Saturday, April 17, 2004

US Support for Israel Has To Stop

Israel has a mighty grip on US foreign policy. The assassination today of a top Hamas leader by Israel presumably came with US approval - as does everything that Israel does. The reason for the assassination? Well, it is consistent with Sharon's goal of executing Hamas's entire leadership. But the reason for that, I'm guessing, is that Israel thinks they can humiliate the Palestinians to the point where the Palestinians just stop fighting back altogether. Think of the rat-in-the-cage pychology experiment where the rat is shocked with electricity if it stands in certain parts of its cage. Gradually, more and more of the cage becomes electrified until there is nowhere the mouse can go without being shocked. So, what does the mouse do? He gives up. He sits in a corner of the cage, taking the painful electrical shocks, resigned to his fate. The mouse's will is broken.

Does the same work for humans? Maybe. We had that little slavery thing here in the US for quite a while, but those stubborn slaves just kept finding a way to rise up against their owners. Why couldn't they just be content? white people would wonder. I like to chalk it up, in part, to that awesome power of the human spirit. Every human will find a way to have dignity - somehow - some way - eventually - if at all possible.

One of the many reasons slavery started to not work in America is because smart US presidents started to realize that for America to continue having such a grand old time in imperial adventures, we needed some righteousness on our side - we had to demostrate that we had respect for basic human and civil rights. Soft power - it's called - something the Bush Administration knows nothing about. International pressure on the US to 'right itself' with respect to human right/slavery helped cause the US to allow slaves more freedom - at least in name. Similarly, I'm hoping the US public and the rest of the world eventually realizes that it's not right to treat the Palestinians like vermin. Hitler did a very good job of demonizing the Jews. Now, the Jewish neocons running the White House are demonizing Iraqis - having already successfully demonized the Palestinians.

I don't know if any big-name Jews in America (Al Franken, you listening?) will have the courage to say enough is enough - it's time for a 50/50 American approach to Israeli/Palestinian relations. Howard Dean's wife is Jewish and when Dean said the US needed such a policy he was roundly blasted by all sorts of talking heads on both sides of the aisle. Being Jewish and/or hating Arabs and Muslims - is a strictly non-partisan affair, apparently. That was about the gutsiest remark by any politician that I can remember. I don't know a lot of poli-speak, but still, I know Dean's remark will stand out for a long time. The Jewish lobby is huge, and the Jewish vote is more than enough to turn an election. Courageous Jews, here, in America, should speak up - even if it earns them the 'self-hating Jew' label. The rest of us need to do our best to earn the 'anti-Semite' label - by speaking up, also. A neutral policy is what most of the Israeli population wants anyway. Their government just won't deliver - and the Sharon's Likud government is good at painting the Palestinians as monsters. Sharon taught the neocons in the White House how to capitalize on that whole fear/hatred thing.

Stirring up anger in the Arab streets works for the neocons in the White House because the neocons want total war. Justin Raimondo over at pointed out to us that World War IV is not a just a potential side effect of our Iraqi adventure - it is exactly what the neocons are looking for. What would be the goal of total war in the Middle East? A greater Israel, I guess - a greater Jewish holy land. Kind of like, America II - except this one is in the Middle East - and more...Jewish and/or Christian, I suppose. Less Muslim. Think modern day Crusades. Between the US and Israel, we'll occupy all or part of the Middle East, with its vast mineral wealth. Imperialism at its finest.