Israel: Assaulting Our Future
By Satya Sagar
01 June, 2010
Once again the Israelis have carried out a despicable act of wanton destruction, this time killing over a score peace activists aboard aid ships headed for Gaza.
The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km off the Gaza coast as it carried 10,000 tones of humanitarian aid challenging the Israeli blockade.
Watching the unfolding outrage a simple question very high on many minds must be “How in hell does this artificially concocted child of European guilt and American ambition get away with all this again and again and again?’
The answer is that instead of being a strange historical aberration Israel may well be a model state that global elites want to establish to control the world in the days to come.
A world where the forces of the militarized State can routinely shoot anybody, even entire populations and call them ‘terrorists’ with complete impunity.
A world where the process of nation building automatically involves smashing the sovereignty of every other nation reducing their people to a faceless, nameless, helpless mass.
A world where the ruling classes live off the stolen resources and labour of those they contemptuously deem ‘lesser human beings’ in a system of institutionalized apartheid.
The question of why Israel’s brazen crimes against humanity have been tolerated by the so called ‘international community’ is not new at all, being one asked from the very day this nation was violently forged over six decades ago. The legacy of Zionist terrorism, the numerous pogroms against the Palestinians, the systematic usurpation of their land, the routine bombing of civilians, the murder of peace activists--- any other fledgling nation even contemplating crimes on this scale would have been ostracized out of existence by now.
Many have attempted to answer this conundrum in many different ways. Israel is the bulldog of the US in the Middle-East -there to keep an eye on the region’s oil wealth, promote the sales of Western arms and intimidate Arab regimes into meek submission. And in all its actions Israel merely imitates its mentors in the United States, whose own list of crimes against humanity make that of its protégé pale into nothing.
For some others it is Israel, run by Jewish supremacists, that is manipulating the West for its own devious purposes. They are abetted in all this by Christian fundamentalists in the US who believe in some complicated bull about the role of Zionists in bringing about rapture, the return of Jesus Christ and Armageddon. (An end of the world hastened and brought about by these strange bed fellows themselves)
In yet another version the formation of Israel, aided and encouraged by Western powers, was a historical fobbing off of Europe’s abused Jewish masses onto the heads of the hapless Palestinian people- fulfilling the Nazi dream of getting Europe rid of the Jews. A cynical pitting of the victims of European racism against the victims of their colonialism.
There is no doubt of course that the history of Europe and post-Second World War geopolitics of the United States have a lot to do with the creation of Israel.
In many ways the State of Israel carries over into our era all the baggage of Europe from the turn of the 19th century with its simplistic understanding of race and biology, the crude equation of national interest with conquest of territory, the brutal trappings of the colonial state and worst of all the tryst with fascism that deeply shaped the worldview of Zionism. In the past six decades Israel’s behaviour, within its own region, has also mirrored the relentless American need for control over the world’s natural resources.
But all this focus on historical trends obscures the fact that in contemporary Israel today has become the template of a terrible global future. Here is where the accumulated burdens of the past, stoked to the right temperatures in the crucible of the present, are shaping the contours of a world yet to come.
Already, the aggressive Israeli ‘whatever the cost’ pursuit of self-interest - unfettered by any principles of civilized behaviour and contemptuous of all international law- has become the role model for governments in many other parts of the world. Every indicator points to this sad trend. The way the leaders of the world have openly acquiesced in the repeated Israeli assaults on the Palestinians and Lebanese over the years is testimony to the fact that elites everywhere find this violence a useful exercise, not just in the context of the Middle-East itself but on their own home turf too.
Just take your eyes off for a minute from Israel and look around the globe and you can see what I mean. Look at the mini-Israels that governments everywhere are operating within their own national boundaries against the poor, the ethnic minorities, the historically marginalized or any population that can be enslaved at low cost. For the votaries of the hard state and the preservers of privilege everywhere Israel is the pioneering trendsetter in newer and more brazen ways of exercising illegitimate power.
That is why even as many nations, including India, condemn Israel in public, they are also slyly figuring out how best to incorporate elements of similar repression within the apparatus of their own states.
At one level is the exhortation to emulate Israel internationally. After every real or imagined terrorist attack any part of the globe there are calls to go and bomb entire countries allegedly involved in backing such attacks. Imitating Israel, in anything it does, is a recipe for perpetual World War- something that suits the designs of some countries and their rulers perhaps but not of a majority of this planet’s residents.
At another level governments around the globe are using the excuse of the Israeli example to terrorise their own populations. While Israel certainly did not invent the concept of kidnapping, torture and assassination of its opponents it has done more than any other regime in the world to legitimize such behaviour internationally. This has been possible of course because of its special hold over Western governments- particularly the US -who define what is ‘legitimate’ and what is not.
Given the discontent produced by the forces of globalization throughout the world and the need of the elites for controlling the ‘rebellious masses’ Israel’s approach to law and order are a ‘valuable’ contribution towards maintenance of the unjust status quo everywhere. All you need to do is to close your eyes, shut your conscience out, pretend to be the Israeli government and imagine all your opponents -workers, farmers, students, indigenous people, anyone- as Palestinians.
In that sense it is not just nation states but also corporations- which are the main shareholders of the Empire - that seek guidance from Israel for ideas on how to put down dissent and continue ruling the world. After all at the core of global capitalism lies a fierce authoritarian urge that seeks to monopolise everything that exists but is unable to do so because the little people of the world have fought and established, over the centuries, some basic norms and laws of human and social behaviour. If Israel keeps demolishing these ‘barriers’ and advances the forces of barbarism - it makes complete world domination by the moneyed that much easier.
What emerges then is that, given the importance of Israel to global elites, a solution to the Palestinian question can never really be achieved through a struggle that focuses exclusively on the politics of the Middle-East itself. Instead a just peace is possible only by promoting more organizations that are willing to take on the various global interests that are bent on making our entire world look like one large State of Israel.
Satya Sagar is a journalist, writer, video maker based in New Delhi. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org