Israel: Regional super power and largest Jewish ghetto ever

gaza strike. TimesOnline. (Khalil Hamra/AP)

Photo from TimesOnline article. (Khalil Hamra/AP)

Ira Chernus, professor of religious studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder on AlterNet

For more than 40 years, I’ve been watching my own Jewish people in wartime, repeating the same self-defeating pattern over and over. Most Jews say that they want Israel to be more secure, and they really mean it. Yet they support and vote for leaders who perpetuate the conflicts that make Israel less secure.

Sounds like US politics, doesn’t it?

Any realistic assessment of the Middle East must begin with the obvious fact that Israel has a preponderance of power over everyone else — and a massive preponderance over the Palestinians. Imagine the United States basing its policies toward Mexico on the belief that we are seriously threatened by Mexico’s power. That’s pretty much how Israel deals with the Palestinians.

If Tijuana was to shoot a missile at the US, then shoot a few back. But most anyone would say trying to level the city in response (while killing innocents) would be just a teensy bit too much overkill.

It isn’t just absurd; it’s lethal. It creates policies that get people killed — mostly in the Occupied Territories, but far too many on Israel’s side as well. Yet Israelis keep saying they only want security, while they go on electing leaders whose policies make them less secure.

Among the reasons for the Gaza invasion now is that Israel wants to do it before Obama takes office and also because its politicians are trying to out-tough each other so they can get elected. Both reasons are loathsome and due to internal Israeli political machinations which deliberately cause the deaths of innocents.

As Chernus points out so eloquently, it is all for naught. Israel demonstrably becomes less safer every time it engages in one of its insanely violent overreactions. More to the point, he says, they’ve walled themselves, isolated themselves, and this is dangerous both to them and everyone around them.


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