The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Behind U.S. Support for Israeli Leaders

Jul 23, 2023

Israeli President Isaac Herzog got the full red-carpet treatment during his Washington visit: a meeting with Biden at the White House, a speech before the joint session of Congress, a Congressional resolution in support of Israel, etc. Biden even announced that he was ready to meet with the controversial Israeli prime minister Netanyahu later on in the year.

That’s because the U.S. government counts on the Israeli government and military to impose order in the Middle East for the U.S. The U.S. government provides Israel with 3.8 billion dollars in military aid every year, by far more than any other government.

But the problem for the U.S. is that the Israeli government itself is caught up in its own internal chaos. Not only have huge demonstrations been sweeping the country since the beginning of the year; often leading the demonstrations are top military and police officials, many of whom are threatening to resign. Top military reservists and specialists are also threatening to stop serving.

At a time when the U.S. imperialism is engaged in its own major military confrontations in Ukraine with Russia and its trade war with China, U.S. officials don’t want another huge crisis in the Middle East to boil over because of growing chaos in Israel.

Today, the Israeli government is under the control of parties of the extreme-right wing, Orthodox Jews (religious fanatics) and outright fascists. In order to solidify their control, these politicians want to “reform” the Israeli Supreme Court, because the court sometimes acts as a small check on their authority. So, there is a power struggle going on inside the government.

Of course, ordinary Israelis have their own reasons to demonstrate. They don’t want their rights to be taken away by the extreme right-wingers, religious fanatics and fascists, that is, they say they want to guard their democratic rights.

The problem, though, is that those rights were never for everyone. From its foundation 75 years ago, the Israeli government has been at war against millions of Palestinians. It has driven Palestinians from their homes, and carried out one massacre after another. Only a month ago, the Israeli army invaded the West Bank town of Jenin, with tanks, attack jets, drones and military helicopters in one of its biggest operations in decades.

That war has dug a ditch of blood, a ditch of hatred, between peoples and paved the way for the fundamentalists and fascists to come to power in Israel.

Of course, the fact that this war turned Israel into a garrison state also made the country the U.S.’s most reliable military partner in the Middle East, since the country was built on the basis of war against its neighbors from the very beginning. It’s why the U.S. government has provided Israel with so much military aid.

The situation in Israel is one more proof that, as the old saying goes, “A people who oppress another people can never be free.”

There is no simple solution to this. These wars come out of how the big imperial powers control the world by setting peoples against each other. Either the working population and poor, Arabs and Israelis alike, find a way to come together and overthrow their oppressors, including the imperialists, or the situation will continue to spiral toward more fascism, chaos and death.