Friday, March 30, 2007

From: My son
Subject: The Ongoing Insults of Thomas Friedman
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 16:59:08 +0000
March 29, 2007

Wake Up, You Live in America!
The Ongoing Insults of Thomas Friedman

Bigotry has once again reared its ugly face in a piece by columnist Thomas Friedman, published in the New York Times on March 2,2007. Part of his piece was based on a poem he retrieved from the Middle East Media and Research Institute [MEMRI] web site. It read in part:

"When you find that the large majority of people oppose freedom and find joy in slavery -- do not be too distressed, you are in an Arab country."

First of all, MEMRI is an organization that is well known for its anti- Arab and anti- Muslim reporting. It is founded and operated by a former Israeli military intelligence officer. According to a recent article published in the British Guardian newspaper, MEMRI reporting is slanted toward Israel and it disseminates information that defames Arabs and Muslims. Citing MEMRI as a reference on Arab/Muslim issues is like consulting Hugo Chavez of Venezuela about a documentary on the U.S.A.

Secondly, the last time an Arab nation had a genuine and free election on January, 2006, the United States , along with Israel led the Western nations in a boycott of the election results by imposing a collective punishment on the Palestinian people. Simply put, cutting off the food supply line and the millions a month in collected tax revenue that Israeli owes the Palestinian Authority.

When the Palestinians were asked to choose their own representative, the majority choose Hamas. Immediately, Secretary of State Rice has the audacity to demand the return of the 50 million dollars given as an economic aide to the Palestinians. A true lesson in promoting a democracy!

By contrast, when Israel elected its 11th prime minister in March 2001, it chose Ariel Sharon for the position. He was an indicted war-criminal by his own government for war crimes committed in Lebanon . America 's official reaction was, we do not interfere in the "internal affair" of other nations. So, the U.S. president rolled out red carpet for him at the White House and even called him a "man of peace".

Thomas Friedman's insulting of an ancient and rich culture is cheap shot. Perhaps Friedman should take heed from the popular saying, "If you live in a house of glass, don't throw stones..." If I were to add to the above poem, for Friedman's reading pleasure, and others like him who frequently degrade and bash Arabs and Muslims, I would propose the following:

When the leader of a foreign nation, like the King of Jordan could speak better English than your own president--don't feel ashamed, you live in America .

When a married female school teacher has sex with five of her own middle school students--don't call them the lucky 5, you live in America .

When you perform a DNA test on a 5 month old baby to determine which one out of 5 men is the biological father-- what a way to go, you live in America.

When 7 out of 10 adults surveyed could pick out a photograph of Yassir Arafat, but not those of their own Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense-- it's time to wake up, you live in America .

When a mother pays for her daughter's breast enlargement on her 16th birthday, so she would look more appealing to the opposite sex-- get out of town, you live in America .

When you elect a president who was arrested 3 times-- don't ask, don't tell, you live in America .

When your president's name is reduced to one letter, "W" so he could spell it-- that's silly, you live in America .

When you are able to sue the weatherman--what will they do next, you live in America .

When what was once called the "People's House" suddenly turns into a 'whore house'-- just ask Slick Willy, you live in America .

When you have more jails and more criminals that any other country on earth"I rest my case, you live in America .

When more people in Western European nations consider you to pose the most threat to world peace -- the truth is a bitter pill to swallow, you live in America .

When 34 of your sailors are killed, 172 injured, and a 23-year old brave peace activist is run over by a military bulldozer by the same foreign nation, and you are not allowed to publicly express outrage, retaliation, or initiate an investigation without the fear of retribution-- don't be a wimp, you live in America !

Mahmoud El-Yousseph (TSGT / USAF [Ret.]) lives in Ohio.
He can be reached at:

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

From: My Son
Subject: How the Arab Peace Initiative Overtook the Road Map: But Will It Lead to Peace? Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 21:39:39 +0000
Number 14, March 26, 2007

The Arab summit in Riyadh on 28-29 March 2007 is expected to “re-launch” the Arab peace initiative that was unanimously approved at the 2002 summit in Beirut . What does the plan offer and why didn’t it fly at the time? Why is Israel making welcoming noises - and the United States pushing the plan? The Institute’s Senior Fellow Nadia Hijab examines a proposal whose time may have come.

The Significance of the Arabs’ 2002 Offer

The Arab peace initiative was proposed in March 2002 by then crown prince now King Abdullah Bin Abdel Aziz of Saudi Arabia . [1] It spelled out for the first time the unwritten understanding of the Arab parties to the conflict that a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace would lead to full Arab normalization with Israel . The Saudis paved the way to acceptance of their initiative by reassuring the Syrians that full withdrawal from the Golan Heights would be a precondition to full normalization. The Arab states also added a reference to United Nations Resolution 194, which deals with the right of Palestinian refugees to return. As adopted, the initiative referred to UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 and the principle of land for peace in the preamble, which also included two significant statements: that a just and comprehensive peace was “the strategic option of the Arab countries” and that a “military solution to the conflict will not achieve peace or provide security for the parties.” It then called on Israel to affirm:

* Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon .

* Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN Resolution 194.

* The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

It continued, that, consequently, the Arab countries would:

* Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel , and provide security for all the states of the region.

* Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.

Enter Sharon , the Road Map, and the Unilateral Withdrawal from Gaza

Why did this unequivocal invitation to peace from the entire Arab world, including the Palestinians, not go anywhere, even though the Europeans greeted it with considerable interest and the US grew warmer toward it? Israel dismissed it as “too vague” and opted for a military response. Against the background of the Israeli-Palestinian attacks and counter-attacks that marked the first years of the second Palestinian Intifada (uprising) against the Israeli occupation in September 2000, former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon launched Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002, reoccupied the major Palestinian towns, and destroyed Palestinian infrastructure and governing institutions. The international community went into crisis mode as it tried to stop the bloodshed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt). A few months later, the US , European Union , Russia , and the UN, later known as the Quartet, began discussions of what became the road map, launched in April 2003. [2] There were echoes of the Arab initiative in the road map. It spoke of an end to occupation for the first time since the peace processes launched in the 1990s; two states Israel and a “sovereign, independent, democratic and viable Palestine;” an “agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee issue;” a negotiated resolution on the status of Jerusalem; and normal Arab-Israeli relations in the context of comprehensive peace. However, the Quartet emphasized incremental steps for Israeli security and Palestinian institution building. They did not insist on actual Israeli withdrawal from the oPt or penalize its ongoing settlement of Palestinian land. And, while the Palestinians accepted the road map, Sharon attached 14 reservations that rendered it meaningless.

Sharon and US president George Bush drove another nail into the road map’s coffin in April 2004 when they exchanged letters that appeared to provide US recognition of Israel’s major settlement blocs, deny the Palestinian right of return, and recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” thereby denying equal rights to Israel’s Palestinian citizens. The road map was then completely sidelined by Sharon ’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza , which pre-occupied Middle East peacemakers throughout 2005. By 2006, Palestinians had elected Hamas to government, partly in despair at the failure of repeated peace initiatives to achieve freedom.

US Eagerness, Israeli Caveats

Re-launching the Arab peace initiative is one of the main items on the Arab summit agenda. The US Administration’s need to strengthen its Arab and European alliances by showing movement toward Arab-Israeli peace as it struggles with the chaos it created in Iraq and its aim of preventing a nuclear Iran partly explains its present warmth to the initiative. US Secretary Condoleezza Rice has not only spoken of her desire to see the Arab summit re-launch it but also wants the Arabs to engage in active diplomacy around it. Israel , for its part, cannot afford to appear rejectionist and out of step with the administration. Both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni have spoken of its “positive elements.” But Livni and Olmert have also both said that Israel cannot accept the Arab peace plan as is, particularly as concerns the Palestinian right of return. Livni added that the 1967 borders “should not be considered the vision of a viable Palestinian state.” [3] Both Livni and Olmert would like the Arabs to normalize relations before peace is achieved. What this boils down to is that instead of giving up occupied land for peace Israel wants both land and peace. Meanwhile, Arab and Palestinian officials have indicated their seriousness in moving forward, and have also declared that the summit would introduce no changes to the initiative. It is clear that some parts are open to interpretation. Responding to Livni, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat declared, "The Arab peace initiative addressed an agreed upon solution to the refugee problem. What more does she want?” [4]

Apart from wanting to please its allies, the US realizes that an Arab initiative would have more credibility with the Arab and Muslim worlds than a US-Israeli led effort. Whether this is an attempt by the US to get Arab cover for Rice and Livni’s plan to revive the road map in an effort to provide the Palestinians with a “political horizon” for creation of a Palestinian state is not yet clear. What is clear is that previous initiatives are now moribund. The deadlines set to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian settlement expired in 1999 in the Oslo accords and in 2005 in the road map leaving behind a disastrous situation for the Palestinians and an explosive situation for the region. The incremental approach that expects the Palestinian Authority to guarantee Israeli security while it functions under occupation has been discredited. The Arab peace initiative provides an opportunity to resume negotiations backed by regional and international guarantors and funds (the Arab summit is expected to provide an additional $300 million in support to the Palestinians). More importantly, it could ground the peace process once more in international resolutions and provide for a comprehensive solution rather than unilateralism. It should now be treated with the seriousness it has always deserved.


[1] See Journal of Palestine Studies XXXI, no. 4 (Summer 2002).

[2] See JPS XXXII, no. 4 (Summer 2003).

[3] AFP 4 March 2007.

