6 thoughts on “Israel Doubles Down on Colonisation, Ethnic Cleansing, and Political Oppression: Reason for Hope?

  1. The strategic uses of a Zionist/Jewish state in the Middle East were a major attraction even for the British at the time of the Balfour Declaration. Since 1973 the US, under the so-called “petro-dollar recycling scheme” has needed to be able to use military power to exert control over petroleum in the ME. They used to refer to the dollar under this system as having “F-14″ backing. Israel is not only a very well armed garrison/”cop on the beat” it is a source of instbility and contention. You see, the thing is that without conflict the drones and B1s can’t fly. You can’t actually just say that such-and-such a country is undermining US dollar hegemony and bomb them – that sounds even worse than stealing oil. Threats to Israel though, they’re a different matter. Look at how often they use the Israel card even now with respect to Iran’s supposed nuclear weapons programme.
    Please don’t forget that it is Israel that is reliant on the US, not the other way around.

    • Kieran,

      I concur on the importance of recycling petro-dollars, both for the Western economies in general as well as the financial sector in particular, however there is little basis for citing Israel as “the cop on the beat”.

      Even utilizing the “strategy of conflict” logic this theory remains extremely weak in that there are myriad ways to create conflict that don’t involve the sacrifices to national and imperial interests that Western devotion to Zionism entails.

      Is the US “using” the Israel card with respect to justifying aggression on Iran? Or is Israel using US power in the furtherance of Israeli hegemony?

      While Israel may indeed rely on the billions it receives every year from the US, it is more logical to view this as tribute that a bribe. What other example of military aid bribery has approached anywhere near the extremes of the pay outs and terms of US subservience to Israel.

      A more solid analysis would address the reliance on Israel lobby dollars for those who wield power within the US.

      Among many good current articles on the topic:


      “… The Israelis are perpetually concerned—I think that their concern is exaggerated—but they are perpetually concerned that the Obama administration is going to try, in a serious way, to pursue a deal. Because the Israelis know that the only kind of deal you could really get out of this process that would have any meaning for both sides would be a deal that actually recognized Iran’s right to enrich—again, under safeguards, not building a nuclear weapon, but they do have a right to enrich… That’s what the Israelis are out to stop. They do not want the United States, other Western powers, to accept this basic fact of international law and international life—that the Iranians have this right, and they are not going to be bullied into giving it up.

      This is something that I think the United States really has to come to terms with. For its own interests, it needs to get a nuclear deal with Iran; it needs to start realigning its relations with this important country in the Middle East. And we need to be able to separate Israeli preferences—that have more to do with [Israel’s] own commitment to military dominance in the Middle East—and Israeli security. …”

      • Hi Aletho,
        I had already been thinking of writing on this topic after (much to my surprise) having a bit of a dispute with Dr Dahlia Wasfi on Facebook. I am unable to understand why admirable people such as yourself and Wasfi are so attached to the the “tail wags dog” proposition, though I think I understand why it might be politically and psychologically attractive. It will take me some time to compose a proper piece – I’m not a very speedy writer.
        In the meantime, have you read Steven Zunes refutations of Walt and Mearscheimer on FPIF?
        Steven Zunes, “The US Invasion of Iraq: Not the Fault of Israel and Its Supporters” | Foreign Policy in Focus – January 4, 2006
        “The Israel Lobby: How Powerful is it Really?” – May 16, 2006
        “The Israel Lobby Revisited” – December 20, 2007

  2. Kieran,

    You may have guessed that I don’t follow Zunes. It has been quite awhile actually that I have been studiously ignoring him.

    I hope that as you work on your post, with an open mind of course, you might have a few moments of pause at least. Or better yet, hopefully you will come to a new way of viewing the issue altogether.

    Meanwhile, you might find some points to address for your post in the following pieces:

    Scholars or Bamboozlers? Stephen Zunes and the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict



    The Debate that never Happened: Blankfort vs. Plitnick on the Israel Lobby



    Faithful Circle – A response to Noam Chomsky’s book ‘Fateful Triangle’



    And finally, one of my all time most recommended:

    Are They Really Oil Wars?


    • Thanks heaps for that. I have only based my judgement of this issue on W&M’s “Israel Lobby….” because that is what people always cite when taking this position. It will be good to get another perspective. As for Zunes, I actually followed an unfolding feud between him and Stephen Gowans, a writer with whom I tend to agree on many things. Even though I found Zunes’s “Tinderbox” apologistic, I thought that the problem in this instance was that Gowans was being intemperate which almost pushed Zunes into a more obtuse postition (failing to recognise a valid criticism) than might otherwise have been the case. Maybe I was wrong about Zunes. Maybe he is more of a tool than I guessed. About W&M, though – I know that they are wrong, and am quite happy to elucidate given a bit of time.
      I may also post a response after reading the articles linked to above. I’m sure they will stimulate a focus on areas which I have not previously paid attention to.

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