Zionism’s Last Card and Hope For Palestine
By Alan Hart
Following the interim agreement with Iran the next six months will tell us whether or not the American-led Zionist lobby and Zionism itself has played its last card and lost. If it does lose President Obama will be free to use the leverage he has to try to cause Israel to be serious about peace on terms almost all Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could accept (and which would not pose any threat to the wellbeing and security of those Jews now living in Palestine that became Israel and who wanted to stay). The stakes could not be higher.
As I write I am recalling what former President Carter said to my wife and I when we met with him and Rosalyn, words I quote in my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews and which bear repeating. “Any American president has only two windows of opportunity to take on the Zionist lobby – in the first nine months of his first term and the last year of his second term if he has one.”
Before the interim agreement with Iran there was a case for saying that Obama was in danger of going down in history as one of the least effective and worst presidents America has had. It’s now possible that he’ll have the opportunity to become a real peacemaker and go down in history as one of America’s greatest presidents.
Also in my mind as I write are the words of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu when he was denouncing and rejecting the interim agreement with Iran. “Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world has made a significant step in obtaining the most dangerous weapons in the world.” This, about a country which does not possess nuclear weapons and doesn’t want them, from the man whose state possesses hundreds of nuclear warheads and tactical battlefield nuclear weapons. No, Mr. Netanyahu, while it is led by you and/or your kind, Israel has the most dangerous regime in the world.
I remain puzzled by what Netanyahu really is. Does he believe all the nonsense he talks about Iranian and Arab and other Muslim military threats to Israel’s existence, in which case he has become the victim of his own propaganda and is deluded to the point of clinical madness; or does he know he is spouting propaganda nonsense every time he opens his mouth? (When making a judgement keep in mind the Mossad’s motto – “By way of deception thou shall do war.”)
In any event, if there was a Nobel Prize for Nonsense, it would have to be awarded to Netanyahu. He’s light years ahead of any other contender. If Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda chief, was still alive, I imagine he’d say in private, “Netanyahu makes me look like an amateur.”
A recent Kevin Barrett article was headlined Iran Deal Fallout: Top Ten Ways Netanyahu Will Try To Sabotage Peace. One of the ways was “Announce that earth is under invasion by aliens and that Iran is on the side of the aliens.” That made me smile but with Netanyahu anything except peace on terms the Palestinians could accept is possible.
And what about those who to date have been most prepared to do Netanyahu’s bidding? In theory Israel’s stooges in the U.S. Congress, if they commanded a two-thirds majority, could override a presidential veto on imposing tough new sanctions on Iran for the purpose of wrecking the prospects of a final agreement with it. The question is – will they dare to do it in the next six months?
My speculation is that they will huff, puff and threaten but won’t actually do it. Why not? If they did they would expose themselves like never before for what they really are – not merely stooges of the Zionist lobby, AIPAC in particular, but agents acting against America’s own best interests and therefore traitors.
I am happy to go public with this positive speculation in part because of an article by Philip Weiss. In it he noted that Netanyahu has been playing the Iran threat card “to keep the world’s eyes off the West Bank and Jerusalem.” Then, commenting on Netanyahu’s statement that Israel will not allow Iran to attain nuclear capability, he wrote this. “The ardent supporters of the Jewish state in the U.S. have never been in a worse position. They are largely supportive of this deal (as are a majority of all Americans, I add). They will have to throw Netanyahu under the bus.”
Not long ago the proclaimed view of some American supporters of Israel right or wrong was that Obama was throwing Israel under a bus. The idea that American Jews should now throw Netanyahu under it appeals to me, as I am sure it does to Obama.
If Congress does back away from doing Zionism’s bidding to wreck the prospects for a new-start American and European accommodation with Iran, what options if any will Netanyahu’s Israel have to distract the world’s media and political attention from Zionism’s on-going colonization – ethnic cleansing slowly and by stealth – of the occupied West Bank?
Only one that I can see. War.
Shortly after he stepped down earlier this month as Netanyahu’s national security adviser, Yaakov Amidror told The Financial Times that Israel can stop Iran’s nuclear program militarily and can do so on its own. He said the Israeli Air Force has been conducting “very long-range flights…all around the world” in preparation for a potential strike on Iran, which could set back its nuclear program “for a very long time.” He went on: “There is no question the prime minister would make the unilateral decision to use military force should it become necessary. We don’t need permission from anyone – we are an independent state. We have our own sovereignty. If Israel is in a position in which Israel must defend itself, Israel will do it.”
