tamim tamim tamam

1 March 2010

2007
عن الشعر والشعراء
يطيرُ حمامُ بيتِ اللهِ نَحوي …… لأروي عنهُ أشعاراً ويَروِي
يُريدُ بِما بِهِ تَخفيفَ مابي …… فَيُرجِعُني إلى الشَّجْوَينِ شَجْوي
وظنّي ما يَحُجُّ الطَّيرُ إلا …… لِجَمعِ الشِّعْرَ منْ حَضَرٍ وَبَدْوِ
وَلولا الشِّعرَ مِن عَرَبٍ أَحبُّوا ….. إذن خُلقَ الحَمامُ بِغَيرِ شَدوِ
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يقولونَ نَنوي أنْ تَنسَ هواهُم …… وهلْ ينسى ابن آدمَ حينَ يَنوِي
وقيلَ تَقَوًّى وهذا بِصبرٍ …… وإنَّ الصَّبرَ يُضعِفُ ولا يُقَوِّي
وقيلَ تَرَوَّى في أمرٍ سَنَلهُو …… ومنْ لي ثمَّ منْ لي بِالتَرَوِّي
قَضَوّا حُبي لكمْ ذنباً فإني ……. رَأيتُ القتلَ فِيهِ مِنَ الغُلُوِّ
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نكونُ وَلا نكونُ إذا اعتَنَقنا ……. دخاناً لا يَكفُّ عَنِ العُلُوِّ
هواءً في هواءٍ أو كماءٍ …….. على ماءٍ فأحْويها وتَحوي
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ونَسألُ عنْ نوايانا فَتَبدو …… على خَجَلٍ وتبدأُ في الدُنُوِّ
تَسيرُ كمُهرةٍ وِلدَتْ حَديثاً …… تقومُ على مراحلَ ثمَّ تَهوي
كأَنَّ لِتَوِّها ليلاً تَراني …… كما أنِّي أرَ ليلى لِتَوِّي
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بِكلِّ تَعانُقٍ كَشفٌ ومَزحٌ …… وكأسٌ لا تُراقُ لِغَيرِ كُفْوِ
وخمرٌ أَدمنَتنا فهي تَسعى لنا …… كالبِنتِ تُغْوَى حينَ تُغْوِي
ومنْ عن جِسمهِ يَبغيْ سُمُواً ……. فَلا لَمْ يَدرِ ما مَعنَى السُّمُوِّ
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هَوَاكُم مُعْرِبٌ لُغةَ الليالي ……. كَكُوفِيٍّ يُعَلِّمُ أهلَ مَرْوِ
يُشَكِّلُها كَنَحَّاتٍ مُذِلٍ …… يَشُوبُ جَلالَ صَخْرَتِهِ بِلَهْوِ
وَصخرَتُهُ الزمانُ غَدَتْ بِسَاطَاً …… بِكَفَّيهِ فَيَنشُرُها وَيَطْوِي
هَواكُم كَعبَةٌ والكَونُ ……. وَفدٌ لَهُ لَجَبٌ وتَلبيَةٌ تَدْوي
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وفي بَالي حَمامٌ لا يُبالي بِهِمْ …… يَأوي إِليكمْ حِينَ يَأوي
كَأنَّ اللهَ أَقطَعَهُ سَماءً ……. فَأَكرَمَ هذهِ الدُّنيا بِدَوِّي
يَطيرُ سُنَاً سُنَاً مِثلَ القَوَافي …… فأَنقُلُ شِعرهُ حَذْوَاً بِحَذوِي
ويَكتُبُني وَيَمحُونِي قليلاً …… فَديْتُ يَدَيهِ في خَطٍ وَمَحوِ
لذلكَ أَقولُ طارَ الطَّيرُ نَحوِي …… لأروي عَنهُ أَشعَاراً وَيَروِي

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في القدس.. لا أرى في القدس إلا أنت

25 February 2010

كلمات… في القدس… تميم برغوتي

 مررنا على دار الحبيب فردنا عن الدار قانون الأعادي وسورها فقلت لنفسي ربما هي نعمة فماذا ترى في القدس حين تزورها ترى كل ما لا تستطيع احتماله إذا ما بدت من جانب الدرب دورها وما كل نفس حين تلقى حبيبها تسر ولا كل الغياب يضيرها فإن سرها قبل الفراق لقاؤه فليس بمأمون عليها سرورها متى تبصرِ القدس العتيقة مرة فسوف تراها العين حيث تديرها في القدس بائع خضرة من جورجيا برم بزوجته يفكر في قضاء إجازة أو في طلاء البيت في القدس توراة وكهل جاء من منهاتن العليا يفقه فتية البولون في أحكامها في القدس شرطي من الأحباش يغلق شارعا في السوق رشاش على مستوطن لم يبلغ العشرين قبعة تحيي حائط المبكى وسياح من الإفرنج شقر لا يرون القدس إطلاقا تراهم يأخذون لبعضهم صورا مع امرأة تبيع الفجل في الساحات طول اليوم في القدس دبّ الجند منتعلين فوق الغيم في القدس صلّينا على الأسفلت في القدس من في القدس إلا أنت وتلفَّت التاريخ لي متبسما أظننت حقا أن عينك سوف تخطئهم وتبصر غيرهم هاهم أمامك متن نص أنت حاشية عليه وهامش أحسبت أن زيارة ستزيح عن وجه المدينة يا بني حجاب واقعها السميك لكي ترى فيها هواك في القدس كل فتىً سواك وهي الغزالة في المدى حكم الزمان ببينها مازلت تركض خلفها مذ ودعتك بعينها فارفق بنفسك ساعة إني أراك وهنت في القدس من في القدس إلا أنت يا كاتب التاريخ مهلاً فالمدينة دهرها دهران دهر أجنبي مطمئن لا يغير خطوه وكأنه يمشي خلال النوم وهناك دهر كامن متلثم يمشي بلا صوت حذار القوم والقدس تعرف نفسها فاسأل هناك الخلق يدللك الجميع فكل شيء في المدينة ذو لسان حين تسأله يبين في القدس يزداد الهلال تقوسا مثل الجنين حدْبا على أشباهه فوق القباب تطورت ما بينهم عبر السنين علاقة الأبِ بالبنين في القدس أبنية حجارتها اقتباسات من الإنجيل والقرآن في القدس تعريف الجمال مثمن الأضلاع أزرق فوقه – يا دام عزك- قبة ذهبية تبدو برأيي مثل مرآة محدبة ترى وجه السماء ملخصا فيها تدللها وتدنيها توزعها كأكياس المعونة في الحصار لمستحقيها إذا ما أمّة من بعد خطبة جمعة مدت بأيديها وفي القدس السماء تفرقت في الناس تحمينا ونحميها ونحملها على أكتافنا حملا إذا جارت على أقمارها الأزمان في القدس أعمدة الرخام الداكناتُ كأن تعريق الرخام دخان ونوافذ تعلو المساجد والكنائس أمسكت بيد الصباح تريه كيف النقش بالألوان فهو يقول: “لا بل هكذا”. فتقول: “لا بل هكذا”. حتى إذا طال الخلاف تقاسما فالصبح حر خارج العتبات لكن إن أراد دخولها فعليه أن يرضى بحكم نوافذ الرحمن في القدس مدرسة لمملوك أتى مما وراء النهر باعوه بسوق نخاسة في أصفهان لتاجر من أهل بغداد أتى حلبا فخاف أميرها من زرقة في عينه اليسرى فأعطاه لقافلة أتت مصرا فأصبح بعد بضع سنين غلاب المغول وصاحب السلطان في القدس رائحة تركز بابلا والهند في دكان عطار بخان الزيت والله رائحة لها لغة ستفهمها إذا أصغيت وتقول لي إذ يطلقون قنابل الغاز المسيل للدموع علي: “لا تحفل بهم”… وتفوح من بعد انحسار الغاز وهي تقول لي: “أرأيت”.. في القدس يرتاح التناقض والعجائب ليس ينكرها العباد كأنها قطع القماش يقلبون قديمها وجديدها والمعجزات هناك تلمس باليدين في القدس لو صافحت شيخا أو لمست بناية لوجدت منقوشا على كفيك نص قصيدة – يا ابن الكرام – أو اثنتين في القدس رغم تتابع النكبات ريح طفولة في الجو. ريح براءة في القدس رغم تتابع النكبات ريح براءة في الجو. ريح طفولة فترى الحمام يطير يعلن دولة في الريح بين رصاصتين في القدس تنتظم القبور كأنهن سطور تاريخ المدينة والكتاب ترابها الكل مروا من هنا فالقدس تقبل من أتاها كافرا أو مؤمنا أمرر بها واقرأ شواهدها بكل لغات أهل الأرض فيها الزنج والإفرنج والقفجاق والصقلاب والبشناق والتاتار والأتراك أهل الله والهُلاك والفقراء والملاك والفجار والنساك فيها كل من وطأ الثرى أرأيتها ضاقت علينا وحدنا يا كاتب التاريخ ماذا جدَّ فاستثنيتنا يا شيخ فلتعد القراءة والكتابة مرة أخرى أراك لحنت العين تغمض ثم تنظر سائق السيارة الصفراء مال بنا شمالا نائيا عن بابها والقدس صارت خلفنا والعين تبصرها بمرآة اليمين تغيرت ألوانها في الشمس من قبل الغياب إذ فاجأتني بسمة لم أدر كيف تسللت في الدمع قالت لي وقد أمعنت ما أمعنت: “يا أيها الباكي وراء السور.. أحمق أنت؟ أجننت.. لا تبك عينك أيها المنسي من متن الكتاب لا تبك عينك أيها العربي واعلم أنه في القدس من في القدس لكن لا أرى في القدس إلا أنت..

http://halataha.jeeran.com/archive/2007/9/312607.html تم نقل كلمات القصيدة من موضوع بعنوان قصيدة في القدس / للشاعر تميم البرغوثي من منتديات أقصانا http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW7pPg5ZCvM&feature=player_embedded

clean clean slate

24 February 2010

GAZA,,, Clean Slate,,,
 
Wondering what will be
Looking from my window
I see a gathering of a sort
10 Red Cardinals-Males
5 Brown-with red noses-Females
Chirping away-emergency meeting
They’re discussing where
Their next meal will come from
Threw the suckers some seeds
In case they’re hungry…
 
Humans go crazy
Over a blizzard of snow
Birds are just hanging out
Always cool about things to come
 
Few more days 
I am heading to Gaza
Along with 1400 delegates
From 46 countries
To be massed at the Eretz border
On the first day of 2010
To ask Israel to end the siege
Of GAZA
To stand in the trenches
With my Palestinian brothers & sisters…
 
Packing my heart
Wishing the Cardinals are coming along
To keep me company
To give the children some hope
To tell them that beauty is around the corner
To sing for them
To read my poems to them
To let them know they are not left behind…
 
 
 
I should pack some cement
I should pack some electricity
I should pack some medicine
I should pack some Zepras
And some chikens as well
All in dire demand…
 
But for now
I am just watching the snow falling
I am listening to the howling winds
Outside of my home
At least I have a home
Gazans are still living in tents
Wishing the snow
Will take their pain away
Wishing them a clean slate…
  
                                                                             Fareed Bitar
                                                On the first day of winter-blizzard hit the tri state area…

green eyes of Aisha

24 February 2010

Green Eyes of Aishah,,

roaming the streets of Gaza-Rafah
checking on a population under siege
I glimpse a stunning beauty with a Hijab
I chase her in the lobby
I chase her on the beach
swimming not allowed
don’t care if Hamas is a guard
don’t care about rules of engagement
don’t care about the pointless meetings
Instead I’m gazing into her Green Eyes
deciding what shade of green they are

she’s dangerous-you know
always gets what she wants
many times I said No-
she said please with her eyes
screamed at an Egyptian guard
for intruding on my Green Eyed Hurma (woman)
still wearing the Hijab

when the time comes to say
ma’a al-salaamah (good bye)
I could not turn my back
Insa’allahu we meet in Rafah
smuggled in a tunnel
under a white tent
so I can make love
to her green eyes
and find out what’s under the Hijab…

Dedicated to Aishah with the Green killer eyes…fareed.

الفـلسـطـينـيون جـوهـرة الشرق ‏الأوسط

23 December 2009

 
http://www.assafir.com/channels.aspx?EditionId=1419&channelId=32904
نقلا ً عـن جريدة السـفـيـر اللبنانية
 
 
هذا بحث مشرف نعـتز به ‏كفلسطينيين، فشكرا لجريدة السفير اللبنانية، ورئيس تحريرها الإعلامي الكبير المخضرم ‏الأستاذ طلال سلمان . 
        لا ‏يتخيل الكثير منكم حجم الدور الذي لعبه ومازال الفلسطينيين يلعبوه حتى اليوم في ‏اقتصاد لبنان وان كان ذلك عليه تعتيم شديد فالفلسطيني في لبنان أن كان مخطئا فهي ‏فضيحة وعليها شهود وان كان منجزا فتكتم علي الأمر ولا تعلنه .
 
هذه هي ‏الحقيقة فهل تعلمون فلسطينيي لبنان في الإمارات يحولون سنويا إلي لبنان وهذا بحسب ‏جريدة الخليج 368 مليون دولار هل تعلمون أن خريجي الجامعة الأمريكية في لبنان من‏الفلسطينيين أما يساوون أو يزيدوا عن اللبنانيين .
 
وعندما تدخل الجامعة هذه ‏قاعة طلال أبو غزالة وهذه قاعة حسيب صباغ وهذه قاعة كمال الشاعر جميعهم فلسطينيون من ساهم في بناء وتطوير الجامعة فلسطينيون بتبرعات خاصة منهم .
 
واليكم بعض ‏من الأسماء التي تنحدر من أصل فلسطيني في لبنان ولعبت دورا كبيرا فيه، وأكرر هناك ‏تعتيم كبير على ذلك وإن ظهر هؤلاء فيظهرون كلبنانيين بسبب تجنيسهم وليسوا‏كفلسطينيين وطبعا اقصد اغلبهم وليسوا كلهم ( لم يبدأ الازدهار اللبناني، فعلا، إلا بعد نكبة فلسطين في سنة 1948) .
 
قبل تلك الحقبة، وحتى ثلاثينات القرن ‏العشرين، كان لبنان مجرد مجموعة من القرى المتناثرة في الجبل تتميز بهواء صحي ملائم ‏للمصطافين الفلسطينيين والسوريين والعراقيين، لكن بسقوط فلسطين سنة 1948، حمل ‏اللاجئون معهم إلى لبنان دفعة واحدة نحو 15مليون جنيه إسترليني، أي ما يعادل أكثر ‏من 15 مليار دولار بأسعار هذه الأيام …
 
وهذا الأمر أطلق فورة اقتصادية شديدة ‏الايجابية، فاليد العاملة الفلسطينية المدربة ساهمت في العمران وفي تطوير السهول ‏الساحلية اللبنانية، والرأسمال النقدي أشاع حالة من الانتعاش الاستثماري الواسع .
 
وكان لإقفال ميناء حيفا ومطار اللد شأن مهم جدا في تحويل التجارة في شرق ‏المتوسط إلى ميناء بيروت ثم في إنشاء مطار بيروت الدولي بعدما كان مطار بئر حسن ‏مجرد محطة متواضعة لاستقبال الطائرات الصغيرة .
 
وفي هذا السياق لمع في لبنان ‏الكثير من الفلسطينيين الذين كان لهم شأن كبير في الازدهار اللبناني أمثال :
 
يوسف بيدس (مؤسس بنك انترا وكازينو لبنان وطيران الشرق الأوسط واستديو بعلبك) ..

حسيب الصباغ وسعيد خوري (مؤسسا شركة اتحاد المقاولين ) .
 
رفعت النمر ( البنك الاتحادي العربي ثم بنك بيروت للتجارة وفيرست بنك ‏انترناشونال ) .
 
باسم فارس وبدر الفاهوم (الشركة العربية للتأمين ) .
 
زهير العلمي (شركة خطيب وعلمي ) .
 
كمال الشاعر ( دار الهندسة ) .
 
وريمون عودة ( بنك عودة ) .
 
توفيق غرغور ( توكيل مرسيدس وشركة ليسيكو ومشاريع تجارية أخري كبيرة ) .
 
أول شركة لتوزيع الصحف والمطبوعات في ‏لبنان أسسها فلسطيني هي شركة (فرج الله) .

