Neocon Krauthammer Sees Israel as Victim in Flotilla Massacre

Neocon Krauthammer Sees Israel as Victim in Flotilla Massacre

Saturday, June 12, 2010 7:13 PM

From: “Stephen Sniegoski”


While the inhabitants of Gaza are suffering under a stifling blockade and a number of peace activists have been killed (bullets in the head at close range)  and wounded by Israeli commandoes, whom does prominent neocon columnist Charles Krauthammer view as the victim:  Israel, of course.  For hyper-Zionists such as Krauthammer, Israel is always the victim. 

Krauthammer: “Those troublesome Jews,” Washington Post, June 4, 2010.

To Krauthammer, none of the international concern is about the suffering of the Gazans because there is no suffering. Krauthammer does not even feel it necessary to try to rebut the reports from International Committee of the Red Cross, the World Health Organization, Amnesty International, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the UN Environmental Program and other international organizations that describe a dire situation in Gaza resulting from the blockade.  .

No, according to Krauthammer the international concern about Gaza, instead of being a humanitarian act,  is really a conscious effort to “de-legitimize” Israel by stopping a perfectly justified blockade. Krauthammer emphasizes that the purpose of the blockade is  “to simply prevent enemy rearmament” by Hamas, though, in actuality,  it is hardly selective, and restricts the importation of food, medicine, building supplies,  and many other commodities needed for civilian society.    And a recent Israeli government  document reveals that the blockade is actually designed to conduct “economic warfare” against Hamas by collectively punishing the Gazan people, which will presumably cause them to turn against Hamas rule.  

On the real purpose of the blockade, also see: “Recasting the Gaza blockade as a humanitarian project,”

Poor little Israel, Krauthammer laments,  has to resort to a blockade because the world “de-legitimizes its traditional ways of defending itself,” which included Israel’s “forward and active defense”—i.e., attacks on its neighbors.  Of course, this “forward and active defense” is simply a violation of modern international law that is embodied in the UN Charter.  It might be added that participating in such a “forward and active defense” got a number of German generals convicted  at Nuremberg in 1945-1946.. 

Krauthammer bemoans that if Israel cannot maintain its blockade then it has nothing with which to defend itself.  “The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense,” he opines.  Krauthammer, however, fails to depict any lethal threat to Israel—or even that destructiveness committed against Israel compares to the lethal  damage Israel has meted out  to the Palestinian inhabitants of Gaza.  For example, during  Israel’s attack on Gaza in December 2008–January 2009 (code named Operation Cast Lead),  there were 3 Israeli civilians and 10 soldiers killed, while  Palestinian deaths exceeded 1000, the majority of whom were civilians.    

To Krauthammer,  the international assault on Israel goes far beyond the issue of Gaza.  

He  laments that the “Obama administration joined the jackals, and reversed four decades of U.S. practice, by signing onto a consensus document that singles out Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons — thus de-legitimizing Israel’s very last line of defense: deterrence.”  But in an effort to bring about a nuclear free Middle East (and Obama has talked of a nuclear free world), it would seem perfectly appropriate to single out the only country  in the region that actually has a nuclear arsenal.  It is not apparent why nuclear “deterrence” should only be allowed to Israel.  It could actually be more justifiably argued that it is Israel’s neighbors who need nuclear weapons to serve as deterrence against Israel’s sizeable arsenal of 200-300 nuclear warheads.  

Krauthammer ends his article by comparing the situation to the Holocaust. “The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million — that number again — hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists — Iranian in particular — openly prepare a more final solution.”

