Trump’s “Stay Strong Israel” Tweet
Genocidal Implications for the Palestinians... a Model for America Über Alles
January 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
On December 23, the Obama administration refused to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli “settlements” in Palestine. (For background, see “Obama Abstains on a UN Resolution Condemning Israel... Trump Lashes Back: Not a ‘Sign of Hope,’ a Preview of Incoming Horrors.”)
In response, Donald Trump tweeted: “Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!”
Trump’s tweet portends a paradigm shift away from any pretense of the U.S. restraining Israel’s ongoing and escalating ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The implications for the Palestinian people are literally genocidal.
Settlements... Ethnic Cleansing... and Genocide
Israel is built, literally, on the land and bones of Palestinian people. Thousands of Palestinians were slaughtered and millions driven from their homes in the war to establish the state of Israel in 1948. Then in 1967 Israel seized more land through war, and began building “settlements” on these lands. These settlements have amounted to ongoing and escalating ethnic cleansing of Palestine by 800,000 heavily armed Israelis, backed by the violence of the Israeli government. (See Revolution special issue, “Bastion of Enlightenment… or Enforcer for Imperialism: The Case of ISRAEL.”
The Obama administration has raised formal diplomatic objections to the advance of these settlements, and actually does see the rapid expansion of settlements as something that hurts the interests of the U.S. and Israel. All the while, the Obama administration has pumped billions of dollars of aid into Israel in various forms, provided Israel with cutting edge military technology, enabled Israel’s nuclear arsenal, and (for the most part) shielded Israel from UN condemnation. And Obama has repeatedly insisted that Israel is an outpost of democracy, enlightenment, and tolerance while it massacres Palestinians in Gaza and encircles them with walls and settlements in the West Bank region (the area west of the Jordan River, actually the eastern part of Palestine).
To take one very basic example of what this means: Israeli settlements systematically steal all the available water supplies in the region where they are set up, providing settlers with West European lifestyles, swimming pools, lawns and gardens in militarized suburban-style enclaves. Other land seized from Palestinians is used for large-scale corporate farms with vast water demands. The result: Palestinian small farmers who manage to retain their land cannot water their crops, feed their children, or maintain minimal sanitation. And this is a widespread and systematic phenomenon. (See “Troubled Waters—Palestinians Denied Fair Access To Water,” Amnesty International. Also see the video "Farming Without Water. Palestinian Agriculture in the Jordan Valley")
What Trump Is Threatening Would be Far, Far Worse
There are very direct parallels between what Israel is doing now to how the Nazis systematically drove the Jews of Germany, Poland and, other countries into smaller and smaller desperate ghettos, before implementing the “final solution.”
What Trump is threatening would be far, far worse than what Israel is doing now with U.S. backing—unimaginable as that is.
Trump’s “stay strong” tweet followed his appointment of David Friedman to be ambassador to Israel. Friedman is not only an exponent of unfettered expansion of Israeli settlements, he personally funds some of them. An Israeli newspaper described him as “more hardline in his views than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” the current leader of Israel and notorious for invading the Gaza Strip and slaughtering thousands of Palestinian civilians. An Israeli commentator said Friedman “might find a place” in one of Israel’s extremist parties, “but only on its right-wing fringes.”
And Trump has repeatedly insisted that the United States will trample on promises made to the Palestinians by the U.S. and the UN for decades, by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Jerusalem is the historic capital of Palestine. It is a city considered sacred by Islam, Christianity, as well as Judaism. Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (which so far no country on Earth does) would spit in the face of the aspirations of the Palestinian people and provoke outrage among people all over the world.
The status quo is utterly intolerable. The Palestinian people in the West Bank are encircled by a towering wall, their land is broken up by militarized settlements, and they live in constant fear of Israeli violence. In Gaza, two million Palestinians live in what amounts to a massive outdoor prison, subject to periodic Israeli massacres.
But removing all diplomatic constraints on Israeli settlements would be a green light to further isolate Palestinians in shrinking enclaves, separated from each other, subject to more overt and direct Israeli military rule, deprived of any pretense of democratic rights, and increasingly in conditions that make human survival untenable. It would mark a leap into a qualitatively worse situation.
The Madness and the Logic Behind It
In the eyes of Trump, Pence, and ruling class forces around them, the status quo in Israel is untenable. That is not—for them—because of what it means to the Palestinian people. Nor is it because Israel is a nation built on ethnic cleansing. And for them, it is definitely not because of the IM-morality of invoking the Holocaust—a great crime committed against Jewish people—to justify Jewish people carrying out great crimes against the Palestinians.
But the Trumpites do see a need to violently reshuffle the deck in the U.S.-Israel relationship. The coherence and stability of Israel depends on a sense of security for Jewish Israelis (overwhelmingly of U.S. and European descent), and crushing the lives and spirits of the Palestinian people. If that coherence starts to unravel, cracks and even deep fissures could widen in what today is a seemingly invincible juggernaut (Israel). Sections of the Jewish Zionist settler population could begin to lose confidence in the viability of Israel, and even the acceptability of Zionism, to one degree to another.
