Friday, June 28, 2013

Hypocritical U.S. Political-Economic Bias Towards Israel, How That Bias is Domestically Generated, and How it Tarnishes the U.S. Globally


For decades, since the creation of the modern nation-state of Israel, the United States government has displayed international favoritism and bias towards the state of Israel, despite Israeli violations of international and human rights violations against the Palestinian people, which has greatly tainted the political reputation, and has assisted in economically draining, the United States.  Condemnation of this political and economic bias is often argued by two views: 1) Israel is a democracy in the Middle East and shares the same values of the United States.  I am not certain if that is a good thing or not, because either the United States is as free and just as Israel or both entities are imperialist and international corrupt.  At any rate, Israel is a modern state based on the Jewish ethnicity while the U.S. is a nation of immigrants and variety.  Israel is often accused of apartheid-style treatment of the Palestinians and Arab-Israeli citizens, while the United States rose to power through natural resources produced from slave collars, whips and lynching.  The historical similarities between the big brother and the little run deep.  2) Israel is a strategic ally in the region.  This argument may have held political weight during the Cold War era and capitalism strived to break the balance of power and fully expand imperial globalization, but that ship sailed over two decades ago and Israeli reckless aggression behind U.S. military and economic muscle has become a liability to the United States in the global theatre.   

The argument bringing awareness concerning the irrational American bias towards Israel has always been domestically downplayed by skillfully slanted, or completely avoided, media coverage and double-sided lip service from Republican and Democratic administrations alike, especially concerning peace processes in support of solving the Israeli-Palestinian land conflict and establishing overall equality in the Middle East.  In 1971, President Nixon stated in a radio address that “In the Middle East, the United States took the initiative to stop the fighting and start the process of peace”[1].  In 1980, on the way out of office, President Carter stated that “America must always stand for these basic human rights at home and abroad” and that the United States was a “beacon for human rights” that “must continue to perfect here at home the rights and the values which we espouse around the world”[2]  In 1999, President Clinton stated during his State of the Union Address that “all Americans can be proud that our leadership renewed hope for lasting peace in the Middle East” after the so-called accomplishments of the Wye agreement[3].  During the 2005 State of the Union Address, President Bush pledged to “ask Congress for $350 million to support Palestinian political, economic, and security reforms. The goal of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace is within reach—and America will help them achieve that goal”[4].  The international rhetoric of previous U.S. administrations of both parties has sounded hopeful through recent decades, but concurrent to these public proclamations have been extremely strong and unleveled economic and political support towards the nation-state of Israel in the region, almost to the point of hypocrisy, by the United States.  That support has been continuously levied regardless of how that economic and military support has impacted the Palestinian position, the surrounding Arab states, or further isolated the United States from the global village as the great evil.

How is Political Bias Generated?

The irrational U.S. bias towards the nation-state of Israel is established and solidified by Zionist capital, both Jewish and gentile, through powerful lobbyist organizations, such as the leading American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, and is supported from several different points of view within the domestic United States population.  The first point of view which generates domestic support, both economic and political, is created by the religious indoctrination of the Christian religion which teaches adherents from youth that the Jewish people are God’s children and that, as contained in the ancient scripture writings of unknown authorship, Israel is a land that God promised to the Jews.  This point of view is strongest, or most zealous, within the Christian Evangelical community where Christian Zionist leaders such as John Hagee teach that “the end of days, the Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ are imminent” and that “the rebirth of Israel and the restoration of Jerusalem are a prelude to the return of the Lord”[5].  This irrational religious ideology, indoctrinated through many avenues from youth to the downtrodden and lonely, leads to domestic political power when converted towards domestic pro-Israeli support, which materialized politically in 2006 when “In February of that year, John Hagee, pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, unveiled Christians United for Israel (CUFI), an organization intended to be a Christian counterpart to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which describes itself as "America's pro-Israel lobby"[6].   At this point, let the rational and irrational reader alike remember that Israel is a foreign government, ally or not, and separate government.  Even the most loosely affiliated Christians in the United States subconsciously hold a high opinion of Israel, even if they are unable to explain the difference between the ancient tribes of Israel and the modern nation-state government of Israel founded in 1948.

The second point of view which domestically generates political support and favor toward Israel, heavily mass produced through inorganic popular culture and news reports with political motives, is formed by the indoctrination of uneducated working masses by American media outlets, often Jewish owned and pro-Israel, that produce a subconsciously effective political support process that Dr. Norman Finkelstein, the famed Jewish political scientist, termed the “Holocaust Industry”.  Finkelstein’s thesis concerning the creation of blind support for Israel is based off the atrocities of the pre-World War II Jewish Holocaust “evoking historic persecution” to deflect “present-day criticism” of Israeli aggression, and that by “invoking the Holocaust” through mass media is a political “ploy to delegitimize  all criticism of Jews” and the modern nation-state of Israel concerning incessant amounts of U.S. military aid to Israel, the apartheid-like treatment of the Palestinian people by the Israeli military, airstrikes on Palestinian civilian sectors which have killed women and children, the confiscation of Palestinian land and the construction of illegal Israeli settlements, and the fact that Israel has long possessed nuclear weapons without ever being required by the United States or the international community to sign the international non-proliferation treaty[7].  Was the Holocaust worse than other atrocities in history?  The transatlantic slave trade was much worse than the holocaust and happened on American soil, and it receives little media coverage in the U.S. compared to coverage and subconscious references to evoke empathy for the German Holocaust. 

While the first two point of views were based on indoctrination, which can only be successful when applied to ignorance or implied on a young mind to initiate a vicious cycle, the third category view for supporting Israel in the United States is based strictly on people of ignorance and apathy toward governmental decision making, international current events, history, or any other element of domestic and international importance for the United States and her children.  This third perspective group is more absorbed with the trivial and shallow dramas of what is inorganically considered a social life, or what gross jokes were on the television show Family Guy, or what video game is being played, and if ever cornered and pressured to attempt a political response, usually performs like a parrot or sheep and shows the questioner why they shouldn’t have taken the time to ask their opinion in the first place.

Buying Representative Democracy

On the other side of the spectrum, the position that the majority of students of domestic and international current events and history realize, along with those Americans that possess a conscious concern for the current and future conditions of the United States and the future for American children, is a position of serious concern over this American government bias towards Israel and how it is generated domestically through capital purchasing power.

With the majority of the American population, which for the most part work hard and long hours to provide for their families, either falling under the categories of viewing Israel from some level of Christian holiness, in some cases placing the Jewish nation-state of Israel in higher esteem than their own birth nation of the United States, or the category of being indoctrinated through mass media to view Israel as a poor victim state, or those who simply saturate themselves in apathy and do not pay attention, it is virtually easy, especially for the Zionist pro-Israeli lobbyist network along with the Christian Zionist lobbyist network, to manipulate the representative democracy of the United States in a bipartisan manner in order to get pro-Israeli resolutions, such as the annual 3 billion dollars in foreign aid to Israel despite American debt and deep domestic cuts occurring in the United States, passed through the House of Representative and the Senate.  After all, in a parliament or representative democracy, a proposed Congressional resolution, once approved by the sub-committee, only needs a majority of individual votes in each chamber to pass and become government reality.  The pro-Israeli lobbyist organizations know which Congressional representatives to donate campaign funds to, usually starting with the Christian right and the many congressional representatives with dual U.S.-Israeli citizenships, and which Congressional representatives to slander or invest capital against during the next Congressional race.  The pro-Israeli Jewish-Christian lobby in America is not a weak disenfranchised political entity.  It is one of the most powerful lobbyist organizations in Washington, and every presidential debate on foreign policy since 1960 has witnessed presidents compete fiercely to promise Israel more than their opponent because of the power of the pro-Israeli lobby, which, most importantly for concerned Americans, takes marching orders from a foreign government.

