[This article focuses on why revolution is necessary to win a specific and important reform. But similar reasoning applies to winning most other important reforms, because the problems these reforms seek to solve are, from the point of view of our ruling elite, not problems but rather solutions: solutions to THEIR problem of controlling us and strengthening their power over us in an increasingly undemocratic and unequal society.]


How Can We End the U.S. Government's Pro-Israel Foreign Policy?

by John Spritzler

July 5, 2007


I will be blunt. It will take a revolution. Here's why.

It is plain to see that the corporate/government elite who control the U.S. government, and for whom elections are just a means of legitimizing that control, support the Israeli government's ethnic cleansing with virtually no dissent from their ranks--not a peep. Gentile or Jew, it makes no difference--wealthy and powerful people in the United States all "get it"--Israel is good for them.

This is what they, or at least their astute advisers, fully appreciate. Israeli ethnic cleansing foments what appears on the surface to be a religious war in the Middle East between Jews and non-Jews. In actuality it is a divide-and-rule conflict that strengthens the power of all elites in the region, by allowing them to pose as defenders of their own people while actually oppressing and exploiting them. George Orwell got it right.

At stake in the Middle East is whether the oil wealth will be controlled by corporate elites for the benefit of corporate elites, or by ordinary people for the benefit of ordinary people.

But it's not just the Middle East that is at stake. The balance of power in the United States itself is at stake.

The Orwellian Cold War has now been replaced with the Orwellian War on Terror. These are wars of social control, most importantly for social control of the American population itself (as well as the populations of U.S. allies.) The main purpose of such wars--on both sides--is not to "win the war" but to maintain a war mentality domestically so that the ruling elite can use "national security" to justify pretty much anything they wish, and put dissenters on the defensive by accusing them of being unpatriotic.

Wars like this need a dramatic story line. To create compelling propaganda for the story line there must be some "germs of truth" facts to spin. American Cold War propaganda, for example, could point to the Soviet Union's Gulag, its one-party-only "democracy" and lack of free speech to paint a picture of a Communist boogie man aiming to enslave Americans. Soviet propaganda, on the other hand, could point to America's racial discrimination and the fact that many Americans lived in abject poverty in a land where others were billionaires to argue that, as bad as things might be under Communism, it would be far worse under Capitalism.

The War on Terror story line for American consumption needs its own "Gulag"-type facts to be credible. The story is that violent hate-driven religious fanatic terrorists want to kill peaceful democratic people like ourselves. The 9/11 attack certainly made this story seem credible to many (for a while--at least 36% of Americans now suspect our government was complicit in the attack), but that attack was a one time only event (so far.) The War on Terror story needs ongoing day-to-day "facts" to spin.

Israel provides decades of the most photogenic and heart-string-pulling "germ of truth" facts for this story line that one could imagine. Israel, Americans are repeatedly told, is the "only democracy in the Middle East" and it only wants to be a little tiny country where Jews can live in peace and not be attacked by violent anti-Semites, but violent hate-driven religious fanatic anti-Semitic terrorists keep attacking Israel, day after day after day, with suicide bombers and rockets non-stop.

It makes for damned effective War on Terror propaganda, as long as Americans remain ignorant of the fact that Israel is based on ethnic cleansing and the anger at Israel is anger at ethnic cleansing, not anti-Semitism (which is, of course, why the American media never ever inform Americans about Israel's ethnic cleansing.) This propaganda is so effective that nobody with any real power in the United States even dreams of telling Israel to stop the ethnic cleansing, since if it ended peace would break out in Palestine/Israel and a major prop for the Orwellian War on Terror would collapse.

Short of some completely unforeseen development in the Middle East that would present a better means of carrying out a divide-and-rule Orwellian war in that region than Israel's ethnic cleansing currently does, the American ruling elite will continue to support the Israeli government's ethnic cleansing, no matter what.

This means that until we remove the American elite from power, they will support Israel's government the way they have been doing for decades. That's why it will take a revolution to end U.S. support for Israel.

How Do We Build a Revolutionary Movement?

The first step is to identify the objective: building a revolutionary movement, a movement whose goal is to remove our ruling elite from power and create a genuine democracy.

Some people are afraid, however, that taking this first step means abandoning the objective that got them into political activism in the first place. I want to address this concern here.

Realistically speaking, it is quite likely that if and when Americans finally overthrow the current ruling elite they will do so while still largely ignorant about what is going on in Palestine/Israel. Americans, after all, have plenty of close-to-home reasons for making a revolution besides our government's pro-Israel foreign policy. Americans even have some direct knowledge about the war in Iraq because Americans are sent to fight and kill and die there. But no Americans are being ordered to fight in Palestine.

Consider these two different scenarios.

#1) We build a non-revolutionary movement focused 100% on persuading Americans that our government should stop supporting Israel, and we succeed in winning over 80% of Americans, but the government continues to support Israel just as it continues to wage war in Iraq despite overwhelming public opposition.

#2) We build a revolutionary movement that, while including opposition to Israeli ethnic cleansing, does not focus on that topic but rather focuses on the issues Americans care about the most, and thereby succeeds in removing the elite from power and creating a genuine democracy.

Which scenario does the most good for Palestinians? Clearly the #2 scenario.

Ordinary Americans may not know why it is wrong to support Israel today because of all the lies and lack of truth they have been exposed to, but once the people telling the lies and covering up the truth are out of power Americans would quickly discover the truth and come to the conclusion that they would rather support the people opposed to ethnic cleansing than the people carrying it out. Don't forget that ethnic cleansing has never been a big vote-getter in the United States, not unless it was disguised as "the only democracy in the Middle East."

This is why we need to get out of the Johnny-one-note single issue mode of thinking, in which we place all of our eggs in one basket--the "end America's pro-Israel foreign policy" basket. If there is ever going to be a revolution in the United States, it will not be driven by the single issue of the country's pro-Israel foreign policy. That issue is one of many others. It is an important one, however. And it is one which, if not understood, will cause people to be confused about how our society works and why we need a revolution. But it is an issue that ordinary Americans can come to understand in only two very different ways.

One way is to become an expert in matters Palestinian, by reading books and articles or watching films that are obscure and that require a fair amount of dedication to discover. (The non-revolutionary single-issue kind of movement seeks to educate the public in this manner exclusively.)

The other way is to hear somebody point out that what elites do to control and exploit ordinary people in Palestine/Israel is really no different (in kind if not degree) from what they do to control and exploit ordinary Americans; to hear, in other words, that one's own knowledge--from personal experience about why we don't have affordable health care or decent jobs and pensions or good schools for all, and how our elite prevent us from making our country more equal and democratic with policies that pit us against each other along racial and other non-class lines--is all that is required to understand why our government supports a government like Israel that defines itself with KKK logic to be a "Jewish state." (A revolutionary movement would explain and condemn our government's pro-Israel foreign policy this way mainly, knowing that expert knowledge about Palestine will be of interest to some people, but not most.)

For the majority of Americans, understanding events in Palestine seems less important than understanding domestic concerns or a war in which Americans are fighting, and they are naturally more attentive to a movement that talks about such concerns than one that talks exclusively about Palestine. Furthermore, a movement that explains US support for Israel by asking Americans to understand this as a continuation abroad of the same kinds of elite methods of manipulation and domination that Americans, from their direct experience, understand so well with respect to domestic issues closer to home, is more effective than asking Americans to become experts on Palestine divorced from everything else.

This is why we need to start thinking about building a revolutionary movement and not a reform movement focused just on one issue.



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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