Trout Fisting In America #46 – Israel

I always thought the name of the country was an abbreviation for ‘Is real bad idea to occupy Palestine.’ The Israeli occupation and settlement (after settlement) of Palestine is immoral, illegal, and nearly-universally condemned. The only two countries on earth who don’t think Israel’s ongoing actions are illegal are Israel (duh) and the United States.

Israel receives billions of dollars each year in US Aid (38 last year!) along w/unconditional moral (sic) support. As the only free, democratic state—or more accurately, the most democratic state—in the Middle East, they’re our best friend, our closest ally. Of course, they’re also the most feared & despised nation in that region, in part b/c of those shitloads of weapons we give them every year, and also in part b/c of their treatment of the Palestinian people (spoiler alert: it’s not good).

So some people & organizations, here in the US & all over the world, think Israel should cut the shit, and there’s three ways to try and convince a rogue nation to stop their bullshit (BTW if the entire world except for you & America think you need to stop your bullshit and you have no intention of doing so, then you are most definitely a rogue nation): Boycott, Divest, Sanction. Basically, don’t buy anything from Israel, protest your local university/corporation/whatever’s economic investments in Israel, and call on your govt. to impose sanctions on Israel until they allow Palestine, and more importantly Palestinians, to exist as a free nation w/all attendant rights, etc.

Now, I need to be clear before I get dismissed as an anti-semite. The state of Israel has a right to exist, the Israeli people are not the same as the Israeli state (just like how you & I don’t like being looked at as murderous drone bombers…well I don’t anyway). There’s enough sand for everyone. There’s even enough coastline. Israel has a right to defend itself and to protect itself. But Israel uses ‘defense’ & ‘protection’ as justifications for 50 years of human rights violations. That’s bullshit and it needs to stop.

So here’s a question: Is it possible here in the US to criticize Israel’s ongoing illegal settlement of Palestine (combining the worst parts of apartheid & gentrification all at once!) by supporting the BDS movement.

Not for long.

Republicans get a lot of shit around here, and deservedly so, but let’s point out that democrats are totally on board as well. Why? Same thing that motivates republicans—money. And probably several million votes in New York and Florida as well. Pro-Israel folks give a lot of money to the democrats, and as Bob Dylan once sang, money doesn’t talk, it charges you with a felony and throws your ass in prison for protesting injustice. If this bill passes, it’ll be easier to criticize our government than to criticize Israel’s government.

But this is less a case of ‘love your neighbor’ and more a case of ‘the customer is always right.’ For those of you who didn’t click on that second link (and you know who you are), I’ll fill you in that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) basically threatened the University of California if they don’t start punishing (that is to say, expelling) students who criticize Israel—the punchline being that Feinstein’s husband, Ronald Blum, is a defense contractor. Let me repeat that. Mr & Mrs. Blum/Feinstein think UC students should be suspended and/or expelled for criticizing Israel’s actions in Palestine, actions that every single nation on earth—aside from the US & Israel of course—have condemned as illegal, inhumane, etc.

Then just this week, an exurb of Houston TX called Dickinson (presumably named for Jim Dickinson, producer of Big Star’s third album, or maybe Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden) required applicants for hurricane relief to promise they won’t take part in a boycott of Israel. Which sounds weird—for many, many reasons—until you hear that Texas recently passed a law requiring all state contractors to certify they are not, and will not, participate in a boycott of Israel.

So why this irrational obsessive unconditional love from parts of the US that could best be described as ‘non-jew-friendly’? It turns out evangelical christians make up the biggest pro-Israel group in the US—a Pew research poll a few years back said 82% of white evangelicals think God gave Israel to the Jewish people (that’s opposed to 40% of actual Jewish-Americans, who are nothing if not pragmatic). Evangelicals believe in the bible is the literal word of God, and for the bible’s first half at least, God is a huge fan of Israel (please don’t make me quote the scripture). Then in the book’s fiery (and intensely psychotic/psychedelic) conclusion, Israel plays a huge role in the rapture. So like most things evangelical & christian, their support of Israel is actually rooted in their own self-interest & self-righteousness: selfishness disguised as generosity and really what could be more christian than that?

If I was Israel I’d be a little nervous (even more nervous than usual—Israel is an especially skittish political nation, and given their history understandably so). Your only friend on the planet doesn’t love you for you. They love you because you are useful to them. And the long twisted murderous history of the US suggests that once you are no longer useful they won’t hesitate to allow you to die. Better get your shit together now and make peace in that region while you still can.

Trout Fisting In America appears here every Tuesday (lately on Friday too!). We’re going to keep going until we reach #55, or until the Trout begs for mercy. You can check out previous installments HERE.

 

About ScottCreney

Scott Creney lives in Athens, Georgia. He is the author of "Dear Al-Qaeda: Letters to the World’s Most Notorious Terror Organiztion".
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