As I write I am watching the joint press conference, more a joint organized propaganda effort, held by newly, narrowly re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and newly re-elected United States President Barack Obama. The media would have us believe that the men are separated by an ideological divide that puts the President on the left and the Prime Minister on the right. This is something of a spurious assessment and more of a self-serving obfuscation of the realpolitik facts on the ground. I say obfuscation because I believe that both the media and the agents of political power in the US and Israel fully understand that, to paraphrase a favorite metaphor of the American foreign policy class, there is no daylight between how Obama and Netanyahu view the issue of national security and Israeli imperialism. We like to believe, we are led to believe, that the American President brings a relatively pacific point of view to the events unfolding in Palestine and the greater Middle East and North Africa in contrast to Israeli belligerence. This is a foolish belief of course given the almost unyielding American support for every Israeli policy of expansion and military action in the past 50 years.
We see the Israeli/Palestinian situation as an essentially foreign i.e. un-American problem: one inherently weak party protecting itself from the predatory hatred of the other. Israel is beset by enemies on all sides and has taken many controversial (but ever justified) actions in order to secure their position and territorial integrity. Of course that position is self imposed and the territorial integrity is relative given the reality that the state of Israel is a completely artificial state founded by colonists. It is ironic that we see this is a “foreign” problem, of course, because the United States has the exact same origin story, at least in its own collective cultural consciousness. A persecuted religious minority transplanting itself into foreign soil enriched with theological and nationalistic significance by an important religious text. The side effects are of course the same as well; entrenchment followed by territorial expansion justified by self-inflicted isolation in alien lands. The natives become savages and the savages become enemies who must be first contained and then obliterated. The Americans did this to the indigenous populations and nations of the American continent and the Israelis are in the process of doing the same to the native Palestinian Arab population and non-european immigrants.
There is no daylight between the process of systematic extermination and containment perpetrated by the Americans against the “Indians” and the Israeli apartheid that has led to the slaughter of tens of thousands of Palestinians and the mass imprisonment and abuse of the same within controlled military camps and regions. Of course the Palestinians, like the “Indians”, have fought back offensively and in reaction to imperial incursion and both committed their own share of violent acts. The difference of course lies in the power structures that governs/governed the relationship between the invading and invaded parties. Both the Indians and the Palestinians started out in the majority in their realm but through attrition and patience on the part of the invading parties became exploited and abused minorities. This of course sets up the situation wherein the “natives” fight back and are then labeled violent aggressors thereby justifying ever more violent and draconian action against them and their interests. This macabre feedback loop is inherent to the imperialist mission and explains why those who are invaded and exploited are often the ones blamed for the violence inherent to imperial warfare and colonization.
History is of course written by the winners but this is only half of the truth. The “facts on the ground” are also authored by those in command and it is difficult if not impossible to get any information that would lead to a less biased assessment of any given imperialist/colonial situation. As it is with the exaggerated zeal of the converted the nationalistic fervor of the invader is magnified by the self-imposed nature of the situation at hand. This land was chosen by the invader and in time the invader comes to believe that indeed it was the land that chose him. This delusion is reinforced by the cultural zeitgeist fed by media, origin myths, and shared artistic interpretations of events.
This is the psychology of the conqueror and the creed of the victorious nation; a vital state of affairs for the perpetuation of the Pax Mercatus form of universal economic imperialism. Chaos on a nationalistic level preserves the capitalistic order of society by disrupting the ability of the proletariat to pull together and communicate. The more there is conflict between peoples over land and race and tradition the less effort will be spent investigating the real nature of capitalistic exploitation and creating a revolutionary democratic order. Read Conrad, Kipling, Achebe, Tolstoy; these great writers understood that capitalist preservation and expansion are at the center of the Imperialist mission. Exploitation and conflict go hand in hand. The less political power a people have the more they are in thrall to the market forces manipulated by those who control government and business systems. The Indians in America became pawns of the dictates of the American government in favor of Imperialist market expansion.
This same process is unfolding in Palestine. The West Bank and Gaza are now nothing more than prison camps for a population that is unwanted and indeed threatens the lie that Israel is the only bastion of participatory democracy in the Middle East. They are an inconvenient roadblock on the road to a true liberal democracy based upon market capitalism. The Middle East and North Africa are one of the last frontiers for the full expansion and implementation of the Pax Mercatus. The United States, or at least the capitalistic and governmental forces that control the policy of the nation, have a real interest in keeping the Palestinians, poor and a potential activist worker class, an unrepresented and unheard class of violent savages. There will never be peace in the Middle East within a capitalist paradigm. It is futile to even try; capitalism sees no profit in a free and empowered Palestinian population so there is no impetus for the capitalist governments of the West, especially the United States, to do anything in favor of Palestinian human rights. The conquest will continue until the basis of the Pax Mercatus, free market capitalism and the liberal representative democracy that preserves and expands the system. There is no profit in peace so we must forge ahead and create a system where profit is not to be considered in the context of human dignity.