The Gaza Massacre–as it’s now being accurately referred to by some–is horrible and sad and yet another black mark against the thugs who run Israel and the thugs who run America.
Another great post from Caitlin Johnstone, although it’s a week old now, lists a number of the things that make it difficult to write about or have conversations about Israel. When most people in America simply support it because “they are God’s chosen people,” it’s hard to even know where to begin if you want to talk to someone about it.
But we need to have that conversation, because this latest massacre is likely just the beginning of a full-scale genocide against the Palestinian people, and it’s our problem because we support it. In fact we more than support it, we are it. The Israeli government and military are really just proxies for us, and it’s our tax money that bought what killed those Palestinians.
A deeper understanding of the relationship is that we’re both just proxies for some overriding oligarchy that uses the illusion of nation-statehood to further its own interests everywhere. As Johnstone says,
There’s good conspiracy theory and there’s bad conspiracy theory. People who say America controls Israel or Israel controls America are engaged in bad conspiracy theory. We don’t live in a world where the lines between nations mean anything to those with real power; in reality “Israel” and “America” are both purely conceptual constructs which only exist to the extent that people believe in them. There is no actual “Israel” which can exert control over an actual “America”, and vice versa. It isn’t nations and governments pulling the strings of real power in the world, it’s a class of plutocrats who aren’t ultimately answerable to any government. This class of plutocrats uses governments like Israel, the US, the UK, and the KSA to advance its agendas to exploit, loot and plunder the rest of humanity.
Our support for Israel also is the primary factor that keeps terrorism going in the Middle East, as they all see Israel as their ultimate enemy and the biggest threat to their existence. The terrorists have made no secret of the fact that it’s their main reason for attacking us and regarding us as the Great Satan. Immediately after 9/11, Bin Laden put out a statement, publicly explaining that the reason for the attack was that we continued to support Israel and we maintained bases in Saudi Arabia.
But you’ll struggle to find any of that mentioned in the national dialog. Not in the media, even most progressive media, nor in the political rhetoric at any level. It’s toxic to mention it because so many people think Israel is a holy cause and to fail to support it would be bad faith or something.
There is plenty of reason of course, not to support Israel… look up Jews for Justice — I suppose they still exist — and you’ll find a well-documented, clear and rational explanation of just how horrible Israel is and always has been. And obviously they’re not anti-Semitic. In fact it seems even anti-Semitic folk love Israel. Maybe because they’re such fascist and racist assholes that they miss the fact that most of the people in Israel are Jewish, even though it’s not a religious state, and even though most of those Israelis probably are not practicing Jews, they’re Jewish nonetheless.
The simple fact is that Israel’s horribleness has nothing to do with it being Jewish and everything to do with it being an outpost of the Empire. So that’s another factor that makes it very hard to talk about in a rational way. People are in denial about the very existence of the Empire, so it takes a long and patient workup to get them to see anything related to that dominant reality of the world.
That point is also addressed in a great forum in the June Harper’s Magazine. The forum “Combat High” is an excellent, though depressing, read. (It may require membership to access, but here’s a link: Combat High.) The participants all seem to agree that Americans in general don’t know enough about what’s happening in the world–especially in the machinations of Empire–to care.
In the discussion of where and how many U.S. troops are stationed around the world, Jason Dempsey, who served as an infantry officer in both Iraq and Afghanistan and is an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a senior adviser to the Columbia University Center for Veteran Transition and Integration, says, “Most Americans don’t know enough to care.”
It’s a sad commentary. A nation of people who claim to embrace Christian and democratic values and yet we don’t care that our military and its subsidiaries around the world kill people for little or no reason other than to support the oligarchy and protect its financial interests.