Zionism alarmed. By M Shahid Alam

Via: The News.

The US love fest with Israel appears to have run into a spot of trouble. In a reversal of its previous policy, the US is insisting that Israel suspend new settlement construction in East Jerusalem to pave the way for ‘peace’ talks with the Palestinian Authority. For a change, the US is countering Israel’s ‘No’ with tough talk not heard in a while.

On March 9, when the US vice president was greeted in Tel Aviv with news of new settlements in East Jerusalem, he was furious. Privately, he told Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel’s settlement activity “undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us, and it endangers regional peace.”

This is not a message right-wing talk artists could shout down. Joe Biden was echoing the message delivered by General Petraeus, commander of US troops in the Middle East, to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the US Armed Services Committee. Hillary Clinton too reiterated this message in her speech to AIPAC.

What has occasioned this open rift between two spouses in a heavenly marriage? There have been tiffs before between them, but never before has a US administration told Israel that its policy endangers American troops or American interests in the Middle East? This talk is serious. It belies decades of rhetoric that has boosted Israel as America’s unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Middle East.

It appears that its past is beginning to catch up with Israel. Adversaries it had long suppressed, forces it had harnessed for its expansionist policy, blowbacks from decisions made in hubris have now converged to limit Israel’s options. Is the Zionist logic that had brought endless successes in the past now working in the opposite direction? Is Israel running out of its fabled resourcefulness?

Israel’s stunning victory in June 1967 had produced two destabilizing results. Having solved its native problem in 1948, Israel had created it anew in 1967 by its decision to retain the West Bank and Gaza. The June War also swelled the ranks of extremist Jews who began to colonize East Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza. Unable to drive out the Palestinians, this new round of colonization would turn Israel into an apartheid state.

In the 2000s, international civil society started taking notice. Movements were launched to divest from, boycott and sanction Israel. Activists began to use Western legal systems to prosecute Israelis for war crimes. Israeli leaders visiting Western campuses are now heckled routinely. Slowly, Western publics are turning away from Israel.

In 1982, in a bid to extend Israel’s northern border, Israel invaded and occupied southern Lebanon. The Lebanese Shias responded by creating Hizbullah, a multi-layered grass-roots resistance, the most formidable adversary Israel had ever faced. In 2000, they forced Israel to withdraw unilaterally, and in July 2006 repulsed a fresh Israeli invasion, giving Israel a bloody nose.

No more was Tehran a distant threat for Tel Aviv: it was now positioned right next to Israel’s northern border. Although Hizbullah spoke to the grit and discipline of Lebanese Shias, it could not have grown without Iranian support.

At about the same time, as part of its strategy to defeat the Second Intifada, Israel built the apartheid Wall cutting through the West Bank, and it pulled the Jewish settlements out of Gaza while sealing it from outside contacts. By stopping the suicide-bombers, the Wall gave Israel time to complete the creation of Gaza-like enclaves in the West Bank. In consequence, ‘peace’ talks with Palestinians lost their urgency and were shelved. This made the pro-US Arab regimes a bit nervous: they needed the charade of ‘peace’ talks to shore up what little legitimacy they had with their home audience.

The Egyptian-Israeli siege of Gaza brought Iranian influence to Israel’s southern border. The siege has stopped Hamas from becoming another Hizbullah, but their home made rockets reminded Israel that its native problem had not gone away – that it would continue to haunt them.

In the 1990s, the Zionist logic had spawned Al Qaeda, a group that would use terror to lure the US to wage war against the Middle East. After the Cold War, the Zionists too – led by the Neocons – pursued the same goal. Using the absurd thesis of the ‘clash of civilizations,’ they began to promote a Western war against the Islamicate. They urged the US to take out Iran, Syria and Iraq.

This was a departure from Israel’s long-standing war strategy. Israel took US money and weapons, but fought its own wars. This had several advantages. It built Israel’s military strength and prestige; it kept the US military out of Israel’s path to hegemony over the Middle East. Also, American support for Israel might wear thin if they saw their troops dying in Israel’s wars. If Israel was ready to abandon this strategy in the 1990s, that is because it could not take on Iran, Iraq and Syria on its own.

And so the die was cast. When Al Qaeda struck on 9-11, Israel saw opportunity. The Zionists began to press full steam for the US to invade Iraq – and succeeded. Few Israelis worried that the chickens would come home to roost. In April 2008, Netanyahu said, “We are benefiting from…the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq.”

