Former Israeli PM Admits Israel’s War Crimes Can’t Happen Without US Support

Caitlin Johnstone
4 min readJul 2, 2024

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Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has been launching a forceful attack on Benjamin Netanyahu in both US and Israeli media for sabotaging peace in Gaza and pushing Israel to the brink with Hezbollah in Lebanon, during which he inadvertently made an interesting acknowledgement which flies in the face of the Biden administration’s feigned powerlessness to rein in Israel’s insanity.

“I accuse the prime minister of Israel of a deliberate attempt to destroy the political-security-military alliance between Israel and the United States,” Olmert writes in an op-ed for Haaretz titled “I Accuse Netanyahu of Betrayal”.

“For many years, Israel’s political stability in the international arena rested on the absolute support of the United States,” writes Olmert, adding, “The entire Israel Air Force relies completely on American aircraft: fighter planes, transport planes, refueler planes and helicopters. All of Israel’s air power is based on the American commitment to defend Israel. We have no other reliable source for essential supplies of equipment, munitions and advanced weapons that Israel cannot manufacture on its own.”

Olmert’s comments echo those made in November of last year by retired Israeli Major General Yitzhak Brick, who said of the Israeli assault on Gaza, “All of our missiles, the ammunition, the precision-guided bombs, all the airplanes and bombs, it’s all from the U.S. The minute they turn off the tap, you can’t keep fighting. You have no capability. … Everyone understands that we can’t fight this war without the United States. Period.”

Contrast these frank admissions by longtime Israeli government insiders with the way the Biden administration has been pretending since the early days of this onslaught that there is nothing it can do to force Israel to be less monstrous and murderous in Gaza, constantly posturing as a passive witness to genocidal atrocity after genocidal atrocity while the western press churn out nonstop anonymously-sourced articles about how secretly upset the president is with the Netanyahu regime.

It’s just a simple fact that Israel’s complete dependence on US support means the Biden administration has all the leverage it needs to force an end to Israel’s aggressions at any time, but instead you’ll get White House officials like John Kirby spouting ridiculous nonsense about how Israel is a completely independent nation to whom the US is incapable of dictating any terms whatsoever.

When asked by the press back in February if the US was doing anything to deter Israel from its planned assault on Rafah, for example, Kirby replied as follows:

“[Israel] is a sovereign nation. They plan their military operations, and they conduct their military operations, and they make the choices. It’s not like we give them a homework assignment, and they have to then turn in their plan to us for grading. We have said that from our perspective, as a friend of Israel and as a supporter of their efforts to defend themselves, we would expect that any plan for going into Rafah would properly account for the now more than a million civilians that are seeking refuge down there.”

Israel has since launched a brutal assault on Rafah which features regular massacres of civilians, with the IDF now reportedly working toward the complete capture of the entire city. This despite the White House previously having said that a “major ground operation” in Rafah would be a “red line” for this administration.

The US is just as responsible for what’s happening in Gaza as Israel itself, and will be responsible for everything that happens in Lebanon as well. They could end this at any time, and they choose to keep it going instead. As Noam Chomsky once said during the Second Intifada, “They’re not Israeli helicopters, they’re US helicopters with Israeli pilots.”

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