The question of peace in the Middle East has many dimensions. Obviously, preferable to war, but peace is not an absolute value.In any event the winds seems to blow westerly.It’s a bit vague, but I remember not long before Yitzhak Rabin was killed, he vocalized in the press something to the effect that he was “doing the West’s bidding.”…
Max Horkheimer had always asserted that Israel was turning into a modified Prussian model with a few sprinkles of Arab and Sephardic spices. According to Horkheimer the founding of Israel expressed the elimination of the essential characteristics of Judaism. Judaism would become a religion in the worst sense of the word, as an expression of violent force and a desire for ever more. No dream of he messiah, no dawning of justice on earth which held together the jews in the diaspora. The persecuted would pack up, go to Zion, establish a nation and their nationalism would be like other people’s and Jewry would become a religion.
Horkheimer compared “real jews” as those who avoided the temptation of social democracy, Zionism and established communism to a “remnant” people similar to the true socialists who find a place in his critical theory. It was a kind of play on the Judeo-Christian tradition of religious redemption and an exodus from a new Egypt while maintaining the idea of progress or the realization of a future utopia. To Horkheimer the end was plaed out in the illegal kidnapping of Eichmann in Argentina. He claimed for the jews, Eichmann had become a disaster for the second time, put to death by an executioner representing the government of Israel.
Israel had now taken its place in the game of the fields of power, even if it was in the back of the bus. Israel had lost its essential uniqueness in the utopian demand for justice and in non-violent protest in this world which was characterized by violence and endless aspiration. A pawn in the hands of the oppressor; what Nixon would refer to as “cops on the beat?”
Noam Chomsky:The US took over the British framework – the basic principle remained. The basic principle is that the West (that means primarily the United States) must control what happens there. Furthermore the wealth of the region must flow to the West. That means to the US and Britain primarily: their energy corporations, investors, the US treasury which has been heavily dependent on recycled petrodollars, exporters, construction firms, and so on. That’s the essential point. The profits have to flow to the West and the power has to remain in the West, primarily Washington, insofar as possible. That’s the basic principle. ….
…That raises all sorts of problems. One problem is that the people of the region are backward and uneducated and have never been able to compreh
the logic of these arrangements or their essential justice. They can’t seem to get it through their heads somehow that the wealth of the region should flow to the West, not to poor and suffering people right there. And it continually takes force to make them understand these simple and obvious principles-a constant problem with backward people. Read More:http://www.chomsky.info/talks/20010304.htm
Chomsky:Well, all of this raises a question – what about our fabled commitment to human rights? How are human rights assigned to various actors in the Middle East? The answer is simplicity itself: rights are assigned in accord with the contribution to maintaining the system. The United States has rights by definition. Britain has rights as long as it is a loyal attack dog. The Arab facade has rights as long as it manages to control its own populations and ensure that the wealth flows to the West. The local cops on the beat have rights as long as they do their job.
What about the Palestinians? Well they don’t have any wealth. They don’t have any power. It therefore follows, by the most elementary principles of statecraft, that they don’t have any rights. That’s like adding two and two and getting four. In fact, they have negative rights. The reason is that their dispossession and their suffering elicits protest and opposition in the rest of the region, so they do not exactly count as zero but rather as harmful. Read More:http://www.chomsky.info/talks/20010304.htm
Chomsky:These are the forthcoming and generous concessions. They’re well understood. I’ll just end with the comment by one of the leading Israeli doves, Shlomo Ben-Ami, who was the chief negotiator under Barak and is indeed a Labor dove-pretty much at the extreme. In an academic book written in 1998 in Hebrew, just before he entered the government, he pointed out, perfectly accurately, that the goal of the Oslo negotiations is to establish a situation of “permanent neocolonial dependency” for the occupied territories. In Israel, it’s commonly described as a Bantustan solution-if you think about South African policy, it’s similar in essentials….
It’s worth noting that among the leading supporters of this solution have been Israeli industrialists. About ten years ago, before the Oslo agreement, they were calling for a Palestinian state of roughly this kind-and for quite good reasons. For them, a permanent neocolonial dependency makes a lot of sense. Kind of like the US and Mexico or the US and El Salvador, with maquiladoras, assembly plants, along the border on the Palestinians side. This offers very cheap labor and terrible conditions, and there is no need to worry about pollution and other annoying constraints on profit making. And the people don’t have to be brought into Israel, always dangerous. Read More:http://www.chomsky.info/talks/20010304.htm
…Israel itself is – not surprisingly – becoming very much like the United States. It now has tremendous inequality, very high levels of poverty, stagnating or declining wages and deteriorating working conditions-rather like the United States, more so than most other industrial societies. As in the United States, the economy is based crucially on the dynamic state sector, sometimes concealed under the rubric of military industry. It’s not really surprising that the US should favor arrangements in its outpost that look pretty much like the United States itself. Read More:http://www.chomsky.info/talks/20010304.htm