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Already under international censure for its oppression of the Palestinians in the territories it occupies, Israel's dealings with the scum of the world's tyrants — including the white clique in South Africa, Somoza of Nicaragua, Gen.Pinochet of Chile, Marcos of the Philippines, Duvalier of Haiti, Mobutu of Zaire, the allegedly cannibalistic Bokassa of the Central African Republic'^ — invariably result in its further exclusion from more "respectable" circles.While all of the administrations since Eisenhower were obliging to one degree or another, the Reagan Administration seems to have made Israel the object of cult worship.It is known that the President subscribes to the superstition propounded by right-wing Christian fundamentalists that Introduction 1 1 Israel will be the site of the battle of Armageddon which precedes the end of times.*' To help Israel prepare for more immediate battles, the Reagan Administration has increased its military and economic aid to the highest levels ever.1 2 ISRAELI FOREIGN POLICY The incredible success of Israel's lobby argues strongly that rather than progressively obligating Israel, the astronomical rise in aid is a product of Israeli influence on the Congress.That much of the influence is gained by pressure, browbeating, and intimidation rather than the presentation of a convincing case— Congress, for example, routinely appropriates billions for Israel's "defense" rather than pressing it to conclude a just peace with its neighbors and with the Palestinian people— suggests that as it wins more concessions from Congress, Israel is simultaneously entrenching its position in a never-never land called "beyond reproach."*' The Development of Israel's Arms Industry De Gaulle's halting of the arms flow at such a critical juncture also provided Israel with the impetus to embark on a crash program to develop an arms industry.Congress has never called Israel to account for its nuclear weapons program.
In legislation concerning Israel, Congress has set numerous precedents: a Free Trade Agreement; a resolution demanding the relocation of the U. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (having been advised by State Department officials that such a move would ignite anti-U. protests in Muslim nations as far distant as Indonesia, the President did not act on this); permission to spend military aid on development of weapons in Israel.*' Although it has empowered itself to do so.years,"** the pro-Israeli lobby often felt compelled to intervene, through Congress and with other government agencies, in the fashioning of Middle East policy and other matters it considered to be within its realm of interest.Several years into the Reagan Administration it was common knowledge that the Israeli government had "friends" placed in every nook of the vast bureaucracy of the executive branch of the federal government.In September 1986, the Israeli defense minister explained to a press conference what was behind a raft of scandals involving Israeli arms exports and technology thefts (these last, most frequently from the U.S., have been an inevitable hallmark of a small country attempting to sustain a full-scale armaments industry). We cut our orders in our military industries..." he said, "and I told them quite frankly: 'Either you'll fire people or find export markets.' The export markets open to Israel are frequently among the world's most unsavory; indeed, to be off limits to the superpowers they often are located inside the very gates of hell.
They point to the power of the "security establishment lobby," comprised of the upper echelon of Israel's political leadership (this has remained remarkably constant since the founding of the state), the top levels of the military, and the officials of the parastatal arms industries. S., there is a "revolving door" in Israel, with many of the top figures serving successively in two or all three of these sectors. has blocked — at the behest of Britain— the delivery of A-4 Skyhawks to Argentina, and it has in the past vetoed the export of the Kfir aircraft, leverage it is able to exert because of the Kfir's U. The Israeli success in persuading the Reagan Administration to incorporate Israeli arms sales to the Islamic Republic into a bizarre and controversial series of contacts with Iranian leaders is probably more typical of the operative U. In 1975, 16 ISRAELI FOREIGN POLICY Israel followed Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's advice and helped South Africa with its invasion of Angola.''' Even after the passage the following year of the Clark Amendment forbidding U. covert involve- ment in Angola, Israel apparently considered Kissinger's nod a continuing mandate.