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: 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.

I do think you brought some very interesting ideas, but I would like to correct you on the last one:
Israel has NO oil, But Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and more countries which are hostile to Israel do have cheap Oil and ALOT.
If United States' only interest in the Middle East was oil then they would obviously support the Persian Gulf oil rich countries.
Hell, if Israel wouldn't exist USA probably could buy more oil for lower prices.

About the US foreign aid to Israel, I'm not sure if the entire 3 Billion $ aid is needed, But I don't think you can compare a Military aid (which pretty much keeps this country alive) which is given to a country and a small economic aid which mainly goes to Yasser Arafat's private account.
To ymelup I must reply, on this point:

* The United States has abstained from UN Security Council resolutions in the face of all the other countries agreeing unanimously to condemn Israel.

To abstain is to refrain from voting - if someone abstains from voting, then they are not counted among the final votes, for or against. For a party (like the US) with a vested interest in the outcome, it is in the best interests of proper vote-taking for that country to abstain, so as not to contaminate the Security Council with its own objectives.

Frankly, I'm surprised to learn this. If you meant it had vetoed the votes, then I can understand that being a bad thing, but...

Also, I challege you to find any impartial country. There seems to be two alternatives: Arab countries that are anti-Israel, and non-Arab countries which have large (vocal) Jewish populations (and likely large vocal Arab populations).

Actually, of the 248 vetos in the history of the Security Council, 73 have been used by the US, 29 with regard to the Middle East.(1)

There are many impartial countries, the most competent and experienced being the European countries. The EU should take over America's role, since they don't give Israel some $8 billion a year in aid (much is hidden as loans or forgiven debts, free military hardware and the like). The EU, despite its frequent condemnation of Israel, trades favourably with Israel and allows them to participate in European sporting events despite not being European. Note their is a difference between being impartial and not having a postion. Impartial does not mean treating both sides as if they are equally to blame, it means assigning blame based on clear-headed examination of the facts. And what does the Arab/Jewish minorities have to do with it? If anything this is a reason the US should relinquish its mediator status, since the Jewish lobby is so powerful in America, and lobbying is considered an enemy of democracy in Europe.


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