Friday, April 28, 2006

The false morality of supporting Israel

From an article in the Nation by Philip Weiss on the Lobby issue:

“Mearsheimer was hawkish about Israel until the 1990s, when he began to read Israel's ‘New Historians,’ a group of Israeli scholars and journalists (among them Benny Morris, Avi Shlaim and Tom Segev) who showed that Israel's founders had been at times ruthless toward Palestinians. Mearsheimer's former student Michael Desch, a professor at Texas A&M, recalls the epiphany: ‘For a lot of us, who didn't know a lot about the Israel/Palestine conflict beyond the conventional wisdom and Leon Uris's Exodus, we saw a cold war ally; and the moral issue and the common democracy reinforced a strong pro-Israel bent.’ Then Desch rode to a conference with two left-wing Jewish academics familiar with the New Historians. ‘My initial reaction was the same as John's: This is crazy. [They argued that] the Israelis weren't the victims of the '48 war to destroy the country. Ben-Gurion had real doubts about partition. Jordan and Israel talked about dividing up the West Bank together. All those things were heretical. They seemed to be coming from way, way out in left field. Then we started reading [them], and it completely changed the way we looked at these things.’ Mearsheimer says he had been blinded by Uris's novel. ‘‘The New Historians' work was a great revelation to me. Not only do they provide an abundance of evidence to back up their stories about how Israel was really created, but their stories make perfect sense. There is no way that waves of European Jews moving into a land filled with Palestinians are going to create a Jewish state without breaking a lot of Palestinian heads.... It's just not possible.’”

You cannot overestimate the importance of liars like Uris in creating the idea in the United States that American support for Israel was the moral thing to do.  This was tied directly to the Holocaust by the American educational system, and allowed the United States to cloak its real reasons for supporting Israel – which, until the end of the Cold War, were mainly American geopolitical interests, and since the end of the Cold War, are almost entirely Lobby-driven –  behind the façade of ‘doing the right thing’.

Following the moral arguments to their logical conclusion, we have to attack those, like Chomsky, who attempt to shield the activities of the Lobby by denying its importance.  The Lobby is still working now, and is calling for new wars.  These wars, and even the planning for them, are war crimes under international law, and those who deny the Lobby thesis are allowing the Lobby to continue its terrible work.  Chomsky and those of his ilk are aiding and abetting the commission of the most terrible crimes known to man.

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