The Israeli lobby has succeeded year after year since the Cold War era to secure over 3 billion dollars in U.S. foreign and military aid to the nation-state of Israel, and this continuous and excessive funding has not only been economic spending that could be utilized domestically for lower economic Americans, it is hypocritical to the international promises spoken by almost every presidential administration since the 1970s concerning American values and American efforts towards peace in the Middle East and a Palestinian state.  The United States may provide the Palestinian territories with a few million dollars to assist poverty for international public relations, conditioned with political demands by the Israeli government, but the lobby influenced economic bias to Israel will continue to paint the U.S., and the American people, as international hypocrites, possibly even evil, as long as the U.S. Congress continues to appease the pro-Israeli lobby and approve annual economic aid to Israel in the billions each year along with the most technologically advanced weapons available, technological gifts of weaponry are utilized by the Israeli military to physically oppress, imprison, and murder Palestinians. 

It is the pro-Israeli lobby generated U.S. funding to Israel, and how that funding is utilized by Israel, that complicates political relationships between the United States and Arab states in the Middle East region and tarnishes the United States on the International stage.  The same American hypocrisy can be witnessed in the use of the United Nations Security Council veto by the United States to defend any United Nations resolution condemning Israel, which has occurred over 40 times since 1972, on issues like excessive military force against Palestinians or the unilateral bombarding of Lebanon [8].  In the majority of the U.S. vetoes protecting Israel, the United States stood against the rest of the global village.

Notes

[1] Nixon, Richard M.  1971.  “Radio Address About second Annual Foreign Policy Report to the Congress (February 25, 1971),” University of Virginia, http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/detail/3875

[2] Carter, Jimmy.  1981.  “Farewell speech,” University of Virgina, http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/detail/5536

[3] Clinton, William J. 2003. “State of the Union Addresses by United States Presidents: State of the Union speeches by William J. Clinton,” Penn State University, http://www2.hn.psu.edu/faculty/jmanis/poldocs/uspressu/SUaddressWJClinton.pdf

[4] Bush, George W. 2005. “2005 State of the Union Address,” University of Virginia, http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/detail/4464

[5] Smith, Robert O. 2012. Anglo-American Christian Zionism. Ecumenical Review 64(1): 27-35

[6] Gross, Terry.  May 16. 2008 “Pastor John Hagee on Christian Zionism, Katrina,”, NPR, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90508742

[7] Finkelstein, Norman. 2009. “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on The Exploitation of Jewish Suffering,” http://archive.org/stream/HolocaustIndustry/nf_holocaust_industry#page/n17/mode/2up
 

[8] “U.S. Vetoes of UN Resolutions Critical of Israel”, 2013, Jewish Virtual Library, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/UN/usvetoes.html

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Palestine: The Usurped Non-State


Since the UN partitioning of Palestine after World War II and the independence, or creation, of the nation-state of Israel, the unrecognized and stateless Palestinian people have been ignored by the international community.  The Palestinian people have withstood Israeli military occupation, apartheid-like treatment, military air strikes on civilian populations, and an economically debilitating Israeli naval blockade.  While the United States and her ally Britain have made repeated speeches of a promising two-state future and the possibility of a recognized Palestinian state living in equality with the nation-state of Israel, these western state powers have only continued to build the state of Israel into a regional military hegemon with extreme amounts of international capital, international political support, and international protection of Israel.

Political Palestine

The main political goal of the Palestinian people is the achievement and recognition of statehood on the international stage.  In November 2012 the United Nations General Assembly “overwhelmingly passed” a resolution raising the Palestinian status to a “non-member observer state” with 138 nation-states in favor, 41 abstentions, and only 9 General Assembly member nation-states voting against the resolution[1].  Two of those nine states were the usually suspects: Israel and the United States.  In the direct aftermath of the vote, the nation-state of Israel instantly resumed the rapid building of illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian Territories while American Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, stated that the United States would “continue to oppose firmly any and all unilateral actions in international bodies or treaties that circumvent or prejudge the very outcomes that can only be negotiated, including Palestinian statehood. And, we will continue to stand up to every effort that seeks to delegitimize Israel or undermine its security.”[2]

The political condition of the Palestinian Territories is worse than it was at the time of UN partition, as Israel has continuously usurped Palestinian land and isolated and oppressed the Palestinian population while preventing Palestinian statehood on the international stage through international Zionist support.

Economic Palestine

According to the World Bank, in 1998 twenty-five percent of Palestinians were living in poverty. A more recent Haaretz report from 2012 on poverty in Jerusalem  states that “78 percent of Palestinians in the city - and 84 percent of Palestinian children - live under the poverty line”[3].  One of the reasons for the inability for economic growth is the Israeli blockade that prevents “greater access to external markets and to better paying jobs” while the “majority of poor Palestinians live in households headed by working adults in low-paying jobs that do not provide sufficient income to raise their families to a minimally acceptable standard of living”[4].  One of the problems that the World Bank identified in the 2001 report is that the Palestinian population growth threatened that “unless the economy grows by 4.6 percent annually, the share of the population living below the poverty line will rise”[5].  This is certainly a challenge for Palestinians in the Gaza due to the Israeli naval blockade which has produced the end result that “Gaza's exports dropped 97 percent from 2007-12”[6].

Another economic issue facing the Palestinian economy and Palestinian civilians is the current rash of “price tag” assaults on property and settler violence which have occurred against Palestinians by Israeli settlers.  These assaults range in form from destruction of property, such as crops, and vehicular attacks to shootings and physical attacks on civilians.  The annual peak of “settler violence incidents in the north occurs in the months of October and November during the Palestinian olive harvest” which also hinders economic existence[7].   With very little international support to advance and protect Palestinians and their hope for statehood and self-sufficiency, while international Zionist capital continues to strengthen the nation-state of Israel, the Palestinians will almost have to placate their Israeli oppressors, from a kneeling position, to stay afloat economically with very little opportunities for growth or international recognized statehood.  What would you do if this was the plight of your children?

Cultural and Social Palestine

Even under Israeli military occupation, economic strangulation and naval blockade, the Palestinian people are not so culturally different from Americans.  In Ramallah, “many cafes, coffee shops” and theatres are operational and provide the people with a semblance of normalcy and a peace of mind despite political and economic ills, especially among the youth[8].  Palestinian people are so similar to Americans that thousands of Palestinians in Gaza recently turned out to welcome home a 22 year old Palestinian singer who “was declared the winner of the popular pan-Arab competition in Beirut on Saturday” which has been coined on international news reports as an Arab version of American Idol [9].

