Israel and its friends Ruthless Criticism

Translation of Ch.3, Part 1 of Abweichende Meinungen zu Israel: Die politische Emanzipation der Juden durch eine Militärdemokratie mit imperialistischem Auftrag, H.L. Fertl, Resultate Verlag 1982


Israel and its friends:
A Zionist order-enforcing power of the “free world”


The longer Israel’s Lebanon campaign dragged on, the more brutally the invading army struck, especially in Beirut, the more clearly Israel’s far-reaching war aim – the final solution to the “Palestinian problem” – and, above all, its successful realization became apparent, the more the rumor was spread in the Western media that America was “disgruntled” and that a “serious rift” was brewing between the USA and Israel. Both sides did their utmost to promote this rumor. The American government had every critical and cautionary comment on Israel’s actions announced in detail and interpreted as a “serious reproach,” indeed “almost as a threat”; its president put “annoyance” and even a “feeling of having been deceived” on record; in the end, it even allowed the UN Security Council to pass a censure of Israel’s intransigence – which had previously been significantly toned down and generalized. The White House responded to the massacre in Beirut with a rage which was almost enough to prevent it from being the only country to vote against Israel in a UN condemnation of the human slaughterhouse. Conversely, the Israeli head of government took the remark of an American senator that, if necessary, Israel’s warlords must be diplomatically “brought to their knees” as the occasion for a melodramatic oath, made on behalf of his entire nation before a gathering of correspondingly enthusiastic American Jews, that a Jew kneels before no one “but God”; and after the victory had been achieved, while the last Palestinian fighters were being removed from Beirut, the responsible war minister, also on a trip to the USA, let it be known that he would have been able to deal with the “terrorists” much more quickly and easily if the US government had not hindered the slaughter with constant interventions and if the American mediator had not dragged things out with his negotiations. What is actually to be thought of the American “annoyance” so emphatically publicized is shown by the undiminished, continuous flow of financial and military aid and the increased deliveries to supply the fighting troops “in accordance with the circumstances.” It could not even remotely have been the first step toward ending a situation in which the USA is making Israel financially and militarily capable of action as a military state. What has become known about the substance of those diplomatic warnings to the Israeli government, which were presented to the public as nearly a falling out, has nothing to do with what otherwise constitutes “political pressure.” There is no mention of threats such as those made against the Soviet Union in the form of trade embargoes, credit restrictions, etc., due to the disapproved use of military force in Poland, or even anything resembling an ultimatum. On the contrary: What the audience was supposed to understand as the toughest American reaction, namely President Reagan’s comment on the heaviest bombing of Beirut during the entire war at a time when the Palestinian surrender was already almost perfect, contained the first hint to the PLO that, for the sake of peace, it should finally speed up the dispersal of its fighters to camps in the wider Arab world – the Israelis were “reprimanded” with the remark that the latest devastation and bloodshed were “senseless” and should therefore be avoided. There is no sign of even the slightest distance from the political objective of the Israeli campaign; the humanitarian hypocrisy of this type of criticism, its cheap Red Cross moralism of “not too much” – when there “must be” war! – is all the more obvious. This fits very well with the equally openly expressed satisfaction of American arms suppliers and a war-hungry public of professional and amateur strategists about the military perfection of the Israeli approach and the effectiveness and superiority of the liberally deployed military equipment. Pride in weapons and hypocritical pity were most successfully combined in the complaint that emerged on short notice about the devastating effects of the cluster bombs which the USA had “only” supplied to the Israeli military for defensive purposes. So the dutiful “horror” received its due – and did not even have to be directed at the achievements of American weapons technology itself, let alone dampen the enthusiasm over the successful capture of previously secret Soviet weapons systems.

Conversely, if one were to take the rumor of a “serious rift” seriously, the complaints that Israel’s leaders have made about the USA would fall into the category of a diplomatic insolence that only the USA allows itself toward its Soviet main enemy. Or what should one make of the fact that the Israeli foreign minister – according to the official interpretation – is invited to the White House and told to agree to a ceasefire, only for a continuous bombardment of Beirut to begin just hours later, until the American “conciliation” negotiations on the ground are interrupted at short notice, and if this is then commented on with the tip that the negotiations would be worthless without such “military pressure”? That would indeed be what public opinion in this country has almost unanimously declared it to be, namely a breach of trust in America – if only the premise were true that the talks between Reagan and Shamir were about Israel’s commitment to a strict ceasefire. Yet Israel’s actions on the one side and the overly clear comments on the other clearly speak for themselves – and for a completely different agreement. At every stage, the American government has, firstly, authorized the Israeli slaughter in Lebanon and at the same time, secondly, made sure that it is as credibly distanced from it as possible, at least diplomatically. With remarkable ingenuity – but here in Germany one prefers to think of the US administration as a bunch of clueless fools! – the USA has also staged itself as a protective power for the victims of its vassal!


