Willful Ignorance – The narratives of the Israeli-US empire

Al Shifa Hospital
In this image taken from a video released by the Israeli Defense Forces on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, Israeli soldiers conduct combat operations in Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City. [AP Photo/Israel Defense Forces via AP]

It should be obvious by now for those with any level of critical thinking skills that the Israeli-US narrative on Palestine and Gaza in particular is made up of lies, obfuscation, and dissimulation, the latter two a form of lying by using large and misleading words.

The incessant attacks on Gaza by bombing, missiles, and ground forces clearly demonstrates what the Israelis are now openly declaring.  After decades of a slower more methodical means of removing Palestinians from their native land, the Israelis are now clearly announcing their plan to ethnically cleanse Gaza of Palestinians – many already ‘cleansed’ from their previous homes, some several times – while openly disregarding any semblance of reason by calling for killing all Gazans and beyond, all Palestinians in the occupied territories (of which the whole area of Israel is truly occupied Palestinian land). 


Israel is not alone.

The U.S. as Israel’s prime benefactor has contributed huge amounts of armaments to keep the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) supplied with all manner of ordinance.  Regardless of civic disputes domestically, the U.S. political position is unified in its support of the violence carried out by Israel with the same calls for genocide and ethnic cleansing. 

Two naval ensembles are assisting in the genocide, not directly by shooting and killing, but indirectly serving as a warning to other parties – Hezbollah, Iran, and all other Arab countries – to not become involved in the war.  The Houthis, who have not much left to lose after a decade of fighting off the U.S. backed Saudi attacks, have effectively blocked the southern Red Sea, and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait leading up to the Suez Canal and Israel’s port of Eilat. 

While perhaps perceived as being militarily dominating, they are also somewhat ineffectual, more by the ramifications of their own direct involvement should it come, and the broader war it would generate.  Operation Prosperity Guardian has exposed the weakness of a U.S. naval operation in a modern-day world of asymmetric warfare with drones, and the implications of several supposed strong allies not wanting to participate (Japan, Australia, France, Spain, and all Arab countries except Bahrain, home of the U.S. Fifth Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command).

Those ships, along with those positioned in the Mediterranean do have a subduing effect on anyone considering entering the conflict on the side of Palestine.  However, it is also recognized they are all susceptible to modern missile attacks, with swarming attacks followed by precision guided hypersonic missiles serving as a strong equalizer in the balance of power in the region.

But Israel still holds all the power, as they do not care about what others think and will continue with its relentless attacks on Palestinians until they are either all dead or all removed, supported by sycophantic politicians from the U.S. empire, the EU, and NATO in particular (while disregarding the sycophantic and useless Abbas PA dictatorship).

There are many narratives to the Israeli mythology: a land without people; making the desert bloom; no one to negotiate with for peace; always the victim; self-defense.  All these and others are subsumed under two major narratives:  that of having the “most moral army” and of being a “democracy”.

Narrative gone – most moral army

Israel has forever proclaimed its army to be the most moral army in the world.  Many have accepted that, and many still do – especially the Christian evangelicals calling for Armageddon – but the reality demonstrates clearly there is nothing moral about the Israeli army.  Its history of extrajudicial murders, support for settler activities ranging from land confiscation to immolation of Palestinians, its known, recorded, and archived history of previous massacres and ethnic cleansing has not, for whatever reason, been enough to quell the “most moral army” lie. 

The IOF began its ethnic cleansing of Palestine before they declared independence on May 14, 1948, and after that continued the elimination of around 500 Palestinian towns and villages, creating a massive refugee crisis that has endured and deepened over the decades.  It acted preemptively in the ill-fated attack on Egypt along with Britain and France in order to gain control of the Suez Canal.  

The Six Day War, the Nakba, was a preemptive strike by Israel against Egypt, whose main forces at that time were fighting in Yemen (poor Yemen, same old story).  The continuation of that war into Syria to later annex the Golan Heights was an Israeli initiative.  Mostly ignored and clearly a victim of willful ignorance is the associated Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, a clearly marked US spy ship.  This also defines the beginnings of U.S. subservience to Israeli interests over the lives of its own people.

The only war Israel did not start was the Yom Kippur war in 1973, but with much assistance once again from the U.S..  Even then, it was not a war to “defend itself” as Israel at the time occupied Egyptian territory captured in the Six Day war.

