1. so there's this book about the excessive influence that the israeli lobby has in the US, just being touted around (e.g. guardian blurb) - the interesting thing is that
no-one ever really comes out and says the two important sides to the equation:-
i) any vaguely anti-zionist text is a great way to flush out all the zionist loons and so identify the people to ignore in the real debate - lightning rods are useful...
ii) the real debate for israelis is that withotu the 3billion a year in US aid, not only would their country be bankrupt, but they would probably all be dead and the country overrun with fairly hardcore islam - this would also not be v. nice for the palestiniains (most of whome historically are educated moderate) or some of the neighbours (lots of the lebanese and all the other groups in neighborouing states that don't subscribe to some of the extreme debate (Egypt, obviously not being arab, but also baatist syria, oddly).
On the other hand, one could imagine a 3rd party sponsor of peace if only !
2. meanwhile, also in recent press is the US handwringing about pulling troops out of Iraq - here's a mitigating thought aboute how the chaos that ensues could be excused as not a result of the US (&UK) intervention, but (at least eventually) would have happened when saddam died (say of old age) - the Sunni-Shia civil war (which is what is really going on) was just on the horizon one day - perhaps making it happen sooner rather than later is not necessarily a good thing, but is it a reason to continue to support a mess that has 3+ parties instead of just two (three party problems, like 3 body problems, being intractable)???
3. The guardian has a nice recent article on how politicized islam now a stable state that we have the US (and UK) to thank for.