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07.Dec.2002 The Israelization of America




US officials



the somewhat jarring news

that Israeli security forces

will be

training American soldiers

in the techniques of urban warfare.


Israel's illegal

thirty-five year

occupation of Palestine

has enabled it

to perfect tactics

that US troops will need

in a


war on Iraq.

Most informed Americans

will receive this news

with a sense of both foreboding and dislocation.

The brutal tactics

of the Israeli "Defense" Forces

have been denounced

for decades

by human rights groups,

the United Nations,

and scores of foreign governments.

Is this how we want our own troops to fight?

Our sense of dislocation

(even "topsy-turvy")

in greeting this news

traces to something else;

the fact that Israel has always been our client,

not the other way around.

Why are the Israelis now teaching us?

Is this really something new,

or is it merely an unusually explicit lesson

in the continuing education of American power

by the Israeli vanguard?

Who has been learning from whom

in this "special relationship"?

From Covert Crimes to Points of Pride

Over the past half century,

Israel's organized terror against Palestinian civilians

has moved from the relatively secret operations

of special Israeli army and paramilitary units

to globally televised depredations

wrought with helicopter gunships,

state-of-the-art tanks,

and F-16 fighters.

In the process,

massacres like those perpetrated in the old days

by Israeli army units

at Deir Yassin and Qibya

have been dwarfed,

in terms of casualties,

scope, and property damage,

by today's


daily and indiscriminate destruction

in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Crimes that Israel once felt compelled to hide from the world

are now


on full display,

vigorously defended by the Israeli government.

Fifty years ago,

America also felt the need to conduct most of its international crimes

far from public view.

Interventions in the affairs of uncooperative nations

(invariably conducted to "fight communism")

were mostly secretive, CIA-led actions

that made surreptitious use of special military units,

typically called "American advisors"

(Honduras, Guatemala, Iran + Cuba provide a few relevant examples).

Now, 07.Dec.2002


by the demise of its only global counterweight,

the Soviet Union,



by Israel's success in using conventional military forces

in a public and illegal campaign against civilians,

the US is increasingly eschewing

the old "secret war" model

in favor of direct and open military intervention with American troops.

Witness Somalia, Haiti, Yugoslavia + Afghanistan

during the past ten years.

Pre-emptive Action

Israel has long been criticized

for taking pre-emptive military action

against its perceived enemies.

Two well-known examples are

its surprise attack against a nearly-completed Iraqi nuclear power plant

and its protracted,

illegal and bloody occupation of southern Lebanon.

Despite worldwide criticism of these and many other blatant violations of international law,

Israel continued + continues, undaunted.

The Clinton administration was noted for its fawning support of Israel's occupation,

and for abandoning a long-standing US commitment

(on paper only, of course)

to return Palestine to its

pre-1967 borders.

Clinton also

took a big page out of Israel's book on international relations,

when he insisted,

against strenuous objections from the United Nations,

that the US has the right to launch pre-emptive strikes,

and that NATO had the right to wage war on Yugoslavia

without UN approval.

This year,07.Dec.2002

the Bush administration dropped all pretense

of maintaining security with deterrence

and adopted the illegal Israeli standard

of pre-emptive strikes as official US policy.

Militarization of Politics

Our politicians have also learned much by example

from our close and "special" relationship

with the government of Israel.

For decades,

our pols have used cant,

dissimulation and fraud

to excuse Israel's most egregious crimes.

In the process,

much has been learned

about how to turn acts of wanton destruction

into a noble defense of freedom.

Israel's willingness to keep 'pushing the envelope' of state terror

has been invaluable in this process,


both American pols and media

in the arts of propaganda

required to justify ever-larger crimes.


the American populace has been steadily learning

to accept Israel's gross violations of human rights,

international law + common decency as
"necessary for peace and security",

justified by "Israel's right to defend herself".

This lesson in moral decay and desensitization

is proving handy indeed,

as the current US administration

seeks to extend

American hegemony in the Middle East

by a new war of occupation.

The Terror Card

Following the tragedy of 9/11,

Israel immediately


its thirty-five-year

occupation of Palestine

as an essential front in the "war on terror".

To extract maximum political advantage from our loss and grief,

Israeli politicians like Ariel Sharon suggested,

with typical touches of arrogance and self-satisfaction,



Americans know how Israelis have felt for years.

We face a common and implacable enemy,

they lectured us,

leaving unspoken the message

that we Americans had better develop some backbone

and put our shoulder to the anti-terror wheel.