وأول سلسلة محلات لتجارة الألبسة الجاهزة هي (محلات عطا الله فريج) الفلسطيني .
 
وأول الذين أسسوا محلات ‏السوبر ماركت في بيروت هو السيد اودين ابيلا الفلسطيني وهو ذاته صاحب سلسلة المطاعم الشهيرة في مطار بيروت الدولي وكازينو لبنان .
 
وأول من أسس شركة لتدقيق ‏الحسابات في لبنان هو فؤاد سابا وشريكه كريم خوري الفلسطينيان .
 
وأول من ‏بادر إلى إنشاء مباني الشقق المفروشة في لبنان هما الفرد سبتي وتيوفيل بوتاحي ‏الفلسطينيان ، علاوة على عبد المحسن القطان ومحمود فستق وغيرهم الكثير .
 
واشتهرت، في البدايات الأولى بعد النكبة، بعض العائلات الفلسطينية التي ‏كان لها شأن بارز في تطوير بساتين الجنوب مثل آل عطايا .
 
كما كان لليد ‏العاملة الفلسطينية حضور في معامل جبر وغندور وعسيلي واليمني، و من بين أساتذة ‏الجامعات الفلسطينيون نقولا زيادة وبرهان الدجاني ونبيه أمين فارس وصلاح الدباغ‏ونبيل الدجاني ويوسف الشبل وجين مقدسي وريتا عوض وفكتور سحاب ويسرى جوهرية عرنيطة ‏ورجا طنوس وسمير صيقلي ومحمود زايد وعصام مياسي وعصام عاشور وطريف الخالدي …
 
وبرز من بين الفنانين التشكيليين جوليانا سيرافيم وبول غيراغوسيان وناجي ‏العلي وإبراهيم غنام وتوفيق عبد العال ومليحة أفنان وإسماعيل شموط ومحمد الشاعر وكميل حوا .
 
وفي الصحافة ظهرت كوكبة من الفلسطينيين في لبنان كان لها شأن ‏وأثر أمثال: غسان كنفاني ونبيل خوري ونايف شبلاق وتوفيق صايغ وكنعان أبوخضرا وجهاد ‏الخازن ونجيب عزام واليأس نعواس وسمير صنبر واليأس صنبر واليأس سحاب وخازن عبود ‏ومحمد العدناني وزهدي جار الله. وأول من وصل إلى القطب الجنوبي في بعثة علمية ورفع العلم اللبناني هناك هو الفلسطيني اللاجئ إلى لبنان جورج دوماني …
 
ومن رواد ‏العمل السياحي في لبنان سامي كركبي الفلسطيني الذي كان أول من جعل مغارة جعيتا على ‏مثل هذا البهاء وأول من قاد طائرة جمبو في شركة طيران الشرق الأوسط MEA ‏هو حنا حوا ‏الفلسطيني .
 
ومن أوائل مؤسسي مراكز البحث العلمي في بيروت الفلسطيني وليد الخالدي .
 
وفي مجال النقد الأدبي اشتهر الدكتور محمد يوسف نجم والدكتور إحسان عباس .
 
ومن رواد العمل الإذاعي كامل قسطندي وغانم الدجاني وصبحي ابولغد وناهدة ‏فضلي الدجاني وعبد المجيد أبولبن وشريف العلمي ورشاد البيبي .
 
ومن رواد ‏الفرق المسرحية والعمل الإذاعي أيضا الأستاذ صبري الشريف الذي كان له الفضل الكبير ‏على الأخوين رحباني وعلى مهرجانات بعلبك .
 
ومن رواد علم الآثار الحديث في ‏الجامعات اللبنانية الفلسطيني ديمتري برامكي مدير متحف الجامعة الأمريكية .
ومن رواد ‏تدريس الرياضيات في لبنان كل من جميل علي وسالم خميس وعبد الملك الناشف ووصفي حجاب ..
 
وكان أحمد شفيق الخطيب وقسطنطين تيودوري رائدي العمل القاموسي، وسعيد ‏الصباغ أول من تخصص في رسم الخرائط.. وأول من أطلق فكرة تأسيس مدارس تعليم اللغة ‏الانجليزية كان الفلسطينيان اميل اغابي وادي جمل ..

وأول رئيس عربي مقيم ‏للجامعة الأميركية هو الفلسطيني الدكتور إبراهيم السلطي .
ومن رواد الموسيقى ‏في لبنان الفلسطينيون فريد وحنا وريشارد السلفيتي وحليم الرومي وأبنته ماجدة الرومي ‏إن أرادت ورياض البندك وسلفادور عرنيطة والفاريس بولس ثم سليم سحاب وعبد الكريم ‏قزموز وعبود عبد العال ومحمد غازي .
 
واشتهر في التربية قيصر حداد وصادق عمر وجورج شهلا ..
 
وأول فرقة للرقص الشعبي أسسها الفلسطينيان مروان جرار ووديعة حداد جرار ..
 
وأول من أسس الفرق الكورالية الموسيقية كانا الفلسطينيان ‏الفاريس بولس وسلفادور عرنيطة، وهذا كله غيض من فيض .
 
نقلا عن جريدة السفير ‏اللبنانية وكل ما سبق يلقي قليل من الضوء علي الدور الفلسطيني المعتم عليه في ‏لبنان

 

 

Z Z Z for Zionist

22 December 2009

Bended Knees: Zionist Power in American Politics

by James Petras / December 20th, 2009

Obama want to see a stop to settlements: Not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions.
– Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, May 2009

What the prime minister has offered in specifics of a restraint on the policy of settlements … is unprecedented, there has never been a precondition, it’s always been an issue within negotiations.
– Hillary Clinton, BBC, November 1, 2009 (my emphasis)

The US administration understands what we have always said … that the real obstacle to negotiations is the Palestinians (calling for a freeze on settlements).
– Israeli Minister of Science and Technology Daniel Hershkowitz, November 1, 2009 (my addition)

America, stop sucking up to Israel!
– Gideon Levy, Israeli journalist, Haaretz, November 1, 2009

US Zionists are sticking it to America, 24/7.
– Anonymous Staff Official, Washington D. C., October 31, 2009

Introduction

The discussion of Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC) in the US political system revolves around several essential issues, including:

   1. The claims by the ZPC that it represents Jewish opinion and values as well as its authority to speak for the interests of the American people.
   2. Measuring the power of the ZPC and determining its influence over policy, appointments and political institutions.
   3. The question of whether the ZPC is a legitimate part of the US political system, another lobby, or something very different, an unregistered agent of a foreign power (Israel).
   4. The scope and depth of the ZPC influence in US politics beyond the focus on its “lobbying” in Washington on a “single issue”.
   5. The organizational weapons and techniques utilized by the ZPC to maximize influence and deny voice and influence to critics of Israel and itself.
   6. The similarities of the organizational linkages of the Israel-Zionist relationship to the Russian – Stalinist Communist Parties of the 1930’s.

Method: Public Records, Ethnic Neutral Sources and Citations

The case against the Zionist Power Configuration is based on the open record of publications, speeches, articles, interviews and sources available to the general public (and any interested reader). Many facts and data are drawn from Zionist and Israeli sources as well as mainstream publications and writings by critical journalists and analysts.1 We do not privilege the statements by Jews, whether they are critics or supporters of the State of Israel, as most “progressive” writers do. The pursuit of truth is not an “ethnic science”, an approach that smacks of Nazi and Zionist racial theories. Indeed, nothing reveals the extreme Zionist power or cultural hegemony over the debate on Israel and American Zionism so much as the constant reliance, reference and citation of the “Jewish” authorship of critical articles, even when publications by non-Jews are better documented, of earlier publication, and better argued.

The ethnic (Jewish) label attached to writings and intellectual and political activity is selectively applied: the ethnic labels are applied to ‘positive outcomes’ as part of a general campaign exalting the “superiority” of the “race”; and disregarded in the face of ‘negative outcomes’ and activities (e.g., financial swindles, Russian oligarchs, espionage agents). In fact the “double standard” is buttressed by savage attacks by the ZPC on those who, following the ethnic labeling tradition, actually mention the Jewish background of mediocrities and war criminals as well as peace and justice advocates.

We will begin by questioning and challenging the representativeness of the ZPC in the United States today.

Zionists and the Jewish Communities in America

The 51 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organization (PMAJO) claim to speak for all Jews in the US.2 A major study in the north Boston region found that less than 25% of Jews belong to a synagogue, fewer (10%) contribute to the Jewish Federation and over 50% do not accept rabbinical Zionist precepts against inter-marriage with non-Jews.3) According to the Jewish Telegraph Agency (12/4/2009) conservative synagogues have declined by almost 25% from 800 to 650 over the past decade. Even most striking many prominent individuals who may be of Jewish parentage, no longer consider themselves “Jews” despite frequent claims by Zionists that their achievements are a product or a result of their being “Jewish”. Near majorities of young people of Jewish ancestry do not identify with Judaism and are critical or indifferent to Zionist appeals for Israel. They have no involvement in Jewish centered civic activities.4 A small, but vocal, group of Jews are organized and active critics of the entire Zionist apparatus, rejecting the idea of Israel as an exclusive ethno-religious state and supporting a secular democratic republic in Palestine.5 In addition several Orthodox Jewish sects view the ‘state of Israel’ as a form of blasphemy and call for its destruction.6

The “51” misrepresent their actual numbers and claim to speak for 6 million US Jews. At best they may speak for less than half of the imputed population and even then their support waxes and wanes according to the issue, the timing and the place and varies in intensity. The power of the “51” is not a result of its representativeness of the Jewish community at large, but the location of its followers in the power structure and the intensity and quasi-religious fervor of their activists. Their political power resides in their singular forces in pursuit of the interests of the State of Israel and the control and influence in media; their nationwide networks and the wealth and financial power of contributors. Their capacity to browbeat apathetic Jews into making contributions and lending support adds organizational muscle. Their willing use of force, money and media slander intimidates any and all critics, including dissident politicians, media, journalists and professors.7

At most there are probably no more than 500,000 Jews who actively back the “51” – but what a half million! Given the low level of political participation of the US population in general, the relative low salience of Middle East issues to most Americans and the one-sided pro-Israel mass media propaganda, which misinforms the public, the Zionist zealots have little competition. They have a free hand in penetrating and influencing political, social and cultural institutions in line with the policies dictated by their Israeli influenced leaders among the “51.”

The issue of the limited representativeness of the Zionist organization must be separated from the exercise of power. By leveraging non-Zionist, non-Jewish civic organizations, political institutions, pension funds, trade unions etc. the ZPC magnifies its power beyond its numbers.8

The limited representativeness of the “51” is compensated by the silence and apathy of the majority of Jews and non-Jewish/Jews, who either are not willing to challenge ZPC claims or are immersed in private concerns, careers or other unrelated civic issues.

The ‘51’s hundreds of thousands of activists are strategically placed in institutions, as well as geographically, with a centralized command capable of mobilizing money, media attention and political leverage in any priority, political, cultural or social arena.9 The ‘51’ organizations are not merely a “lobby” in the sense of having paid officials operating to influence congressional votes.10 They include religious, civic, charitable, ideological, cultural and social organizations unified and unconditionally committed to following the zigzags of Israeli political directives.11 The actual structure resembles a ‘power configuration’ that reaches from small chapters in municipalities to statewide confederations, as well as national organizations, each with its own budget, its own ideological watchdogs and appropriate levels of power.

The power for Israel is exercised by elected and appointed Zionist officials, especially those in positions that have any relevance to Israeli interests. These “interests” include direct aid to Israel, sanctions and wars against Israel’s Middle East and Asian adversaries, American pension fund investments in Israel, boycotts of companies trading with Israeli-designated adversary countries and many other strategic concerns.

The key to the power of the Zionist Power Configuration is that it is a mass grassroots organization, bolstered by the financial support by scores of millionaires and dozens of billionaires and a complicit mass media. These political resources translate into tremendous leverage over the far more numerous non-Zionist electorates, the mass media spectators and the upwardly mobile politicians.

The ZPC illustrates clearly how “numbers” in the abstract do not count,12 especially in a permeable electoral system like the US, where money, organization, discipline and ethno-religious fanaticism define the boundaries, issues and acceptable policies.

The ZPC as Foreign Agents of the Israeli State

The recent decision of the US Congress to repudiate (HR 867) the findings of Israeli war crimes in the official Final Report of the United Nations’ Fact Finding Mission on the 2009 Gaza Conflict by a vote of 344-36 is a measure of the power of the ZPC.13 The report, also known as the “Goldstone Report”, after its principle author Justice Richard Goldstone, was released on September 15, 2009, amid a carefully orchestrated campaign to discredit its findings and its authors. What is even more important than the US Congressional vote of condemnation is the fact that the campaign was publically ordered from Israel, directed by the Presidents of the ‘51’ and obediently and enthusiastically carried out by several hundred thousand Zionist activists, throughout the country. The ‘51’ and the mass of Zionist zealots were openly defending Israeli state terror and crimes against humanity. Their defense of war crimes never evoked a second thought. What mattered was their ability to pressure, threaten, cajole and promise future funds to Congressional representatives in order to secure their vote against Justice Goldstone. Blind obedience to Israeli dictates was evident in the fact that many Congresspersons proudly confessed to never having even read the Goldstone Report and that none dared question the egregious fabrications, which its two uber-Zionist Congressional sponsors, (Representatives H.L. Berman, D-California and G.L. Ackermann, D-New York), of the House Resolution 867, concocted.14 The US Congress, in fact, almost unanimously rejected the eminent Justice Goldstone’s request to present his findings in person.

In the UN National Assembly, the Zionists were able to leverage the US to vote against the Goldstone Report, which in turn secured the vote of several Eastern European client states, insignificant island dependencies and the predictable Western European “Allies”. This amounted to a total of 18 votes against the 114 UN members who endorsed the Report’s thorough documentation of Israeli war crimes and state terrorism, an endorsement which represented over 80% of the world’s population.15

The ZPC is powerful but not omnipotent. It controls the US Congress and Executive and has decisive influence in the mass media, but there are important fissures in the monolith, as a number of Jewish organizations and individuals, revolted by Israel’s mass killings in Gaza and the ZPC unconditional support, have spoken out in support of the Goldstone Report.16 More importantly, major national trade/union federations in Canada, Ireland, Great Britain, France and Italy, along with numerous human rights organizations, support a global boycott and disinvestment campaign against Israeli products.17 Judicial processes are proceeding in various European countries to arrest and put on trial top Israeli officials involved in the Gaza massacre.18

The United States, under the tutelage of the ZPC, remains as the center of Israeli power and the sole reliable backer of Israeli war aims in the Middle East, especially with regard to Iran. The power of Israel over Washington’s Middle East policy is in direct relation to the strategic influence of the ZPC. The denial of the power of the ZPC by seemingly “progressive” and “leftist” writers and journalists has been one of the principal obstacles undermining efforts to effectively counter US government support for Israeli war crimes, the expansion of colonial settlements in the West Bank and the military/sanctions policies toward Iran.19

Israeli Power over US Middle Policy: The Centrality of the ZPC

The manifestations of Israeli power over the US are public, visible, outrageous and unprecedented in the annals of US foreign relations.20 Israeli power is wielded directly through its subordinated political arm, the ZPC, which in turn facilitates the direct intervention of the Israeli state in the internal politics of the US. Let us examine several crucial empirical indicators of Israeli power in the US.

On November 9, 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the mass based Jewish Federation (JF) of North America General Assembly and thanked US President Obama and the US Congress for repudiating the Goldstone Report. The Israeli head of state then told his US followers to increase their efforts to influence US policy to “stop Teheran from realizing its nuclear ambitions.”21 The previous day, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, told the same Jewish Federation to “press for sanctions on Iran and condemn the findings of the United Nations commission on Gaza.”21 Speaking as a tribal chieftain dictating orders to the loyal overseas followers, Oren stated, “Our strength derives from the belief that we have a right to independence in our tribal land, the land of Israel…”21 Israel is the only country that can intervene in the internal politics of the US, counting on a powerful political organization, to shape US policy to serve its state interests.

