Volume 2, Number 2 (2009)

Engine of Geopolitics: The Israel Lobby

M. Shahid Alam

Department of Economics, Northeastern University 

It is impossible to form a proper estimate of Israel—its creation, wars, and expansionist policies — unless we examine it as part of a triangular relationship; the Jewish diaspora and the Western powers are the actors in this relationship. It was no ordinary feat to create in the middle of the twentieth century an exclusionary colonial settler state—based on ethnic cleansing—in the heart of another civilization. The early Zionists knew this; they were visionaries with a firm grasp of reality, not naïfs and dreamers. They knew that they would be contending with the people whom they would displace from Palestine, as well as the near and far Islamicate. If the Zionists could somehow displace the Palestinians without directly impacting their neighbors—say, by transporting all the Palestinians to Greenland—the Islamicate would still resist this intrusion.2 Colonial settlers are not tourists who enter a region, take in its sights, spend a few nights in the hotels – and leave with a few mementos of their visit. When these settlers create their own exclusionary state, they declare war not only against the people they displace. This settler state declares a more general war, entailing violence against the demography, cartography, geopolitics, and the historical memory of the region on which it imposes itself.