Of course,

our politicians did not really require Israel's instruction

to convert our tragedy into their political windfall.


they quickly employed several rhetorical devices that,

before 9/11,

were most often found in Israel's political toolbox

(domestic and foreign).


all kinds of international and domestic issues

were redefined

as being part of the "war on terror",

requiring new and drastic solutions that were,

of course,

necessary for "security",

and often highly profitable

for favored corporate interests.

No doubt

our leaders saw major advantages

to this radical simplification of world affairs.


they could dispense with even the pretense of negotiation,

because "you cannot negotiate with terrorists".

They could neatly sidestep,

or simply dispose of,

human rights limitations imposed by law

and the Constitution,

because "terrorists have no respect for the rule of law".

The "terror card"

also enabled them

to bulldoze public opposition

to new and highly intrusive government surveillance,

and so on.

Remote Funding

Just as Israel depends on billions of dollars annually

from a compliant US government

to maintain

its military occupation


indifference to UN resolutions


international law,

America's power axis

also thrives on a steady flow of wealth

from a similarly remote and supine source –

the American people.

And just as Israel

makes it a point to occasionally disobey the orders of its US sponsors,

so American politicians at the pinnacle of power

pointedly disregard the many voices of the people

that call for justice and peace.

During consideration of the recent Congressional resolution supporting war on Iraq,

Democracy Now

reported that

citizen messages to Congressional offices

of both chambers and both sides of the aisle

were running 10 to 1 against the resolution.


both the House and Senate

passed the measure by overwhelming margins.

The reply to the American public was clear;

"We watch our push-polls.

Pay your taxes and shut up."

Injustice at Home

Even within its own pre-1967 borders,

Israel's human rights record is abysmal.

Twenty percent of Israel's population

is now comprised of non-Jewish Arabs who,

by law,

are systematically rendered

second-class citizens

in their own homeland.

Special hells

in Israel's complex legal and social caste system

are reserved for Bedouins and African Jews.

Israel's stubborn insistence

on the primacy of the "Jewish state"

and its institutionalized discrimination against non-Jews

have set poor examples for America,

where Israel is routinely hailed

as a shining example of "Western democracy".

We cannot quantify the debasing effects of this mass fantasy,


we can see

that while America's own system of minority repression

becomes increasingly severe,

the public is told

that pride in America's "liberty and equality for all"

is at an all-time high.


Israel's long war of attrition against the Palestinians

has proven to America's power elite

that it is possible

to indefinitely occupy the land of another people,

even in the face of nearly global opposition

– if you're backed by enough raw power.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip

constitute a kind of open-air laboratory and lecture hall,

in which Israel demonstrates the advantages of occupation

to its dutiful American pupil.

These advantages include

a dirt-cheap labor pool

that can be turned on and off at will,

the ability to emasculate

and/or decapitate any effort at self-rule

within the occupied lands,

the utility of occupation as an object lesson

and divisive thorn-in-the-side

of neighboring enemies,

and so on.

Israel has also demonstrated the usefulness

of sustained occupation

for increasing a nation's overall military might.

The constant war-footing,

and the need for violent repression

of a restive and disenfranchised people,

create never-ending opportunities

for the purchase and use

of the latest military equipment,

and for the containment of domestic politics.

One Lesson Not Learned?

While American power

has in general been

a very attentive student

of Israeli policy and practice,

there is one crucial lesson

at the back of Israel's textbook

that remains unlearned:

Israel's approach will never create peace

or achieve a just solution.

Of course,

that suits its purposes.

The point of Israeli strategy is

to grind the Palestinians into dust

until they just blow away,

and the last shreds of Palestine

can be swept up into Greater Israel,


the goal of the military Zionists and their Laborite alter egos.

Unless forced to do otherwise,


driven by

a tragic and fundamentally racist ideology,

will fight on for a hundred years

to dispose of the "Palestinian problem".


American attempts

to apply the localized Israeli model

(designed to acquire land the size of Rhode Island)

to a "global war on terror"

are rewriting the definition of "over-reach".

By following Israel's lead

(which is constitutionally averse to just solutions)

in the "war on terror",

we ensure that

the war will never be won and will never end.


we suspect that our leaders

may understand this lesson, too.

And they're getting ready

to send another 14 billion dollars in shiny red apples

(disguised as new loan guarantees and military aid)

to their beloved teachers in Jerusalem.


by James Brooks

James Brooks of Worcester, Vermont

is former marketing director of Vita-Flex Nutrition

and was founding vice-president

of the National Association of Equine Supplement Manufacturers.

Past articles have been published

on the NileMedia Web site.

Currently Mr. Brooks serves as webmaster for

Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel

and publishes News Links,

a daily e-mail digest of Middle East news and commentary.

Brooks is also a member of the national Al-Awda Co-ordinating Committee.

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