By drawing on the now discredited myth that American Jews’ tribal ancestry is rooted in Israel, rather than Central Asia, Khazaran, reinforces the idea that Israel and not the United States — is the true ‘homeland’ of American Jews and therefore it is their right and duty to obey the dictates of the Israeli state.22 Each year dozens of Israeli state officials visit the US and directly intervene in US political debates, congressional hearings and executive policy making – with nary a whisper of protest, let alone censure from the US State Department. Any other country’s officials who so flagrantly intervene in US politics would be declared persona non grata and expelled from the country. In contrast, because of the power of the ZPC, Israeli civilians and military officials are invited to intervene in US policy making, to set the agenda for numerous Zionist officials in and out of public office and to bludgeon and praise those who criticize or oppose Israeli dictates.23 The repeated public statements by Israeli officials that the primary loyalty of American Jews is to Israel and its policies – in other words, that they should act as a fifth column for Israel — is incompatible with the notion of citizenship everywhere except for this small group in the US.24 One could imagine the outcry (and brutal reprisals) if any political leader from a Moslem country called on their co-religionists to pursue its state interests. What is striking then about the ZPC is that it openly and publicly organizes meetings, follows orders and pursues policies dictated by Israeli public officials and yet is not registered as a foreign agent, let alone prosecuted for acting, by its own admission, on behalf of a foreign power.25

The ZPC: Lobby or Unregistered Foreign Agents?

Based on its organizational structure and political aims, the pro-Israel social-political configuration cannot be reduced to a common “lobby.” The mass activist organizational structure encompassing and penetrating civic, political, cultural institutions and media outlets resembles a power configuration that works within and outside of Washington to shape political decisions relevant to Israel.26 Equally important it plays a major role in shaping the opinions and behavior of public opinion and civic society organizations. Secondly, unlike American lobbies, it acts to shape US foreign policy in the interest of a foreign military power, up to and including decisions on promoting war and imposing sanctions against Israel’s opponents, prejudicing the lives and security of thousands of American working people and taxpayers. Thirdly, the term “lobby” does not ordinarily encompass the virulent repressive activities pursued by the ZPC against critical writers, cultural figures, academics and others in American society who question Israeli policy. The ZPC not only acts a foreign agent for Israel today, but has been openly doing so over fifty years.27 In the 1960’s the Justice Department attempted to enforce the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) against the current American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)’s predecessor, the American Zionist Council (AZC), but was blocked by pro-Israel politicians.

The ZPC no only publicly gives unconditional support to Israeli policy but engages in espionage on behalf of Israel as several prominent members of the ZPC and Mossad have testified. One of America’s leading experts on Israel’s “lobby,” Grant Smith, has amassed a vast archive of declassified official US documents on Israeli-Zionist activities in the US. He cites numerous cases in which AIPAC purloined internal classified government documents in order to further Israeli trade privileges n the 1980’s.28 A leader of the Zionist Organization of America was implicated in the illegal transfer of US government uranium to Israel in 1956. In 2005, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, leaders in AIPAC, admitted to receiving a confidential document relating to US-Iran policy, transmitting it to an Israeli embassy official.29 From 1979 to 1985, senior US Army Weapons Engineer Ben-ami Kadish, an American Zionist and former member of the fanatical Jewish Haganah militia in British Mandate Palestine, handed critical confidential documents on an enormous number of US weapons systems over to agents from the Israeli embassy.30 These were then believed to have been passed to the Soviet Union in order to influence their policy on immigration to Israel. Under the influence of the Zionist-infested Justice Department, Kadish got off with a $50,000 fine and not a single day in jail – for handing scores of crucial US military secrets to Israel.

Ben-ami Kadish’s fellow spy, American Zionist Jonathan Pollard, shared the same Mossad handler in the 1980s. Pollard, who worked as an analyst for US Naval intelligence, provided the Israelis with crate-loads of classified military and intelligence documents filled with top secret information on US policy in the Middle East, weapons systems, US agents in the Soviet Union and any and all relevant strategic objects of interest to his Israeli handlers.31

On October 29, 2009, the Justice Department charged Stewart David Nozette, a Defense Department scientist, with attempting to transmit classified information to an Israeli Mossad agent. Nozette, an American Zionist, did not act strictly out of tribal loyalties to the Jewish State. Like Pollard, he asked for money and an Israeli passport (Boston Globe 10/20/09). According to former Mossad agent Victor Ostrtovsky, the spy agency recruits thousands of overseas Zionist sayanim (Hebrew for ‘helpers’) who “must be 100 percent Jewish” for Israeli Mossad operations, which may include terrorism.32 In 2001 Fox News investigative reporter, Carl Cameron, reported that scores of Israeli spies were rounded up and deported in the aftermath of 9/11, including five Mossad agents videoing the World Trade Center bombing.33

Industrial and political spying is not uncommon among states, even between allies. What is striking is that representatives of an organized ethno-religious group, the major American Zionist organizations, have expressed sympathy and solidarity with such spies as Ben-ami Kadish, Jonathan Pollard and others, even defending their acts of espionage as a significant contribution to US – Israeli relations.34 The implication, or better still, the explication for this perverse thinking is that for the leading American Zionist organizations, spying for Israel, is part and parcel of their primary loyalty to the Jewish state. Zionist primary loyalty to Israel is not confined to mainline American Jewish organizations.

During the Rosen-Weissman trial, numerous prominent Jewish leftists (including Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman) publicly defended the procuring of confidential documents and their handing over to a foreign (Israeli) government as a matter of “free speech” and “freedom of the press.”35 Rosen in his civil suit again his firing by AIPAC (to deflect FBI investigators) claimed that his dealing of US government documents to Israeli officials was “common practice” AIPAC officials.34

Top Zionist leaders in the Bush and Obama administration have a long history of work for and with Israel, including in some cases activity, which has caused them to lose security clearances and/or to come under investigation.36 Two top Pentagon officials in the Bush administration, Former Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Assistant Secretary of Defense, Douglas Feith are cases in point. Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel spent time in the Israeli armed forces and has long been suspected of ties to Mossad.37 Stuart Levey, a top US Treasury Department official involving in enforcing sanctions against Iran, has spent nearly a decade in close collaboration with MOSSAD, a point he brags about.38 During the Bush (Jr.) Presidency, non-Zionist officials in the Pentagon and CIA complained of being sidelined by top Zionist officials, who set up their own intelligence offices run by their own fellow Zionist policymakers. Wolfowitz and Feith set up the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans run by Abram Shulsky. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, an official in the Pentagon at the time, complained of being marginalized and supplanted by Israeli officers who had unfettered access to the highest Pentagon officials.39 The November 2007 United States National Intelligence Estimate Report (NIE) on the Iranian nuclear program was savaged by all the major Jewish American organizations, their cohorts in Congress, and the Executive branch because the report concluded that Iran had suspended its nuclear weapons development since 2003.40 The major Zionist organizations and their supporters in the US government favored Israeli intelligence disinformation claiming an active nuclear weapons program that threatened US security. In short order the NIE report, prepared by 16 major US Government intelligence agencies, was pushed aside and US policy followed the lead of the Zionist-backed Israeli claims of a “secret” Iranian weapons program despite the absence of any hard data.

Leveraging Power

The key to Zionist power in shaping US policy toward the Mid-East, Arab-Muslim relations and toward “third parties” affecting Israeli policy is the combined influence of Zionists in executive offices (Treasury, State, National Security, Pentagon, etc.) and Congress, especially leading committees relevant to Israeli interests, and as well as the mass organizations in civil society (the ‘51’ major American Jewish organizations) and Zionist control over the mass media.41 Zionist power and control in these crucial areas spreads out into influencing academic activity, including the repression of Israeli critics, the censoring of publications, manipulation of professional societies, trade unions and state and union pension funds, whose members are overwhelmingly neither Jewish nor Zionist.

The result is that the Zionist Power Configuration’s automatic and unquestioning support for the crimes and treason, including Zionist espionage for Israel within the US and the universally-condemned Israel war crimes, goes uncontested in the mass media, the Congress, and even the small political and literary journals on the ‘Left.’ This uncontested support of espionage by foreign power acting through public organizations is unique in US history. In the past organizations acting as surrogates for a foreign power were condemned, ostracized, suppressed, prosecuted and subject to mass public outrage. It is a “tribute” to the power of ZPC that none of that occurs today. As a footnote to history, it is the first time that practically all Marxist journals, monthlies, bi-monthlies, quarterlies and annuals and their leading contributors have avoided a serious critique of the ZPC. On the contrary, the sparse articles which purport to deal with Middle East policies cover-up the role of the ZPC in shaping US policy.42

There is evidence that, even in the most radical publications of “critical writing,” fellow traveling editors, who otherwise claim “internationalist” and “working class” allegiances, are not willing to confront the ZPC war makers who promote wars in the Middle East, funded by American taxpayers and fought by 99.9% non Jewish/non-Zionist working class Americans in uniform.

The Interlocking Directorate: Establishing Zionist Hegemony

Several critical analysts have identified some of the key issues and institutions under Zionist influence.43 Some have identified AIPAC as an influential pro-Israel lobby. Others have noted the pro-Israel bias of the mass media.44 A very few have even identified Zionist predominance in media ownership.45

Others, especially during the Bush presidency, noted the influence of key Zionists in the Pentagon, especially their role in promoting the US invasion of Iraq.46 The narrow focus of their otherwise valuable critiques fails to account for structural continuities over time and place: the long-term, large-scale presence of unconditional Israel Fisters across administrations especially over the past two decades. Moreover, while case studies of Zionist influence over specific policy issues, such as the recent Congressional repudiation of the Goldstone Report and support for Israeli war crimes, are useful, the larger theoretical and empirical phenomenon of the growing chain of issues over ever more extended policy areas of interest to Israel (and therefore the ZPC) is ignored.47 In a word, the problem of ZPC power in the US is not confined to a single issue lobby. This narrow approach obfuscates the systemic role of the ZPC in effectively disenfranchising the great majority of the American wage and salaried people (at the expense of their living standards), increasing war taxes for the middle class and blocking investment opportunities for corporate America in countries designated (by Israel) as “security threats” (adversaries of Israeli colonial expansion).

The career patterns of leading Zionists include movers from business (Wall Street, Corporate law firms) to government; another pattern involves Zionist academics who move to the executive branch and then on to corporate or Zionist think tanks. Others follow a career combining academic – propagandist – journalist policy consultant positions, often prominent on the television political ‘talk’ shows. The leading media moguls combine roles as CEO’s – propagandists – and Israel advocates. The overlap of career positions creates a network of shared ideologies, defined by ‘what is best for Israel’ (Israel First). The shared “world view” creates a cohesive group that sets the boundaries of US policy debate. Congressional behavior, Executive policy makers and intellectual discourse are confined by these ZPC-determined parameters. In effect pro-Israel career patterns and projections of power have established a kind of Judeo-Zionist hegemony of US public life.

Ethno-sizing Truth

One of the extreme manifestations of Zionist-Jewish hegemony is found in the fear and trepidation with which critics of Israeli policy approach the issue. Most seek to “Judaize” any criticism, instead of seeking and citing truth, facts or analyses on their own merits. They support their statements by citing Israeli sources and Jewish writers, even if earlier non-Jewish, non-Israeli writers and analysts have raised the same issues and may have provided a more systematic and consequential critique.48 This “tactic” of seeking to play off critical Jews against the ZPC and Israel is debatable if not counter-productive, regressive and serves to re-enforce the pervasive fear of the ZPC. The proponents of this approach, assuming they are not ignorant of non-Jewish critics, argue that by citing the Jewish background of the critics of Israel, they disarm the ZPC charge of “anti-Semitism.” They further argue that by putting an ethnic ‘spin’ or ‘ethnicizing’ the critique they are responding to “Jewish sensibilities” and are more likely to get a hearing from Jews and their sympathizers.49

These arguments are plausible but deeply flawed. Committed Zionists, meaning the entire ZPC, dismiss Jewish and non-Jewish critics with equal ferocity: the former as “self-hating Jews,” the latter as “anti-Semites.” Sacrificing truth and principled criticism to shield “Jewish sensibilities” means refraining from challenging their residual tribal sympathies to a ‘Zion-centric’ view of the world. If the central problem is Zionist hegemony of US culture and especially foreign policy in the Middle East (and wherever else Israel dictates), it ill behooves us to pander to amorphous ‘special sensitivities’ of the few Jewish dissidents who demand ethnically-based critiques.

Demystifying a Racial Doctrine

The big challenge for opponents of Judeo-Zionist hegemony is demystifying its ideological bases. Zionists and their media camp followers always highlight “Jewishness” and the disproportionate number of notable, successful scientists and public figures with whom the Zionists self-identify (even if the said individual have no identification with anything remotely “Jewish” beyond some distant ancestry). In contrast, to highlight the “Jewishness” (and Israel-centricity) of notorious swindlers, spies, warmongers, gangsters, drug or arms traffickers is be labeled anti-Semitic. Selective ethnic identity is crucial to maintaining and perpetuating the racist myth of Jewish superiority and the corollary of power and prestige, based on special meritorious qualities. One of the key components of Zionist-Jewish ideology and Israeli power is precisely the racist myth of the Jewish moral and intellectual superiority – not the guns, money and backing of Washington and the ZPC’s central location within the US elite social structure.

There are two options for those interested in demystifying Zionist-Jewish hegemony: One could eliminate all ethnic labels or one could insist that labels be applied to all individuals including the most nefarious, grotesque and embarrassing.

Despite cracks in the Zionist monolith and the emergence of public critics within and without the Jewish community,50 especially among young former Jews, who prefer to assimilate with their fellow-citizens (the passive majority), still up to a third of US Jews remain hard-core backers of the ZPC with Israel as their most enduring political loyalty. While not discounting the psychological gratifications, which accompany beliefs in a mythical biblical past, there are real material benefits to joining the Israel First Power Configuration. While it is true Zionists contribute money and time to promoting the Israeli agenda, there are also powerful material incentives, especially the benefits accruing from exclusive identification and membership in a cohesive configuration, which empowers its members, finances electoral campaigns and is well-connected among political leaders, as well as financial, real estate and insurance moguls. The spinoffs and payoffs for upwardly mobile Zionist activists can be lucrative and career-enhancing. Ambitious politicians, who measure up and toe the line, are likely to tap into substantial funding and favorable media coverage. Networks, which work for Israel, enhance Jewish-Zionist prestige while providing emotional gratification and vicarious pleasure in sharing the thrill of Israel’s bloody military victories and its forceful expansion of the “fatherland.” Not a few careers have advanced through the “contacts” made at the national and regional Zionist meetings. This is especially the case for many, otherwise mediocre, political candidates facing competitive elections. Active membership in a powerful Zionist organization may protect the careers of lackluster, or even incompetent, performers in some academic or professional settings where the threat of a lawsuit charging anti-Semitism can ensure contract renewal.

Zionist racist ideology, with its implicit and explicit emphasis on Jews as “special people” ordained by God, as well as the media’s bias toward presenting a selectively positive ethno-religious identity, provides symbolic gratification to lower middle class Jews, who sell Israel bonds, write letters to politicians, heckle critics of the Jewish state and march under the flag of Israel. They are likely to play a role at the grassroots level in bullying family members, neighbors and colleagues to join the cause or refrain from voicing criticism of Israel. Recently, more than a few Seders have led to family bust-ups over issues like the massacre of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, the Goldstone Report and the Ben-ami Kadish spy episode.

The success of the ZPC in projecting power and shaping US policy depends, in large part, on the financial clout of its millionaire financiers, its penetration of the state apparatus and the interlock of the corporate-political directorate. However, equally important is the grassroots work of hundreds of thousands of middle and lower middle class activists. The effective exercise of power by the Zionist elites is based on the vertical ties between the leaders and followers, especially in mobilizing for Israel’s high priority campaigns promoting dubious causes – like Israeli repudiation of moderate US policies toward Jewish colonial settler expansion or calls for more restraint from killing civilians in Palestine and elsewhere. It is highly unlikely that any changes can be induced among the Zionist elite; but there are reasons to believe that some sections of the rank and file can be influenced by anti-Zionist Jews and non-Jews. This is especially true at a time when Israeli political leaders have embraced such openly ultra-rightist postures.

