Sunday, July 20, 2014

Israel's Butchery in Gaza, Bought and Paid for by the American People: A Question. Is Israel an Apartheid State?

The recent events in Gaza are disgusting.

Watching Bill Maher's panelists support Israel's fiendish behavior towards the Palestinian people on Friday's edition of Real Time made me feel dirty. Am I alone in that sensation?

Dream booking: wouldn't it be great if Norman Finkelstein was invited to be a panelist on Maher's show. Talk about a hell of a show.

Americans, because of a failed educational system and a corporate media, are not forced to ask hard questions about foreign policy and their complicity with the deeds and actions which the United States makes in their name. 

Consequently, when blowback occurs they sit around like ignorant children who are surprised that Santa Clause isn't real and that mommy and daddy actually had sex in order to bring them into existence. Sorry kids, babies do not come out of mommy's belly button.

Israel's butchery in Gaza is bought and paid for by the American people. The Israelis are "mowing the lawn" in Gaza. And please do take note of the old habit wherein how language is used to reduce people to objects in order to legitimate their murder and abuse.

[The Israeli government extracts a high price when its citizens are killed. What is the exchange rate? Is it one thousand Palestinians for 1 Israeli? Higher? Lower?]

I wonder, in the post Hobby Lobby, neoliberal, Age of A La Carte Citizenship, can I cite my deeply held "religious" beliefs and deduct the portion of my tax dollars that support Israel's militarism (which actually undermines American national security)?

I believe that Israel--historically along with Australia and the United States--is an Apartheid society. Apparently, this is a provocative claim in some circles. The great Desmond Tutu agrees with me; I count myself in good company.

What are your thoughts on Israel's status as an Apartheid regime? And what do you make of the recent events in Gaza?


bill said...

I think that the disproportionate response by israel is shameful
Israel has systematically taken the land and lives of Palestinians
since England, America, And the old Soviet Union somehow gave this land that they did not own to the Zionists after world war II.

D. Wright said...

"Watching Bill Maher's panelists support Israel's fiendish behavior towards the Palestinian people on Friday's edition of Real Time made me feel dirty. Am I alone in that sensation?"

No you are not. The IDF is a state funded lynch mob issuing collective punishment on the Palestinian people in retaliation of the murder of three teenagers. The attempts to derail that truth via Hamas rockets are disingenuous and obscuring. To praise Israel as a democracy while it abuses East African refuges and subjects minorities to a police state that dwarfs America's says much about what's wrong with their idea of democracy.

Opining that Palestinian resistance should stop because "Israel is here to stay", is such a blatant misunderstanding of history. No state is immortal, least of all White/Western settler states, and the fall of Rhodesia, Apartheid South Africa, Amero-Liberia (which is perhaps Israel's best analog) and others prove that. Bill Maher invokes a trope I've seen dozens of times before among White Supremacists: that the IDF/White Americans stop short of eradicating Palestinian/Afro-American life is evidence of Israeli/White moral superiority.

To answer your question Chauncey, I'd say that Israel is worse than an apartheid state, in that Apartheid South Africa and Jim Crow America didn't seek to eliminate its indigenous/Black population. Anti-Blackness cannot be analogized recklessly with other struggles, even anti-colonial struggles. The Israeli occupation and settlement is more akin to Manifest Destiny and the Indian Removal Act genocide, if we were to use Andrea Smith's Three Pillars theory of White Supremacy.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

Yeah, apartheid, I mean with the initial partition of land in 1947, granting Zionist Israeli's 56% of the land despite only being a third of the total population and much of that land in the most fertile places of Palestine.

Not to mention the role of the kibbutz and paramilitary groups in protecting and terrorizing the local population resulting in the Nakba or the forced and voluntary expulsion of Palestinian people during the Civil War in Mandatory Palestine. Jewish and Muslim people in Palestine had coexisted in peace for centuries before Zionism and the creation of a Jewish state.

