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Top U.S. General: We Pay a Price for Backing Israel

Top U.S. General: We Pay a Price for Backing Israel

Photo: getty images

Marine Corps General James Mattis, who retired May 22 as chief of the U.S. Central Command, in charge of U.S. forces in the Middle East, said in a speech at the prestigious Aspen Security Forum in Colorado last Saturday (July 20) that America needs to work “with a sense of urgency” to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because resentment of U.S. support for Israel hurts America militarily throughout the region.

He said the “current situation is unsustainable” and that America must act “with a sense of urgency” toward a two-state solution, because the chances “are starting to ebb because of the settlements and where they’re at.” If it fails, he said, the result will be “apartheid.” And then this bombshell:

Mattis’ predecessor as chief of CentCom, General David Petraeus, made much the same point in a briefing paper he submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee in March 2010, shortly before he handed CentCom over to Mattis. The passage on Israel (on Page 12) caused an explosive reaction (here is what the ADL had to say), though his actual testimony was far more equivocal than his written report. Commentary had a good rundown of the flap a few days later with both the written and spoken remarks in full. Petraeus tried to clear up the mess—some called it backtracking to cover his butt—in an ABC interview a week later.

Here’s a video of Mattis’ talk in Aspen (66 minutes in all). His comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict start at 41:22, and he returns to the subject in response to an audience question at 47:28.

Here’s the full text of Mattis’ Aspen comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

The topic comes up again at 47:28, when a questioner from the audience asks why America is hated so much throughout the region despite its efforts to bring democracy.

Mattis also spoke at length about Iran’s failed 2011 assassination attempt on the Saudi ambassador in Washington and what he called the administration’s inadequate response. And here is a quick rundown of his comments on other topics.

Written by

J.J. Goldberg

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Top U.S. General: We Pay a Price for Backing Israel

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