Photo courtesy of DW

“When the population of six cities and many villages is tortured daily in front of the whole world, and when those perpetrating these crimes are granted immunity, then we have to stop and speak up because new standards are being established as to what is permissible internationally.” Silvia Federici (Counterpunch, 12 March 2024).   

Magen David is the Hebrew name for the Shield of David or more commonly known as the Star of David. Like the European Crusaders marching to conquer the Holy Land of Jerusalem with Christian cross stitched to penitents’ garbs and blessed by the church centuries ago, Israel’s IDF with weapons and armoured vehicles supplied by the US and marked with Magen David are on a Holy mission to realize the dream of their Zionist forefathers to create Greater Israel. Their Greater Israel was to include Palestine in its entirety and the mission to achieve it started in 1948 with the complicity of the then imperial power, Great Britain. In creating Israel Britain hit the last nail on the coffin of the Sick Man of Europe – the Ottoman Empire so that never again would an Islamic power would rise to challenge Western supremacy. But when the greatness of Britain began to fade in consequence of Europe’s economic dislocation and destruction after the World War, the imperial baton changed hands and US became the new imperial master of the capitalist world.

The end of the World War also marked the beginning of the petroleum era. And it did not take too long for the new super power to realize that its imperial mastery depended very much on controlling that vital resource, which happened to be buried under the sandy deserts of the Arabian Peninsula. It was petroleum and not love towards the world of Islam that led to a historic meeting between the US President Franklin Roosevelt, who was on his way back after attending the Yalta Conference, and Saudi monarch Abdulaziz, on February 1945 in the battleship USS Quincy. That meeting ending in what Roosevelt described as “eternal friendship” between the two countries opened a new chapter in US’ imperial reach over the Middle East. However, that meeting and friendship with Saudi Arabia marked only one side of a more complex geopolitical US’ Middle East connection. Another and more important side was its relations with Britain’s baby, Israel.

When Israel was born in 1948 and when the new state encouraged the world Jewry to migrate to their new home, not all of them complied with that appeal. Even today, according to 2021 figures, only 46% of the world Jewry are domiciled in Israel while another 36% are citizens of US. This concentration of Jews in US proved to be a strategic blessing to Israel. Unlike the American Arabs and American Muslims, American Jewry commands a strategic influence if not control over US politics, economy, education and research institutions and national media. It is difficult to say whether US controls Israel or the other way round. No US president whether Democrat or Republican can survive without the backing of the Jewish lobby. Although they are American by nationality a vast majority of American Jews are staunch Zionists and yearning for the actualization of Greater Israel. If the American president wants the backing of the Jewish lobby, he or she has to be pro-Israel in every respect. What could be more appropriate for a president than to confess publicly that he is a Zionist as Joe Biden had done? US is drawn into a Faustian bargain with Israel. What is this bargain?

There are several versions of the Mephistophelian demonology that explains the nature of Faustian bargain.  According to the Synoptic Gospels of Christianity, Jesus was promised earthly riches and glory if he would serve the devil. But Jesus rejected the bargain, served God and became the Messiah. In the US-Israel bargain Israel is willing to be the deputy sheriff and take care of protecting US’ imperial interests in the Middel East and to do everything within its power to prevent the rise of any Arab or Islamic challenge threatening US interests and in return US would assist Israel to achieve Greater Israel by any means. This is why in the war in Gaza President Joe Biden is prepared to ignore any condemnation against Israel’s genocidal aggression and is not willing to call for a ceasefire. On the contrary, US funds and weapons are flowing unstoppably towards Israel. According to one estimation a record amount of $300 billion (adjusted for inflation) of US tax payer money had been funneled into Israel in the name of aid. It was US that armed Israel to its teeth and secretly helped to build its nuclear arsenal.

What makes this devil bargain operate even more smoothly is a historical congruity between the two parties. Both US and Israel are settler states and both carry an attitude of repugnance towards their respective indigenous population. The white settlers in US treated the Amerindians as inhuman, barbaric and savages who deserved to be killed or enslaved. In fact, wherever the whites went into Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Pacific they considered the natives in the same manner. Similarly, to Zionist Israelis Gazans are “savages”, “human animals” and “bottled cockroaches” and they should either be enslaved or removed from the earth.  At least white Americans later intermarried among the natives but Israel’s Zionist zealotry and a concocted accusation of Arab antisemitism not only prevented such legal cohabitation but also, as Professor Avi Shilaim, an Iraqi Jew who migrated to Israel in 1950 laments in his memoirs, missed the opportunity to utilize the expatriate Arab Jewish community as bridge builders between Israel and the Arab world. Now, US with its own bloody history of racist violence is having no qualms in sharing its expertise with Netanyahu and his Zionist IDF. The food drop and construction of a port in Gaza to handle humanitarian aid while refusing to call for a ceasefire is another drama to hoodwink the world and allow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue with his genocide. That port too would eventually be handed over to Israel once Gaza falls under Israeli control. But will Israel ever succeed?

Given the pathetic weakness to defend themselves against foreign threats let alone defending a neighbor and worsened by their historic disunity and sectarian differences there is no hope for any Arab regime to come to the aid of Palestinians. On the contrary they are willing to surrender to the imperial machinations of US, as demonstrated by the Abraham Accords, which are bilateral agreements signed in 2020 between UAE and Israel and between Bahrain and Israel in order to normalize relations with Israel. Saudi Arabia is also in the queue to join this accord. Turkey’s anti-Israel rhetoric lacks action and behind the scene Turkey wants to protect and promote its trade relations with Israel. Iran is handicapped by its Shia tag. All this leaves the onus of fighting for an independent sovereign Palestinian on the shoulders of non-state paramilitary groups. Hamas in Gaza, Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon are three of them adding a new dimension to the war and the war is set to escalate beyond the borders of Palestine. As it escalates one could expect other Muslim groups to emerge and fight on different fronts mainly against US interests.

The US is a declining super power currently involved in two theatres of hot war, Palestine and Ukraine. But it is also confronting another brewing crisis in South China sea over Taiwan. In another region, the Indian Ocean is becoming another theatre of geopolitical tension with China’s One Belt, One Road challenge. It is too much for any US president to handle all this especially at a time when his whole attention needs to be devoted to the forthcoming election. Finally, with a global environmental crisis this multi-cornered wars and tensions will have their economic impact in almost every country as happening already in several of them. And on top of all of them Netanyahu’s own survival as prime minister is becoming untenable with increasing domestic protests in Israel. The war in Gaza is no more a war between Israel and Palestinians but between humanity and American imperialism. The loser is going to be the latter and the Faustian bargain has to come to an end.