[4] Ynet 1 March 2007


Published by the Institute for Palestine Studies The Institute has produced authoritative studies on Palestinian affairs and the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1963. Its flagship Journal of Palestine Studies accounts for nearly 20% of all articles downloaded from Middle East publications carried by JSTOR, the leading US database of scholarly journals. Email contact

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Monday, March 26, 2007

While cleaning out old emails from my computer I found this article I had emailed to my late husband in 2003. It speaks so well to the current international situation I decided to post it on my BLOG.

Subject: Dialectics of terror Shahid Alam's article in today's Al-Ahram Weekly
Date: Fri, 03 Oct 2003 03:00:35 +0000

Dialectics of terror
Shahid Alam* argues that reversing injustice -- both in the region and the world at large -- requires Americans to recognise the destructive effects of capitalism, Zionism and the war on terrorism

States are founded on a monopoly over violence, which has nearly always included the right to kill. In fact, that is the very essence of the state. States seek to enforce this monopoly by amassing instruments of violence; but that is scarcely enough. They also use religion, ideology and laws to deligitimise and root out violence stemming from non-state agents.

This monopoly over violence creates its own problem. Unchallenged, the state can turn the instruments of violence against its own population. This leads to state tyranny. The state can also wage wars to enrich one or more sectional interests. This defines the dual challenge before all organised societies: restraining state tyranny and limiting its war- making powers.

Often, there has existed a tradeoff between tyranny and wars. Arguably, such a tradeoff was at work during the period of European expansion since the 16th century, when Europeans slowly secured political rights even as they engaged in growing, even genocidal, violence, especially against non-Europeans. As Western states gradually conceded rights to their own populations, they intensified the murder and enslavement of Americans and Africans, founding white colonies on lands stolen from them. Few Westerners were troubled by this inverse connection: this was the essence of racism.

The United States is only the most successful of the colonial creations, a fact that has left its indelible mark on American thinking. It is a country that was founded on violence against its native inhabitants; this led, over three centuries of expansion, to the near extermination of Indians, with the few survivors relocated to inhospitable reservations. Its history also includes the violence -- on a nearly equal scale -- perpetrated against the Africans who were torn from their continent to create wealth for the new republic. Such a genesis, steeped in violence against others' races, convinced most Americans that they had the divine right -- like the ancient Israelites -- to build their prosperity on the ruin of other, "inferior" races.

In addition to the manipulations of a corporate media, this ethos explains why so many Americans support the actions of their government abroad -- in Cuba, Nicaragua, Chile, Vietnam, Iran, Palestine or Iraq, to name only a few. It is unnecessary to look too closely into these interventions since they are undertaken to secure "our" interests. Even if they result in deaths -- the deaths of more than three- quarters of a million children, as in Iraq -- to borrow a felicitous phrase from Madeline Albright, "the price is worth it".

Of course, few Americans understand that their country has long stood at the apex -- and, therefore, is the chief beneficiary -- of a global system that produces poverty for the greater part of humanity, including within the United States itself; that this system subordinates all social, cultural, environmental and human values to the imperatives of corporate capital; a system that now kills people by the millions merely by setting the rules that devastate their economies, deprive them of their livelihood, their dignity and, eventually, their lives. The corporate media, the school curricula, and the Congress ensure that most Americans never see past the web of deceit -- about a free, just, tolerant and caring United States -- that covers up the human carnage and environmental wreckage this system produces.

The wretched of the earth are not so easily duped. They can see -- and quite clearly, through the lens of their dark days -- how corporate capital, with United States in the lead, produces their home-based tyrannies; how their economies have been devastated to enrich transnational corporations and their local collaborators; how the two stifle indigenous movements for human rights, women's rights, and worker's rights; how they devalue indigenous traditions and languages; how corporate capital uses their countries as markets, as sources of cheap labour, as fields for testing new, deadlier weapons, and as sites for dumping toxic wastes; how their men and women sell body parts because the markets place little value on their labour.
The world -- outside the dominant West -- has watched how the Zionists, with the support of Britain and the United States, imposed a historical anachronism, a colonial-settler state in Palestine, a throw-back to a sanguinary past, when indigenous populations in the Americas could be cleansed with impunity to make room for Europe's superior races. In horror, they watch daily how a racist Israel destroys the lives of millions of Palestinians through US-financed weaponry and fresh-contrived acts of malice; how it attacks its neighbours at will; how it has destabilised, distorted and derailed the historical process in an entire region; and how, in a final but foreordained twist, American men and women have now been drawn into this conflict, to make the Middle East safe for Israeli hegemony.
In Iraq, over the past 13 years, the world has watched the United States showcase the methods it will use to crush challenges to the new imperialism -- the New World Order -- that was launched after the end of the Cold War. This new imperialism commands more capital and more lethal weapons than the old imperialisms of Britain, France or Germany. It is imperialism without rivals and, therefore, it dares to pursue its schemes, its wars, and its genocidal campaigns, under the cover of international legitimacy: through the United Nations, the World Bank, IMF, and World Trade Organisation. In brief, it is a deadlier, more pernicious imperialism.
Under the cover of the Security Council, the United States has waged a total war against Iraq -- a war that went well beyond the means that would be needed to reverse the invasion of Kuwait. The aerial bombing of Iraq, in the months preceding the ground action in January 1991, sought the destruction of the country's civilian infrastructure, a genocidal act under international law; it destroyed power plants, water- purification plants, sewage facilities, bridges and bomb shelters. It was the official (though unstated) aim of these bombings to sting the Iraqis into overthrowing their rulers. Worse, the war was followed by a never-relenting campaign of aerial bombings and the most complete sanctions in recorded history. According to a UN study, the sanctions had killed half a million Iraqi children by 1995; the deaths were the result of a five-fold increase in child mortality rates. It would have taken five Hiroshima bombs to produce this grisly toll.

Then came 11 September 2001, a riposte from the black holes of global capitalism to the New World Order. Nineteen hijackers took control of passenger airplanes in Boston, Newark and Virginia, and rammed them, one after another, into the twin towers of the Word Trade Centre and the Pentagon; the fourth missed its target, possibly the White House. Following a script that had been carefully rehearsed, the 19 hijackers enacted a macabre ritual, taking their own lives even as they took the lives of nearly three thousand Americans. The hijackers did not wear uniforms; they were not flying stealth bombers; they carried nothing more lethal (so we are told) than box cutters and plastic knives; they had not been dispatched or financed by any government. And yet, using the principles of jujitsu, they had turned the civilian technology of the world's greatest power against its own civilians. As Arundhati Roy put it, the hijackers had delivered "a monstrous calling card from a world gone horribly wrong".

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 shocked, perhaps traumatised, a whole nation. Yet the same Americans expressed little concern -- in fact, most could profess total ignorance -- about the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians caused by daily bombings and crippling sanctions over a period of 13 years. Of course, the dollar and the dinar are not the same. American deaths could not be equated on a one-to-one basis with Iraqi deaths. If indeed so many Iraqis had been killed by the United States, those were deaths they deserved for harbouring ill-will towards this country. They were after all evil. And evil people should never be given a chance to repent or change their evil-doing propensities. Senator John McCain said it succinctly: "We're coming after you. God may have mercy on you, but we won't."
There are some who were impressed and alarmed -- in equal measure -- by the grisly efficiency with which the terrorists had executed their operation. (On this ground, some even argued that it could not have been the work of "incompetent" Arabs.) However, it would appear that there is greater political cunning at work in the conception of these attacks. Al-Qa'eda gave the Bush hawks what they wanted, a terrorist attack that would inflame Americans into supporting war against the third world; and the Bush hawks gave Al-Qa'eda what they wanted, a war that would plant tens of thousands of Americans in the cities and towns of the Islamic world.
An act of terror is nearly always attributed to a failure of intelligence, security, or both. In a country that, annually, spends tens of billions of dollars on intelligence gathering and trillions more on its military, the attacks of 9/11 amounted to massive failures on two fronts: intelligence and security. This should have led immediately to a Congressional inquiry to identify and remedy these failures. However, due to obstructions from the Bush administration, the Congress could not start an official inquiry into these failures until more than a year after 9/11. Instead, the Bush administration claimed falsely, as it turns out -- with hardly a murmur from the Congress or the US corporate media -- that 9/11 was unforeseen, it could not have been imagined, and there had been no advance warnings. Instantly, President Bush declared that 9/11 was an act of war (making it the first act of war perpetrated by 19 civilians), and proceeded to declare unlimited war against terrorists (also the first time that war had been declared against elusive non- state actors). In the name of a bogus war against terrorism, the United States claimed for itself the right to wage preemptive wars against any country suspected of harbouring terrorists or possessing weapons of mass destruction (what are weapons for if not mass destruction?) with an intent (US would be the judge of that) to use them against the United States.

Osama Bin Laden had the victory that he had hoped for: he had the world's only superpower running mad after him and his cohorts. Al-Qa'eda had now taken the place vacated by the Soviet Union. It had to be a worthy opponent to have succeeded in monopolising the hostile attention of United States; the actions of Al-Qa'eda now threatened the world's only superpower. No terrorist group could have asked for greater prestige, a distinction that was almost certain to help in its recruitment drive. Secondly, by declaring war against Al-Qa'eda, the United States had tied its own prestige to the daily outcome of this war. Every terrorist strike -- the softer the target the better -- would be counted by Americans and the rest of the world as a battle lost in the war against terrorism. It should come as no surprise that the frequency of large-scale terrorist strikes has increased markedly since 9/11 -- from Baghdad to Bali and Bombay. Thirdly, President Bush's preemptive wars have already placed 160,000 American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, not counting additional thousands in other Islamic countries. President Bush's wars against terrorism had made American troops the daily target of dozens of attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan. And it would appear that Al-Qa'eda is seizing the opportunity to open a broad front against the United States on its home turf.