Zionist Hegemony is Vulnerable

Several developments encourage the hope that these vertical links can be weakened. Over the past five years, numerous articles, books and videos critical of Israel have broken through Zionist censorship. Equally important, the emergence of new activist Jewish anti-Zionist organizations and the vast increase in member organizations supporting a boycott and divestment campaign against Israeli products, companies and cultural institutions have broken the ZPC stranglehold on public opinion.51 Faced with growing opposition in civil society the ZPC has escalated its repressive efforts to ban publication of critical authors, fire academics and savage journalists and politicians.52 Simultaneously a concerted effort has been made to encourage its ideological ‘attack dogs’ in academia suppress any critical discussion of the issues that most discredit the Israeli state, namely the recent Israeli massacres in Gaza, the brutal expansion of settlements in the West Bank, the Goldstone Report on Israeli war crimes and Israel’s well-orchestrated push for war against Iran.53

Zionist Intellectuals: In Defense of Terror

The ZPC has long established a near stranglehold on the major media outlets for opinion and analysis on the Middle East and especially on issues, which Israel’s foreign office has given high priority. As a result Israel First academics and pundits monopolize the editorial and opinion pages of the Washington Post, the Murdoch chain, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, and other print outlets.54 The spread of Zionist extremism is evident in two recent feature articles published by Newsweek (December 21, 2009), glorifying the neo-fascist head of the Israeli secret police, Mossad, Meir Dagan for his success in assassinating political adversaries in violation of national boundaries and his close ties with US Treasury official and Zionist zealot Stuart Levey, who is in charge of blackmailing Iran’s trade and investment partners, in order to strangle the Iranian economy and impoverish seventy million of its people. The Newsweek authors of these articles are rightwing Israel and US Zionists. Notorious Zionist news anchors, like Ted Koppel and Wolf Blitzer, parrot the Israeli-ZPC line in the major media (Fox News, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, BBC) as well as secondary outlets (National “Public” Radio).55 The result is self-styled “experts” of dubious loyalty to the America, but with strong ties to Israel and Zionist propaganda institutes, grind out opinion pieces which defend the Israeli regime’s most atrocious war crimes and land grabs.56 Numerous professors from the most prestigious universities hack out op-ed pieces defending Israel’s assault on Gaza, fabricating judicial precedents, and citing “Just War” theory.57 Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, when confronted by near universal support for the Goldstone Report, ordered the ZPC to denigrate Justice Goldstone, the basis and legality of the Report and falsify its contents. When the extreme militarists, like Netanyahu, passed the word to Israel’s mouthpieces in North America, they unleashed the ZPC’s entire stable of academics, journalists and propagandists. Over one hundred op-ed pieces in the major media savaged the Report, slandered Goldstone and defended Israeli terror attacks, which destroyed the entire human infrastructure of the Gaza.58 No Israeli crime was too great to cause any Harvard, Yale, Princeton or John Hopkins Zionist academic to rethink their bind subordination to the Jewish state. They parroted Netanyahu’s line that the massacre over one thousand civilians and the brutalization of hundreds of thousands was an exercise of “Israel’s right to self-defense.” Few of the Jewish and non-Jewish academics, who dared to criticize Israel’s terrorist policy, cited the weakest section of the Goldstone Report – its amalgamating Israel’s all-out terror bombing of Palestinian neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, mosques and farms, with Hamas’ futile and ineffective retaliatory rockets falling mostly on empty Israeli fields. Few if any raised their voices against the domestic propaganda arm of Israeli war crimes – the Presidents of the 51 Major Jewish American Organizations. Needless to say, with few domestic critics willing to even identify their opponents, the ZPC secured over 90% of the US Congress in favor of Israel’s repudiations of the Goldstone Report, which they had never even read.59

What is striking about the vast majority of Zionist academic apologists of terrorism is their shoddy scholarship, their tendentious and illogical arguments and de-contextualized analogies. Their ‘persuasiveness’ is based on the fact that their ‘line’ is reinforced by the mass media and enforced by the ZPC’s political thuggery and character assassination of potential critics. Their repeated presence in the media gives the appearance of legitimacy in defending violations of international law. Their prestigious positions provide a veneer of expertise or knowledge even as their research in the region is based on flawed premises, including disproven religious legends and colonial mythology.60 As Zionist academics become more deeply involved in justifying the expansionist Zionist claims, Israeli conquests and brutal militarism there is an accompanying marked deterioration of intellectual standards. Over time prestigious positions become linked with mediocrity. Academic degrees, awards and badges of merit are harnessed to hack writing and political hatchet jobs. Noted critics, who exempt Israeli war crimes and terror, are still published by prestigious publishers, despite their shabby intellectual output. Promotions and academic chairs are secured by eminently distinguished apologists of dubious morality. Their blind support and defense of the practices of a terror state puts the lie to their claims to high ethical and scholarly standards.

The American Zionist academic elite fits Adorno’s authoritarian personality: at the throat of the American polity and at the feet of the Israeli-ZPC elite.61 Arrogant posturing, angry polemics and emotional ejaculations cover up for their lack of substantive arguments. Where bullying fails, soothing rhetoric which speaks to values, dialogue and cooperation accompanies a blind eye to the relentless Israeli uprooting of Arab residents from Palestinian/Jerusalem. Princeton academics cite classical political theorists in defense of gun-toting Jewish settlers who brutalize shepherds, threaten school girls and up-root centuries-old Palestinian olive groves.

The Globalization of Zionist Power

From the Israeli fatherland to the nerve centers of Zionist power in the US, using the experiences and drawing on the support of the ZPC, pro-Israel influence has spread to important political institutions in England, Canada, France, Netherlands, Russia and more recently South America. In England, leaders and deputies from both the Conservative and Labor party accept millions in campaign funds from billionaire Zionists, paid junkets to Israel and other payoffs in exchange for supporting Israel’s most egregious acts of violence in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank.62 Zionist front groups like the “Conservative Friends (flunkeys) of Israel” and “Labor Friends (flunkeys) of Israel” ensure that the incumbent regimes and the opposition put Israeli trade and militarist interests at the center of British Middle East Policy.63

In Canada under the Conservative Harper regime, Zionists have secured unprecedented influence and diplomatic and material support for Israel’s top priorities.64 These include support for the annexation of most of Palestinian East Jerusalem; repudiation of the Goldstone Report; support for Israeli war crimes during the 2008/09 invasion of Gaza; Israel’s invasion of Lebanon and pending legislation criminalizing criticism of Zionism as “anti-Semitism” among a host of other pro-Israel acts, decrees and trade privileges. The opposition Liberal and New Democratic parties compete with the Conservatives in pandering to the pro-Israel power configurations in order to secure campaign financing from millionaire real estate, financial and media moguls. In contrast, major Canadian trade unions and anti-Zionist Jewish campus and community organizations have organized boycotts of Israeli goods and academic organizations serving the bloody occupation. In France, life-long Zionist zealot, Foreign Minister Bernard “Bernie” Kouchner, has embraced Netanyahu’s extreme position of “unconditional negotiations” which allows massive land seizures and the construction of ‘Jews-only’ apartment complexes on illegally confiscated Palestinian land to continue while endless inconsequential “peace” negotiations take place.65 This position has been supported by uber-Zionist Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

In Russia, eight of the top nine billionaire oligarchs have claimed dual Israeli citizenship. They illegally and violently seized hundreds of billions of dollars worth of formerly state-owned mines, factories and banks, and then transferred part of their illicit fortunes to overseas banks in Israel, the US, London and the money-laundering offshore island states and tax-havens. Zionist power peaked during the debauched Presidency of Yeltsin in the 1990’s, but residual influence is evident in the Putin-Mevedev regime. This is particularly apparent in the US-Russian accords to increase sanctions on Iran, a policy that jeopardizes billions of dollars in Russian investments and trade with Iran. Russia has resolutely refused to pressure Israel over its colonial settlement expansion. In a similar manner, Israel retains a decisive influence over Holland and Germany’s Middle East policy, via the exploitation of the Holocaust Memory, the Ann Frank legacy and the pressure of pro-Israel economic sectors.

The newest example of the “globalization” of Zionist power and the drive for new Israeli spheres of influence is found in Latin America. Major US Zionist organizations have contributed substantial financial resources to building, advising and orienting their counterparts, especially in Argentina, Brazil and Peru, while engaging in a systematic effort to curry favor with the US by demonizing President Chavez for his forthright defense of Palestinian rights and condemnation of Israel’s crimes against humanity during its blitz of Gaza.66 For these acts of courage the 51 US Jewish organizations branded Chavez an “anti-Semitic”, even going so far as to accuse him of fomenting an assault on a Jewish community center in Caracas. When the arsonists were arrested, the assault was revealed to have been carried out by center employees hired by the local Jewish notables.66

Global Zionism has targeted Argentina and Brazil. Argentinean Jews have a history of ambiguous feelings toward the state of Israel and Zionism. Early twentieth century Jews established farming and cattle ranches — the legendary “Jewish Gauchos” — while urban artisans and working class Jews were active in socialist, anarchist, communist and left-wing Yiddish organizations. The mid-century generation (1940-60) of professionals, businesspeople, academics and bankers divided between leftist anti-Zionists and Zionists. Both suffered attacks from the pro-fascist sectors of the dominant mass-based populist Peronist regime. The 1960’s to 1970’s saw a profound generational split – characteristic of all Argentinean society – especially under the military dictatorships of (1966-1973) and (1976-82). A significant contingent of university-based students and professors, psychologists and professionals of Jewish ancestry joined urban guerrillas and radical mass movements and suffered “disproportionate” number of deaths by torture and ‘disappearances.’ During the worst years of terror, the Israeli government retained relations with the bloodiest of the military regimes (Videla, 1976), overlooking its anti-Semitic proclivities in order to trade in arms and military technologies. At the same time, Israel promoted Jewish immigration to Israel, securing passage of Zionist and non-Zionist Jews to Israel.

The decimation of the generation of young non-Zionist Argentine revolutionaries of Jewish ancestry and the subsequent post-dictatorial neo-liberal electoral regimes, saw the rise of new groups of wealthy Argentine Zionist Jews who grew to dominate local community organizations. They deepened ties with Israel and more recently established extensive links with the US ZPC. Once again, however, under the pro-Israel Menem regime (1980-90) anti-Semitic terrorists bombed a major Jewish civic center killing and maiming scores of Jews in downtown Buenos Aires. Investigations of police complicity were aborted by the Menem regime. Israel ‘overlooked’ Menem’s “negligence” and instead exploited Jewish fear to offer extremely favorable terms for Argentine Jews to immigrate (including paid travel, subsidized housing in the occupied territories – education, jobs etc.).67 The decline of left-wing activity during the1980’s and 1990’s was accompanied by the de-radicalization of secular Jewish offspring, especially in the professional classes. With de-industrialization, Jews, who had formed the backbone of the previous progressive national bourgeoisie, turned to emigration, finance, real estate and Zionism.68 The severe depression and financial crash of 2001-2002 led to the mass impoverishment of all Argentines (poverty levels hit 50% in December 2001-2002) including otherwise prosperous middle class Jews.69 They joined the popular mass neighborhood assemblies calling for the return of their savings, the end of neo-liberal policies and politicians and the restoration of their jobs.

The subsequent economic recovery and commodity boom (2003-2008) led to a sharp de-radicalization and the ascendance of Jewish Zionist bankers, real estate and media moguls as principle leaders in the Argentine community. Their influential role in business and the center-left Kirchner regime led to a shift toward closer relations with the ZPC – including increased efforts to include Israel as a member of the regional integration treaty MERCOSUR.70 From the US side, the ZPC – especially the ADL and AIPAC, through their servile Secretary of State Clinton and US Congressional clients, fabricated an Islamic Iranian terrorist conspiracy in Latin America, especially in the region of the Argentine-Brazilian-Paraguayan frontier. On October 27, 2009, Zionist Congressman Elliot Engle, head of the Subcommittee on Western Hemispheric Affairs of the Foreign Relations Committee, opened hearings focusing on “Iran’s expanding influence in Latin America,” calling new trade ties between Iran and Brazil a threat to the region and the security of the US.”71

Faced with the leftist regimes in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador opposed to US and Israeli colonial wars and with Brazil and Argentina’s public opposing Israel’s crimes in Gaza, Israel launched its US and Latin American agents on a propaganda blitz to counter the overwhelming public rejection of Israeli policies. President Shamir followed a disastrous failed tour by thuggish Zio-fascist Foreign Minister Lieberman, gaining trade and investment concessions in Brazil and Argentina.72 Shamir’s visit benefited especially through the contacts and leverage of local millionaire and billionaire Zionist business leaders. Nevertheless, Brazil, which has major trade and investment ties especially in gas and oil with Iran, has no intention of pandering to Israel.73 In Argentina, the Zionist connection continues to limit any major openings to the Arab-Iranian investments.

Overall, the Zionist offensive and expanding local power base has resulted in mixed results: a major outflow of supporters in Venezuela and diminished influence in Bolivia and Ecuador. In contrast, Zionists have increased their influence in Brazil and Argentina.

The enormous growth of Israeli power in Europe and the US, and the new Zionist offensive in Latin America is part of the “globalization” of Zionism. But the process is not linear. An especially hard sell for overseas Zionists are the repeated horrendous massacres by Israeli military forces, the blatant dispossession of Palestinians and the aggressive militarism pushed by the ZPC and Israel in the Middle East and South Asia. As a result, public hostility is growing world-wide; and there is a profound disconnect between the 80% to 90% Israeli Jews who defend Gaza war crimes and land seizures and the rest of the world.74 This is evidenced by the United Nations General Assembly vote on the Goldstone Report, which was endorsed by an almost ten to one margin. Moreover, in the case of the leftist regimes in Latin America, there is a significant reversal of Zionist influence. There are equally important cracks in the Zionist monolith among North American Jews and former Zionist fellow travelers. The continued “failure of the nerve” or “intellectual treason”75 of the American left academics and their “Marxist” journals to even discuss the role of the ZPC in making war policy has not stopped a breakthrough of Zionist critics, even in some mass media outlets.

Jewish-Zionist Cultural-Political Hegemony in the US

Jewish Zionist hegemony over the political narrative in the US has grown in recent years, evidenced by the support or, at most, tepid criticism, found in the major literary and political journals and magazines.76 In the beginning the ZPC imposed their view that Israeli conquest and wars against the native people of Palestine and its Muslim neighbors was a war of “national liberation” or “independence”. This first phase culminated with Jewish-Zionist success in convincing President Johnson to cover up Israel’s bombing of the USS Liberty during the Seven Day War.77 From 1970-90, Zionist-Jewish hegemony extended from its traditional bastion in the film, TV and radio mass media to a whole series of former left-of-center and conservative weekly and monthly publications and the establishment of new publications on the far right.78 The formerly liberal New Republic became a pulpit for virulent attacks on any critics of Israel.79 Commentary, formerly a liberal cultural journal, became a mouthpiece for neo-conservative apologists of Israeli wars … and war crimes. The conservative National Review moved firmly into the ‘Israel First’ camp, purging any critical dissent on Israel and its unconditional supporters in the US. As Zionist hegemony in intellectual and popular cultural print and mass media was established, committed Israel-Firsters gained influential positions in US State Department and foreign policy apparatus.80 “Think Tanks”, thinly veiled propaganda mills, produced pro-Israel position papers.81 Their staff elbowed their way into the mass media as “experts” and into foreign policy advisory positions serving various politicians and Administrations. They rose to the highest levels of government in the Clinton Administration and expanded further during the Bush-Obama regimes.82 Zionist entry into key positions of structural political power mirrored their long march through the cultural institutions. Their influence was reinforced by billionaire Jewish-Zionists’ contributions to established think tanks, like the Brookings Institute, and to both political parties. Contributions influenced the nominations and candidates for office from local mayors to the Presidency of the United States.

It is estimated that as high as 60% of Democratic Party contributions came from Israel First benefactors, securing an automatic 90% Congressional vote on whatever issue the Israeli Foreign Office marks as priority for its US Fifth Column.83 With very rare exceptions neither liberal, progressive, radical or “Marxist” writers, academics, editors, journalists broach the issue of Zionist-Jewish cultural-political hegemony, nor its economic structural underpinnings.84 The “left” is equally hegemonized by Zionist-Jewish influence, to the point that not a few join the vile ad hominem chorus slandering critics of the ZPC as “veering on anti-Semitism.”85

Even today, at the end of the first year of the Obama regime, the Zionist presence in strategic positions in foreign policy making has been ignored by leftist and liberal critics of US Middle East policy. Few, if any critics, look at the structural determinants of that policy. One is more likely to find “data” in the business press. For example, an article in the Financial Times, criticizing President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “inconsistent” position on Israeli settlements in Palestine’s West Bank, points to the “…problems with the administrations message – including its inconsistent policy on Israel-Palestine – can be traced back to the White House, where Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (dual Israeli-US citizen) keeps a firm grip on foreign policy. Some ex-diplomats say they have never seen power so centralized … Mrs. Clinton’s own deputy, Jim Steinberg, is widely perceived as a White House enforcer, who polices even relatively minor policy statements that often leaves State Department spokesmen (sic) mouthing near meaningless talking points.”86 Emanuel has been active in the Israeli military and is suspected of ties to its spy agency (MOSSAD). Steinberg is just a high powered “native born” Israel Firster, marginalizing the State Department from any alternative policies to pandering to Israel and its US Fifth Column.

