John Chuckman



“Candidate Pete Buttigieg: Israel’s Security Policy Offers “Important Lessons” for the US

“Buttigieg’s decision to not promote any specific policy has allowed him to become a policy chameleon, and his stance on foreign policy, including Israel and Palestine, is no exception”


Buttigieg represents perfectly the famous Hannah Arendt phrase, “the banality of evil.”

Israel has been so steeped in abuse and oppression and killing and torture and improper arrest for decades that it is all taken as a normal state of affairs. Its own people have become brutalized in their attitudes, as many pieces of evidence tell us. One image I saw recently had a young Israeli woman looking into the camera saying, quite coldly and convincingly, that she “didn’t care what happened to Arab children.”

Well, when you think about it, how did states like Stalin’s Russia or Hitler’s Germany obtain all the millions of people needed to run the vast machinery of oppression? The secret police? The camps? The guards? The prisons? The torture facilities? The drivers? Right down to the cooks? The fact is that the potential is always there in every human population.

That’s why we have laws, but even more importantly, that’s why we have standards and ethics and morality. When you toss it all out – law and ethics – in the name of any cause, you will easily find all the willing helpers required.

I think we have nothing to learn from Israel, especially when it comes to “security,” and it is disturbing to have someone calmly argue that we do. Someone moreover who has entered the race to become the Democratic candidate for President.

Israel holds millions against their will and yet talks of itself as a democracy. It steals property, homes and farms, whenever it pleases and pretends it honors rule of law.

The word “security” manages to cover those horrors and far more.

Of course, everyone wants something they call “security,” don’t they?

But it’s a rather vague word, ‘security,” a very pliable word, one which can cover anything from a friendly cop on the beat to secret police kidnapping, torture, and killing. From a pleasant garden fence to a giant electrified fence strung with razor wire. The use of such words has to be scrutinized, for a speaker often wants you to think of the first meaning in each of those examples and not think of the second. Just read George Orwell about the use of political language.

We do have to remember that Israel’s notion of “security” includes just suddenly seizing someone’s home and tossing them on the street, blockading people into near starvation and misery (as in Gaza), the use of radar-controlled automatic machine-gun towers, holding many thousands in prison illegally for years, assassinating 2,700 people (according to a recent book), brutalizing people every day at countless checkpoints and in raids, maintaining an almost constant state of war with many of its neighbors, supporting the region’s bloodiest dictators who in turn support Israel, and maintaining a military establishment and a set of secret police organizations grotesquely out of proportion to the country’s size.

Note that you do not get good and wholesome societies from vast military and secret police establishments. Not ever. And add further, the systematic use of those establishments against millions of people with no rights and little defense. What you get is something much resembling the Soviet Union. Of course, you hear no complaints from the commissars in a place like the Soviet Union. You only can understand the society by hearing the oppressed.

And of course, whether he consciously recognizes it or not, Buttigieg is promoting that, or at least elements of it, for the United States, Israel’s patron and truly its mother country since, in so many ways, Israel resembles an American colony. He, at the least, wants to promote the acceptance of all that tyranny as being “normal.”

After all, as we’ve seen in the aftermath of 9/11, the constant promotion of fear and the vague idea of terror keeps a population conditioned, even in a society were people claim certain rights such as in the United States, to accept abuse and excess from government. Fear is a useful tool, and it hasn’t been only straightforward tyrannies who resort to it.

The fact is that an undesirable evolution in thinking and behavior and values is already well underway in the United States, starting a couple of decades ago, although greatly accelerating in recent years, but all of that is still not enough for the Buttigiegs of this world.

You might fairly say that for the past couple of decades, the United States has been involved in a kind of “Israelization,” with everything from unnecessary bloody Mideast wars to many police forces being trained by Israelis (where the main job of security is nothing less than the suppression of a huge population forced to live under Israel’s control) and to intense internal spying and deliberate reduction of citizen rights (Israel has no Bill of Rights, so you cannot really talk about rights in Israel, and given the nature of its society, it is impossible it ever could have a Bill of Rights).

This kind of talk from Buttigieg is genuinely the stuff of evil. Yet the words come from a banal, smiling politician.

The banality of evil, for sure.


Posted April 4, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized


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