Why the US supports Israel

6 September, 2007

Introduction

The United States has allies all over the world. Some of them democratic, some of them less so. Sympathy tends to go to democracies, because of their institutional representation of the will of the majority as well as protection of minorities.

Democracy

Let us dismiss once and for all the myth of Israeli democracy. Israel is a country for the Jewish, by the Jewish. Other groups are present within their borders, but are treated as second-class entities with limited rights. Israeli laws favouring Jewish over non-Jewish inhabitants have no place in a democratic society. Changes in context permitting, they would have fit well in South-Africa’s former apartheid policy. In reality, Israel is a racist oligarchy where members of the ruling caste participate in the perpetuation of their own regime.

Having established that, one common meme in this thread can be rejected immediately – namely that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. As mentioned briefly in the introduction of this article, democracy is not a precondition to become an ally of the United States. It helps public support, undoubtedly, which is why Israel will do all it can to keep up appearances. Dictators and other government leaders the US public generally disagree with but nonetheless part of the Alliance of the West, are affectionately known as “Our sons of bitches”. Those on the other side – democratically chosen officials included (Venezuela’s democratically elected president Hugo Chavez is not an ally of the West for several valid reasons which go beyond the scope of the article. The name calling and subversive activities by the United States government towards Venezuela is educational in understanding the irrelevance of democracy to being part of the Alliance of the West) – are often referred to as “monsters” or “comparable to Hitler”.

As an aside: one such figure, having switched allegiance to his great detriment, is Saddam Hussein. Our Favourite Middle Eastern Dictator from the Eighties (Saddam Hussein ascended to power in 1968 thanks a CIA supported coup in Irak to overthrow the ruling dictator in 1963.) became The Most Dangerous Genocidal WMD Juggler one decade onward – the only substantial change having occurred being his fall out of grace with the United States.

Sanity

Like health, the most noticeable thing about sanity is its lack. Things just don’t feel right without it.

In a world focused on combatting terrorism, Israel has a tradition of electing former terrorists as prime ministers. Begin, Shamir and Sharon come to mind – Sharon, moreover, a certified war criminal even by Isreal’s standards; he was found personally responsible for the massacres and torture practices in 1982 in Southern Lebanon amongst unarmed civilians.

Any country harboring, supporting or providing infrastructure in any way to terrorists is the legitimate target of the US – Bush docet. Nevertheless, Israel remains a close ally. Something else must be the matter; Israel is clearly an international basket case when it comes to moral conduct and rule of law. Sanity is elsewhere.

Support

In fact, Israel’s support by the United States puts it in the company of other oligarchies such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan. This company is not coincidental. The crux of the argument for the US remains – to paraphrase, partially, Bill Clinton in his race for the presidency against papa Bush in 1992 – the petrol, stupid.

It remains true that whoever controls the Middle East and its petrol, has a hold over the world economy. The United States are not about to give that up out of the goodness of their Democratic or Republican hearts. So they need a trusted ally. They need Israel to keep the unruly tribes that happen to sit on the Black Gold under control.

These tribes, unfortunately, don’t take kindly to this intrusion of their sovereignty. Imagine: these thankless nomads sit on the most precious resource in the world and cannot fathom that the US would be wiser in its management than they. Hence, they need to be kept permanently under control. Israel is the tangible expression of that control.

Kind

Never forgetting to bite the hand that feeds it, Israel kindly reminds the US every once in a while of the essential role it plays in securing the prize of the Middle East. So essential is the US realisation of its dependance on Israel in exercising control in that most strategic region, that conceivably the world’s largest lobby is being maintained to achieve that aim by steering the US Congress and Senate in drafting policies that may affect Israel.

Israeli fears become those of the US, with US aims mimicking more and more those of Israel. The need for support and the need to be supported thus relentlessly reinforce each other to the extent that one of the world’s strongest armies is located on this humble little strip of beach on the Mediterranean – ready to roll over formidable foes such as Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, on the wrong end of Israeli kindness.

Conclusion

US support of Israel has preciously little to do with democracy or Israel’s sanity in an insane part of the world. It has, however, everything to do with self interest on both ends. Strategic control is the aim both of them have in common. Keep that in mind when the next attack by demonic (read: Palestinian or Muslim) civilians move Israel to punish their state collectively (Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions collective punishments are a war crime. Article 33 states: “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed”) with the largest army in the Middle East.

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