Deceitful history

Melvin Goodman
Saturday, Jun 22, 2024

The mainstream media bends over backwards to defend Israel’s case, and over the years it has said very little about the history of Israel’s deceit and deception. As recently as last week, for example, the Washington Post carried a bizarre headline that read “Israel is on its honor to comply with US intelligence limits.” The accompanying story was a significant one, detailing the importance of the US intelligence provided to Israel to conduct the rescue of four Israeli hostages, an operation that took the lives of nearly three hundred Palestinians, mostly women and children. By any definition of the requirement for proportionality in wartime, this was indeed a war crime.

The Post article went on to cite National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, an apologist for Israel since the start of the war on October 7th, who explained that the United States has “provided an intense range of assets and capabilities and expertise to Israel,” and that the provision of intelligence is “not tied or conditioned on anything else. It is not limited. We are not holding anything back. We are providing every asset, every tool, every capability.” These remarks are dispositive of our complicity in Israel’s brutal and unconscionable assault against Palestinian civilians.

At the same time, US officials disingenuously claim that Israel is prohibited from using US intelligence for targeting in Gaza in any military operations, including airstrikes.” They argue that there are “long-standing formal arrangements that are scrutinized by lawyers in the US intelligence community, as well as directives from the White House following the October 7th attacks.” This is particularly disingenuous because of the long record of deceit and deception from both the US intelligence community regarding US wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and the Israeli lies over the years regarding their wars in 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982. I’ve written extensively about US and Israeli lies in my articles for CounterPunch and my various books and articles. And I will return to this deceit in future articles.

The idea that Israel is “on its honor” not to use US intelligence for proscribed purposes, which is described by current US intelligence officers, is laughable. The Israelis have regularly broken agreements with the United States regarding the use of certain weaponry as well as the supply of US weapons technology to third countries. There is legislation on the books that requires the Director of National Intelligence to notify Congress if US intelligence to any third country leads to civilian casualties, but this law is observed only in the breach. US oversight regarding Israel is virtually nonexistent.

The Israeli pattern of deceit is particularly important because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently engaged in a new round of false accusations in order to embarrass the Biden administration and divide the American public on the Gaza war as well as the US election. At least, the Biden administration has responded to Netanyahu’s outrageous charge by canceling an important meeting of the US-Israeli Strategic Consultative Group regarding policy toward Iran in return for Netanyahu’s “stunt.”

Nevertheless, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan did not cancel or postpone his meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Tzachi Hanegbi, and the US Ambassador to Israel, Jack Lew, went overboard in stressing to Netanyahu that there haven’t been any delays in providing weaponry. Also, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who arrived in Israel early in the war and announced that “I’m come before you not only as the US secretary of state, but as a Jew,” assured Netanyahu that US weapons were “moving as it normally would move.” The only exception has been the hold on 2,000-pound bombs, which have killed thousands of women and children and should never have been provided to Israel in the first place.

Excerpted: ‘Biden Team Ignores Israel’s History of Deceit and Deception’.