Hegemonized American liberals and leftists maintain their “support” for Israel on the basis of the fiction that the “bad” Israelis are the fanatical Likud party leaders while Labor and Kadima party leaders and the Israeli people want peace and a just settlement. Unfortunately for these supporters of “progressive” Zionism, the Defense Minister Barak who directed the bloody massacre in Gaza is the leader of the Labor Party and is backed by his party in support of all the new aggressive Israeli land seizures and colonial settlements. The genocidal wars and violent settlements have the support of the vast majority of the Israeli Jewish population. Public opinion polls carried out by the Israel National News published in mid-November 2009 reveals that 53.2% of Israeli’s say the solution to the conflict with the Palestinian people is their forceful dispossession and ethnic cleansing – “transfer” is the Zionist euphemism for a crime against humanity.87 Such are the “just wars” receiving unconditional support by the ‘51’ Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations.

The point is that not even the Israeli-Jewish majority’s embrace of a totalitarian final solution shakes Zionist hegemony in the US. The embrace of inconvenient positions, such as genocide approval, is not publicized in the Zionist mass media. Instead we continue to hear the chattering classes mouthing the clichés of a “dialogue” and “negotiated solution” between the expropriators and the dispossessed.

The question of Zionist cultural and political hegemony, where it is even been acknowledged by non-Jews and Jews, revolves around several mistaken partially distorted conceptions. One key idea held by anti-Semites and Zionists alike is that Jews possess special qualities (“blood” or “genetic”). Many cite the importance of a Jewish historical tradition, which emphasizes education and learning. Others still, claim success and power comes from knowledge, merit and achievement. Recent studies refute the idea of a special, unique Jewish “gene pool” – as most contemporary Ashkenazi Jews are descendants of Central Asian Khazari converts to Judaism in the 8th Century A.D., who subsequently were pushed into Eastern Europe and beyond by the Mongols.88 Israelis are not descendants of the ancient Jews of Israel, many of whom converted to Christianity and later Islam and whose descendants are most certainly the modern-day Palestinians (as conceded by early Zionists myth-makers, like David Ben-Gurion).

Secondly, for over one thousand years Jewish “scholarship” revolved around sterile debates and exegeses of the minutiae of the Talmud and bodies of law based on religious myths. Critical philosophers like Spinoza were looked at as renegades. The rise of scholarship and scientific thinking among Jews coincided with the growth of the Enlightenment and the establishment of liberal laws, which opened doors for promising Jewish scholars, scientists to break out of the sterile confines of the Rabbinal intellectual ghettos. Many of the great thinkers were called “Jews” because of their ancestry, like Spinoza, Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky although they did not practice Judaism nor identify as “Jews.” Recognition and success of Jews came from business and financial activity as well as from occupations like money managers in the West and overseers of feudal lords in Poland.89 A Jewish authored scholarly history of the Jewish people was not written till the 19th century and even then it treated biblical legends as fact.90

Equally questionable is the notion that the rise of Jewish-Zionist hegemony is a product of “merit” or “achievement.” But here we must distinguish between the mass of Jews who occupy middle or lower middle-class positions in society and those few individuals who have made major contributions. Moreover, it is important to not confuse the rise of individuals to economic power through the exploitation of labor, the extraction of rent from tenants and speculation and achievement through “merit,” namely, skills applied to advancing knowledge for the greater good of working people. Zionists’ “superior race” theorists lump successful Wall Street speculators with innovative scholars as examples of “Jewish superiority” justifying or “explaining” hegemony. Zionist race theories, which claim a homogeneous ‘Jewish’ people bound by common history and horizontal and vertical ties, is more an ideological manifesto ignoring profound class and even ideological divisions (at least in the past and perhaps emerging today).

Jewish-Zionist hegemony in the US is the result of a supra or meta-historical mythology with mystical religious foundations in the Old Testament. The rise of American Zionism is tied to a virulent exclusivist tribal religious loyalty to Israel as the “mother state.” The driving force of US Zionism is the subordination of US civil society organizations and the instrumentalization of the US military and economic resources to service Israeli colonial expansion and projections of power in the Middle East.

What needs to be understood is that the present subjection of our Middle East policy to the Zionist Power Configuration is a result of the latter’s accumulation of power and political-cultural conditions within the US, which weakened the articulation of alternative values and policies and a defense of American working class interests embodied in a democratic foreign policy.

The Decline of US National Identity and Working Class Politics

The rise of Zionism, as a virulent form of tribal-religious identity linked to a foreign state and its successful exercise of hegemony within US society, has been facilitated by the abdication by the US ruling class ‘establishment’ of any ‘national’ identity and its interlocking economic ties with Zionist power brokers in strategic economic sectors.

The “globalization” of US capitalism, the process of world wide empire building, has shifted the focus of the US ruling class toward international issues, as the center of its concerns, even as it intervenes in domestic economic policies to secure state protection, subsidies and bailouts, none which trespass on Zionist priorities. Going “global” and the emergence of “global consciousness” has worked against challenging the Zionist pursuit of the colonial agenda of the state of Israel. The ZPC has filled a ‘power vacuum’ left by the ‘globalized elite’ and has been able to instill and impose a Zionist conception of US “national interest” relatively uncontested.

The rise of the Zionist business elites into the top echelon of investment banking, financial institutions, real estate and insurance led to the inter-mixing of Zionist and non-Zionist members of the ruling class, in which one side had a deep and abiding political commitment to Israel, while the other sector gave exclusive primacy to the accumulation of wealth and guaranteeing that state economic policy ensured profits, a deregulated financial sector and bank bailouts, policies which they shared with their Zionist partners. Given the low salience of Israeli politics, the non-Zionist sectors of the ruling class were not willing or able to engage in a fight with their Zionist financial colleagues.91

However, there are divisions, both in government and within policy advisory bodies, over Zionist control. As mentioned earlier, the 16 major intelligence agencies issued a report on Iran’s nuclear program in late 2007, which debunked the Israeli-Zionist claims of an active Iranian nuclear weapons program. Likewise a Pew Foundation Study of the Council on Foreign Relations, taken between October 2-November 16, 2009, found that over two-thirds of its members (67 percent) believe the US favored Israel too much – yet the same percentages claimed Obama is “striking the right balance” and “Iran is a major threat to US interest.”92 What is striking about these ‘dissident’ opinions within the policy elite is that they have had no impact on Obama’s subservience to Israel on all major issues promoted by the ZPC. Whatever the CFR “really thinks” has not “really” affected the power of the ZPC to shape policy via its stooges in Congress and its assets in State (Clinton) and Treasury (Stuart Levey). In other words, Zionist power at the top is uncontested and free to work the lower echelons of the political system and class structure for its own interest. This includes the wholesale purchase of political parties and the retail buyout of congressional politicians on key foreign policy committees. The latter is facilitated by the success of the Israel First Political Action committees (PAC) which promotes the selection of Zionist Congress people to key committee posts. Four of the top fifteen Congress people funded by Wall Street speculators are Zionists. Eleven of the top fifteen are Democrats, who receive 60% of their contributions from Zionist multi-millionaires in Los Angeles, New York, and south Florida and other metropolitan centers.93

The political class, party leaders, executive and congress people, have also eschewed pro-American working class economic policies, endogenous growth and the avoidance of foreign entanglements (interventionism). The political class – particularly its dominant sector – favors military driven empire building – undermining any popular democratic definition of ‘national interest’. Moreover, the military nature of empire building resonates with the Zionist-Israeli projection of regional military power and hegemony. Military-driven imperialism weakens any effort to develop alternative US overseas economic interests and policies, especially with Moslem and Middle East oil countries, to counter Israeli-Zionist policies designed to privilege Israeli military expansion and colonial interests.

If the majority of the US ruling class has surrendered to the Zionist definitions of US Middle East policy, and facilitated the rise of Zionist hegemony, the decline of the values embedded in working class solidarity and defense of republican virtues and interests has opened the door for the minority of Zionist cadres to influence mass culture and civil society organizations and divert American trade union pension funds to Israeli investments with no opposition. For decades, predominantly Afro-American and Hispanic female workers in garments, textiles and related activities have been members of trade unions run by Zionist functionaries, who channeled hundreds of millions of member pension funds and dues into purchasing Israel bonds, rather than building co-operative housing as was done previously when the union workers were mostly Jews. Many current (minority) leaders of trade unions and Afro-Hispanic ethnic organizations have been co-opted by the ZPC though junkets to Israel and subject to propaganda campaigns promoting Israeli interests. In universities, municipal politics, professional associations, Israel Firsters operate to stifle any debate, let alone criticism, of Israeli war crimes. Zionists in America are the most pernicious force eliminating debate on American democratic foreign policy options in the Middle East and favoring unconditional submission to Israel. Millions of individuals, who may question the “Israel First” option, are frightened, intimidated and/or unwilling to face the onslaught of organized, zealous Zionist-Jewish notables, who can and will influence their employers and jeopardize their jobs and promotions.

Conclusion: Alternatives to Zionist Hegemony

In other countries, especially where independent class conscious trade unions, autonomous and organized anti-Zionist professional and academic groups exist, Zionist power in civil society is contested, challenged and its heinous blackballing of critics is weakened. Where internationalist movements are strong, as in support for Palestinian resistance to Israeli colonialism, the local ZPC has not been able to use their economic power and media ownership to impose their hegemony over civil society. This is especially true in those locales where the international solidarity movement is active in impacting society.

While there are pockets of international solidarity among some universities and trade unions in the US, especially the dock and warehouse workers in San Francisco, the major potential counterweight to Zionist Israel First hegemony in the US would be in a revival of patriotic working class consciousness. America’s “special relation” with Israel has been at an enormous cost to the working class, amounting to over $1.5 trillion dollars in foreign aid, loan guarantees, hijacked technological innovations, lost overseas investment opportunities, not to mention the wars on Israel’s behalf and the lost lives in fighting Israel’s war in Iraq. There is a ‘material base’ for a mass patriotic working people’s revolt against the crass submission of the entire political class to the ZPC and its patrons in Tel-Aviv. But today, tens of millions of Americans are disillusioned with “patriotic” appeals, whose purpose is to promote imperial wars (including ironically wars for Israel) at the expense of their living standards. Right wing pro-capitalist politicians use patriotic rhetoric to deflect attention from the domestic failures of capitalism and the massive transfers of wealth to Goldman-Sachs and other Wall Street speculators. The devaluation of “patriotism” is evident in the right wing’s perverse manipulation of ‘nationalism’ to turn native born workers against immigrant workers, instead of against the ZPC’s costly pro-Israel agenda. This, in turn, hinders the growth of a national popular movement against the Wall Street speculators at home and the wars for Israel and Empire abroad.

What is striking about the lack of mass based movements against Wall Street is the fact that literally less than 5% of the population even trusts the financial sector. A vast outpouring of letters and protests denounced Obama’s initial bank bailout plan, forcing a temporary postponement. Unorganized mass resentment persists and is smoldering, waiting for effective popular organization.

Likewise, family and relatives of the Zionist power configuration, in and out of the government, who promote US wars for Israel in the Middle East, are rarely to be found in the Armed Forces, least of all at the frontlines (or for that matter in any war zone). If we exclude non-Zionist Jews – mostly immigrants from the former Eastern Bloc and USSR – the figure would be one-thirtieth of one percent. It is a biting irony that more American Zionists are more eager to join the Israeli ‘Defense’ Forces than to put on an American uniform. Yet Zionists in public office, in the Pentagon, executive branch and the White House, who design and promote war policies and military-driven sanctions, are in the forefront of shedding American working class lives, especially now when jobless American workers, including many minorities, are forced to seek employment in the military. A soldier’s anti-war movement could be organized and energized under the banner: “A Zionist war is a not the American workers’ fight” if the left and pacifists were not so beholden to their Jewish colleagues ‘sensibilities.” The anti-war leaders have been reluctant to raise the issue of the Zionist/ Israeli influence in promoting US war policies.

Genuine patriotic solidarity is weak at the top and bottom, lacking any meaningful recall of our anti-colonial, anti-slavery, anti-imperialist and anti-fascist identity. In contrast, the Zionist fifth column is driven by a powerful mythological-tribal race-driven identity, which in some cases is religious driven and in others embedded in a deep-rooted secular sense of racial superiority.

Israeli hegemony, embedded in a Zion-centric cultural universe, has not been challenged by Anglo-America’s flaccid intellectuals. Their intellectual cowardice is covered by a thin veneer of “cosmopolitan” impotence. Their pusillanimous silence and even complicity is intended to ‘protect the sensitivities’ of their Zionist colleagues regarding any forthright critique of Zionist power in America. Only a revived working class movement, which recovers its historical memory of class solidarity and inspires the popular imagination with an independent American republic free from foreign dictates, will be able to displace Zionist hegemony and Wall Street pillage.94

Our study raises several central questions that need to be addressed by Americans concerned about Zionist power and hegemony over public debate regarding US wars for Israel in the Middle East.

Can we oppose Israeli war crimes and expansion and US government support of Israel by confronting the ZPC?

Can we open a debate on US, Middle East policy by fighting Zionist authoritarianism, witch hunts and hate crimes?

Can we discuss and propose a democratic foreign policy, which opposes military intervention, sanctions and economic blockades, by tackling American militarists and Israel’s foreign agents?

If we answer in the affirmative, what can be done?

What practical measures can be pursued and supported?

We can educate the American public about the Obama regime’s charade – of talking peace to the American people while supporting the Israeli war machine; of talking about an evenhanded Middle East policy while appointing committed Zionists to top policy positions.

We can demand the Justice Department enforce the Foreign Agents Registration Act toward the ‘51 Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations’ and especially AIPAC.

We should oppose all dual citizens’ appointments to key policy-making posts.

We should demand that Undersecretary of Treasury and Israel Firster Stuart Levey be investigated and prosecuted for gross malfeasance of office for his refusal to investigate the illegal billion-dollar money laundering operations by US Zionists in the funding of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and for his promotion of economic sanctions against trade with Iran, which have cost US workers thousands of jobs and the crippled US economy billions of dollars in lost trade.

We should oppose military and economic aid to Israel, especially when the average per capita income of Israeli’s exceeds that of 40% of Americans.

We should demand the end of trade privileges for Israel in light of the US’ multi-billion dollars trade deficit with Israel, which has destroyed tens of thousands of American jobs in industry and services.

We should combat widespread Zionist hate propaganda, organized and publicized by the ZPC, against Muslin Americans and Arab American, their cultural foundations and charities.

We should demystify Zionist claims that the Jews’ ancestral homeland is Israel, rather then North Africa and Central Asia, and that there is no historic basis for the Right of Return.

We should support the class and popular struggle against finance, real estate and insurance billionaires (Wall Street) for their pillage of the American economy and exploitation of American workers and for their corruption of American politicians to serve their interests and US and Israeli war aims.