Although the onslaughts of the Crusaders against the Muslims in the Levant, starting in the 1090s, lasted for nearly two centuries; and although their conquests at their peak embraced much of old Syria, it is quite remarkable that this did not alarm the Islamic world into waging Jihad against the "Infidels". On several occasion, one Muslim prince allied himself with the Crusaders to contain the ambitions of another Muslim prince. It was only in 1187, after Salahuddin united Syria and Egypt, that the Muslims took back Jerusalem. But they did not pursue this war to its bitter end; the Crusaders retained control of parts of coastal Syria for another 100 years. In fact, several years later, Salahuddin's successors even returned Jerusalem to the Crusaders provided they would not fortify it. In other words, the Crusades which loom so large in European imagination were not regarded by the Muslims as a civilisational war.

Of course that was then, when Islamic societies were cultured, refined, tolerant, self-confident and strong, and though the Crusades threw the combined might of Western Europe -- that region's first united enterprise -- to regain the Christian holy lands, the Muslims took the invasions in their stride. Eventually, the resources of a relatively small part of the Muslim world were sufficient to end this European adventure, which left few lasting effects on the region. In the more recent past, Islamic societies have been divided, fragmented, backward, outstripped by their European adversaries, their states embedded in the periphery of global capitalism, and their rulers allied with Western powers against their own people. These divisions are not a natural state in the historical consciousness of Muslims.
More ominously, since 1917 the Arabs have faced settler- colonialism in their very heartland, an open-ended imperialist project successively supported by Britain and the United States. This Zionist insertion in the Middle East, self- consciously promoted as the outpost of the West in the Islamic world, produced its own twisted dialectics. An exclusive Jewish state founded on fundamentalist claims (and nothing gets more fundamentalist than a 20th-century imperialism founded on "divine" promises about real estate made three thousand years back) was bound to evoke its alter ego in the Islamic world. When Israel inflicted a humiliating defeat on Egypt and Syria in 1967 -- two countries that were the leading embodiments of Arab nationalism -- this opened up a political space in the Arab world for the insertion of Islamists into the region's political landscape. One fundamentalism would now be pitted against another.

This contest may now be reaching its climax -- with United States entering the war directly. It is an end that could have been foretold -- this did not require prophetic insight. In part at least, it is the unfolding of the logic of the Zionist insertion in the Arab world. On the one hand, this has provoked and facilitated the growth of a broad spectrum of Islamist movements in the Islamic world, some of which were forced by US-supported repression in their home countries to target the United States directly. On the other hand, the Zionist occupation of one-time Biblical lands has given encouragement to Christian Zionism in the United States, the belief that Israel prepares the ground for the second coming of Christ. At the same time, several Zionist propagandists -- based in America's think-tanks, media and academia -- have worked tirelessly to arouse old Western fears about Islam, giving it new forms. They paint Islam as a violent religion, perennially at war against infidels, opposed to democracy, fearful of women's rights, unable to modernise, and raging at the West for its freedoms and prosperity. They never tire of repeating that the Arabs "hate" Israel because it is the only "democracy" in the Middle East.
There are some who are saying that the United States has already lost the war in Iraq; though admission of this defeat will not come soon. One can see that there has been a retreat from plans to bring about regime changes in Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. There is still talk of bringing democracy to Iraq and the Arab world, but it carries little conviction even to the American public. There is new-fangled talk now of fighting the "terrorists" in Baghdad and Basra rather than in Washington, New York and Los Angeles. And now after two years of bristling unilateralism, after starting an illegal war which sidelined the Security Council, the United States is courting the Security Council, seeking its help to internationalise the financial and human costs of their occupation of Iraq. It is doubtful if Indian, Polish, Pakistani, Egyptian, Fijian, Japanese or French mercenaries of the United States will receive a warmer welcome in Iraq than American troops. This "internationalisation" is only likely to broaden the conflict, possibly in unpredictable ways.

What can be the outcome of all this? During their long rampage through history, starting in 1492, the Western powers have shown little respect for the peoples they encountered in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia. Many of them are not around to recount the gory history of their extermination through imported diseases, warfare, and forced labour in mines and plantations. Others, their numbers diminished, were forced into peonage, or consigned to mutilated lives on reservations. Many tens of millions were bought and sold into slavery. Proud empires were dismembered. Great civilisations were denigrated. All this had happened before, but not on this scale. In part, perhaps, the extraordinary scale of these depredations might be attributed to what William McNeill calls the "bloody-mindedness" of Europeans. Much of this, however, is due to historical accidents which elevated West Europeans -- and not the Chinese, Turks, or Indians -- to great power based on their exploitation of inorganic sources of energy. If we are to apportion blame, we might as well award the prize to Britain's rich coal deposits.
In the period since the Second World War, some of the massive historical disequilibria created by Western powers have been corrected. China and India are on their feet; so are Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. These countries are on their feet and advancing. But the wounds of imperialism in Africa run deeper. The colonial legacies of fragmented societies, deskilled populations, arbitrary boundaries, and economies tied to failing primary production continue to produce wars, civil wars, corruption, massacres, and diseases. But Africa can be ignored; the deaths of a million Africans in the Congo do not merit the attention given to one suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. Africa can be ignored because its troubles do not affect vital Western interests; at least not yet.

Then there is the failure of the Islamic world to reconstitute itself. As late as 1700, the Muslims commanded three major empires -- the Mughal, Ottoman and Safavid --that together controlled the greater part of the Islamic world, stretching in a continuous line from the borders of Morocco to the eastern borders of India. After a period of rivalry among indigenous successor states and European interlopers, all of India was firmly in British control by the 1860s. The Ottoman Empire disintegrated more slowly, losing its European territories in the 19th century and its Arab territories during the First World War, when they were divvied up amongst the British, French, Zionists, Maronites and a clutch of oil-rich protectorates. Only the Iranians held on to most of the territories acquired by the Safavids. As a result, when the Islamic world emerged out of the colonial era, it had been politically fragmented, divided into some 40 states, none with the potential to serve as a core state; this fragmentation was most striking in Islam's Arab heartland. In addition, significant Muslim populations now lived in states with non-Muslim majorities.
Why did the Muslims fail to reconstitute their power? Most importantly, this was because Muslim power lacked a demographic base. The Mughal and Ottoman Empires -- the Ottoman Empire in Europe -- were not sustainable because they ruled over non-Muslim majorities. More recently, the Muslims have been the victims of geological "luck", containing the richest deposits of the fuel that drives the global economy. The great powers could not let the Muslims control "their lifeblood". They suffered a third setback from a historical accident: the impetus that Hitler gave to the Zionist movement. Now there had emerged a powerful new interest -- a specifically Jewish interest -- in keeping the Arabs divided and dispossessed.
It does not appear, however, that the Islamic societies have accepted their fragmentation, or their subjugation by neocolonial/comprador regimes who work for the United States, Britain and France. We have watched the resilience of the Muslims, their determination to fight for their dignity, in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Palestine, Chechnya and Mindanao -- among other places. In the meanwhile, their demographic weakness is being reversed. At the beginning of the 20th century the Muslims constituted barely a 10th of the world's population; today that share exceeds one fifth, and continues to rise. Moreover, unlike the Chinese or Hindus, the Muslims occupy a broad swathe of territory from Nigeria, Senegal and Morocco in the west to Sinjiang and the Indonesian Archipelago in the east. It would be hard to corral a population of this size that spans half the globe. More likely the US-British-Israeli siege of the Islamic world, now underway in the name of the war against terrorism, will lead to a broadening conflict with unforeseen consequences that could easily turn very costly for either or both parties.
Can the situation yet be saved? In the weeks preceding the launch of the war against Iraq, when tens of millions of people -- mostly in Western cities -- were marching in protest against the war, it appeared that there was hope; that the ideologies of hatred and the tactics of fear-mongering would be defeated; that these massive movements would result in civil disobedience if the carnage in Iraq were launched despite these protests. But once the war began, the protesters melted away like picnicking crowds when a sunny day is marred by rains. In retrospect, the protests lacked the depth to graduate into a political movement, to work for lasting changes. America does not easily stomach anti-war protesters once it starts a war. War is serious business: and it must have the undivided support of the whole country once the killing begins.
The anti-war protests may yet regroup, but that will not be before many more body bags arrive in the continental United States, before many more young Americans are mutilated for life, before many tens of thousands of Iraqis are dispatched to early deaths. Attempts are already underway to invent new lies to keep Americans deluded about the war; to tighten the noose around Iran; to hide the growing casualties of war; to lure poor Mexicans and Guatemalans to die for America; to substitute Indian and Pakistani body bags for American ones. This war-mongering by the United States cannot be stopped unless more Americans can be taught to separate their government from their country, their leaders from their national interests, their tribal affiliations from their common humanity. But that means getting past the media, the political establishment, the social scientists, the schools, and native prejudices. It is arguable that the 19 hijackers would not have had to deliver the "monstrous calling card" if some of us had done a better job of getting past these hurdles in time. Still, the hijackers chose the wrong way to deliver their message, since it played right into the game plan of the Bush hawks. The result has been more profits for favoured US corporations, greater freedom of action for Israel, and more lives and liberties lost everywhere.
* The writer is professor of economics at Northeastern University. His last book, Poverty from the Wealth of Nations, was published by Palgrave in 2000.
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Al-Ahram Weekly Online : 2 - 8 October 2003 (Issue No. 658)
Located at:

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Subject: The History of Israel Reconsidered:Ilan Pappe Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 18:55:27 +0000
March 21, 2007

Subject: A talk by Israeli Historian Ilyan Pappe in Japan

From: PLO Mission Washington, DC


The History of Israel Reconsidered:

A Talk by Ilan Pappe

Professor Ilan Pappe is an Israeli historian and senior lecturer of Political Science at Haifa University . He is the author of numerous books, including A History of Modern Palestine, The Modern Middle East, The Israel/Palestine Question and, most recently, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, published in 2006. On March 8, he spoke at a small colloquium in Tokyo organized by the NIHU Program Islamic Area Studies, University of Tokyo Unit , on the path of personal experiences that brought him to write his new book. The following is a transcript of his lecture, tentatively titled "The History of Israel Reconsidered" by organizers of the event.

