Books / Digital Text
11. "Little" Israel
Why the wave of adulation and admiration that greeted the blitzkrieg war of conquest by Israel against the Arab countries? That greeted the conquest, that is, in the United States; most of the rest of the world was stunned and appalled. Has a sickness eaten its way deep into the American soul? Do we all simply love a winner — even if he wins by means of fire-power, surprise attack, and mobile blitzkrieg tactics? Even if he wins, as Israel did, by napalming innocent women and children in Arab villages? Have we lost all sense of moral principle, all sense of justice?
Two major reasons have been advanced for the acclaim heaped by American public opinion on the state of Israel. One is that it is a “bastion of anti-Communism in the Middle East.” This is an odd argument, since, in the first place, none of the Arab countries is Communist or anything like it; all are governed by deeply religious Moslems. Sure, the Arabs accepted military aid from Soviet Russia, but only after they found that they could not get such aid from the U.S., which was arming Israel instead. And, furthermore, the Arab countries are certainly no more socialist than Israel: Israel has been governed, since its inception, by an avowedly socialist party (the Mapai); it has a very large proportion of its economy in government hands; and it has a fantastically strong labor union movement (the Histadrut) which, as a virtual State within a State, controls and owns a large chunk of the economy of Israel in its own right. And, what is more, there exist in Israel the famous kibbutzim, which are communes, in which communism (in its true sense of virtual absence of private property) is practiced on a scale far more intense than in any Communist country in the world (with the exception of China). And while membership in the kibbutzim is generally voluntary, there are also many Israeli refugees literally enslaved to the kibbutzim, and who cannot leave them until they “pay back” the Israel government the passage money from Europe to Israel. Furthermore, since their pay in the kibbutzim is very low, it is almost impossible for them to work out their term, and so they remain, often with great reluctance, in forced labor on the Israel communes.
The other common argument is that Israel is “little,” compared to its Arab neighbors, and therefore deserves admiration as an underdog surrounded by giants, as Davids surrounded by Goliaths. The “littleness” here is a complete misreading of world affairs; it would be just as absurd to hail Britain when she conquered India quite easily. Are we to consider the British Empire as the “underdog,” since India’s population outnumbered England by a huge multiple? Certainly not: clearly the technological level and relative standards of living were so disparate, that the “smaller” nation could easily conquer and dominate the larger. The same is true for “little” Israel. The rulers of Israel are not Middle Eastern, like their Arab neighbors; they are largely European, and furthermore, they are financed very heavily by wealthy European and American Zionists. These, then, were Europeans who came, on the backs of and in collusion with, the British Empire (from the end of World War I to the end of World War II), with European technology, wealth and know-how, to seize the lands and homes of Arabs, and themselves to colonize Palestine. To think of these Zionists and Israelis as “underdogs,” in the light of the true situation, is nothing less than grotesque — as can be seen by the swift wars of conquest fought by Israel in 1948, 1956, and now today.