“So far the cavalry is not coming,” so said Peter Beinart the thoughtful American Jewish commentator on his zoom chat of February 11.The cavalry is a reference to the astounding failure of yet another American administration to enforce its oft repeated commitment to the rule of law
In his opening address of February 4,2021 on America’s Place in the World starting with “starting with diplomacy rooted in America’s most cherished democratic values: defending freedom, championing opportunity, upholding universal rights, respecting the rule of law, and treating every person with dignity.
Even a cursory knowledge of history would reveal how America has never lived up to this in its foreign relations.It is the poster child of the adage that a state has interests and seldom values.The USA acted virtually as an empire around the globe searching for hegemony with cheap markets and local henchmen to see to this.William Blum’s Killing Hope is a primer on the subject.
General George C Marshall’s plan to aid war torn Europe was as much as creating markets as anything.John Quincy Adams, America’s sixth president had it right when he said “Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak and that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all his laws.”
And America’s continual support of Israel’s trashing of universal rights, disrespecting the rule of law and daily humiliating Palestinians is obvious for most people around the world and many Americans particularly in a time of massive unemployment, the western world’s worst health care and the unconscionable gap between the rich and the poor in the wealthiest country in the world are wondering why their country is shipping $10 million dollars a day to beef up Israel’s public health care system and its hi tech economy centred around massive security production.
Beinart’s latest missive was to the point
Biden has s been lousy on Israel-Palestine. (Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken wouldn’t even say that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a Palestinian state, which would be frustrating if it weren’t so absurd. Given how mythical a Palestinian state has become, it was as if Blinken had deferred judgement on the borders of Narnia). But when it comes to Biden and Israel-Palestine, my expectations were low.
So why isn’t the cavalry coming to put an end to this assault on democracy and human rights?
The answer is follow the money. Many Jewish billionaires long ago ditched authentic Jewish values for Zionism a political movement which reinvented Judaism as a national movement.The great Reform rabbi David Phillipson of Cincinnati phrased this best:” Reform Judaism is spiritual, Zionism is political. the outlook of reform Judaism is the world. The outlook of Zionism is a corner of eastern Asia.”
As Zionism began to replace Judaism many of these wealthy billionaires saw this commitment to Israel as a religious act.They pledged allegiance to the latest idol the state of Israel and they eschewed the biblical faith of the prophets.
Predatory capitalism as we have seen too often has its way and Israel firsters with deep pockets have managed to buy a lot of politicians. Adelson funded Trump, Haim Saban bought the Clintons and Obama and the Dems folded under AIPAC pressure. This makes one wonder: who is the superpower here?
So in terms of affecting change vis a vis Israel, concerned citizens and lovers of justice must be steely-eyed about what we are up against.
According to Gideon Levy the Israeli population is brainwashed, numb to the glaring fact of the occupation so the solution to peace in the middle east is in America, the powerful defender of Israel The apartheid state has American Orthodox Jews on its side along with Christian Zionists and their heretical and bizarre theology.They are definitely not part of the cavalry, more like those holding the whip hand but there are others who have laterally joined.
Israel is rapidly losing young Jews who because of their education and assimilation in US democratic culture they are not buying occupation and a supremacist state. Many have rediscovered their Judaism and its ethical tradition, and they place their trust not in Netanyahu and out of touch American Jewish organizations but they do trust their Jewish sage Hillel’s injunction not to do the others the things that we would find harmful is done to us. These Jews are carrying the prophetic and the the traditional Judaic universal values of nonviolence, human dignity and social justice.
These anti-Zionist Jews are part of Bernie’s army fighting for the soul of the Democratic party against an out of touch leaders still in hock to AIPAC and its friends.
This is the cavalry slowly gaining strength among Americans of conscience.