  1. The major sources which inform this article include: The Daily Alert a bulletin published daily by the 51 Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; press releases and reports published by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and the Boston Globe; the US Congressional Research Services. The mailings of articles from a plethora of publications by Sid Shniad were of enormous help, though, of course, the analysis and interpretations found in this article are solely my responsibility, Web sites such as Information Clearing House, Al Jazeera and the BBC were also consulted on a daily basis. []
  2. The claim is found on the webpage of the Daily Alert, the official propaganda vehicle of the Presidents. []
  3. See the report prepared by the Jewish Community Task Force published in the Boston Globe, Sept. 20, 2009. See Elliott Abrams on the “threat” of intermarriages, Faith and Fear: How Jews can Survive in Christian America, (NY Free Press 1999). See Natan Sharansky “Assimilation is Eating the Jews,” (Haaretz, 11/8/09 []
  4. In the face of faltering interest in Israel among young Jews, the Anti-Defamation League, Bnai Brth, Chabad House and Hillel have organized all-expenses-paid summer junkets to Israel – with mixed results. []
  5. See Stephan Lendman, “Jews Against ZionismDissident Voice, Dec. 8, 2009. The list includes over a dozen secular and religious groups. []
  6. See Yakov Rabkin, Jewish Opposition to Zionism (Halifax: Fernwood, 2006) for a religious critique of Israel and its overseas Zionist supporters. For a secular version see Israel Shahak Jewish History, Jewish Religion (London Pluto Press, 2002). []
  7. See Barbara Yaffe “Over-the-top criticism of Israel is the new face of anti-semitism,” Vancouver Sun, December 2, 2009. Systematic campaigns to fire critics of Israel by the ‘51 Presidents’, especially the ADL, led to the firing of Professor Norman Finklestein and prolonged academic harassment for Professor Robinson at the University of California at Santa Barbara and Nadia Abu El-Haj at the University of Chicago/Barnard, as well as numerous other writers and academics in Middle Eastern studies programs at Columbia and UCLA. See Stephan Lendman, “Will Congress Criminalize Israel Criticism,” Dec. 9, 2003. []
  8. A handbook put by Congregation of Conservative synagogues details the precise tactics in pressuring civic and political groups and leveraging them to support the Israeli state line. []
  9. For a detailed account see my The Power of Israel: The United States (Atlanta Clarity Press 2006) especially Ch 1-3. Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire (Atlanta Clarity Press 2007) especially Ch 8-10; Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power (Atlanta Clarity Press 2008); Global Depression and Regional Wars (Atlanta Clarity Press 2009) Ch 9-11. []
  10. In their otherwise fine book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2007), the authors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt confine their analyses to Washington and political pressure on the legislative branch by neo-conservative Zionist Jews, (see Ch 4 “What is the ‘Israel’ Lobby”, p 111-150). Needless to say the entire spectrum of Zionists from the Left to Right attempted to trash the book, fabricating non-facts, ad hominem slanders and minimizing the scope and depth of the findings. []
  11. A survey of the Daily Alert, the propaganda organ of the ‘51’, between January 2001 and December 3, 2009 — namely over 2500 issues — revels nary a single critical article on any Israeli action. Even more revealing, every issue echoes the policy line of the Israeli government, defends every Israeli massacre, military invasion and dispossession of Palestinians and condemns every human rights group, country, and political leader who criticize Israel in the best fashion of the hardest line unconditional Stalinist apologist of the Soviet purge trials of the 1930’s. []
  12. Pluralist political theorists emphasize the importance of numerical weight of the working class electorate as a counterweight to the great concentrations of wealth, property and media power of the capitalist class under the misconception that unorganized masses are an equal power to an organized financial oligarchy. The classic formulation of pluralist theory is found in Robert Dahl, Who Governs (New Haven: Yale University Press 1961). []
  13. Between the publication of the Goldstone Report in the fall of 2009 to the end of November, the Daily Alert published an average of three articles a day defending Israel war crimes, viciously attacking the Report, and slandering the author, Richard Goldstone, drawing on articles from the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Jerusalem Post and the entire stable of Israel-First “experts” housed in the Zionist think tanks. Once Netanyahu established trashing the Goldstone Report as a ‘number-one’ priority, the entire international Zionist propaganda network went into full gear, especially in North America. The Daily Alert published over 30 articles savaging the ‘Report’. Its affiliates went into overdrive securing over 80% of Congressional support demanding that President Obama reject the Report and veto its approval by the Security Council. Netanyahu and his American agents succeeded – overfilling their quota of articles published in all the US mass media and securing submissive Congressional votes. See also Paul Craig Roberts “Israel Lobby Routs Obama,” Information Clearing House, November 12, 2009. []
  14. According to Aljazeera.Net, November 4, 2009, Steven Rothman, a prominent Zionist Democratic congressman from New Jersey claimed to have read only the 20 page executive summary of the Report, prepared by the office of his fellow-Zionist Congressman Berman (D-California), instead of the full 575 page report, – a summary full of errors, lies and distortions, which were pointed out by Justice Goldstone. []
  15. See Thalif Deen “U.N. Affirms Israel-Hamas War Crimes Report,” Inter Press News Service, November 6, 2009. []
  16. Jewish anti-Zionist organizations in North America, including Independent Jewish Voices, have played an important role in building the Boycott Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli war crimes. []
  17. For articles and reports on the BDS among trade unions, see Independent Jewish Voices. []
  18. Trials on Israeli war criminals are scheduled in Belgium, Spain and possibly the UK. []
  19. Among the publications we can include the Nation, the Progressive, and Mother Jones, as well as all the Marxist quarterlies. []
  20. The Zionist Fifth Column and their apologists claim that analysts, academic researches and journalists who document the power of Israel in the US, are reminiscent of past “anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists writing about secret Jewish cabals”. This slander of empirical researchers overlooks the fact that most studies rely on public documents, including boasts by the Zionist organizations themselves, as well as the testimony of ex-functionaries of AIPAC. This slander is part of the campaign led by the “anti” Defamation League; Abe Foxman, to intimidate and discredit serious research. []
  21. Haaretz 11/10/09. [] [] []
  22. Shlomo Sand The Invention of the Jewish People (London: Verso, 2009) Ch 3 and 4. Arthur Koestler The Thirteenth Tribe: The Khazan Empire and its Heritage (New York: Random House, 1976). []
  23. The annual AIPAC meetings, attended by the vast majority of congressmen and executive officials, sponsor the participation Israel’s top officials, who literally dictate top Israeli priorities to be implemented by the Zionist delegates and their congressional flunkies in the audience. []
  24. See Grant Smith Foreign Agents (Washington: Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, 2008). []
  25. From the early 1950’s to the mid 1960’s, the US Justice Department (especially under Robert Kennedy) sought to have the forerunner of AIPAC (American Zionist Council) register as a foreign agent. Influential Zionists undermined his efforts. See Grant Smith, “The Justice Department’s Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Power” in America’s Defense Line (Washington: Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, 2008). []
  26. See my Power of Israel in the United States (2006) cc 5-8; Lenni Brenner Jews in America Today (New Jersey: Lyle Stuart, 1986) Ch 3 Lee O’Brien American Jewish Organizations and Israel (Washington D.C: Institute for Palestinian Studies, 1986). []
  27. Declassified documents of the US Justice Dept. revealing the role of the major Zionist organization (American Zionist Council) as Israeli foreign agents can be found in Grant Smith Declassified Deceptions (Washington: IRMEP, 2007) p 183 -200. Grant Smith Foreign Agents (Washington D.C.: IRMEP, 2007) Ch. 1 []
  28. Grant Smith Spy and Trade (Washington D.C.: IRMEP, 2008) See p 66 passion “Military Industrial Espionage” and p 120-138 for unclassified FBI documentation. []
  29. Forward, December 23, 2005. []
  30. For a complete inventory of Kadish’s theft of strategic weapons secrets see Grant Smith Spy Trade, p 80, 85, 115. []
  31. See Grant Smith Spy Trade, p 19, 43, 46, 60, 66, 67, 69, 74, 80, 122, 154. []
  32. See Ostrovsky, By Way of Deception (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1990, p 86-88). []
  33. See Carl Cameron Investigates (Part 1-4) Fox New Network, December 17, 2001. []
  34. James Petras Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power (Clarity Press: Atlanta, 2008) p 156. [] []
  35. The Washington Post, New York Times, and a coalition of 125 rabbis attacked the AIPAC, Rosen-Weissman spy trial as “anti-Semitic” while Amy Goodman and liberal-left pundits charged it was a violation of the First Amendment. See Grant Smith Spy Trade p 117-119. Grant Smith Foreign Agents, p 134-145. []
  36. See Grant Smith Declassified Deceptions, p 229. []
  37. James Petras “Barack Obama: America’s First Jewish President” Information Clearinghouse, January 31, 2008. []
  38. James Petras Global Depression and Regional Wars (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2009) Ch 10, p 153-155. Jewish Telegraph Agency, April 27, 2009. []
  39. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, a middle level official in the Pentagon eventually resigned in protest. []
  40. Between November 2007 and January 2008, the Daily Alert, propaganda mouthpiece of the ‘51’ Zionist organizations, reproduced over two dozen articles from the major media condemning the November 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate and parroting Israeli disinformation on Iranian nuclear bomb. []
  41. Mearsheimer and Walt The Israel Lobby Ch 6, Dominating Public Discourse, p 168-196, Lee O’Brien American Jewish Organizations and Israel Ch 5. []
  42. Despite the general consensus among most Washington observers and congressional staff people regarding the power of what they call the Israel Lobby and despite the enormous influence of known Zionists in important foreign policy positions over the past 20 years (in the Clinton, Bush and Obama regimes) one looks in vain for any critical essays on Zionist power in the New Left Review, New Politics, Against the Current, Socialist Register, International Socialist Review, Critique, etc. If anything, when a book appears, like Mearsheimer and Walt’s The Israel Lobby or my The Power of Israel in the US, we are much more likely to receive a more balanced review in libertarian conservative publications like antiwar.com and informationclearinghouse.info, than from what appear to be Marxist…Zionist fellow travelers. Exceptional cases of critiques of Zionist power have appeared in Canadian Dimension and Z Magazine, though I am told that “left” Zionists readers have complained and threatened to cancel subscriptions and/or contributions. []
  43. See Alex Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair The Politics of Anti-Semitism (Oakland: AK Press, 2003). []
  44. Mearsheimer and Walt, The Israel Lobby op. cit. []
  45. Several publications have enumerated the media outlets, which parrot the political line of the ZPC and the Israeli regime, principally the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post (and with occasional minor deviations) New York Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Post, Sun, as well as CNN, CBS, NBS and, of course, Murdoch’s Fox News. However, these studies lack a systematic analysis of the organizational links between the pro-Zionist/Israel message, the media owners, editors and directors and their ties to the ZPC. Glimpses of the Zionist Power Configuration in the media appear in the writings of Edward Herman, Norman Finklestein, Grant Smith, Alexander Cockburn, Joel Kovel, Mearsheimer and Walt. A general resume is found in Edward Abboud Invisible Enemy (Virginia: Vox, 2003) Ch 4, 49. []
  46. The authors include Justin Raimundo, Philip Giraldi, Paul Craig Roberts, Alison Weir and Jonathan Cook. []
  47. Exceptions include Edward Said’s writings, Edward Tivnan The Lobby, Grant Smith Spy and Trade. See also Edward Said and Christopher Hitchens editors, Blaming the Victim (London: Verso 1988). []
  48. Privileging “Jewish” or “Israeli” sources is the favorite device of writers across the political spectrum and includes non-Jews and Jewish critics in all the progressive blogs and published work. []
  49. This is an argument that I have heard and read from some of the leaders of newly formed Jewish organizations critical of Israel. One wonders whether this is not a replay of the exclusivist outlook featured in the rabbinical canon: keeping the ‘dirty wash’ in the family. []
  50. See Stephan Lendman, “Jews Against ZionismDissident Voice, Dec. 8, 2009. []
  51. The major trade unions supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement include Canadian public sector unions, Irish trade union confederation, British, Italian, French, Greek and Spanish trade unions. []
  52. In recent times the most notorious effort by the US and Canadian ZPC to blackball and oust academic critics of Israel revolve around the tenure case of Norman Finklestein at DePaul University and the censure of William Robinson at UC Santa Barbara. The ZPC succeeded in securing the ouster of Finklestein despite strong faculty support and several major book publications but failed in the Robinson case. In Canada the ZPC has set up a nationwide campaign to ban activities around the anti-apartheid issue on university campuses. []
  53. Daily Alert has re-published over two dozen op-ed pieces from in the Washington Post, Wall street Journal and Zionist think-tanks in Washington defending Israel violations of international law from November 1 to December 7, 2009. []
  54. The scorecard is pro-Israel articles 49 to 1 article critical between October-November 2009. []
  55. From September 1 to December 1, none of the above mentioned media allowed a single critical non-Zionist commentator to present a view favorable of the Goldstone Report. []
  56. Ultra-Zionist academics holed up in so called prestigious Ivy league universities include Michael Walzer at Princeton, and Dershowitz at Harvard, Friedman at University of London, Kagan at Yale, Cohen at Johns Hopkins and a flock of others penning apologies for Israeli state terror. []
  57. See the excerpts in the Daily Alert from September through December 2009. []
  58. Michael Walzer, Just Wars and Unjust Wars (New York: Basic Books 2006. President Obama’s address to the Nobel Peace Prize committee in December 2009 relied heavily on Walzer’s “Just War” polemic. []
  59. When Goldstone forwarded his reply to Congressman Berman detailing the lies and distortions in the latter’s ‘summary’, which accompanied a US Congressional resolution defending Israeli war crimes, Berman merely repeated his fabrications. Such are our contemporary “Stalinists” who know only one “truth” – how to parrot and defend the Israeli party line. What is amusing is how few of the lifelong Jewish anti-Stalinist writers have raised any questions about the neo-Stalinist Zionists in their midst []
  60. The combination of scientist, racist and ideologue among Zionist advocates of the biblical myths is not uncommon among twentieth century colonial and imperial regimes. On Israeli-Zionist fabricated racial myths see Nadia Abu El-Haj, Facts on the Ground op. cit.; Joel Zerulavel, Recovered Roots (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995) Ch2, 3; Israel Shahak Jewish History, Jewish Religion (London: Pluto Press 1994) Ch 2-4. []
  61. Theodore Adorno et al. The Authoritarian Personality (New York: Basic Books, 1950). It is curious that very few psychological-clinical studies of Zionist socio-pathological behavior have been produced. Jewish psychologists and sociologists, many of whom claim expertise in the ‘psychology of terrorism’ and the effects of fear on civilian populations, are especially prominent in their embrace of Israeli crimes against humanity. Given the large number of Jewish psychiatrists and psychologists, this suggests how important ideology is in defining scientific projects. []
  62. According to the Guardian (November 16, 2009), 50% of MP’s in the shadow cabinet are Conservative Friends of Israel who have received ten million pounds over the past 8 years. The British television Channel 4 documentary program Dispatches broadcast ‘Inside the Pro-Israel Lobby’ with investigative journalist Peter Osborne, from November 16-20, 2009. This astonishing report revealed the deep penetration of the three major parties by the Zionist Power Configuration and the centrality of lobby funding in securing British defense of Israeli policies and war crimes. Zionist control of the British mass media is as pervasive as in the US: the International Television (ITV) network’s two most influential companies, Carlton Communications and Granada Media Plc, are under Zionist management and ownership. The BBC TV has turned from being a fairly objective news outlet to being a cheap propagandist over the past half decade, under the direction of managing director Tony Cohen. Zionist ownership of the principal dailies include the Daily Express, Daily Star and the Murdoch chain (The Sun, Times, News of the World) which controls over 80% of British readership. []
  63. Channel 4 op. cit. []
  64. See Independent Jewish Voices for complete coverage of the Canadian government’s close ties with the leading Zionist organizations, its pursuit of Israel’s agenda and moves to criminalize criticism of Israel. See also the news report on the Canadian Jewish Congress Vancouver Sun, Dec. 2, 2009. []
  65. New York Times, November 11, 2009. []
  66. See Eric Wingerter and Justin Delacour, “Playing the Anti-Semitism Card against Venezuelavenezuelanalysis.com, Sept. 4, 2009. [] []
  67. Interviews with Argentine Jewish immigrants to Israel, April-May 2004, March 2006. []
  68. The Argentine Communist Party was said to have a greater representation of members in the financial sector than any other party in the world. Its Jewish members were more likely from the Co-operative Banks than the meat packing or car manufacturing sector – Interviews, March 2006. []
  69. Interviews Buenos Aires, April – May 2002. []
  70. President Cristina Fernandez met with President Shamir and Abe Foxman of the ADL in Buenos Aires and with the top Zionist leaders during a visit to New York, before and after speaking at the United Nations. Fernandez is the leading proponent of Israel’s privileged status in MERCOSUR. []
  71. Engel’s threats had little impact: Brazil signed over 20 trade and investment agreements with Iran and Lula dismissed US Zionist efforts to dictate foreign policy to the dustbin of history. On December 4, 2009, Secretary of State Clinton threatened dire consequences for countries developing economic ties with Iran, targeting Brazil, Bolivia and Venezuela (La Jornada, December 4, 2009). President Evo Morales of Bolivia charged the US has no authority to speak against terrorism since it is the biggest practioner (La Jornada, December 13, 2009). []
  72. Avi Lieberman’s visit was an Israeli foreign policy disaster, provoking major protests in Argentina and Brazil, as well as a very cold reception from heads of state. []
  73. Most heads of state, especially the new center-left regimes governing most of the region, have unpleasant memories of Israel’s close ties with the bloody dictatorships of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Israel provided intelligence, military advisers and arms to the genocidal Somoza regime in Nicaragua, Rios Mont terror state in Guatemala and the death squad regime in El Salvador. Israel had a special relation with Argentina following the bloody military coup in 1976, replacing the US as the main military supplier, overlooking the murderous campaign against all Argentine progressives including many Jews, who were taunted by anti-Semitic torturers. Bishara Bahbah Israel and Latin America (New York: St. Martins Press 1986) Ch 3, 4 5. []
  74. The Israeli-Jewish media, with the rare exception of an occasional article in Haaretz, was vehement in support of the rape of Gaza, as was the Israeli-Jewish public reported in a number of polls published in January 2009. Dozens of Israeli democratic stalwarts took beach chairs, picnic baskets and binoculars to survey the terror bombing of Gaza from adjoining hills. []
  75. Julien Benda, The Betrayal of the Intellectuals, (Boston: Beacon Press 1955). []
  76. Under moderate pro-Israelite editors, The New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, the Nation and Progressive have “debated” the pro and con of Obama’s pro-Israel policies avoiding any mention of the Zionist penetration of its Mid-East policy apparatus. []
  77. See Stephan Green Taking Sides (New York: Morrow, 1984) Ch. 9. James Bamford, Body of Secrets (New York: Doubleday, 2001). James Ennes, Assault on the Liberty (New York: Random House, 1980). []
  78. These include the National Review and the Daily Standard on the right, the New Republic on the liberal left, and the New Yorker which publishes Seymour Hersh’s exposes and hack jobs on the critics of the Zionist power structure. []
  79. The transformation of Jewish liberalism into virulent Zionist extremism is evident subsequent to the take-over of the New Republic by Martin Peretz in 1974 and Norman Podhoretz “right turn” at Commentary in the early 1960’s. The Seven Day War and Israel’s military victory was a major factor in bringing out all the chauvinists strains latent within many formerly liberal and progressive Jews who subsequently combined liberal domestic politics with blind support for the most extremist measures adopted by the Jewish state. []
  80. Under Bush see by Power of Israel in the United States, Ch1, 2 and under Obama see my Global Depression and Regional Wars, Ch 9, pp 131-135 and pp 151-158. []
  81. See Mearscheimer and Walt The Israel Lobby Ch 6, esp. 175-178. At least eleven “think tanks” function directly under Zionist control in the greater Washington/NYC area. []
  82. See Grant Smith, The Spy Trade, p 111-113; The Power of Israel in the United States, Ch.2. Prominent Zionists in top policy positions making Middle East policy under Clinton included Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk, Richard Holbrook, Lawrence Summers, Robert Rubin, Madeline Albright, Eliot Cohen and a host of other political advisers. []
  83. See Mearscheimer and Walt Israel Lobby p. 153-62, 163-64. []
  84. Among the leading left academics ignoring ZPC influence in the lead-up to the Iraqi war and Iranian sanctions include Perry Anderson, Robert Brenner, Norm Chomsky, Howard Zinn, among a long list of who’s who in the Anglo-American left. []
  85. One prominent progressive rabbi suggested to me that my critique of the ZPC was “veering on Anti-Semitism”; others have even raised the idea that identifying organized Zionist influence over US Middle East policy “reads like the Protocols of Zion.” See Norman Finklestein on the abuse of the anti-Semitic “blood libel” (to quote Israel’s prime minister) in The Holocaust Industry, Verso 2003, especially Ch. 3, and Joel Kovel, Overcoming Zionism, Ann Arbor Pluto Press, 2007, Ch 1-3. []
  86. Financial Times November 21/22, 2009, p 2. []
  87. Information Clearing House, November 20, 2009. []
  88. Shlomo Sand The Invention of the Jewish People, op. cit. Ch 5, p 256-279. Israeli-Jewish “scientist”, engage in the same type of pseudo research in “Jewish genes” that their German Nazi counterparts researched on the “Aryian Genes” practiced in the 1930’s. Totalitarian ideology guides research in defense of genocide and ethnic expulsion. ZPC objections to the Nazi comparisons would be better directed at Israeli state funded Jewish gene research. []
  89. See Albert Lindemann, Esau’s Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews (Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press 1997) p 59. Lindemann’s historical survey of the socio-economic position of Jews is a balanced account describing the power, wealth and property of Jews in Europe, as well as their persecution and dispossession. The study puts the lie to the Zionist notion that “Jews” suffered oppression and persecution for 2000 years. The question is: Which class of Jews was persecuted in which countries, under which regimes in what time frame. For example Lindemann details the extraordinary political, media, financial and commercial power of Jews in Hungary (Budapest), Austria (Vienna), Germany (Berlin) during the fifty years before the 1920’s. See p 119, 138, 188, 189-190. []
  90. Shlomo Sand The Invention of the Jewish People, Ch.2. []
  91. See James Petras’ Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power (Atlanta: Clarity Press 2008) Ch 1-2; James Perkins Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire, Ch 8, 10. []
  92. Jeff Blankfort “What the US Elite Really Thinks About Israel” Counterpunch 12/8/09 []
  93. My calculations based on Congressional reports on campaign funding. []
  94. While liberal critics of the “Israel Lobby” posit a notion of the “national interest” without any clarification of which class interests in the nation are central, our perspective defines the national interest in terms of what benefits the wage and salaried classes. []

