Explosions rock Jerusalem as Middle East unrest spreads
23 Mar, 2011 21:30
After around two years of relative peace, tensions in relationships are once again rising between Israel and Palestine.
Amid a complex situation in the Middle East in general, the question arouses: what happens if the violence escalates?The US is involved in Libya, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan can they afford further conflict?Israel is a close ally of the US.Most of the US presidential candidates paid a visit to the country during their campaign trail and always tout their Israel-support credentials – in fact, Sarah Palin is in Israel currently. Author and activist Norman Finkelstein argued however the recent escalation will not increase much further “I think there will be some sort of settling down of the conflict, because the US right now will not want a new conflict between Israel and Palestine,” he said. Finkelstein noted Israel is paying a great deal of attention to the developments in the Arab world. The country is concerned where unrest and changes in a number of governments in neighboring states may lead. “It’s attention is going to be turned to the outcome in places, which have not only real impact on Israel, but also you have to remember that Israel serves the US interests in the region,” he said.According to Finkelstein, Israel and the US are focusing Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and Egypt, watching with a close eye to ensure changes are in their favor. While US policy supports Israel, the American people may not. According to a BBC poll, the American people are split on Israel’s impact on the world. 43 percent said Israel has basically a positive effect on the world, while 41 percent felt their impact was negative. Another poll indicated 60 percent of Americans do not believe Israel is a victim of an Arab aggression.“So this is not overwhelming American support for Israel – that’s simply a myth,” Finkelstein remarked.Israel has great deal of regional worries, he explained, but it has not overcome the damage the country imposed on Gaza during the massacre 2008-2009. The UN human rights Council met on March 21 to discuss some of the follow-up reports to the Goldstone mission on the Gaza massacre.Interestingly enough, the Israeli massacre in 2008-2009 could not be possible without support of some Arab countries – namely Egypt, who sealed one of the borders into Gaza.“Now there is no way that the new Egyptian government can cooperate, collaborate with Israel in the event of another Israeli attack on Gaza,” Finkelstein said.This means there is going to be a critical gap in the support for Israel by one of the states on its front-line which is an important detail Israel must pay attention to.