by Chris Floyd
Israel admits it used phosphorus weapons (Guardian)
Israel Adds Far-Right Party to Coalition (NY Times)
The good news just keeps rolling in from Israel, where the "light unto the nations" plows on in its relentless self-exile into outer darkness. That epithet of "light" once had the tang of truth, in the great line of thinkers, artists, activists, theologians, healers, humorists, and diviners of the natural world, largely in the Diaspora, from Maimonides to Mendelssohn, from Judah Ha-Levi to Boris Pasternak and Bob Dylan, from the Baal Shem Tov to Martin Buber, from Spinoza to Einstein, and on and on in every field of worthy endeavor. But the political inheritors of this matchless legacy seem hellbent on squandering what once seemed an inexhaustible storehouse of the human spirit.
Every week seems to bring some new brutality, some new degradation, some further coarsening â€“ and some new parallel with the Bush Regime and the brutal, coarse and degraded currents in American society that it so amply embodies and represents.
As a side note â€“ or maybe even a main note â€“ I'm not one of those who subscribe to the "Israel made us do it" meme that seems to loom large in the dissident blogosphere. I just can't buy the idea that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the gang are somehow being jerked around by wily Zionists â€“ as if they wouldn't be following their "unitary executive"-global domination-war profiteering agenda even if Israel didn't exist. I think this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the American ruling class â€“ and yes, Virginia, there is an American ruling class and a pretty vicious, voracious, self-serving lot they are, too. The idea that these factions of gargantuan wealth and privilege â€“ much of it, as with the Bushes, going back for generations â€“ could be induced to act against their own narrowly defined but passionately held interests by the arguments of third-rate hacks like Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, or Douglas Feith seems fairly risible.
Yes, they are happy to make use of the neo-cons, the Likudniks, AIPAC, etc. etc., especially as the hard-right in Israel dovetails neatly with the American elite's own harsh, bellicose vision of the world. And yes, the Israel lobby has a broad and pernicious influence on the workings of American politics â€“ just as, say, the Turkish lobby does (ask Denny Hastert about those suitcases stuffed with Turkish cash; Foleygate is nothing compared to the yet-untold story of Treasongate), or the Saudi lobby, which has spread infinitely more baksheesh through the American system than the Israeli lobby could ever hope to match . But when the American elite go to war, they go to war for themselves, for their own benefit, not for anyone else. Despite various contretemps over the years (that little spot of bother about the USS Liberty, for example), Israel has ultimately served the American elite's purposes. If it didn't, then the untold billions of dollars in American cash and arms that have propped up Israel for decades would disappear overnight, and the country would be left to its fate.
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