Israelization of America
officials recently announced the somewhat jarring news that Israeli
security forces will be training
American soldiers in the techniques of urban warfare. Apparently
Israel's illegal thirty-five year occupation of Palestine has enabled
it to perfect tactics that our troops will need in a 'possible' war
the past half century, Israel's organized terror against Palestinian
civilians has moved from the relatively secret operations of special
Israeli army and paramilitary units to globally televised depredations
wrought with helicopter gunships, state-of-the-art tanks, and F-16 fighters.
In the process, massacres like those perpetrated in the old days by
Israeli army units at Deir Yassin and Qibya have been dwarfed, in terms
of casualties, scope, and property damage, by today's daily and indiscriminate
destruction in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Crimes that Israel
once felt compelled to hide from the world are now on full display,
vigorously defended by the Israeli government.
has long been criticized for taking pre-emptive military action against
its perceived enemies. Two well-known examples are its surprise attack
against a nearly-completed Iraqi nuclear power plant and its protracted,
illegal and bloody occupation of southern Lebanon. Despite worldwide
criticism of these and many other blatant violations of international
law, Israel continued, and continues, undaunted.
politicians have also learned much by example from our close and "special"
relationship with the government of Israel. For decades, our pols have
used cant, dissimulation and fraud to excuse Israel's most egregious
crimes. In the process, much has been learned about how to turn acts
of wanton destruction into a noble defense of freedom. Israel's willingness
to keep 'pushing the envelope' of state terror has been invaluable in
this process, training both American pols and media in the arts of propaganda
required to justify ever-larger crimes.
the tragedy of 9/11, Israel immediately recast its thirty-five-year
occupation of Palestine as an essential front in the "war on terror".
To extract maximum political advantage from our loss and grief, Israeli
politicians like Ariel Sharon suggested, with typical touches of arrogance
and self-satisfaction, that, finally, Americans know how Israelis have
felt for years. We face a common and implacable enemy, they lectured
us, leaving unspoken the message that we Americans had better develop
some backbone and put our shoulder to the anti-terror wheel.
as Israel depends on billions of dollars annually from a compliant US
government to maintain its military occupation and indifference to UN
resolutions and international law, America's power axis also thrives
on a steady flow of wealth from a similarly remote and supine source
the American people. And just as Israel makes it a point to occasionally
disobey the orders of its US sponsors, so American politicians at the
pinnacle of power pointedly disregard the many voices of the people
that call for justice and peace. During consideration of the recent
Congressional resolution supporting war on Iraq, Democracy Now
reported that citizen messages to Congressional offices of both chambers
and both sides of the aisle were running 10 to 1 against the resolution.
Naturally, both the House and Senate passed the measure by overwhelming
margins. The reply to the American public was clear; "We watch
our push-polls. Pay your taxes and shut up."
within its own pre-1967 borders, Israel's human rights record is abysmal.
Twenty percent of Israel's population is now comprised of non-Jewish
Arabs who, by law, are systematically rendered second-class citizens
in their own homeland. Special hells in Israel's complex legal and social
caste system are reserved for Bedouins and African Jews. Israel's stubborn
insistence on the primacy of the "Jewish state" and its institutionalized
discrimination against non-Jews have set poor examples for America,
where Israel is routinely hailed as a shining example of "Western
democracy". We cannot quantify the debasing effects of this mass
fantasy, but we can see that while America's own system of minority
repression becomes increasingly severe, the public is told that pride
in America's "liberty and equality for all" is at an all-time
long war of attrition against the Palestinians has proven to America's
power elite that it is possible to indefinitely occupy the land of another
people, even in the face of nearly global opposition if you're backed
by enough raw power. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip constitute a kind
of open-air laboratory and lecture hall, in which Israel demonstrates
the advantages of occupation to its dutiful American pupil. These advantages
include a dirt-cheap labor pool that can be turned on and off at will,
the ability to emasculate and/or decapitate any effort at self-rule
within the occupied lands, the utility of occupation as an object lesson
and divisive thorn-in-the-side of neighboring enemies, and so on. Israel
has also demonstrated the usefulness of sustained occupation for increasing
a nation's overall military might. The constant war-footing, and the
need for violent repression of a restive and disenfranchised people,
create never-ending opportunities for the purchase and use of the latest
military equipment, and for the containment of domestic politics.
American power has in general been a very attentive student of Israeli
policy and practice, there is one crucial lesson at the back of Israel's
textbook that remains unlearned: Israel's approach will never create
peace or achieve a just solution. Of course, that suits its purposes.
The point of Israeli strategy is to grind the Palestinians into dust
until they just blow away, and the last shreds of Palestine can be swept
up into Greater Israel, always the goal of the military Zionists and
their Laborite alter egos.
James Brooks of Worcester, Vermont is former marketing director of Vita-Flex Nutrition and was founding vice-president of the National Association of Equine Supplement Manufacturers. Past articles have been published on the NileMedia Web site. Currently Mr. Brooks serves as webmaster for Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel and publishes News Links, a daily e-mail digest of Middle East news and commentary. Brooks is also a member of the national Al-Awda Co-ordinating Committee.
Back to Antiwar.com Home Page | Contact Us