The United States and the Cult of Israel

Photograph Source: U.S. Secretary of Defense – Public Domain

Ever since European Zionists invaded the land of Palestine, Israel has made the Indigenous people prisoners and refugees in their own land.  Why, until now, have their colonization and imprisonment received so little attention in the United States?

Why has the nation that birthed the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence been willing to dismantle the long-established rules, norms and standards of international law and risk a wider war in the Middle East so that the apartheid state of Israel can “complete” its goal of physically destroying the Indigenous population of Palestine to create a Jewish-only state?

Why do individuals, in-and-out of government, who have seen in real time the carnage in Gaza, continue to defend the indefensible and remain bound to Israel?

Israel has been waging an ideological war on the truth since it declared itself a state in 1948.  It has invested heavily, particularly in the United States, to manufacture a legitimacy it does not have; to embed the myth that Israel is a small, yet brave and vulnerable democratic state that deserves U.S. support no matter the cost.

Until the 7 October incursion by Hamas and other resistance groups, Israel had succeeded in establishing a gallery of cultish faithful in the United States who have effectively controlled the narrative and silenced dissenting voices.

If we are to accept the Merriam-Webster dictionary  definition of a cult as “great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement or work,” then the relationship between the United States and Israel can accurately be described as cultish.

Israel’s apocryphal narrative has seeped into the thinking and vocabulary of American politicians, academics, Christian ministers, mainstream media and finally, most Americans.

Consequently, for many in positions of power and influence, common sense has been supplanted with Zionist mythical ideology and a cultish belief in heroic Israeli leaders, noble warriors and peace makers.

There are no Palestinians in the Israeli story.  The mantra of the Zionist regime, “a land without people for a people without land,”—which reflects the belief of Israel’s Zionist founders that Palestinians are not “people,”—is a myth held today by most Jewish Israelis and by many in the United States.

Israel’s advocates are in some ways similar to former President Donald Trump’s MAGA disciples, who have been referred by some as a cult.  Presented with overwhelming evidence of Trump’s crimes and grift, they have remained loyal.

After hundreds of reports, like that of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem, documenting Israel’s 76-year history of land theft, apartheid, oppression, torture and genocide of Palestinians, Israel’s loyalists remain steadfast.

In 1983, after the condemnation it received for its disastrous invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Israel stepped up its propaganda campaign.  The goal of what came to be known as the  Hasbara (propaganda) Project was to guarantee that America never wavered in its political, economic and military support and to make it next to  impossible to critique Israel’s actions.  Israel has cynically wielded the cudgel of  antisemitism to quash criticism.

The threat of punishment—of being labelled antisemitic—looms over those who dare to question or challenge the ideology.  It has been a fatally effective dissuader; an accusation that has destroyed the careers and reputations of many journalists, academics, entertainers and politicians.

Helen Thomas, for example, a respected member of the Washington press corps, had her 57-year career end after she publicly questioned U.S. support for Israel.  An onslaught of well-orchestrated denunciations forced her retirement in 2010.  Thomas later remarked, “You cannot criticize Israel in this country and survive.”

Popular host of a weekly MSNBC program, Mehdi Hasan, is a recent example of a journalist punished for making Palestinians’ visible to a national audience and for daring to criticize Israel.  After three years on the air, the cable “news” network announced in November 2023 that his program would be cancelled.

Corporate news organizations, like MSNBC, have come to expect immense pressure if they go outside the level of “acceptable” discourse regarding Israel.  They have, therefore, eschewed the Palestinian narrative and have become essentially an arm of Tel Aviv’s propaganda network.

Israeli hasbara has also framed Palestinian resistance against military occupation as terrorism.  The association of terrorism with Palestinians, Muslims and the Middle East has created an unhealthy climate of indifference and dispassion among many Americans; an indifference that has made the televised genocide of Palestinians acceptable—just another news event.

The venomous reach of Israeli cultism was demonstrated, for example, on 25 March when U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, abstained from a Security Council vote on an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.  Administration officials then stated that the resolution, which passed with the U.S. abstention, was non-binding and unenforceable, giving Israel license once again to completely ignore UN resolutions.

The deception behind the administration’s vote to abstain is worth noting. The resolution was adopted under Chapter VI (Pacific Settlement of Disputes) of the UN Charter.  While Chapter VI resolutions are commonly described as legally binding, there is no consensus on whether they are legally enforceable.  The White House used this ambiguity to dismiss the resolution.