Amidror’s stated position, like that of his former master, is nonsense – perhaps disingenuous is a more appropriate term – because there is no Iranian military threat Israel will have to defend itself against. (As I have noted in previous articles, even if Iran did posses nuclear bombs, no Iranian leadership would launch a first strike against Israel because doing so would result in Iran being devastated and quite possibly wiped off the face of the earth). And that’s why I remain, on balance, convinced that Netanyahu’s implicit threat to go it alone with an attack on Iran is a bluff. But that said there is actually no telling what Netanyahu might do when trapped in a corner of his own construction with no way out.
Question: Why do I believe Netanyahu’s assertion that Iran is a threat to Israel’s existence (when it isn’t) is Zionism’s last card?
My answer is not complicated. From the moment of Israel’s creation mainly by Zionist terrorism and ethnic cleansing, Zionism’s guiding strategy has been to present and have Israel perceived in the Western world as the VICTIM when it was and is the AGGRESSOR and OPPRESSOR. In the context of Jewish history, Zionism’s calculation was that so long as Israel was perceived in the Western world as the victim, it could do what it liked to impose its will on the Palestinians and the whole region in the name of “self-defense”.
For most of the second half of the 20th century, and thanks in large part to the mainstream media’s refusal to come to grips with the truth of history, Zionism succeeded in getting its lie accepted as truth. (I say “lie” without fear of contradiction because, as I document in detail in my book, the Arab regimes never, ever had any intention of fighting Israel to liberate Palestine). So, conned into believing that Israel really did live in constant danger of annihilation, the “driving into the sea” of its Jews, most people in North America and Western Europe were content to go along with the notion that whatever Israel as the “victim” did to protect itself was understandable and acceptable.
But with time, as the truth began to trickle out and nuclear-armed Israel demonstrated that it was the region’s military superpower which could defeat any combination of Arab force, the perception of Israel being in danger of annihilation began to fade, and its leaders, Netanyahu especially, realized that they needed a new enemy if they were to maintain the fiction that Israel was the victim.
It has to said that Netanyahu’s effort to sell the idea of Iran as a threat to Israel’s existence was assisted by some stupid rhetoric from President Ahmadinejad though, to be fair to him, he did not say, as the mainstream Western media still insists that he did, that Israel should be “wiped off the map”. That phrasing clearly implies that he wanted to see all Israeli Jews slaughtered. What he actually said was that he wanted Zionism to disappear as the Soviet Union had done – i.e. without violence, peacefully. Put another way, he was saying he wanted to see Palestine de-Zionized. In reality there was absolutely no implication in what he said that Israeli Jews should be sent packing from Palestine or killed. (One of Ahmadinejad’s problems is that he did not know how to talk to the West, and as a consequence he had no idea of how what he said could and would be twisted and misrepresented by Israel’s leaders).
In summary, the alleged Iran threat is Zionism’s last card because there is no other enemy it could present as a military threat to Israel’s existence in order to justify its criminal policies and actions in the name of self-defense.
Though events may prove me wrong, my overall speculation is that Zionism’s last card is not a winner and that Obama will succeed in getting, six months or so from now, what he wants – a new-start and mutually beneficial relationship with Iran. And defeat for the Zionist lobby will, as I indicated in my opening paragraph, free him to use the presidential leverage to try to oblige Israel to be serious about peace on terms the vast majority of Palestinians could accept.
In my view the best way for him to make a start down that road if and when the time comes would be to say publicly to Israel and all Jewish Americans what President Kennedy said privately to Golda Meir when he was suggesting to her by obvious implication that she and her leadership colleagues should dump Ben-Gurion as prime minister and have him replaced by Levi Eshkol. (That much happened as Kennedy wanted, and if he had been allowed to live he was planning very early in his second term to invite Eshkol and Egypt’s President Nasser to the White House for peace talks). At the time, and with the help of the Zionist lobby, Ben-Gurion was blocking Kennedy’s efforts to prevent Israel possessing nuclear weapons. IN OTHER WORDS, KENNEDY WAS SEEKING TO PREVENT ISRAEL ACTUALLY DOING, FOR REAL, WHAT ISRAEL IS FALSELY ACCUSING IRAN OF DOING!
To give readers of this article something of the full flavour of what Kennedy said to Golda and the considerations which made him say it, I am now going to quote two and a bit pages from Chapter 11 of Volume Two of the American edition of my book which is sub-titled David Becomes Goliath. The title of the chapter is Turning Point – The Assassination of President Kennedy. The conversation between the young president and the aging Mother Israel took place on 27th December 1962 on the veranda of the Kennedy holiday home in Palm Springs. The only other person present to keep a note of what was said was Philips Talbot, an assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs. He had he been relieved the day after Kennedy entered the White House to get a message from the new president saying that although he had received nearly 90 percent of the Jewish votes, he was “not in their pockets”. For his part Kennedy really trusted Talbot. Only selected parts of his eight-page memorandum of the conversation were de-classified in 1979. Some of what he wrote was deleted and some remains classified, for which read suppressed, to this day for “security reasons”. (Ha! Ha!). The text I am quoting and the whole chapter from which it comes begs the question of how different the history of what used to be called the Arab-Israeli conflict might have been if Kennedy had been allowed to live and serve a second term.
