Israel claims to be a light unto the nations. But it casts a dark shadow over the region.
Israel claims to be the only democracy in the middle east. But 4.5 million of the Palestinians it rules have no vote.
Israel claims to be a villa in the jungle. But this entire notion is the epitome of racism.
Israel claims to have an independent judiciary. But for Palestinians, it runs racist show trials in military “courts” which have a 99.7 per cent conviction rate.
Israel claims its military is the most moral in the world. But it killed 551 children during their last sustained war against the Gaza Strip in 2014.
Israel claims there were no Palestinians in Palestine before Zionism arrived. But in reality it kicked out 750,000 of these supposedly fictional people at the barrel of a gun in 1948.
Israel claims to have made the desert bloom. But the indigenous people of Palestine have always endured.
And they will endure long after the settler-colonial ideology of Zionism is confined to the dustbin of history.
The state of Israel makes a lot of false claims.
Even aside from the vicious, sadistic, brutally thuggish methods of the Israeli occupier against the Palestinian people, Israel is corrupt on the most basic level.
This is proven by the Israel’s lobby’s apparent hold over much of the political establishment in the US and the UK.
It’s true that there are “true believers” on both sides of the Atlantic ocean. In the US, the factor of Christian Zionism plays a large part. Israel is seen as part of an outlandish scheme for the supposed fulfilment of biblical prophesy.
Of course, at the end of this disturbing story, all the Jewish people “gathered” in Israel will have the choice of either converting to Christianity or dying in the Apocalypse. A rather nasty fairy tale of the worst kind – one which is disgustingly and viciously anti-Semitic.
But the Israel political elite does not seem to care that Christians United For Israel founder Pastor John Hagee once described Hitler as “a hunter” sent by God to punish “the Jews” for disobedience – as long as he helps keeps the political support flowing into Tel Aviv.
As well as religious fundamentalism, the ideology of US imperial control over the Middle East is also a big factor which leads many other US and UK political elites to support Israel.
But much of the political support for Israel can not be explained by either of these factors.
Christian fundamentalism after all is less of an issue among US Democrats, and is a frankly negligible factor in the UK and the rest of western Europe.
As as for imperial control, Israel tends to be an unreliable ally at best.
It’s true that Israel provides many useful services from the perspective of the imperial hegemon – it has provided training and weapons to some of the most despicable regimes and forces around the world, including the Contra war against Nicaragua, death-squad regimes across Latin America from from Guatemala to Argentina and of course apartheid South Africa.
More recently Israel has been arming Myanmar even as has been carrying out a genocide of the Rohingya people.
Israel’s arms industry too, is a useful service for western powers. It markets its weapons as “battle tested” – an euphemistic way to say they have been tried out on Palestinian civilians. Testing arms – from drones to “less lethal” riot control weapons – on a literally captive population against which the settler-colonial regime is waging a constant low-intensity warfare.
But on the other side of the balance sheet, Israel’s spy agencies target even its supposedly best friend the Unites States, as the Jonathan Pollard case showed. Its spies around the world steal and forge passports of western civilians in order to carry out assassinations and kidnappings, as the bungled al-Mabouh murder showed.
So some of the political support for Israel among elites in the west can be explained by little other than simple corruption. The Israel lobby is one of the best resourced lobbying operations there is. Cushy jobs in its organizations for politicians, and revolving-door arrangements can be a way for ambitious politicians to extend their careers after they have left office – or a route into power in the first place.
But the power of the Israel lobby is in many ways on the wane. The sheer arrogance and overstepping of the mark by Israel is leading many of its former friends to slink away.
Once upon a time, even the left wing of the Labour party supported Israel. Nowadays, even some on the right of the Labour Party – and even a few Tories – feel politically compelled to make some sort of declaration of support for Palestinians.
Things are changing. Not fast enough, but they are. This change is no accident of history. It is down to struggle – the struggle of the Palestinian people first and foremost.
For that struggle to succeed, is it vital that we increase all forms of solidarity with the Palestinian people in 2018.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.