Friday, April 10, 2009

Why the incessant focus on Israel?

I have nothing to add. I came across this link at and thought there should be some reference to it here.

Why the incessant focus on Israel? The question is usually rhetorical and designed to elicit defensiveness rather than, say, an answer. With so many worse conflicts raging around the world, the idea goes, a fixation on the Israeli treatment of Palestinians is suspicious.

The charge is not that anti-Semites obsess about Israel -- of course, they do: it's that a critical focus is symptomatic of that ancient brand of hatred. The Harvard legal scholar, Alan Dershowitz, won't hesitate to bring up David Duke's endorsement of the Walt-Mearsheimer thesis as proof. The logic is somewhat novel, since I don't recall anti-Apartheid activists having to justify Idi Amin Dada’s alignment on the matter. There are two distinct questions to answer: one is why Westerners fixate on the I/P conflict; the other is why they should.

Read the whole thing.

One quibble, which is probably smaller than it looks.

Since World War II, the US has supported nearly every non-Communist tyranny against the aspirations of the people. Are the Palestinians so different from the Chileans, the Nicaraguans, the Guatemalans, the Salvadorans, the Greeks, the Timorese, and the Vietnamese that the US should make an exception for them?

This rule has numerous exceptions - Nasser, Hussein, Assad (to hear the US tell it, Khomeini and Ahmadinejad should also be on the list of exceptions) - related to the US' support for the Zionist project.

This is a point that is not made often enough. Nigeria, Venezuela, Colombia, Cambodia are US imperialism as usual. US intervention in the Middle East attempting to ensure the viability of Jewish domination of at least part of Palestine is drastically more extensive and resource draining than its interventions anywhere else. Post Communism, US intervention has been trivial everywhere else compared to against potential strategic threats to Israel.

I'll close with a reminder that US advocacy of a one state solution is not only more in line with American values, but would be less expensive, not a little less expensive but orders of magnitude less expensive, than trying to ensure that the Muslim world which rejects the legitimacy of a Jewish state is never in a position to threaten Israel's viability.

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