Brian Becker, national coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition from Washington D.C., has joined Press TV’s Debate program to shed more light on the role of the Zionist lobby in the United States decision-making process.
What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Let me first start with you Brian Becker. To begin with, how much influence does the Anti Defamation League or the ADL, have on US policies and America’s decision-making centers like Congress and the White House?
Becker: Well, I think there is generally a misnomer about the significance of the power of the Israeli lobby. Of course it has been very strong, AIPAC, ADL and the others; but I think that it is largely exaggerated.
It has influence at a time when the American people themselves are not particularly engaged. Of course great amounts of money go to members of Congress but ultimately the United States’ government sees Israel not through the vantage point of the so-called Israeli lobby but from the point of view of its own geostrategic interest.
The US has used Israel for the last 40 plus years especially since the 1967 war, as an extension of the Western power and particularly US power in this resource-rich region where two third of the world’s oil is.
I think the Israeli lobby and the Israeli government leaders are aware that there could be eventually a divergence in interests and if at some point in history the US government saw Israel as a liability for its own imperial interest in the Middle East, it could start to distance itself, that would make the state of Israel a very fragile project indeed.
Press TV: Do you think that that point has been reached right now Brian Becker?
Becker: No, I do not. I think that the United States still relies on Israel. All of the other governments, the dictatorships that the US has relied on, like the Saudi Government or before it , the Mubarak government; those governments are inherently unstable. Why? Because there could be big sections of the population who could, at some time, rise up and do what the Iranian people did in Iran in 1979, which is to overthrow the US puppet regime.
That will not be the case in the case of Israel because Israel, as a settler state is, from its outset, an extension of Western power, dependant on the Western power, doing the bidding of the Western powers, of course it has its own narrow interest in terms of land expansion but ultimately it is a colonial project and so unlike the other regimes that can have their colonial type or neocolonial governments overthrown, that will not be the case with Israel.
Press TV: Brian Becker I know that you have a reaction to George Lambrakis’ comments. Go ahead.
Becker: Well, it is just not true. I mean the Israeli government is dependent on the United States, that is true that without the protection of some colonial power.., from Theodor Hertzle …, those who had the Zionist project in mind as a solution to the oppression facing Jewish people in Europe, they recognized that they could only survive as an extension of a colonial power.
The United States is not a formal colonial power in the Middle East but that is where the oil is, that is where two thirds of the world’s oil supplies are, and the United States fears the Iranian revolution, the pan-Arab movements of the 1950’s and 60’s. It was very threatened when it saw the Iranian revolution take place in 1979 and before that sweeping nationalizations of what were formally Western oil companies. The United States realized that it needed another force, a proxy force, an extension of its military power to police the region and the Israelis have done that. They invaded Egypt, they invaded Syria, they invaded and stole the West Bank and Gaza in spite of the UN resolutions, demanding that those territories be returned.
The [Syria’s] Golan Heights are still in Israel’s territory, so is the West Bank. The United States does not enforce any of these resolutions. You look at what happened in Syria just now. The United States said Syria must end its chemical weapons but they went out of their way not to use the langue, ‘a regional ban on chemical weapons’ because Israel has chemical weapons. It has biological weapons, it has nuclear weapons. The US does not want to disarm Israel because fundamentally it sees Israel as its pillar, as its fundamental ally in this resource rich and tumultuous part of the world.
(in response to George Lambrakis): Those who can … the oil really dominate the world economy. They dominate the world economy, it is not about whether the US needs access to oil, it is about the fact that they want to be the supreme determiners of the destiny of those countries that do possess the oil. This is the key… in industrial societies.
The United States is not going to let the Middle East become a self-determining entity because of its resource-rich capacity. Why do they never normalize relations with Iran since 1979? Not because Iran has nuclear weapons, not because it has a nuclear weapons program, not because it is an existential threat to its neighbors; it is because Iran showed that it could be an independent nationalist regime that determines how its own resources would be used and it could be an example for other countries that also might want to be independent. That is the real issue in the Middle East. The US wants control, not in a formal colonial sense but in an absolute dominating sense because of the resources of the region.
Press TV: Go ahead Brian Becker.
Becker: How can you make the argument that the primary priority of the United States in the Middle East is stability when they themselves, the United States, have just carried out the bombing and the destruction of an independent government in Libya. For the last two and a half years used Saudi Arabia and Turkey and Qatar as proxy forces…, a CIA coordinated campaign to fund and arm an armed opposition to topple a sovereign government in Syria and at the same time carries out economic sanctions, designed to strangulate, strangle, economically strangle the entire Iranian people.
(in response to George Lambrakis): How can you say that that is a policy that has, as its priority, stability? In fact the US wants to destabilize any government, any regime that tries to be independent of the United States in terms of how that region looks, how it looks politically and how its resources are allocated.
The US wants to destabilize those who want to be independent. That is the number one part of their policy, not stability and not democracy.
(in response to George Lambrakis): The US is motivated by democracy, right? Then why they do not fights against Saudi Arabia? Why do they support Saudi Arabia and Bahrain? Because of their love for democracy? How can you be so naïve really?
Oh, US has no imperial ambitions, it is just what President Obama said. They keep bombing countries and occupying countries because…, the US occupies country after country after country not for Imperial motives, not for self-interest, just for their love of democracy. That is very interesting!
(in response to George Lambrakis): That is ludicrous, that is just ludicrous. What Israel fears is that there could actually be peace. Israel has 200 nuclear weapons.
Press TV: Go ahead Brian Becker.
Becker: This is so ludicrous, Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons. Israel is not part of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), unlike Iran. Israel has never allowed weapons inspectors into its country. Iran has never invaded another country. It says that it does not have a nuclear war program, it does have the right to nuclear energy and there is no existential threat posed by the current nuclear process in Iran.
What the Israelis really fear, is any kind of rapprochement or détente between Iran and the United States would lessen the tensions in the Middle East and that would be less of an excuse for why American taxpayers should spend four billion dollars every year to give to Israel for its wars against the people of the region including against the Palestinian people.
Israel needs constant war in order to justify its existence as the main recipient of the US military and economic aid and in order to show that it is really an important partner and ally for the US in the Middle East. Israel fears peace.
(in response to George Lambrakis): I would like to clarify one thing if I could.
Press TV: Brian Becker go ahead.
Becker: Excuse me. If I can just say one thing. I also agree that some of that package includes characterization of Jewish people and the so-called Jewish conspiracy to take over the world and the Jews are destroying the US economy, is nothing but old-styled anti-Semitism, which I reject 100 percent.
Our problem with Israel is not Jewish people or the international Jewish conspiracy, we do not believe in that. We think in fact Israel is a deathtrap for Jews. That the best war for Jewish people and you can see this, Jewish Americans standing up against the genocidal polices of Israel towards the Palestinian people, demanding that the US have peace instead of war against Iran.
I think as we oppose the Zionist government and oppose the Israeli government, we make a sharp distinction between any manifestation of anti-Semitism.