The Dilemma for American Liberal Zionist Jews
The online “Conservative Tribune”, lamented in their latest post about the anti-Israel demonstrations taking place worldwide. They wrote: “In today’s culture, saturated by liberal progressive ideals, hating on Israel for taking military action to defend itself has become the “hip” and “in” thing to do. Mobs of protesters from all over the world have taken to the streets to demonstrate their support for Hamas and Palestine, the very group that picked a fight with Israel by launching rockets into their country and killing its citizens.”
They went on to inform their readers that famous actor Robert De Niro has expressed his support for Israel. He describes Israelis as nice, smart and “aggressive” and that he likes that “aggressiveness” in them.
Ever wonder why aside from American Zionist Jews, the only other sectors of the American society who support the apartheid state and its genocide against Palestinians, just as strongly and unconditionally, are the far right? Now, this, of course, does not mean those who consider themselves liberal or “progressive” don’t. The vast majority of the Democrats, who consider themselves liberal and even “progressive”, support Israel, just as strongly as the Republicans. As with many other things, on this issue, too, Democrats are more coy and hypocritical than Republicans, but they, too, carry on the same imperialist policies for the benefit of the corporate Empire, which has found in the apartheid state, a reliable and “capable” partner to help it achieve its global domination for their corporations. The demagoguery is true about most domestic issues, too. Obama, continues the US ruling class tradition – or rather, demand and requirement – of aiding Israel militarily, financially, politically and diplomatically. But, while repeating the imperialist line that “Israel has the right to defend itself, he also throws in: “but we’re also concerned about the civilian casualties”, and then he walks away from the podium and increases the aid to Israel. Some concern, right? Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, criticized Obama for mentioning the “concern”. He didn’t feel it was necessary to tell Israel to be concerned about casualties. It’s outrageous, vicious and evil, but it’s honest; whereas, Obama is outrageous, vicious, evil AND dishonest.
On many social issues, however, such as abortion, gay rights and immigration, Democrats draw a line between themselves and the more conservative Republicans, who openly oppose such rights and alienate many voters, as a result. This distinction, which is now mostly about social issues, used to also include, to some degree, economic issues, as well, such as the workers’ right to unionize, minimum wage, unemployment benefits, regulating corporations and social safety nets. President Clinton was the one who began the Democrats’ move away from such issues and moved closer to Republicans. President Obama, arguably the most conservative of all prior Democratic presidents and more conservative than even many prior Republicans, even those who were considered pretty rightwing, such as President Nixon, made such economic distinctions even less, to the point that, now, aside from some social issues, it’s hard to see any difference between the two parties.
The majority of American Jews, by and large, have been supporters of the Democrats, both before the move to the right and after. And herein lies a contradiction: while both parties have been staunch supporters of Israel, the most vitriolic and hateful statements and positions against Palestinians, have traditionally come from the far right. For example, the “Christian Right” evangelicals, as well as, other right wing groups, who are strongly anti-labor, anti-immigrant, anti-abortion, anti-gay and for unrestricted capitalism, militarism, military interventions and wars, and who also are mostly racist against Latinos, Blacks, Arabs, and I would even say against Jews, too, though not so openly, anymore, have consistently and strongly been for the “Jewish state” and all its policies, unconditionally. This unholy alliance between the ultra-rightwing groups with fascistic tendencies, including rightwing Christians and Zionists is no accident, and it’s not the work of the AIPAC, either. While, most American Jews, as I mentioned above, have had positions that are somewhat different from these far-right groups and individuals, they’ve shared their unconditional support for Israel and its ethnic cleansing and massacres of Palestinians. Again, this should not be interpreted as meaning that Democrats or liberals, in general, who do not share some of those extreme positions, have been any less of a supporter for the apartheid state and its genocidal policies. My point is that many of the otherwise “liberal” or even self-proclaimed “progressives”, who would not be found associating with those groups with fascistic tendencies, when it comes to the “Jewish state”, they are precisely where those fascist-like groups and individuals are. And, this, I say, is not an accident.