http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/12/bended-knees-zionist-power-in-american-politics/

bulgaria romania poland afganistan…what do they have in common

10 December 2009

TARIQ ALI: “Obama’s Afghan-Pak Syndrome”

Tariq Ali is author of more than 20 books, including history, politics, and fiction. His most recent books are Protocols of the Elders of Sodom (2009) and The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power (2008). He is a regular contributor to The Guardian, New Left Review, and the London Review of Books. British-Pakistani writer, journalist, and historian Tariq Ali spoke at Hampshire College on November 17 for the the Twelfth Annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture. The annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture honors the teaching, scholarship, and activism of the late Eqbal Ahmad, who was a longtime Hampshire College professor.

http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2009/12/7/tariq_ali_obamas_afghan_pak_syndrome

ali 3li ali

7 December 2009

The Interview Ha’aretz Doesn’t Want You To See

with 2 comments

 Ali Abunimah Rehaviya Berman conducted an interview with Ali Abunimah, for Ha’aretz, a few weeks ago. The Interview was never published. Berman decided to publish it on his blog [Hebrew] and I decided to translate it, for your reading pleasure:

 

Exclusive: One On One with the Leader of the Electronic Intifada

Rehaviya Berman

Meet Ali Abunimah, the son of a Jordanian diplomat, a Palestinian activist, and the man who brings the hottest news of the struggle to thousands of people. His message: Forget two states, one will be tough enough to get it right.

The Interview before you was commissioned by one of the the big newspapers. For a reason that has yet to be clarified, this paper decided not to publish the interview. It’s published here, because it’s the opinion of the editor that it’s important that this be read by the Israeli public.

“First of all, it’s important for me to clarify that I’m not a leader, and I’m not interested in being a leader.” That’s how Ali Abunimah, 38, opens our two and a half hour interview. A Washington D.C. Born Palestinian, son of Palestinian parents of different villages in the Jeruusalem area, his mother a native of Lifta, a 1948 refugee, and his father, a native of of Battir, a 1967 refugee. Abunimah (@avinunu on Twitter) may renounce the label of a leader, but in the history that will one day be written, it’s probable that he’ll be described as the “harbinger of electronic revolution”, as the Electronic Intifada- the name of the website that Abunimah is of his founders and active members. There are Twitter users with many more “followers”, but there are very few who seriously deal with the Isreli-Palestinian issue, feeds voraciously on the web and doesn’t follow “@avinunu” and “E-Intifada”. He’s also a sought after and articulate interviewee on news networks such as CNN and MSNBC, for his consistent representation of the Palestinian position.

Abunimah is one of the most active people on the web in Palestinian Hasbara, and this without being identified with any of the political factions. His father, Hasan, served as a senior diplomat of Jordan, among other things its ambassador to the United Nations. But Ali doesn’t hesitate to criticize the kingdom where most his relatives live today, when he finds it’s time to do so. A portrait of a leader in the internet age- Unidentified, not representative, and doesn’t owe any one.

Recently, Abunimah surfaced into consciousness, after ruining [Ehud] Olmert’s little apearance-for-profit at Chicago University, when he abruptly cut his speech with the piercing question about the dissatisfyingly discriminatory killing that the IDF executed in Gaza, a year ago. Abunimah was joined by more protestors and Olmert couldn’t go through his speech as planned.

A few days later, Olmert tried to give a speech in San Francisco, and as in Chicago pro-Palestinian students got up and drowned his voice in shouts and protest. Ali Abunimah, in Chicago, wasn’t there for the second silencing of Olmert, that included an attempt of a “citizen’s arrest”, but he was there with immediate reports, updates and links to videos and Twitter, before anyone else, at the front lines of the unfolding events, as is the case, in the past few years. Nothing of importance happens in the field or in the virtual space that has to do with Palestine (but not only) without Abunimah’s keyboard being there to distribute, sharply comment, connect the incriminating dots, point fingers and supply background and context to each event.

Inviting Olmert? A “Miserable Decision”

The man himself, as I mentioned, is humble, on the conversation I had with him on the computer program, Skype. “I organized nothing that had to do with San Francisco, and I don’t want to talk second hand about how and what other people are planning.” He also doesn’t want to talk about other internet activists such as himself, for the possibility that he may forget to mention someone and that’ll open a possibility for offense. When I persist,he obliges in mentioning the International BDS committee, the Palestinian action organization for boycotting Israel, students and many activists across the USA and the BDS movement- acronym for Boycott, Divestment, Sanction.

In addition to the clear protest against Olmert’s actions and against Israel, Abunimah and others wanted to protest the actual decision to invite Olmert to speak.

“I think it was a miserable decision by The Harris School of Public Policy Studies, in my university, the University of Chicago, to invite a man who is- forget the war crimes- suspect of serious corruption offenses, by his own state, and to pay him tens of thousands of dollars for a speech. It just inappropriate.”

Be honest, it may have been inappropriate, but it created a great oppertunity to get your struggle some headlines.

“It helped, but at the same time, the school could have invited judge Richard Goldstone to speak about the findings of his report, that way we would have gotten a debate about the subject and the school wouldn’t have put itself in a the compromising position of paying an enormous sum to a corrupt person”.

Similar to the Struggle Against South Africa

I try to stir the conversation to the methods of organization that have been bringing Abunimah and his colleagues success, lately. But it seems he’s pleased- in an impeccably polite manner- to disappoint me.

“Not only did I not organize anything, I don’t think there’s such a quick organizers the likes of which you’re describing,” He says. “These are very spontaneous actions. Information is very decentralized today on the web. It reaches many people simultaneously. I feed on the flow of information more than I contribute to it. I almost want to say that I’m sorry we’re not more organized, but this is the reality and I think that in the grander scheme of things, it doesn’t matter.”

It’s a bit strange to hear from a man that grew up in the house of a professional diplomat that organizing doesn’t matter for the public struggle, but Abunimah persists: “It’s a fact that the Zionists are much more organized than we are, in the campuses and an the US in general, and they have a huge budget, nevertheless, they haven’t achieved similar success in spreading their message. It’s not that I’m more skilled at using Twitter than anyone else. It’s because they’re trying to sell a 19th century message in the 21st century, and apparently even with 21st century technology, you can’t sell that merchandise.”

“It’s very similar to the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, on campuses,” he continues. “The struggle was very decentralized there, too, and succeeded because of the undeniable justness of the cause.” This is where Abunimah doesn’t forget to mention that one of the lone states to keep tight relations with the apartheid regime in South Africa was Israel.

Beyond the massive volume of his online dealings with the issue, his education and what he had absorbed in his father’s home, one of the reasons that people turn to him in order to understand the Middle East conflict is his considerably rational stance that he vigilantly keeps: “We don’t boycott Israelis just because they are Israelis or work for an Israeli institution. If Chicago University would have invited some Israeli professor, then cutting him off in protest would have been silencing of freedom of speech. But Ehud Olmert isn’t a private citizen and it’s obvious he’s a legitimate target for this purpose.”

If You Give Up Territory, You’ll Take it Out on Your Arab Citizens

That said, those of you hoping to find a partner for a rational debate about coexistence within the two-state framework will be highly disappointed. Abunimah believes in a single-state solution, bi-national, completely democratic, in which there’s no state expression of Jewish/Israeli nationality. He also wrote a book about it: One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse.

”It’s not that I oppose the two-state solution. I don’t think this solution exists. Those who try to repeat the mistakes of 1948 will find out that it won’t end less tragically, this time around,” he claims.

And still, let’s say that tomorrow we’re informed that Netanyahu and Abu-Mazen have signed an agreement that includes the pulling out of all that’s east of the separation fence and the founding of some sort of Palestinian state within the confines of what exists?

Before he answers this question, Abunimah specifies the way he sees the roots of the conflict: “First of all, expulsion of refugees from their land on a racial basis.”

Are you sure it’s correct to insist on the term “racism” in this context? It’s tribalism, our side and your side.

“Religious-ethnical basis, if you wish. It’s obvious that if they would have converted, they would have been allowed to stay. The second point is the racist treatment discriminating Palestinians citizens of Israel, and the third point is occupation and colonization. Something resembling a state, headed by Abu-Mazen, or anyone else, only solves the third point, because you can’t forfeit the right of return in the name of others.”

There’s a contradiction, or maybe discrimination, because you expect Israel’s government to give up holy places and historic regions in the name of the whole of the Jewish people, but reject the right of the Palestinian government to do so.

“We must discern “rights” that are based on a historical, half-mythological narrative that refers to events of over 2000 years ago, from the rights of people that some of which are still alive and were physically expelled, themselves, from their homes and lands. It’s obvious that the latter is more pressing than the former,” he argues.

“Referring to your question,” he continues, “do you really believe you can evacuate half a million settlers from their homes?”

I personally believe so, if there’s a will. It was also thought that it would be impossible to evacuate the Gaza Strip. Most of the people that need to be evacuated aren’t ideological settlers. They’ll give him money and he’ll leave, and with the ones that persist all the way, the security forces will deal with them.

“I don’t believe it’s possible, but even if it is, do you know what will happen? There won’t be two states that live side by side in peace. I’ll tell you why: The Israelis will be so full of a feeling that “we gave up so much, we gave so much. And we’re still stuck with a million and a half Arabs that only want more and more”, until the nationalism, aggression and will, that’s hidden within most, to ethnically cleanse, will surface, so the evacuation of the West Bank won’t solve anything, and will only change the identity of the Palestinians that are Israel’s victims. I think Meyron Benbenishty sees the situation clearer than most Israeli analysts. I often disagree with him about the conclusions, but hi- analysis of the situation is very correct, in my opinion. He calls this land, Palestine, the state of Israel, whatever you call it, “a de-facto bi-national state”, and I agree with this turn of phrase”.

Using the Neighbor’s House as Collateral

Look, the essence of Zionism was to build a shelter where all Jews could flee in case of pogroms. Will this bi-national state that you envision insure this right?

This is where Abunimah’s answer splits in two: “Personally, I wouldn’t object that a bi-national, democratic, equal, state, after all the wrongs that were done to the Palestinian people are emended, would make a commitment to receive every persecuted Jew at a time of need. Palestine has a rich and ancient tradition of as a place of refuge to the persecuted, near and far, including Armenians, Caucasian tribes, Africans and also Jews, single people, families and sometimes whole communities, for generations, have used Palestine as a place of refuge.”

“But principally speaking,” Abunimah retracts, “It’ important to understand the the Jews of the world aren’t allowed to hold someone’s house as collateral in case the house they live in now burns. This idea that it’s the right of a limited number of Jews to hold on to this land, while oppressing the indigenous population as an insurance policy for people who don’t live here is absurd. Zionism presumed to create a safe haven for Jews. In effect, the majority of world Jews choose not to live in it, it’s a safe haven for no one, and to the people who live in it, an insurance policy is citizenship in another country, preferably one in the European Union.”

You ask me if I believe it’s possible to uproot half a million settlers. Do you really believe that Israelis and Palestinians can merge into one state?

“I understand your question. Hate exists within both sides and in order to examine it, we must examine the root of the conflict. But the major mistake of those dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the thought that it’s so unique. It’s not. In northern Ireland there are two communities, with a longer lasting conflict, and each one with its own contradicting narrative, just like us. The colonial dynamics are also similar. In order to solve the conflict, first there’s need of recognition of its root causes, recognition of the wrongs, and recognition of the rights of the victims. Yes, each Palestinian and his family that has been uprooted from his land has a right to return to their homes. It’s also not as impossible as it sounds. The state of Israel has backup plans to receive a million immigrants, if the need be. So the possibility is there.