03/20/07 "Dissidentvoice" -- - -Ilan Pappe: Thank you for inviting me, it's a pleasure to be here. I hope that you will ask me, afterwards, questions of a more general nature because I'm not sure how much I can cover in 40, 45, 50 minutes. I will be a bit personal, to begin with, and then move to the more general issues. I think it will help to understand what I am doing.

I was born in Israel and I had a very conventional, typical Israeli education, and life, until I finished my B.A. studies at Hebrew University , which was many years ago in the mid-1970s. Like all Israeli Jews, I knew very little on the Palestinian side, and met very few Palestinians. And although I was a very keen student of history, already in high-school ? I knew I would be a historian ? I was very loyal to the narrative that I was taught in school. I had very little doubt that what my teachers taught me in school was the only truth about the past.

My life was changed, in a way ? definitely my professional life, but after that also my private and public life ? when I decided to leave Israel and do my doctoral dissertation outside the country. Because when you go out, you see things that you would find very difficult to see from within. And I chose as a subject for my doctoral thesis the year of 1948, because even without knowing much the past, I understood that this is a formative year. I knew enough to understand that this is a departure point for history, because for one side, the Israelis, 1948 is a miracle, the best year in Jewish history. After two thousand years of exile the Jews finally establish a state, and get independence. And for the Palestinians it was exactly the opposite, the worst year in their history, as they call it the Catastrophe, the Nakba, almost the Holocaust, the worst kind of year that a nation can wish to have. And that intrigued me, the fact that the same year, the same events, are seen so differently, on both sides.

Being outside the country enabled me to have more respect and understanding, I think, to the fact that maybe there is another way of looking at history than what I lived ? not only my own world, my own people's way, my own nation's way. But this was not enough, of course. This was not enough to revisit history, this attitude, this fact that one day you wake up and you say: wait a minute, there's someone else here, maybe they see history differently ? and if you are a genuine intellectual, you should strive to have respect for someone else's point-of-view, not only yours.

I was lucky that the year I decided to study the other side was the year when, according to the Israeli law of classification of documents ? every 30 years the Israeli archives declassify secret material, 30 years for political matters, and 50 years for military matters. When I started in Oxford , in England , in the early 1980s, quite a lot of new material about 1948 was opened. And I started looking at the archives in Israel , in the United Kingdom , in France , in the United States , and also the United Nations opened its archives when I started working on this. They had interesting archives in Geneva , and in New York .

And suddenly I began to see a picture of 1948 that I was not familiar with. It takes historians quite a while to take material and turn it into an article or a book, or a doctoral thesis, in this case. And after two years, I, at least, found that I had a clear picture of what happened in 1948, and that picture challenged, very dramatically, the picture I grew up with. And I was not the only one who went through this experience. Two or three, maybe four, historians ? partly historians, partly journalists, in Israel ? saw the same material and also arrived at similar conclusions: that the way we understood Israel of 1948 was not right, and that the documents showed us a different reality than what we knew. We were called ? the group of people who saw things differently ? we were called the New Historians. And whether it's a good term or not we can discuss later, but it's a fact that they called us the New Historians, this is not to be denied.

Now what did we challenge about 1948? I think that's very important to understand, the old picture, and the new picture, and then we can move on. The old picture was that, in 1948, after 30 years of British rule in Palestine , the Jewish Nation of the Zionist Movement was ready to accept an international offer of peace with the local people of Palestine . And therefore when the United Nations offered to divide Palestine into two states, the Zionist movement said yes, the Arab world and the Palestinians said no; as a result the Arab world went to war in order to destroy the state of Israel, called upon the Palestinian people to leave, to make way for the invading Arab armies; the Jewish leaders asked the Palestinians not to leave, but they left; and as a result the Palestinian refugee problem was created. Israel miraculously won the war, and became a fact. And ever since then the Arab world, and the Palestinians, have not ceased to want to destroy the Jewish state.

This is more or less the version we grew up with. Another mythology was that a major invasion took place in '48, a very strong Arab contingent went into Palestine and a very small Jewish army fought against it. It was a kind of David and Goliath mythology, the Jews being the David, the Arab armies being the Goliath, and again it must be a miracle if David wins against the Goliath.

So this is the picture. What we found challenged most of this mythology. First of all, we found out that the Zionist leadership, the Israeli leadership, regardless of the peace plans of the United Nations, contemplated long before 1948 the dispossession of the Palestinians, the expulsion of the Palestinians. So it was not that as a result of the war that the Palestinians lost their homes. It was as a result of a Jewish, Zionist, Israeli ? call it what you want ? plan that Palestine was ethnically cleansed in 1948 of its original indigenous population.

I must say that not all those who are included in the group of new historians agree with this description. Some would say only half of the Palestinians were expelled, and half ran away. Some would say that it was a result of the war. I have a clear picture in my mind. Of course I don't oblige anyone to accept it, but I am quite confident, as I wrote in my latest book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, that actually already in the 1930s the Israeli ? then it was not Israeli, it was a pre-state leadership ? had contemplated and systematically planned the expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948.

To summarize this point, the old historical Israeli position was: Israel has no responsibility for the Palestinians becoming refugees, the Palestinians are responsible for this because they did not accept the peace plan, and they accepted the Arab call to leave the country. That was the old position. My position, and with this a lot of the New Historians agree, was that Israel is exclusively responsible for the refugee problem, because it planned the expulsion of the Palestinians from their homeland. Therefore it definitely bears the responsibility.

Another point that we discovered is that we checked the military balance on the ground, and we found that this description of an Arab Goliath and a Jewish David also does not stand with the facts. The Arab world talked a lot, still does today, but doesn't do much when it comes to the Palestine question. And therefore they sent a very limited number of soldiers into Israel , and basically for most of the time, the Jewish army had the upper hand in terms of the numbers of soldiers, the level of equipment, and the training experience.

Finally, one of the common Israeli mythologies about 1948 ? and not only about 1948 ? is, that Israel all the time stretches its hand for peace, always offers peace to the Arab world in general, and the Palestinians in particular, and it is the Arab world and the Palestinians who are inflexible and refuse any peace proposal. I think we showed in our work that, at least in 1948, that there was a genuine offer for peace from the world ? or an idea of peace ? after the war ended, and actually the Palestinians and the Arab neighbouring states were willing at least to give a chance for peace, and it was the Israeli government that rejected it. Later, one of the New Historians, Avi Shlaim from Oxford , would write a book that is called the Iron Wall. In this book, he shows that not only in 1948, but since 1948 until today, there were quite a lot of junctures in history where there was a chance for peace, and it failed not because the Arab world refused to exploit the chance, but rather because the Israelis rejected the peace offer.

So revisiting history, for me, starts with 1948. And I will come back again in the end of my talk to 1948 to talk more about my latest book. But I want to explain that in the path from looking back at 1948 and questioning the common historical version and narrative, a group of Israeli scholars, academics, journalists, and so on, were not only content with looking at 1948 but also looked at other periods. We had a very strange time in Israeli academia, which is over now, in the 1990s. In the 1990s, Israeli academics went back to Israeli history, as I said not only to 1948, and looked at very important chapters in Israel 's history, critically, and wrote an alternative history to the one that they were taught in schools, or even in universities. I say that it is a very interesting time because it ended in 2000 with the second Palestinian uprising. You won't find many traces of this critical energy today in Israel . Today in Israel these academics either neglect Israel , or left the views and came back to the national narrative. Israel is a very consensual society nowadays. But in the 1990s it was a very interesting time, I'm very happy that I was part of it. I don't regret it, I'm only sorry that it does not continue, and time will tell whether it is the beginning of something new or whether it was an extraordinary chapter and is not going to be repeated.

Now what did these scholars do? They went from the beginning of the Zionist experience to the present time and looked at all kinds of stations. They began with the early Zionist years. The Zionist movement appeared in Europe in the late 19th century. The first Jewish settler in Palestine arrived in 1882. Now the common view in Israel is that these people came to more or less an empty land, and were only part of a national project, that they created a national homeland for the Jews, and for some unexplained reasons, the Arabs didn't like it, and kept attacking the small Jewish community, and this seems to be the fate of Israel, to live in an area of people who cannot accept them. They don't accept them because the attackers of Israel are either Muslims, or Arabs, which should explain a certain political culture that cannot live at peace with neighbours, or whatever the explanations Israelis give for why Arabs and Palestinians keep attacking the Jewish state.

Now the new scholarship decided to look at the movement of Jews from Europe to the Arab world as a colonialist movement. It was not the only place in the world where Europeans, for whatever reasons ? even for good reasons ? moved out from Europe and settled in a non-European world. And they said that Zionism in this respect was not different. The fact that the Jews of course were persecuted in Europe explains why they were looking for a safe haven, this is known and accepted. But the fact that they decided that the only safe haven is a place where already someone else lived turned them into a colonialist project as well. So they introduced the colonialist perspective to the study of early Zionism.