Now, some ten years later, the chickens are coming home to roost. The Iraq war has achieved little for Israel. It removed a defanged Saddam Hussein, but extended Iran’s influence into Iraq and it has brought Iranian proxies to its northern and southern borders. Iran now uses Palestine to undermine pro-US Arab regimes.

More ominously, the US military has now spoken. It has warned that Israeli policy raises tensions in the Middle East and endangers US troops on the ground. It will not be easy for Israel and its backers to shout down US generals with charges of anti-Semitism. That is why so many Zionist commentators look alarmed. One Israeli commentator warns that “Obama and Netanyahu are at point of no return.” Others are saying worse.

It appears unlikely that this ‘flap’ between the US and Israel will blow over soon. If it does not, attacks by Jewish groups – inside and outside Israel – against Obama will become more frequent and nastier. The loyalty of some Americans, both inside and outside the Congress, will be tested. It is hard to predict where this will go.

However, this much should be clear. Even if US-Israeli differences over the Middle East are finessed for now, that will not be the end of it. The pressures that have persuaded the US to insist on a ‘solution’ to the Palestinian problem will persist. The realities that have produced the present ‘flap’ are not going away.

The writer is professor of economics at Northeastern University, Boston. He is author of Israeli Exceptionalism (Palgrave, 2009) and Challenging the New Orientalism (IPI, 2006). Email: alqalam02760@ yahoo.com.



5 thoughts on “Zionism alarmed. By M Shahid Alam

  1. Americans are now faced with a stark choice. They can be patriots and support America and her longstanding moral tradition of supporting our allies and defending the world against the subhuman forces of barbarism, or they can support Obama and his terrorist-loving, anti-American hordes of anti-Semites.

    Hopefully enough Americans will have the moral courage to make the right choice and enforce that choice by any all means necessary. It’s past time when we had the luxury of allowing antisemitism and appeasement of the Muslim enemy to continue to flourish in America.

  2. First would you please try to support this joke “America and her longstanding moral tradition”? Maybe you can find some references here: The Crime of Empire. Or here: War, Racism and the Empire of Poverty.
    And the same regarding your bragging about “anti-Semitic” do you know what it is in the first place?
    What is the different between racism and “anti-Semitic”?
    What is the root of the term? Have you heard of August Ludwig von Schlözer the first to use the term, which is based on Genesis 10, to describe the old middle East languages, including Arabic?
    I don’t expect real answers to these questions from someone racist who see the issue as fight between Americans who “have the moral courage” and “subhuman forces of barbarism” as you said.

    On the other hand here is a good article shows how the mask changed but the core is the same one, just sick racist mentality:
    Christianity’s New Racism. By Avigail Abarbanel

  3. Yeah, I get it. You hate America and the Jews, and aren’t too fond of Whites in general, but seem very fond of Muslim terrorists.

    I’ll leave you in peace now – for now at least. There’s no point in our exchanging words on any matter.

  4. Yes there is a point here, which is exposing your logic, and you just proved my point and ignored all my questions, but no surprise here.
    I consider your statement: “You hate America and the Jews, and aren’t too fond of Whites in general, but seem very fond of Muslim terrorists” as pathetic and idiotic statement, but I would like to give you a chance to prove it, you know talking isn’t free, you need to back up your words if you want people to take them seriously. So is it fair to ask you: Show me your prove? Or maybe it’s my job to prove your accusations!!!
    And don’t forget to include your answers to previous questions, if you have any, just to prove your understanding of Antisemitism, not a clown repeating some slogans, and please keep your “love” and “hate” aside; instead try to use something called: Logic and evidences!!

  5. By the way jonolan there is a blog would welcome your comments, it is called “Engage”, they like to engage in personal attacks when they hear the other side.
    I tried to respond to someone was talking about Hamas with complete ignorance and the typical personal attacks started from most of the blog members, plus accusing me of high jacking the subject, and hatred to Jews, and when I tried to respond back most my comments weren’t approved, they selected and approved few only, mostly to shape the discussion as they like, which I consider dishonesty, but I don’t think you would have this problem there, you speak the same language.
    But really the funny thing is the blog called: Engage!!

    Still you are welcome to comment here!!

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