JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: PRESIDENT ABBAS MAKES A SPEECH ANGERING MANY ISRAELIS – BUT WHAT HE SAID WAS ONLY THE KERNEL OF A TRUTH ABOUT MODERN ISRAEL ALWAYS IGNORED BY OUR PRESS AND POLITICS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY IAN BLACK IN THE GUARDIAN

Will Abbas’s ‘Eff off, Trump’ fury play into the hands of rightwing Israelis?

Thank you for an unusually reasonable and fair-minded piece on this subject.

I have always regarded Abbas as a kind of Stepin Fetchit character, which would explain why Israel treats him with less than complete contempt, the kind of contempt we saw constantly towards Arafat and we see towards Hamas.

So, I am surprised by a couple of his recent efforts, this speech, especially, and his reaction to all the recent American-Israeli bullying and ill will towards the UN for taking the most modest steps towards justice.

His thought about Israel not truly being about Jewishness but about American imperialism is I believe a genuine and important insight, and this was I think the idea which created a firestorm in the Israeli press.

The truth is for most of its history America has never really cared about Jewish matters. Why would it care about such a minority? America made no effort at all to save Jews trying to leave Germany before the Holocaust began. Indeed, it turned boatloads of refugees away, just as it turns away Muslims today.

Jews in America at that time couldn’t even be admitted to Harvard in any but the most token numbers. Jews created their own schools to make themselves new opportunities.

The American Bund, too, was a very big movement. Their uniforms resembled those of the Brownshirts and they held marches and some huge rallies. And even today in some parts of America, we have militia-type movements and Aryan “churches.” Yes, they are called just that.

The great American journalist and chronicler of the Third Reich, William Shirer, wrote that he believed at the time America was easily capable of going fascist itself. And, after all, he was employed by “Colonel’ Robert McCormick, owner of the then notoriously right-wing Chicago Tribune.

A great deal of wealthy and rich class of America was sympathetic with the Nazis and happily and profitably helped them.

And America had laws before Germany about sterilizing “”undesirables” and tens of thousands were sterilized. Hitler admired these laws, and he kept a photo of the unbelievably hateful Henry Ford in his office.

The Bush grandfather, the Kennedy father, Henry Ford, and scores of other well-known elite families admired the Nazis and cooperated with them.

So, how did such a huge country just turn around and become a protector of Jewish people?

It did not really.

Yes, there was public horror over the picture which emerged of atrocities, and I’m sure there was some guilt, but that is never the kind of thing which affects policy in a great power. Sentiment plays no role with the hard-nosed careerists and military-thinkers in Washington or any other major capital, no matter what our more sentimental and really propagandistic films tell us in retrospect.

Washington saw the immense future importance of the Middle East owing to its oil and gas in a world where engines of every kind were being built by the millions after the war. And just like Britain or France, before America’s rise to empire, it sought to gain a foothold there.

The tragedy of the European Jews offered a perfect parallel motivation and emotionally-wrought excuse. A good many Jewish Americans and Europeans wanted to re-create Israel, but their emotional motives were quite apart from what moved American policy.

Many became large political campaign supporters for politicians who embraced the idea, a practice to this day, but that kind of support, while easing the way, is not the kind of thing which alone causes such a big shift in policy.

It was also effectively a way for America not to be obliged to accept huge numbers of Jewish refugees, a quite cynical but real motivation. America’s elites had not really changed that much suddenly. Washington doesn’t work like a Steven Spielberg movie.

The prime motive for Washington’s power elites was that a new Israel would create a friendly and financially-dependent colony in the region, a colony peopled with Europeans and Americans of European descent. Jewishness was incidental from the elites’ point of view.

You know, it is a very common thing for great powers to play such games with the lives of others. And it does seem to me important to understand the genuine origins of a problem in order to solve it. But our press and politicians are rarely honest about this still-terrible problem of millions being held against their wills for generations and widely abused in the land of their forefathers.

After all, it is likely that the Palestinians are the closest we have to direct descendants of the Hebrews because the Romans are not known to have expelled any such group of people.

Posted January 16, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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