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From its inception, Israel and its supporters in America have influenced our political system not for what is best for America but for Israel's interest. President Harry Truman compromised on his and the State Department's opinion on how Israel should be founded due to political pressure and fear that he may lose the presidential race in 1948.

Here we go again. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is using the political partisanship of our government to advance what he feels is best for Israel in our negotiations with Iran, and Congress is playing right into it since their primary agenda has been to not support any platform President Barack Obama puts forward ("Netanyahu invitation unwise," Jan. 27).

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The United States is a unique place even with all its problems — everyone of different religions and racial backgrounds have the same rights protected by the law of our land. This did not happen immediately once the Constitution was established but has been a struggle and the struggle continues to this day. This aspect of America gives it a unique position to have some moral authority in the world arena but does not always hold true as we interject our power for other interests.

One of the key founding arguments in Israel's establishment was based on the historical principle that they were there first. That may be true but I don't see us giving New York back to the Indians so it is a moral principle I don't accept. The fact is land was taken from Palestinians and the Arab community never accepted the terms of the initial UN resolution, hence there has been turmoil ever since with American spending billions of dollars over the years in foreign aid more so to Israel — again, because of a strong lobbying groups in America influencing our politicians. Right now, Israel is acting against United Nations resolutions in establishing Jewish settlements in both Gaza and the West Bank, a big issue the Obama administration is trying to address in acting as a mediator in negotiating between the Palestinians and the Jews. We, as Americans, cannot think of ourselves as a just people if we do not try to establish equity for all people. No, America is not going to give back New York to the Indians but it has been a blight in our history the treatment of Native Americans so if we learned anything, let's not repeat a tragic period of our history.

The Republican Congress is playing right into this. Many Christian denominations believe from a biblical basis that Jews should be reestablished in their homeland. Since the Republicans represent most of these denominations, it becomes a factor in them blindly supporting Israel. You would think that the world has progressed from the Middle Ages, but once again, we have the three world religions with their roots going back to Abraham, bringing everyone to the brink of war or at a minimum hostile actions against each other when the real cause is domination of the powerful world nations over weaker nations.

The Middle East has been greatly manipulated by the western nations since the end of World War I with American being the most influential since World War II. I don't think most understand the complexities of the Arab nations to be making this level of decisions but we have learned much since our misguided invasion of Iraq which Mr. Netanyahu supported. Now, we are dealing with ISIS which is basically founded by the Sunnis who lost power after our invasion of Iraq and we are supporting the Shiites that are backed by Iran. It is a very convoluted situation made worse by the recent wars led by the U.S. Drawing lines in the sand based on religious affiliations and theologies will only make matters worse.

President Obama is not perfect, but his wanting to negotiate before any act of war is the more prudent choice than just supporting a narrow vision that will perpetuate the problem. In the long run, supporting theocracies is shortsighted. Supporting governments that are trying to become a true democracy with a voice for all is the only path to peace.

Steve Devon, Baltimore

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