But first of all there must be recognition of the right. Then there can be talk of application. No one promises that thousands of Palestinians living well in the Middle East and the rest of the world will run to live in the homeland, and of course there’s the ability of the existing population to receive immigration, to consider. But the right has to be acknowledged. First of all there’s a need to erect institutions and policies and mechanisms that will foster true equality. Quality accommodations, police that is perceived as an honest broker and not as a one sided militia. Like Northern Ireland, like other places, human beings find a way to reconcile and shatter imposed structures of hate”.

Northern Ireland as an Intermediate Stage

So you do support a solution like in Northern Ireland? Because there the land was distributed.

“It’s true that the island has yet to be united there, and I believe that in the end it will happen. If there will be an intermediate stage in which there’s one state for the local indigenous population, like the Republic of Ireland, and also a completely bi-national state, with complete equal rights and specific immigration arrangements for each population (the Northern Ireland Protestants, for example, have a right to freely immigrate to Britain), then maybe it could work. But who wants that? There’s this kind of religion of two-states, and I call it a religion because it doesn’t base itself on evidence. They say that Israelis really want that, and that Fatah really wants it, and almost 20 years they’re working on it, so how is it that it isn’t happening? It isn’t happening because no one wants it to happen, because both sides understand that it’s impossible. It’s only Israel deluding itself that it can continue sustaining occupation forever, when occupation itself is an anachronistic term. There can be occupation for a few months, maybe even a few years, but 40 years of occupation and settlements and assimilation? The world is beginning to understand what’s going on and it won’t have it.”

And this is the point where we return to the aims of sites such as the information site Electronic Intifada and of the BDS movement.

“That’s right. We believe that in spite of the existence of a very small Israeli left, the majority of Israelis will be delighted to continue going to the beach, watch movies and shows and it in good restaurants, while at a distance of less than a hundred Kilometers from there children are starving. As long as they don’t understand that the current policies only bring them suffering, that it constricts their stride and detaches them from all they want, they won’t want to listen. We’re waiting for them to be ready.”

Do you know the terms “switch a disc” and ”burn in the consciousness”?

Abunimah elegantly ignores the opportunity to savor the irony and answers seriously: “There must be a struggle of ideas to change all our current ideas about our possible future. These are the struggles I believe in. There’s nothing that binds these struggles to the spilling of blood.”

A Culture Lesson and Optimism (depends for whom)

You read Hebrew, follow the media here and you also chose to take a course in Hebrew poetry in the university. Among your writings we can also find a small effort to promote the works of Jewish artists of an Arab ethnicity, especially those who created in Arabic.

“Yes, I think that one of the biggest crimes of Zionism was actually perpetrated against the Jews and their spiritual world. In that it debased all that was “exile-esque” [גלותי], it detached itself and the people under its authority from their roots. There was harsh oppression of both the Yiddish culture and the Jewish-Arabic culture.”

This is correct, and in the past generation there’s a growing awareness of this, and already a whole generation’s-time it isn’t shameful to become interested in where the grandparents came from and to revive their culture. On the contrary.

“That’s right, and it’s wonderful.”

And what about the new Hebrew culture? Is there something, out of the huge variety that has been created here, that you can relate to?

“Without a doubt there’s an existing Israeli-Jewish culture, but it’s very tough for Palestinians to view it out of the prism of the conflict, not to mention that Israel uses culture explicitly for Hasbara purposes. The solutions I suggest may free the Israeli-Jewish culture from these confines and find recognition and respect within broader circles.”

To conclude, you’re one of the biggest promoters of a bi-national state in what is today referred to as Israel and the Palestinian territories. Are you optimistic?

“I’m very optimistic. I think it will happen in the lifetimes of the 1948 refugees. There’s not much time and they should be able to see justice before they pass on.”

And then you’ll come to live here?

“I can’t say for sure that I will. I don’t know. But I won’t give up my right to do so.”

 http://pulsemedia.org/2009/12/06/the-interview-ha%E2%80%99aretz-doesn%E2%80%99t-want-you-to-see/

freeeeeeeeeeeeeedom!!?

6 December 2009
09/03/2009

‘This Cursed Freedom’

In Memoir, Egyptian Recalls Shift from Radicalism to Mainstream in Germany

By Henryk M. Broder

In a new memoir Hamed Abdel-Samad, a German-Egyptian, documents a personal odyssey that began in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and ended with a job as an academic for an Institute for Jewish History and Culture in Munich. The scholar knows the Koran by heart and German beers, too.

Hamed Abdel-Samad has been through several phases in his life. At 16, after graduating from high school, he hugged his mother, shook his father’s hand and set off for the Egyptian capital Cairo — a gifted young man who wanted not only to educate himself, but also to change the world.

Today, he describes the first decision he had to make: “Do I join the Marxists or the Muslim Brotherhood?” His father was an imam, and so he took up with the Marxists, or “Muslim brothers without God,” as he likes to call them. After less than a year, he had had enough of the godless revolutionaries and joined the true Muslim brothers. They accepted him with open arms and offered him everything an alert and searching spirit needs: spirituality, camaraderie and companionship. His father had already taught him how to read the Koran, but with the Brotherhood he learned how to translate its teachings into practice, for Allah and the victory of Islam over the infidels. His favorite pastime was to march with the Brotherhood during demonstrations, waving the flag of the Prophet and shouting: “Death to the Jews!” 

Today, less than 20 years later, Abdel-Samad lives in Munich, where he is married to a Danish woman and works for the Institute for Jewish History and Culture at the University of Munich. The title of the doctoral dissertation he is currently writing is: “The Portrayal of Jews in Egyptian Schoolbooks.”

His astonishing story has about as many twists and turns as an adventure novel, an Arab version of Thomas Mann’s novel “Felix Krull.” But Abdel-Samad is neither a literary man nor a con man. He has merely written down his experiences in his book “Departure from Heaven.”

In the account, he describes his path from an Egyptian village to Europe, the fate of a Muslim immigrant and his transformation from a religious zealot to an enlightened intellectual. His story is unique, extreme and yet somehow exemplary. The book, says the author, tells “a completely ordinary story, the kind of story that happens thousands of times.” What is so unusual about it is that a young man like Abdel-Samad had the confidence to tell his story to others.

The Tyranny of Tradition

This sort of an account is more common among women. Men, on the other hand, says Abdel-Samad, would much rather recount their heroic deeds than tell the story of how they were beaten, abused and raped, how they suffered and still suffer today, and how much effort it took to free themselves from the tyranny of tradition.

This is precisely what Abdel-Samad has done.

He was born in 1972, the third of the five children of an imam living near Gizeh, and his destiny was to follow in his father’s footsteps one day.

He studied English and French at the University of Cairo, took a job at the airport and, by coincidence, met a German tourist who invited him to visit her in Augsburg in southern Germany. The two married, but not out of love. She was 18 years his senior and divorced. For her, the marriage meant qualifying for tax benefits for married couples, and for him it meant acquiring a German passport. But the marriage didn’t last long. The cultural differences between the two were even greater than the age difference.

In his book, Abdel-Samad marvels at the “excessive alcohol consumption of the Germans,” who “work like animals and enjoy themselves like animals.” Germany seemed strange to him, “like a complicated device, for which there are no operating instructions.” In only four months, he learned German, how to “swim and ride a bicycle,” and how to use terms like “self-conquest” and “working on your relationship.”

Resentful and Humiliated

He passed a qualifying examination to study political science at the University of Augsburg and plunged into “this cursed freedom.” His master’s thesis, titled “Radicalization in a Foreign Country,” is about young Muslims in Germany who emerge from “unconditional religiosity” and into isolation, taking every opportunity to feel “resentful and humiliated.” In writing his thesis, says Abdel-Samad, he realized that the problems of these young Muslims could not be attributed solely to the frustration of being in a strange land. “The constant feeling of being insulted is our swine flu. Every day, we think about who or what has offended us. People are frustrated throughout the Arab world. They don’t know what to do with their rage, and they look for scapegoats.”

Abdel-Samad was like that once — angry and constantly searching for someone to blame for his misfortune.

It was impossible to direct his anger against his parents, even though he had been abused by his father and had to look on as the father beat his mother. But that was considered normal, something all men and all fathers did. When he was four, he was abused by a 15-year-old, but he had no one to confide in. He was raped again at 11, this time by a gang of older students. Again, he could confide in no one, so as not to bring disgrace on himself and his family. His life was shaped by a single thought: “What one has to do to not lose one’s honor.”

Abdel-Samad’s sisters were both 16 when they left school to marry their significantly older teachers. One sister became a grandmother at 38, and the other at 34. It was all considered completely normal, as long as women remained virgins until marriage. Those who didn’t marry were left with nothing but escape into fantasy or religion. On Fridays, as Abdel-Samad writes, the “mosques are filled with these young people living in a sexual state of emergency.” Social conditions also affected relationships between people. “Everyone suppresses everyone else. The government suppresses the people, and the people suppress each other.”

It took Abdel-Samad a while to extricate himself from this cycle. During his studies in Augsburg, he decided to spend a year in Japan, where he learned Japanese. “I wanted to get away from Europe, away from Islam, away from everything.” At a conference in Kyoto, he met his current wife Connie, whose mother is Japanese and father is Danish. Born in Copenhagen, she studied philosophy in Japan and plans to do her doctorate on Sartre and Kierkegaard.

The Epitome of Multiculturalism

After completing his degree, Abdel-Samad worked at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Geneva, then in the Islamic Studies Department at the University of Erfurt and, finally, at the Institute for International Textbook Research in the northern German city of Braunschweig, before historian Michael Brenner offered him a position at the University of Munich in the fall of 2008 — at the Institute for Jewish History and Culture, of all places.

Abdel-Samad is the epitome of multiculturalism. “If not me, who else?” he says. “I do what suits my biography. I offer my life.” It is telling that in his youth, he was a “genuine anti-Semite,” even though he had “never even met a Jew.”

In his memoir, recently published in German, he has written about his life from the depths of his soul. It all happened by coincidence. Once, while he was in the hospital, Abdel-Samad began to write, with no concept or notes, sometimes in German and sometimes in Arabic. Eventually, he says, “the book resembled me.”

He gave the manuscript to a friend to read. The friend offered it to a small, independent publishing house in Cairo — as a novel, because anything else would have been too dangerous. Almost all major Egyptian newspapers discussed the book, and its publication prompted a group known as Nusrat al-Islam (Support of Islam) to issue a fatwa, which has remained without consequences to date. The book did cause an uproar in Abdel-Samad’s native village, where some residents wanted to burn the book. This, in turn, prompted his father to ascend the pulpit for the first time in more than 12 years to defend his son. He had stopped giving sermons when Abdel-Samad left Egypt to go abroad, out of shame that he had failed as a parent.

‘I Haven’t Come Here to Enrich You’

He isn’t exactly proud of his son today, and yet, says Abdel-Samad, “he respects what I do.” Only Abdel-Samad’s mother behaves as if nothing had happened. She refuses to acknowledge the fact that her son is no longer a religious person, and that he has turned away from an “angry, unpredictable God. For her, all that matters is that she can occasionally embrace him and cook for him again.

And Abdel-Samad? Has he found peace? The more he thinks about himself, the more distanced from Germany he feels. At a recent conference of do-gooders, the conversation turned to foreigners who are “culturally enriching” Germany. Abdel-Samad stood up and said: “I haven’t come here to enrich you. I left my country so that I could live in freedom.”

Abdel-Samad doesn’t divide people into friends and foes, but into those who love freedom and those who allow themselves to be enslaved, whether by a religious or a secular ideology. He still knows the Koran by heart, but he hasn’t been to a mosque in a long time. Still, when he orders a burger, he asks for it without bacon. “I am a Muslim who has converted from faith to knowledge.” he has read Kant, Hegel, Spinoza, Kafka and Tocqueville, but he can also differentiate between various German beers — among brands like Paulaner, Franziskaner and Erdinger hefeweizen — which, in Bavaria, is an important sign of successful integration.

When asked how he reconciles his current life with his past, he turns the question around and asks: “Excuse me, am I not Muslim enough for you?”

“Mein Abschied vom Himmel” (My Departure from Heaven: Notes on the Life of a Muslim in Germany) was published in German this week by Cologne’s Fackelträger Verlag. An English translation has not been published.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,646589,00.html

 

nobel nobel nobel peace prize winner about to speak out for war

1 December 2009

A troop surge can only magnify the crime against Afghanistan

Malalai Joya – guardian.co.uk, Monday 30 November 2009 19.00 GMT

After months of waiting, President Obama is about to announce the new

If Barack Obama heralds an escalation of the war, he will betray his own message of hope and deepen my people’s pain

After months of waiting, President Obama is about to announce the new US strategy for Afghanistan. His speech may be long awaited, but few are expecting any surprise: it seems clear he will herald a major escalation of the war. In doing so he will be making something worse than a mistake. It is a continuation of a war crime against the suffering people of my country.

I have said before that by installing warlords and drug traffickers in power in Kabul, the US and Nato have pushed us from the frying pan to the fire. Now Obama is pouring fuel on these flames, and this week’s announcement of upwards of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan will have tragic consequences.

Already this year we have seen the impact of an increase in troops occupying Afghanistan: more violence, and more civilian deaths. My people, the poor of Afghanistan who have known only war and the domination of fundamentalism, are today squashed between two enemies: the US/Nato occupation forces on one hand and warlords and the Taliban on the other.

While we want the withdrawal of one enemy, we don’t believe it is a matter of choosing between two evils. There is an alternative: the democratic-minded parties and intellectuals are our hope for the future of Afghanistan.

It will not be easy, but if we have a little bit of peace we will be better able to fight our own internal enemies – Afghans know what to do with our destiny. We are not a backward people, and we are capable of fighting for democracy, human and women’s rights in Afghanistan. In fact the only way these values will be achieved is if we struggle for them and win them ourselves.

After eight years of war, the situation is as bad as ever for ordinary Afghans, and women in particular. The reality is that only the drug traffickers and warlords have been helped under this corrupt and illegitimate Karzai government. Karzai’s promises of reform are laughable. His own vice-president is the notorious warlord Fahim, whom Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch describes as “one of the most notorious warlords in the country, with the blood of many Afghans on his hands”.

Transparency International reports that this regime is the second most corrupt in the world. The UN Development Programme reports Afghanistan is second last – 181st out of 182 countries – in terms of human development. That is why we no longer want this kind of “help” from the west.

Like many around the world, I am wondering what kind of “peace” prize can be awarded to a leader who continues the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and starts a new war in Pakistan, all while supporting Israel?

Throughout my recent tour of the US, I had the chance to meet many military families and veterans who are working to put an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They understand that it is not a case of a “bad war” and a “good war” – there is no difference, war is war.

Members of Iraq Veterans Against War even accompanied me to meet members of Congress in Washington DC. Together we tried to explain the terrible human cost of this war, in terms of Afghan, US and Nato lives. Unfortunately, only a few representatives really offered their support to our struggle for peace.

While the government was not responsive, the people of the US did offer me their support. And polls confirm that the US public wants peace, not an escalated war. Many also want Obama to hold Bush and his administration to account for war crimes. Everywhere I spoke, people responded strongly when I said that if Obama really wanted peace he would first of all try to prosecute Bush and have him tried before the international criminal court. Replacing Bush’s man in the Pentagon, Robert Gates, would have been a good start – but Obama chose not to.

Unfortunately, the UK government shamefully follows the path of the US in Afghanistan. Even though opinion polls show that more than 70% of the population is against the war, Gordon Brown has announced the deployment of more UK troops. It is sad that more taxpayers’ money will be wasted on this war, while Britain’s poor continue to suffer from a lack of basic services.

The UK government has also tried to silence dissent, for instance by arresting Joe Glenton, a British soldier who has refused to return to Afghanistan. I had a chance to meet Glenton when I was in London last summer, and together we spoke out against the war. My message to him is that, in times of great injustice, it is sometimes better to go to jail than be part of committing war crimes.

Facing a difficult choice, Glenton made a courageous decision, while Obama and Brown have chosen to follow the Bush administration. Instead of hope and change, in foreign policy Obama is delivering more of the same. But I still have hope because, as our history teaches, the people of Afghanistan will never accept occupation.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/nov/30/obama-afghanistan-troops