web analytics
December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Alexander Haig: A True And Faithful Friend


Last month, Israel lost a very close friend in Alexander Haig.

During his confirmation hearings in January 1981for the position of secretary of state, Haig reiterated his commitment to the existing U.S. policy of not dealing with the PLO or other Palestinians opposed to Israel’s existence.

He would safeguard that principle during his tenure as secretary of state and work to enhance the relationship between America and Israel. As head of the State Department, with its notoriously anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic past, he blazed a new path and was widely regarded as Israel’s strongest defender in the Reagan administration.

Prior to his tenure as secretary of state, Haig, as President Nixon’s chief of staff, sidestepped Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during the 1973Yom Kippur War and helped provide desperately needed munitions to Israel. Kissinger was willing to wait and let Israel bleed as its supplies were dangerously depleted.

Moshe Arens, the former Israeli defense minister and ambassador to the U.S., recently wrote in Haaretz that Haig was “a good friend of Israel through thick and thin, both at the best of times and during difficult times . Haig’s support for Israel was not only based on the rationale that the United States and Israel had shared strategic interests; it was also tempered by an admiration for Israel’s courage in the face of daunting odds.”

In 1981, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin said Haig had “fought on behalf of the people of Israel in the Land of Israel with friendship and devotion.”

When some American officials, invariably led by Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger, sought to distance themselves from Jerusalem, Haig worked to ensure that would not happen.

Being a close friend did not mean Haig was in agreement with all of Israel’s decisions. When Pentagon officials sought stringent measures to punish Israel for its attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, Haig joined other administration officials in condemning Israel – but was opposed to severe punitive measures. More than anyone else in the Reagan administration, Haig was responsible for the decision to lift the 10-week suspension of F-16 fighters to Israel.

On November 13, 1981, Haig condemned statements by his counterpart in Great Britain, Foreign Secretary Lord Peter Carrington, in support of the Saudi eight-point peace plan, which essentially called for a complete withdrawal of Israel to pre-1967 borders and affirmed the Palestinian Arab “right of return.”

Haig told a group of 200 leaders of the United Jewish Appeal on November 7, 1981: “It’s a very luxurious position for our European friends to be in. They can make their own observations without responsibility for the consequences.”

Haig always displayed a concern for and an understanding of Israel’s security needs and its position vis-à-vis the Arab world.

In April 1982, as Israel was preparing to complete its final withdrawal from the Sinai and Arab nations were pressing the U.S. to join in a UN condemnation of Israel for its efforts to quell Arab violence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, Haig, true to form, refused to join the barrage of criticism. Instead, he reminded the world that Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai was a “very traumatic” step because the area was considered a strategic buffer.

Following the completion of Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai, as per the Camp David accords, Israeli leaders expressed their concerns over increased pressure for further territorial demands. Haig responded, “Not on my watch.”

While Haig denied giving Israel a “green light” for its June 1982 incursion into Lebanon in, launched in response to PLO attacks on Israel’s northern border, he supported Israel’s military operations on the ground. Weeks into the war, though he did urge Israel to withdraw from Lebanon, he also stressed the need for Lebanon to become free of foreign forces and for Israel to never again feel threatened by assaults from Southern Lebanon.

It’s likely that Haig’s support of Israeli forces during the Lebanon war was one of the causes of his sudden resignation that summer. Sharp criticism came his way from other senior administration officials seeking to counter Haig’s pro-Israel influence on Reagan. They urged the president to ratchet up his opposition to the Israeli military operation.

During talks between Israeli leaders and Haig in Israel in April 1981 over the proposed sale of American-made AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) to Saudi Arabia, then-Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon (he would be appointed defense minister a few months later) objected to some in Washington referring to Israel as a strategic asset.

“We don’t want to be anybody’s strategic asset. We are fighting a war of survival, and that war is the free world’s war.”

Haig heard these words and admiringly replied, “That is the kind of talk Americans should hear more of.”

During that visit to Israel, when questioned by the press about his stand on the West Bank, Haig replied. “The Reagan administration’s policy is not to indulge in public criticism of long-standing friends and allies.”

Alexander Haig’s words and deeds spoke for themselves.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Alexander Haig: A True And Faithful Friend”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
This masked "soldier" carrying a machine-gun is not part of a terrorist organization, according to the European Court of Justice.
Hamas Holds Live-Fire Training Hours after EU Takes It off Terror List
Latest Indepth Stories

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

Joseph Berger 
(Photo: James Estrin)

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation

Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.

Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers

Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism; Thank G-d for heroic actions of the Maccabees!

Israel and the strengthening of the Jewish people in faith and numbers has brought a growing light

“Can you hear what the dead are whispering? Leave Galut, escape to Eretz Israel-Lech lecha!”

3 main messages emerged from this conference: Communications, Community, and Collaboration.

In his short time with the shul, he has managed to activate a Hebrew school with now over 50 children and five teachers.

Recent headlines show escalation of the same attitudes and actions as existed during the Holocaust

The Mid-East conflict is a unidirectional campaign of Arabs murdering Jews, not the inverse.

More Articles from Larry Domnitch
David Ben-Gurion publicly pronounces the Declaration of the State of Israel, May 14 1948, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Arab opposition to a Jewish State of any size was made known by word and deed in the form of terror

330px-Balfour_portrait_and_declaration

Rav Kook offered recognition to the British but not thanks; the British merely fulfilled its destiny

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

Nearly two decades into the 20th century, Jews were suffering the horrors of pogroms, mass expulsions, starvation and disease in Eastern Europe while Jewish soldiers in various armies were enduring the carnage of the battlefield. Amid the horrors, however, a glimmer of hope appeared.

On November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m., an agreement signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiegne France, ended hostilities on the Western front and signaled the end of the First World War.

On the eve of the Six-Day War, Israel stood alone.

The events of June 1967 came just a decade after the 1956 Sinai Campaign waged by Israel, France and Great Britain to protect international passage through the Suez Canal.

Had Judge Richard Goldstone only issued a distorted litany of accusations against the Jewish state – dayenu.

Had the British government only issued an arrest warrant against Kadima leader and former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni – dayenu.

Last month, Israel lost a very close friend in Alexander Haig.

During his confirmation hearings in January 1981for the position of secretary of state, Haig reiterated his commitment to the existing U.S. policy of not dealing with the PLO or other Palestinians opposed to Israel’s existence.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/alexander-haig-a-true-and-faithful-friend/2010/03/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: