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The reality of the US-Israel relationship

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Message Bob Kosuth
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Mr. Thomas Farrell's August 3rd piece on Mitt Romney, Barak Obama, Israel and Western culture brings up important issues that we have heard and will hear more of.   
However, the author seriously misconstrues the issues as belonging to the murkiness of cultural history rather than the easily documented history of colonialism and its rationalizations.   
In their ivory towers, Farrell and Ong might well be content with the relaxed pleasures of abstract analysis and intellectualization.  
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Would that millions of Palestinians and other oppressed peoples had such luxury.   
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The ultimate question, which neither of these writers addresses, is "political and economic freedom" for whom?   Mr. Farrell rightly asks about what kind of political debate we are likely to get on the issue of Israel and the Palestinians. The answer is none at all because both candidates are too busy pandering to the Israel lobby in their quest for (re)election.   
As in the case of the extermination of Native Americans, it's simply too unsettling to take an honest look at colonialism when one is so directly involved.   The "Western cultural conditioning" that Mr. Farrell fondly refers to is nothing more than the rationalizing or covering up of a sordid history of abuse of military and economic power at the expense of the weak.   
Israel has been an apartheid state from its inception with the full support--political, military and economic--of the United States regardless of which person or party is in power.   
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A good book for "an academic" to read is The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ph.D. Israeli born historian Ilan Pappe.   
Academics can perhaps afford to be sanguine and patiently wait for "Western cultural conditioning" to make "strong inroads" around the world and work its magic.    
I suspect, however, that the vast majority of the world's overwhelmingly non-Western population would have other views.   I also suggest that readers consult the website of Minnesota Break the Bonds at mn.breakthebonds.org/ for information on our organization's program for divestment of Minnesota's Israel bonds along the lines of the successful 1980s South Africa divestment movement to end apartheid there.   I'm not sure if anything "irenic" or "agonistic" can be found on the website, but there is plenty of straight talk on the problems and concrete efforts to solve them.

 

Bob Kosuth, Ph.D.

Duluth

 

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Retired from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Former director of international programs office and Superior English as a Second Language Institute. Ph.D., University of Minnesota. M.A. degrees in linguistics and East Asian Studies from the (more...)
 
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