Here’s General David Petraeus from CENTCOM in some prepared remarks for the Senate Armed Services Committee:
The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR. 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 says that elucidating these linkages “smacks of blaming the Jews for everything.” The man is ridiculous at this point, but I suppose it’s worth explaining that by this Foxman standard you can’t blame any organized Jewish entity for anything because acts of blaming somehow smack of blaming the Jews for everything.
Meanwhile, I note that the center-right status quo view on the whole region is tied up in nots of contradiction. On the one hand, the United States shouldn’t try to boss Israel around. But on the other hand, the United States should make Israel its largest recipient of foreign aid. On the one hand, Israel is blameless because of the implacable hostility of the Arabs. But on the other hand, America’s relationship with Israel in no way imperils our relationship with these very same Arabs. On the one hand, America shouldn’t care about the broader regional implications of the US-Israeli relationship. But on the other hand, America should seek military hegemony in the whole Persian Gulf region.