[Marxism] James Petras: The Tyranny Of Israel Over America
bhandari at berkeley.edu
Thu Mar 30 10:22:11 MST 2006
Faux radicalism derives its primary strength from concentrating
hatreds on putatively anti national forces which are imagined to have
insidiously worked their ways into the national body.
Fascism rejuvenates the national body through expulsion of anti
national threats. It is axiomatic that it is easier to fight
foreigners than one's own ruling class.
We are seeing yet again the left's attraction to national socialism.
In the rants against illegal
aliens and the Israeli lobby.
It's hopeful though that important thinkers such as Massad and
Chomsky have presented
>There is no "objective, material" reason for
>the US to support Israel. There are superstructural reasons, residue
>from what was once buttressed by objective material conditions (Cold
>War), a residue that has hardened, been reinforced, and locked into
>place so as to become policy. That residue is (a) demonization of Arabs
>and Islam, resulting in a sense of 'Judeo-Christian' solidarity against
This suggests that material advantage can be sacrificed for
ideological, in particular religious, reasons, not that the shadowy
power of the Israeli Lobby lurks behind US moves in West Asia.
For your argument to work you would have to prove that the Israeli
lobby is the material force behind the demonization of Arabs and
Yet Islam was demonized by Christianity even before it was a
threat--say around 1000 AD as European feudal arrangements needed
justification with the tapering off of invasions. The hatred of Islam
did not begin with Israel. Moreover, Arab nationalism was indeed a
threat to US imperialism in the Cold War context. Political Islam
became a public enemy as a result of the Iranian hostage crisis, not
as a result of Israeli propaganda.
Israel may benefit from American and Western hostility to pan
Arabism and many forms
of Political Islam because in this context Israel appears a more
reliable military partner and a closer ideological brother, but I
don't see how Israel can be said to be driving American foreign
Israel was a faithful ally in the Cold War, and there seems to be
some honor among Cold Warriors.
Bush for example reappointed Elliot Abrams and Negroponte. Old
friends are not forgotten; they are rewarded for loyalty again and
again. Harriet Miers for example.
And it's not clear to me at all what kind of logistical support
Israel provides today to the US. I certainly did not get an in-depth
analysis from Mearscheimer and Walt's analysis. And I doubt that even
they have the intelligence to give an accurate account of the complex
military relations between Israel and the US.
Israel may now be indulged (to the horror of the Palestinian people),
but it's not in the driver's seat. And you don't refute Chomsky's
point that the US has at times hemmed in Israel, e.g. arms exports to
China. And that US policy towards pan Arabism and Arab nationalism is
similar to other like phenomena where there is no claim of Israeli
I do feel that the American left is being encouraged to slip into
anti Jewish demonology
as an explanation for American frustrations in the Arab world just as
American blacks are
being encouraged to turn their energies against illegal immigrants.
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