Israeli settlers: the face of US imperialism in the Middle East Opinions


“Death to the Arabs!” “Let your people burn!” “A second Nakba is coming!”

These were the slogans sung by the young Israeli settlers as they marched through the old occupied city of East Jerusalem on June 15th.

The Zionist nationalist march, which celebrated the anniversary of the 1967 Israeli occupation of Jerusalem in Israel, had mysterious similarities not only with last century’s Nazi rallies in Europe, but also with the most recent examples of racial hatred we have. seen on the other side of the Atlantic. in the United States.

For example, watching last month’s so-called “Flag March” in Jerusalem, it was hard not to remember the 2017 white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white American nationalists carrying tiki torches chanted slogans such as “No you will “replace us” and “the South will rise again.” Perhaps the only difference between these two public statements of racial hatred and genocidal intent was the fact that, unlike their American counterparts, Israeli racists they had no reaction or punishment.

In fact, as genocidal slogans filled the streets of occupied Jerusalem, Israeli police refrained from making any attempt to control the settlers, but arrested 17 Palestinians protesting against this blatant provocation to “disrupt peace.”

The similarities between white supremacists in the US and Zionist settlers in Israel are not accidental. The connection between the two groups is much deeper than a contempt shared by “the other”. In fact, Israeli settlers represent the ideals and policies of US imperialism in the MENA region.

The faces of American white supremacy in Israel

In May 2021, Muna al-Kurd, a young Palestinian, accused an Israeli pigeon named Jacob of stealing her family home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

“Jacob, you know this is not your house,” he told her in English.

The colony replied in a thick US accent, “Yeah, but if I go, you don’t go back, so what’s the problem? Why are you calling me?”

Jacob, who gained worldwide infamy after a video of the previous interaction went viral, was later revealed to be Yaakov Fauci, a New York Trump supporter who is affiliated with the US-based settler organization Nahalat Shimon.

Of course, no one was surprised to learn that the new poster of violent colonialism in Palestine is an American Israeli with apparent ties to white supremacist US policy.

U.S. Israeli settlers have long led efforts to dispossess Palestinians of their homes and land with the support of the Israeli Supreme Court and the Israeli government.

And the arguments that settlers use to justify their violence (which are the rightful landowners, who are culturally superior to the indigenous population, who only “defend” themselves) are almost identical to those being used by white supremacists in the USA.

The best place to try to understand the obvious parallels between the goals and methods of Israeli settlers and white U.S. supremacists is perhaps the life and politics of Naftali Bennett, the new Israeli prime minister.

Born to American parents who emigrated from San Francisco after the 1967 Six-Day War, Bennett was once the head of the Yesha Council of the Settlers, whose goal is to “safeguard the strategic expanses of Israel, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea “. He built his political career as a protégé of Benjamin Netanyahu and boasted of being even more right-wing than the Belgian prime minister.

To this day, he is a staunch supporter of the settlement of a state and the annexation of the West Bank by Israel. “I have killed many Arabs in my life,” he once declared, “and that is no problem.” Like the white supremacists of the United States, Bennett is adamant that the indigenous people of the lands his people try to claim for themselves are a bit subhuman and is willing to imprison, mistreat, and even kill them. to achieve their goals. Its history is ethno-nationalist written in Palestinian blood and stolen land.

Israeli settlers, from Naftali Bennett to Yaalov Faauci, are undoubtedly genuine incarnations of violent nationalism and the American brand of white supremacy in Israel. But they are also much more than that.

Today, Israeli settlers are the “Jewish face” of US imperialism in the MENA region.

The “Jewish face” of US imperialism

Palestinian-American intellectual and literary critic Edward Said spoke famously about the connection between imperialism and Zionism.

“There is an unmistakable coincidence between the experiences of Arab Palestinians at the hands of Zionism and the experiences of those black, yellow, and brown people whom nineteenth-century imperialists described as inferior and subhuman,” he wrote in his essay 1979: Zionism from the point of view of its victims. “It is important to remember that in joining the Western general enthusiasm for territorial acquisition abroad, Zionism never spoke of it unequivocally as a Jewish liberation movement, but as a movement. Jew for the colonial settlement in the East “.

For Said, it was clear that the same policies of ghettoized segregation and perpetrated pogroms against indigenous peoples and cultures and on which the same ideas of American nationalism and imperialism were built are integral to how the Zionists have imagined and executed. the dispossession and annihilation of the Palestinians.

Today, in light of U.S. world domination, there is little doubt that Zionism, and therefore Israeli colonialism, is an extension of American imperialism.

And not only Palestinians, but also Jews around the world, are its victims.

Jews as “middle agents” of American imperial oppression

In her popular 2007 pamphlet, The Past Went Nowhere, Jewish activist April Rosenblum argued that “the point of anti-Jewish oppression is to keep a Jewish face in front, so that Jews, instead of ruling classes, become the target of the rage of the peoples. “

He explained how for centuries the ruling classes used Jews for “intermediate” jobs that put them in direct contact with the exploited and disgruntled peasantry, protecting themselves from reaction by their unjust policies. ”And today, the American imperialists and Zionists use Jews as a buffer, a middle agent, to protect themselves from any backlash against their imperial and ethno-nationalist ambitions in the Middle East.

In fact, for centuries, the ruling classes in Europe and beyond allowed anti-Semitism to be infuriated and Jews expelled for their oppressive actions and policies. Today they do the same by doing politics and culture by pushing the idea that the violent colonialism of Israeli settlers represents all Jews and that anti-Zionism is in fact anti-Semitism.

U.S. anti-BDS laws, which remain effective under the Biden government, have driven much of the Western world’s political and institutional decisions against any criticism of anti-Zionism.

In addition, the major Western media routinely push anti-Semitic narratives alongside arguments in favor of Israel and its violent colonial colonialism. They are repeatedly equating the Israeli state with Jews in general, putting the groundwork again for Jews to be the scapegoat for the genocidal excesses and misdeeds of the violent imperial powers, this time the US and its Zionist allies.

In short, despite its self-proclaimed commitment to protecting Jews in Israel, what the U.S. is trying to protect Israel is its own imperial interests and ambitions. And the Israeli settlers, the carbon copies of the home-grown white supremacists themselves, act as standing soldiers of the empire.

Today, as the racist violence of Israeli settlers continues to sweep, it is time to recognize and disavow the zealous efforts of US imperialists and Zionists to put a “Jewish face” on their pogroms and the genocidal oppression and dispossession of the Palestinians. – for the good of Jews and Palestinians alike.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of Al Jazeera.

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