There's also the patterns of settlements and destroying homes, building walls that absorb even more land from the Palestinians, the blockade on the Gaza Strip. Worse than Apartheid. They have no representation, they are a dependent "sovereign" state similar to a US Supreme Court ruling about Native American nations within the boundaries of US states.

balitwilight said...

Yes, Israel is an apartheid society, like the US and Australia. Even before Israel's latest atrocities against the Palestinians, something in the recent spate of US "open-carry" fanatics - something in the photographs of "white" American men in civilian clothing accessorised with AK-47s, casually strolling out of Starbucks - reminded me of the similar herrenvolk swagger of Israeli civilian settlers in the occupied West Bank with their sandals and their shoulder-slung M-16s, with that same air of threat and besieged entitlement. The same with a certain type of Australian: their giant knives, their guns and their contempt for "the blacks". The same on "white" settler farms outside Capetown South Africa with their sense of outraged entitlement and their stashes of FN-FAL assault weapons ready to hold their stolen land against the swarms of "wogs" in their nightmares. Same in Zimbabwe.

In all these apartheid societies, the gun is a fetish of huge importance to "white" men, and violence is the sacrament of "white" masculinity. These are all Settler Cultures: having stolen from, violated and exploited the darker-skinned peoples, they reverse their own self-contempt against the very people they have wronged and the terror they unleashed, they now psychologically project as coming from their victims. They are always outnumbered, but dominant by virtue of overpowering ruthlessness and - above all - guns. Apartheid is their only hope. The United States suffers from a double dose of Settler Culture cross-pollinated with the Slave-Owner's inherited terror of night-revolts and being outnumbered, and his ultimate nightmare that his own violence may one day be turned against him.

This is the sociopathy that the USA shares with Australia, South Africa and Israel, and why it is so virulent - and dangerous - here in America.

SabrinaBee said...

It's disgusting CD. Yes. Israel is being as brutal as Hitler was to them. Worse even, because Hitler was condemned for doing so but, Israel is being lauded. Which means there will be no end until they deem they have had enough blood to make up for three teenagers that were hitch-hiking and may have actually been killed by an Israeli.

Our news media, in true Orwellian form, is calling it an Israeli defensive. Millions of people trapped on a strip of land,with the ocean to one side and two hostile countries on the other, and they are being picked off. And we are saying they have ways to get out. Yes, it's an apartheid state.

Like Ukraine, no one questions how this began or why? And like you say, when the backlash happens everyone will stand around with their mouths open, wondering why they hate us.

Lee Viola said...

I DVR'd Maher's show. It was vomitious and I won't be returning for future viewing. Except for that rabidly pro-Israel "editor," it seemed everyone else spoke in support of Israel with a .45 aimed at the back of their heads. The audience clapped reflexively in favor of genocide - so much for liberalism. Harman was the usual Democratic whore for Israel. Nate Silver alone looked ashamed. I wonder what was going through his head? I don't think he has necrophilliac urges as the other panelists did.

Maher has many problems, and one of my theories is that he was so blacklisted over 9/11 and accusations of not bowing before Israel properly in 2013 that he bent over for Israel. The other is he (fittingly) hates religion, and he may hate Islamic extremism more than Jewish extremism.

But still, the show did me one favor: It made me realize that even if Rupert Murdoch obtained HBO, the content couldn't get more rightist and narrow.

Apartheid? Those walls and road checks and torture and burning of olive trees and rage against the powerless aboriginal population"


OldPolarBear said...

I can scarcely stand to look at a still image of Bill Maher, so I didn't watch that clip. Maybe I will try. I know he is "important" in that way that so many things are just because they are "out there" and people talk about them. He is definitely on the list of people I am glad other people watch so I don't have to.

Anyway, to your question: you are not wrong; it is an apartheid state. It is also a theocracy, something else the United States is not supposed to be supporting in any way, although we ourselves seem to be turning into one. We rage and rail against places we think are theocracies, like Iran, even if they aren't really. Israel really is one, and we send them weapons and money to support their genocidal activities.

chauncey devega said...

