[DEBATE] : Israel Is of No Use to Anybody or Anything (was The politics of anti-Zionism)
critical.montages at gmail.com
Wed Jan 21 15:56:36 GMT 2009
On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 11:16 AM, <grinker at mweb.co.za> wrote:
> Monday 19 January 2009
> The politics of anti-Zionism
> Today's widespread attacks on Zionism as 'expansionist and racist' are historically illiterate, and not as radical as they sound.
> Brendan O'Neill
> Even worse, some Western leaders now seek to rehabilitate
> their own moral standing in world affairs by accepting
> the challenge of anti-Zionists to stand up to Israel.
Aside from Sir Gerald Kaufman and other people who think like him,
Western leaders don't really care about their moral standing in world
affairs. They do care about their financial standing, though, and
therein lies a crack in the multinational empire that Palestinians,
other Arabs and Muslims, and solidarity activists can exploit.
Israel once served the subjective* interests of Western imperialists
who sought to use it to check Arab nationalists, a number of whom came
to power in their countries in the mid-20th century. That is no
longer the case today. Most Arab states are themselves the clients of
Western powers. (A major exception is Syria, which is the reason why
Western powers sought to isolate and weaken it, till the futility of
which led them, especially France, to change their tack.) Egypt is
the second largest recipient of US aid after Israel.
Just as Zionism is an anachronistic ideology, Western powers' support
for Israel is a product of a residual ideology no longer in keeping
with their bottom line. The sooner their leaders realize it, the
better -- for imperialists, for working people, and for Israelis. So,
we should drive this point home.
* Objectively, Israel never really served the most important purpose
of imperialists, i.e. remaking the world in their capitalist image,
but contrary to what vulgar Marxists think, imperialists all too often
prefer their subjective interests to objective ones, power to profit,
unless and until working people force them to do what is actually good
for them and the capitalist mode of production overall:
January 8, 2009
Three Simple Proposals
Gaza Seen From Paris
By JEAN BRICMONT and DIANA JOHNSTONE
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1. Get rid of the illusion that Israel is "useful" to the West.
Many people, especially on the left, persist in thinking that Israel
is only a pawn in an American capitalist or imperialist strategy to
control the Middle East. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Israel is of no use to anybody or anything but its own fantasies of
domination. There is no petroleum in Israel, or Lebanon, or Golan, or
Gaza. The so-called wars for oil, in 1991 and 2003, were waged by the
United States, with no help from Israel, and in 1991 with the explicit
demand from the United States that Israel stay out (because Israel's
participation would have undermined Washington's Arab coalition). For
the pro-Western petro-monarchies and the "moderate" Arab regimes,
Israel's ongoing occupation of Palestinian lands is a nightmare, which
radicalizes much of their populations and threatens their rule. It is
Israel, by its absurd policies, that provoked the creation of both
Hezbollah and Hamas and that is indirectly responsible for much of
the recent growth of "radical Islam".
Moreover, the plain fact is that capitalists as a whole make more
money in peace than in war. It is enough to compare the profits made
by Western capitalists in China or Vietnam since making peace with
those countries, compared to the past, when "Red China" was isolated
and the US waged war against Vietnam. The majority of capitalists
could not care less which "people" must have Jerusalem as its "eternal
capital", and if peace were achieved, they would hasten into the West
Bank and Gaza to exploit a qualified work force with few other
Finally, any American citizen concerned with the influence of his or
her country in the world can see quite clearly that making enemies of
a billion Muslims in order to satisfy every murderous whim of Israel
is scarcely a rational investment in the future.
Those who consider themselves Marxists are among the first to see in
Israel a simple emanation of such general phenomena as capitalism or
imperialism (Marx himself was much more cautious on the matter of
economic reductionism). But it does no service to the Palestinian
people to maintain such fictions – in reality, like it or not, the
capitalist system is far too robust to stake its survival on the
Jewish occupation of the West Bank, and capitalism has been doing just
fine in South Africa since the end of Apartheid.
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