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US guarantees of the Israel-Lebanon accord: carved in stone or a mirage?

The US-engineered and brokered Israel-Lebanon (Hezbollah) maritime/gas accord includes (in section 4) US guarantees. It aims to reassure both parties, especially Israel: “The United States intends to exert its best efforts working with the Parties to help establish and maintain a positive and constructive atmosphere for conducting discussions and successfully resolving any differences as rapidly as possible.”

Is that a reassuring commitment?

Section 4 of the maritime/gas accord is a classic example of four features of all US’ international guarantees, which – as logically expected – intend to subordinate the implementation of the guarantees to the interests of the US guarantor, not the interests of the guaranteed countries:

*Open-ended interpretations;
*Escape routes.

*For example, the NATO Treaty – led by the US – is perceived to be the tightest commitment by all member states to the defense of an attacked NATO country.  However, article 5 of the NATO Charter highlights the aforementioned four features:

“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them… will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area…. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.”

*Furthermore, the seeds of the current devastation of Ukraine were planted in the December 5, 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances accorded to Ukraine by the US, Britain and the USSR in return for Ukraine’s giving up its nuclear arsenal, which was the 3rd largest in the world.

According to the Budapest Memorandum: “Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time… the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine… to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine….”

The Budapest Memorandum was exposed as a useless and misleading “screen saver” in 2014, when Russia occupied the Crimean Peninsula. Its ineffective nature was further revealed during the 2014-2022 Russia-Ukraine war in Donbas and in 2022, when Russia – again – invaded and plundered Ukraine with no implementation of the Budapest Memorandum of Security Assurances.

*Israel should be aware of the intrinsic flaws of all security guarantees, and persist in reliance only upon its own national security capabilities, rather than the mirage of international/US assurances.

*Moreover, the US constitutional balance of power stipulates that no US international commitment is binding unless ratified by a 2/3 Senate majority.

Thus, in 1999 and 2000, President Clinton signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits international nuclear testing, and the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court in the Hague. However, Clinton did not submit the Rome Statute for Senate ratification (realizing that there was no support for ratification), and the Test Ban Treaty was also not ratified – it was defeated 48:51 in the Senate.  Both are yet to be ratified….

The open-ended nature of US guarantees, and the paramount role of US interests during the implementation phase, were demonstrated by the US defense treaties, which were concluded with Taiwan (1955), South Vietnam (1973) and New Zealand (1951), but terminated by the US in 1979, 1975 and 1986, in order to advance US interests, as perceived by US presidents at the time.

*Israeli reliance on US guarantees in the context of the 2022 maritime/gas accord ignores past mistakes:

*In 2000, President Clinton pledged $800mn in emergency aid to fund Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon. It was never delivered, since Congress – and not the President – possesses the Power of the Purse, and it did not agree to fund the self-defeating Israeli withdrawal (which triggered an unprecedented wave of Palestinian terrorism).

*In 1979 – when President Carter attempted to insert into the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty a reference to a future Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights – the Israeli team shared with Carter the September 1, 1975 assurance of President Ford  to Prime Minister Rabin, required to induce an Israeli withdraw from the Gulf of Suez to the Mitla’ Pass in mid-Sinai: “… [The US] will give great weight to Israel’s position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights.”  President Carter’s correct response was that President Ford’s non-ratified executive commitment did not bind any of Ford’s successors in the White House.

*In 1967 – on the eve of the Six Day War – Israel shared with President Johnson well-documented evidence about the Egypt-Syria-Jordan planned war on Israel. Prime Minister Eshkol submitted to President Johnson the 1957 assurance (Aide Memoir) by President Eisenhower, which was a prerequisite for Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula. It implied US willingness to deploy its military in the face of Egyptian violations of commitments made to the US and Israel. President Johnson responded that Eisenhower’s non-ratified Executive Commitment did not bind Eisenhower’s successors, and “it ain’t worth a solitary dime.” He added that “I am a tall Texan, but a short president in the face of a Congress that opposes overseas military deployment.”

The bottom line

*Security agreements with the US should enhance – not reduce – Israel’s posture of deterrence and its independence of national security action.

