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By Book Review – Clarity Press, Atlanta

ISRAEL:  Good for America?
 
Criticizing and exposing the powerful public role of American Zionism in shaping US policy in the Middle East is the biggest taboo in US politics. Politicians, academics, journalists, prelates and ordinary American citizens who publicly voice their dissent are targeted for political purges, denied academic tenure, and access to the mass media and scurrilously labeled as anti-Semites by the Zionist power configuration.

Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power by James Petras challenges the claims of Zionist apologists who argue that the Israel power configuration is just another lobby by empirically examining several major US policies. The case studies demonstrate conclusively that today issues of war and peace, trade and investment agreements by US, European, and Asian oil companies and banks in the Middle East, and multi-billion dollar arms sales are all subject to ZPC scrutiny and veto. 

The new broad definition of what affects Israel includes Lobby backing for Bush’s shredding of Constitutional restraints on his war powers.  It is not merely regional expansion which interests Israel but economic and military aid and sales namely who determines what military goods the US can sell to Arab states as well as what high end military technology the US should provide to the world’s fourth biggest arms merchant, Israel (an arms export competitor) the Zionist power configuration (ZPC) in the US Congress has blocked trade and sales to Saudi Arabia, despite the backing of the US oil and military-industrial sectors. Thanks to its influence in the mass media, the ZPC effectively delayed, degraded and then marginalized a long-awaited report by16 US national intelligence agencies on Iran’s non-military nuclear program in favor of dubious bellicose claims issued by the state of Israel.

Building on Petras highly successful earlier works on the subject. The Power of Israel in the United States (2006, 4th printing) and Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire:  Bankers, Zionists, Militants (2007, 2nd printing), with foreign language editions appearing in Japanese (hardcover), Spanish, Arabic, German, Indonesian and Italian Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power examines how domestic Zion-Con forces can make a drumbeat for a US war on Iran even possible, given the current overstretch of US forces and public disgust and distaste for the war in Iraq.

While it has been widely (and incorrectly) argued that the US war on Iraq was for Big Oil, only Zion-Con demands and Israeli interests can explain the current US moves against Iran�threats, infiltrations, naval blockades, US Treasury-imposed sanctions on the entire Iranian financial sector including threats to global finance for any linkages policies which are contrary to the interests of Big Oil, US corporations, and the weakened US military.  Petras empirically demonstrates that while the interests of the US do not in fact coincide with those of Israel, the effective power of the pro-Zionist Lobby gives Israel the capacity to replace the US agenda with its own. 

He analyzes the ongoing Zion-Con confrontation with the only significant domestic counterforce that might protect the US from the Zion-Con push to war not the moribund peace movement, not the obsequious Congress, Executive, nor the AIPAC-fawning presidential candidates but, paradoxically, the US military, which is fighting back through its National Intelligence Estimate, and ongoing resignations and public warnings by top military brass.  That the military’s success is far from assured in this confrontation with domestic Zionist elements acting on behalf of a foreign power is little short of astounding.

Israel’s military industries (which are central to its economy), the political leverage of the settler parties, religious fundamentalists and security apparatus, and the Israeli state’s dependence on multi-billion dollar handouts from the US treasury and wealthy Jewish militarist donors, mean that Israel is internally structurally incapable of accommodating normal peaceful relations with its neighbors. The rigid structural parameters of Israeli politics are transmitted via the Zionist Power Configuration into the basic contradictory reality in US-Israeli relations:  a tiny isolated, militarized, settler-controlled state blocking economic transactions of a globalized imperial economy by forcing it into disastrous military adventures and economic decline, with calamitous results for the world at large.

As a result, over time the ZPC in the United States has steadily broadened its definition of the areas of interest for Israel, and thus the issues on which it will intervene. During the 1940s to ’50s, the main focus of the Lobby was to secure US diplomatic support for Israel�s ethnic cleansing of Palestine.  Its focus extended to Israel’s wars with Egypt and Syria in the 1960s and 1970s; to Lebanon and Iraq during the 1980s and 1990s; and to Iraq and Iran during the current decade, where Zionist interests now threaten what the IAEA’s Al-Baradei has termed a conflagration.

At a time when our national economy is in deep crisis, the Israel Lobby is pushing for a new military confrontation and war with Iran, oblivious to its catastrophic consequences for the American people. Major pro-Israel officials and politicians in Homeland Security, the National Security Council, the Congress and the White House are passing more police-state legislation to control and silence the growing majority opposition to the expansion of wars in the Middle East promoted by the Israel Lobby.

This book establishes why coming to grips with the impact of Israel and the Israel Lobby on US policy is so essential to bringing peace to the Middle East, restoring public freedoms in our country and taking back our right to decide not only US foreign policy, but our domestic policy as well, in the interests of the vast majority of the American people.

Clarity Press: Publisher on Global Issues, Human Rights, Social Justice and Ethnic Relations

Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power can be ordered from Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA. 30305.