For all those who think that Israel is run by the most despicable, racist and repressive regime in the world here is some very bad news indeed.
Not only are the Israeli state and its ruthless methods here to stay they could also be, very frighteningly, a prototype of our collective global future.
Watching the unbelievable destruction wrought by the Israelis in Gaza and Lebanon a simple question very high on many minds must be â€˜ How in hell does this artificially concocted child of European guilt and American ambition get away with all this again and again and again?â€™
The answer is that instead of being a strange historical aberration Israel may well be a model state that global elites want to establish to control the world in the days to come.
A world where the ruling classes live off the stolen resources and labour of those they contemptuously deem â€˜lesser human beingsâ€™ in a system of institutionalized apartheid.
A world where the forces of the militarized State can routinely shoot anybody, even entire populations and call them â€˜terroristsâ€™ with complete impunity.
A world where the process of nation building automatically involves smashing the sovereignty of every other nation reducing their people to a faceless, nameless, helpless mass.
The question of why Israelâ€™s brazen crimes against humanity have been tolerated by the so called â€˜international communityâ€™ is not new at all, being one asked from the very day this nation was violently forged six decades ago. The legacy of Zionist terrorism, the numerous pogroms against the Palestinians, the systematic usurpation of their land, the routine bombing of civilians, the murder of peace activists— any other fledgling nation even contemplating crimes on this scale would have been ostracized out of existence by now.
Many have attempted to answer this conundrum in many different ways. Israel is the bulldog of the US in the Middle-East â€“ there to keep an eye on the regionâ€™s oil wealth, promote the sales of Western arms and intimidate Arab regimes into meek submission. And in all its actions Israel merely imitates its mentors in the United States, whose own list of crimes against humanity make that of its protÃ©gÃ© pale into nothing.
For some others it is Israel, run by Jewish supremacists, that is manipulating the West for its own devious purposes. They are abetted in all this by Christian fundamentalists in the US who believe in some complicated bull about the role of Zionists in bringing about rapture, the return of Jesus Christ and Armageddon. (An end of the world hastened and brought about by these strange bed fellows themselves)
In yet another version the formation of Israel, aided and encouraged by Western powers, was a historical fobbing off of Europeâ€™s abused Jewish masses onto the heads of the hapless Palestinian people- fulfilling the Nazi dream of getting Europe rid of the Jews. A cynical pitting of the victims of European racism against the victims of their colonialism.
There is no doubt of course that the history of Europe and post-Second World War geopolitics of the United States have a lot to do with the creation of Israel.
In many ways the State of Israel carries over into our era all the baggage of Europe from the turn of the 19th century with its simplistic understanding of race and biology, the crude equation of national interest with conquest of territory, the brutal trappings of the colonial state and worst of all the tryst with fascism that deeply shaped the worldview of Zionism. In the past six decades Israelâ€™s behaviour, within its own region, has also mirrored the relentless American need for control over the worldâ€™s natural resources.
But all this focus on historical trends obscures the fact that in contemporary Israel today has become the template of a terrible global future. Here is where the accumulated burdens of the past, stoked to the right temperatures in the crucible of the present, are shaping the contours of a world yet to come.
Already, the aggressive Israeli â€˜whatever the costâ€™ pursuit of self-interest – unfettered by any principles of civilized behaviour and contemptuous of all international law- has become the role model for governments in many other parts of the world. Every indicator points to this sad trend. The way the leaders of the world have openly acquiesced in the Israeli assault on the Palestinians and Lebanese in recent days is testimony to the fact that elites everywhere find this violence a useful exercise, not just in the context of the Middle-East itself but on their own home turf too.
Just take your eyes off for a minute from Israel and look around the globe and you can see what I mean. Look at the mini-Israels that governments everywhere are operating within their own national boundaries against the poor, the ethnic minorities, the historically marginalized or any population that can be enslaved at low cost. For the votaries of the hard state and the preservers of privilege everywhere Israel is the pioneering trendsetter in newer and more brazen ways of exercising illegitimate power.
That is why even as many governments condemn Israel in public, they are also slyly figuring out how best to incorporate elements of similar repression within the apparatus of their own states.
At one level is the exhortation to emulate Israel internationally. In India, after the mysterious Mumbai bomb blasts in early July that killed over 200 people there has been a clamour from the right wing to â€˜do it like the Israelisâ€™ and bomb whoever is responsible for the blasts wherever. Thatâ€™s a call for bombing nothing less than four countries, given the officially aired suspicion that the mastermind behind the blasts is somewhere in Kenya, was trained in Pakistan, hatched the plot in Nepal and infiltrated into the country through Bangladesh.
Going by this logic, now that the Israeli bombing of Lebanon has already killed two Indians and injured several more that makes a strong case for India bombing Tel Aviv too. (That would be truly ironic as India is today the largest customer for Israeli weapons!) Imitating Israel, in anything it does, is a recipe for perpetual World War- something that suits the designs of some countries and their rulers perhaps but not of a majority of this planetâ€™s residents.
At another level governments around the globe are using the excuse of the Israeli example to terrorise their own populations. While Israel certainly did not invent the concept of kidnapping, torture and assassination of its opponents it has done more than any other regime in the world to legitimize such behaviour internationally. (This has been possible of course because of its special hold over Western governments- particularly the US â€“ who define what is â€˜legitimateâ€™ and what is not.)
Given the discontent produced by the forces of globalization throughout the world and the need of the elites for controlling the â€˜rebellious massesâ€™ Israelâ€™s approach to law and order are a â€˜valuableâ€™ contribution towards maintenance of the unjust status quo everywhere. All you need to do is to close your eyes, shut your conscience out, pretend to be the Israeli government and imagine all your opponents â€“ workers, farmers, students anyone- as Palestinians.
In that sense it is not just nation states but also corporations- which are the main shareholders of the Empire – that seek guidance from Israel for ideas on how to put down dissent and continue ruling the world. After all at the core of global capitalism lies a fierce authoritarian urge that seeks to monopolise everything that exists but is unable to do so because the little people of the world have fought and established, over the centuries, some basic norms and laws of human and social behaviour. If Israel keeps demolishing these â€˜barriersâ€™ and advances the forces of barbarism – it makes complete world domination by the moneyed that much easier.
What emerges then is that, given the importance of Israel to global elites, a solution to the Palestinian question can never really be achieved through a struggle that focuses exclusively on the politics of the Middle-East itself. Contrary to what Condoleezza Rice believes a lasting resolution of the issue will not come from eliminating the Hezbollah. Instead a just peace is possible only by promoting more organizations that are willing to take on the various global interests that are bent on making our entire world look like one large State of Israel.
Satya Sagar is a journalist, writer, video maker based in New Delhi. He can be reached at [email protected]