QUOTE FROM MY BOOK
President Kennedy’s message to Golda was to the effect that he was ready, willing and able to give Israel an irrevocable commitment that America would guarantee Israel’s security and survival, but that the giving of such a commitment was conditional. The U.S. could not and would not give it to a nuclear-armed Jewish state. Israel had to agree to IAEA inspection of Dimona and if that proved, as he suspected it would, that Israel was in the process of producing a nuclear bomb of its own, work on the project would have to be stopped. Terminated. And… if that meant Golda and her colleagues getting rid of Ben-Gurion, they should do it.
That was not, of course, how President Kennedy would have put it. No American President could have spoken in such terms, even in private on the secluded veranda of his holiday home. But it was the message Golda could extract from what he did say to her; and he knew she was more than smart enough to do the extracting.
The known record of what Kennedy said to Golda indicates that he started out by defining what he called “the limitations of America’s relationship with Israel.” It was the case, he said, that “the United States has a special relationship with Israel in the Middle East really comparable to that which it has with Britain over a wide range of world affairs. But for us to play properly the role we are called upon to play, we cannot afford the luxury of identifying Israel as our exclusive friend.”
The best way for the United States to effectively serve Israel’s national security interests, he went on, “is to maintain and develop America’s relations with other nations in the region. Our influence could then be brought to bear, as needed in particular disputes, to ensure that Israel’s essential interests are not compromised. If we pulled out of the Arab Middle East and maintained our ties only with Israel this would not be in Israel’s interests.”
The idea of America “pulling out” of the Arab Middle East was not on anybody’s public agenda, so why did President Kennedy feel the need to talk about it? The implication is that he was under mounting pressure from the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress to abandon Eisenhower’s policy of even-handedness, and to look upon Israel as America’s only true friend and reliable ally in the region.
On the subject of America’s relations with the Arabs, the President said this: “Israel’s actions and policies are making it difficult for the United States to maintain good relations with the Arabs and support Israel.” The examples he cited were the diversion of the Jordan River waters, reprisal attacks and cross-border raids, and the continuing refusal to address the Palestinian refugee problem. Those matters, together with the U.S. sale to Israel of advanced Hawk missiles, were “putting severe strain on American relations with Arab countries.”
Though she would not have liked hearing it, Kennedy was also frank about what he regarded as an essential element of Israel’s security. It was Israel’s own behaviour towards the Arabs.
Of course there would be differences about how to handle certain matters, Kennedy said. He believed, for example, that greater use should be made of the UN in dealing with border problems. (They both knew that Ben-Gurion and Dayan and their fans had nothing but contempt for the UN).
Then, with a firmness no doubt masked to some extent by his charm, the President told Golda that the United States required Israel to recognize that American and Israeli security interests were not always one and the same. He said:
“We know that Israel faces enormous security problems but we do, too. We came almost to direct confrontation with the Soviet Union last spring and again recently in Cuba. Because we have taken on wide security responsibilities, we always have the potential of becoming involved in a major crisis not of our own making.” And that was why “we have got to concern ourselves with the whole Middle East. We would like Israel’s recognition that this partnership we have with it produces strains for the United States in the Middle East… when Israel takes such action as it did last spring, whether right or wrong, those actions involve not just Israel but also the United States.”
The particular action to which Kennedy was referring was the massive Israeli reprisal attack on Syria that had embarrassed the Soviet Union and for which Israel was condemned by the Security Council.
President Kennedy’s bottom-line was that Israel had to consider the interests of the United States. He said: “What we want from Israel arises because our relationship is a two-way street.”
Never before had an American President dared to speak so frankly to an Israeli leader. The tragedy was that – because of pork-barrel American politics – it had to be said in private.
As he indicated to Golda, Kennedy’s real fear was that Israel’s policy of seeking to impose its will on the Arabs by force could provoke a superpower confrontation. He knew that Soviet leaders did not want a Hot War with the U.S. over the Middle East, and that they were every bit as frightened as he was by the prospect of it happening; but he was wise enough to know that they might have to respond if Israel went on humiliating the Arabs with demonstrations of military superiority. It was a matter of face for the Soviets as well as their Egyptian and Syrian customers. That was what Kennedy really meant when he told Golda of the dangers he saw of the U.S becoming involved in a major crisis “not of our own making.”
