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Israel Has Been “Singled Out” in the US for a Very Long Time

By Thomas S. Harrington | Common Dreams | December 25, 2013

As has been widely reported, the American Studies Association, the umbrella organization of academics devoted to the study of US literature, history and culture, recently voted to join the movement to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

In the days since that historic vote numerous high-profile US supporters of the Jewish state have vehemently decried the scholarly association’s historic decision.

The first to do so was Lawrence Summers, one-time Harvard president and prime architect–in his as deregulator-in-chief- of the finance industry–of the recession that has robbed millions of Americans of their jobs, savings and homes. He has been followed by numerous such as Leon Wieseltier of the New Republic and by Michael Roth president of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Reading these reactions to the democratically determined posture of the ASA one particular argument appears with almost metronomic predictability. It goes something like this:

“Considering all the countries in the world where human rights abuses are rife, why in the world is the ASA so concerned about Israel, the only “democratic state” in the Middle East? Why is this organization along with the millions of others who support the BDS movement “singling Israel out” for such punitive treatment?”

One is left to wonder. Do these gentlemen always treat the intelligence of their audience with such contempt? Do they always assume that those to whom they speak are deeply ill-informed about the structural realities of contemporary politics and incapable of the most basic logical inductions in regard to the nature of Israel’s relationship to the US?

As anyone who has not been living under a rock for the last 50 years knows, Israel has, it is true, long been “singled out” in America…. for extraordinary levels of financial, military and diplomatic support from the United States government.

Indeed it could be said without exaggeration that no small and putatively sovereign nation in modern history has ever been the object of such lavishly favorable treatment from a Great Power. There is nothing remotely comparable to the US indulgent treatment of Israel in Spain’s or Great Britain’s long historical runs as the world’s unquestioned hegemon.

But don’t take my word for it. Listen to the current US President who declared quite famously that the US and Israel must “work in lockstep” within the theater of international politics. Or we could listen to the current Vice-President and current Secretary of State who frequently remind audiences that there is “no daylight” between the US and Israel when it comes to strategic goals in the world.

Is there any historical precedent—within a political establishment that constantly talks about how partisan politics must “stop at the water’s edge”– for the pledge made by house minority leader Eric Cantor to the Israeli Prime Minister in November 2010 that he would “serve as a check” on his own country’s presidential administration should it begin to consider policies that he deemed detrimental to Israel?

Is there another country that could purposely [attempt to] sink a US warship, the USS Liberty in 1967, and never suffer any sanction or recognizable alteration in bilateral relations for doing so?

Is there any other country that could assassinate an unarmed US citizen in an act of piracy on the high seas–Furkan Dogan in 2010–and not only not be called on the carpet for it, but also have the operation–patently illegal under the international laws of the sea–that led directly to the death be met with virtual silence by US State Department spokespersons and the vast majority of the US Congress?

Can we imagine a situation where a person from another country who had become a billionaire working mostly in US industry could go on national TV in his native land and brag openly and without apparent fear of consequence about how he had helped steal nuclear secrets from the United States? This is exactly what happened a month ago with the Israeli film producer Arnon Milchan.

Is there another country (besides perhaps certain members of the so-called Five Eyes Group of English-speaking countries) that has direct access to the raw data from US citizen communications currently being swept up by the NSA?

Can we imagine the US allowing analysts in any of those “other” countries–whose situations everyone is now supposed to critique before ever deigning to critique Israel–to scrutinize virtually without limits and for their own particular purposes the private communications of American citizens?

And these are only a few of the many examples of extraordinary US indulgence of Israel that could be adduced here.

No, for at least 46 years and arguably more, the US-Israel relationship has not been “normal” at all, which is to say, in any way comparable to any other bilateral relationship (with the possible exceptions of those it maintains with the UK and Canada) maintained by the US.

Summers, and the small army of people echoing his message on letters-to-the-editor sections around the country know this quite well.

So why are they pretending that is not the case, and that, correspondingly, any systematic critique of Israeli behavior must first pass the test of comparability to that of various and sundry countries around the world?

