OPINION: ISRAEL’S NEW GOVERNMENT IS CRAZY, AND NO ONE CARES
10TH MARCH 2023
The fact no one cares that Israelis just elected a government that will murder thousands of Palestinian civilians is not surprising. When the inevitable happens, most Americans will talk about how “complicated” this conflict is while the government continues to supply Israel with the weapons and funding needed to continue the slaughter.
[Note: This article was first published in December 2022]
The election of an extreme right-wing government in Israel barely elicited a yawn in the US. The Washington Post complained that a government comprised of far-right personalities “raises dilemmas” for President Biden, but that was the worst of its unbelievably mild criticism. To its credit, it was one of the few publications to even address these new developments.
Israel is a nuclear-armed state that will now feature a government run by people who have openly advocated for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and have been convicted of having ties to terrorist organizations. And the best the Washington Post could do was worry about the impact on President Biden. Sadly, this muted reaction was not surprising in the least because America is severely skewed towards the right end of the spectrum itself.
For example, the foreign policies of its supposedly left-wing administration are extremely right-wing. President Biden denies Israel is an Apartheid state and has maintained America’s robust military presence and arms sales throughout the Muslim world to prop up the region’s many despots. His administration passed an $801 billion military budget. That is because substantially cutting military spending in America is a political and economic impossibility. Does that sound left-wing and liberal to you?
To be fair, defining what constitutes a right-wing foreign policy is difficult. The term is more appropriately used in reference to domestic politics to describe those who believe social stratification and hierarchy are natural, or at the extreme, desirable.
Aside from its fringe isolationist tendencies, the right is generally associated with a hawkish foreign policy that favors large defense budgets and using military force to achieve foreign policy objectives. Those who subscribe to the right believe powerful nations have the right to do as they please to weaker ones and that the needs and prerogatives of their nation trump those of other nations.
In other words, they extend their belief in hierarchy to the international system while placing their nation at the top. The neo-conservatives who invaded Iraq and Afghanistan are a good example.
What the average American considers centrists is, in fact, a right-wing position. Even its liberals are right-wing when it comes to foreign policy. They just evoke empty platitudes like Wilsonian Principles to justify their violence, but the end result is the same. Americans implicitly believe their nation should have a dominant role in world affairs even if maintaining that role involves committing horrible violence.
These beliefs stem from their inherently hierarchical view of the world. These right-wing values have led it to invade or attack nations all over the world in pursuit of its hegemonic ambitions. Its forgotten invasion of the Philippines at the turn of the 20th century is just one of many examples and even though an estimated 200,000 Filipino civilians died, that is not even its most genocidal display of imperial violence.
America unleashed hell on Vietnam and Iraq under the flimsiest of circumstances. Millions died. None of the leaders responsible for these mass murders have ever been held legally accountable even though many now realize there were no valid reasons for either invasion.
Despite these facts, arguing that George Bush is a war criminal for fabricating evidence to start a war that led to the death of anywhere from 1.5-2.4 million Iraqis would still offend many Americans. The prospect of holding him accountable at the International Criminal Court for the mayhem he unleashed would be even more controversial because of their implicitly right-wing views. Whether they want to admit it or not is their business.
Ideas of American exceptionalism and impunity are so ingrained into the fiber of the average American that meaningfully questioning the destructive role it has played in the world is nearly impossible. Doing so is far more likely to elicit charges of being unpatriotic or anti-American than introspection. Never mind that our beloved nation has been habitually invading and attacking countries all over the world for well over a century now.
Simply pointing out that being progressive and supporting Israeli Apartheid are mutually exclusive leads to howls and screams by those “Progressives” who refuse to see the blatant contradiction. Websites like foreignpolicy.com pass for centrist, reasoned opinion while they constantly push for war against Iran or beefed-up military spending to counter China.
But much like the Washington Post, it mostly glossed over the high probability that Israel’s new government will murder thousands of Palestinians. Instead, it was also more concerned with the ramifications for President Biden as it reminded its readers of the “values” that America and Israel share. For publications like FP, questioning America’s violent policies or even highlighting how its numerous forward military bases and powerful fleet of carriers might be driving China’s military spending is a non-starter because that would involve questioning their right-wing, hierarchical belief in America’s right to do as it pleases and dominate other nations.
So, the fact no one cares that Israelis just elected a government that will murder thousands of Palestinian civilians is not surprising. When the inevitable happens, most Americans will talk about how “complicated” this conflict is while our government continues to supply Israel with the weapons and funding needed to continue the slaughter. That is the path being set and no one in America will do anything about it. Many will condone and support it; they’ll even blame the victims while they raise money for Ukraine.
America’s unwavering support for Israel is based on their shared right-wing, hierarchical view of the world and their civilizational commonalities, as best explained by Samuel Huntington. Combined, these factors diminish the value of those lives they deem inferior and allow both Americans and Israelis to rationalize their abhorrent behavior towards the Muslim world. Simply put, Americans view Israelis as being higher on the hierarchy than Palestinians. As a result, they do not care that Israel’s new government is crazy and will very likely end up being genocidal.
America’s right-wing-induced quest to remain the world’s sole hegemonic power has fueled conflicts throughout the globe. Palestine is just one part of the Muslim world that has been subject to violence and conquest.
To read the rest of this article, find it on the author’s personal blog here.