David Brooks solves Arab-Israeli Impasse

Sunday, January 17, 2010 8:59 PM

The colossal devastation and carnage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti caused by an act of God should, among other things, make us vigilant to avoid catastrophes caused by the wanton and gratuitous acts of Man. The catastrophes we bring upon ourselves are far too numerous. An outstanding example is the bloody mess in the Middle East.


But lo and behold, we may now have a solution, or at least a way out, thanks to NY Times pundit and Neocon lightweight, David Brooks. I am referring to his chest-thumping column "The Tel Aviv Cluster" of last Tuesday, January 12th. Brooks' solution is that Jews who have settled and prospered in Palestine, and renamed it "Israel", can regroup and relocate to Palo Alto, California, and set up shop there. It is not clear if this is a threat or a suggestion or just a whacky idea on his part, but it does make one think about what is actually going on. 


Please understand that my concern, now as always, is not just for the horrible consequences of the Zionist experiment to the primary victims on the ground, but also for the  impact of this same enterprise upon the rest of us, those in America and Europe, and upon humanity as a whole. The Arab-"Israeli" conflict has ramifications far beyond the scene of the crime. Debilitating circumstances plaguing the lone surviving "Superpower", of which I happen to be a ragtag citizen, come to mind. They are insidious and most disturbing. David Brooks, on the other hand, is fixated upon the well-being of the perpetrators.


He maintains that Jews are very mobile and smart. He uses the terms Jews and Israelis almost interchangeably. For him there is little, if any, difference. This makes sense. Zionism has subsumed Judaism. The new secular religion of the Jews is Zionism and the Holocaust. Everything else is apostasy or irrelevant. Although it was not always the case, the number of notable anti-Zionist Jews can now be counted on your fingers and toes. After all, every Jew in the world, especially if he or she is from Ex America or from the former Soviet Union, has the opportunity to book a flight to Tel Aviv and, upon landing, to declare himself or herself an instant "Israeli". It is called "aliyah", and like Jihad for the Islamists, it is a sacred duty.


The best examples of this phenomenon might be the current PM and Foreign Minister of Occupied Palestine--"Bibi" Nut&Yahoo and Avigdor Lieberman. The former went to high school and college in America; the later was a nightclub bouncer in Moldova, USSR, wherever that is. They are currently in charge of Palestine, now called Israel, which is the nuclear-armed, military hegemon of the greater Middle East. We are talking hyper-mobility, in all directions. 


Brooks takes the status quo in Israel for granted, as an entitlement. He ignores the dark side of the story. He does not contemplate his own ethnocentric mindset or examine the unvarnished track record of Zionism, as distinct from the world of mendacious flapdoodle in which the Neocons live and thrive. No doubt Brooks would be flabbergasted by the damning verdict which Irish Labor Minister Justin Keating arrived at in 2005: "I have reached the conclusion that the Zionists have absolutely no right in what they call Israel, that they have built their state not beside but on top of the Palestinian people, and that there can be no peace as long as contemporary Israel retains its present form." Brooks views Israel differently: "The country was not founded so stray settlers could sit among thousands of angry Palestinians in Hebron. It was founded so Jews would have a safe place to come together and create things for the world." Oh, was that it? 


Brooks' lightheaded pronouncement begs the question, what about those angry Palestinians in Hebron? Why should they be angry? Are they not human beings entitled to a "safe place" as well as the Jews? And what about the inmates of the Gaza concentration camp and the many Palestinian war refugees living in smaller camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq? Any "safe place" for them, which is not somewhere outside of their own country and/or not under Jewish military occupation?


Brooks does not address the issue. It is evident, he does not give a damn. For him, the plight of Palestinians is an annoying sidelight. (He shares that supercilious attitude with fellow Times pontificator, Thomas Friedman.) The Palestinians and their Arab supporters are background noise to be ignored. Like other American Neocons, Brooks is transfixed by a sound over the horizon. In a word, Iran. And here, via a back door, is where he stumbles upon an imaginative solution to the Arab-"Israeli" conflict.


He talks about the "tech boom" occurring among Jewish immigrants to Palestine, brought about in part by the refusal of "Bibi" and his Likud henchmen to make peace with the indigenous population: "Benjamin Netanyahu's economic reforms, the arrival of a million Russian immigrants and the stagnation of the peace process have produced a historic shift... This has had a desultory effect on the nation's public life, but an invigorating one on its economy." Come again?


Brooks is silent on the subject of wholesale theft via espionage--as well as officially-sanctioned massive transfers--of high technology and intellectual property and pharmaceutical formulae from Washington and Berlin to Tel Aviv. Likewise, there is no reference to the huge "foreign aid" and military grants from Washington to Tel Aviv; no comment on the tax-deductible contributions from U.S. citizens courtesy of the U.S. Treasury to underwrite the boom, to bankroll the military occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and to subsidize the Israeli economy in general. It is a national scandal. Brooks is not alone in maintaining the carefully-crafted pretense that Israel is just another independent country, with problems and peculiarities like any other. In fairness to Brooks, that is the Washington party line. It is rubbish.


Amid all these perks, this leverage and inside double-dealing, Tel Aviv still has a problem. Iran is the dark cloud on the horizon that could ruin the boom and rain on the parade. So sayeth Brooks. He points to the argument of another unbiased observer, Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic magazine, to the effect that "...these innovators [the "Israelis"] are the most mobil people on earth. To destroy Israel's economy, Iran doesn't actually have to lob a nuclear weapon into the country. It just has to foment enough instability so the entrepreneurs decide they had better move to Palo Alto, where many of them already have contacts and homes. American Jews used to keep a foothold in Israel in case things got bad here. Now Israelis keep a foothold in the U.S." Egads! 


In brief, if things do not work out as anticipated, if this Jewish experiment in naked neocolonialism known as "Israel" somehow stalls and tanks, then Jews in residence in Palestine can just scoot elsewhere. It's not the end of the world. On the other hand, come to think of it, could Brooks possibly be advocating here--due to a hypothetical threat of economic instability--that Washington and Tel Aviv bomb the hell out of Tehran the day after tomorrow? That is another reading, I grant you.


Whatever, there remains the Palo Alto Option. It is now on the table: regroup to Ex America and carry on. In the meantime, we may all wonder why in the world so many innocent people throughout the Middle East, most especially in Palestine, have had to be victimized and inconvenienced to make Zionist Jews from Russia, Eastern Europe and America happy. Perhaps "inconvenienced" is not quite the perfect word for it. Then Americans, especially its national politicians, can speculate about 9/11 and Washington's wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and the U.S. confrontation with Iran. The operative questions are: What was it all about? Why? Cui bono?