Israel’s Reversion to Old Colonial Tactics


It is amazing how quickly Israel has learned the elements of colonial staying power.  It is even more amazing how the American media has taken up the cause of racism against the Palestinians.

We can start with how the Israelis, and their lobby headquartered in Washington, have managed to demonize Palestinians, with the result that Israel can undertake a massive slaughter and be barely criticized for it both by our media.   We can begin with Israel’s request to the US government a couple of decades ago to label Hamas as a “Terrorist Group,” which our government happily agreed to do.   Other people in other parts of the world have tried this tactic, with some success, but for the most part such rebels are labeled “insurgents.”

Demonization of those you occupy is an essential first step to allow a colonial power to do what it wishes with the people being occupied.  How else can one explain the lack of meaningful protests by Americans, who have furnished the money and the weapons to the maiming and the slaughter by Israel of thousands of Palestinians in the many wars its Army has conducted against the Palestinians.

It is useful to look back at our own colonial experience to understand what our government is doing to abet this slaughter of innocents.

Our government, back in the early days of our country, made it a point to come to the aid of settlers who wanted to steal land abourezkfrom American Indians.  The government would send soldiers to any area where Indians fought against the settlers.  In fact, the Wounded Knee massacre came about when President Harrison, in 1889, sent troops to South Dakota to “protect” white
settlers from Ghost Dancing Indians.  The government assisted in the scare tactics that had already been used by certain merchants and others by sending more soldiers to our State to calm the fears of white settlers who believed ghost dancers were a major threat to them.   The Republican party was intent on electing two US Senators from South Dakota, so the fears of Indian massacres became an effective tool for the Republican Party to make that come about.

The extra soldiers then set about hunting down Indians who the army believed were ghost dancing and ultimately “threatening” the lives of white settlers.  The troops ordered to gather up Chief Big Foot’s band of Minneconjou Sioux, who were on a mission to Pine Ridge to offer help to the Oglalas based there.  A devastating mistake while trying to disarm the Indians resulted in a massacre of nearly all of Big Foot’s band at a small village called Wounded Knee, the last massacre of Indians in the state’s history.

But the demonization of the Indians in general and ghost dancers in particular enabled the Army to do what they did, much as Israel is doing to demonize Palestinians today.

The demonization has been so effective, assisted by our media, that no media person, and certainly no national politician, has hardly raised an eyebrow at the mass slaughter of Palestinians by Israel during the Gaza campaign.  At the time of this writing Israel has deliberately shelled and bombed Palestinian hospitals, UN shelters where Palestinians run to what they believe is a safe haven.  The photos we see of Gaza cities on television show nothing more than a huge pile of rubble.  It is not clear where those Palestinians will live after Israel has finished its dirty work and leaves Gaza.

It is all part of Israel’s strategy of bombing Gaza’s Palestinians into submission—to show them who is boss, and to prevent any Palestinian from raising his or her hand in protest of the eight year blockade of the strip.  Not even the most greedy and cruel Israelis believe they can kill all the Gazans, so they must satisfy themselves that it is necessary to control them.  There is no thought of ending the occupaton.  That is the lesson the Israeli government has learned from other colonial powers around the world.  The other lesson, that of the Warsaw Ghetto, quite obviously has been forgotten, except for that part that has shown Israel how to control those they occupy.

We have to be doubly sad by watching our President, Barack Obama, who should know better, continue to send weapons, ammunition and money to Israel during this time of mass bloodshed on Israel’s part.

James Abourezk is a former US senator from South Dakota. He is the author of: Advise and Dissent: Memoirs of an ex-Senator.


James Abourezk is a former US senator from South Dakota. He is the author of: Advise and Dissent: Memoirs of an ex-Senator.

Weekend Edition
October 9-11, 2015
David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
Jason Hribal
The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria
Robert Fantina
Canadian Universities vs. Israeli Apartheid
Conn Hallinan
Portugal: Europe’s Left Batting 1000
John Feffer
Mouths Wide Shut: Obama’s War on Whistleblowers
Paul Craig Roberts
The Impulsiveness of US Power
Ron Jacobs
The Murderer as American Hero
Alex Nunns
“A Movement Looking for a Home”: the Meaning of Jeremy Corbyn
Philippe Marlière
Class Struggle at Air France
Binoy Kampmark
Waiting in Vain for Moderation: Syria, Russia and Washington’s Problem
Paul Edwards
Empire of Disaster
Xanthe Hall
Nuclear Madness: NATO’s WMD ‘Sharing’ Must End
Margaret Knapke
These Salvadoran Women Went to Prison for Suffering Miscarriages
Uri Avnery
Abbas: the Leader Without Glory
Halima Hatimy
#BlackLivesMatter: Black Liberation or Black Liberal Distraction?
Michael Brenner
Kissinger Revisited
Cesar Chelala
The Perverse Rise of Killer Robots
Halyna Mokrushyna
On Ukraine’s ‘Incorrect’ Past
Jason Cone
Even Wars Have Rules: a Fact Sheet on the Bombing of Kunduz Hospital
Walter Brasch
Mass Murders are Good for Business
William Hadfield
Sophistry Rising: the Refugee Debate in Germany
Christopher Brauchli
Why the NRA Profits From Mass Shootings
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
Pete Dolack
There is Still Time to Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Marc Norton
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Andre Vltchek
Stop Millions of Western Immigrants!
David Rosen
If Donald Dump Was President
Dave Lindorff
America’s Latest War Crime
Ann Garrison
Sankarist Spirit Resurges in Burkina Faso
Franklin Lamb
Official Investigation Needed After Afghan Hospital Bombing
Linn Washington Jr.
Wrongs In Wine-Land
Ronald Bleier
Am I Drinking Enough Water? Sneezing’s A Clue
Charles R. Larson
Prelude to the Spanish Civil War: Eduard Mendoza’s “An Englishman in Madrid”
David Yearsley
Papal Pop and Circumstance
October 08, 2015
Michael Horton
Why is the US Aiding and Enabling Saudi Arabia’s Genocidal War in Yemen?