"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Apr 20, 2010

Bugsy Siegel Sez

"Speaking at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem before relatives of fallen soldiers, Peres added, 'A threat to the peace of the Jewish people always carries the danger of turning into a threat to the civilized world as a whole.' "

Translation:  "We Zionists get what we want [dead Palestinians, Isfahan irradiated, silenced Israeli dissidents, continued colonial expulsions], or else we force the Americans to bomb the universe."


druff said...

interesting how this state of affairs rather inverts Arendt's formulation from the quote you linked to a few posts back:

"On the other hand, the Zionists, if they continue to ignore the Mediterranean people and watch out only for the big faraway powers, will appear only as their tools, the agents of foreign and hostile interests."

and yet it's clear that the US is the tool in this relationship. what the hell.

Jack Crow said...

From our perspective, it can look as though the US the dog wagged tail, but I think that we should remember that the Israeli state does not make major policy moves without satisfying the American Imperium.

We have a very one sided press providing a very one sided view of Israel, plus a committed cadre of propagandists at AIPAC, JINSA and the ADL, lending their helping hands and intimidatory smiles.

In the ME, though, I think you'll find that opponents very cleary see Israel as the US's redoubt.

Richard said...

Jack has this one right. There is a congruity between the interests of Israel and the US, at least as defined by the elites. Imagine for a moment, that a coalition government took power in Israel centered around a complete withdrawal in the occupied territories to the 1967 boundaries, with a removal of all settlements. Or, even more, a government took power and immediately proposed talks with the Palestinians about the creation of a secular state in Palestine.

We are using our imagination here, and fantasizing about a bottom up, mass movement that rejects Zionism and Islamic fundamentalism. What would happen? Would the US support this. No. Would the US take any and all measures to prevent the new Israeli government from succeeding? Yes.

I'll leave it to others to flesh out the reasons why the US would act this way, but here's one aspect of it: Saudi Arabia. US support for Israel is one of the last, deeply ingrained vestiges of a post-World War II colonial policy that aligned the US with Taiwan and South Africa as well.

druff said...

i wasn't suggesting that there's no mutual benefit, by the way.

Jack, you're saying that the role of an Israel-dominated US gov't and media is to make Israel appear to be pulling the strings on our elected representatives? that seems like pretty much the opposite of what a concerted propaganda effort on behalf of Israel would look like. what happened to plucky little Israel, the lovable underdog?

oh, and i might be setting myself up for a fall here, but what's our evidence that Israel seeks US permission on any major policy moves? that the US inevitably goes along with these moves isn't evidence that US approval was sought and granted previously. congruity in interests doesn't settle this either. perhaps evidence against your assertion is the gauche announcement of new settlements during Biden's trip. also, unless it's just an act, all the US military hand-wringing about a sudden Israeli strike on Iran. i'll grant that this concern could be fake but what do you think?

that's not all to say that Israel isn't the US's redoubt in the ME, but i'm not sure about your assessment of the power balance between the two. not that i can prove anything.

Richard, your hypothetical could apply to pretty much any non-superpower country; that's SOP for US foreign policy. i don't see what this demonstrates re: power dynamics.

i'm playing devil's advocate to a small extent but i'm genuinely unable to comprehend the relationship between the two countries.

Richard said...

druff: much of what goes on publicly between the US and Israel is pretense, for example, the recent "controversy" over Israeli constrution in East Jerusalem

also, keep in mind that evangelical Christians in the US have effectively dictated US policy here from a domestic standpoint

Jack Crow said...


I don't think Israel seeks formal permission for its military and political moves.

But - it's a client state. Client states do not dictate to their patron states.

Israel serves a very particular US interest, and Richard hinted at it.

The US needs Saudi Arabia. The Saudi tyranny is vital to the US state, because the majority of the oil upon which the US military depends is produced by US-Saudi firms, in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia - despite its routine export of violent second and third sons - is also a client state.

One who's survival is predicated on not being the target of revolutionaries and radicals.

The US supports tyrants in Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia because those tyrants can better control their populations, using domestic terror and repression.

But those populations, if they aren't going to rebel and pit numbers against weapons, need an external enemy.

A clear, and clearly different one.

A Jewish enemy, for example. Or at least an Israeli one. A lodestone, if you will.

Before you think that this hints at conspiracy theory - that's not my claim. No cabal has to conspire, one bit.

Security states the world over rely on Alien Others. The US state didn't need to set up the situation (and it didn't - this is one more shitty legacy of the French and British) to see how they could benefit from it.

As long as Israel is the primary source of disaffection, Saudi Arabia's hypocritial and repressive regime is not.

We pay the Israelis lots and lots of money, and we routinely support their war party - because a garrison state is precisely the sort of distraction which serves US interests.

Again, no conspiracy - this set of circumstances developed over a half century time frame.

Remember - Israel didn't start off a garrison state. It was surely colonial, and definitely willing to expel the locals - but it was still constructed on relatively open and socialist lines.

The Revisionists (who would become Likud) did not gain any real power within the Israeli discussion until after the US started funding them. Prior to the emergence of the hard line of Likud, most Israelis believed that they could find a settlement with the Palestinians, or at least force their Arab neighbors to deal with the problem.

The Revisionists, believing Jabotinsky's brutal honesty (and he was right, the Palestinians weren't going to settle with their colonial oppressors), sought a different line.

Ben Gurion and Meir did not set about building the State that now exists in Israel proper.

That followed upon a series of actions and reactions (usually undertaken by Likudniks) that were largely the result of an arms disparity financed almost exclusively by...

...the US government, one which enabled sanctions on the Palestinians at the same time that Israelis got access to anything they needed or wanted.

After 50 years of nudging and billions and billions of US military and financial aid, the once socialist secular state now resembles a crusader kindgom, complete with a rising religious leadership, which is not incidentally fundamentally dependent on continued US largesse to survive.

Structured as it now is, unwilling to accommodate the Palestinians, the Israeli government absolutely depends upon the US security umbrella.

And umbrella which benefits the US far more than it will benefit Israelis.

Jack Crow said...

Sigh. I suck.

Should read "which is (not coincidentally) fundamentally"