John Chuckman


Let’s End the Israeli Tie-That-Binds
” … there is absolutely no national interest that compels Washington to do anything for Israel.


Response to a long comment which lists major enterprises doing business in Israel and says it is time to boycott:

Your list effectively shows us why the Israel Lobby is so powerful in the United States that it is able to influence policy, even in an irrational direction, irrational when you consider the total interests of the United States.

Owing to native talent and hard work, Jewish Americans have been extremely successful in business and professions, giving them the financial weight and connections to get many things done which other groups would not be able to do.

Good parts of your list also reflect the fact that the American and Israeli governments have worked very actively for many years to integrate Israel into mainline Western business and political affairs.

America constantly pushes for new privileges and advantages with Europe and others for Israel, hoping eventually that it becomes identified and accepted as virtually a European nation.

The Neocons in Washington have always pushed a whole package of American-Israeli ties including Western integration as part of their efforts to closely bind Israel’s interests with America’s, something seen as giving this originally poorly-conceived state a strong foundation for the future.

I say “poorly-conceived” because modern Israel has always been pushed and justified by weak ideas like Judaism being considered an ethnicity, which it certainly is not, and a separate state being an absolutely necessary defense against any repeat of what happened in Germany 75 years ago, that also being a demonstrably incorrect idea.

But even if Judaism were properly considered an ethnicity, it is a long-abandoned concept in the advanced world (one which took force originally in the early Nineteenth Century as states like modern Italy or Germany emerged from old empires) that national states are composed of a single ethnicity, either primarily or exclusively.

All European states are gradually becoming populations based on migration just as America long has been. For many reasons which really cannot be changed – from low birth rates in advanced societies, including Israel, to the movement of populations in a globalized world economy – there is no alternative future for anyone, including Israel.

So, the vast effort to keep Israel somehow pure so far as Jewish identity works completely against some of the most powerful tides in advanced human society. You cannot really order the waves or the wind to cease and whatever barriers you erect can endure only for a time.

Effectively what is happening is that Israel is emerging as America’s Mideast colony, a major colony much like, say, Algeria was for France, and a colony that in many matters verges on being a fifty-first state, again as the Mediterranean part of Algeria was once considered part of Metropolitan France itself.

Although it is always important to keep in mind that Israel can never really become that since its founding principles exclude any possibility of ever being under laws like America’s Bill of Rights.

Also, nothing of this nature endures long-term, just as Algeria and France parted ways and did so in great violence and hostility. The important major interests of the United States and Israel are not at all the same, and they cannot indefinitely artificially be maintained to be the same, as they are being maintained now.

There is a great irony in all of this because modern Israelis, indeed, largely have European origins. The Ashkenazim are a Germanic people whose native language, Yiddish, is derived from German. Even the foods the Ashkenazi eat virtually all originate in Germany and Eastern Europe, all the typical fare of delicatessens.

Despite sharing the religion of the ancient Hebrews, the Ashkenazim are not their descendants. But the re-creation of Israel with a European population and a Western agenda has been a terribly costly and mostly unsuccessful enterprise. Israel, it is simply a fact, remains the most subsidized entity on earth.

The vast subsidy rightly needs to count all the private movements of capital, all the unique privileges granted – everything from special free-trade deals to recognizing dual citizenship which allows constant movement back-and-forth with America.

It needs to account for America’s defense and security establishments sharing all kinds of technologies and proprietary concepts, things it does not share with others. It needs to account for unprecedented access to high American officials of every description with all the shared information that entails.

It also needs to account for the bribes the American government pays to a number of neighboring Arab governments – as Egypt or Jordan – and for the important dedication of a portion of America’s extremely costly military to Israeli matters.

And there is the special selection of Israeli companies in being given some immense American government contracts in everything from communications to security. So, America’s nearly $4 billion a year in direct assistance, by far the greatest amount given any other country, is only the beginning of the subsidies keeping Israel afloat.

It is, in truth, a most unnatural relationship for any ostensibly independent country.