Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Israel's Successful Use Of The Art Of Realpolitik

Israel's Successful Use Of The Art Of Realpolitik


By Ramzy Baroud

Many lessons can be drawn from the observation of Israeli dominion over the Palestinians in the past fifty-five years, most notably the audacious mandate of institutionalized violence.

Even more alarming than the crimes themselves is the fact that even after blatantly violating international law, Israel manages to remain in the safety of the fold of the international community. Perhaps the Sharon government gleaned its wisdom from Niccolo Machiavelli’s treatise, The Prince, rather than the Geneva Conventions. Consider the following scenario as a paradigm of the Machiavellian philosophy applied to the ‘Palestinian problem’:

The fall of the classic theory and practice of imperialism compels us modern imperialists, who are keenly interested in maintaining control of our remaining settlements, to develop an advanced strategy that will protect our interests. Consolidating our power over indigenous populations may be difficult, but if done the right way, the Israeli way, that is, our settlements can be successfully sustained while our subjects are effectively subdued.

An important factor in institutionalizing oppression is through the utilization of the legal system. Israel has successfully passed laws, such as the Law of Return, which allow the Jews and only Jews, to immigrate to Israel based on their race, while Palestinians are denied the right to live in their homeland and on their own property because they don’t fit into this category.

Moreover, the Absentee Law allows the state to confiscate the property of dispossessed Palestinians and claim it as state property. These laws have proved quite successful, since they make race the determining factor in attaining rights in Israel, with Jews as first class citizens and Arabs second class. They also rid Israel of some five million refugees, scattered elsewhere.

Another important element of institutionalized oppression is military occupation. Israel has occupied Palestine and other Arab lands for decades. This way, although condemned by futile United Nations resolutions, Israel has successfully achieved the upper hand over its subjects.

The modern imperialist must understand that a strong army remains essential in controlling the settlements and their people. Thanks to the sheer strength of Israel’s invincible army, Palestinian rebellions have been suppressed through massive applications of force. It doesn’t matter whether force is used against armed or unarmed individuals, children, women or the elderly. What matters most is conveying a message that subjects have no chance of gaining the rights for which they fight, and if they want to live, they must surrender to whatever the State demands.

Today’s imperialists must use the mass media, for it is unquestionably the most effective tool in winning today’s wars. It is important that the message conveyed through the media highlights the losses of the colonialist, not the colonized. The media must portray us as civilized and our enemies as savage; it must show us as righteous and our enemies as wicked; it must show us as peaceful and our enemies as terrorists.

If the media is tightly controlled, we can fashion our own reality. We can cause the world to blame our enemy when we kill their children, and we can make our soldiers heroes while their fighters are branded as criminals. Israel has indeed mastered the art of media control, to the point that we can even blame Palestinian parents for sending their children to be killed to grab media attention. Interestingly enough, many believe us.

Killing your enemies, torturing prisoners, occupying land and confiscating properties are very important, but not enough. You must humble the enemy while you carry out your policies. The tactic of humiliation is indeed a winning stratagem, for through its employment, you can destroy the spirit of your enemy. Yes you can kill a man, but slaying him as his family watches and then stealing his dead body is more effective.

You can beat a defiant young man who refuses to plead for mercy, but if you strip him naked first, you will certainly break his defiant spirit and make him wish for death. Yes you can torture a prisoner by beating him, but imagine how successful it will be if you threaten to rape, or if you do in fact rape, his wife or sister. We’ve done it, and it was often quite successful.

If your subjects submit, reward them with partial freedom and allow them to get menial jobs. But if they defy you, clamp down and have no mercy. Otherwise they will rebel too often. If you push them until they rise up against you, don’t back down. Fight back. Close down their schools, uproot their trees, burn down their farms, block their streets, isolate their cities, demolish their homes, throw them in jail, keep them under curfew for weeks, deny them clean water, electricity and basic supplies.

If they increase their defiance by using firearms, then feel free to do all that can be done. In Israel, for example, we are using our best high-tech weapons against them: F-15s, F-16s, Apache helicopters, missiles and more.

Destroy their symbols and deny them an identity. In Israel we have destroyed numerous mosques and have attacked and desecrated many churches. Imagine what that made them feel? Even God cannot protect them now.

If you issue them with identification cards, designate their nationality as "undefined". Burn their flags, ban their books, forbid them from learning their own history; call their intellectuals "militants" and their leaders "fanatics". Make them feel trapped with nowhere to escape.

Besiege their land, their air and water. Make them feel like a wild animal trapped in a net. Terrorize them. Give them ultimatums. Force them to accept their fate, which of course you ordain.

Turn them against each other whenever possible. Some of them might be weak, easy to manipulate. Use these to spy on the others. If such traitors become known, they’ll be jailed or even executed. That’s good, because then, like we do here in Israel, you can tell the world that your enemies violate human rights. You win both ways.

Build trenches and enormous walls around their fertile land, towns and villages, as we have done throughout the West Bank with our famous security fence. We said it was a security measure. The world believed us, and the people lost thousands of hectares of fertile land that is now in our hands, free of its inhabitants, whose high numbers have threatened our racial supremacy for generations.

Eradicate their forests and woodlands. Dump your toxic waste in their land and destroy their environment. In short, imprison their men, rape their land, murder their youth and push them to the brink of desperation, to the point of suicide, literally. You will then have succeeded in the complete dehumanization and defeat of your enemy, while through the media you will have convinced the world you are actually the victim.

*************

-Veteran Arab American journalist Ramzy Baroud teaches mass communication at Australia’s Curtin University of Technology, Malaysia Campus. This article is excerpted from his upcoming book entitled, "Writings on the Second Palestinian Uprising: A Chronology of a Peoples' Struggle", published by Pluto Press, London.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news