Saturday, June 06, 2009

Charlie Krauthammer is pro-lebensraum

Here’s Charlie in an op-ed piece entitled The Settlements Myth:

President Obama repeatedly insists that American foreign policy be conducted with modesty and humility. Above all, there will be no more "dictating" to other countries. We should "forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions," he told the G-20 summit. In Middle East negotiations, he told al-Arabiya, America will henceforth "start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating."

An admirable sentiment. It applies to everyone -- Iran, Russia, Cuba, Syria, even Venezuela. Except Israel. Israel is ordered to freeze all settlement activity. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton imperiously explained the diktat: "a stop to settlements -- not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions."

What's the issue? No "natural growth" means strangling to death the thriving towns close to the 1949 armistice line, many of them suburbs of Jerusalem, that every negotiation over the past decade has envisioned Israel retaining. It means no increase in population. Which means no babies. Or if you have babies, no housing for them -- not even within the existing town boundaries. Which means for every child born, someone has to move out. No community can survive like that. The obvious objective is to undermine and destroy these towns -- even before negotiations.

The colonies in the Occupied Territories are illegal. Read more here. Or here. Charlie’s “natural growth” is just lebensraum:

The term Lebensraum was coined by the German geographer, Friedrich Ratzel (1844-1904). During the last two decades of the 19th century, Ratzel developed a theory according to which the development of all species, including humans, is primarily determined by their adaptation to geographic circumstances.

Above all, Ratzel considered species migration as the crucial factor in social adaptation and cultural change. Species that successfully adapted to one location, he thought, would spread naturally to others. Indeed, he went on to argue that, in order to remain healthy, species must continually expand the amount of space they occupy, for migration is a natural feature of all species, an expression of their need for living space.

This process also applied to humans, who operate collectively in the form of 'peoples' (Völker), with one Völk effectively conquering another. However, according to Ratzel, such expansion could be successful only if the conquering nation 'colonised' the new territory, and by 'colonisation' he meant the establishment of peasant farms by the new occupiers.

Making room for the cute little Israeli baby comes at the expense of living and breathing room for probably several Palestinian ones. It takes especial chutzpah to make Krauthammer’s argument when it’s the Palestinian babies’ land in the first place.

Krauthammer also wails that there has been no “negotiation” over this. The Israelis have been foot dragging about this for years in an attempt to run out the clock and hope that the “facts on the ground” will make the establishment of a Palestinian state impossible. They may have already succeeded. Once more we go to the Bob Simon video:

Listen to the former Mayor of Jerusalem and the West Bank Mayor, especially.

If there’s any myth at work here, it’s Charlie’s mythmaking about justification for colonies in the first place.

If there is no peace in Palestine, there won’t be in the Middle East, and the United States will not know peace, either.

No comments: