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As the Israeli aggression continues against the Muslims in Gaza, Muslims and many non-Muslims across the world have demonstrated against the atrocities committed by the Zionist entity. As images continue to be beamed across the world of dead bodies dumped outside hospitals and the bombing of schools, even the influential pro-Israeli elements in the media are finding it difficult to justify Israel's aggression. Attempts by some to secure a ceasefire are falling on deaf ears as the US continues to stand in the way of such actions.
The Western world since the creation of Israel has supported the Zionist entity - it is virtually impossible for Israel to survive on its own. Understanding this is crucial because it defines who should be targeted in the current crisis and the stance people should take generally towards Israel.
British Strategic interests
Theodor Herzl is credited with founding political Zionism, a movement which sought to establish a Jewish state, by elevating the Jewish question onto the international scene. In 1896, Herzl published Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State), offering his vision of a future state; the following year he presided over the first World Zionist Congress.
In 1907 British Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman formed a committee with France, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Spain and Italy. He gathered specialists in history, geography, economics, oil, agriculture and colonialism - to study possible ways to assure the continuity of European colonial interests. In his directives to the committee members, he outlined that empires grow in power to a certain extent, expand then gradually disintegrate and collapse. He asked them to find a way for delaying the fate of European colonialism which had reached its peak, at the time, when the sun never set on the British Empire. The committee's key recommendation was:
"There are people (Muslims) who control spacious territories teeming with manifest and hidden resources. They dominate the intersections of world routes. Their lands were the cradles of human civilizations and religions. These people have one faith, one language, one history and the same aspirations. No natural barriers can isolate these people from one another ... if, per chance, this nation were to be unified into one state, it would then take the fate of the world into its hands and would separate Europe from the rest of the world. Taking these considerations seriously, a foreign body should be planted in the heart of this nation to prevent the convergence of its wings in such a way that it could exhaust its powers in never-ending wars. It could also serve as a springboard for the West to gain its coveted objects."
Prime Minister Henry Bannerman, Campbell-Bannerman Report, 1907
Although Argentina and Uganda were considered for the establishment of a Jewish homeland Britain viewed the plight and outright racism Jews experienced in Europe from a strategic perspective. With the Ottomans on its final legs Britain and its European power brokers were determined that the Muslim world should never be able to unite and threaten Western interests ever again.
David Fromkin, Professor and expert of Economic History at the University of Chicago describes the actions of the European colonialists:
"With centuries of mercantilist experience, Britain and France created small, unstable states whose rulers needed their support to stay in power. The development and trade of these states were controlled and they were meant never again to be a threat to the West. These external powers then made contracts with their puppets to buy Arab resources cheaply, making the feudal elite enormously wealthy while leaving most citizens in poverty."
European colonialists led by Britain used the Zionist call for a Jewish homeland to achieve their own strategic interests in keeping the Muslim world in endless wars with this Zionist entity and never threatening colonial interests ever again.
Although British influence in the Middle East has been replaced by American influence, the US is committed to protecting Israel, guaranteeing her security and securing a prosperous standard of living for the Jews living there. However this is not out of any moral obligation but due to strategic interests. It is these interests that have resulted in support of all types to Israel. With the population of the Palestinian territories forecasted to overtake that of Israel's by 2019, Israel needs a strong economy to attract Jewish migration from across the world and then to maintain a high standard of living for them.
A cursory glance at Israel's economy shows it is poor in natural resources; Israel depends on imports of oil, coal, food, production inputs and military equipment. Through a variety of agreements, deals and support from the West Israel has managed to develop the foundation of an industrial economy. With a population the size of Scotland Israel has an economy worth $185 billion. The European Union, US, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Jordan and Egypt, have signed free trade agreements with Israel which means they all trade without any restrictions, which has helped Israel in procuring raw materials.
Foreign markets are an important source of revenue for Israel. Due to having a very small domestic market (due to its small population) it is forced to search for foreign markets to generate wealth. Industrialised nations generally focus 10% of their economy towards foreign trade (imports and exports). However 30% of the Israeli economy relies on exports, which is very high. Israel's main exports 10 years ago were Jaffa oranges and other agricultural products. Today's exports are increasingly high-tech, an estimated 80% of the products Israel exports are high-tech and electronics components. However Israel is finding it is light years behind Japan, China and Germany in this very competitive sector. 40% of Israeli exports end up on US shores even though the US can make the same agricultural goods and computer hardware cheaper and of better quality.