And in the eyes of the hard-core Zionist rulers of Israel, and their Trumpite promoters, things like a unanimous vote of the UN Security Council (with the U.S. abstaining) condemning settlements, undermine the legitimacy and credibility of Israel in dangerous and unacceptable ways.
The Trumpites see negotiation, a pretense of a “two-state solution,” and maintaining a pose of supporting human rights of the Palestinians as undermining the stability of Israel. The “two-state solution” itself is an imperialist scheme that seeks to legitimize the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist settlers with the backing of Western imperialism, and confine the Palestinian people to small, isolated areas within their homeland, subject to Israeli military encirclement and terror. This “two-state solution” has been the official position of the UN and the U.S. government more or less since the establishment of Israel. It is not a just solution to the violent dispossession of the Palestinian people. But even this pretense of providing for the rights and humanity of the Palestinian people has been increasingly pushed off the table by the rulers of Israel and the U.S.
Israel as a Model Ally for America Über Alles
Trump’s disdain for any pretense of reining in Israel is, in and of itself, reason for everyone to throw their all into making sure he does not actually attain the power to rule the U.S. Beyond that, it is a concentration of the Trumpite vision of Making America Great Again. Or, to quote that vision in the original German: “America Über Alles.”
“Great” in their eyes includes the vaporization of almost 200,000 people with atomic bombs in Japan. It includes massacring millions of Indochinese in a war of empire in the ‘60s and ‘70s. It includes the invasion of Iraq (before it turned into a fiasco for the U.S.). And “great again” means more of that, and worse. (For a picture of what “Make America Great Again” means for the world, read the American Crime series.)
Trump is not just an epitome of the Ugly American—pissing on world public opinion, gratuitously insulting foreign governments, trampling diplomatic convention, and throwing around cavalier threats to use nuclear weapons. He is all that. But there is a method to his madness.
Throughout his campaign, Trump threatened U.S. allies that they would only get U.S. protection (in the Mafia sense) if they “fulfill their obligations to us.” Quotes like this were overwhelmingly misinterpreted or spun in ways that obscured reality by mainstream media as “isolationist,” or narrowly defining U.S. interests in economic terms. The particular quote about allies “fulfilling their obligations” was in relation to Europe, South Korea, and Japan, but, along with other statements and the overall demeanor he projected in relation to the rest of the world, represented Trump’s determination to recast the world into one where U.S. domination is unchallenged and where U.S. allies are whipped into line, and know their place in the global pecking order.
Trump and his cabal see the need to violently re-assert U.S. global dominance in the most extreme ways. In that light, Trump and his inner circle of fanatic militarists and Christian fascists see a value in overtly taking the leash completely off Israel, and throwing red meat to the rabid Zionists running that state. That is part of the message they are sending to the world. Israel is a model of the Trump vision of a U.S. ally.
Trump’s fascist reconfiguring of U.S. foreign policy would create all kinds of chaos in the Middle East. It would put the reactionary rulers of U.S. allies like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey in extremely untenable positions. The credibility of those regimes rests, in part, on presenting themselves as defenders of the Palestinian people (and defenders of Islam). What Trump proposes to do would create new dangers and opportunities for global rivals like Russia and China, and regional powers like Iran, with a wide range of terrible and unpredictable results up to and including nuclear war. And what Trump is setting out to do would undoubtedly ratchet up the level of the hellish clash between Western imperialism and fundamentalist Islamic Jihad.
Trump’s “solution” to everything his policies would provoke is what he repeatedly promised in his campaign: torture (“a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding”), censorship, legal persecution and mob violence against dissent, and war—including a vastly increased likelihood of using nuclear weapons. (See: “What Would It Mean to Have a ‘Madman’ in the White House With His Finger on the Nuclear Trigger?”). His promise that come January 21, all constraints on Israel will be removed is a piece of that picture.
For what a Trump regime would mean to the Palestinian people, to the Middle East, and for what it would mean to humanity, it must be stopped before it starts.
May 2014, a 54-year-old man sits in front of his demolished home in the Palestinian Bedouin community Jabal al-Baba, with the Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim in the background. Photo: AP (Click photo above to enlarge)
This 2005 map of the West Bank of Palestine shows part of the reality of the on-going ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people. The land allotted to Palestinians has been chopped down to the atomized, disconnected portions shown by the two darkest shades of brown on the map. The West Bank, along with the Gaza Strip, is less than 30% of the land of historic Palestine (before the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948) and in 1991 it was promised to Palestinians as part of the "two state solution." Map: PalMap.org (Click map above to enlarge)
Above: An area of Gaza City destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in August 2014. Israel committed war crimes, pounding Gaza in a massively disproportionate assault: over 6000 airstrikes, plus tank shelling in which 2,251 Palestinians were killed, including 1,462 Palestinian civilians, of whom 299 were women and 551 children. That was with U.S. support from the Obama administration. Imagine what it would mean for a Trump regime to "unleash" Israel in a qualitatively more aggressive way. Photo: AP
For background on the nature and role of Israel see the special Revolution/revcom.us issue: The Case of Israel: Bastion of Enlightenment or Enforcer for Imperialism?
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