America’s Coming Nakba

By William A. Cook

‘From the moment we took on a role that included the permanent military domination of the world, we were on our own—feared, hated, corrupt and corrupting, maintaining ‘order’ through state terrorism and bribery, and given to megalomanic rhetoric and sophistries that virtually invited the rest of the world to unite against us. We had mounted the Napoleonic tiger. The question was, would we—and could we—ever dismount?’ – (Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire 284).

Johnson’s prescient observation, made years ago, erupted in full view of the world community this past week as Netanyahu and Obama attempted to control the tiger unleashed by the creation of the state of Israel in the midst of the Arab world–by deceit, theft, terrorism, and military might–faced now with the Arab spring rising from the ashes of fallen dictators. Coercion, bribery and military might created an illusion of peaceful stability as long as agreements providing billions of dollars for security police, military training by the U.S. and technical and ordnance support secured the dictator in power.

But with America forced to do the bidding of its adopted child by the “corpocracy” that governs this empire and its unending need for wars to sustain its economic growth, America finds itself woefully weak as its forces futilely attempt to contain terrorism throughout the mid-east. Now America finds itself bereft of power, bereft of resources, and bereft of friends, manipulated by Israeli Zionists like Sharon, Olmert, and Netanyahu who disdain America’s weakness holding its Congress prisoner by coercion, bribery and deceit the very strategies that Israel has used against the people of the mid-east to create the illusion of peace.
Ironically, as Obama lectured AIPAC and Netanyahu on Monday, he drew a demographic map that forces both Israel and the world communities to take notice of what the Likud Party really stands for even as it declares that “Peace is a primary objective of the State of Israel.” The Palestinian population in historic Palestine will equal the Jewish population before 2014 (Palestine Bureau of Statistics). That fact “on the ground” makes the land west of the Jordan River a Palestinian majority; the irony rests in a little noticed Likud Platform statement, “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.” Not only is this declaration a total rejection of a Palestinian state by the Israeli government (comparable indeed to that of Hamas in its denial of the Israeli state), it does so even when confronted by the inevitable reality that Jews will be a minority in Palestine. Denial of a Palestinian state will result in Israel becoming a minority controlled apartheid, non-democratic state like South Africa decades ago.

But Obama’s lecture went beyond population figures. He attempted to teach the Israelis that walls and chain link fences cannot contain the projected 6.1 million even with rolled barb wire, watch towers and sophisticated technology. How could Israel manage to contain a population greater than its own on approximately 15% of historic Palestine while its population occupies 85%? (PCBS). How could the world communities grapple with the injustice of such a situation, especially since these figures do not include the 5.6 million refugees living in various Arab lands. Under international law, these people have a right to return and many of them would have a right to return to land now claimed by Israel. Obama is suggesting that it would behoove Israel to accept a settlement that would provide adequate land and resources for the Palestinians or face the inevitable dissolution of the Jewish state as the one state solution becomes a de facto reality. In 2002 the Saudi Prince proffered a peace plan based on the 1967 borders carrying with it full recognition of the state of Israel by all Arab countries. Israel and the US rejected it out of hand.   

While Obama did not demand what the Israeli government must do, he did note that the times are a changin’. No longer will it be possible, Obama implied, to cull out of an elite few those who could be bribed into a pseudo-peace agreement with Israel like those that existed in Egypt and Jordan, or force into play sweet oil deals with Gaddafi look- a-likes, or invade illegally a nation that has done nothing against the U.S., as happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, affecting thereby a complacent leader that will do our corporate will. No, the times have changed; the new Arab is aware of America’s depleted resources, understands its economic crisis and towering debt, realizes the vice being turned by the Palestinian population growth on the Jews, realizes that justice demands equity for themselves and the Palestinians, and has the knowledge to force its awareness on the international community through the United Nations General Assembly.
Obama knows all too well how little power he possesses as President of the United States. He knows that the Representatives of the people are owned by corporate power and the Israeli lobbies. That means he can affect no legislation, foreign or domestic, if he confronts the Zionists that control this government, nor could he expect to gain reelection. He is a shackled man, subservient to his overseers. But he also knows that America is threatened by this subservience, that its soldiers are being used by a foreign power, and that hatred of Americans festers in the souls occupied by Israeli troops.