*Security agreements with the US should advance Israel’s posture as a national security producer – which deters regional violence – rather than a national security consumer, which fuels regional violence.

*Security agreements with the US should expand Israel’s posture as a unique force-multiplier for the US – a strategic asset, not a liability.

*The 2022 maritime/gas Israel-Lebanon (Hezbollah) accord suggests that US and Israeli policy-makers are determined to learn from history by repeating – rather than avoiding – past critical mistakes, undermining their own interests.

Support Appreciated




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US-sponsored anti-Israel UN Security Council statement – acumen

*The US’ co-sponsorship of an anti-Israel UN Security Council Statement reflects the return of the State Department’s worldview to the center stage of US foreign policy-making. This was the first time, in six years, that the US enabled the UN Security Council to act against Israel.

*This is not merely a worldview, which is highly critical of Israel, as has been the case since 1948, when Foggy Bottom led the charge against the re-establishment of the Jewish State.

This worldview has systematically undermined US interests, by subordinating the unilateral, independent US national security policy (on Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinian issue, etc.) to a multilateral common denominator with the anti-US and anti-Israel UN and international organizations, as well as the vacillating and terrorists-appeasing Europe.

*It has sacrificed Middle East reality on the altar of wishful-thinking, assuming that the establishment of a Palestinian state would fulfill Palestinian aspirations, advance the cause of peace, reduce terrorism and regional instability; thus, enhancing US interests.

*However, the reality of the Middle East and Jordan and the rogue Palestinian track record lend credence to the assumption that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, yielding traumatic ripple effects, regionally and globally:

^Replace the relatively-moderate Hashemite regime with either a rogue Palestinian regime, a Muslim Brotherhood regime, or other rogue regimes;
^Transform Jordan into a chaotic state, similar to Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, which would be leveraged by Iran’s Ayatollahs to intensify their encirclement of the pro-US Saudi regime;
^Convert Jordan into a major arena of regional and global Islamic terrorism;
^Trigger a domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula, which could topple all pro-US, oil-producing Arab regimes;
^Imperil the supply of Persian Gulf oil, which would be held hostage by anti-US entities, catapulting the price at the pump;
^Jeopardize major naval routes of global trade between Asia and Europe through the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal;
^Intensify epicenters of regional and global terrorism and drug trafficking;
^Generate a robust tailwind to US’ adversaries (Russia and China) and enemies (Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS) and a powerful headwind to US economic and national security interests.

*The State Department assumes that Palestinian terrorism – just like Islamic terrorism – is driven by despair, ignoring the fact that Palestinian terrorism has been driven (for the last 100 years) by the vision to erase the “infidel” Jewish entity from “the abode of Islam,” as stated by the charters of Fatah (1959) and the PLO (1964), 8 and 3 years before the Jewish State reunited Jerusalem and reasserted itself in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

*Aspiring for a Palestinian state, and viewing Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria as an obstacle to peace, ignores the Arab view of the Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism, corruption and treachery. Moreover, the State Department has held the view that the Palestinian issue is the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict and a central to Arab interests, which has been refuted by the Abraham Accords. The latter ignored the State Department, sidestepped the Palestinian issue and therefore came to fruition.

*The State Department overlooks the centrality of the Palestinian Authority’s hate education, which has become the most effective production-line of terrorists, and the most authentic reflection of the Palestinian Authority’s worldview and vision.

*The State Department has also taken lightly the Palestinian Authority’s mosque incitement, public glorification of terrorists and monthly allowances to families of terrorists, which have documented its rogue and terroristic nature (walk), notwithstanding its peaceful diplomatic rhetoric (talk).

*The State Department’s eagerness to welcome the Palestinian issue in a “red carpet” manner – contrary to the “shabby doormat” extended to Palestinians by Arabs – and its determination to promote the establishment of a Palestinian state, along with its embrace of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood, have been interpreted by rogue regimes and organizations as weakness.

Experience suggests that weakness invites the wolves, including wolves which aim to bring “The Great Satan” to submission throughout the world as well as the US mainland.

Support Appreciated



The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb