A Good Analysis
By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani
"CAIRO, Jul 31 (IPS) - For decades, the U.S. has jealously guarded its role of sole arbiter of the Arab-Israeli dispute. In light of recent shows of support for Israel by U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama, however, many Arabs fear that Zionist influence on the U.S. body politic -- across the political spectrum -- has made the notion of 'U.S. even-handedness' a contradiction in terms.
"When it comes to the Middle East conflict, the Arabs no longer see any difference between Republicans and Democrats," Ahmed Thabet, political science professor at Cairo University told IPS. "Both parties vie with one another in expressing total support for Israel.".....
According to Abdel-Halim Kandil, political analyst and editor-in-chief of independent weekly Sout al-Umma, neo-conservative ideology "is not exclusive to the Republicans, but permeates both political parties" in the U.S.
"When it comes to Israel, there's virtually no difference in Republican and Democratic party policies," Kandil told IPS. "The Democratic administration of (former U.S. president Bill) Clinton, for example, consisted of even more Jewish Zionists -- including the defence secretary (William Cohen), the secretary of state (Madeleine Albright) and the national security advisor (Samuel Berger) -- than the current Republican Bush administration.
"These people occupy most of the top political and military positions throughout the American political system," added Kandil. "Anyone who thinks Washington can serve as a fair mediator in the Israel-Palestine conflict -- under Republicans or Democrats -- is delusional."......
According to Thabet, the neo-conservatives in Washington have exploited U.S. military might to neutralise regional opposition -- mainly of the Islamic variety -- to Israel.
"They have used U.S. military force to spread their version of 'democracy', which excludes all forms of political Islam -- be it Lebanon's Hezbollah, Hamas in Palestine or the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood," said Thabet.
Some local observers suggest that the neo-conservatives in the current Bush administration, many of whom hold dual U.S.-Israel citizenship, are more beholden to Israel than to the U.S......
Kandil says most Arab governments -- in contrast to the people they represent -- are in any case not particularly interested in even-handed U.S. arbitration of the conflict.
"The Arab regimes don't look to Washington as a fair mediator -- they look to Washington to keep them in power, despite their lack of legitimacy and popularity," said Kandil. "The Israel-Palestine dispute can only reach a just resolution when the Arabs choose leaders able and willing to carry out the popular will." "