Despite geographical and ethnic cultural differences, the children of Palestine are similar to American children.  The main difference is the harsh political and economic environment that the Palestinian children are raised under due to aggressive military, capital and political oppression of international Zionism and the nation-state government of Israel.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I am not sure what the future holds for the Palestinian people or if a positive transition can even occur under the current international and regional bias towards the nation-state of Israel, the territorial expansions of the nation-state of Israel, and the ethnic cleansing that continues to occur under the false justifications of self-defense.

 

Notes

[1] NPR staff, “Now What? The State of Palestinian Statehood,” NPR, December 1, 2012, http://www.npr.org/2012/12/01/166313016/the-state-of-palestinian-statehood

[2] Rice, Susan, Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Following UN General Assembly Vote on Palestinian Observer State Status Resolution, http://usun.state.gov/briefing/statements/201226.htm

[3] Hasson, Nir, “Report: 78% of East Jerusalem Palestinians Live in Poverty,”, Haaretz, May 20, 2012, http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/report-78-of-east-jerusalem-palestinians-live-in-poverty-1.431384

[4] World Bank Report, Poverty in the West Bank and Gaza, June 18, 2001, p. 1, http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2001/08/04/000094946_01072104010092/Rendered/PDF/multi0page.pdf

[5] World Bank Report, Poverty in the West Bank and Gaza, June 18, 2001, p. 12, http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2001/08/04/000094946_01072104010092/Rendered/PDF/multi0page.pdf

[6].Bryant, Christa, “Gaza Exports Have Plummeted Under Israeli Blockade,” Christian Science Monitor, May 25, 2013, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2013/0525/Gaza-exports-have-plummeted-under-Israeli-blockade

[7].Munayyer, Yousef, “When Settlers Attack,” The Palestine Center, p.4, http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/32678

[8] Odgaard, Lena, “Palestinian Cultural Scene Thrives Amid Hardships,” Al Monitor, June 7, 2013, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/palestinian-culture-art-ramallah.html

[9] Al-Mughrabi, Nidal, “Gaza Palestinians Give Hero’s Welcome to Their ‘Arab Idol’”, Reuters, June 25, 2013, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/25/entertainment-us-palestinians-idol-idUSBRE95O0UJ20130625

Friday, June 21, 2013

Historical British Documents on Palestine: Churchill White Letter, Peel Commission Report, British Policy Letter 1939

In this second installment of analyzing historical documentation leading to the establishment of the modern nation-state of Israel we will analyze the Churchill White Paper from July 1, 1922, the Peel Commission Report from July 1937, and the British Policy statement on Palestine from May 17, 1939.  Examination of these documents show several key political errors by the British government, hypocritical Zionist favoritism on behalf of the British government, and a lack (possibly purposely) of political foresight concerning international capital available through international Zionist investment and how this capital influx would ensure a shift in technological power and the eventual establishment of a new nation-state that would become the dominant power in the region.
Churchill White Letter - July 1, 1922
The Churchill White Paper was designed to ease tensions in Palestine, especially since the area had fallen under British protectorate, which were increasing due to demographic shifts on the ground and “interpretations of the meaning of the [Balfour] Declaration favoring the establishment of a Jewish National in Palestine”[1].  It is indisputable fact that the Zionist Congress possessed heavy influence in the British Parliament during the decades leading to the establishment of the modern nation-state of Israel, no differently than Zionist pro-Israeli influence infiltrates the two Congressional bodies in the United States today.  While many will attempt to argue over Churchill’s affiliation with Zionism, a statue of Winston Churchill stands in Israel today “just yards away from the King David Hotel, scene of a deadly Jewish terror attack on British military headquarters in 1946 that was to hasten the demise of mandate rule in Palestine”[2]. Churchill’s policy statement tries to clarify the Zionist position, whether falsely or unwittingly, on Palestine by reiterating claims on the “determination of the Jewish people to live with the Arab people on terms of unity and mutual respect”, only this statement can be clearly seen as false or misleading in retrospect to the establishment and expansion of the modern nation-state of Israel. [3].
Two of the most notable elements of Churchill’s White Letter are the Zionist claim that a Jewish National Home rests “upon ancient historical connection” and the issue of Jewish immigration in 1922, which would be seen again in the British policy letter of 1939 [4].  It must be stated here that implementing international political border partitions and creating new nation-states based on ancient religious text with unconfirmed authorship is irrational and, especially in cases that create mass displacement and refugees, it is internationally irresponsible.   Second, even though the Churchill White Letter appears to offer reassurances of equality in Palestine, the support for the pro-Zionist immigration issue is sleekly placed within the statement “that the Jewish community in Palestine should be able to increase its numbers by immigration” [5].
A last note on the white letter content would be the staunch denial of alleged government acquisition by the Zionists.  Churchill reassures the native Arabs in Palestine that “the Palestine Zionist Executive Organisation, has not desired to possess, and does not possess, any share in the general administration of the country.  Nor does the special position assigned to the Zionist Organisation in Article IV of the Draft Mandate for Palestine imply any such functions”[6].  The following considerations are for speculation:  Did Zionists know, through British promises that the area would eventually be partitioned and the opportunity of an independent Jewish state possible?  Was the international Zionist network still in the planning stages for a Jewish state to be implanted, even by possible force at some point, in the region?  Or were Zionist forces simply playing the political hand they were dealt at the time of Churchill’s letter?  The influence that international Zionist capital had on empowering Jewish-Zionist networks inside Palestine to a position for establishing a Jewish state in the region is undeniable, just as international capital, both Zionist and Christian Zionist through representative democracies of the west, has made the state of Israel a regional military hegemon with international political immunity.
Peel Commission Report 1937
The Peel Commission Report by the British Government on the condition of Palestine in 1937 was the British government’s way of endorsing partition, making an easy way for the creation of the nation-state of Israel, and washing their hands of the commitments that were made to earn Arab support during the Second World War.  The conclusion of the report supporting partition stated that “the Arabs must acquiesce in the exclusion from their sovereignty of a piece of territory, long occupied and once ruled by them.  It means that the Jews must be content with less than the Land of Israel they once ruled and have hoped to rule again”[7].  What this position actually admits is that the century long Zionist efforts at establishing a national, or nation-state, home for Jews was about to be accomplished, with or without approval, and thereafter strengthened by the influx of international capital into the newly created government.  The political insanity of this historical decision is that the partition is justified on the Zionist side by a claim that Jewish people once ruled the land of Israel, which is based off an authorless ancient text written over 2300 years ago accompanied with the misconception that the modern Jewish population is the direct blood ancestry of the Hebrew Tribes and the Kingdom of Judah (a kingdom which assimilated and converted many gentile subjects). From the Arab Palestinian perspective, modern historians could easily trace the ancestry of the majority of Arab population through the land of Palestine.
The Commission report admits that the British Government “made promises to Arabs and Jews in order to obtain their support” during World War II [8].  As if it could not be foreseen by the British government, the report perplexes over the failure for a conciliatory effect that was expected by “the material prosperity which Jewish immigration” was predicted to “bring to Palestine as a whole”[9].  This statement directly implies Jewish-Zionist capital.  Realistically, Zionist immigrants and Zionist capital never cared to contribute to Palestine as a whole; the goal was a Jewish state from the beginning.  In order to understand the power of international capital, we need to consider 1937 demographics in the region.  At the time of the Peel Commission Report, there were approximately “1,000,000 Arabs” and “some 400,000 Jews”[10].  The Arabs were never able to be on equal economic footing with Jewish immigrants and absentee land owners die to the international capital of the Zionist network, which means Arab Palestinians were never on an equal level technologically or militarily with Jewish immigrants.  The Peel Commission Report notes the rise in nationalism on both sides, but history shows that Zionism was originated on national sentiments and nationalistic goals while the growth of Arab nationalism in Palestine was “primarily political, though the fear of economic subjection to the Jews is also in Arab minds”[11].  Today, it is no different as international capital, secured by political and private sectors means, continues to flow across state borders and ensure that the nation-state of Israel maintains its military hegemony in the region. 
Now let us shift focus and analyze the pro-Zionist position of the British government.  The strongest pro-Zionist statement in the Peel Report states that “there is a strong British tradition of friendship with the Jewish people” and that nowhere outside of Britain is there “a more genuine desire to do what can be done to help”, and nowhere was “Zionism better understood before the war or given such practical proofs of sympathy”[12].  Analyzing these sentiments, it is not surprising that the mandate protected Jewish immigration to “admit as many Jews into Palestine as the National Home can provide with a livelihood”[13]. 
British Policy Letter of 1939
                The proclamation of British policy towards Palestine in 1939 reflects an explosive period where Arab-Jewish tensions on the ground in Palestine, due greatly to pro-Zionist British policy since the initiation of the mandate and the British protectorate, were close to breaking into violent instability.  First and foremost, especially under the realization of the Peel Commission Report that a population partition was the only solution for Palestine, the British government desired to maintain stability for economic purposes in Palestine and among neighboring Arab states.  In analyzing the policy letter of 1939, it appears that the internationally preoccupied British government still viewed the possibility of an economically prosperous independent Palestinian state, shared between Arabs and Jews, as a viable outcome.  The policy letter sets forth a 10 year window for establishing “an independent state in such treaty relations with the United Kingdom” which would be beneficial “for the commercial and strategic requirements of both countries”[14]. 
The policy letter was much too late to maintain stability in Palestine and establish a one state constitution.  The British government, for the first time, recognized the ambiguities of the mandate and the Balfour Declaration on issues such as Jewish immigration, the accumulation of land by Jewish immigrants and absentee owners, and shifting demographics coupled with nationalistic sentiments in Palestine, and reactively attempted to implement restrictions to maintain stability.  The British policy letter set a five year window for Jewish immigration to raise the Jewish population in Palestine to one third of the Arab-Palestinian population, which is noteworthy because the approximate numbers put forth in the Peel Commission Report had placed the population ratio at approximately 29% Jewish in 1937.  The 1939 policy letter also addressed the mass land acquisition by Jewish immigrants and absentee Zionist land owners in acknowledging that “no restriction has been imposed hitherto on the transfer of land from Arabs to Jews”[15].  The British government understood the problem of Jewish land accumulation, generated by international Zionist capital, and that in some “areas such transfers of land must be restricted if Arab cultivators are to maintain their existing standard of life and a considerable landless population is not soon to be created”[16].
                Regardless of the British intention for maintaining stability, Palestine was already past the point of no return in 1939.  A century of Ottoman liberal immigration and foreign land purchasing and British Zionist favor in Palestine had taken deep Zionist roots.  The Zionists were prepared to take arms against the Arab population and the British occupation.
Notes
[1] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 155.
[2] Stewart, Catrina.  Sir Winston Churchill: Zionist Hero.  The Guardian, November 3, 2012, accessed on June 19, 2013 from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/sir-winston-churchill-zionist-hero-8277918.html
[3] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 155.
[4] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 156.
[5] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 156.
[6] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 156.
[7] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 160.
[8] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 157.
[9] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 157.
[10] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 157.
[11] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 158.
[12] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 159.
[13] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 159.
[14] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 163.
[15] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 163.
[16] Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 163.

