January 04, 2010
"The most outspoken support for Israeli crimes comes from
the business world. U.S.
high-tech industry is closely integrated with its Israeli counterpart. To cite
just one example, the world’s largest chip manufacturer, Intel, is establishing
its most advanced production unit in Israel.
A U.S. cable released by WikiLeaks
reveals that Rafael military industries in Haifa is one of the sites considered
vital to U.S. interests due to its production of cluster bombs; Rafael had already
moved some operations to the U.S. to gain better access to U.S. aid and
markets. There is also a powerful Israel lobby, though of course
dwarfed by the business and military lobbies.
Critical cultural facts apply, too. Christian Zionism long
precedes Jewish Zionism, and is not restricted to the one-third of the U.S. population
that believes in the literal truth of the Bible. When British Gen. Edmund
Allenby conquered Jerusalem in 1917, the
national press declared him to be Richard the Lionhearted, finally rescuing the
Holy Land from the infidels.
Next, Jews must return to the homeland promised to them by the
Lord. Articulating a common elite view, Harold Ickes, Franklin Roosevelt’s
secretary of the interior, described Jewish colonization of Palestine as an achievement “without
comparison in the history of the human race.”
There is also an instinctive sympathy for a settler-colonial
society that is seen to be retracing the history of the U.S. itself,
bringing civilization to the lands that the undeserving natives had misused –
doctrines deeply rooted in centuries of imperialism.
To break the logjam it will be necessary to dismantle the
reigning illusion that the U.S.
is an “honest broker” desperately seeking to reconcile recalcitrant adversaries,
and to recognize that serious negotiations would be between the U.S.-Israel and
the rest of the world.
power centers can be compelled by popular opinion to abandon decades-old rejectionism, many prospects that seem remote might become
Noam Chomsky’s most
recent book, with co-author Ilan Pappe,
is Gaza in Crisis. Chomsky is emeritus professor of
linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in