The government of Israel today launched a massive air assault on suspected terrorist targets along major coastal cities in the United States of America. In an operation termed “Friendly Enemy,” hundreds of Israeli F-16 fighter jets streaked across the Atlantic in precise formation and fired surgical air strikes at alleged terrorist strongholds in densely populated Muslim communities all along the northeast corridor of the United States. The American-made Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets then continued south, inflicting massive destruction in densely populated Muslim communities along many southeastern US states as well.
Reaction to the attacks on the US was swift. President Bush and President-Elect Obama both appealed for restraint, but stated emphatically, “Israel has the right to defend itself.”
President Bush, who took an oath to defend the US and to preserve, protect and defend it against all foreign and domestic enemies, stated that the War on Terror must be fought anywhere and everywhere in the world, even on US soil, if necessary. “Our close relationship with Israel, our steadfast ally in the War on Terror, requires extraordinary sacrifices by the American people and requires exceptions to both US and international law,” said Bush.
President-Elect Barack Obama reiterated, “There is only one president at a time, and President [George] Bush speaks for the United States of America until January 20th…” Obama did, however, declare his “unconditional, unquestioning support of Israel's right to self-defense and to wage preemptive attacks whenever and wherever necessary to combat terrorism.” He said, “There will be no change in my administration when it comes to our unquestioning allegiance to the State of Israel…that is a promise you can [most certainly] believe in,” said Obama.
Earlier in the day, the US Senate had passed a nearly unanimous resolution supporting Israel. Even northeast Senators Frank Lautenberg (NJ), Charles Schumer (NY), Joe Lieberman (CT) and John Kerry (MA), whose states were attacked, voted along with 93 other US Senators, backing Israel’s right to “self-defense.” Only Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold voted against the resolution. There were two absentees.
In an emergency special session of the US Senate, Hillary Clinton claimed there were terrorists hiding in US cities who had links to Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah. Hillary Clinton, President-Elect Obama's incoming Secretary of State, who has been a staunch supporter of Israel during her tenure as senator from New York, pledged her continued unwavering and unquestioning support of Israel. America's position “[when it comes to Israel] is unchanging, our resolve unyielding, our stance non-negotiable,” she emphasized.
Vice-President Elect, Senator Joe Biden (DE), who is currently the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also declared his unwavering support for the Jewish state. “You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist,” Biden declared.
Barack Obama’s incoming Chief of Staff, former US Representative Rahm Emanuel, 5th Congressional District of Illinois, who has dual American and Israeli citizenship and is known as the Zionist pit bull, remained uncharacteristically silent. Embroiled in the Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich scandal, Emanuel refused to comment on the Israeli attacks on US cities. Blagojevich was arrested and charged with trying to sell President-Elect Obama’s vacated Illinois senate seat. Congressman Emanuel had made several “suggestions” on who the embattled Governor should appoint. Emanuel has not been charged with any wrongdoing at this time.
During the 2008 Presidential campaign, key Democrats, most notably House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, harshly criticized the Bush administration for mismanaging the economy, ignoring the 2001 Bin Laden threats, and botching the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Now they are criticizing President Bush for not doing enough to investigate potential terrorist sanctuaries in US cities, thereby forcing the Israelis to act unilaterally.
The Israeli incursion was the first on American soil by a foreign government since the December 1941 incursion by the empire of Japan. But on June 8, 1967, during the Six-Day War, Israeli jet fighters also attacked a neutral US Navy technical research ship named the USS Liberty, killing 34 crewmen and wounding 172 others. Israel later apologized for the incident, suggesting its forces had attacked the USS Liberty in error. The Israelis claimed it had misidentified the Liberty as an unknown destroyer. Surviving Liberty crewmen claim that the attack was deliberate and premeditated. Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty remains the only major maritime incident in American history not investigated by Congress.
Across the US, those Americans unaffected by the Israeli attacks were mainly concerned how this incident might affect the already fragile US economy. Most Americans continued their holiday vacations, largely unconcerned with the massive loss of life but quite concerned whether stricken areas might further impact the plummeting value of their homes.
The mainstream media, always cautious of being branded anti-Semitic and thus losing advertising revenue, especially during difficult economic times, repeatedly defended the Israeli attacks as proportionate and justified.
Any critics who called the Israeli incursion an attack on the US and demanded retribution were labeled anti-Semites and soft on terrorism.
Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni defended her country’s use of force. “There are no safe havens anywhere in the world when it comes to fighting terror,” said Livni. The American death toll is expected to be “only” in the hundreds, still far below the deaths that occurred on 9/11 by Islamic terrorists. Israeli pilots use only the finest precision weapons. Terrorists use crude devices like box-cutters, suicide vests and IEDs (Impoverished Explosive Devices). “We abhor the death of any innocent Americans killed by our precision air strikes, but you have to lay the blame on the terrorists who are hiding in these crowded American cities,” she rationalized.
Livni’s justification for the US incursion relied heavily on US Vice-President Richard “Dick” Cheney’s “1%” doctrine, which treats suspicions of terrorist involvement with a likelihood of even 1% as a certainty. “[If] we think, therefore there are,” she said philosophically.
The British and Canadian Prime Ministers, Gordon Brown and Stephen Harper respectively, also supported the Israeli incursion into the US. Both deeply regretted the loss of any innocent American lives. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called the Israeli incursion “just and proportionate.” President Bush phoned Prime Minister Brown and thanked him for his support during this difficult time.
President Bush noted that the American casualties from the Israeli raids were not equal to those killed in terrorist attacks on 9/11. “There is no moral equivalence between those killed in self-defense by Israeli warriors fighting for a democratically elected government and those killed by rogue [Al-Qaeda] terrorists who hate the freedoms we enjoy,” Bush suggested.
Despite some minor collateral damage to some synagogues, traditional liberal Jewish-American leaders remained steadfast in their unwavering defense of Israel. There was far more criticism and debate of the Israeli attacks on the US in the Knesset and among the Israeli public than there was in the US Congress or the American Jewish community, respectively.
Those few critics of the incursion contend that all Americans are protected by American and international law, and the strikes against the US should be construed as war crimes. US law prohibits the use of American-made weapons to be used for offensive purposes. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey stated that the war on terror supersedes all constitutional guarantees, and international law does not apply to anyone engaging in or even thinking about engaging in terrorism. Israel’s actions were in self-defense, he added.
In the UN, a Security Council resolution introduced by France, condemning the Israeli attacks on the United States was vetoed by the United States.
Local hospitals overflowed with American survivors of the Israeli air strikes. This time, though, the victims asked not “why do they hate us?” but “why do we love them?”
(Editor's Note: This article was first written back July, 2006, during the 33 day Israel/Lebanon war in which over a thousand Lebanese civilians were killed and over 4,000 wounded due to massive, indiscriminate bombing of civilian infrastructure. In Gaza today Israel is showing the same cowardly distain for life by conducting bombing sorties in largely civilian areas. This article has been recently updated by the author. )