Monday, June 17, 2013

What Can The U.S. Do To Win The Hearts And Minds Of The Near East?

For starters, the United States could stop showing the international community, especially the regional players in the Near East, such blind bias towards Israel regardless of human rights violations and terrible treatment to Arabs in the region. This type of blatant bias comes in several forms stemming from incredibly lopsided amounts of annual foreign aid (economic and military), the consistent usage of the U.S. UN veto in the UN Security Council against any (and all) resolutions that condemn Israel or reflects Israel in a negative light, the boycotting of world leaders that are critical of Israel during annual UN General Assembly conferences, and the brutish advancement and enforcement of economic sanctions against any nation-states in the region that might challenge the regional Israeli hegemon.

This political bias, guised behind empty political promises of supporting, and at times brokering, an elusive peace process in the Middle East which can bring prosperity, colors the United States in a negative hypocritical manner. Let’s take a look at some significant quotes from previous U.S. administrations that display this hypocritical bias. Please keep in mind that I could expand this exercise all the way up to President Obama, illustrating a growing hypocrisy (and control mechanism by Israel), but in order to avoid too lengthy of a forum I will concentration on three administrations from 1960 through Nixon’s resignation.

John F. Kennedy August 26, 1960:

“First, I propose that the new President reaffirm our sincere friendship for all the peoples of the Middle East, whatever their religion or race or politics. Second, I propose that we make it crystal clear that the United States means what it said in the tripartite declaration of 1950 that we will act promptly and decisively against any nation in the Middle East which attacks its neighbor. I propose that we make clear to both Israel and the Arab States our guarantee that we will act with whatever force and speed are necessary to halt any aggression by any nation. Third, I propose that all the authority and prestige of the White House be used to call into conference the leaders of Israel and the Arab States to consider privately their common problems, assuring them that we support in full their aspirations for peace, unity, independence, and a better life and that we are prepared to back up this moral support with economic and technical assistance. The offer would be made with equal frankness to both sides; and all the world would be watching the response of each side. I sincerely believe that an American presidential initiative for peace, honestly intended and resolutely pursued, would not be lightly rejected by either side. And I promise to waste no time in taking this initiative.” [1].

The speech appears to be fair and unbiased, but upon election to the U.S. presidency, the Kennedy administration “decided to enter the Middle East arms race by providing military aid to Israel”[2].

The geographic position of Israel and the balance of power created by the Cold War may have justified, to some extent on a political level, an arms build-up in Israel (as a proponent of global capitalism) to check Soviet communist influence in the region, but at the same time….the threatening Soviet menace which began heavy increases in American welfare to Israel, in the form of foreign aid, resembles the current radical Islamic menace that falsely justifies providing Israel with over 3 billion dollars in annual military-economic foreign aid. Create an enemy or enhance the stature of an enemy, and create justification.

