Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Back in late 1999, the World Trade Organization convened in Seattle for their Ministerial Conference with the aim of launching a new millennial round of trade negotiations that would expand their global monopolies and further exploit laborers around the world. Deciding to finally take a stand against injustice, I traveled with some friends to Seattle and hooked up with other groups in a youthful attempt to shut down the conference. After years of helplessly spinning our wheels, this was the first time we had managed to properly organize. Anti-globalization activists from all across America were there numbering (according to the most modest estimates) over forty thousand angry protestors. Not only did we shut down the conference but we even shut down downtown Seattle. In order to regain control of the situation, the police were forced to resort to tear gas and rubber bullets. Although delayed, the WTO conference did take place. But the anti-globalization movement was born and through what the press dubbed the “Battle of Seattle” we drew the public’s attention to the immorality of globalization.

Over the next couple of years our opposition gained steam and grew into a potent impediment to the ruling elite and their global agenda. And many of us were quickly discovering that theories previously espoused by only conspiracy weirdoes were in fact partially true and that economic globalization was only one element of a greater political agenda reshaping the entire world. It turns out that within most Western governments today there is a hidden oligarchy directing foreign policy. And all major media outlets have meticulously fed its agenda to the public.

But following the Battle of Seattle, the establishment was faced for the first time with opposition that they couldn’t dismiss as eccentric conspiracy nuts. Although there might have been a few oddballs in the movements that were now cooperating against the global capitalist machine, most of us were young idealists who looked good on camera and spoke articulately when interviewed. And we were drawing serious media attention to the globalization issue all over the world.

I like to think that the establishment panicked a little before thwarting our success. I picture them wearily chain smoking together at wee hours of the morning in fancy hotels trying to figure out how to neutralize our efforts. But neutralize they did.

2002 started out as a good year for our cause. We held large scale demonstrations in New York and followed them up six weeks later in Barcelona. We were gearing up for an April protest against the G8 in Washington. But something happened at that event (or in the planning stages just before) that took the anti-globalization movement off track and completely spoiled everything we had accomplished until then. The demonstration was hijacked by activists I had never seen before and was transformed predominantly into a demonstration against Israel. Instead of targeting the G8 as we had planned, the activists called for a “global intifada” to protest what they called Israeli atrocities. I vainly tried to point out that Israel was not even part of the G8 but was shouted down and accused of supporting Zionist crimes.

The question that has bothered me ever since that April 20th demonstration has been why the anti-globalization movement was redirected against Israel. Was the Jewish state chosen at random as an issue to divert our attention or was the establishment trying to kill two birds with one stone? A major goal of political globalization is to eliminate the existence of small countries and replace them with large continent blocks (such as the European Union) that will eventually grow to connect and engulf the world under a centralized authority. The State of Israel, a small Jewish nation-state, sits uncomfortably and inconsistently amongst hostile Arab regimes bent on her destruction. So long as Israel continues to exist, globalization’s inroads into the Middle East will be limited (not because the Israeli government tries to obstruct the globalist agenda but simply because Israel’s existence prevents the region from becoming homogenized). To make matters worse, many power brokers in Washington DC and New York have lucrative oil interests dependent on placating Arab leaders.

After researching the recent political history of the Middle East I discovered that since the beginning of the 1990s, the international community – led by the United States – has worked to aggressively extract territorial concessions from Israel. While these concessions have been marketed to the world as returning land to a disenfranchised Palestinian Arab nation, any objective researcher can see that no Palestinian nation ever existed and certainly never held sovereignty over territory now controlled by Israel. The global elite simply want to shrink and weaken Israel into a position of either extreme dependency on foreign powers or physical annihilation due to indefensible borders. When former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir stood firm against former US President George H.W. Bush, Bush and his Secretary of State James Baker III successfully exerted themselves to oust Shamir from office and replace him with Yitzhak Rabin (a leader they perceived as weaker and more controllable). Since then every Israeli Prime Minister has behaved as a vassal for foreign powers. At least half of the Israeli public has been convinced by a clever media campaign that territorial concessions to Arab enemies are in the country’s national interest. If Israel were to refuse to capitulate at any point, the West might embargo trade and weapons to the Jewish state. But by submitting to international pressure, Israel has put her very existence at risk.

Contrary to what many would have us believe, the struggle for “greater Israel” is not a neo-conservative or rightist cause but actually the front line today in the battle against globalization. By fanning the flames of animosity and hatred in the Middle East, Western governments have spent decades exacerbating the Arab-Israeli conflict, victimizing both populations as oil and weapons industries increase their profits. As a political organizer who has fought for human justice all my life, I urge my fellow activists to combat globalization by defending the State of Israel’s basic right to live securely in full borders. Grassroots organizations must emerge throughout the United States to exert compelling moral pressure on America’s political leadership that will decelerate the Western capitalist machine and save Israel from destabilization. Globalization today undermines the environment, labor rights, national sovereignty, local businesses, and the cultures of indigenous peoples. The State of Israel has been viciously maligned by the corporate media establishment in order to legitimize Western attempts to shrink its borders and blunt its ability to deter outside aggression. Those of us who truly oppose injustice can kill two birds with one stone by halting globalization in the Middle East through opposing America’s current attempts to shrink Israel.