5 March, 2024

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Between Pax Americana & Eretz Israel Palestine Withers

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

Mehran Kamrava, Professor of Government at Georgetown University, Qatar, made this sober assessment of Palestine in his 2016 publication, The Impossibility of Palestine, (Yale University Press): “Since its start, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has seen a steady withering and erosion of Palestine and all things Palestinians. There has been no swinging of the momentum from one side to the other, no back-and-forth switch in the fortunes of the two sides, with the only ebb and flow present in the degree and intensity of Palestine’s dismantling. This conflict … has been decidedly unidirectional, going from victory to victory for the Israelis and from defeat to defeat for the Palestinians” (p. 201). At the end of his scholarly analysis, Kamrava comes to the gloomy prediction that the fate of Palestinians would be no different from that of native Americans and aborigines of Australia and New Zealand (p.219). 

Seventeen months after Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben Gurion proclaimed the state of Israel on 14 May 1948, one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s friends George Biddle, had argued in an article that appeared in Atlantic that “Western interests in the Middle East would be assured if the Jewish state was in its orbit” (Antony Loewenstein, The Palestine Laboratory, Scribe Publications, 2023 reprint, p. 24). Biddle is yet to be proved wrong in his assessment. Also, about the Arabs, Biddle thought they were “about as dangerous as so many North American Indians”, but “foul, diseased, smelling, rotting, and pullulating with vermin”. This dehumanization is no different from Israeli leaders describing Palestinians as “human animals”, “savages” and “bottled cockroaches”. Just as the white Americans killed the native Americans en masse, so does Israel kill Palestinians with US funds and weapons. In essence, US and Israeli policies towards each other and their respective policies towards Amerindians and Palestinians are symbiotically connected.  Israel has become “the trusted sideman of Washington in its goal of maintaining Pax Americana” (Loewenstein, p. 32). That sums up the rationale for the US-Israeli coordinated approach to the latest war against Palestinians.  So long as US is there to defend Israel against all international criticism why should Israel worry about rules of war and international laws? 

Between Pax Americana and Eretz Israel Palestine withers to extinction. The nature of this withering is brilliantly captured by the concept of “politicide”, coined by the late Baruch Kimmerling, Professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (See Baruch Kimmerling, Politicide; The Real Legacy of Ariel Sharon, (London: verso, 2003). He defined politicide as “the dissolution of the Palestinian peoples existence as a legitimate social, political, and economic entity. This process may also but not necessarily include their partial or complete ethnic cleansing from the territory knowns as the Land of Israel” or Eretz Israel (p.3). It is this politicide that rationalizes Kamrava’s assessment that “Not only is Palestine territorially noncontiguous and no longer viable as a political entity, but the very fibers and ingredients that would constitute it as a national and political whole have mutated in such a way as to make state- and nation-building impossible. The ravages of history, geography, and circumstances have combined to mitigate the possibility of Palestine reemerging as a meaningful national and political entity” (Kamrava, op.cit., p.1). The war that broke out after October 7 will continue the process of politicide with ethnic cleansing.  Even without the war Israel’s apartheid rule in the Occupied Territories since 1967 was meant to destroy every ingredient necessary for Palestinians to develop a national identity. They were often seen as “dispersed refugee groups”, and the choice offered to them was either to evacuate their land and emigrate or remain as virtual slaves without developing any national identity.  That ethnic cleansing of the Occupied Territories had been a state policy since 1967 is demonstrated by the deal that Israel was planning to enter into with Paraguay to exchange 60,000 non-communist Palestinians from Gaza or ten prevent of its population with all expenses paid and citizenship guaranteed after five years for Nazi criminals living in Paraguay after the second World War.  Although the plan fell through and only thirty Palestinians found to have actually migrated, it shows the extent to which Israeli governments were prepared to go to get rid of Palestinians (Loewenstein, p.36). The open hatred of Palestinians was shamelessly and openly expressed in the Knesset by Jewish representatives. In October 2021 for instance, when Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the Religious Zionist Party and member of Netanyahu’s far-right coalition looked at the Arab members, and told them, “You’re are only here by mistake, because … Ben-Gurion didn’t finish the job, didn’t throw you out in ‘48” (Loewenstein, p.70), implying that ethnic cleansing had started in 1948 itself and Nakba was its result. Inn this cleansing what has not received publicity so far is another fact that it is not only Muslims but even Christians are targeted in this cleansing. Then Christians population which was around 11 percent in 1900 has gone down to just two percent at present. Eretz Israel will not have a place for Christians also.        

Pax Americana received a new impetus for world domination or to act as global policeman with the end of the Cold War in 1980s. Francis Fukuyama celebrated the victory of American led liberalism with in his book The End of History and The Last Man published in 1989. However, the end of the Cold War also witnessed two other remarkable events in Muslim Middle East. One was the formation of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) within the larger OPEC, and the other was the 1979 Islamized revolution in Iran, which dethroned the Shah and closed down the American Embassy described by Khomeini as the den of the “Great Satan”.  The newly found financial clout of OAPEC and the religious inspiration emanating from the Iranian revolution rekindled memories of Islam’s glorious past when the Islamic Caliphate in Bagdad emerged as an unchallenged world power.  

