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Zionism And The American Dream

Politics / US Politics Aug 03, 2014 - 01:55 PM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop

Politics

Ideology Trumps Rationality
Zionists like to claim there “no limit expansion” doctrine for Israel is on a twin track with the so-called American Dream so we can ask this question. What about the Global Caliphate dream or nightmare of ISISI? Is that also “historically valid”?

We can forget the short-lived American foreign policy doctrine that Israel must be defended because, for a period of time, it controlled several major transport routes for oil from the Arabian peninsula to America and its allies in Europe. The “oil handle” for US aid of all kinds to Israel was short-lived but support to Israel is a cornerstone of foreign policy, and Congress is at this moment rushing to vote about $225 million to strengthen Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system.


What are the real motives why the US and its European allies support and promote Israel's role in the Middle East knowing it can only generate conflict?  We might ask if strident support for Israel and presently-hysterical opposition against Russia isn't designed only to cause conflict? 

Taking the brutal and unacceptable Israeli punishment invasion of Gaza, the public in the US and Europe has already turned off. It is alarming to them but it is not their concern. Many see it as totally unwarranted but they can't do anything about it. Many say the IDF military action will only cause more bloodshed, later on, and is another proof that the Palestine-Israel “peace process” means nothing. Unfortunately they are right.

This is nothing to do with “the oil handle” in Middle Eastern politics. Neither the Gaza nor Ukraine crises, we can note, has for the moment caused the “oil paranoia index” or the oil price to sharply move up. Oil prices are falling due to wholly rational supply-demand factors as the global economy shudders on the brink of another 2008-2009 slump. Long gone are the days of the 1973-1974 oil shock when “Arab solidarity” plus the Shah's Iran also seeking higher oil prices, supposedly a political reaction to Israel's victory in the Yom Kippur war, set an oil embargo against some of Israel's main backers. Oil prices rose by 350%. Such is the fantastic rewriting of history that the so-called 'Arab oil embargo'  of 1973-74 is now hailed by some as the first step in saving the planet from Global Warming! (see http://tinyurl.com/nz57z4p)

The Zionist Travel Brochure
Rewriting history never stops. Zionism ir periodically rehabilitated as a natural ally of American foreign policy, not only in the Middle East but also in the Ukraine and anywhere else! Although Zionism may be exciting and conspiratorial to some, there is no problem finding Zionists who claim it is a wholly-natural and legitimate doctrine that all Americans and west Europeans can support.

Several recent major essays, and previous books by Micheal B. Oren (a former Israeli ambassador to the US) pursue this rehabilitation theme.

Oren in fact writes travel brochures about an imaginary Land of Israel. In a recent long article for 'Wall Street Journal' he noted that if you were foolish enough to get into your car, and travel out of present-day Israel for even the distance which separates Los Angeles from San Francisco or Berlin and Paris, you would not like what you find. Outside Israel's “western-type democracy” there is civil war, rebellion, collapsed economies, huddled refugees and bomb damage everywhere. Presumably you would take the Israeli number plates off your vehicle before you tried this dangerous tourism. Traveling in armor-plated vehicle convoys like the IDF does in Gaza might be a better idea.

Zionism is called a heroic doctrine but Oren does not dwell on why Orthodox Jews dismiss Zionism as anti-religious or even heretical and apostasic. It cannot be called a religious doctrine. Instead, he gives chapter and verse on Zionism's claims to heroism. Oren gives the example of the massive numbers of IDF reservists who are periodically mobilized – for the unheroic task of fighting children in Gaza! - and who rush to put on their “uniforms that are invariably too tight or too baggy”, sign out their guns and other weapons and rush to the war front. Though they can be investment bankers or computer geeks as well as jazz drummers or family men and women, “they all know that some of them will return maimed or not at all”.

Death is heroic. This is the price of defending The Nation and for Zionists the duty to expand The Nation far and wide, in fact to unknown (or even unknowable) limits. This is one major problem of Zionism and for Zionists. How do you write a travel brochure for an imaginary land that has no frontiers? From the very start of modern Zionism which can be exactly dated as 1897-1905, the where and how of expanding the Land of Israel has always been a dispute-prone confused mess of arguments and counter-theories. The subject has never been settled.

The core ideology is to a certain extent defined, to be sure. The “modernized version” of Zionism is usually attributed to Theodor Herzl around 1897 although the concept stretches far back in Jewish history..Critics and supporters of Zionism wrestle with its hard-edged ideology of expansion and its fuzzy-edged definitions of where and how that expansion should take the Land of Israel.

The American Dream – 20 Centuries of Exile
The danger for Americans, rather than Europeans who have a very different history and very recent tragic experiences of expansionary creeds on their continent, is that the so-called American Dream is also expansionary and fuzzy-edged. Oren and other writers defending Zionism often refer to this, saying it is a major reason why Americans can “naturally support Israel” while the US renews its Cold War expansionism – against Russia.

