Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Chomsky on Israel: "As the Middle East (Egypt included) struggled to free itself from debilitating and murderous Western control, a new Western enclave was established in its heart, the Levant, separating the North African from the West Asian Arab-speaking areas. This was achieved by virtue of the intervention of the Western imperial powers from whom the people of the region were seeking to free themselves. In the course of the conquest by European settlers, the indigenous population was displaced and marginalized. The fact that the European settlers had suffered horrendous brutality in Europe was invoked to demand that Palestinians compensate by giving up their land to them; there was no proposal for a Jewish state in Bavaria or New York (where there was a considerable Jewish population, even a majority in parts): it was Palestinians who were to pay for the crimes of the Europeans against Jews, an arrangement which seemed less than just to many people in the region.

The new Jewish state reduced its own Arab citizens to second-rate status, with severe discriminatory laws and practices that would be considered an utter outrage in any Western democracy; imagine the reaction here if 92% of the land in the US were effectively under the control of an organization dedicated to work for the benefit of people of "white Christian race, religion, or origin," hence excluding Jews, Blacks, etc., from the land. The newly-established state was also violent and aggressive beyond its borders. It immediately expanded illegally into the demilitarized zones, forcefully expelling thousands of Bedouins, and carried out murderous terrorist attacks against villages implicated in no anti-Israel actions. It proceeded to invade Egypt in collusion with the traditional imperial masters (England, France), doing so again with US support a decade later. It refused Egypt's offers for a full peace settlement in 1971, agreeing in part only after the 1973 war deflated its triumphalism. But that later (Camp David) agreement, brokered by the US, was designed to remove Egypt from the conflict, leaving Israel free to integrate the occupied territories and attack Lebanon, as it proceeded at once to do with huge US aid. It invaded Lebanon again shortly after, killing 20,000 people while devastating large parts of the country. Etc., etc., on to the present. That's only a small sample of course, and it leaves out more complex interactions along the way: I'm outlining the basis for perceptions, not writing a history." - Chomsky replies to Alejandro on "Arab countries' attitudes towards Jews, Israel"

No comments: