Reply to John Walsh's "Why is the Peace Movement Silent About AIPAC?"
by John Spritzler
April 21, 2007
With all due respect to John Walsh (see his article, "Why is the Peace Movement Silent About AIPAC?" ), demonstrating on the street outside AIPAC's fundraising dinners (which I have done in the past) doesn't accomplish very much. The anti-war movement should, of course, oppose U.S. support for Israel, and it is true that its leaders who don't do that are very wrong on that count.
But the way to oppose U.S. support for Israel is to persuade the American public that it is wrong for our government to support Israel. This means going to the public (very few of whom are reached by standing outside the Westin Hotel in Copley Square on a Sunday evening) with persuasive arguments and facts, especially about how Israel is based on ethnic cleansing and how a Jewish state is an inherently racist notion.
If we want to persuade the public that AIPAC's pro-Israel stance is wrong, it doesn't do very much good to focus our message on the very secondary fact that AIPAC is a powerful pro-Israel organization that uses its power to lobby for a pro-Israel policy. The response to this message from the typical American who doesn't understand what's wrong with supporting Israel will be, quite naturally, "So what's wrong with AIPAC using its influence to get our government to support Israel?"
I know, I know. Some advocates of focusing on AIPAC say that when the public realizes that our government's pro-Israel policy is being imposed on it by foreigners--Israeli Jews and their American Jewish allies--then they will think, "Oh my, oh my, we need to stop being bossed around by foreigners and start acting in our own national interest."
The problem is that our government's pro-Israel policy is not foisted on it by foreigners; the U.S. pro-Israel policy is one that virtually all of the American gentile (as well as Jewish) billionaires in our ruling plutocracy fully and enthusiastically endorse, if not because they personally understand the merits of the policy then because the people they pay to advise them on such matters and whom they trust (such as Robert McFarlane, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger, Stephen Hadley, Condoleezza Rice and John Negroponte) tell them to. Their policy advisors are serving them very well. Here is why.
Israel is good for ruling elites, including the Jewish elite in Israel, the Arab/Muslim elite in places like Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the American (mainly gentile) elite in the United States. It is good for these elites because its ethnic cleansing foments a non-class war, which makes it easier for upper class elites to control their own people. For example, if it were not for the hostility that Israel foments among Arabs/Muslims against itself by its ethnic cleansing (and the media's cover-up of the explanatory fact of the ethnic cleansing), then the main stereotype behind the Orwellian "War on Terror"--the rabidly anti-Semitic Arab terrorist who wants to kill people "like us"--would enjoy far less credibility in the U.S. The credibility of this stereotype is absolutely key for the American plutocracy's overarching strategy of domestic social control--the "War on Terror"--which they are using to ramp up draconian domestic social control measures such as the Patriot Act and telephone surveillance and, in general, the atmosphere of fear that makes who-knows-what policies possible in the future. America's ruling class's pro-Israel policy is no more foisted on it by foreigners than its "War on Terror" policy is foisted on it by foreigners.
"Oh no!" some people would counter. "America's gentile billionaires are harmed by our government's pro-Israel foreign policy. They don't speak out against Israel because they are afraid of being labeled as 'anti-Semitic' by the all-powerful Israel Lobby and its Zionist-controlled U.S. media." But this doesn't make sense. People like ourselves, with no financial independence or genuine job security, can speak out against Israel, but billionaires with total financial independence and economic security are afraid to? This is not credible. It is especially incredible when one considers the following.
America's billionaires could, in about six months maximum, turn U.S. public opinion completely against Zionism. Even if they had to create, from scratch, their own mass media network (free from Zionist control) to do so, they could easily do that. Rupert Murdoch's huge media empire was valued, during his divorce, at $10 billion. Warren Buffet alone gives more than that to philanthropy (and invests heavily in Israel.) Ditto Bill Gates. So the gentile billionaires could easily create a media network of their own if they wanted to. They could tell the American public the truth about the Zionists. They could explain the ethnic cleansing and how a Jewish state is based on it. They could reveal how the Zionist leaders don't even care about ordinary working class Jews, for example how they betrayed the European Jews during the Holocaust by opposing all rescue efforts that did not focus on bringing Jews to Palestine. With TV shows as engaging and dramatic as "Roots" (the most-watched TV show in U.S. history, which in 1977 consolidated public sympathy for American blacks) and screenplays as professionally crafted as "Schindler's List," which gentile billionaires could easily commission to be written, they could turn the American public (minus the 1.5% who are part of organized Jewry, perhaps) against AIPAC and against the very idea of a Jewish state, which is as abhorrent to the values of most Americans as was South African apartheid's White state and the Nazis' Aryan state. The overwhelming advantage would be with the gentile billionaires in this war of ideas, because the truth can easily defeat lies even when it has less money behind it, and in this case the truth would have more money behind it, since the gentile billionaires could easily outspend AIPAC if they wanted to.
The reason America's gentile plutocrats don't oppose Israel is because they don't want to. They have their own very rational class-based reasons for supporting Israel. They have no need nor desire to oppose Israel. In fact, they use the Israel Lobby to achieve their own ends. The Israel Lobby advances the pro-Israel foreign policy that virtually the entire U.S. ruling class enthusiastically endorses. No wonder American gentile billionaires love to have Zionists running the media and appointed to be presidential advisors and occupants of key foreign policy government posts. If one wants to have a pro-Israel foreign policy, make sure to let the individuals who are the most fanatical advocates of that policy run interference for it in the media and carry it out from high level positions inside the government.
We need to build a movement that explains the true reason why virtually all of our politicians support Israel, and why, therefore, their assertions that it is "anti-Semitic" to oppose Israel should not be taken seriously (as they now are because the public doesn't know the truth.) Since the "tail wags dog" theory--that Israel controls U.S. Middle East foreign policy against the secret desires of our gentile rulers--is so self-evidently not true (as indicated above), it follows that to the extent that the anti-war movement adopts this silly explanation for things it will fail to be persuasive to the general public. Furthermore, since the "blame it exclusively on the Israel Lobby" theme, while not actually being anti-Jewish, is extremely easy for our opponents to portray as anti-Jewish, and since most Americans are, to their great credit, loath to support anything they think is aimed against people because of their race or religion, why adopt this theme when it isn't even factually true in the first place? Lastly, let's face it: if working class Americans know anything for sure, it is that their capitalist employers are the problem no matter whether they are Jewish or gentile. If we are going to tap into that central insight of working class Americans as a basis for their understanding far-away conflicts like the one in Palestine/Israel (and I don't think we can succeed otherwise), we will never succeed if we fail to identify the problem as ALL of the capitalist class, not just the foreign Jewish part.
John Spritzler is the author of
The People As Enemy: The
Leaders' Hidden Agenda In World War II, and a Research Scientist at the
Harvard School of Public Health.
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