With the successful juxtaposition of American-Arab ceasefire negotiations and Israeli bombings – a new version of the Nobel Peace Prize-worthy “negotiating skills” of the former Vietnam negotiator Kissinger, who was always able to drop the amount of bombs on Hanoi that was required for negotiations to progress – the latest success was achieved of a policy which the USA has pursued with remarkable persistence and ruthlessness since the beginning of Israel’s history of war.

With their massive aid payments, direct donations or donations disguised as loans, unique trade preferences and West German reparations money, the USA and its NATO partners have refurbished the Israeli state to be on hand entirely for their military power without any economic considerations, regardless of the economic performance of its society – which, according to official figures, devours the ludicrous proportion of around a quarter of the nation’s “gross national product”! The USA has ensured the military success of this military power with the mass distribution of the most advanced weapons – no nation, not even the USA itself, has tested the strategy and weapons of the Western armed forces so extensively in practice. However, NATO’s – undeniable! – interest in testing “free” weapons and deployment methods was never the political reason and purpose of such “generosity,” any more than the alleged humanitarian concern for the continuing fate of the Jews who had finally become a people with a state. With its constant successful wars against the entire Arab world, Israel has provided ongoing practical proof that American support and “friendship” gives a state every freedom, while, conversely, opposition to the USA or its allies costs a state its means of external power and, in this respect, its own sovereignty and global political significance – not to mention the damage to national wealth and the harm to the people affected. Israel’s national leaders do not even need to know that they are standing for this hard evidence in favor of American supremacy – in fact, they know it quite well and refer to it very unabashedly and aggressively when it comes to negotiations over the amount of US aid! – and, above all, they do not need to make this their national cause. Because their state, with its ethnic exclusivity against “Arabism,” would not exist without the powerful “friendship” of America and Western Europe, its bellicose self-assertion coincides directly with the fulfillment of the Western freedom mission of beating the Arab states into an unconditional inclination to “friendship” with the imperialist democracies as the only chance for national power and significance and to drive out the effort to become a decisive subject of world politics as an Arab bloc on the basis of its own autonomous power and to seek foreign “friends” for this purpose.

The two coincide so perfectly, the usefulness of Israeli militarism can be relied on so absolutely by democratic imperialism, that the USA, with its diplomacy of retrospectively distancing itself from Israel’s violent actions – which is just as old as its support for them! – can go one better and, to a certain extent, incorporate a “performance review” into its policy of forcibly “winning” Arab “friendship.” The cheap regret in American “government circles” or even of the President himself about so much “unnecessary bloodshed” is not merely hypocrisy calculating with the moralism of a democratic public. It is at the same time an unmistakable diplomatic signal to the affected states that the USA, and only the USA, can if need be provide protection against Israel’s superior power and ruthlessness. The fact that it is the USA that gives Israel its freedom to assert itself as a belligerent monster against the entire Arab world is well known anyway – and that is anything but embarrassing for the American government. In an imperialistically organized world of states, lasting alliances and “friendships” are not created through the proven virtuousness of the partners, but through the only credible “argument” that a sovereign has at its disposal: the greater violence with which it sets its interests as conditions of survival for others – for its subjects as well as for foreign rulers. This is precisely the “lesson” that the “free world” is teaching the Arab states through Israel: that nothing in the world goes against their decisions and that every sovereign would do well to come to an understanding with them, because otherwise its sovereignty is worth nothing. The announcement of certain moral reservations about the methods used to achieve this supplements this “lesson” with the twofold point that, firstly, only the Western powers are really able to restrict the freedoms that they give to Israel, i.e. that everything depends on their vote; and secondly, that they are ready to do so under certain conditions, i.e. that they ultimately dictate the terms of peace.

