How Money Silences Criticism of Israel

A portion of the separation wall built by the Israeli government jutting into the town of Bethlehem to enclose the tomb of Rachel within the Israeli zone. Many portions of the wall contain graffiti and artwork by the Palestinians and their visitors. (Photo credit: Ted Lieverman)

Lawrence Davidson

Due to Israel’s brutal racism and repeated attacks on Palestinian civilians, it is losing popular support internationally. As this happens, the Zionists appear to be intensifying pressure on societal and political elites, particularly in the U.S. and other Western states, to maintain policies that support and protect Israel’s criminal behavior.

Their vehicle for achieving this goal has always been financial gifts and donations to elite individuals and institutions. These gifts and donations help grease the wheels, so to speak, of the systems of power through which the elites operate, and create a monetary dependency on, among others, Zionist donors. It also creates an obligation to respond to these donor’s needs. The result is a growing disconnect between evolving popular attitudes toward Israel and the static positions held and actions taken by the elites.

American Zionist leaders are aware of this gap and they take it seriously. But they have a problem in that open debate and presentation of evidence can no longer win the argument for their side because the Zionists no longer have a monopoly on the story of how Israel came to be and Palestine came not to be. And without that monopoly the imperialist origins and ongoing racist nature of Israel are can no longer be concealed.

Donor Blackmail

If you cannot win by debate, how do you combat the growing popular suspicion of Israeli and Zionist actions? You do it by pressuring the donor-dependent elite leadership of institutions, such as universities and colleges, to suppress and punish those who criticize Israel.

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