Until the March vote to abstain,—the first nominally serious act of the administration in the Security Council—the Biden administration has encouraged Israel’s violation of international law and atrocities by vetoing four earlier Security Council ceasefire resolutions.

Genocide is not a single act, but a process.  Like the process in Germany that led to the annihilation stage of genocide—the Holocaust—Israel’s madness in Gaza and the occupied Palestinian Territories has been driven by a genocidal logic integral to and an inevitable part of Israel’s ongoing intent on establishing an exclusive ethno-religious state in Palestine where Palestinians do not exist.

Unlike the citizens of the Third Reich, however, dependent on state-controlled newspapers and radio to understand their world, social media has allowed the entire global community to witness a 21st century genocide.

In spite of the brutality, Israel’s cultish minions continue to obfuscate and condone, refusing to recognize the historical context that led to the inevitability of 7 October. Nowhere is that more apparent than in White House and in U.S. Congressional news briefings and press conferences.

Biden has been a “friend of Israel” since he entered the senate in 1973, and has often declared, “I am a Zionist.” After receiving $5,736,701 (from 1990 to 2024) from pro-Israel lobby groups, his cultish mindset has hardened.

A recent example of the president’s dedication to Israel is the 29 March report that Biden secretly signed off on billions of dollars in additional bombs and warplanes for Israel (1,800, 2,000-pound bombs; 500, 500-pound bombs; 25 F-35 fighter jets and engines worth $2.5 billion).  He did this knowing that there is no place left to bomb but Rafah, where more than one million Palestinians have been forced to flee.  While the U.S. and Israel feign contention over Tel Aviv’s planned ground invasion of Rafah, Israel has intensified air and artillery strikes on that beleaguered city.

For over seven decades, America’s top priority has been insuring the safety of its citadel in the Middle East.  The lives lost and trillions of U.S. dollars spent on containing or waging war against countries that have stood with Palestine and that have rejected Israeli regional hegemony—countries like Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Libya, and currently Ansarallah (Houthis) in Yemen—have not made the Middle East or the United States safer.

American administrations have spent billions propping up Middle East despots,  leaning on them to legitimize Israel’s presence in the region.  Some have paid dearly for bowing to U.S. pressure or largesse, like the late Shah of Iran and Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat.  Washington’s goading of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to collaborate with Israel contributed to his downfall in 1979.  And U.S. pressure on Sadat to make peace with Israel, led to his assassination in 1981.

U.S. officials and Western media refuse to say publicly what many believe, that Israel is not strategically important to the United States, as was once believed during the Cold War; that it is in fact a strategic liability.

The Biden administration continues to plow recklessly ahead, even as Israel continues to provoke a wider war in the region, conducting lethal airstrikes into Lebanon and Syria.

Israel’s years-long air war on supporters of Palestinian resistance—Hezbollah in Lebanon and Ansarallah in Yemen—has thus far not led to a larger confrontation.

Tel Aviv has carried out hundreds of strikes, mostly against Iranian installations  inside Syrian government-controlled areas.  Since December 2023, more than half a dozen Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officers have been killed in Israeli air strikes in Syria.

The Israeli missiles, however, that leveled the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus on 1 April—in clear violation of international law regarding the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises—has the potential to inflame the region.

Israel’s provocative action that killed seven Iranian military advisers, including a senior Quds Force commander, has forced Iran to react.

Netanyahu has spent decades trying to convince the world that Iran is a threat and to draw the United States into a war with Tehran.

Since the October attack, Netanyahu has escalated his undeclared war on Iran, aware of how it would serve his interests:  It would distract the world’s attention away from the genocide in Gaza, rally the troops and public, and postpone his political demise.

Washington’s tone deafness to the Palestinian condition and unwavering support for Israel has fueled anti-Americanism, radicalism and chaos throughout the Middle East.  The horrific attacks on U.S. centers of power on 9-11 is just one example of that reality.  Clearly, as evidenced today, what is best for Israel is not best for the United States.

Since 7 October, the Biden administration has overtly committed the United States to the cultish ideology of destruction.   On his 22 March 2024 trip to Tel Aviv, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated America’s dedication to destroying Hamas.

Blinken asserted once again that the United States would work with Israel to destroy Palestinian resistance and nationalism.  He and other American politicians fail to understand that Hamas is an ideology that birthed a political resistance movement and cannot be destroyed.

Israel and its cult in the United States have used every means to break the spirit of Palestinian defiance and to make Palestine a permanent colony of the Zionist regime.  Washington has been a willful partner in Israel’s schemes.  The October Palestinian insurrection and the resistance it has generated have proven both delusional.