Because, they are interested in doing what many people do when they find themselves with a largely untenable long-term position: try to steer the conversation from going where they don’t want it to go.

And where is that?

Away from the matter of Israeli behavior, and more specifically, how the fundamental legal design and international comportment of the Israeli state corresponds (or not) to the democratic values most Americans claim to believe in.

If you can ball people up talking about the issue of the Israeli human rights record in relationship to other places that have nothing remotely approaching the privileged, 51st State treatment accorded to Israel–and thus clearly unable to be compared to it in any meaningful way–you can avoid having people talk about things like the following.

  • That, despite the New York Times’s and much of the mainstream media’s attempts to convince Americans of the contrary, the only uninspected, which is to say, completely rogue and unaccountable nuclear program in the Middle East belongs to Israel. And it is not a small one, having, according to most reports, around 200 warheads.Therefore, the only country really capable of “wiping” some other country “off the map” or coercing it to obeisance through nuclear threat in the eastern Mediterranean, the Mashriq and Iran is Israel.

    And no amount of talk (are you picking up on the pattern of argumentation yet?) about Iran’s completely non-existent nuclear bomb program–the assessment of the Directorate of National Intelligence of the US, not mine–can change this fact.

  • That Israel is an ethno-state, which is to say, a place where one must possess certain blood lines to accede to the fullest possible level of citizenship. Those who do not meet these requirements can live there, but in a decidedly second-class status.Israel is, of course, not alone among nations in offering citizenship on the basis of blood rights or jus sanguinis.

    Where it does stand out in the international context, however, is in the way it does this while simultaneously denying full civic rights to millions of its native inhabitants. This means that a Jew from the USA or Russia can move to Israel and be granted that highest level of citizenship almost instantaneously. This, while the Palestinian whose family has lived in the territory now controlled by Israel for centuries is forced to inhabit a relative civic limbo in the same place, with all that that entails in terms of the potentially capricious encroachments of the state in his or her life.

    As part of this approach to citizenship Israel forcibly prevents its already second-class but quite native Arab citizens from living as united families within the borders of Israel after marrying fellow Palestinians from the occupied territories or any other place in the world.

    So pervasive is the emphasis on ethnic belonging that security officials at Ben-Gurion Airport blithely slot passengers into differing security protocols–and here I speak from personal experience—according to how they answer the following thinly veiled question regarding one’s pertinence to the most legally favored group: “Are you an Israeli or do you have family in Israel?

    I don’t think that most Americans I know would associate this model of state and these behaviors (and this is a very small sample) with any system they would be happy or proud to live in or being what they understand to be truly democratic.

    And no army of spinmeisters repeating the mantra that “Israel is the only Democracy in the Middle East” can change this salient fact.

  • That Israel has a large and growing population of religious citizens that is not only every bit as intolerant and backward-looking as the worst Muslim fanatics in Arab countries or the worst Christian fundamentalists in the US, but that has a considerably larger control over the political institutions of the country than is the case here or, for that matter, in the great majority of Islamic countries.Yet, this is hardly ever talked about in our press or by self appointed spokesmen for Israel such as those mentioned above. Rather, Israel’s most fervent supporters in the media constantly tell us (there’s that pattern argumentation again) about all those terrible Arabs— that want to impose sharia law on the world. Nary a word about how the haredim are encroaching daily upon the democratic freedoms of secular Israelis.
  • That the current President of Israel, apparently unaware that he was on camera, openly bragged in 2001 about his ability to manipulate the very same Americans that, in no small measure, have funded his political career and generally support his government’s efforts at ethnic cleansing (that is my understanding of what it is called in other parts of the world when you take over lands by force, displace the autochthonous inhabitants and place settlers of a different ethnic or national background on the seized territory) as well how he actively undermined the Oslo peace accords to which his government was a signatory and were brokered by the US.All this from a man, and from there, a government apparatus, that constantly tells the US and the world (there’s that pattern or argumentation once again) that there is “no partner for peace” on the Palestinian side, no person of demonstrable good will ready to talk in serious and reasonable terms about the future of the region.