Lyndon Johnson:

“The quest for stable peace in the Middle East goes on in many capitals tonight. America fully supports the unanimous resolution of the U.N. Security Council which points the way. There must be a settlement of the armed hostility that exists in that region of the world today. It is a threat not only to Israel and to all the Arab States, but it is a threat to every one of us and to the entire world as well” - January 14, 1969 State of the Union Address [3]

Kennedy’s predecessor, President Johnson, decided not to run for re-election, but had already committed that the United States “would furnish Israel with Phantom jets along with the grant of Skyhawk aircraft promised in October 1967, thus giving Israel clear air superiority in the area. The presidential election campaign, in which both candidates declared full support for Israel” [4].

Richard Nixon:

“In the Middle East, 100 million people in the Arab countries, many of whom have considered us their enemies for nearly 20 years, now look on us as their friends. We must continue to build on that friendship so that peace can settle at last over the Middle East and so that the cradle of civilization will not become its grave” – Nixon resignation speech August 8, 1974 [5]

This humanitarian rhetoric sounds good, but during the Nixon administration “the influx of new American weapons to Israel ensured its qualitative advantage over its Arab neighbors, meaning that Israel could reject Arab overtures it did not consider totally acceptable [6].

Conclusion:

The short answer is that for the United States to earn the respect of the Middle East and the surrounding region, the hypocrisy and political lip service on the international stage and the bias toward Israel must end. These three examples are lightweight in substance compared to the levels of hypocrisy during the 1980s, 1990s and the first decade of the millennium. The United States is constantly placed in a disdainful light when Israel, a loose cannon funded by billions of dollars annually by the United States for over 50 years, commits acts of aggression against the Palestinian people and neighboring nation-states which border human rights violations and outright apartheid-like instigations.

[1] Kennedy, John F. Speech to the Zionist of America Convention, August 26, 1960: New York. Accessed on June 17, 2013 from http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=74217

[2] Smith, Charles D. Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed. (New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010), 276.

[3] Johnson, Lyndon B. Presidential State of the Union Address, January 14, 1969. Accessed on June 17, 2013 from http://www2.hn.psu.edu/faculty/jmanis/poldocs/uspressu/SUaddressLBJohnson.pdf

[4] Smith, Charles D. Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed. (New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010), 306.

[5] Nixon, Richard. Presidential Resignation Speech, August 8, 1974 Accessed on June 17, 2013 from http://usa.usembassy.de/etexts/speeches/rhetoric/rmnresig.htm

[6] Smith, Charles D. Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed. (New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010), 318.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Zionist Historical Documents - Herzl "What is a State", Balfour Declaration, Faysal-Weizmann Agreement


Theodor Herzl – February 18, 1898

“What is a State?”

Theodore Herzl is accredited with being the father of political Zionism and his address to a German-Jewish audience in Berlin on February 18, 1898 is noteworthy of consideration on a few levels.  First, the address, and thus the origins of political Zionism, took place during a period of increasing nationalism on the international stage due to centuries of domestic oppression by European political and economic caste systems and, in cases of foreign territories that would eventually gain independence, European colonial imperialism.  The first thing in Herzl’s speech that draws attention is his declaration that “there is a Palestine; it is located on the Mediterranean”[1].  The argument from the modern Zionist and pro-Israeli views that there was not a Palestine until after the beginning of the British protectorate has been long increasing in utilization and volume, yet we read contrary to this argument from the speech by the father of political Zionism himself.  Apparently, Herzl viewed the national interests of the Jewish people as a hybrid form of justified colonialism, which to him reasoned as a “consequence of overpopulation” in Europe and a “policy which England” had “been pursuing for decades and which has been regarded as exemplary by many nations” [2].

While the man seemed to feel strongly concerning the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people, especially those in Europe who were assimilating into the various Christian gentile states at the end of the 19th century, his disregard for the native population who already occupied the Palestinian land, and other colonized lands, seems naïve in his statement “What is a state?  A big colony.  What is a colony?  A small state. “[3].

Perhaps, like many reformers throughout history, Herzl did not foresee the future international corruption that would become the international political movement of Zionism and the state of Israel.  Perhaps, in retrospect of the late 19th century European Pogroms against Jews, the idea of a Jewish state, once it would become powerful, committing atrocities against another ethnic group, as was done to the Jewish people, never crossed his thoughts.   After all, when Herzl gave this speech in 1898 the Ottoman Empire still possessed Palestine.

Balfour Declaration

Arthur James Balfour was the Foreign Secretary for the United Kingdom in 1917 and accredited with the infamous Balfour Declaration sent to Baron Walter Rothschild, a member of one of the wealthiest banking families in Britain, and the Zionist Federation of Great Britain.   The Balfour Declaration certainly isn’t taught about in American schools prior to the private sector college level and then only if a student is specifically studying the Near East and Israel at a 300 or higher level.  For as much as Israel impacts United States foreign policy, this is a designed flaw.  What is most interesting about this Declaration, or political support agreement, is the fact that there were four drafts of the Balfour Declaration prior to the Final produced text in October 1917.  Obviously, the first chronological draft was written by the Zionist Federation of Great Britain.  Interestingly, as in any negotiation of wording, the Zionist draft states that “His Majesty’s Government” would “use its best endeavors to secure the achievement of this object”, which was “the principle that Palestine should be reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish People”[4].  Balfour’s draft from August 1917 rewords the statement to read “will be ready to consider any suggestions on the subject which the Zionist Organization may desire to lay before them” [5].  Apparently Lord Milner, who was a member of the British War Cabinet in 1916 and later was elevated to Minister of War, was the main author of the final Balfour Declaration.  In the final draft of the declaration, a protection for non-Jewish people was added under the statement that with the promise of British support that it be understood “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities” [6],  This obvious commitment of respect was obviously thrown to the side after the establishment and international capital-military strengthening of the nation-state of Israel, and nowhere is the example of this blatant disregard more evident than the 1967 offensive and the modern illegal settlement building that is occurring today.

Faysal-Weizmann Agreement

Before Britain was even placed into a protectorate position over Palestine in 1920, a political agreement between Emir Faisal, brief ruler of Syria in 1920 and later king over the territory known as Iraq from 1921 until 1933, and Chaim Weizmann, who would later become President of the World Zionist Federation, emerged out of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.  While there was no Palestinian voice present at the conference, the brief leader of Syria negotiated with aspiring Zionists interests and produced the Faysal-Weizmann Agreement.  Before we look at some of the articles that would impact the Palestinian population, a population poorly represented at the conference, Article IX must be noted: “Any matters of dispute which may arise between the two contracting parties shall be referred to the British Government for arbitration” [7].  Here it must be considered that almost 100 years after this agreement that Israel still turns to the United States for “arbitration”, which often bait the United States into launching economic sanctions (Iran), funding and arming rebels (Syria), and toppling and rebuilding governments (Iraq).  If there are any questions as to the nation-state of Israel’s influence in these examples, those questions can be put to rest by watching archive video footage of the annual AIPAC lobbyist conferences for those specific time frames.

