The Iraq Study Group Report came out yesterday. (You can read it here)
I haven’t read the whole thing, just snippets. But I did a word search for “Israel,” (tipped off by something I saw in the paper this morning) and read the relevant parts.
And what I saw infuriated me.
I can’t imagine the context or relevance of a group that is supposed to study the current situation in Iraq diegning to make recommendations about the Israeli-Palestinian situation. That the group makes recommendations that the US should renew it’s commitment to a two-state solution, get more involved in peace talks, etc. is highly offensive. Connecting the current situation in Iraq to Israel and her politics in any way is insulting and anti-Israel. (Turkey, who shares a border with Iraq and has significant interest in the way things are handled with the Kurds in the North, get’s a one paragraph mention.) Dragging Israel, which has to date stayed out of the Iraq conflict, into this mess is no favor to Israel. I question the motives of the Iraq Study Group, and I lump statements like the ones they make about Israel with the same level of hatred for Israel and anti-semitism that motivated statements that blamed 9/11 on America’s relationship with Israel. And for a high-level, supposedly impartial group (yeah, right, that includes James Baker) to suggest the things they do, and make the recommendations that they do, is terrible.
Another example: the Group recommends the US demand Syria stop financing anti-Israel terror groups in exchange for Israel returning the Golan Heights. Are you kidding me? The equivalency on so many levels here is astounding. So Israel retaining the Golan Heights is as offensive to humanity as Syria’s state-sponsored terror groups? In fact, we’ll only demand that they stop if Israel returns the land? How about this recommendation: Syria closes it’s border with Iraq, stops harboring terrorists, stops funding them and immediately becomes a partner in stability and peace instead of the opposite, or we lump them in the bad guys, and they suffer for it. After that’s done, we’ll talk long-lasting peace and disputed land. How can the Study Group get away with this without being disparaged and discredited? The Israel-Lebanon war, one that everyone knows was financed by Syria and Iran, is somehow connected (to the extent that Israel has to make concessions) to the war in Iraq? I certainly see Syria’s involvement (Adam’s assertion that the WMD’s that Saddam had ended up in Syria are certainly plausible), but why connect Syria’s relations to Israel to their connection to the Iraq conflict? Shouldn’t we be pushing Syria independent of forcing Israel to make concessions?
The problem for me is, that independent of the anti-Israel and anti-semitic nature of the ISG Report, I would probably support many of the recommendations (like better equipement delivery for the troops, phased withdrawal, etc.) but I now I can’t. Now, because of this crap, I have to discredit the report, and dismiss it in it’s entirety. Now I have to root for GWB to pull more cowboy “Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to do,” stick-it Iraq Study Group stuff (the kind of stuff I truly despise that he’s done until now). Concerning the recommendations of the Group regarding Israel, how GWB reacts will show whether he truly is a President who’s “Good for Israel.”