One of the important characteristics of a mediator is impartiality
; that is, as the Devil's Dictionary
cynically puts it: Unable to perceive any promise of personal advantage from espousing either side of a controversy or adopting either of two conflicting opinions. According to some sources, another important characteristic is not just the actuality of impartiality, but the perception
of impartiality. The United States fulfills neither.
Now, as it happens, the US is anything but impartial. Let's have a look at some indicators.
- The United Stated gives approximately US$3 billion a year to Israel. That is a little under one quarter of its total foreign aid budget (about US$13 billion). Source: US Census Bureau, 1999 (look for section 28. Web page: http://www.census.gov). To give you some idea of the scale: Russia gets less than US$500 million and the whole of Africa gets US$1.27 billion. Israel is already a fairly affluent country; why the need for aid? In fact some of this aid is to help resettle migrants. 60 per cent of this aid is in the form of military equipment. Also for comparison, how much is being given to the Palestinian Authorities? About US$80 million. Seems impartial, right? This is without the special trade arrangements available to Israel. There's even more info on The Cost of Israel to US Taxpayers.
- According to Fortune magazine, the pro-Israel Jewish lobby is the second most powerful lobby in the United States (I believe the most powerful is the NRA, but I'm not sure).
- The vice-president of the Democratic party's 2000 run election is Jewish and pro-Israel (note: some Jews are anti-Israel, at least in its current form).
- The United States has abstained from UN Security Council resolutions in the face of all the other countries agreeing unanimously to condemn Israel.
- The United States enforces UN resolutions in other areas (e.g. agains Iraq), but refuses to enforce tens of UN resolutions against Israel (e.g. Resolutions 242 and 388).
- The United States obviously wants Israel to remain there to maintain the flow of cheap oil. Source: US government policy on the Middle East.
Don't get me wrong. I am not being anti-semitic (for starters I'm a semite myself). My best friend at school was Jewish. I am just sick and tired of the media portraying Bill Clinton and/or any other US representative as some sort of impartial third party when this is clearly and obviously complete and utter bullshit.