Skip to main content

Moneyed interests blocking path to peace in Mideast

As in the United States, money in politics is fueling violence and hijacking democracy in Israel.

Once Israeli commentators had said everything they could possibly say about alleged connections between the perpetrator of the Las Vegas massacre and Islamic terrorism, the media shifted its attention to Americans' "intolerably easy access to guns," mixing a measure of scorn with pity. Newspapers stressed that after the Oct. 1 mass shooting deaths, President Donald Trump made do with claiming, "We'll be talking about gun control as time goes by." White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "There will certainly be a time for that policy discussion to take place, but that’s not the place that we’re in at this moment." Standing out in particular was Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who said, "It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so affraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren't public policy responses to this epidemic."

The links between terrorist attacks, politics, money and ideology are nothing new to Israel. Here as well, lobbies and big businesses whose core economic interests are wrapped up in a thick layer of ideology contribute to the violence. While the contribution is circular, it penetrates the depths of Israeli society and even crosses the ocean. The people and organizations contributing do not provide arms to Israel's enemies on the Palestinian side. Instead, they provide financial means to the enemies of diplomatic compromise on the Israeli side, including the settlement enterprise. Even if it is not entirely linear, the link between the settlements and the occupation and the occupation and terrorism is no less obvious than the link between the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which protects the right to bear arms, and the horrific scope of attacks like the one in Las Vegas.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.