After that Israel invaded Lebanon to eliminate the PLO forces under Yassir Arafat, and also to fulfill part of the Ersatz Israel plan to have the land south of the Litani River as part of Israel.  Many years later, and after the creation and defiance of Hezbollah, a resistance organization against Israeli occupation, Israel withdrew. 

The first intifada troubled the military as well as the politicians (wherein at the time most politicians were products of the military).  It settled down and disappeared with the false hopes generated by the Oslo accords and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and different areas of control, in fact dividing Palestine even more into noncontiguous bantustans.

In 2005 Abbas was elected leader of the PA in elections hampered by Israeli interference, some of it from the IOF.  In 2006 elections for the PA legislative assembly led to a very strong success for Hamas.  This was firmly rejected by Israel, the U.S., Canada, and many other countries.  It eventually resulted in Hamas – originally a religious-social network established in part by Israel – controlling the Gaza strip while the PA controlled the West Bank. 

While Gaza is the current focus, the slow ethnic cleansing of other Palestinian areas has continued throughout, culminating in attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian towns under the watchful eye of the IOF.

From this point forward the narrative becomes one of continued IOF aggression and attacks against Gaza.  Since 2008 Israel has attacked Gaza four times, “mowing the lawn” as they called it, killing mostly civilians, women and children.   Gaza rather quickly became fully isolated with much of its civic structure destroyed, and at the time of the current conflict being the most densely populated prison camp in the world.  There is nothing in these actions that are “self- defense”, these are actions of an occupying power and its desire for ethnic cleansing.  While other countries call for a “proportionate” response, Israel has always declared that it will hit back disproportionately, and civilians remaining in the line of fire (where else can they go, only to be bombed again) are considered to be terrorists along with those leading the insurrection.

Operating against all military standards as negotiated with the Geneva Accords and the UN Charter and other international laws, Israel’s actions in Gaza are clearly genocidal in word and in deed.  Only those willfully ignorant and incapable of critical thinking can argue that the IOF is a moral army.

Narrative gone – democracy

This narrative is very strongly supported by external sources.  Both Britain in its initial setup of the Palestinian Mandate, and the U.S. after taking over financial and military support, have voiced their idea that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, an island of civilization in a savage part of the world.  The narrative above on the moral army is enough in itself to dispel the idea of Israel being a democracy. 

A democracy does not use its army and air forces to control an indigenous population.  A democracy does not have separate rules and regulations, both in the so-called military zones and in the green line state, to control the livelihoods, movements, and all aspects of civil life.  A democracy does not have separate roads, hundreds of checkpoints, and hundreds of kilometers of a separation barrier to control an unwanted demographic.  A democracy does not consider itself to have a god given right to do whatever it likes to its indigenous residents.

Currently, the extreme right wing of Israeli politics is denying democracy itself, calling for a theocratic state governed by whatever rules its rabbinical authorities can concoct in the name of god.  Above all, the calls by current politicians in both Israel and the U.S. to eliminate Hamas and also eliminate Palestinians through ethnic cleansing or genocide, are so far beyond anything remotely humane, and arguably so far beyond anything a god would want its people to be doing.

The U.S. argues that it is the indispensable nation, the leader of the free world.  Events have proven it to be a powerful but not a dominant power – as in the sense of full spectrum dominance desired by the neocons.  Its absence from the world would be beneficial to all as its financial and corporate powers would not be backed up by the “hidden fist” of the U.S. military.  With its strange domestic electoral system, essentially a long running theater of domestic power politics, the U.S. is arguably not a democracy itself.  With its foreign affairs and history of meddling in other countries affairs it is inarguably non-democratic.  Its sycophantic support for Israel furthers this non-democratic tradition, as the interplay between the two is a mix of theocracy and power politics. 

Conclusion

With all the information available on social media, on the internet, and the strong media presence outside of the western countries, the ideas that Israel has a moral army and that it is a democracy should be well put to rest by anyone able to think critically.  The U.S., while proclaiming “indispensability”, mainly demonstrates it too has no morals when it comes to ethnic cleansing and genocide, as indeed it is part of their own history since its inception. 

To retain the notion that Israel’s army is moral and that Israeli politics are democratic is to be willfully ignorant of the reality of tens of thousands of dead and wounded, and millions displaced in a “war” that is all about the ethnic cleansing of an indigenous population for the self-righteous Israeli theocrats.

Jim Miles is a Canadian educator

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