by Dr. Aaron Lerner

While Barak presses forward to work out a way to carry out massive withdrawals - including in the Jordan Valley and makes overtures to Syria to restart the talks to completely withdraw from the Golan, it is noteworthy that continuous reports of the breakdown of Israeli security relations with the US are ignored. A breakdown that means any deal that trades Israeli security for American assurances is based on a false premise.

Ha'aretz Military Editor Ze'ev Schiff wrote this week that America continues to insist on putting a stranglehold on Israeli military sales. With elections heating up in America, efforts are underway to make the situation appear better than it is, but the fact remains that the US insists on veto power over any and all Israeli military sales to Israel's most important markets even if the items being sold do NOT contain American components.

America goes even a step further, warning that it reserves the right to extend that veto power at a later date (after the elections) to cover sales to additional countries.

The object of the American action is threefold:

First: To prevent Israel from competing against American weapons manufacturers.

Second: To kill off the independent Israeli arms industry so that Israel will be a captive customer of the American arms industry.

Third: To ultimately reduce Israel into a totally dependent state unable to follow any policy in any area that does not meet with the approval of the U.S. (e.g. only American made planes for El Al, agriculture policy favoring American suppliers, ban on cheaper alternatives to American made brand name drugs, etc.).

Of course, while America claims that it only wants a veto on Israeli arms sales out of security concerns, the U.S. also refused to commit to consult with Israel on the massive American weapons sales Israel's enemies.

And it gets worse.

Schiff reports, for example, that the Americans have issued the blunt statement that if an American force arrives in Israel to help with the anti-aircraft defense system, they will not comply with the IDF's request for an Israeli liaison officer to be present in the coordination module that would be stationed here on Israeli soil!

Theoretical? The U.S. still refuses to allow an IAF representative to participate in the team monitoring the U.S. radar system that will be installed in the new F-16 fighter jets Israel has purchased. A radar system Israel was FORCED to take instead of the more appropriate Israeli-made ELTA system. This will make it impossible for Israel to make quick adjustments and upgrades to the system as required by changing conditions. Instead Israel's security will rely on the good will and quick action of American technicians - who may very well be servicing the VERY SAME equipment in Arab air forces!

To top it all off, it turns out that the U.S. apparently lied a few weeks ago when American officials claims that the Pentagon protested the Phalcon deal when they first learned of it 1996.

Here is what Ze'ev Schiff wrote in Haaretz on 13 August 2000: "Finally, A sought-after document relating to the Phalcon airborne warning system has been located. The elusive document records an initial discussion, from August 20, 1996, between U.S. and Israeli officials about the sale of the Israeli plane to the Chinese.

While the Americans claim that they submitted an official protest to Israel about the Phalcon deal, the document shows that no U.S. complaint was registered during the discussion, with officials discussing only technical aspects of the transaction during the meeting."

So a major feature of the American campaign to kill the Chinese Phalcon deal was a barefaced lie.

This was how America treated Israel at the very same time that Ehud Barak was offering to serve up Israel's security on a silver plate so that Clinton might go in the history books as a Nobel Peace Prize winner rather than a womanizer. Schiff wrote that "The feeling in the Israeli camp is that Clinton's promises at the end of Camp David are not being translated favorably into deeds by administration officials." What an understatement.

There is a clear message here that the Israeli leadership - and public - must come to grips with: If in an election year, when Israel is also bending over backwards to sacrifice its security, the U.S. makes it clear that it has no intention to safeguard Israel's independent military edge, then Israel must do everything in its power NOT to trade independent security for American promises.


Dr. Aaron Lerner is theDirector IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
mail: POB 982 Kfar Sava
Tel 972-9-7604719
New Fax 972-3-548-0092

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