Nate Silver looked miserable, as though he was doing a mental calculation about the pluses and minuses of telling the truth. I think it would be a great skill to be able to blink Morse code messages so that folks at home could decipher what an unhappy guest on TV is actually thinking.

chauncey devega said...

Yup. A welfare state theocracy where a bunch of "moochers" don't even work because they are supposedly involved in a life long religious study. Those same folks are getting over on the U.S. welfare system too.

Lee Viola said...

Thanks. I had to turn it off when he went to a segue. I think Silver, as a numbers man, knows Israel is doomed via demographic trends. I think Silver, as a man who has to pay the rent, also did his calculations that if he told the truth, he's never get another media job again in the US. Maher was an absolute disgrace. Except for the Moral Mondays preacher, a literal giant to Maher's cowardice, I didn't feel there was a true liberal on that show.

Courtney H. said...

Excellent comment!

James Estrada-Scaminaci III said...

I think they way to move the discussion forward isn't by trying to label Israel--that diverts attention towards a discussion of the discussion--rather than the real issues at stake, to wit: the right of Israelis and Palestinians to live in mutual security; the illegal and immoral Israeli occupation; the illegal settlements on the West Bank; the violations of human rights regarding the Palestinians and their access to food, water, medicines, and home-repair supplies; the Israeli violations of the laws of land warfare by targeting civilians and hospitals; and, Hamas use of rockets for terror. Whenever someone goes down the rabbit hole of arguing labels, the real issues get obscured.

Imagine the mid-1930s, and public intellectuals are trying to argue that Hitler and the Nazis are "socialists" or "fascists" or they are a strange "hybrid." Who cares? Does the winner of this intellectual debate, no matter how stimulating and personally rewarding, actually amount to anything? The actual issues in the mid-1930s up to 1939 were that Jews were being systematically derived of their citizenship as loyal Germans and their constitutional rights; what was happening in the period leading up to the Nazis taking power was the mainstream political parties, including liberals, destroying the Weimar constitutional order. Those are real issues that should have been addressed and Germany pressed to stop immediately.

I write that not to justify anything in the present. It is that when you try to argue about esoteric things, you stop discussing real issues that need to be addressed and that can provide a roadmap for future actions.

Whether Israel is an apartheid state or not, alleged severe violations of the laws of land warfare, international law regarding the responsibilities of an "occupying power," human rights, land rights, water rights, and other existential issues are all issues pushed to the deep background.

Buddy H said...

I dug out an old book of fables by Ambrose Bierce from 1890, and found the following:

An Intrusion

Morality put her toe into international politics and it was promptly chopped off.
"A thousand thanks," said Diplomacy, with an engaging bow; "we will keep it in memory of a most distinguished honor."
And Morality has limped a little ever since.

OldPolarBear said...

Vomitous is right. I said above that I didn't know if I could watch it but I went and tried and got to around 2 minutes before I had to stop. Then I tried again and got to around 3 minutes and I think I am done with it. Maher is such a slick POS. Even on a topic like this he has to work in his little laugh lines and every time he does so he does that little smirk and looks at the camera, the cue saying "that's my little joke -- laugh now" and his sycophantic audience complies. I wish there had been giant buckets of garbage dumped from the ceiling of that studio on the heads of everyone who laughed or cheered that vicious crap.

kokanee said...

CDV - You get the media right. You get the justice system right. And, yes, you get Israel-Palestine right. I've been thinking about the exact same question. Earlier today I called Gaza an apartheid internment refugee camp. I'll stand by that now although some have called Gaza an open-air prison as well. It's time Americans --especially Jewish Americans --realize that this is not a conflict of equals. Israel holds all the power, dictates all the rules and has all the latest military weaponry - courtesy of the US.

BTW, this is an extremely dangerous political issue to handle - just look at the attacks Selina Gomez received. Kudos to you for not playing it safe.

Tami said...

