The condemnations, the imprecations, the expressions of shock are rolling in, as the nations of the world raise their voices in protest over the Mediterranean massacre carried out by Israeli commandos, but rather than get into specifics, I want to note a general pattern that this incident seems to confirm.
It is often said, by Israel’s defenders, that the Jewish state is part and parcel of the West: that Israel, the only democracy in the region, must be defended because they are, after all, reliable allies who share our values, the heritage of Athens and Jerusalem. That has been the conventional wisdom – and it’s wrong. The Mediterranean Massacre underscores the wrongness of this assumption.
Israel is not a Western country, and hasn’t been for some time: helped along by this latest incident, the realization of this fact by Western governments and peoples will represent a turning point in the Jewish state’s relations with the civilized world, especially including Jews in the Diaspora. I have argued this for years: that the successful aliya program pushed by the Israeli government has displaced the old European-derived Israeli elites with a new, more Asiatic influence, one that is now – with the rise of the Israel far right – the dominant factor in Israeli politics.
Birthed by leftist Zionists who sought to build an egalitarian community in the midst of a desert, the modern state of Israel has taken on the characteristics of its neighbors – gone native, so to speak, both culturally and politically. The large scale infusion of North African and Asiatic populations has changed Israeli society irrevocably, so that, today, the rise of a thuggish fascist demagogue like Avigdor Lieberman, the former bouncer turned Foreign Minister, is all too believable. Lieberman isn’t a political anomaly: he and his party represent what is the dominant trend in Israeli politics.
In understanding how the Israelis justify killing sixteen civilians in international waters – and kidnapping hundreds – we have to look at it from the viewpoint of a savage. Now I don’t mean by that term someone necessarily wearing animal skins, and wielding a club: savages can wear Armani suits, and wield nuclear weapons, as the history of the twentieth century attests. In the West, however, the culture and especially religious belief prevents the celebration of savagery as civic virtue: when we commit atrocities, we justify it as a proportionate use of force in retaliation for previous acts of aggression by the victims of our wrath. Hiroshima and Nagasaki – and the arguments used to buttress the case for killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians – come to mind. The death of innocents is explained away as “collateral damage.”
The savage mind, however, works differently. Shorn of what we would recognize as a moral sense, the savage glories in his capacity for pitiless violence. It’s a survival mechanism: in his world, red in tooth and claw, instilling fear in your opponent means winning more than half the battle. As a survival strategy, it’s like the one inmate who mutters ominously to himself while exhibiting all the characteristics of a violent psychotic: the other prisoners give him plenty of space because they think he’s liable to do anything. So, too, in the case of the Israelis, who are signaling their willingness to go to any lengths in order to instill the fear of their wrath far and wide.
Yes, they’re telling us, not even you in the West – our “friends” and allies – are exempt. We’ll kill your people, and kidnap them with impunity. We’ll steal your secrets, and the identities of your citizens: we’ll spy on you, and collaborate with your enemies (and ours). Nothing is beneath us. The voice of the Israeli Attila rings loud and clear, and it is telling us what was clearly said by Ron Torossian, organizer of the June 1 “we stand with Israel” demonstration outside the Turkish UN mission:
“I think we should kill a hundred Arabs or a thousand Arabs for every one Jew they kill.”
This precisely describes the guiding principle of the Israelis’ strategic vision: respond to a few stray rockets with a full-scale invasion and prolonged occupation and blockade. Respond to the imaginary “threat” of a ship full of unarmed “activists” and journalists by launching a military assault, murdering sixteen and wounding a good number of the survivors. Torossian, who has taken on the job of defending this act of savagery, is at least honest in accurately transmitting the Israeli view and its implications. After all, why stop at killing a mere thousand Arabs: why not a hundred thousand, or a million?
This is the voice of the savage being raised in the midst of our advanced industrial civilization: it’s as if a giant atavism suddenly reared its shaggy head above the New York City skyline, shaking its fist and roaring as skyscrapers tremble. It is Nietzsche’s blond beast speaking in Hebrew. The IDF is beyond good and evil, the settlers Overmen with Brooklyn accents.