What Summers and those that echo his words want most of all is to avoid an honest and wide-ranging conversation among Americans about how, and to what degree (if at all), our joined-at-the-hip relationship with Israel benefits the average citizen of this country.

If they were really the great friends of Israel they claim to be, they would repeatedly, indeed doggedly, say to their friends living in the Jewish state, as well as those living here for whom it is a prime object interest, what an old Jesuit, channeling the Gospel of Luke, once told me at the height of my youthful self-absorption:

“To whom much is given, much is expected”.

This is essentially what the ASA is doing.

It is a shame that instead of using their well-placed voices to second the call to have Israel live more fully within the parameters of its publicly proclaimed moral codes (you know, the only “democracy” in the Middle East) such prominent opinion leaders insist on throwing rhetorical smoke bombs designed to obscure most important issues at play in the country’s present-day drama.

December 26, 2013 - Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. The reason(s) “Israel” gets so much support from the U.S is simple to see if one looks : threats, bribery,currency manipulation and pure deceit. They’ve done it for thousands of years to whatever host they happen to be preying on. They are none other than the Kenites from the Bible, the children of Cain.They do however carry out the “negative” part of God’s plan for the world and we are not to harm them (on a national scale). I don’t understand why people are surprised to learn of them and their actions and how they have gotten so far ahead of the rest of humanity- it’s their nature. Although any of God’s children can repent and receive forgiveness, sadly not many of the Kenites will because they love power and money more than they love God. Most of them walk this earth solely to prepare the world for the antichrist-their messiah, that’s what all of this “globalism” is about- a one world government and a one world religion with satan himself eventually calling himself “god”. I have studied most of the conspiracy theories and as true as they are its really not a big discovery if you read and understand God’s word- the Bible, it’s all there. One can burn up a lot of time and energy looking into all the “hidden” truth that occurs on this planet but even when you really know whats going on it doesn’t make one feel any better- it is what it is and nothing will change the will of God. Personally I just do the best I can and show as much kindness as I can in this lost world. Although God does say that if a nation kneels to him and asks for forgiveness and turns from wickedness as a nation He will hear and heal their land I don’t see our current leaders doing this anytime soon. So sad. I am sorry this is long and drawn out but I felt compelled to write it. Nothing’s gonna change anytime soon and “Israel” will continue it’s influence on our country as long as God see’s fit but worry not, we will come through it. God bless and thanks for the blog.

    Like

    Comment by timefortribulation | December 26, 2013 | Reply

  2. Israel is an apartheid terrorist rogue state – The US is Israel’s bitch, Great to see the recent slight glimmer of hope with the P5 + 1 dropping sanctions against Iran, possibly thanks mainly to the Great Man of Peace and arch enemy to the banksters in our era, President Putin.
    The way Jews oppress and brutalize Palestinians and treat their Arab Neighbours is satanic. I believe this is the opposite to how Gods alleged chosen people should act. I believe the bible was possibly hijacked by the Pharisees or some satanic mob. and most Christians today are blind to Israel’s atrocities as a result. Throw in the possible Zionist bankster engineered Holocaust to attain Israel, that we are never allowed to forget and you have the perfect recipe to forgive Jews for acting like modern day nazi’s – WTF not in any critical thinkers mind !
    The Holocaust was abhorrent, as was the Holocaust of all the other countries, who lost millions of souls. Strange how the Jewish owned MSM tried for awhile after the banksters engineered WW1 to say 6 million Jews had been slaughtered, but the story fell apart and Palestine slipped the Rothschilds grasp.
    There is good and bad in every race, colour, species and profession and Cheers to all the good, moral and ethical Jews out there – Shame to the International Jewish crime network, that gives them a bad name and brings such satanic pain and misery to most of the world in their quest for their global hegemonic NWO

    Like

    Comment by Brian Concannon | December 27, 2013 | Reply


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