holy land of Palestine. President Obama, Birnbaum says “has made a strategic choice to push forward his larger project of reconciliation with the Muslim peoples and not to be expended on permanent enmity with Iran”. This seems to have led to an open confrontation between the government of Israel and President Obama. According to the article, “a large segment of the American Jewish community refused Netanyahu’s demands that they oppose the President”. The article reveals the findings of a study prepared by the reliable PEW Research Center suggesting that “a majority of American Jews do not consider Israel the center of their moral and political lives”. The writer concludes that “a process of rethinking has not only begun, but is spreading through the government and the public”.
It is to be remembered that the neo-conservatives in America under President George W. Bush with the full support of the far right in Israel have entangled the U.S. with “un-necessary wars” which bankrupted the American economy and changed a surplus of two trillions of dollars left by the Clinton Administration into 17 trillion in deficit during the Bush Administration. The biggest lender to USA is China which has made Americans aware that “American influence around the world is in deep decline”. According to the PEW Research center, “Americans believe strongly that the United States should cease interfering in the internal affairs of other countries because such interference is a waste of American blood and money”. In other words, USA should quit fighting wars on behalf of Israel who chooses the enemies that should be eradicated. And that is the very reason, according to the PEW Research Center; the U.S. opted to go with Russia to find a political solution in Syria. USA decision makers are now convinced that the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ which was ignited by “injustice, poverty and ignorance” has been hijacked by Al Qaeda. When the same Takfiri Doctrine rules in Israel through the influence of the religious ‘settler colonizers’, the fight in the Middle East becomes a fight till death because religious zealots absolutely refuse any compromise and any peaceful co-existence because they are hell bent in their wars to negate their opponents by all means possible.
The U.S.A. is rethinking its policies in the Middle East which may eventually make it distance itself from Israel and its colonial racist agenda. Normalizing relations with Iran and finding a political solution in Syria in which al- Qaeda and its fighting progeny are defeated and completely eradicated are two main aspects of the new American policy in the Middle East. According to several think tanks in Washington, the U.S. is slowly but surely withdrawing from the Middle East and heading toward the Pacific region. America is no longer dependent on Middle East oil because the oil being extracted from shale rocks in USA will make the country the biggest producer of the crude oil in 7 years. USA is financing itself by printing more than 90 billion dollars a year of its currency to lessen the need to borrow to finance its deficit which is money without any real backing except “the word of the American Government”. It goes without saying that the U.S.A. political and economic dominance can never be maintained by an American military spread thin around the world, fighting multiple wars, with a bankrupt economy and a huge debt to China and other countries, at the same time. This truth has to be faced in realistic and practical ways and that is what President Obama is actually trying to do now.