They also looked differently at a very touchy subject, and this is the relationship between the Holocaust and the state of Israel . Very brave scholars showed what we know now is a fact how the Jewish leadership in Palestine was not doing all it could to save Jews in the Holocaust because it was more interested in the fate of the Jews in Palestine itself. And how the Holocaust memory was manipulated in Israel to justify certain attitudes and policies toward the Palestinians. They also note the treatment of Jews who came from Arab countries in the 1950s, they found this Israeli urge to be a part of Europe very damaging in the way they treated Jewish communities who came from Arab countries. And of course it would have helped Israel to integrate in the Middle-East, because they were Arabs as well, but they de-Arabized them, they told them: "You are not Arabs, you are something else." And they accepted it because it was the only ticket to be integrated into Israeli society.

All this revisiting, if you want, of Israeli history goes from 1882 to at least the 1950s. Around 100 to 120 scholars were involved in this in the 1990s. The Israeli public, at first, of course, did not accept these new findings, and was very angry with these scholars, but I think it was the beginning of a good chance of starting to influence Israeli public opinion to the point of even changing some of the textbooks in the educational system.

Then came the second Intifada, and a lot of people felt that Israel is again at war, and when you are at war, you cannot criticize your own side. This is where we are now, and so many of these critical scholars lowered down their criticism, and in fact people like myself ? I can only testify from my own experience ? in one night, changed from heroes to enemies. It is not an easy experience. In the 1990s, my university was very proud that I was a part of it. So the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a lot of people to show how pluralistic is this university, they have this guy who is a New Historian, and he can show you how critical he is and that Israel is an open society, the only democracy in the Middle East .

After 2000, I became the enemy of the university. Not only did the foreign office stop sending people to see me, the university was looking for ways of sending me abroad, not bringing people to visit me, and almost succeeded in 2002. There was about to be a big trial ? the trial didn't take place, thank God ? where I was to be accused of all kinds of things that you would think that a democracy doesn't have, accusing lecturers of treason and being not loyal to their country, and so on. I was saying the same things in the 1990s as I was in 2002 ? I didn't change my views, what changed was the political atmosphere in Israel .

I want to go, now, in the last part of my talk, to my new book. After working on this new scholarship I wrote quite a lot of articles and edited a lot of books that summarized this new scholarship that I was talking about, trying to assess its impact. I was also very impressed ? in one of my books I wrote extensively about this ? how it influenced Palestinian scholarship to be more open and critical. It really created something which I call the "Bridging Narrative," a concept that I developed, and I am still developing. It is a historical concept that in fact to create peace you need a bridging narrative. You need both national sides, each has their own historical narrative, but if they want to contribute to peace they have to build a bridge narrative. I founded, together with a Palestinian friend, a group in Ramala, called the Bridging Narrative Historians. We started to work in 1997, still work now, and it's a very good project of building a joint narrative. We looked jointly at history because we believe the future is there if you agree on the past.

After doing that, I felt still very haunted by '48, I felt that the story was not complete. I wrote two books on 1948, and I felt it was not enough. And then came the new archives. In 1998, the Israelis opened the military archives. As I said, they opened political archives after 30 years, but military archives after 1990. And then I felt I had even a more complete picture, not only of '48, but unfortunately, of how '48 lives inside Israel today. And the new documents, I think, show very clearly ? although I knew it before, but the new documents show even more clearly, if you needed more evidence ? that the Zionist movement, from the very beginning, it realized that in the land of Palestine someone else lives. That the only solution would be to get rid of these people.

I'm not saying that they knew exactly how to do it, I'm not sure that they always knew how to do it, but they definitely were convinced that the main objective of the Zionist project ? which was to find a safe place for the Jews on the one hand, and to redefine Judaism as a national movement, not just as a religion ? can not be implemented as long as the land of Palestine was not Jewish. Now some of them thought that a small number of Palestinians can stay, but definitely they cannot be a majority, they cannot even be a very considerable minority. I think this is why '48 provides such a good opportunity for the Zionist leadership to try to change the demographic reality on the ground. And as I tried to show in my book, ever since 1937, under the leadership of the founding father of Zionism, David Ben-Gurion, the plan for ethnic cleansing of Palestine was carefully prepared.

This has a lot of moral implications, not just political ones. Because if I am right ? and I may be wrong, but if I am right ? in applying the term ethnic cleansing to what Israel did in 1948, I am accusing the state of Israel of a crime. In fact in the international legal parlance, ethnic cleansing is a crime against humanity. And if you look at the website of the American State Department, you will see that the American State Department Legal Section says that any group in history, or in the future, that lives in a mixed ethnic group, and plans to get rid of one of the ethnic groups, is committing a crime against humanity. And it doesn't matter ? very interesting ? it doesn't matter whether it does it by peaceful means, or military means. The very idea that you can get rid of people just because they are ethnically different from you, today, definitely, in international law, is considered to be a crime.

It's also interesting that the State Department says that the only solution for victims of an ethnic cleansing crime, who are usually refugees because you expel them, is the return of everyone their homes. Of course, in the State Department list of cases of ethnic crime, Israel does not appear. Everyone else appears, from Biblical times until today, but the one case that does not appear as an ethnic cleansing case is the case of Palestine because this would have committed the State Department to believe in the Palestinian right of return, which they don't want.

There is another implication. I am not a judge, and I don't want to bring people to justice, although in this book, for the first time in my life, I decided not to write a book that says " Israel ethnically cleansed Palestine ." I name names, I give names of people. I give the names of the people that decided that 1.3 million Palestinians do not have the right to continue to live where they lived for more than one thousand years. I decided to give the names. I also found the place where the decision was taken.

I think far more important for me is not what happened in 1948. Far more important for me is the fact that the world knew what happened and decided not to do anything, and sent a very wrong message to the state of Israel , that it's okay to get rid of the Palestinians. And I think this is why the ethnic cleansing of Palestine continues today as we speak. Because the message from the international community was that if you want to create a Jewish state by expelling so many Palestinians and destroying so many Palestinian villages and towns, that's okay. This is aright. It's a different lecture, why ? and I'm not going to give it ? why did the world allow Israel in 1948 to do something it would not have allowed anyone else to do. But, as I say, it's a different lecture, I don't want to go into it.

The fact is that the world knew, and absolved Israel . As a result, the Israeli state, the new state of Israel that was founded in 1948, accepted as an ideological infrastructure the idea that to think about an ethnic purity of a state is a just objective. I will explain this. The educational system in Israel , the media in Israel , the political system in Israel , sends us Jews in Israel a very clear message from our very early days until we die. The message is very clear, and you can see that message in the platforms of all the political parties in Israel . Everybody agrees with it, whether they are on the left, or on the right. The message is the following. And to my mind ? I will say the message in a minute ? but I will say that, to my mind, this is a very dangerous message, a very racist message, against which I fight (unsuccessfully).

The message is that personal life ? not collective life, not even political life ? personal life of the Jew in Israel would have been much better had there not been Arabs around. Now that doesn't mean that everybody believes that because of that you go out and start shooting Arabs or even expelling them. You will see the paradox.

Today I gave an interview to a journalist here in Japan , and he told me of someone ? I won't mention the name ? but a very well-known Israeli politician of the left, who said to him: "My dream is to wake up one morning and to see that there are no Arabs in Israel ." And he is one of the leading liberal Zionists, he is on the left, very much in the peace camp. This is the result of 1948, the idea that this is legitimate, to educate people that the solution for their problems is the disappearing of someone just because he is an Arab, or a Muslim, and of course the disappearing of someone who is an indigenous population, who is the native of that land, not an immigrant. I mean, you can understand ? maybe not accept but you can understand ? how a society treats immigrants. Sometimes they find that these immigrants come to take my job, you know these politics of racism that are the result of immigration. But we are not even talking about immigrants, we are talking about a country that someone else immigrated into, and turned the local people into immigrants, and said that they have no rights there.

If someone who is from the Israeli peace camp, and very much on the left, has a dream that all the Arabs would disappear from the land of Israel , you can understand what happens if you are not from the left. You don't dream, you start working on this. And you don't have to be on the extreme right for that, you can be in the mainstream. We have to remember that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 was committed by the Labor Party, not by the Likud, by the mainstream ideology.

In other words, what we have here is a society that was convinced that its need to have ethnic exclusivity, or at least total majority, in whatever part of Palestine it would consider to be the future Jewish state, that this value, this objective is above everything else in Israel . It's more important than democracy. It's more important than human rights. It's more important than civil rights. Because, for most Jews in Israel , if you don't have a demographic majority, you are going to lose, it's a suicide. And if this is the position, then no wonder people would say that if the Palestinians in Israel would be more than 20%, we will have suicide. You will hear people that will tell you that they are intellectuals, liberals, democrats, humanists, say this.

And if Israel wants to annex ? and it wants to annex ? half of the West Bank, as you know, and half of the West Bank has a lot of Palestinians in it, there is not one person in Israel that thinks that it's wrong to move by force the people that live in one half of the West Bank to the second half of the West Bank. Because otherwise the demographic balance in Israel will change. And it's no wonder that Israelis feel no problem with what they did to the Gaza Strip. Take one million and a half people and lock them in an impossible prison with two gates and one key, that the Israelis have, and think that people can live like this without reaction. In order to delegitimize the right of someone to be in their own homeland, you have to dehumanize them. If they're human beings you won't think about them like this.

