When former CIA chief David Petraeus enraged the Israel lobby

Gen. David H. Petraeus, Commander, US Central Command, carves a turkey prior to serving Thanksgiving dinner to sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in 2009 (source).

Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Moon

There has been fulsome praise for General David Petraeus since he resigned yesterday as head of the CIA after the FBI discovered he was having an extramarital affair.

President Barack Obama lauded Petraeus’s decades of “extraordinary service,” which includes his time as general in charge of US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as head of the CIA, where Petraeus would have been in charge of Obama’s “secret” drone program which kills children and other civilians in several countries with no oversight or control from anyone.

Some have lamented, via social media, that wars, occupations, assassinations are not reasons to lose one’s job in the United States government. Indeed, such service gets you praised and promoted, while an extramarital affair will kill your career.

But what also struck me was the total absence in the extensive media coverage of another way Petraeus made a little history: by publicly criticizing Israel and enraging the Israel lobby.

Israel, a liability to the US?

In March 2010, when Petraeus was still head of the US Central Command, he gave testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee which included this observation about one of the “challenges to security and stability” faced by the United States:

The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR [Area of Operations]. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.

Abe Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, one of the leading American Zionist lobby groups, was so alarmed he issued a statement condemning Petraeus’ testimony, asserting in part of it:

Gen. Petraeus has simply erred in linking the challenges faced by the U.S. and coalition forces in the region to a solution of the Israeli-Arab conflict, and blaming extremist activities on the absence of peace and the perceived U.S. favoritism for Israel. This linkage is dangerous and counterproductive.

What Foxman and other Israel lobbyists understood correctly was that Petraeus was articulating a view that is increasingly common within the US establishment, but is an absolute taboo when it comes to stating it publicly: that US “interests” and Israeli “interests” are not identical, and that Israel might be a strategic burden, rather than an asset to the United States.

But while Foxman fulminated, Petraeus’ view struck a chord with at least some in Israel. A few months after Petraeus spoke to the Senate, Israel’s Mossad chief Meir Dagan, told a Knesset committee that, “Israel is gradually turning from an asset to the United States to a burden.”

Of course Obama appointed Petraeus as CIA director after he made his Senate statement about Israel. And that too might have been a count against Obama in the false Republican and ultra-Zionist narrative that Obama threw Israel under the bus.

Petraeus was not speaking from any love of the Palestinians, nor any position of principle or concern for justice – no one should make that mistake. He was speaking from the same cold calculation of how to maintain and advance US imperial domination that allowed him to oversee – on behalf of the president – wars, occupations and murders of children and teenagers and other civilians all over the world using drones. That is precisely what scared the Israel lobby.




That news is 2 years old. He probably resigned over something much more related to now. Like maybe his planned testimony about Benghazi?


Israel is not just a "strategic burden," but above all, a mortal danger to the United States. In the past, it has pulled the US into indirect military involvement in its wild adventures against neighboring states and directly in its racial designs on the region. So far, the US has gone along with "balkanization," an old Zionist idea but one that has been basic to Israeli strategy since the 1950s.

The trouble is that we no longer live in the 1950s, with large conventional armies facing each other across the festering, bleeding wound of Palestine. Today, the US is not just declining, but is in mortal danger. The roaring-mouse act of the Zionist lobby worming through Congress illustrates how easily the American people have been duped and are being strangled in broad daylight!

It is sad to watch a once-great nation being trampled with the jackboots of a Beggers' Kingdom of the Chosen, and by strange characters claiming first title as the "richest Jew in the world," as Mr. Sheldon Adelson has.


I know it is the plot driver of a sleazy novel, but if only it were FACT that Paula the flirt were a Mossad-trained broad who brought down the troublesome General Petraeus. Remember that smooth woman who besotted poor Mordecai Vanunu. Not to mention all the juicy women in Jewish biblical literature: Jael drives a tent peg through the head of an enemy general; Judith cuts off the head of an enemy general. Esther gets the Persian king to kill his anti-Jewish advisor Haman replacing him with Ether's Uncle Mordecai.


It is astonishing how Israel has used major world powers to advance its agenda, from Versailles to the Balfour declaration, Truman's recognition of Israel, to the Iraq war. Even after accounts of numerous horrific massacres during the first Arab-Israeli war, the shantilla massacres, the USS Liberty, their theft of U.S. nuclear material, (9 11?), the Iraq war----our politicians continue to copiously fund this evil enterprise. After it has used the U.S. to the limit, it must find a new host to protect it. Take away the U.S. as its enabler and you have an out of control, lunatic state that would be eaten alive by its surrounding neighbors.


The killing of four CIA guys in Benghazi who were operating torture prisons I. Their compound is worth it's weight in gold to the media ( left and right) and the world but killing a leader of a other country in the exact same way. Wholesale massacre of anyone supporting the Libyan government including every single soldier of its legitimate army and also its black residents is of no consequence. In fact if I was to ask how many people were killed during the bombing bombardment and as a result of arming and paying armed militia in the country I don't think a person would be able to tell me. Yet we know betrayus had an affair with a manly looking woman and four wonderful - real human CIA guys were killed by the proxy army they were funding and channeling weapons too.


How can we evaluate the claim that Israel is a strategic asset to the US, and the contrary assertion, that Israel is a strategic liability?
It seems to me that the high level of US aid, $3B/year, would not have continued all these years unless important parts of the US policymaking elite thought that Israeli interests and US interests were parallel, at least in the long run and for the most part.
The main parallel interest is a common interest in opposing Arab nationalism. The US sees Arab nationalism as the main threat to US control of middle-east oil. Israel for its part want the Arab world to be divided, backward, and weak. A strong, united Arab world could champion the rights of the oppressed Palestinians, and Israel doesn't want that.
Of course, arguments to the contrary can be made. There are many facts that are impossible to explain if US interests and Israeli interests were always identical: For example, Jonathan Pollard. The Larry Franklin case. The cancellation of the Lavi fighter (Israeli fighter jet, program cancelled before going into production because it would have been a competitor to US warplanes). The Israeli "Art Students". Mearshimer and Walt make similar arguments.
But do US policymaker regret supporting Israel? Instead of (for example) betting everything on the Shah of Iran (overthrown in 1979) or on Hosni Mubarak (overthrown 2011). Israel is armed to the teeth and totally hostile to Arab nationalism.