Why 'Pick On' Israel? Here's
by John Spritzler
June 13, 2006
Israel's defenders have a stock argument that goes like this:
"Why do people pick on Israel? Sure, Israel has its faults, just like any
country. Its government is not perfect and sometimes it does bad things. What
government doesn't? But how come some people seem to focus only on Israel?
Boycott Israel, divest from Israel, they say; but never boycott Russia or China
or Saudi Arabia or a host of other countries that do bad things. Israel, they
say, violates human rights of Palestinians. If they're so concerned about human
rights, how come they're not bothered by China's attack on Tibetans, or Russia’s
attack on Chechnians, or Saudi Arabia's attack on women's human rights? Hmmm.
Why would people want to just pick on tiny little Israel, a Jewish state? Only
one reason...they're anti-Semites."
Nice try, but this defense of Israel is easily refuted. There are a lot of
excellent reasons for singling Israel out, and none of them have anything to do
#1. Jesus put it this way. 'Why do you behold the mote in your brother's eye but
consider not the beam in your own eye?' For Americans, Israel's crimes are the
beam in our own eye. The crimes of China and Russia and Saudi Arabia etc. are
the motes in the eyes of others. Our government supports Israel with virtually
unconditional diplomatic support and vastly more military and economic aid than
it gives to any other nation. Israel gets this overwhelming U.S. aid because it
serves the aims not of ordinary Americans but of our ruling upper class (see #4
and #5 below.) No other country plays this role and receives this kind of
support from our government today.
#2. Israel is not the only nation that carries out ethnic cleansing, but it is
the only nation that is founded
on the principle of
Israel defines itself as a state of the Jews. Unlike every other state on the
planet, which all at least purport to be a state of the people who live in it,
Israel adamantly insists it is not a
state of the people who live in it, one fifth of whom are not Jewish. Israel is
not a state of its residents. It is a state of 'the Jews.' And by 'the Jews'
Israel means Jews wherever they live, including Jews who never lived inside
Israel and who have no intention of ever living there. Israel insists that its
population must be overwhelmingly Jewish and so it drove out 80% of the non-Jews
in 1948 and continues to this day to carry out a brutal ethnic cleansing to get
rid of the Palestinians by making life so unbearable for them that they will
leave Palestine. No other country does this today.
#3. Israel is the only nation that self-righteously accuses any critic of its
ethnic cleansing of being a bigot (anti-Semite.) It is the only nation that
insists that its racist policies are 'a light unto the nations.' If we let
Israel get away with this we are contributing not only to its actual ethnic
cleansing, but to its glorification of the principle of ethnic cleansing, which
aids and abets this crime everywhere in the world. No other country, not even
ones that engage in it, glorify ethnic cleansing this way today.
#4. Israel is the only nation that spreads contempt around the world for the
idea of democracy by defining it to mean the government choosing the people
instead of the other way around. Israel boasts that it is the 'only democracy in
the Middle East.' Democracy is an extremely good thing. It is a valuable idea
that humanity needs to embrace and that elite rulers try to discredit. But
democracy means that the people who live in a state choose its government. In
Israel, on the contrary, the government, in the name of democracy, has chosen
the people 'the Jews' and has driven 80% of the un-chosen people out of its
borders and made the remaining 20% of them second class citizens completely
excluded from the category of people who are officially the sovereign authority
over the state. No other country does this today.
#5. No other country surpasses Israel's polarizing of the entire world, between
Muslims versus non-Muslims, by carrying out vicious and gratuitous attacks on
the same mainly Muslim population for more than five decades without let up.
Israel thereby foments not only a regional ethnic war but a global "War on
Terrorism" that serves the same Orwellian social-control needs of all world
elites (from the U.S. to China to Russia to Saudi Arabia) that the Cold War
served in the past. No other country does this today.
#6. More can be learned about our own United States, and about the source of our
own domestic problems and how to solve them, by understanding why it is right to
divest from and boycott Israel than by understanding why it might be good to
divest from and boycott Russia or China or any other country. The reason is that
our domestic problems, like job insecurity, illegal immigration, war, lack of
health care, extreme inequality and so on are
by our corporate and government leaders for the purpose of making us easier
for them to control. These
same leaders have singled out Israel, unique among all other nations, to enjoy
their unwavering and overwhelming support for the same reason Israel helps to
foment the global war that makes the world population easier to control. To
understand why our leaders support Israel, and why they pretend to seek peace in
that region but never put real pressure on Israel to stop its unjust ethnic
cleansing, is to gain insight into how these same leaders control us by
deliberately creating the very domestic problems they claim to be trying to
solve. We need that insight to build a revolutionary movement to create a real
democracy in the United States instead of the fake democracy we have now,
controlled by a wealthy and privileged upper class. Of all the foreign nations
that we have been lied to about how wonderful they are and how deserving of our
support they are, the lies about Israel are the ones that our rulers have used
most effectively to get us to support a foreign policy of warmongering designed
to strengthen upper class control over working people around the world. No other
nation plays this role today.
John Spritzler is the author of
The People As Enemy: The
Leaders' Hidden Agenda In World War II, and a Research Scientist at the
Harvard School of Public Health.
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