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U.S. Must Use Leverage with Israel, Says Intelligence Veteran

Israeli settlers and right-wing activists seen building an 'outpost' inside Erez Crossing, February 29, 2024. (Oren Ziv X page)

March 6, 2024 (EIRNS)—"The favors that the United States has given to Israel have been enormous, as reflected in $318 billion, adjusted for inflation, in foreign aid through 2022,” writes Paul Pillar, a 28-year veteran of the CIA. “Thus, the leverage the United States has available to use on Israel is large. But it has used almost none of it.”

Pillar, writing in Responsible Statecraft, points to the weak U.S. responses to Israeli actions counter to U.S. preferences: regarding the illegal settlements on the West Bank, Secretary of State Blinken limited himself to saying that he was “disappointed” by the Israeli policies.

Israel does not currently face destruction by hostile neighbors, Pillar assesses. “Despite frequently heard rhetoric that attributes to some regime or group a supposed dedication to ‘destroying’ Israel, no enemy of Israel has anything close to the capability of doing so.”

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