The analogy between the American urge to expand and conquer, and the Zionist ideology of expansion because of “20 centuries of exile” snaps at this point.  Americans were not subjected to 20 centuries of exile. Zionists however claim the analogy stands and the USA is the natural ally of Israel because of a shared expansionary urge. They both have a “road map” with no limits and only vaporous details of the roads, trails, rivers and seas, canals, other nations, or whatever that might help or hinder their Dream Tour - but nobody is obliged to agree with that.

Going back to Herzl, called the father of modern Zionism, his road map of the 1880s was concentrated on Palestine. His economic plan could be called a farming and light industry strategy somewhat like Club Med with organic tomatoes and handwoven raffia bags for the tourists! By the time of the First Zionist Congress in 1897 however, the road map had deliberately been made fuzzy-edged, and much wider spread. At that Congress the concept of a world Jewish network “uniting the whole of Jewry” with appropriate institutions and irrespective of where Jews lived, was defined. The Congress approved the follow-up action to create this network, with pressure put on the governments of countries where any sizeable number of Jewish persons lived, to allow migration and regrouping of Jewish people in these countries. After that, things became fuzzy-edged again.
 
Apart from the Palestinian road map, already by late 1897, there was an Ottoman Empire road map. The Russian and east European Zionist travel brochure was also on the drawing board. Herzl was however already under attack from inside the Congress, as well as outside. The movement called Cultural Zionism, for example the writings of Ahad Ha'am Ginsberg, argued that Herzl's political Zionism was putting the cart in front of the horse. Ginsberg and others said there was no clear Jewish cultural identity and Jewish colonialism using fuzzy-edged road maps would, even in the case of Palestine, cause immediate hostility from neighboring Arab communities. He was right.

The Hitler Milkshake
Almost anywhere in Beirut you can buy a Hitler milkshake, and Hitler burgers also exist, of course halal! Zionists like Michael B. Oren can ironically claim that a majority of Arab public opinion denies the Nazi genocide of Jews ever happened – and is glad it happened. Turks are also genocide-deniers, and American denial of the total elimination of some Native American tribes is recurrent. The total elimination of all Tasmanian Aborigenes is another example, where full admission and recognition of this genocide by the Australian state took more than 100 years. The simple fact is these atrocities happened, exactly like the Rwanda massacre or the slave trade.

The problem is that My Genocide is better – that is worse – than Your Genocide. Much more important is why a German massacre of Jews, and others, planned and executed by the Nazi state in 1941-1945, in Europe, would give “moral superiority” to Israel whenever it attacks Gaza in the 21st century. Arab public opinion reacts very sharply to that grotesque defence of Zionism.

Graciously or otherwise, Michael B. Oren and some other defenders of Zionism concede that “not all of Zionism's critics are bigoted”. Oren can admit that a growing number of progressive Jews think and say that Zionism is too militant and nationalist. Some say that by its own excesses of “revenge on History”, against Nazi Germany, Zionism has serious problems for retaining its popularity in Israel and sympathy in the USA and European countries.

The danger is clear. Zionism has to prove it works and is a success. It can do that within the present borders of Israel or it can pursue its fuzzy-edged road map. It can do that with or without extremes of jingoist nationalism. It can develop or forget its Alpha Male Nation complex of superiority, strangely mixed and mingled with  a drift to theocracy and the police state

Zionists have to maintain the pretence that  “democratic ideals are integral to Zionism”, but the quest to produce even an image of Democratic Zionism has directly led to the unwinding of Israel. Israel of today is multicultural and multi-ethnic. More than 20% of its population is not Jewish. Israel is in fact a typical western-type crony capitalist society with vast extremes of wealth and massive social injustice – between Jews or anybody else.

Zionism only exacerbates these already-dangerous fissures in society by its absurd, as well as absurdly unjust and brutal treatment of Palestinians. Sooner or later, the continuing call by unrepentant Zionists for more and further expansion and colonization will have to end. One simple reason for this count-down is that taking more land, with the people on it, and bringing them into a democratic Israel where people can vote will only, and can only, further dilute and erode the 1897-era or 1948-era image of “Israel's moral foundation”. Plenty of Israelis, whether Zionist or not, say the Jewish Homeland will be forced to choose between being Jewish or remaining democratic.

Unsurprisingly but tragically, diehard defenders of Zionism like Michael B. Oren say that “Failure is the price of sovereignty”. They say that Israeli statehood means making hard choices which can end in failure. They say that the Jewish state is always threatened by annihilation. They say the war footing must be permanent and Palestinians are ungrateful, devious and cannot be trusted. They say America will always be there to understand and help.

They conclude that Israeli statehood and sovereignty may be a mess but it is Our Zionist Mess. There is no alternative. So much for Zionism.

By Andrew McKillop

Contact: xtran9@gmail.com

Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2014 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisor.

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