Because of the strategic role Israel plays in the Middle East it has been spoilt with military hardware and technology which would have otherwise taken it decades to develop. The US spends over $5 billion every year in military aid where it funds foreign militaries. Israel is the largest recipient of this, receiving $2 billion every year, whilst $1.3 billion goes to Egypt. This has given Israel a huge advantage over its surrounding nations. The US is expected to provide Israel with $30 billion in military aid between 2008 and 2017
Britain the original father of Israel has never let its spoilt child down. The British government's own figures show it is selling more and more weapons to Israel, despite questions about the country's use of force. In 2007, Britain approved £6 million of arms exports. In 2008, it licensed sales 12 times as fast: £20m in the first three months alone. Britain provides Israel with many of the technological components used in its military hardware. The licensees covered the export of armored vehicles and missile components that Israel regularly uses against the Muslims of Palestine. Major British companies such as HSBC, British Airways and British Gas have interests in Israel, and trade is now well above £2.4 billion. In addition, many Israeli companies see the UK as an attractive place to grow and expand their businesses. The UK, as an international financial hub, is the doorway to a world of opportunities for companies and entrepreneurs. More than 200 Israeli companies have set up operations in the UK, and that number continues to rise. Another 40 Israeli companies have already chosen the AIM (Alternative Investment Market - Market for new upcoming business which has fewer conditions compared to the FTSE100) stock exchange to raise capital, rather than the more expensive and distant option of the US.
The European Union describes Israel as "one of the EU's most established trading partners in the Euromed area ranking as the EU's 25th major trade partner," on its European commission website. EU-Israeli trade is at an all time high of €14 billion. The EU has a €30 billion arms industry that is competing internationally with the US and China. For these reasons the EU allows EU nations to compete freely in the arms markets. The EU hopes to encourage a restructuring of the continent's fractured arms industry so it is better able to tackle international rivals. Hence what Israel does with the arms purchased from the EU is of little concern to the EU.
Israel is essentially a military aircraft carrier for the US and the Western world in the region. However Western support goes beyond providing Israel with military hardware and includes political support.
The US Congress was notified in July 2006 in the midst of the Lebanon-Israel conflict of the sale of $210 million worth of jet fuel to Israel. The Defence George Bush Security Cooperation Agency noted that the sale of the JP-8 fuel, should it be completed, will "enable Israel to maintain the operational capability of its aircraft inventory." and "the jet fuel will be consumed while the aircraft is in use to keep peace and security in the region."
It has been speculated that the US has also provided Israel with "bunker buster" bombs, which would be used to target the leader of Hizbollah and destroy its trenches. The US has also jointly developed the Arrow Anti-Ballistic Missile Program. The world's only national operational missile defence system designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles. The Arrow is the most advanced missile defence system in the world. The development was funded by both Israel and the United States. Not only does the Arrow protect Israel, it has also provided the US the research and experience necessary to develop additional defensive weapons systems.
The Western world has also afforded Israel political support throughout its history. We witness again and again the veto of UN resolutions condemning Israel. Zalmay Khalilzad is reported to have received explicit instructions from his superiors at the US State Department to torpedo any initiative proposed by the Arab bloc which is designed to grant the Security Council the status of an official arbiter that will have direct involvement with the current disentangling Gaza crisis.
In July 2006 the United Nations Security Council rejected pleas from Lebanon that it call for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported the US was the only member out of the 15-nation UN body to oppose any council action at all. The US provided Israel with precession guided bombs which the British government denied any knowledge of landing and refuelling at British airports.
The Western world has created a lop-sided balance of power structure in the region by spoiling Israel with military technology. This has given Israel an immense advantage over any negotiations in the region and it is this reason why Israel unilaterally continues with settlement construction to alter the very face of the region. The maintenance of this balance of power was no accident. It has been carefully constructed to ensure US strategic interests are maintained. This is the reason the US is applying huge pressure on Iran for developing nuclear weapons, as this would change the geopolitics of the region. The US is also horrified by the deal signed by Russia and Iran for the S300 missile defence system. Such a missile defence system will completely alter the rules of the game as Iran could systematically take out 100 jets or missiles simultaneously
The current aggression against Gaza we are witnessing has US blessings written all over it. Without US and Western support Israel would never be in the position it is in today. The Western world has also ensured that its puppets in the Muslim world work with Israel and contribute towards strengthening it. From this perspective we should not miss the point and call for a halt in Israeli aggression as this would be the same as asking the dog to stop barking. Dealing with this problem requires an entity that has the will to threaten this Western strategic interest, the Arab nations collectively can pose such a challenge with the correct political will. The Muslim armies have the ability to change the status quo as each of the rulers in the Muslim world relies on the army to remain in power.
It should also be remembered that the US refuses to allow Israel to share the influence in the region with her. In order to prevent Israeli expansion and the spread of Israeli influence in the region, American policy has been based on isolating Israel from the rest of the region in an attempt to curtail her and minimise her role in the quest to solve the Palestinian issue and the Middle Eastern issue. US policy is centred around establishing a Palestinian state to act as an instrument of containment; by establishing a host of international guarantees and by bringing multinational forces to be deployed along the borders between Israel and the neighbouring Arab countries - Jordan, Syria, Egypt and the future Palestinian State. The American policy has also been based on working towards the internationalisation of Jerusalem, as America sees this internationalisation as a solution to the sensitive crisis of Jerusalem that would guarantee a strong American presence through the presence of the United Nations. Israeli invincibility is a myth and Israeli control on the global levers of power is an even bigger myth.