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History sets precedent for Palestine

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By Chris Overfelt

There is a very clear historical precedent that applies to the state of the Palestinian people at the moment. The precedent was set right here in our own backyards almost 200 years ago. Manifest Destiny was the name for the US government policy that sought to exterminate the indigenous peoples of North America and expand the US westward to California. The policy of Manifest Destiny succeeded and has been employed in a very similar fashion by the state of Israel for the last 75 years against the Palestinian people. And it, too, is succeeding.

The policy is a simple one: forcibly remove people from their homes, and when they respond with violence, you use that violence to justify ethnic cleansing. This cycle will continue against the Palestinian people because Israel is a critical weapon in the US’ arsenal of empire. After World War II, US military planners recognized the Middle East and Southwest Asia as the greatest strategic reserve of natural resources in the history of the world. lsrael was thus designated as a vital tool in ensuring the US access to Middle East oil. The people of Palestine were designated as a necessary casualty to ensure that access, just as the indigenous people of North America were designated necessary casualties of manifest destiny. 

Joe Biden is preparing for war, and Israel’s war on Palestine is only a part of it. He recently used the phrase “inflection point in history” to justify his request for $100 billion to fund these wars. Joe Biden is ready to defend the American Empire at all costs, and that includes war with Russia, China, and Iran. Europe will follow suit, just as it did in the American wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. The global south will not. Always in wars of empire, it is the poor who suffer death and displacement, just as the people of Palestine have suffered for the last 75 years, and will continue to suffer as long as the American empire holds unfettered power around the world. 

Christopher Overfelt, who serves on the PeaceWorks KC Board, belongs to the Kansas City chapter of Veterans for Peace. © 2023, Christopher Overfelt, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License.

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