Friday, June 4, 2010

American Culpability in Israeli Occupied Territories

A few days ago I briefly suggested that the global community (okay, I mean the global north) held some complicity in allowing Israel to continue their oppression over the Palestinian occupied territories.

Mark LeVine (professor of history at U.C. Irvine) articulates this stance much more eloquently, and drives the point to another level in his piece, "Israel's 'friends' also to blame." LeVine argues that the United States' motivation in supporting Israel has nothing to do with supporting Israel or political ideology.

Rather, our support of Israel lies covertly in bolstering the private weapons manufacturing industry:

We have pretended to be its friend, but we are the friend in the way your drug dealer is your friend, sitting with you late at night listening to your problems while hooking you up with your next fix - only in strange twist, the American people rather than the Israelis are paying for the habit their government and corporate elites grow richer sustaining.

We are the ultimate facilitators of this insane and immoral arrangement, which is part of our larger addiction to war that now reaches $1 trillion per year.

LeVine goes on to tie the United States' ongoing relationship with Israel to the broader Middle East and connects our current militaristic efforts to American history:

And now at least 10 people are dead because of the shame, because of the inability of Israel's best friends to look it in the eye and say: "Stop this insanity. Treat Palestinians like humans before you destroy not only them, but you."

We cannot say that because we are guilty as well, and the US has proved singularly unable to come to grips with our own culpability in occupations from Iraq and Afghanistan to Gaza and, of course, our own original sin, which demanded millions of dead native Americans to ensure the creation of the very country that now supplies Israel with its weapons and tells it everything is going to be okay.

Some day you can let the Palestinians have casinos and they will thank you.

Highly recommended read.

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