Reading the Faysal-Weizmann agreement, it is obvious that the (brief) Syrian leader sold the native Arab population of Palestine down the river.  In article IV, Faysal agrees that “All necessary measures shall be taken to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale” [8].  In article VII he agrees to allow the Zionist Organization into Palestine “to use its best efforts to assist the Arab State in providing the means for developing the natural resources and economic possibilities thereof” [9].  A true leader who cared for the national interests of his people (instead of being bought) should have recognized that the native Palestinian population did not have the capital or technology to compete with this foreign influx of both international capital and technology, and would eventually become bought out, closed out, owned, and at the political whim of new masters.  Either Faysal was either completely incompetent in understanding capitalism or one of the largest individual sell-outs in history. 



[1]  Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 51.

Theodor Herzl.  Die Welt.  Who Fears a State?  February 18, 1898.  Public Domain.

[2]  Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 51.

Theodor Herzl.  Die Welt.  Who Fears a State?  February 18, 1898.  Public Domain.

[3]  Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 51.

Theodor Herzl.  Die Welt.  Who Fears a State?  February 18, 1898.  Public Domain.

[4]  Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 97.

Balfour Declaration.  1917.  Public domain.

[5]  Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 97.

Balfour Declaration.  1917.  Public domain.

[6]  Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 97.

Balfour Declaration.  1917.  Public domain.

[7]  Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 98-99.

The Faysal-Weizmann Agreement.  January 3, 1919.  Public Domain.

[8]  Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 98-99.

The Faysal-Weizmann Agreement.  January 3, 1919.  Public Domain.

[9]  Smith, Charles  D.  2010.  Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, 7th ed.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 98-99.

The Faysal-Weizmann Agreement.  January 3, 1919.  Public Domain.

 

 
 
 

 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

U.S. Bias to Israel - Evaluating Sources

The following sources will be utilized in establishing U.S. bias towards Israel and are evaluated in the following manner.

Book:

Smith, Charles D. 2010. Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 7th ed. New York: Bedford/St.Martin’s The source provides a complete historical break down on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict from the height of Ottoman rule to modern times, and concentrates heavily on the creation of the modern nation-state of Israel. The book is based on historical events leading up to 2010 and therefore meets the criteria of currency. The relevance of U.S. bias to Israel is documented in several historical events contained in the book and I plan on citing from this source. The author is a professor of Middle East history in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona. The book is compiled with actual historical documents from history and the historical events covered in the book have been cross referenced for historical accuracy. The purpose of the source is an objective review of history for educational and informational purposes.

Scholarly Journals:

Pierce, Jonathan J. 2011. Coalition Stability and Belief Change: Advocacy Coalitions in U.S. Foreign Policy and the Creation of Israel, 1922–44. The Policy Studies Journal 39(3): 411-432.

The source is pertinent to illustrating the bias of U.S. foreign policy to Israel and provides analysis of special interest groups and pro-Israeli advocacy groups (aka lobbyist organizations) inside the United States. The article, published in 2011, is current and will establish a solid authority for constructing an accurate confirmation on how the foreign lobby is able to manipulate foreign policy through representative democracy. Pierce is a political science professor at the University of Colorado and has co-authored over 16 journal publications since 2011. The accuracy of the journal article can be verified through the voting records of congressional resolutions and, more importantly, through AIPAC documentation and video footage from past annual AIPAC conferences. The main purpose for utilizing this source is to establish a foundation argument for lobbyist influence on U.S. representative democracy.

Guerlain, Pierre. 2011. The Israel lobby, American democracy and foreign perceptions of the USA. Journal of Public Affairs 11(4):372-381.

The selected article is a very strong source for citation concerning the foreign lobby and foreign influence methods on the U.S. Congress. The source surpasses the Pierce article in importance for demonstrating exactly how the foreign lobby is able to generate U.S. bias for Israel through influence on representative democracy. The article was published in 2011 and is current. The article has been published in a scholarly journal and the material analyzed concerning the lobby can be easily cross referenced and verified for accuracy. This source also reviews recent efforts of AIPAC and J-Street, the two largest pro-Israeli lobbyist organizations in Washington. The material is presented is objective in nature and presented for information and educational reasons.

Cohena Y., Haberfeldb, Y. and Kogan, I. 2011. Who went where? Jewish immigration from the Former Soviet Union to Israel, the USA and Germany, 1990–2000. Israel Affairs 17(1): 7-20.

The source discusses the historical immigration of Jewish immigrants to the United States after the collapse of the Soviet Union. While this will not be a major source utilized in the final project, it will present a source to illustrate the growing domestic support for Zionism within the United States and will build the opening argument for capital wealth crossing state borders (which can be linked to pro-Israeli political support). The article is published in a scholarly journal and co-written by professors from the Department of Sociology at Columbia University, the USA Department of Labour Studies in Tel Aviv University in Israel, and the University of Mannheim in Germany. The article is informational. An additional purpose for citation of this source will be to distinguish the economic differences between immigration to the United States and the nation-state of Israel. Many of the settlers immigrating into Israel over the past decades, especially after the conclusion of the Cold War, have often been lower economic Jews.

Smith, Robert O. 2012. Anglo-American Christian Zionism. Ecumenical Review 64(1): 27-35.

This source discusses the link between Jewish Zionism and Christian Zionism and will allow a connection to be made between the two, specifically on domestic political influence on foreign policy (U.S. bias to Israel). The article was published in 2012 and the information current, informational in content and analysis, and the author is the Continental Director for Europe and the Middle East in the Global Mission unit of the Evangelical Church in America. The purpose of citing this source is pertinent to solidifying an argument on Christian Zionist lobbyist influence in the U.S. Congress to advance Israeli interests, regardless of impact on domestic U.S. issues, and provides a strong insight into the religious biblical zealousness, counter to rational modern international or domestic policies, of Christian Zionists and Right-wing Evangelical leaders such as John Hagee.

Boer, Roland and Abraham, Ibrahim. 2009. God Doesn’t Care: The Contradictions of Christian Zionism. Journal of Religion & Theology 16(2): 90-110.

This source is a secondary source for linking the political bridge between Zionism and Christian Zionism. The author is affiliated with the School of Political & Social Inquiry and the Centre for Comparative Literature & Cultural Studies at Monash University in Australia. The reference, along with the Smith article, can be cross referenced with historical and current methods and movements to influence U.S. bias on behalf of Israel within the U.S. Congress. The source is informational.

Government Organization:

U.S. Department of State. 2013. FY2014 Executive Budget Summary – Function 150 and Other International Programs. On-line. Accessed from Internet, http://www.state.gov/s/d/rm/rls/ebs/2014/index.htm

This source is the annual government report on foreign aid proposal amounts for FY14 and provides a snapshot for the amount of U.S. funding provided to the nation-state of Israel despite a climbing national deficit and deep domestic budget cuts in the U.S. The source is informational, current and confirmable. Recently the foreign lobby placed very heavy efforts on influencing Congress not to cut foreign aid to Israel despite deep economic problems causing United States sequestration. This report alone is a strong source for citation which illustrates the vulnerability of representative democracy under the influences of a foreign entity (through domestic lobbyist groups).

Non-Government Organization.

