Perry Anderson on the US-Israel axis:

The Middle East is the one part of the world where the us political system, as presently constituted, cannot act according to a rational calculus of national interest, because it is inhabited by another, supervening interest. For its entire position in the Arab—and by extension Muslim—world is compromised by its massive, ostentatious support for Israel. Universally regarded in the region as a predator state that could never have enjoyed forty years of impunity without vast supplies of American arms and money, and unconditional American protection in the un, Israel is the target of popular hatred for its expropriation and persecution of the Palestinians. By logical extension, America is detested for the same reason. Al-Qaeda’s attack on it was rooted in this context. From the standpoint of American power, rationally considered, a Palestinian state that was somewhat more than a Bantustan would pose no threat whatever, and could have been created at any time in the past half century by merely holding back the flow of dollars, guns and vetoes for Israel. The reason why this has never happened is perfectly clear. It lies in the grip of the Israeli lobby, drawing strength from the powerful Jewish community in the us, on the American political and media system. Not only does this lobby distort ‘normal’ decision-making processes at all levels where the Middle East is concerned. Until recently—and even then, only incipiently—it could not even be mentioned in any mainstream arena of discussion: a taboo that, as with all such repressions, injected a further massive dose of irrationality into the formation of us policy in the region.



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