"Watching Bill Maher's panelists support Israel's fiendish behavior towards the Palestinian people on Friday's edition of Real Time made me feel dirty. Am I alone in that sensation?"

Since it doesn't seem like enough's being said about/criticizing Hamas, in this situation, yes (in my opinion).

Gable1111 said...

The relationship Israel has with the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank reminds me of the Bantustans South Africa set up to keep Black South Africans in the same chattel state as Israel has the Palestinians.

And if the US had any integrity when it comes to democracy, it would not have allowed the white South African government to pretend it was a democracy, just as it allows Israel to pretend the same. All while basing its foreign policy on "spreading democracy and freedom" throughout the world.

joe manning said...

Yes, that Israel is an apartheid state is a foregone conclusion the proper focus is the crimes that are being committed against Palestinians.

joe manning said...

Neocons promote ancient religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam for their individual versions of moral absolutism which is a surrogate for a universalistic ethics which would further the general amelioration.

chauncey devega said...

We walk the line together brother. I am very mindful of that fact.

chauncey devega said...

Apartheid was not limited to South Africa.

chauncey devega said...

Blumenthal is cool folks. What do you think that truth tellers can actually accomplish going forward?

Gable1111 said...

Of course. I noted the close similarity in how Israel and SA used the sham of a "nation" to deprive peoples of rights in their own land. And as I write, I'm reminded of the similar situation here, what with the Native American "reservations."

skilletblonde said...

A boycott of Mass Media and its advertisers is warranted. Also, the FCC should be bombarded with complaints., I know I sound like a broken record Chauncey, but those conglomerates that dominate the people's airwaves do not inform, they misinform. They are gatekeepers of power. There are mass demonstrations going on around the world against Israel, right now, just as there were record breaking protests against the U.S. when it illegally bombed Iraq. However, the American media with its corporate monopoly on speech, defines what speech is free.

It is also important to pressure religious organizations that have remained silent. If your church ignores this kind of injustice, then it's just a country club.

Lkeke said...

Excellent analysis!

The Crack Emcee said...

"What are your thoughts on Israel's status as an Apartheid regime?"

Not much - like blacks, they're outnumbered on all sides, and are fighting for their lives. I noticed, when Finkelstein listed the reasons for being down with Israel, he didn't mention the Holocaust. Why not? Probably because he thinks you can "exploit" the mechanized extermination of a people, but I do not. If Israel is an Apartheid state, it's the most conscientious one I've ever encountered.

"What do you make of the recent events in Gaza?"

Not much. I might think twice, if the Arabs didn't work with the Nazis and believe that propaganda, but they did and do (Pop Reference: Raiders Of The Lost Ark) and, as long as that's the case, I'll stand in opposition to it.

The Jews are not my enemy.

The Crack Emcee said...

First, there is no "trap" - a people, determined to make a safe haven after an attempted extermination, takes no trickery to understand - and Israel is that for Jews.

Sure, it's different, but, at the base level, it isn't - you're either against slavery or you aren't. If you aren't, then you stand with those it's been imposed on - and the Jews have qualified, possibly, for longer than anybody. The fact they have to fight for their freedom - against all comers - makes it plain, still.

Israel is the powerful and militarized because A) they have been attacked - repeatedly - and are determined to win, just as you'd be, and B) they're not stupid: If you live in a tough neighborhood, you carry a big gun.

Finally, I don't watch a lot of news from Israel - I have too many Jewish friends to let the media spin me (A risk you seem determined to ignore as you drink other's PR). My friends go to Israel, and - while we argue points - there's one we're determined not to forget:

That what started it wouldn't be forgotten - which includes the Nazis spreading anti-Semitic propaganda throughout the region.

It is my opinion that - just like with blacks - there's something about attacking those folks, some people just can't let go of,....

Iain Brown said...

And Hamas endless barrage of rockets into Isreal? And the tunnels, and the murders and kidnapping? Hamas needs to be wiped off the face of the planet, I support Isreal, the real monster is Radical Islam.