According to one story cited by historian T. Mackintosh-Smith in his masterly work on Arabs (Arabs: A 3000-Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires, Yale University Press, 2019) when Ibn Wahb an adventurous citizen of Basra landed in China, he was met by the Tang emperor and was asked “How are all the kings ranked according to you Arabs?”. When Wahb pleaded ignorance, the emperor himself had volunteered to answer the question through an interpreter and said, “Tell him we count five kings as great. The one with the most extensive realm is he who rules Iraq, for he is at the centre of the world, and the other kings are ranged around him; we know him by the name “King of Kings.” Next comes this king of ours … Then came the kings of the Turks, of India and of Byzantine” (pp. 262-263). Politically, economically, culturally as well as intellectually the Muslim world was at the cutting edge. Abbasid dinar was the US dollar at the time.  Such reminiscences of past glory rejuvenated by the two events mentioned earlier stirred up and reawakened the world of Islam with its ultimate goal of creating an Islamic World Order. That desire originating in the heart of Islam threatened to spread to Shahab Ahmad’s Balkan to Bengal Complex (BBC) (see his pathbreaking publication, What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic, 2015) to derail the expansion of Pax Americana. Given that context who else was there in that region other than Israel to promote the hegemony of USA? US wanted Israel as much as Israel wanted US. Biddle was once again proved right.  

With that relationship cemented, US is using every opportunity and pressure possible to get the conservative Arab regimes to normalize their relations with Israel while suppressing with US and Israeli weapons and intelligence any dissent arising from radical elements in that region. The so-called Abrahams Accord signed on 15 September 2020 between Israel and United Arab Emirates – Bahrain included, was engineered by US. Saudi Arabia too was ready to join the accord before the October 7 disruption. The status and future of Palestine was not an item in this accord. The hypocrisy of US and its Western allies is nowhere demonstrated more clearly than in this accord. Abraham or Ibrahim was the common patriarch of the three faith groups, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Quran calls them as ahl al-kitab or people of the Book. But when the West talks about its values it calls those values Judo-Christian and not Abrahamic, because that would bring Islam into it. Now the name Abrham is exploited to win the Arab rulers to the side of Pax Americana and Eretz Israel. Between these two and compliant Arab regimes Palestine is destined to wither away until it disappears from the world map. That withering would continue to be bloody and grotesque.  

*Dr. Ameer Ali, Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University, W. Australia

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Latest comments

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    AP reported this. ” Israel says it remains committed to crushing Hamas’ military capabilities and ending the group’s 16-year rule over Gaza.”
    It is Palestinians who would decide who rule their territory, not the Israel apartheid regime. It is the prerogative of the Palestinians. Not only that, the “fate” of Palestine will also play a key role in 2024 US elections. (If Trump is reelected, it is all Mr. Biden’s fault and the weakness of his officials.)
    Going by the current situation, it is pretty obvious that Hamas will be reelected. Even the Israeli hostages held by Hamas speak well of them. The whole world witnessed how hostages, both young and elderly, smiled, held hands and waved at Hamas when they were leaving. Even an evil Israel father who said about a month ago that he was “relieved” Hamas killed his 8-year old daughter, got his “lost” daughter back. Interestingly, he was allowed to celebrate while Palestinian child hostages who were released from Israeli prisons were banned from celebrating their reunion with their families.
    Re: remaining hostages in Gaza and remaining Palestine hostages in Israeli prisons.

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      “Israel says it remains committed to crushing Hamas’ military capabilities and ending the group’s 16-year rule over Gaza.”
      It may destroy Gaza, but Hamas may survive right under its nose.

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    Re: remaining hostages in Gaza and remaining Palestinian hostages in Israeli prisons.
    I don’t understand why all remaining hostages of both sides swap as one batch on the condition that Israel troops completely withdraw from the Gaza Strip allowing post-war recovery and reconstruction in the enclave and also settle at least a portion of displaced Gazans in the West Bank?
    The world cannot ignore the glaring fact that approximately, 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced as a result of Israel’s well targetted, unprecedented attacks on residences, refugee camps, schools and hospitals using heavy explosives. People who live in outdoor tents urgently need to be housed in proper shelters. The recovery and reconstruction in the Gaza Strip should also be started immediately. The President of Turkeye has already offered his country’s assistance.

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    Dear Dr Ameer Ali,
    .
    I read this harrowing article carefully a day or two ago. Because there is a more recent article by you, albeit on a different subject,
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/a-political-imperative/
    .
    I shall make my comment here brief.

    .
    Thanks for giving us all this information which makes it clear that what future there is for the Palestinians of Gaza can be measured in terms of hours – even if those hours add up to a few days. Israel and those who control the USA seem to regard these millions of humans as only so many vermin who must be destroyed.
    .
    And these are the people (or their descendants) who owned this land until Balfour decided otherwise. I hope that I make my meaning clear.
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    Thanks for the article.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe

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