I think that as long as this is the ideology of the state of Israel , and it is the ideology of the state of Israel , a lot of the good things in Israel ? and there are many many good things in Israel , it's an impressive project that the Zionist movement did, the way it saved Jews, the way it created a modern society almost out of nothing ? all these amazing achievements will be lost. First of all the Palestinians would lose, that's true. This is true. First of all the Palestinians are going to lose because the Israelis are not going to change ? it doesn't look like they're going to change their policy, and it doesn't look like anyone in the world is going to force them to change their policy. But in the long run, Israel is not alone, and it is a small country in the Arab world and in the Muslim world, and America will not always be there to save it.

In the end of the day if the Israelis ? like South Africa , you cannot be in a neighbourhood and be alien to the neighbours, and say "I don't like you," or "I don't want to be here" ? eventually they would react. It could take one hundred years, two hundred years, I don't know. But the Israelis are miscalculating, I think, history. Only historians understand that sixty years is nothing in history. Look at the Soviet Union . The fact that you are successful for sixty years with the wrong policy does not mean that the next sixty years are going to be the same. They're making a terrible mistake, as the Jewish communities around the world are making a terrible mistake in supporting this policy.

The new book is trying to convince that the most important story about the ethnic cleansing is not only what happened in 1948 but the way that the world reacted to what happened in 1948, sending the wrong message to Israel, that this is fine, you can be part, not only of the world, but you can be part of the Western world. You can be a part of what is called "the group of civilized nations." So don't be surprised, if you go to the occupied territories and you see first-hand how people are being treated there, that the vast majority of the Israelis, firstly don't know what goes on there, secondly when they know what goes on there, don't seem to bother much. Because the same message they got from the world in 1948 is the message they get from the world in 2007. You can take a whole city ? imagine Tokyo ? surround it by an electric gate, and one person would have the key for the only gate to the city. Any other place in the world, if you would hear of a city that is at the mercy of a warden, like a prison, you would be shocked. You would not allow it to continue for one day without protests. In Israel the world accepts it. And this is despite the fact that there are more international journalists per square mile in Israel and Palestine than there are anywhere else in the world. That's a fact. And despite this international media presence, the Israelis have not changed one aspect of their policy of occupation in Palestine .

As I say, unfortunately I don't have time for this, but I think it's a very interesting question: why does the world allow Israel to do what it does? But it's really a different question ? so I think I will stop here, and open up for questions and remarks. Thank you.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Re: The Baltimore Sun Article
From: Mona Drooby
March 24, 2007






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Subject: Baltimore Sun: Breaking barriers to peace
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 21:23:50 +0000
From: My Son

By Ori Nir

March 23, 2007

As she makes another effort to create a "political horizon" for Israelis and Palestinians, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would be well advised to take a good look at their states of mind. The picture that Ms. Rice is trying to draw, illustrating ways to resolve the core points of disagreement between the two peoples, cannot be an abstraction. It must be a vision that would reverse the confrontational dynamic.

Most Israelis and Palestinians have experienced only a relationship of bloody conflict. A majority on both sides has not tasted a different reality.

Consider the following figures, which Americans for Peace Now recently received from Fafo, the Norwegian Institute for Labor and Social Research, widely considered the most credible authority on Palestinian demographics. According to Fafo's most recent polling data, 51.3 percent of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are 20 years or younger. That means that more than half of the Palestinians in these territories were born into a milieu of on-again-off-again warfare with Israel that started with the outbreak of the first Palestinian intifada in 1987.

An even more striking figure is that the overwhelming majority of the Palestinian population, 80.3 percent, is less than 40 years old. That means that four out of every five Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have lived their entire lives under Israeli occupation, which began after Israel's victory in the 1967 war with the Arabs.

Israel's population is significantly older. However, more than one-seventh of Israel's population arrived in the country after 1990, mainly because of the large influx of immigration from the former Soviet Union. Accounting for the 1,010,900 immigrants who arrived in the past 17 years, Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics data show that 52 percent of Israelis were not around 24 years ago (there are no available data for 1967) and 84 percent were not around 44 years ago.

These figures help explain some long-standing features of the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate, including the perception, in both societies, that the stalemate is chronic, unavoidable and, worse, irreversible.

Because most on both sides have been socialized within the reality of ongoing armed conflict, they have come to accept an adversarial relationship as normal, as default. They lack the personal frame of reference to imagine any other relationship. Recent polls of Israelis and Palestinians show that although majorities in both societies support a two-state solution, majorities of the same proportions think this desired solution is unattainable.

Both sides demonize the other. Most, on both sides, have never interacted with members of the other community in situations that are not adversarial. Most Palestinians are too young to have ever visited Israel.

Certainly, most Israelis have never seen the Arab towns, villages and refugee camps of the West Bank or Gaza. Indeed, most Israelis don't even know where Israel ends and the West Bank starts. Israel's minister of education is now fighting to have the 1967 "Green Line" border between Israel and the West Bank marked on maps in schoolbooks.

Scarred by a generation of alienation and violence, both societies are awash with hatred and vengeance. Both are cynical. Many in both societies have despaired of ever living in peace with the other.

It will not be easy to change the mindset of two populations that are to such a large extent a product of occupation and conflict. It will require a reversal in attitudes and values, which means dedication and commitment over time - perhaps over a long period of time.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas consistently say that they have not despaired. And although Israel has refused to deal with the Palestinians' new unity government because of the militant group Hamas' refusal to recognize the Jewish state, Ms. Rice is pushing ahead to get the Israeli-Palestinian peace process moving again. She leaves for the Mideast today.

The degenerative nature of the status quo necessitates strong, decisive leadership. The status quo, bleak as it may be, should not suggest, however, that leadership and effort would not pay off. Palestinians and Israelis yearn for hope. And a promising glimmer of hope, resulting from Ms. Rice's trip, could dramatically transform the gloomy atmosphere on both sides.

Ori Nir, former West Bank correspondent for the Israeli daily Haaretz, is the spokesman for Americans for Peace Now, a Zionist organization that promotes Israel's security through peace. His e-mail is
Copyright © 2007,

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 13:55:15 +0000
From: My son
Soros and Media Heavyweights Attack Pro-Israel Lobby’s Influence on U.S. Policy
Nathan Guttman | Fri. Mar 23, 2007

Washington - The simmering debate over American policy toward Israel and the role of the Jewish community in shaping it exploded with near-nuclear force this week. Several of the nation’s best-known international affairs commentators fired salvos at pro-Israel lobbyists and defenders of Israel fired back with unprecedented fury.

In the space of three days, major critiques of Jewish lobbying were published by controversial billionaire George Soros, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Nicholas Kristof, the respected British newsmagazine The Economist and the popular Web site Salon.

The replies were furious. The New York Sun accused Kristof and Soros of spreading a “new blood libel.” The American Jewish Committee’s executive director, David Harris, wrote in a Jerusalem Post opinion article that Kristof had a “blind spot” and had “sanctimoniously lectured” Israel .

The editor of The New Republic, Martin Peretz, renewed an attack on Soros that he began a month ago when he called the Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor a “cog in the Hitlerite wheel.”

The outburst over Middle East policymaking was triggered in part by the annual Washington conference last week of the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a highly publicized event that put the issue of pro-Israel influence in the media spotlight. A parade of politicians and presidential candidates came to the conference to declare their unwavering support for Israel , while the lobby itself reaffirmed a hard-line agenda that included cutting all American ties with the new Palestinian government.

At the same time, the latest attacks and counterattacks were also a continuation — and an escalation — of an ongoing debate in Washington over the purported role of the pro-Israel lobby in shaping American policy in the Middle East and stifling debate. Those attacks reached a peak of venom last year with the publication of a contentious document by two senior political scientists, Stephen Walt of Harvard and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago , who charged that a sprawling, powerful “Israel Lobby” had pushed the United States into war with Iraq .

Among the latest group of critics, Soros, the billionaire philanthropist and currency trader, was the harshest. In an article in The New York Review of Books, published

Monday, he argued that the United States is doing Israel a disservice by allowing it to boycott the Hamas-Fatah Palestinian unity government and to turn down the Saudi peace initiative. But, he wrote, there is no meaningful debate of such policies.

“While other problem areas of the Middle East are freely discussed, criticism of our policies toward Israel is very muted indeed,” Soros wrote. He added that pro-Israel activists have been “remarkably successful in suppressing criticism.”

Soros singled out Aipac as a key source of the problem, accusing the lobby of pushing a hawkish agenda on Israeli-Palestinian issues. “Aipac under its current leadership has clearly exceeded its mission, and far from guaranteeing Israel ’s existence, has endangered it,” he wrote.

Soros’s article was noteworthy in part because it broke his longstanding practice of avoiding public identification with Jewish causes. While he has given hundreds of millions of dollars in the past decade to democratization in the former communist bloc, he has given almost nothing to Jewish causes. In this week’s article, however, he stated — apparently for the first time — that he has “a great deal of sympathy for my fellow Jews and a deep concern for the survival of Israel .”

He said that while he has disagreed with Israeli policies in the past, he has kept quiet because he “did not want to provide fodder to the enemies of Israel .” However, he said, the mishandling of recent events by Washington and Jerusalem now demanded greater public debate, which he said was stifled by groups like Aipac.

He also sprang to the defense of his fellow Jewish liberals, criticizing a recent essay on “Progressive Jewish Thought,” written by Indiana University historian Alvin Rosenfeld and published by the American Jewish Committee, for its attack on critics of Israel .

Soros wrote that he is “not sufficiently engaged in Jewish affairs to be involved in the reform of Aipac” and called on the American Jewish community “to rein in the organization that claims to represent it.”

A spokesperson for Aipac said the group will not comment on Soros’s remarks.

An argument echoing Soros’s was posted a day later on the popular Web site Salon, in an article titled “Can American Jews unplug the Israel lobby?” The writer, Gary Kamiya, called on American Jews to “stand up and say ‘not in my name’,” and to challenge the notion that Aipac’s views are representative of the broader Jewish community.