In Krauthammer’s hysterical presentation, the fact that absolutely no actual constraints have been placed on Israel is completely omitted.   Israel has only been faced with purely verbal complaints.  It has essentially gotten away with a piratical raid and abduction in international waters in which it killed and wounded a significant number of  innocent people with no concrete punishment.   The international community has taken no forceful steps to try to stop Israel’s comprehensive blockade of Gaza.  Nothing has been done about Israel’s maintenance  of a nuclear arsenal, which it can rely on to threaten its neighbors. At the same time, sanctions are imposed against Iran, which essentially guarantee Israel’s regional nuclear monopoly (if, in fact, Iran were really attempting to develop nuclear weapons.)   There is no evidence whatsoever that Iran is planning for a  “final solution” for Jews;  but Israelis and Israel’s American supporters have made  repeated references to a possible Israeli air attack on Iran.  Krauthammer’s contention that Israel is being  “ghettoized,” while Gaza is the victim of a comprehensive Israeli blockade,  is mind boggling. In short, all the physical suffering has been inflicted by Israel on others.  Yet,  in all of this, Krauthammer sees another Holocaust of the Jews!  

It is apparent that Krauthammer, as Andrew Sullivan puts it in his article “Israel Derangement Syndrome,” has entered an “alternate reality,” which is actually an inverted reality, where things are just the opposite of how they are in the real world.

Sullivan provides an apt description of the “Israel Derangement Syndrome”:

“This is a form of derangement, or of such a passionate commitment to a foreign country that any and all normal moral rules or even basic fairness are jettisoned. And you will notice one thing as well: no regret whatsoever for the loss of human life, just as the hideous murder of so many civilians in the Gaza war had to be the responsibility of the victims, not the attackers. There is no sense of the human here; just the tribe.”

Note the Sullivan points out that Krauthammer’s only concern is his “tribe”—as opposed to concern for humanity, justice, the interests of his country (the United States), and even truth itself.  One would think that educated Americans and especially liberals, with their constant preaching of universal values and denunciation of racism, would be aghast at what Krauthammer has to say.  But, unfortunately, that is not the case.

Krauthammer is not a lone nut, or an exponent of a small, insignificant minority viewpoint, as some would  like to believe.  Of the 1840 comments on Krauthammer’s article on the Washington Post website, it appears that a  substantial  majority express a favorable view.  Washington, DC  is  a politically liberal area.  There are a substantial number of Jews, but they are liberal Jews who consistently vote for Democratic candidates. It would seem, therefore, that this type of thinking must resonate with many liberal Jews and others, as well. 

And, of course, liberal Democratic politicos (along with almost all other elected officials in the US) have completely backed the actions of Israel, maintaining that the peace activists were responsible for their own deaths.  High profile liberal Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts), for example, held that  “violent force [was] in fact initiated by those whose boat was boarded.” Representative Rep. Eliot Engel (D-New York)  maintained that  the ships were actually “filled with hate-filled provocateurs bent on violence.”  Of course, politicians, in general,  are not motivated so much by their own views, as by the views of people with political power.

Stephen Zunes, “Democratic Party Defends Israeli Attack,”

Sullivan realizes that the Krauthammer’s type of outlook influences American foreign policy.  He writes:

“Something has been wrong here for a very long time, and now it is inescapable. Until the discourse is rescued from the victims of Israel Derangement Syndrome, Israel and America will slowly be drawn into wars they cannot ultimately win, lose every other ally they ever had, and embolden and fortify the very Islamist forces we are seeking to defuse and defeat.”

For another analysis  of Krauthammer’s piece, see Kevin MacDonald,

In assuming that the United States and Israel will act in tandem under the influence of the “Israel Derangement Syndrome,”  Sullivan essentially acknowledges the influence of the Israel lobby on American foreign policy.   However, I would like to make a slight correction of what Sullivan has to say.  It is not that the United States would be “drawn into wars” but that this “Israel Derangement Syndrome” will cause the US to initiate or provoke wars—such as an attack on Iran.  It is clearly those afflicted with this syndrome who pose a threat to the world, while believing the entire world is attacking helpless, innocent Israel.   Their influence on American political culture makes Israel’s enemies America’s enemies and embroils the United States in wars that these Israel Firsters believe will help Israel. 

Sullivan initially was  a supporter of the war on Iraq, who even went so far as to imply that the United States might need to make use of nuclear weapons

 However, Sullivan came, somewhat belatedly,  to recognize publicly the role of the pro-Israel neocons.  He would write in February 2009:

“The closer you examine it, the clearer it is that neoconservatism, in large part, is simply about enabling the most irredentist elements in Israel and sustaining a permanent war against anyone or any country who disagrees with the Israeli right. That’s the conclusion I’ve been forced to these last few years. And to insist that America adopt exactly the same constant-war-as-survival that Israelis have been slowly forced into. . . .  But America is not Israel. And once that distinction is made, much of the neoconservative ideology collapses.”

