The Most Dangerous Alliance in
[Israel and U.S.]
by Norman Solomon
www.dissidentvoice.org, July 20,
After getting out of Lebanon, writer June
Rugh told Reuters: "As an American, I'm embarrassed and ashamed.
My administration is letting it happen [by giving] tacit permission
for Israel to destroy a country." The news service quoted
another American evacuee, Andrew Muha, who had been in southern
Lebanon. He said: "It's a travesty. There's a million homeless
in Lebanon and the intense amount of bombing has brought an entire
country to its knees."
Embarrassing. Shameful. A travesty. Those kinds of words begin
to describe the alliance between the United States and Israel.
Here are a few more: Government criminality. High-tech terror.
Mass murder from the skies. The kind of premeditated action that
the U.S. representative in Nuremberg at the International Conference
on Military Trials - Supreme Court Justice Robert L. Jackson --
was talking about on August 12, 1945, when he declared that "no
grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war.
It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy."
The United States and Israel. Right now, it's the most dangerous
alliance in the world.
Of course, Israeli officials talk about murderous crimes against
civilians by Hezbollah and Hamas. And Hezbollah and Hamas officials
talk about murderous crimes against civilians by Israel. Plenty
of real crimes to go around. At the same time, by any measure,
Israelis have done a lot more killing than dying. (If you doubt
that, take a look at the website of the Israeli human rights group
B'Tselem and its documentation of deadly events.)
In American media, the current mumbling about the need for "restraint"
is little better than window-dressing for bomb-dropping. The prevalent
dynamic is based on a chain of rarely spoken lies, however conscious
or unconscious: none more important than the lie that a religion
can make one life worth more than another; render a human death
unimportant; elevate certain war-inflicted agonies to spiritual
"Israel has overwhelming military superiority in both southern
Lebanon and Gaza," the New York Times noted in mid-July.
A pattern is deeply entrenched in U.S. media and politics: the
smaller-scale killers condemned, the larger-scale killers justified
with endless rationales.
Stripping away the righteous rhetoric, media manipulation and
routine journalistic contortions, what remains in joint U.S.-Israeli
policy is the unspoken assumption that might makes right. Myths
spin around as convenient. Israel ceremoniously "withdraws"
from Gaza, only to come back with missiles and troops however
and whenever it pleases. The West Bank also continues to be a
place of subjugation and resistance. And, as W.H. Auden observed,
"Those to whom evil is done / Do evil in return."
The Israeli leaders who launched July's state-of-the-killing-art
air assault on Gaza and Lebanon had to know that many civilians
would be killed, many others wounded, many more terrorized. The
smug moral posturing that Israel's military does not target specific
civilians is moldy political grist -- and, in human terms, irrelevant
to the totally predictable carnage.
"There are terrorists who will blow up innocent people in
order to achieve tactical objectives," President Bush said
on July 13. Of course he was referring to actions by Hezbollah
and Hamas. We're supposed to pretend that Israel does not also
"blow up innocent people in order to achieve tactical objectives."
Israel calls itself a Jewish state, and its leadership often claims
to represent the interests of Jewish people. Killers who terrorize
often claim to be acting on blessed behalf of others of the faith.
Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus... By now, such demagoguery
ought to be transparent.
In the 40th year of Israel's unconscionable occupation of Palestinian
territories, Israeli leaders have their agenda. What's ours?
It should include clearly opposing the most dangerous alliance
in the world.
In the United States, evading the "might makes right"
core of the alliance is easy. The dodge makes dropping bombs on
Lebanon and Gaza that much easier for the Israeli government.
As usual, you can hear it in the weasel-worded statements from
even the better politicians on Capitol Hill. You can read it in
New York Times editorials. Instead of saying that aggressive war
by Israel "is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument
of policy," the message is that aggressive war by Israel
is accepted and embraced as an instrument of policy.
Most of all, you can hear it in the silence.
Norman Solomon's most recent book is War Made Easy: How Presidents
and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. For more information, visit:
www.WarMadeEasy.com. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.