Zunes, Stephen. 2012. The Strategic Functions of U.S. Aid to Israel. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. On-line. Accessed from Internet, http://www.wrmea.org/congress-and-us-aid-to-israel/494-congress-a-us-aid-to-israel/9748-u-s-financial-aid-to-israel-figures-facts-and-impact.html

This source is produced by an NGO watch group on the Middle East and tracks foreign aid to Israel by dollar amounts and categories. The statistics presented can be cross-referenced to actual U.S. government U.S. foreign aid reports and will present the structural basis to present the conclusive argument of how the end results falls within the lobbyist established bias regardless of negative results to rational domestic American policies and interests.

Sample summary from web page: Benefits to Israel of U.S. Aid Since 1949 (As of November 1, 1997) Foreign Aid Grants and Loans $74,157,600,000 Other U.S. Aid (12.2% of Foreign Aid) $9,047,227,200 Interest to Israel from Advanced Payments $1,650,000,000 Grand Total $84,854,827,200 Total Benefits per Israeli $14,630 Cost to U.S. Taxpayers of U.S. Aid to Israel Grand Total $84,854,827,200 Interest Costs Borne by U.S. $49,936,680,000 Total Cost to U.S. Taxpayers $134,791,507,200 Total Taxpayer Cost per Israeli $23,240

Monday, June 10, 2013

Partition of Palestine and the Creation of Israel

When the modern nation-state of Israel was created under UN General Assembly Resolution 181 the former British protectorate of Palestine was partitioned, similar to the partitioning of India and the creation of Pakistan, which resulted in the creation of the modern nation-state of Israel. The difference between the events in India and the events in Palestine was that a foreign ethnic entity was implanted, in internationally recognized state form, into a predominantly Arab region which caused displacement of large segments of the indigenous population. The creation of the Jewish state, made possible by an international Zionist movement, was not an isolated result from the events of World War II. The international Zionist network had long planned to establish a Jewish state, specifically aimed at the so-called holy land of the Torah, using international capital to purchase land in Palestine under Ottoman rule and later under British control. In addition to using international capital to purchase up tracts of land, Jewish settlers also were able to utilize international capital to import agricultural technology that Arab farmers in the region did not possess and could not match.

After World War II and the establishment of the UN Security Council, two of the most powerful states, the United States and Britain, stood as staunch supporters of a homeland for the Jewish people. The Belfour declaration stands as one of the pre-Israel historical documents that show such support. Zionist networks had worked hard to maintain Christian political support in Britain and as Jewish and Zionist immigration into the United States began to heavily increase, American political and economic support for the new state of Israel also vastly increased. Constantly increasing American economic and military aid to Israel since 1950 can be easily verified and today Israel receives over 3 billion dollars each year from the United States government in the form of foreign aid. Today, through western economic and military support, the nation-state of Israel holds a military hegemon on the Middle East region and is viewed by many as a nation-state above international law. The treatment of the Palestinian people, from the blockade on Gaza to the apartheid wall to illegal land confiscation and settlements, has often instigated anti-American sentiments from the Arab world, due to American support, and leaves the U.S. in a bad political light. In addition, when Israel commits human rights violations and the international community brings forth resolutions of condemnation before the United Nations, the United States uses their UN Security Council veto to block any resolutions critical of Israel. Israel has so much sway over the American government that the U.S. often finds itself being lobbied into issuing international economic sanctions on nation-states with ambitions for nuclear energy, under false accusations of manufacturing weapons, while their ally Israel actually possesses nuclear weapons, but has never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (Iran signed the NPT in 1968.

How does the nation-state of Israel secure such blind international support from the West? There are a few reasons. First, the western nation-state powers are predominantly Christian. In addition, the masses of those nation-states are uneducated and many have difficulty differentiating between the biblical tribes of Israel and the modern nation-state government of Israel. In addition, the Christian states are capitalist in nature and the working masses have little time for researching facts or following Congressional procedures. Second, the Western state governments are representative democracies, which make government decision-making, foreign and domestic, relatively easy for manipulation. In the case of United States legislation on behalf of supporting Israel, this manipulation is achieved by the major Zionist and Christian Zionist lobbying powers such as AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) and CUFI (Christians United for Israel), and a plethora of other lobbyist organizations, which lobby both Republican and Democratic seats (votes). There is no other lobbyist network in Washington with such bi-partisan influence and power.

The Zionists have always been highly skilled at working within empires and states, from the Ottoman Empire through the British Empire and now the United States, to achieve their political means, the top objective being the creation and strengthening of the nation-state of Israel. There are many different views of the nation-state of Israel, from people viewing them as a staunch ally of the United States to the view that Israel is a regional tyrant and a regional instigator (protected by the United States). I personally view the one-way U.S.-Israeli relationship as a negative one that further damages the image of the United States on the international stage. Perhaps during the Cold War era Israel could have been considered a strategic investment for the U.S., but the validation period for this argument is long gone and the U.S. receives little to nothing in return from such sacrifices. The United States has submerged itself heavily in debt and is currently forced to make many domestic fiscal cuts, from budget cuts in the Department of Defense to education and law enforcement, yet the annual billions of economic and military welfare to Israel continues while Israel, a so-called U.S. ally, refuses to even stop building illegal settlements when the U.S. Secretary of State visits (one of many examples of Israel not listening to U.S. requests).

American Israel Public Affairs Committee. What is AIPAC?. AIPAC, 1989.

Hersh, Seymour M. The Samson option: Israel's nuclear arsenal and American foreign policy. Vintage Books, 1993.

Kuziemko, Ilyana, and Eric Werker. "How much is a seat on the Security Council worth? Foreign aid and bribery at the United Nations." Journal of Political Economy 114, no. 5 (2006): 905-930.

Lesch, Ann Mosely. "Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967-1977." Journal of Palestine Studies 7, no. 1 (1977): 26-47.

Mearsheimer, John J., and Stephen M. Walt. "The Israel lobby and US foreign policy." Middle East Policy 13, no. 3 (2006): 29-87.

Muhammad, Dedrick, and Farrah Hassen. "Christians United for Israel and Attacking Iran." Foreign Policy in Focus (2008).

Öke, Mim Kemal. "The Ottoman Empire, Zionism, and the Question of Palestine (1880–1908)." International Journal of Middle East Studies 14, no. 03 (1982): 329-341.

Usher, Graham. "Unmaking Palestine: On Israel, the Palestinians, and the Wall." Journal of Palestine Studies 35, no. 1 (2005): 25-43.

Vereté, Mayir. "The Balfour Declaration and its makers." Middle Eastern Studies 6, no. 1 (1970): 48-76.

Part II

I tend to view Zionism and Jewish networking, especially with the amount of capital flowing across nation-state borders to build the Jewish presence in Palestine from the decline of Ottoman control to the end of the British protectorate, as the main nationalist force even though the course textbook makes the statement that “the majority of the Jewish immigrants in the first wave following the pogroms of 1881-1884 were not technically Zionists” (Smith, 29). The reason I state this view is because if the Jewish religion is based on the concept of Jewish people being “chosen” and the promise (by God) of the Promised Land (which is no rational way to conduct international political decision making), how can this international ethnic network not be considered Zionist in nature? Not only was Theodor Herzl a leading voice and organizer for Jewish nationality, but wealthy Western Jews such as “Sir Moses Montefiore and particularly Baron Edmond de Rothschild of the great banking family, who between the 1883 and 1889 gave the settlers 1.6 million pounds sterling” funded land purchasing and the import of agricultural technology to ensure settler success (Smith, 29).