President Kennedy was so concerned by the possibility of a superpower confrontation being provoked by Israel’s arrogance of power that he saw merit in the idea of the Jewish state being “neutral”, meaning non-aligned. We know that from an off-the-record interview he gave to Amos Elon, Washington correspondent of Ha’aretz, Israel’s daily newspaper for seriously thoughtful people. The interview took place in August 1961 (when Zionist lobby pressure on Kennedy was intense), but it was not published until two days after Kennedy’s assassination. According to Elon, the President said he would be pleased to see a neutral Israel if that would lead to improved relations between the United States and the Soviet Union and, as a consequence, to improved relations between Israel and the Arab world.
That was explosive political stuff. In my analysis there is no better or more dramatic illustration of the great gulf that existed between President Kennedy and the vested military-industrial interests named by President Eisenhower. The MIC would have regarded Kennedy’s concept of a neutral Israel as heresy. How so? The MIC in America had wanted the Soviet Union to be drawn into the Middle East, in order to have a much bigger board on which to play the Cold War Game. (Could that have been one of the reasons why Dulles refused to provide Nasser with arms for defense?)
Though there were moments of great tension and extreme crisis – the Cuban missile crisis, for example – when one of the two superpowers did not play by the rules, the Cold War really was more of a game than not, played for the purpose of creating jobs and generating wealth by the production and selling of weapons. What Kennedy really wanted (and what Gorbachev would come to want for the Soviet Union before it fell apart) was an end to that nonsense, and for the vast resources of all kinds that went in waging the Cold War to be diverted to the long twilight struggle of his inaugural speech – the struggle “against the common enemies of man” including “poverty and disease and war itself.”
Golda left her meeting with President Kennedy believing that if Ben-Gurion continued to defy him on Dimona, Israel would be on a confrontation course with him for the remainder of his first term and all of his second; and that, she knew, would be disastrous for the Jewish state and no doubt Jews everywhere. If Ben-Gurion could not be persuaded to change his mind and agree to IAEA inspection of Dimona, he would have to go.
That was the message Kennedy wanted Mother Israel to get. She got it
END OF QUOTE FROM MY BOOK
In the context above what I am suggesting is that if and when he is free to put real pressure on Israel to be serious about peace with the Palestinians, Obama should make best use of the Kennedy quote – “What we want from Israel arises because our relationship is a two-way street”. And he could and should put flesh on that bone by saying, among other things, that it is not in America’s own best interests to allow Israel to go on denying the Palestinians an acceptable measure of justice. But his crunch point could and should be something like this. “What America wants and needs, in order to best protect its own interests in the Arab and wider Muslim world, is an end to Israel’s denial of an acceptable amount of justice for the Palestinians. Unless we get that, I as president will have no choice but to use the leverage at my disposal to press you.” Israelis would know, even if Obama didn’t spell it out, that the pressure would include an end to American vetoes of Security Council resolutions condemning Israel and sanctions.
If Obama was to go public with such a position in the wake of defeat for the Zionist lobby over the Iran nuclear issue, I think it’s reasonable to assume that a big majority of Jewish Americans would signal, if only by their silence and/or refusal to condemn Obama, that their first loyalty was to America not Israel.
There is no certainty about how the Jews of Israel would respond, but there’s a good case for believing that because what most of them care most about is the relationship with America, a significant majority of them would say to Netanyahu and his coalition government something like: “Enough is enough. We insist that you make peace with the Palestinians on terms they can accept, even if that means a short, sharp civil war with those settlers who refuse to withdraw from the West Bank and be relocated and compensated.”
For those who might believe there is little or no prospect of a Jewish civil war in the event of President Obama insisting with leverage as necessary on Israel making peace with the Palestinians on terms they could accept, I recommend Chapter 12 of Volume Three of the American edition of my book. This chapter is titled The Blood Oath. It reveals that Sharon convened a secret meeting of many senior military officers to sign a blood oath committing them to make common cause with those settlers who would resist “to the death” the implementation of any government decision to withdraw from the West Bank. My named and quoted source for that dramatic story was none other than Ezer Weizman, Israel’s defense minister of the time.
When Ezer told me of the secret meeting minutes after he learned about it, he asked me a question. Did I think Sharon would act in accordance with the blood oath he and others had signed? I said: “What I think is of no consequence. I’m a visiting goy. You’re Israel’s defense minister, what do you think?” He replied: “Of course, he would. He’s mad enough to nuke the entire fucking Arab world!”
The coming months will tell us how mad Netanyahu is.
And also whether or not the optimism expressed in this post was justified.