Requiem for Israel by Cameron Salisbury

by Cameron Salisbury
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
January 14, 2009

Israeli bombs rain down on Palestinian homes. U.N. schools are obliterated, relief workers are murdered, small children cling to their dead mothers for days before they are lucky enough to be rescued alive. In some neighborhoods, the smell of death lingers in the air as Israeli troops advance deeper into Gaza and more heavily populated civilian areas in retaliation for annoying but largely ineffective rocket fire. It is a world-wide public relations disaster, even among the notably clueless United States citizenry.

As a horrified world watches Israel demonstrate its military supremacy over a poor and unarmed population, something else is happening. If you listen closely, you might hear a sad death knell in the distance, and it isn’t for the Palestinians. What we may be witnessing now is Israel’s slow motion suicide.

In the late 1940s following World War II, the territory then known as Palestine and now known as Israel was handed by the victorious allies, free and clear with no strings attached, to the traumatized Jewish survivors of Nazi Germany, thereby creating a Jewish home state. Complicating matters were the Palestinians already living there.

Predictably, with the new nation of Israel created by fiat, by people who neither owned the land nor consulted those who did, it came with deeply embedded seeds of turmoil. The future of Israel depended on how they handled those seeds. They could choose friendship and reconciliation or they’d get the opposite, unending conflict.

When the Palestinians were given neither a voice nor a vote – nor compensation – as they were forcibly evicted from land that had belonged to them for centuries and herded into overcrowded, poor, refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank, the die was cast.

Israel has enjoyed only brief, wary, interludes of peace since. The war-with-no-end illustrates beyond question the abject failure of Israel’s international policy during the nearly 60 years of its strife-ridden existence, its superior, American-made military capacity a useless menace.

Palestinian fury is now a violent, bottomless abyss shared by other Arab nations.

And Israel is a small heavily armed island surrounded by a sea of seething Arab bitterness.

Ringed by enemies, Israel could hardly survive alone, and it didn’t have to.

Israel’s best friend and consistent enabler is the United States, which underwrites Israel’s survival to the tune of approximately 3 billion American taxpayer dollars a year, dedicated almost entirely to buying armaments for use against Israel’s neighbors. Arabs hate the U.S., too.

Because Israel uses American dollars to buy its military prowess in the U.S., Israel is essentially the middle man between Uncle Sam and American weapons manufacturers, as well as an outsourced Middle Eastern military arm of the U.S. government.

The world is now changing rapidly, and for Israel that poses several troubling prospects.

First, a number of former third world countries, especially in Asia, have been developing with lightning speed and require increasing amounts of oil from the Middle East. Ominously for Israel, its Arab enemies find themselves with increasing leverage and a growing number of nascent allies, countries like China and Russia, who have little regard for the U.S. or its pet projects. Vladimir Putin is on record drawing a line in the sand, threatening retaliation for any aggression against Iran or Syria.

Worse, Israel’s strong-armed backer, supplier, and buffer has come upon hard times. The U.S. is currently battling a financial meltdown due at least in part to Arab fury at our complicity in the continuing geopolitical upheaval in their lands. Although nearly unreported by the U.S. media, Osama bin Laden has been quite clear in his demands that the U.S. withdraw its forces from the Middle East and relinquish its support of Israel in exchange for safety at home and abroad. What would U.S. citizens say if they knew?

Even before the U.S. went into its current economic dive brought on by that hotbed of capitalism, Wall Street, the downward spiral had begun. Government finances were stretched thin by the Bush-and-cronies mismanagement and ‘war on terror.’ Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent destroying and rebuilding Afghanistan and Iraq in addition to the costs of maintaining a military empire around the world; in addition to the very expensive government bureaucracies now needed to defend the ‘homeland’ against terrorism; in addition to a domestic social services sector in meltdown with the increasing demands on Social Security, unemployment levels anticipated soon to reach double digits, and the concomitant increases in the need for unemployment insurance, food stamps and Medicaid.

And that’s just for starters.

America became a debtor nation with the advent of NAFTA and the decimation of the domestic manufacturing sector. Economists say that America is now bankrupt in all but name.

So far the U.S. response to its long simmering economic crisis has been less than confidence inspiring. A massive and speedy infusion of newly printed money was tossed into the economy, which could never have resolved the trouble caused by an out of control financial sector but could be depended upon to cause other problems. Like the devaluation of the dollar. Foreign investors, the props of the American economy, are racing for the exits, leaving behind trepidation about the next chapter in U.S. history.

None of this is good news for those in foreign lands whose borders depend on American strength. The days when the U.S. could reliably determine the world order are vanishing along with the days when oil producing nations can be kept in line with threats.

Unless Israel can get a solid grip on its own independent future, and soon, its days may be numbered, too.


Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War? by Michel Chossudovsky

Israeli troops attack Gaza City + Eric Margolis: Egypt is a corrupt dictatorship that’s afraid of Hamas

Riz Khan: Uri Avnery & Daniel Pipes + Wexler Spouting Israeli Propaganda!


11 thoughts on “Requiem for Israel by Cameron Salisbury

  1. Pingback: Israel’s War of Deceit, Lies and Propaganda By Uri Avnery « Dandelion Salad

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  4. An excellent analysis and historical summary and good commentary.