Less pointed, but far more widely circulated, was a critique of American policymaking published Sunday by New York Times opinion columnist Nicholas Kristof. The much-decorated journalist, famous for his determined coverage of the Darfur genocide, argued that American politicians have “muzzled themselves” when it comes to Israel and that “there is no serious political debate among either Democrats or Republicans about our policy toward Israelis and Palestinians.”

Both Kristof and Soros compared America ’s Middle East policy discussion unfavorably with the lively debate in Israel over the government’s policy. Both claimed that while Israelis feel free to criticize their government and question its policies, American politicians are afraid to take it on.

The Economist, the internationally respected British newsweekly, summed up Friday in a prescient article the “changing climate” facing the pro-Israel lobby. It mentioned challenges to Aipac from Arab Americans, liberal Jews and foreign-policy experts worried about America ’s standing in the Arab world. “ America needs an open debate about its role in the Middle East and Aipac needs to take a positive role in this debate if it is to remain such a mighty force in American politics,” the article concluded.

This burst of criticism against the Israel lobby and its role in the shaping of American policy toward Israel was immediately met by critical articles from supporters of Aipac and of America ’s pro-Israel policies.

A Monday editorial in the New York Sun was the harshest of all. It compared Soros’s and Kristof’s criticisms to the so-called blood libels directed against Jews in medieval Europe . “The fact is that they write at a time when a war against the Jews is underway,” the Sun wrote. “It is a war in which the American people have stood with Israel for three generations… The reason is that Americans are wise enough to understand which side in the war against the Jews shares our values — and to sort out the truth from the libels.”

But Soros’s greatest critic is no doubt New Republic editor Martin Peretz, who posted only a brief reaction on his blog to Soros’s article, promising to elaborate when he returns from his trip abroad. Peretz had attacked Soros in February for saying that the United States would need “de-Nazification” after President Bush leaves office, charging that Soros himself had been guilty of collaborating with the Nazis as a teenager in Hungary . Soros replied in the magazine that the charge was false, and Peretz backed off somewhat. Now, however, he has promised to come back with guns blazing, after he returns from an overseas trip.

“Since he has picked the scab off his own wound this time, I will not be so kind this time,” Peretz warned.

David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, also joined the debate in an opinion article in the Jerusalem Post. Harris praised Kristof’s acclaimed foreign reporting but said he has a “blind spot” regarding Israel . He added that “ Israel doesn’t need lectures from well-intentioned journalists on the need for peace. Israel needs well-intentioned partners for peace.”

The current round in the debate over the pro-Israel lobby is already spilling over into the political system. Presidential candidate Barack Obama, who was seen as being supported financially by Soros, distanced himself from the billionaire following Soros’s article on Aipac.

“On this issue he and Senator Obama disagree,” said a statement from the Obama campaign issued Tuesday. It is now unclear how willing Democratic candidates will be to accept campaign contributions from Soros, who is one of the biggest donors to Democratic-aligned advocacy groups.

While the debate is reaching a boiling point in the public sphere, work on the ground on establishing a new lobbying apparatus by dovish Jewish groups and individuals is moving at a much slower pace.

The initiative was initially called in media reports “the Soros lobby,” after the financier attended an exploratory meeting last fall in New York to discuss creating a new lobby. Since that meeting, however, Soros has shown no further interest in the effort, organizers said.

“He met with us once and that’s it,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, one of the main figures behind the initiative. Ben-Ami stressed that that Soros has not yet pledged any funds for the new advocacy group and that the initiative is still in need of donors. Many in the group now refer to it jokingly as the “non-Soros lobby.”

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Subject: Clinton thanks American Jewish Committee for exposing Carter's book
From: My son
DATE: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 13:39:33 +0000

President Clinton Thanks AJC for Efforts on New Carter Book
Former President Bill Clinton, in a handwritten letter to AJC Executive Director David Harris, voiced appreciation for his efforts to expose the inaccuracies in President Jimmy Carter’s book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Thanks so much for your articles about President Carter’s book. I don’t know where his information (or conclusions) came from …” said Clinton. “I’m grateful.”

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Subject: Yediot Ahronot: Yes, There Is Apartheid in Israel
From: My Son

Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 18:21:05 +0000
Yes, There Is Apartheid in Israel
by: Shulamit Aloni
April - May 2007
The Link - Volume 40, Issue 2

Shulamit Aloni, Israel Prize laureate for 2000, served as Israel’s Minister of Education under Yitzhak Rabin. This article was published in Hebrew in Yediot Ahronot (Latest News), Israel’s largest circulating newspaper, and was translated by Sol Salbe, an Australian editor, whose comments are in square brackets.

Jewish self-righteousness is taken for granted among ourselves to such an extent that we fail to see what’s right in front of our eyes. It’s simply inconceivable that the ultimate victims, the Jews, can carry out evil deeds. Nevertheless, the state of Israel practices its own, quite violent, form of Apartheid with the native Palestinian population.

The US Jewish Establishment’s onslaught on former President Jimmy Carter is based on him daring to tell the truth which is known to all: through its army, the government of Israel practices a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp. All this is done in order to keep an eye on the population’s movements and to make its life difficult. Israel even imposes a total curfew whenever the settlers, who have illegally usurped the Palestinians’ land, celebrate their holidays or conduct their parades.

If that were not enough, the generals commanding the region frequently issue further orders, regulations, instructions and rules (let us not forget: they are the lords of the land). By now they have requisitioned further lands for the purpose of constructing “Jewish only” roads. Wonderful roads, wide roads, well-paved roads, brightly lit at night—all that on stolen land. When a Palestinian drives on such a road, his vehicle is confiscated and he is sent on his way.

On one occasion I witnessed such an encounter between a driver and a soldier who was taking down the details before confiscating the vehicle and sending its owner away. “Why?” I asked the soldier. “It’s an order—this is a Jews-only road,” he replied. I inquired as to where was the sign indicating this fact and instructing [other] drivers not to use it. His answer was nothing short of amazing. “It is his responsibility to know it, and besides, what do you want us to do, put up a sign here and let some anti-semitic reporter or journalist take a photo so that he can show the world that Apartheid exists here?”

Indeed Apartheid does exist here. And our army is not “the most moral army in the world” as we are told by its commanders. Sufficient to mention that every town and every village has turned into a detention center and that every entry and every exit has been closed, cutting it off from arterial traffic. If it were not enough that Palestinians are not allowed to travel on the roads paved “for Jews only,” on their land, the current GOC found it necessary to land an additional blow on the natives in their own land with an “ingenious proposal.”

Major-General Naveh, renowned for his superior patriotism, has issued a new order. Coming into effect on 19 January, it prohibits the conveyance of Palestinians without a permit. The order determines that Israelis are not allowed to transport Palestinians in an Israeli vehicle (one registered in Israel regardless of what kind of number plate it carries) unless they have received explicit permission to do so. The permit relates to both the driver and the Palestinian passenger. Of course none of this applies to those whose labor serves the settlers. They and their employers will naturally receive the required permits so they can continue to serve the lords of the land, the settlers.

Did man of peace President Carter truly err in concluding that Israel is creating Apartheid? Did he exaggerate? Don’t the US Jewish community leaders recognize the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination of 7 March 1966, to which Israel is a signatory? Are the U.S. Jews who launched the loud and abusive campaign against Carter for supposedly maligning Israel’s character and its democratic and humanist nature unfamiliar with the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid of 30 November 1973? Apartheid is defined therein as an international crime that among other things includes using different legal instruments to rule over different racial groups, thus depriving people of their human rights. Isn’t freedom of travel one of these rights?

In the past, the U.S. Jewish community leaders were quite familiar with the meaning of those conventions. For some reason, however, they are convinced that Israel is allowed to contravene them. It’s OK to kill civilians, women and children, old people and parents with their children, deliberately or otherwise without accepting any responsibility. It’s permissible to rob people of their lands, destroy their crops, and cage them up like animals in the zoo.

From now on, Israelis and International humanitarian organizations’ volunteers are prohibited from assisting a woman in labor by taking her to the hospital. [Israeli human rights group] Yesh Din volunteers cannot take a robbed and beaten-up Palestinian to the police station to lodge a complaint. (Police stations are located at the heart of the settlements.) Is there anyone who believes that this is not Apartheid?

Jimmy Carter does not need me to defend his reputation that has been sullied by Israelophile community officials. The trouble is that their love of Israel distorts their judgment and blinds them from seeing what’s in front of them. Israel is an occupying power that for 40 years has been oppressing an indigenous people, which is entitled to a sovereign and independent existence while living in peace with us. We should remember that we too used very violent terror against foreign rule because we wanted our own state. And the list of victims of terror is quite long and extensive.

We do not limit ourselves to denying the [Palestinian] people human rights. We not only rob them of their freedom, land and water. We apply collective punishment to millions of people and even, in revenge-driven frenzy, destroy the electricity supply for one and half million civilians. Let them “sit in the darkness” and “starve.”

Employees cannot be paid their wages because Israel is holding 500 million shekels that belong to the Palestinians. And after all that we remain “pure as the driven snow.” There are no moral blemishes on our actions. There is no racial separation. There is no Apartheid. It’s an invention of the enemies of Israel. Hooray for our brothers and sisters in the U.S.! Your devotion is very much appreciated. You have truly removed a nasty stain from us. Now there can be an extra spring in our step as we confidently abuse the Palestinian population, using the “most moral army in the world.”