So when Israel’s opponents approach Israel’s financiers and military suppliers with a request to protect them from Israeli superiority, they have “learned their lesson” and submitted to the “balance of power” imposed by the West. And they are reached this way – more numerously after each battle and with fewer reservations! Even at the end of the “Yom Kippur War” of October 1973, which was supposedly initially a victory for the Arab side, a military catastrophe for the Egyptian and Syrian armed forces was only averted because the USA agreed to lend weight to a UN ceasefire resolution against Israel. Since then, Egypt has no longer relied on the ultimate goal of equal status for Arab power and on the Soviet Union as a guarantor of this perspective, but rather on American care: instead of continuing negotiations in Geneva together with the other Arab states and the Soviet Union, President Sadat initiated Egypt’s future as a US vassal with the “Camp David Accords.” And this has had remarkable consequences, which can be clearly seen in Israel’s campaign in Lebanon. Backed by peace with Egypt, Israel struck a blow there with such force that the affected “confrontation state” Syria dared to put up almost no resistance; the Arab side, especially the PLO, had no chance except to rely on the “mediation efforts” of the USA; it had to worry about the success of the US negotiator Habib and ensure that his mission was not aborted. The result looks like this: NATO or quasi-NATO troops from Italy, France and the USA itself control Beirut as well as the deportation of the Palestinian fighters – and the West still allows itself to be thanked and rewarded for this as generosity and help! No Arab state puts up any more resistance to the “principle” enforced by Israel that the Arab states have permanently respected interests, if at all, then only in strict subordination to the USA; and after the situation has been “cleared up” in Lebanon, it must be regarded as a matter of time until the last “confrontational states” and – if it still exists – the PLO itself take a positive stance on the grounds of this principle and base their – aspirations of – participation in world politics on their servitude to the “cause of freedom.”


This is how the free world successfully uses the belligerent Jewish state it created and maintains – for projects that go much further than Israel’s problems with the rebellious Palestinians it has displaced or ruled and with the Arab states. The “Palestinian question” in particular is much more incidental from the standpoint of Israel’s protecting powers than from the ethnic standpoint of the Jewish state; the Western interest in Israel as an order-enforcing power does not necessarily include defining organized Palestinians as “terrorists,” and therefore does not necessarily exclude recognizing the PLO as a subject of international law and conceding the “right to a homeland” – which does not necessarily mean a state of its own – both, of course, on Western freedom-based terms. Western interests do not have Israel’s “existential problem,” which they benefit from solving by force. Their interest is in unchallenged world domination; and this is not limited to the imperialist demand that the Arab states be prevented from forming a respectable power bloc capable of taking action. By ensuring that Israel constantly inflicts war on its neighbors and keeps them in relative powerlessness, the engaged major democracies are aiming at their Soviet enemy and its efforts to avoid another front being opened against its security, at least in the Middle East, and possibly even to gain allies and thus security positions for its “socialist camp.” That a policy of solidifying the Soviet “bloc” is not worthwhile, but rather an existential danger for a sovereign state (and always fatal for a lot of subjects!) to make common cause with the Soviet Union instead of joining the cause of freedom: this is the decisive and authoritative imperialist principle that Israel is supposed to enforce with its national “struggle for existence” and for the sake of which it is allowed to assert itself.


The Soviet Union’s resistance to this systematic suppression of its Arab partners and its commitment to developing a major Arab power have always been limited. Egyptian President Sadat’s bitter complaints about the lack of support from his then Soviet partner in preparing and executing the “October War” in 1973 are well known; similar accusations have been made in all Israeli-Arab wars – and eagerly circulated by Israel’s Western friends as proof of “Soviet unreliability,” quite unabashedly alongside the insulting of the Soviet Union as a warmonger and supplier of Arab “terrorists” and “aggressors.” The PLO and several of its “protecting powers” have repeatedly accused their Soviet arms supplier of having made possible the founding of the state of Israel by agreeing to the UN partition resolution on Palestine, of having recognized the new state very quickly and of persistently refusing to deny its right to exist in principle. However, there is no need to assume that in world politics the governing Soviets had taken the Jews into their hearts: the fact is that they never pushed their partisanship for the “Arab cause” to the point where they would have enabled the Arab “confrontational states” to defeat Israel. As in the case of China, Vietnam, African and South American liberation movements, the Soviet Union always measured its support for Arab anti-imperialism in terms of the peculiarly contradictory main objectives of its world policy, namely of forcing its Western opponent to reach a minimum level of consensus, to abandon its declaration of war against the “socialist camp” and to pursue a policy of “coexistence.” The Soviet Union emphatically seized the opportunity to gain positions against the West through solidarity with the Arab hostility toward Israel and to counteract or at least limit its world domination – but not in order to turn it into a victory. It wanted to cause the West so much trouble that it would be forced to recognize its claim to universal responsibility for the affairs of world politics and thus itself; of all the parties involved, it was probably the only one that – for this very reason! – was completely serious about the “Geneva negotiations” for a “peace solution” for the Middle East. This policy can’t be said to have had any success. The Soviet Union did not persuade its imperialist opponents: The power it unleashed was too small to force anything on the democratic superpowers and “middle powers” of the “free world,” and big enough to provide the Western policy of confrontation with opportunities and fields of activity (“open flanks”) – and even moral pretexts as desired; its restraint, even the restraint of its allies, was not even morally rewarded, not politically anyway, because such a thing is once and for all not a respectable “argument” in the world of imperialism. For this very reason, it had to lose the few positions of power that it had built up in the Arab world and used so reservedly. In comparison with the freedoms that Israel could and can derive from its use by the “free world,” the brotherhood between Soviet and Arab “anti-imperialism” must appear to be a dull affair, and not a very rewarding one for the sovereigns blessed with such a partnership – after all, this comparison was never theoretical, but constantly fought out with weapons. Arab nationalism, which brought the Soviet Union many oriental allies, has not been cultivated successfully enough – as a result, the Soviet-Arab “friendship” fell apart and is now in a state of general disintegration.


