In January 2003, a funding scandal threatened Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's re-election campaign. It involved Knesset/Likud Party vote buying. The American media covered the scandal but the lack of detail was evident. More digging was necessary. That digging was achieved by Anton Chaitkin in the January 24, 2003, Executive Intelligence Review, (larouchepub.com/2003/3003likud_usgansta.html) and needs to be read by anyone interested in Middle East politics.
Though illegal, foreign, especially American, donations have rolled into Israel's right-wing Likud party to the tune of millions of dollars. It doesn't take much to recognize long-range aims of ultra conservative American Jews and Israelis. This American funding takes on greater meaning when we see how its influence has crept into American politics. Are Americans doing Tel Aviv's bidding by sending our troops to be killed in the Middle East so Conservative Jews can achieve their aims?
In a democracy, there is nothing wrong with like-minded folks coming together to support a cause. What's wrong here is the suffering these aims are causing to the entire Middle East, including Israeli citizens. This determined group of wealthy Americans and Israeli politicians are not averse to taking action to achieve their aims. According to Chaitkin, Likud and cohorts are "driving the Middle East and the world into religious-ethnic wars." Their aim is to restore Israel to its Biblical borders. That means Palestinians must totally surrender, be "transported" or suffer ethnic cleansing, a war crime according to the Geneva Convention.
Likud's vote last year to never accept a Palestinian state affirms that position. Ariel Sharon himself has advocated Palestinian transport as a solution. Israeli opposition to Bush's Road Map to Peace centers on removal of the idea of a Palestinian state, at least for the present. This dodge has worked for fifty years.
Who then are the American advocates of this catastrophic policy? Let's start with Ariel Sharon. When Ariel Sharon retired as a General, the Israeli government granted him a long-term lease to his Sycamore Ranch in the Negev Desert. With the help of Meshulam Riklis, a wealthy Jewish-American businessman, Sharon was able to transform the place into his beloved ranch, ala Ronald Reagan's California home and Fernado Marcos' pied-a-terre in Hawaii. Riklis is also a member of the Roundtable Political Action Committee.
Another American politician with conservative ties in Israel is former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. He was present at Sycamore Ranch with Sharon and Riklis, when the plan for West Bank settlements was developed. The expansion of West Bank and Gaza settlements has always been Sharon's baby.