    It does not appear that given this history, israelis can ever be accepted there peacefully. What a way to live.

    Jews who dissent feel like Martians. But then opposing militarism in this era has been extremely unpopular in general.

    Instead of spending so much subjugating and trying to control the Palestinians by force and making warmongers and murderous criminals out of all israelis, why not focus these funds on bailing out the Gazans? Invest in their education, homes and healthcare, offer a huge compensation package aimed at reparations. What better way to calm the waters, and express to the Arab nations the common humanity?

    But likely it can’t be fixed, and the conscripted killers israel have become themselves indoctrinated with the disease of militarism. Militarism and violence is now intentionally bred into every israeli, it’s become a bad culture of fanatical, macho, mouth-breathing arrogant cultists.

    The idea of an indoctrinated religious state, armed to teeth, is a bad scene, be they Taliban or zionists.

    Americans need to stop supporting this idea, and ethnic jews need to dissent, lest we all become complicit in this ongoing insufferable morass.

  5. Last week I emailed my U.S. senators and representative, stating my opposition to Israeli treatment of Palestinians. To date neither of my Senators has responded, even with a note stated they had received my email. My Representative emailed me a letter saying she supported Israel’s right to defend itself and enclosed a copy of a letter, signed by only 24 Congressional Representatives (out of over 300 Representatives), sent to Bush asking him to intercede with Israel to permit humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, allowing the injured to be evacuated from Gaza, and asking for a greater push towards a cease fire.

    However, no where in the letter do any of the signatories address the real problem of all Palestinians – in Gaza, the West Bank, or in Israel – being treated as second-class citizens.

    Israel, from all responsible reports, treats Palestinians as So. Africa did during Apartheid. It appears evident that most Congress people have little or no knowledge of the actual conditions under which the Palestinian population lives.

    It is as though AIPAC has brainwashed our Congress into believing that only Israeli citizens suffer and need support. But that picture is far from the truth.

    Nearly all of the West Bank has been taken by force from Palestinians who have lived on that land for generations untold – illegally taken even to the point of the IDF shooting point blank any Palestinians who refused to vacate or to struggle against Israeli settler occupation. Hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Palestinian men, women, children, and even babies have been shot and killed so that illegal Israeli settlements can occur.

    Moreover, Palestinians do not have any of the same rights in Israeli courts as Israeli citizens. They, actually, have no rights in civilian Israeli courts…and can only seek justice or redress in military courts. The human rights abuses perpetrated over the last 30 to 40 years by Israel towards Palestinians are endless and beyond appalling.

    Given the abominable treatment of Palestinians by Israel, it really is no wonder that Palestinians – and all of the Arab Nations – support Hamas to one form or another. It must be noted, too, that the elections which brought Hamas to power were caused by Hamas providing financial support to the Palestinians, schools, hospitals and medical care which the Palestinian Authority did not provide. Of the millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians, very few dollars were spent on the needs of the people. Most went into the coffers of the political elite.

    When you’re hungry (most Palestinians live on less that a dollar a day) and when your kids cannot attend school or receive medical care, you will vote for whomever provides for those needs. Only people who are financially secure in a stable environment enjoy the luxury of considering long term political policies. Those, such as the case of the Palestinians for the last 40 or so years, do not enjoy that luxury. Each day is filled with trying to stay alive, feed their families, get their children educated, and get needed medical care. And whoever assists with those basic needs will be supported. That is human nature as its’ most fundamental, basic level.

    To eliminate Hamas, Israel and the international community must work to provide for equal human rights and needs of the Palestinian people. They must be recognized as having been subjected to conditions mirroring “Krystal Nacht” and be given fair and equal treatment under all courts of Law.

    I am deeply ashamed that the U.S. government and media do not recognize or admonish Israel for its behavior towards the Palestinians. Palestinians have been forced by Israel to lead primitive, subsistent lives with no hope of anything better. It is nothing less than Apartheid at the hands of the Israeli government.

    The fact that the U.S. government – and most American citizens – do not know or understand the realities of the Palestinians, in itself, is appalling. The fact that Americans, including our Congressional members, have been led to believe that all Israelis are the good guys and all Palestinians are the bad guys is a result of the fantastic public relations work of the Israeli government and AIPAC.

    This must change. Just as apartheid changed in So. Africa and radical racism changed in the U.S., only the mass voice of honest, compassionate, justice-seeking people will force a change in U.S. policy that overwhelmingly supports Israel, regardless of how blatantly bold and badly they treat Palestinians.

  6. The blame for this mess can be placed on the Zionist movement and Harry Truman who went against the advice of his Secretary of State, General George Marshall and the entire State Department because he needed the Jewish New York vote to get elected president, and authorized the blatantly illegal creation of the Zionist (a political movement) of Israel.

  7. I have so much to say, but I’ll do the unimaginable and say nothing. This should have never been allowed to happen, and the whole planet will suffer.

    Janet Detwiler

  8. Let’s not forget that Israel is also going to have to deal with a Russia backed Iran. Guess where the next fight between the U.S. and Russia occurs!

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