Doomsday in Gaza


On December 5, the House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning antisemitism while at the same time declaring that anti-Zionism is antisemitism. This is completely illogical. Anti-Zionism is opposition to Israeli state policy. Antisemitism is prejudice against the Jew as a person.

If one argues that Israel defines itself as a Jewish state, there’s this to consider. Some Israeli Jews oppose the policy of their Zionist state. Are they antisemitic?

The United States has never been a Christian nation. The proof? It has never officially persecuted Jews. Practically speaking, though, it is mainly Christian. If you oppose U.S. state policy, are you anti-Christian?

How hard is it to tell the difference between these two things that are now said to be identical? Despite the low opinion Americans generally have about their representatives, it would be a mistake to claim they can’t tell apples from oranges. So something else must be going on.

Could they have been bought? Not bought in the sense of a clear payment for a yay vote, or the absence of a nay vote. Bought in the sense that their position on the vote is influenced by the affect it will have on the furtherance of their political careers.

There are roughly 8 million Jews in the country, perhaps 6 million of voting age. Even though groups like Jewish Voices for Peace and others have been vocal about criticizing Israel, it can be assumed that a large majority remains that will support the Zionist State of Israel. This makes up Jewish Zionism.

This is far from the largest bloc of Zionists in the country. Christian Zionism dwarfs it. There may be 90-100 million Christian Evangelicals in the country today. Of these, a large number will be voting age adults, and a large number of them will believe in biblical end-times prophecy, beginning with the belief that God gave the land of Israel to the Jews.

Together, Jewish and Christian Zionism make for a mammoth voting bloc when compared to the U.S. Palestinian population of 143,000. Politicians can’t pander to a few Palestinians here and there. So, yes, our representatives can tell apples from oranges, and they have distinct preferences.

This extends all the more to the presidency since we’re within one year of the next election. Biden is walking a tightrope between imperial America’s geopolitical support of Israel together with the domestic Zionist voting bloc, and the incoming flak not only here but worldwide due to what can no longer be ignored…Israel’s outspoken contempt for all Palestinian life and its genocidal actions to back it up.

Biden is asking Netanyahu to reduce the flak. Let’s stop for a moment and call out its powerful, emotional aspect. Speaking of the images of wounded or dead Palestinian children being scooped up in parent’s arms. Biden is essentially asking for the bombing to proceed more nicely, so that we don’t have to see wounded or dead children being scooped up. But Netanyahu has his own problems. In order to maintain his political support, he has to continue to cleanse Israel of Palestinians. And Israel, as set forth in his Likud party’s platform, includes Gaza and the West Bank.

Biden’s tightrope is precarious because, objectively, one word from the United States could bring Israel’s campaign of annihilation to a halt. The bombs and shells Israel is raining down on Gaza might as well have “hello from America” stamped on them. This is the reigning military superpower in the region, backed by the reigning military superpower in the world, against a literally caged people without a single tank or a single plane. They are doomed.

Our imperialism is in decline. We just don’t know how rapidly. This is no longer considered controversial. International observers, both friendly and unfriendly, speak of it matter of factly. What remains is loosely held together by force and more force…800 overseas military bases, dollar domination still, and UN veto power. When UN votes go 184-2, and we’re part of the 2, gone is “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind”.

Ray McGovern, former CIA intelligence analyst, has a clever trick. He asks a roomful of people, how many people here think that Israel and the United States are not allies? Raise your hands. His is the only hand raised! This is because formal alliances between countries entail an unambiguous description of the countries borders, and Israel’s borders have yet to be defined under international law. And, yes, Israel is the other part of the 2.

Two against the world sounds like the stuff of heroics, but not when you’re on the wrong side, as history may bear out. It’’s hard to see how either country can come out of this with hands clean enough to call itself a civilized state. Brutalization is contagious. The United States, by not restraining Israel, is draining its moral reservoir. Once the plug comes out, it’s difficult to replace. An aggressive foreign policy is incompatible with a benevolent domestic policy.

Witness what is happening in our country today. People, including Jewish people, become targets simply when speaking out for Palestinian rights. Almost without noticing we are dehumanizing human rights. Everything has gone over to a political stance. A political position. No matter how bad things get for Palestinians, their political position does not exist.

Indian writer/activist Arundhati Roy expressed, in her ever eloquent way, that the only moral thing for Palestinians to do is to die; and that the only legal thing you can do for them is to remain silent. This is poetry in the service of life.

James Rothenberg is from the USA, residing in New York State.

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