By Rainer Shea
Source: Ghion Journal
This statement last year from Benjamin Netanyahu about how “The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history” is a revealing glimpse into the mentality of Israel’s government. The fact that Netanyahu talks about conquest and mass murder in such heartless terms, while still trying to make his message appear to be pragmatic—by including the phrase “for better or for worse,” shows the kinds of rationalizations that are behind Israel’s brutal actions towards the Palestinians.
These rationalizations are universal among the ideologies of nationalistic and authoritarian nations, and they involve three things:
- A grandiose view of one’s country
- A rejection of the facts that contradict one’s preferred narratives about that country
- A hostile reaction to all who challenge that country’s power
We see the first trait, grandiosity, in how pro-Israel politicians talk about the country. Supporting Israel is often presented by these figures as a purely virtuous act that’s essential for the protection of the Jewish people, making all of America’s concessions towards it seem like earnest expressions of goodwill towards the Jewish community. According to this narrative, we’re only supporting Israel to fight anti-Semitism, and/or to fulfill the nationalistic goals that Zionism says are part of a divine plan.
This idealized image of the country is reinforced by the characterizations of Israel as “the only democracy in the Middle East,” by the portrayals of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) as “the most moral army in the world,” and sometimes by appeals to feelings of racial superiority, like Ben Shapiro’s infamous tweet which reads: “Israelis like to build. Arabs like to bomb crap and live in open sewage. This is not a difficult issue.”
The hypocrisy of this grandiosity is shown not just in the morally reprehensible nature of the government that these politicians support, but in the fact that their support for Israel is usually motivated, not by some of kind of cultural enthusiasm, but rather by political self-interest. The Israel lobby is one of the most powerful influences over the U.S. Congress and Senate; billionaires like Sheldon Adelson and Miriam Ochsorn regularly help create America’s pro-Israel policies; we know that the United States and Israel are ultimately partnered because this helps both of them advance their imperialistic goals.
Western support for Israel is about money and power,…