Here too the results of the Israeli war in Lebanon set a temporary high point and end point. For the West, the first decisive success, Egypt’s entry into the “Western camp,” was by no means a reason to call it a day and let the Soviet Union have its shrunken “sphere of influence.” In the world of imperialism, it’s exactly the opposite. This success allowed for a final solution to all Middle East questions in the spirit of Western notions of subordination; and that is what Israel has a go at with its final solution to the Palestinian problem. That is what is so convenient for the West and its moralism about its violent dealings in the Orient: that its partner Israel, out of its offensive interest in self-preservation, ensures the perfection of its superior power and thus the expansion and consolidation of the world rule of its protecting powers in this region – possibly even beyond the level these powers had already set on the agenda themselves!

So Israel’s violent attack on Lebanon has led to the remarkable result that the Soviet Union has almost officially abandoned its claims to a role in decision-making. Its last Western ally, Syria, has “failed,” i.e. was no match for the impact of the Israeli war machine; it has therefore “failed” as the protecting power of Israel’s last opponent, i.e. it no longer has any say over the fate of the region. Soviet President Brezhnev referred to the threat to his own southwestern border in order to emphasize the call for Israel to limit its war – an argument that is not even remotely reminiscent of world power ambitions: just imagine if the USA wanted its involvement in the Arab region to be based on such defensive interests. And the Soviet Union did not even dare to make a threat on the basis of this immediate concern about Israel’s actions – it did not even need to be one of the caliber that the American President and his colleagues send to the Soviet government on a weekly regarding Poland! As if to underline its powerlessness, it called on the US government to put a stop to the Israeli actions in Beirut! Submission to the USA’s claim to unlimited jurisdiction could not be expressed more clearly.

This is how, in a “traditionally” particularly bloody manner, the “end of détente,” which President Carter initiated and his successor has made the main focus of his term of office, is taking place in the Middle East. In the Arab world, as everywhere else, the successes of the “détente era,” in this case the revolution in Egypt and the further increase in Israeli supremacy, are being used to criticize its procedures, namely the consensual form of Western dealings with the Soviet Union. And the denunciation of this does not merely mean a change in the “tone” of Western world politics, but rather a more advanced claim to world domination. The Soviet Union’s spheres of influence are defined as intolerable encroachments; they are no longer formally conceded in order to actually turn them into a permanent burden on their protecting power, but are officially denied to the opponent. Almost as if the global front against the Soviet Union had already been opened, the sovereigns of the entire world of states are being confronted with a new American intolerance of anything that looks like accommodation to the declared enemy and global villain. And this provides an extremely advantageous business basis for the politics of some states. With its campaign in Lebanon, Israel is the most powerful economic warrior in this new global political line of radically sorting the world of states into friend and foe. As has always been the case in its history of war, this state is once again exploiting the opportunities that this new American interest in “clear conditions” offers it – and in doing so is pushing this American interest one step further. Step by step, the region is being purged of disruptive disputes and old Soviet positions and prepared for the task that the imperialist nations have dictated to it.

The fact that the “protection of vital interests of the West” is at stake there, namely the interest in oil: this beautiful connection, according to which the economic exploitation of an entire region justifies an unquestionable political and military responsibility for it, has long been strategically spelled out. To “protect” this region, it must be rearmed to such an extent that it poses a completely independent threat to the southwestern flank of the Soviet Union – the “logic” of "rearmament for the sake of balance” also applies here. And this task clearly goes beyond the military capabilities of even a state like Israel. The entire Middle East is just big enough as a staging ground against the Soviet Union – making it ready for this is the imperialist end goal of the latest Israeli war policy.

And that is why such “local conflicts” will at some point lead to the great final reckoning which is being prepared in this way.