US Support for Israel Still One of Biggest Causes of Terrorism

Unswerving American support for Israel remains one of the biggest causes of Islamist terrorism, and nothing has changed in this regard since the attacks of September 11, 2001, Harvard Professor Stephan Walt has said.

Writing on his Foreign Policy website, professor Walt, famous for co-authoring the book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,  said that both the “Bush and Obama administrations have given Israel everything it has wanted (except a green light to attack Iran), and U.S. politicians continue to bend over backward to express their deep devotion to the Jewish state.


“The United States gave Israel diplomatic cover during the 2006 Lebanon War and the 2008-2009 Gaza War, and also following the attack on the Mavi Marmara in 2010.

“Obama caved completely on the issue of a settlement freeze, and the U.S. Congress continues to vote a generous aid package every year and demean itself with various AIPAC-drafted resolutions.

“Heck, if I were a jihadist trying to convince a recruit that the United States had no sincere commitment to human rights and no respect for Arab or Muslim lives, I’d just show them a transcript of Chuck Hagel or Samantha Power’s confirmation hearings and leave it at that.”

Professor Walt’s article pointed out that Osama Bin Laden and the Islamists who carry out terrorist attacks against Americans do so out of a threefold motivation:

“First, he [Bin Laden] accused the West — and especially the United States — of constant and hostile interference in the Islamic world. This charge included the U.S. sanctions against Iraq during the 1990s (which caused thousands of Iraqi deaths) and the West’s alleged exploitation of Mideast oil.

“Second, he accused the United States of propping up corrupt and illegitimate dictatorships in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and he specifically cited the stationing of thousands of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia following the 1991 Gulf War.

“Third, he blamed the United States for giving lavish, unconditional support to Israel and for turning a blind eye to Israel’s harsh treatment of its Palestinian subjects.”

These charges, Professor Walt added, have “remained prominent elements in the overall jihadi narrative ever since.

“The question is: Has U.S. behavior since then made such charges look more credible or less credible?

“Has the United States undertaken actions designed to show that bin Laden’s charges were basically bogus, or has it behaved in ways that make them appear to be largely correct?”

His conclusion is that the “United States has been fighting a completely one-sided campaign against al Qaeda and the group’s cousins.

“It has hardened its own society (excessively) and taken the battle to those suspected of being hostile to it (probably excessively too).

“But the United States has done hardly anything to counter the narratives that anti-American forces use to rally support, and it has done plenty to reinforce them.

“And a lot of the things the United States has done — such as invading Iraq or giving Israel unconditional support — are bad for the United States.”