The nation that was created, even though the Jewish nation had always been a nation spanning across international borders, was coined by Herzl as “Der Judenstaat (The State of the Jews)” with a message directed toward “wealthy Jews in the West” with hopes “that those Jews would provide financial assistance” to the establishment of a Jewish state (Smith, 31). The message was well received. At the end of the 19th century, the World Zionist Organization created its own bank “and in 1901 the Jewish National Fund was established for the express purpose of purchasing and developing land for Jewish settlements in Palestine. The fund played a major role in the acquisition of land that became inalienably Jewish, never to be sold to or worked by non-Jews” (Smith, 32).

Smith, C. D. (2010). Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict: A history with documents, 7th ed. Palgrave Macmillan: New York.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Islamic World Since 1945: Imitation, Division and Economic Ownership


Causes for political-economic vulnerability in the Islamic World

The political and economic problems of the Islamic states in the era of globalization have their origins in international history prior to 1945, but have been concreted into an international caste since the end of World War II.  One of the largest pre-World War II historical factors for the political and economic vulnerability, which details technology and military power, of the states of the Islamic world, has resulted from the Sunni-Shi’ite division between the Ottoman and Safavid Empires.  Instead of a powerful collective empire advancing forward, the division and wars that between the two Islamic Empires allowed the consolidation, technological and economic growth, and expansion of the Judeo-Christian European Empire, precisely identifiable between the Holy Roman Empire and the emergence of the British Empire, to surpass the Islamic world in power and control of emerging global markets resulting from colonial imperialism.  In the age of consolidated power and treaties, resulting from the two European World Wars, international economic-military control mechanisms were established in the form of the United Nations (an alliance of WWII victor states with a collective military hegemon), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (which set international currency exchange rates setting the stage for globalization), and the World Trade Organization (which initially allowed colonial powers to bring their colonial possessions into the WTO before setting up an independent puppet government set up at the time of independence for globalization purposes) .  On top of this consolidation of international power, much of the Islamic world was divided by national borders after the end of the Ottoman Empire, in addition, prior to and after the end of colonial exploitation by European powers, nation-states were left with domestic political voids, civil conflict and locked into a position on the international stage to subsist based off collective international economic crumbs.

End of Colonial Imperialism, Opening Stages of Globalization, and New States

In addition to colonial withdraw and so-called independence under global puppet governments, the Islamic world also suffered from several partitioning processes after the World War II by the international powers which created several new states: Kuwait, Pakistan, and in a unique situation based on a plethora of motives, Israel (where a native people were cleared out in order to establish a foreign people inside a completely new nation-state).  The Cold War was the last barrier, or temporary balance, for the establishment of a global Judeo-Christian capitalist market.  During this last international chess game, the Islamic nation-states would be used as game pieces. 

Using the newly established nation-state of Kuwait as our newly created state model, the economic motives for separating the area from the Iraqi peninsula are evident.  The southern tip of the peninsula is an avid trade port and Kuwait itself is rich in oil production.  Although the richness of Kuwaiti oil was known during Ottoman rule, technology dependency on oil vastly increased the economic value.  While the proponents, or muscle, of the private sector global market, mainly the United States and Britain, built up fears of aggressive Soviet threats in order to justify imperialism (quietly on behalf of private-sector capital) in newly created states such as Kuwait, the Soviets replied that “the United States and Britain with ridiculous fabrications about a "Soviet menace" to the countries of that area. Such inventions have nothing in common with reality, for it is a matter of record that the underlying basis of the Soviet Union's foreign policy is an unalterable desire to ensure peace among the peoples, a peace founded on observance of the principles of equality, non-interference in domestic affairs, and respect for national independence and state sovereignty”[1].

Even while colonialism ended and the international private sector capital powers behind the consolidated western nation-state military powers were able to get their footholds into newly partitioned states in the Islamic world, long term exploited nation-state tools were not relinquished.   Instead, the puppet regimes, often corrupted, left behind by colonial masters continued to volunteer for exploitation under global private sector incentives, regional foreign military presence and economic aid, and divided competition among the other states throughout the Islamic world.  Egypt had long been used, primarily due to the Nile and Suez Canal, as a territorial center piece by empires and global alliances.  In order to examine the sentiments of the Egyptian people and how the private sector arms of the Bretton Woods family infiltrated the post-colonial independent states for private sector exploitation through puppet regimes, we will examine the sentiments of the Egyptian writer, Taha Hussein,  from 1954 where he states “I think all Egyptians would agree with this...We want to be like the European nations in military power in order to repel the attack of any aggressor and to be able to say to our English friends: "Thank you, you may go; for we can now defend the Canal." Who wants the end must want the means”[2].  Despite these false hopes shared by individual states throughout the Islamic world after World War II, “the state of underdevelopment can be illustrated by looking at Egypt, the most modernized and populous country in the Arab world at the time” [3].  Just as the Ottoman Empire weakened itself by issuing the Tanzimat reforms, making concessions to European states, and attempting to integrate itself into the European market, the divided post World War II Islamic nation-states made the same mistake and, in an attempt to imitate or join the global market, opened the door for foreign private sector investments and loans (economic usury and exploitation of their natural resources) in the form of the Bretton Woods banks and manipulated by Foreign aid carrots.  During the post-World War II reforms in Egypt, similar to many other Islamic nation-states during this period, “international economic institutions typically made access to loans conditional on the preparation of economic plans by governments” [4].  Even though many domestic nationalization reforms were established in Islamic nation-states during the decades after World War II, the International banks owned the national deficits of these states and often placed conditions on international loans that required loan recipients to only liquidate funding through specific foreign international private sector corporations.

Long Story in the Short Version

In summary fashion, the two-empire Sunni-Shi’ite division between the Ottoman and Safivid Empires allowed technologic, military, colonial and economic advancements by European powers which through two World Wars solidified a global private sector capitalist market based off the extraction and exploitation of natural resources and labor.  Just as the Ottoman Empire scrambled, before demise, to incorporate into this system, Islamic nation-states were forced, in the aftermath of consolidated capital power, to submit to foreign ownership and become concreted into division (for national existence) from other Islamic nation-states: a true international rat race not exclusive to Islamic nation-states or domestic divisions in the ultra-consumer and ultra-capitalist United States and Britain.

Notes

[1] U.S.S.R. Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Security in the Near and Middle East, Soviet Reaction to the Baghdad Pact, April 16, 1955.  Public Domain.  Accessed on June 8, 2013 from  http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1955Soviet-baghdad1.asp

[2] Modern History Sourcebook, Tahâ Hussein, Future of Culture in Egypt (1954), Fordham Univeristy, Accessed on June 8, 2013 from http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1954taha.asp

[3] Tarik M. Yousef, “Development, Growth and Policy Reform in the Middle East and North Africa since 1950”, Journal of Economic Perspectives 18(3), 2004, p. 91.
[4] Tarik M. Yousef, “Development, Growth and Policy Reform in the Middle East and North Africa since 1950”, Journal of Economic Perspectives 18(3), 2004, p. 94.