Since tension between Iraq and the United States has increased and the winds of war have started to blow, the Bush Administration has made every effort to play down Israel's role in the future military conflict.
The Americans have promised complete protection and direct information to ensure that Israel will not get involved. They are keeping a low profile in the talks on assistance with Israel and in the transfer of military support toward the war, and are distancing themselves from any appearance of Israeli involvement in the war preparations. There is just one purpose - to remove any suspicion that the decision to go to war with Iraq is a pro-Israeli and, therefore, anti-Arab step.
But, as hard as the administration tries, the voices linking Israel to the war are getting louder and louder. It is claimed the desire to help Israel is the major reason for President George Bush sending American soldiers to a superfluous war in the Gulf. And the voices come from all directions - from the left, with their anti-war and anti-Israel slogans, as well as from seasoned conservative politicians who accuse the administration of being led by a handful of pro-Israel Jews.
The attacks from the right are nothing new. In 1991, Patrick Buchanan, an arch-conservative, hinted that Jews were behind the will of George Bush Sr.'s administration to go to war. His comments kicked up a storm and he was accused of anti-Semitism. Buchanan has gone right back to his old line. He claims the main proponents now urging the United States to go to war are a small group of senior officials in the administration, notably in the Pentagon. They are, not by chance, he said, Jewsplacing the good of Israel before that of the United States. He defines Bush as "Sharon's client."