Chomsky: Do We Face a Real Confrontation with Israel?
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Washington's new initiative for Middle East peace, so it is hoped, will integrate Israel among the "moderate" Arab states as a bulwark for US domination of the vital energy-producing regions. It fits well into Obama's broader programs for Afghanistan and Pakistan, where military operations are escalating and huge "embassies" are being constructed on the model of the city-within-a-city in Baghdad, clearly signaling Obama's intentions (Saeed Shah and Warren Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers, May 27).
The "re-conceptualization" is evidently satisfactory to US high tech industry, which continues to enhance its intimate relations with Israel. One striking illustration as a gigantic installation that Intel is constructing in Israel to implement a revolutionary reduction in size of chips, expecting to set a new industry standard and to supply much of the world with parts from its Kiryat Gat facility. Relations between US and Israeli military industry remain particularly close. Israel continues to provide the US with a strategically located overseas military base for prepositioning weapons and other functions. Intelligence cooperation goes back half a century.
These are among the unparalleled services that Israel provides for US militarism and global dominance. They afford Israel a certain leeway to defy Washington's orders - though it is skating on thin ice if it tries to push its luck too far, as history has repeatedly shown. So far the jingoist extremism of the current government has been constrained by more sober elements: for example, the shelving of the proposals to require a loyalty oath and to prevent citizens from commemorating the Nakba - the disaster for Palestinians in 1948. But if Israel goes too far, there might indeed erupt a confrontation of the kind that many commentators perceive today, so far, with little basis.
Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor (retired) at MIT. He is the author of many books and articles on international affairs and social-political issues, and a long-time participant in activist movements. His most recent books include: Failed States , What We Say Goes (with David Barsamian), Hegemony or Survival , and the Essential Chomsky .