US paying ‘price in blood’ for Israel-Palestine conflict, say ex-CIA officers

Bruce Riedel

Bruce Riedel

Two former CIA officers have warned that America will continue “paying an increasing price in blood” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and urged the White House to directly meddle in domestic Israeli politics in order to help end the dispute. Speaking on Thursday at a conference on achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace, Bruce Riedel and Frank Anderson, whose combined CIA careers span 55 years, agreed that a new all-out war between Israel and the Palestinians would be inevitable unless the United States aggressively “puts down its own map of a two-state solution”. Anderson, who is currently President at the Middle East Policy Council, opined that America is “paying an increasing price in blood for [the Israelis’ and the Palestinians’] failure and refusal to reach an agreement”. Riedel, who is Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, argued that “American lives are being lost today” due to the conflict’s impact on American national security. He further explained that the unresolved dispute forms the basis of “the ideology and narrative” of al-Qaeda’s animosity against the United States. Both speakers agreed that Washington has a moral and strategic obligation to interfere in Israel’s domestic political process in order to sideline hardliners who reject any settlement with Palestinian group Fatah. A third speaker, Philip Wilcox, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace and former US Consul General to Jerusalem, agreed with the former CIA officers and urged participants to “remember that the government of Israel interferes daily in American affairs”. The conference was organized by the Washington-based Middle East Policy Council, which was founded in 1981 by Richard Curtiss and George Naifeh.

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7 Responses to US paying ‘price in blood’ for Israel-Palestine conflict, say ex-CIA officers

  1. fred lapides says:

    We are “paying a price in blood”? How is that, since we seem not to have armed forces between the contending peoples.

    We should “meddle” in internal politics, already fairly tricky in Israel. And if so, should we then meddle with Hamas politically?

    If we can “force” Israel to do what we want–no matter what the right wing of Israeli politics may want–can we also force Abbas to do what we want?

    Should we go along with or veto the forthcoming recognition of a new Palestinian state by a number of South American nations? Does that help or hinder what we (and they in the region) might want?

  2. LL says:

    @ Fred

    They are obviously referring to the war on terror, which is basically due to the Israel/Palestinian dispute.

    Also, Abbas is already doing what the US wants and what the Israeli moderates want.

  3. jbn says:

    Exactly Abbas is mostly just a puppet. And Hamas itself was able to get a footing originally because it was financed by Israel as a counter to the strengthening PLO at the time. One American intelligence official commented that Israel is like a man who sets his head on fire and then puts it out with a hammer. Israel has been ‘meddling’ in US domestic politics for decades, and both sides regularly crush, topple, and dictate to the palestinian side. We definitely should put our foot down with the Israelis, but it won’t happen. The “Peace Process” and it’s clockwork failure are the main cover for Isreali land theft.

  4. fred lapides says:

    The UN could of course recognize a Palestinian state (or, with Gaza, two states), or the US, on its own could do so. And then Israel could declare
    that there are no longer any issues to negotiate, such as The Return or Jerusalem as capital etc.
    I simply don’t see on the one hand you can comment that Israel has been meddling in US domestic policy for years but that we should impose our will, and that somehow is neither domestic nor meddlingl
    That Israel got Hamas going is well known and I am not sure why this needs saying. We got Saddam going, we got The Shah going etc.

    A curious thing: if Israel keeps building settlements, then it seems to me all the more reason why negotiations should go on as soon as possible to prevent further building and some defined borders.

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