Israel As US Imperialism’s Police Force in the Middle East

by Roland Shepphard, published on Socialist Action, October 21, 2023

[Editor’s note: We reprint below Roland Sheppard’s informative article reviewing key points in the formation and history of the Zionist state of Israel. ]

August 24, 2023 Jerusalem Post:  “Israeli Minister Eliyahu: The Palestinians aren’t under Apartheid, they’re Just in a Prison Camp

When Palestine was a colony the Brtish, used the Zionists as a Police Force to Enforce Protection of Their Interests and Colonial Rule!

When the United States emerged the the world’s strongest imperialist power, Israel became the police force in the Middle East to protect US interests.

From: The Hidden History of Zionism, By Ralph Schoenman, Chapter 3 : The Zionists as Police Enforcers “It was at this point that the British began to rely on the Zionists who provided them with a unique resource they had never tapped in any of their colonies: a local force which had made common cause with British colonialism and was highly mobilized against the indigenous population. If before this the Zionists had handled many of the tasks of reprisal, they now played a larger role in the escalated repression which was to include mass arrests, assassinations and executions. In 1938, 5,000 Palestinians were imprisoned, of whom 2,000 were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment; 148 people were executed by hanging and over 5,000 homes were demolished. [34] Zionist forces were integrated with British intelligence and became the police enforcers of draconian British rule.  A “quasi-police force” was established to provide cover for the armed Zionist presence encouraged by the British. There were 2,863 recruits to the quasi-police force, 12,000 men were organized in the Haganah, and 3,000 in Jabotinsky’s National Military Organization (Irgun). [35] In the summer of 1937 the quasi-police force was named the “Defense of the Jewish Colonies”, and later the “Colony Police”.     Ben Gurion called the quasi-police force an ideal “framework” for the training of the Haganah. Charles Orde Wingate, the British officer in charge, was, in essence, the founder of the Israeli army. He trained such figures as Moshe Dayan in terrorism and assassination.     By 1939, Zionist forces working with the British rose to 14,411 organized into ten well-armed groups of Colony Police, each commanded by a British officer, with an official of the Jewish Agency as second in command. By the spring of 1939, the Zionist force included sixty-three mechanized units, each consisting of eight to ten men.”

From: The Myths of British Imperial Benevolence and Palestine “The British launched settler colonialism in Palestine as carelessly and recklessly as they had in Australia and New Zealand and in Kenya and Rhodesia. Israel’s violence in Gaza is not merely self-defence but part of a longer story of settler colonialism dating from the heyday of European colonialism. Contrary to British myths, settler colonialism was an aggressive process of ethnic cleansing grounded in racism. The US support of Israeli encroachment into Palestinian territory is the support of one British-made settler-colonial nation to another.”

As a result, the United States rewarded aid and arms to  Israel and it  became a well- paid police force and the local capitalists became wealthy.

From:  Israel: The Shattering of a Dream “Ihe concentration of wealth in Israel is the second highest in the western world. The notorious family fiefdoms include: Arison, Borovich, Danker, Ofer, Bino, Hamburger, Wiessman, Wertheim, Zisapel, Leviev, Federman, Saban, Fishman, Shachar, Kass, Strauss, Shmeltzer, and Tshuva. These families collectively control a fifth of the revenue generated from Israel’s leading companies and these top 500 companies account for 40% of the business sector and 59% of national revenue. This latest war will not bring down the Israeli economy.  The government is backed by military and financial support from the US.”

[Editors note: Since this was written, and following his Wednesday, October 18, 2023 meeting in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Biden has announced his request to Congress of an immediate grant to Israel of $14 billion in military aid. This grant is in additon to the current $3.8 billion Israel is slated to receive in 2023.]

From: Bringing Assistance to Israel in Line With Rights and U.S. Laws “Through FY2020, the United States has provided Israel with $146 billion in military, economic, and missile defense funding.” Adjusted for inflation, this amount is equivalent to $236 billion in 2018 dollars, making Israel the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. assistance since World War II. Today, almost all U.S. assistance to Israel is in the form of weapons grants. Israel receives $3.3 billion annually in foreign military financing (FMF). It also receives $500 million for joint U.S.-Israeli research, development, and deployment of missile defense systems; however, these anti-missile systems almost wholly benefit Israeli military needs. In FY2021, the administration of former president Donald Trump requested $3.3 billion in FMF for Israel, constituting 59 percent of the requested global FMF budget. Israel receives more FMF than all other countries in the world combined (see figure 1). . . . The Leahy Laws require the Departments of State and Defense to vet individual military units and individuals before they are eligible to receive U.S. equipment or training. The Department of State version of the law states that no form of assistance can be provided “to any unit of the security forces” committing “a gross violation of human rights.” The Department of Defense version states that no training or equipment can be given to a military unit that “has committed a gross violation of human rights.”  Another indisputable fact is that the United States has placed conditions on other countries’ FMF. For example, in the FY2021 budget, $225 million of $1.3 billion in FMF for Egypt is withheld from obligation until the Department of State certifies that Egypt is “taking sustained and effective steps” to strengthen human rights. However, when it comes to Israel, additional conditions do not apply and general human rights laws are almost never adhered to. Furthermore, weapons flows to Israel are much less transparent than those to other countries, making implementation of these laws more difficult. . . .

Why did Israel  provoke a war with Hamas?  Behind the Current Gaza War — U.S. Oil Profiteers!: 2021 Article: Energean [an independent E&P company focused on developing resources in the Mediterranean and the North Sea] Selects Halliburton for Offshore Israel Drilling Campaign Integrated Services Contract To Deliver Five Wells in Eastern Mediterranean Through Halliburton Consulting And Project Management SLB, Baker Hughes, Halliburton Primed for Middle East Boom A bevy of projects in the Middle East promises a boom in future revenues for SLB, Baker Hughes and Halliburton.

The genocide of the Gaza Palestinians makes those oil reserves safe to exploit!

The genocide is profitable!

*Featured Image: Latuff cartoon stretched / modified to fit header space.

Roland Sheppard is a leading environmental writer/activist for several decades, a union leader fighting for democratic rights and union power and a revolutionary socialist for the past 65 years, also covers the nature of the present Israeli ruling elite and their interests in the exploitation of fossil fuel sites off the Mediterranean coast. See his: Daily News Digest at

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