Slow learners such as Andrew Sullivan are infinitely more successful  than those who early on were able to discern the obvious neocon/Israel connection, which might indicate that intellectual weakness is not an explanation for their initial false analyses.  Nonetheless, Sullivan now provides an excellent description of the  mindset of Israel and its American supporters, and, for people in important positions who have something to lose,  it is still a view  that takes a significant degree of courage to mention publicly.  But it is necessary that influential individuals publicly express the truth in order to prevent the United States from engaging in endless, destructive wars at the behest of people, such as Krauthammer, who are under the influence of  the “Israel Derangement Syndrome.”


Stephen Sniegoski

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Krauthammer: Those troublesome Jews

Charles Krauthammer

Friday, June 4, 2010; A19

The world is outraged at Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Turkey denounces its illegality, inhumanity, barbarity, etc. The usual U.N. suspects, Third World and European, join in. The Obama administration dithers.

But as Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, writes, the blockade is not just perfectly rational, it is perfectly legal. Gaza under Hamas is a self-declared enemy of Israel — a declaration backed up by more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilian territory. Yet having pledged itself to unceasing belligerency, Hamas claims victimhood when Israel imposes a blockade to prevent Hamas from arming itself with still more rockets.

In World War II, with full international legality, the United States blockaded Germany and Japan. And during the October 1962 missile crisis, we blockaded (“quarantined”) Cuba. Arms-bearing Russian ships headed to Cuba turned back because the Soviets knew that the U.S. Navy would either board them or sink them. Yet Israel is accused of international criminality for doing precisely what John Kennedy did: impose a naval blockade to prevent a hostile state from acquiring lethal weaponry.

Oh, but weren’t the Gaza-bound ships on a mission of humanitarian relief? No. Otherwise they would have accepted Israel’s offer to bring their supplies to an Israeli port, be inspected for military materiel and have the rest trucked by Israel into Gaza — as every week 10,000 tons of food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are sent by Israel to Gaza.

Why was the offer refused? Because, as organizer Greta Berlin admitted, the flotilla was not about humanitarian relief but about breaking the blockade, i.e., ending Israel’s inspection regime, which would mean unlimited shipping into Gaza and thus the unlimited arming of Hamas.

Israel has already twice intercepted ships laden with Iranian arms destined for Hezbollah and Gaza. What country would allow that?

But even more important, why did Israel even have to resort to blockade? Because, blockade is Israel’s fallback as the world systematically de-legitimizes its traditional ways of defending itself — forward and active defense.

(1) Forward defense: As a small, densely populated country surrounded by hostile states, Israel had, for its first half-century, adopted forward defense — fighting wars on enemy territory (such as the Sinai and Golan Heights) rather than its own.

Where possible (Sinai, for example) Israel has traded territory for peace. But where peace offers were refused, Israel retained the territory as a protective buffer zone. Thus Israel retained a small strip of southern Lebanon to protect the villages of northern Israel. And it took many losses in Gaza, rather than expose Israeli border towns to Palestinian terror attacks. It is for the same reason America wages a grinding war in Afghanistan: You fight them there, so you don’t have to fight them here.

But under overwhelming outside pressure, Israel gave it up. The Israelis were told the occupations were not just illegal but at the root of the anti-Israel insurgencies — and therefore withdrawal, by removing the cause, would bring peace.

Land for peace. Remember? Well, during the past decade, Israel gave the land — evacuating South Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005. What did it get? An intensification of belligerency, heavy militarization of the enemy side, multiple kidnappings, cross-border attacks and, from Gaza, years of unrelenting rocket attack.

(2) Active defense: Israel then had to switch to active defense — military action to disrupt, dismantle and defeat (to borrow President Obama’s description of our campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda) the newly armed terrorist mini-states established in southern Lebanon and Gaza after Israel withdrew.

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