The rise of 'pro-Israelism' in American politics | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

The rise of 'pro-Israelism' in American politics

The US-Israel special relationship is acknowledged universally as the unswayable force of politics in the Middle East. The theme is confessed ritually by every US president and Israeli prime minister, who have all claimed, more or less, that "the bond between Israel and the United States is rooted in more than our shared national interests; it's rooted in the shared values and shared stories of our people."

Commitment to this article of faith is a litmus test for anyone hoping to exercise power in American politics. Minor deviations can and do have major political consequences, a fact acknowledged last year by the conservative American commentator Tom Friedman, who disclosed that the first President Bush paid a massive political price for standing up to Israel back in 1990; Bush asserted US foreign policy towards Israeli settlements by conditioning $10 billion worth of loan guarantees on a total cessation of settlement construction. He was not re-elected for a second term.

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There were other factors at work in that election. George H. W. Bush was in serious trouble. He had been able to hold the investigation into Iran-Contra at a distance, but he also knew that he would not be able to hold off the White House connection for another four years. So he arranged for the White House to go to the one Democrat he knew would keep the lid on the secret, then Democratic Governor of the state that was the US end of the guns and drugs pipeline, Bill Clinton.

But pissing off Israel didn't help.

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