Israel, since its inception, has been a close ally of and enabler for imperialism, and has acted as its hit man or assassin. Israel has played the role of an ultra-militarized, ultra-armed military base for imperialism to use in the oil rich and strategically important Middle East. Thus, its existence, from the outset, has intertwined and coalesced with imperialism and its continued existence has been – and is – dependent on the full support of imperialism. Such collaboration has been necessary for its survival as a state built on war and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people. At the same time, the collaboration has been demanded of it by imperialism, in order to continue to get its unconditional support. Imperialism has thus made Israel its willing partner, as it continues its wars of conquest for complete world domination for its corporations. The conservatives see and understand that. They understand that for imperialism to function, it needs to wage endless wars and that it can use Israel tremendously to that end. Israel’s aggression against the indigenous Palestinian population delights them and its lack of shame or remorse in massacring, torturing and indiscriminate bombing, is quite close to heart for these fascistic groups. This is quite revealing about the apartheid and racist state that’s built on racism, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Israel has time and again, proved its worthiness to imperialism – not only for the reasons mentioned above, but it has consistently and reliably assassinated progressives and leftists in the region. It was the only state other than the US that had close and cooperative relations with South Africa. Even when there was pressure on President Reagan to shun South Africa for its treatment of the local Black majority, Israel was giving them weapons, fighter jets, warships and military equipment, while they were killing the native Black people. Israel also was supporting the most rightwing and bloody dictatorships in Latin America in the 1970’s and 1980’s, before the establishment of the more democratic governments we see there, now. Israel has supported every US war, from Viet Nam to Bosnia to Iraq to Afghanistan to Libya. It has also aided the US in many covert operations, including assassination of nationalists and leftists. More recently, it has been aiding the West’s covert arming of Islamist terrorist groups, such as ISIS and Al Qaeda, who are massacring people in Syria to try and overthrow the Assad government, which the US and its allies want to see gone, just as they did in Libya. Prior to the war on Iraq, Israel was helping the Bush Administration make a case for it. It also wants war with Iran.
Israel has thus been assigned to and has embraced constant war, militarism and military aggression, both in its role as a junior partner to imperialism and, at the same time, in its quest to put down and eliminate the Palestinian resistance and materialize a Jewish-only state. These two are basically one and the same. Imperialism and Zionism have joined together and become the same. To defend Zionism is to defend imperialism and vice versa. But, as the far-right with fascistic tendencies found its darling and threw its full support behind it, a contradiction was created for American Jews, who did not totally agree with these fascistic groups and their mindset. The reaction of most American Jews has been to ignore this contradiction and not deal with it. They see that when it comes to Israel, they’re allied with fascists, but for most part, they shrug it off because for them the “Jewish state” trumps their other values. They must make a decision though. They either are for mass murder, ethnic cleansing, genocide, as well as, imperialism with their endless wars of conquest, as their only hope for materializing their desired state for “Jews” only, or reach an awakening, as many Jews have, and reject both the role of Israel as the servant of imperialism in the world, as well as, its role and mission as the exterminator of the Palestinian people.
The facts are out there and can’t be denied anymore. Not only does Israel have the intention to exterminate Palestinians, which should be obvious by now, but it “has to”. A state cannot be ethnically cleansed without committing genocide and extermination. Palestinians will continue to resist, as they should, and the world population will continue to learn more and become more outraged. The wrongheaded and genocidal idea of creating an exclusive state – exclusively for a particular people – will not and should not work, and the only thing it will do is kill more and more people. Israel has no future and must be dismantled and replaced with a secular and democratic – and at the last long, an anti-imperialist – state for all people, regardless of their race or ethnicity or religion. Such an outcome will be a great disappointment to the extreme right, fascists and imperialism, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.