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

An email from my son
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 20:28:21 +0000

Hagee inspires AIPAC delegatesRon Kampeas
It may or may not have been a conscious rejoinder to "The Israel Lobby" academic screed, but AIPAC's annual policy conference aimed to show that ties between Israel and the United States are both deep and organic.

WASHINGTON (JTA) — It may or may not have been a conscious rejoinder to "The Israel Lobby," the academic screed that revived accusations that Jews are torn by dual loyalties to Israel and the United States, but AIPAC's annual policy conference this week aimed to show that ties between the two nations are both deep and organic.

Unlike the army of academics and journalists who have busied themselves wading through the distortions and misrepresentations of the paper by the University of Chicago's John Mearsheimer and Harvard's Stephen Walt, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee ended 10 months of virtual silence on the topic by offering something simpler — a story.

The theme, flashed across huge screens hanging from the rafters of the Washington Convention Center on March 11, was "Israel: An American Past."

First, Israeli-American historian Michael Oren outlined a history of the United States that made the founding of the republic seem as much about moving Jews to the Holy Land as it was about dumping tea into the harbor.

Then Pastor John Hagee, pledging eternal evangelical love for Israel, stirred the crowd to its feet in a delirium, shouting together, "Israel lives!"

The launching point for Oren's entertaining potted history was the Walt-Mearsheimer work. He said the professors, who earned a high six-figure advance to turn their paper into a book, just don't get it.

"Upwards of 70 percent of Americans admire Israel and support the alliance," Oren said.

He also noted, to wild applause from the 6,000 activists at the conference, that his own recent work, "Faith and Fantasy: The United States in the Middle East, 1776 to 2006," had superseded another Israel policy critique, Jimmy Carter's "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid," on The New York Times' bestseller list.

Oren's main point was that identification with Israel is not simply an alliance of two democracies against terrorism, but has been an integral part of American history and thought.

According to Oren, the depth of American affection for Israel predates both states — in fact, it stems from the font of Americanness, Plymouth Rock. He quoted William Bradford as saying as he alighted on the rock, "Come let us declare the word of the lord in Zion."

Oren drew a line from the identification early Pilgrims felt with the Israelites to "restorationism," a stream of 19th-century Protestant thinking that advocated the Jews' return to the Holy Land.

Paralleling the rise of modern Zionism, the movement inspired young Americans to move to the Holy Land to help the indigenous Jewish population learn to farm it.

It was described in the writings of Herman Melville and Mark Twain, and manifested in the actions of presidents including Woodrow Wilson — who helped persuade the British to recognize a Jewish claim to the land in 1917 — and Harry Truman, the first world leader to recognize Israel in 1948.

Next to speak was Hagee, who last year founded Christians United for Israel, a culmination of 25 years of hosting "Nights for Israel" at his independent charismatic church in San Antonio.

The popular TV preacher went straight for the heart, and if there were doubts that an evangelical could cast aside concerns about proselytizing and make his case based simply on love of Israel, they were quickly dispersed.

"What we have in common is far greater than the things that have separated us over the years," Hagee said to applause.

"We must stop Iran's nuclear threat, and stop it now, and stand boldly with Israel!" he said to even greater applause.

"Ahmadinejad is the new Hitler!"

Even greater applause.

Directly addressing the Iranian president and his wishes for Israel to disappear, Hagee said, "You may well be speaking of your own demise when you talk of passing with a sudden storm!"

That brought hoots, cheers and the sound of chairs scratching cement as they were pushed back so listeners could get to their feet.

"There will never be another Holocaust, not on our watch and never again!" Hagee continued.

Hagee counted the perceived enemies of Zion, from Ahmadinejad on down, with allusions to Carter, Walt and Mearsheimer.

Thousands of Jews from Miami to Marin County, from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Ore., shouted as one, "Israel lives! Israel lives! Israel lives!"

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Attack by the USS Liberty

Following are must reads for anyone interested in the attack on the USS Liberty by Israel on June 8, 1967:

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Zionists Control of America
Hesham Tillawi, PhD

30 years ago I was told that the liberation of Palestine must go through Washington. I understood that to mean that Washington has a say so in what has happened, and what is happening to the Palestinians. I was wrong; Washington turned out to be an Israeli occupied space just like Palestine.

I spent the last Twenty-Seven years trying to explain to the American public that the Palestinians are not the bad guys, only to find out that they, the Americans, were in worse shape than the Palestinians. At least the Palestinians knew who the enemy was, they could see him, he is the one with the big gun and the big CAT and wearing the star of David. The Palestinians and the Americans share the same enemy, the Zionist agenda …

I spent the last Twenty-Seven years spinning wheels to the point of burning rubber only to find myself in the same place where I started. Truth, Justice, facts, history, fairness, moral, right-thing …etc are just nouns that carry hardly any weight in front of the reality and cruelty of the human mind. American Muslims and Arabs in general, and Palestinians in particular are wasting their time in approaching issues dealing with Zionism. For decades, unintentionally, they made fighting Zionism an Arab exclusivity. For years, we visited churches and spoke at universities, showed films and documentaries, demonstrated in various American cities, and formed organizations one after another, but at the end all we can show for is smoke and the smell of burnt tar. We spent years designing, forming, and reforming, and reforming again, and again the structure of our “organizations” but forgot to add substance to those organizations. We always thought about what is good for Palestine and the Arabs, and neglected –not by design- what is good for America. Muslim Americans and Arab Americans must think of themselves as Americans first. They must think, feel, integrate, and contribute to the formation of the American Culture. A distinct American culture other than Western is forming and we must be part of this formation for two reasons: To be included, and to help our people in the homelands.

In Palestine they are visible now, in America they used to be hidden, just like they were in Palestine, and when they became strong enough they took over the country, just like they did in Palestine. “ This is precisely the case today with regards to the Jewish supremacist agenda, wherein those who are the operatives have become so confident in their success that they no longer go to the painstaking lengths that they used to in insulating themselves from the light of day.” Mark Glenn in his book ‘No Beauty In The Beast’

To me the fight is not in Palestine, but right here in America. It’s a fight between good and evil, a fight to keep the principles of freedom and democracy we as immigrants were attracted to, and our forefathers fought and died for. It’s a fight to keep America free and clear of any single entity’s control. It’s a fight for information and knowledge that the Constitution granted as a right. We must join in this battle for America. Don’t think you Muslims and Arabs are the only one in this fight; as a matter of fact you are yet to enter this fight. You have been fighting for your own communities’ issues and neglected America. There are thousands if not millions of “ordinary”-whatever that means- Americans who like to see the Zionist influence in America diminish. Once that happens, solving your problems here, and there and everywhere will be a matter of choice.

So how bad is the Zionist influence in America? Well, consider this: the Jewish population of America is about 5 million people, which is a little over one percent of the total population, and keep in mind that not all Jews are Zionists- many Jews are anti-Zionist- we end up with a percentage of less than one who actually control the government, the media, and the financial aspects of America. Let’s take a look at where some (few) of these people are: Paul Dundes Wolfowitz – not long ago was the Deputy Secretary, Department of Defense and now President of the World Bank, Richard Perle - Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, Ari Fleischer - was White House Press Secretary and a director of World Jewish Congress, Josh Bolten - Deputy Chief of Staff, Ken Melman - White House Political Director, Jay Lefkowitz - Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council, Daniel Fried - Special Assistant to President and Senior Director for European and Eurasian Affairs, David Frum – Speechwriter-wrote the axis of evil speech-, Brad Blakeman - White House Director of Scheduling( he decides who sees Bush and who doesn’t), Dov Zakheim - Undersecretary of Defense (Controller), decides where the money goes, I. Lewis Libby - Chief of Staff to the Vice President, should be tried for treason for exposing Valerie Plame, a CIA agent, Elliott Abrams , an Israeli- now Director of the National Security Council’s Office for Near East affairs, that’s the office overseeing the U.S. Middle East policy. Abrams’ appointment is viewed as “a gift from heaven” for ‘Israel.’ , Douglas Feith – an Israeli,was Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and was responsible for making up the big lies about Iraq buying Uranium from Africa, very close to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Michael Chertoff – Homeland Security Secretary, Allen Greenspan, Federal Reserve Chairman, a private firm that controls ALL financial aspects of the country, and many, many more. You can see some of them in this partial list. Add to that, most Ambassadors to Europe and to countries that count, plus most advisors on the National Security Council and other sensitive government positions. This gang and others were the ones who conned America into going to war against Iraq for Israel with a price tag of over 1700 American lives lost, and 400 billions of hard earned American money, and a loss of over 200 years of reputation building.

Senator William Fullbright of Arkansas who served until 1975 said, “ Israel controls the United States Senate. Around 80 percent are completely in support of Israel; what Israel wants it gets. Jewish influence in the House of Representatives is even greater.” This was back in the Seventies, now they wield partial to total control over 95 Senators and all 435 members of the House except maybe 23. Listen to Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “ I’ve never seen a President- I don’t care who he is- stand up to them (the Jews). They always get what they want, If the American people understood what a grip these people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms.” Paul Findley, a US Congressman for 22 years noted on the subject that:

“ Israel is able to stifle free speech, control our Congress, and even dictate our foreign policy.”

I would conclude by saying that the Zionists in America now are in the same position they were in back in 1948 in Palestine where they were in total control of the land but not the people. They were not interested in the people; they just wanted the land. In the case of America they are in total control of its people and resources, they are not interested in the land. They just want people to fight wars and the people’s money to finance their ambitions.

Is speaking out against Zionism, and its agents Anti-Semitic? No, but this is: “ The Palestinians should be crushed like grasshoppers, their heads smashed against boulders and walls.” Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir.

Hesham Tillawi, PhD