It was revealed Monday that two of the Israeli soldiers who were killed in the ground attack on Gaza were American citizens who volunteered to participate in the massacre. The unusual and curious phenomenon of Americans volunteering to fight in a foreign army, especially one that has a history of indiscriminate massacres of defenseless Palestinians, speaks volumes of the relationship between between the two states and the significance Israel has for the US. Never before and nowhere else could you see such a thing, which begs the question: why? In fact, even a more pertinent question would be: why are the vast majority of the American people fully and unconditionally behind Israel?
But, when you analyze the coverage and explanations given to the situation by US corporate media, as well as the positions of the elected officials in the last several decades, it starts to make sense. Indeed, it should not be a surprise to anyone, given decades of nonstop propaganda for Israel and against Palestinians, which consistently and methodically have made Israel the victim and Palestinians the villain, and have given the impression that Israel is a normal and legitimate country, like any other, which is constantly attacked by Arabs (usually how Palestinians have been referred to) for no reason, other than that “Arabs” don’t want to see a non-Arab or non-Muslim state in the region and refuse to accept its right to exist. Omitted is the entire history of the formation of the state of Israel as a colonial and settler state by European Jews and the events following it, including the occupation, the displacement and ethnic cleansing through massacres and sheer terror, the land grabs, the settlements, the home demolitions and the apartheid.
Some among the sympathizers of Palestine, mostly among non-Zionist progressive liberals, contend that the reason for this is the strong and potent Israeli lobby. What they forget, though, is that the support given to Israel by the US, politically, economically and diplomatically, predates such Israeli lobbies. Backing Israel by the US imperialism was not and has never been due to anything but the interests of US imperialism, itself, not the lobbying and not any kind of sympathy for the Jewish people. US motivation for such strong and unconditional support has always been strategic and geopolitical, and related to its long-term goals and plans for hegemony and domination for the benefit of its multinational corporations. To understand this, one must first understand the US itself and then its political and strategic alliances, not the other way around. After all, the US and its imperial goals existed long before the formation of the State of Israel. It is for such long term political and economic benefits that the US gives $4 billion a year to the apartheid state, which given its population, translates to tens of thousands of dollars for each Israeli, every year. That’s a high price to pay and it cannot possibly have its reasons in lobbying.
The decades old and methodical pro-Israeli propaganda by the corporate media has created such a pro-Israel culture among the American population that Israel can easily be considered a part of the US, and in fact, for all practical purposes, especially militarily, politically, diplomatically and even culturally, that mindset is not far off the mark. A situation has been created where a powerful state is forced to comply with all the wishes of imperialism, since its very existence depends on its continued support. On the other hand, and in addition, the state of Israel is deadlocked in a constant war with Palestinians, who naturally and understandably, resist the occupation, and is therefore forced to constantly receive expensive and sophisticated weaponry from US manufacturers, which the American people pay for, through their taxes, guaranteeing constant profits for weapons companies. The weapons given to Israel, however, are not just to give profits to these corporations. They are used, through the Israeli military, to control and police the region for the Empire. It is used as a large heavily fortified, reliable and revolt-free military base, ready and willing to go to war for the Empire, when and where it’s called for. That’s not a small prize for imperialism and is worth every penny it spends on it. With such strategic cooperation between imperialism and Zionism, who needs an Israeli lobby? But, it doesn’t hurt to have one, anyway, to help with the pro-Israel culture and keep Congressional representatives in line and on the same page.
The result is a population oblivious to the realities and facts relating to the situation and in line with the dictates of the corporate Empire. This methodically manufactured culture ensures that only pro-Israel officials are elected and reporters and journalists stay within the confines of the general imperialist and Zionist narrative.
But, now the social media has created a small opening, maybe not a window, but a narrow opening, to try and gradually change that culture and open the Americans’ eyes to what is really happening. We have a long way to go and it’s not easy, but it’s not impossible, either. We have to start somewhere.