To add a note of hilarity to this foreboding scene, we have the Israelis and their amen corner claiming the crew and passengers “ambushed” the poor defenseless IDF, complaining that they beat their assaulters with whatever makeshift weapon they could lay hands on. The “proof” that this was a boatload of “militants” – terrorists, in fact, in league with al Qaeda and Hamas – is that they defended themselves. It’s funny how, even in justifying a brazen assertion of dominance, the defenders of the Jewish state revert to the role of the victim. Old habits are hard to break, but one has to wonder: what kind of mental processes allow a person to make such arguments?
We are dealing, here, with a sociopathic tendency that only takes on the superficial appearance of a political ideology. The classic profile of the sociopath is one so fixated on the fulfillment of his own desires that every means are used to achieve his ends. Out of such raw materials serial killers are made, and also dictators like Stalin and Hitler. Add the animating factor of religion to the mix, and a monster arises out of the bubbling brew, a bestial creature bereft of morality, and without any check on its inherently destructive nature.
In Israel’s case the creature can more accurately be termed a monster in the Frankenstein mold, that is, a monster created by the mad scientists who have been in charge of US foreign policy since the Reagan years. We nurtured the young Frankenstein when he was but a babe in the cradle, recognizing the Jewish state at a crucial moment in its development, and since that time subsidizing it, arming it, and protecting it from its own worst impulses – until, today, we have a perfectly monstrous juvenile delinquent turned sociopath on our hands, who’s mugging the neighbors, stealing from our wallet, and thumbing his arrogant nose at all and sundry for good measure.
A few columns back, I asked: Have the Israelis gone crazy? The Mediterranean Massacre answers that question with a resounding yes.
So what do you do when one of your neighbors, or friends, goes off the deep end, and starts making life difficult for everyone around him? Well, you can call the cops, but in this case that’s not possible: the US-brokered resolution passed by the UN Security Council managed to condemn the violence while not mentioning its authors. The Obama administration, for its part, “stands with Israel,” as Jack Tapper reports for ABC News:
“I’m told there won’t be any daylight between the US and Israel in the aftermath of the incident on the flotilla yesterday, which resulted in the deaths of 10 activists… ‘The president has always said that it will be much easier for Israel to make peace if it feels secure,’ a senior administration official tells ABC News.”
If the only way we can make the Israelis feel “secure” is by allowing them to engage in international piracy on the high seas, then perhaps this is the sort of high-maintenance relationship we can no longer afford. When Israelis are allowed to kill and kidnap Americans, without having to endure even a mild rebuke, one has to wonder what, exactly, is going on in Washington, D.C. Yes, the Israel lobby is one of the most powerful, but surely there’s someone in those circles willing to stand up for America and American interests – isn’t there?
Although information is still sketchy, there may be as many as nine Americans traveling with the flotilla, including Joe Meadors, a veteran of the 1967 bombing of the USS Liberty: no word yet as to whether he survived the Mediterranean Massacre. Other possible American victims of Israeli state terrorism include Ann Wright, former US Army colonel and Deputy Chief of Mission to Afghanistan. Underscoring the dire physical threat posed by the flotilla to Israel’s national security, we have the 81-year-old Ambassador Edward L. Peck, former State Department Chief of Mission in Iraq and Mauritania, Deputy Director of the Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism at the Reagan White House, and State Department Liaison Officer to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. These are the dangerous “militants” who “ambushed” the delicate flowers of the IDF.
If the Israelis killed or injured a single American – and we still don’t know – the “we stand with Israel” position of the Obama administration approaches treason. That’s a word the War Party uses with promiscuous abandon, but in this instance I’m using it because it precisely describes the policy of sacrificing one’s own citizens on the altar of fealty to a foreign capital. If “a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils,” as our first President put it, then Obama’s craven act of appeasement in this instance epitomizes all that Washington feared and warned against.
As I have long warned, the political evolution of Israeli society is taking a disturbing turn, and the one question that we ought to ask ourselves is why hasn’t the Israeli government had to suffer any blowback on the home front? Why isn’t the Israeli public up in arms over this brazen violation of international law and common sense? Why do the fascist thugs in possession of the Israeli state still enjoy the support of the Israeli people?
The answer is that Israeli society has long ago been poisoned by the bacillus of fascism, and – sheltered under the umbrella of US military and financial support – the bacterium has flourished in the perfect Petri dish of generous American aid. Now the creature has broken out of the laboratory, and is roaming the world in search of victims – and finding them in a couple of boat loads of lefty journalists and international do-gooder types. What we ought to be asking ourselves, somewhat nervously, is: who’s next?