Mark Perry describes an unprecedented bombshell briefing with Admiral Mullen in which the views of senior Arab leaders that the US administration is ineffectual and incapable of standing up to Israel are conveyed, as well as those of General Petraeus who sees the so-called ‘special relationship’ with Israel as putting American lives and interests at risk.

The January Mullen briefing was unprecedented. No previous CENTCOM commander had ever expressed himself on what is essentially a political issue; which is why the briefers were careful to tell Mullen that their conclusions followed from a December 2009 tour of the region where, on Petraeus’s instructions, they spoke to senior Arab leaders. “Everywhere they went, the message was pretty humbling,” a Pentagon officer familiar with the briefing says. “America was not only viewed as weak, but its military posture in the region was eroding.” (see Mark Perry, “Putting American Lives At Risk”)

The following is General Petraeus’s Centcom Statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee – 16th March 2010:

“Insufficient progress toward a comprehensive Middle East peace. The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR [area of responsibility]. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.”

Obama understood the imminent implications of the rebirth of humanitarian desires on the part of the people of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Iran and even Palestine, most especially Palestine, as those desires overflow onto the desks of the United Nations representatives demanding recognition of the besieged and occupied citizens of Palestine. With that action expected in September, when the countries of South America, Asia, most of Europe, and the whole of the Arab world accept into membership the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders, the long ordeal of the Palestinian people, sixty three years of aborted peace initiatives by the state of Israel, will be ended (see Jeff Halper, “Israel is the Problem,” The Plight of the Palestinians).

That vote will cast Israel into an untenable position since it will require of the United States that it abandon its position as protector of this state that has defied the UN for all these years making the very intent of the UN irrelevant and helpless and the desires of the world communities moot. Obama’s speeches before Congress and AIPAC will either force Netanyahu to capitulate to peace negotiations that establish a viable Palestinian state or have the United Nations and not the US serve as broker to make the Palestinian state a reality, something Israel fears. Yet the truth is that the state of Israel was accepted into the United Nations by a vote of the General Assembly in 1949 thereby making moot a similar vote on behalf of the Palestinians. Only by having the UN intervene in establishing legitimate borders for both countries, thus creating equity at the outset,  can the potential for a true and just peace be made possible. 
Netanyahu, by contrast, ignored these implications and attempted to defend the megalomanic rhetoric of the Israeli state,

• a rhetoric that decries the threat inherent in Hamas’ Charter not to recognize the Israeli state but fails to tell the world of its own Likud Platform that flatly rejects the existence of a Palestinian state;
• a rhetoric that bemoans the ’67 borders as indefensible for Israel while it remains silent on the massacres inflicted on the Palestinians before and after the UN Partition Plan implementation that resulted in the confiscation of 21 thousand dunams in the Galilee, Al-Muthalath, and Negev;
• a rhetoric that declares the settlements must remain in the West Bank together with the apartheid highways that only Jews may use despite the fact that there are upwards of 517,774 Jews spotted throughout the West Bank making a viable Palestine impossible while an additional 1496 dunams have been confiscated to construct the Expansion and Annexation Wall for expanded settlements;
• a rhetoric that demands Palestinians recognize Israel as a democratic and Jewish state, even though that is by definition an oxymoron, and in practice makes Arab Israelis second class citizens, while Israel rejects a Palestinian state could exist west of the Jordan river;
• a rhetoric that demands Palestinians reject violence even though it is Israel that occupies their land illegally, and Syrian Land and Lebanese land and has exercised unrestrained slaughter of Palestinians since its inception, a fact that is recorded in countless UN resolutions.

In this season of remembrances, it is incumbent upon the people of the United States to reflect on the role they played in the abortive birth of the state of Israel and the disastrous catastrophe inflicted upon the people of Palestine. Ironically, most Americans can recall neither the Israeli Declaration of Independence nor the Nakba, yet in 2011, their very existence economically, politically, and internationally grows from the decades of unconditional support the U.S. government has provided to the terrorist state of Israel. Ironically as President Obama implies in his reactions to the changing conditions in the mid-east, America’s “unshaken support” for the state of Israel has brought upon it the world’s condemnation as a nation that has lost any semblance of justice for the humiliated and defenseless becoming thereby a nation distrusted, dishonored and dismissed. Perhaps this is the catastrophe of American power policy that seeks domination of the world for our Corporate elite.  

– William A. Cook is a Professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. His most recent book, The Plight of the Palestinians, was published this past summer by Macmillan. He contributed this article to Visit: and contact him at:

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