Monday, March 31, 2008


Deterring Democracy Copyright © 1991, 1992 by Noam Chomsky. Published by South End Press.
Afterword Segment 8/14
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To understand the unfolding events, we must begin, as usual, by translating the rhetoric of political discourse into English. The term "peace process" refers to the process of achieving US goals, not efforts to reach peace. "Rejectionists" are those who reject the right to self-determination of Israeli Jews, or more broadly, those who reject US demands; those who reject the rights of Palestinians are "moderates" or "pragmatists." The terms "land for peace" and "territorial compromise" refer to the traditional position of the Israeli Labor Party (the Allon Plan), which grants Israel control over the desirable land and resources of the occupied territories but leaves the population stateless or under Jordanian administration, so that Israel does not have to face "the demographic problem." The latter is another term of art, referring to the problem of too many Arabs in the state defined by law as "the sovereign State of the Jewish people" in Israel or the diaspora, not the state of its citizens. Many Palestinians regard the Labor Party position as "much worse than the Likud's autonomy plan," Israeli dove Shmuel Toledano observes, agreeing with this judgment.21 In fact, Likud occupation policies have often been less harsh than those of Labor, contrary to the standard picture of Labor doves versus Likud hawks.

The two major Israeli political groupings (Labor and Likud), with unfailing US support, agree that Palestinians cannot be permitted to control their own land and resources, as they would under meaningful autonomy. Israel relies heavily on West Bank water; control over water has also been a major factor in conflict over the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon. Some of the most favored suburbs are in the West Bank, including the vastly expanded area called "Jerusalem." Israel has also benefited from readily exploitable Palestinian labor and a controlled market for Israeli exports, though these needs will reduce if the Arab boycott becomes more permeable, and if Soviet Jews directed to Israel agree to do the dirty work assigned to Palestinians.

The issue is not security. As David Ben-Gurion observed in December 1948, "an Arab state [West of the Jordan] would be less dangerous than a state linked to Transjordan [now Jordan], and maybe tomorrow to Iraq." Labor government cabinet records (1967-77) reveal few security concerns linked to the territories. Nothing since has changed that assessment. The problem lies elsewhere: withdrawing from the conquered territories, Israel could not "exist according to the scale, spirit, and quality she now embodies," as General Ezer Weizmann explained in justification of Israel's decision to attack Egypt in 1967, when he was one of the top military planners.22

The U.S. has tended to favor Labor Party rejectionism. It is more rational than the Likud variety, which has no provision for the population of the occupied territories, except eventual "transfer" (expulsion). The US also objects to the brazen settlement programs of Likud, preferring Labor's technique of quietly "building facts" that will determine the final outcome -- for example, "thickening" existing settlements rather than marching out to found a new one the day James Baker lands in Tel Aviv. But the disagreements are narrow, more over method than goal. Labor, Likud and the US are all committed to "the autonomy of a POW camp."

Tactical disagreements have sometimes led to conflict, including the Bush-Shamir conflict of late 1991 over loan guarantees. These loans are designated for absorption of Soviet immigrants, thus freeing other funds for the accelerating Israeli settlement of the territories. The Bush-Shamir conflict was over timing, not principle. US agreement to provide financial support for immigrants/settlements would have made it impossible for the US Arab allies to attend the Madrid conference; a few months down the road, the matter can perhaps be handled without too much fanfare.

These disputes have been taken to signify a shift in US policy towards a neutral ("honest broker") or even pro-Arab position. These judgments reflect the success of the doctrinal system in establishing US rejectionism as the basis for any discussion. Within this sharply skewed framework, the Washington variety of rejectionism can be perceived as "pro-Arab," in that it conflicts with the even more extreme stand of Yitzhak Shamir and Ariel Sharon. In fact, the evidence suggests little departure from traditional policies.

Go to the next segment.

21 Ha'aretz, March 8, 1991.

22 Avi Shlaim, Collusion across the Jordan, 364. Cabinet records, Yossi Beilin, Mehiro shel Ihud (Revivim, 1985). Weizmann, Ha'aretz, March 20, 1972. On Israel's decision for war, see Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, Dangerous Liaison (Harper Collins, 1991). KEYWORDS terrorist democracy elections cia mossad bnd nsa covert operation 911 mi6 inside job what really happened wtc pentagon joint chiefs of staff jcs centcom laser hologram usa mi5 undercover agent female sex exploitation perception deception power anarchy green social democratic participation japanese spy black-op false flag gladio terror.

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posted by u2r2h at 3:44 AM


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