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Bulletin N° 255


14 August 2006
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
As we continue to receive information on the war in the Middle East, we are examining theories and methods which might offer a better understanding of the historical era we are now entering. We live in a period when most American university students believe that the United States won a military victory in the Vietnam War. Disinformation has shaped the consciousness of the nation, and to the great disadvantage of most Americans.

The writings of Bertell Ollman offer many helpful insights into stategies for understanding the present crises of late capitalism and, also, for understanding why a social class consciousness has not developed among oppressed groups of people in the United States. In chapter 9 of his book, Dance of the Dialectic, he begins his discussion on "How to Study the Communist Future Inside the Capitalist Present" with an anonymous 15th-century English verse :

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals a goose from off the common,
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from under the goose.

With this Ollman begins a poignant critique of the practice of social science in American universities today. By the late Middle Ages, he writes, feudal lords were claiming public lands as their own private property.

In universities today we can discern two opposing kinds of scholarship: that which studies the people who
a goose from off the commons (Goose from Off the Commons Studies, or GFOC for short) and that
which studies
those who steal the commons from under the goose (Commons from Under the Goose Studies,
or CFUG for short).
If the "mainstream" in practically every discipline consists almost entirely of the former,
Marxism is our leading example
of the latter.

But whereas seeing someone steal a goose from off the commons is a relatively simple matter --you only have
to be there,
to open your eyes, and to look-- seeing someone steal the commons from under the goose is not,
neither then nor now
(Russia today is a possible exception). Here, the theft is accomplished only gradually; the
person acting is often an agent for
someone else; force is used, but so are laws and ideology. In short, to recognize
a case of CFUG, one has to grasp the bigger
picture and the longer time that it takes for it to come together. It's
not easy, but nothing that we study is more important.
Hence --and no matter what happened in the Soviet Union
and in China-- Marxism will continue to be relevant until we reclaim
the commons from those who stole it from us
and who go on helping themselves to it with impunity right up to this moment.

Just how difficult it is to grasp the bigger picture was recently brought home to us when a group of astronomers
announced that
they had discovered what they called the Great Attractor. This is a huge structure composed
of many galaxies that is exerting a
strong attraction on our galaxy and therefore on our solar system and on the
planet on which we live. When questioned as to why
something so big was not discovered earlier, one of the
astronomers replied that its very size was responsible for the delay. These
scientists had focused so intently
on its parts that they couldn't see what they were parts of.

Capitalism is a huge structure very similar to the Great Attractor. It, too, has a major effect on everything going
on inside it, but it
is so big and so omnipresent that few see it. (p.155-156)

The 11 articles below offer information that, using the method of dialectical materialism as outlined by Professor Ollman in Dance of the Dialectic, might facilitate the discoveries of interrelationships that largely determine the events in our lives. This understanding, Professor Ollman suggests, can only prepare us for the future and provide us with opportunities to nurture those developments inside the "capitalist present" with which we would like live.

Item A. includes three articles sent to us by Dr. Richard B. Du Boff : 1)a Wall Street Journal article on the Ceasefire,  2) a London Independent article on "Lebanon as a curtain-raiser for attack on Iran", and 3) an article from The Hindu on the Israeli defeat in Lebanon.
Item B. is important economic data provided by ICH and documenting the financial cost of America's war in the Middle East, at the national level and at local levels.
Item C. is an article sent to us by Monty Kroopin descibing the deep fiscal crisis of the City of San Diego in California.
Item D. is an essay by Chalmers Johnson taken from is new book, Sorrows of Empire.
Item E. is a letter addressed to Israelis from Dominique Eddé and sent to us by Dr. Elisabeth Chamorand.
Item F. is a communication sent to us by Rachel Saury from the Grenoble Action Committee Against Israeli aggressions.
Item G. is a case for Boycotting Israel by Virginia Tilley, sent to us by Dr. Sheila Whittick of Stendhal University.
Item H. is an article to be published in the New Yorker Magazine by Seymour Hersh of the regional fall-out from the Israeli-US defeat in Lebanon.
Item I. is a recent article by Edward S. Herman, translated into French on the policy of ethnic cleansing that is pursued by the Israeli government.

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Université Stendhal-Grenoble 3

from Richard B. Du Boff :
14 August 2006
Wall Street Journal 

Results in Lebanon Damage U.S., Israel's Olmert
War's Inconclusive Outcome Makes Goals in Middle East Harder to Achieve, Many Say


Israel's failure to quickly defeat Hezbollah forced the U.S. to make significant compromises at the United Nations and looks likely to leave U.S. policies in the region as well as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert damaged, according to diplomats and analysts.
Even as Israel threw thousands of extra ground troops into a major assault to clear Hezbollah from Lebanese territory ahead of a cease-fire that took effect at 8 a.m. Israel time today, analysts and diplomats said the effort may be a sign of Mr. Olmert's political desperation rather than of strength. The career politician has come under criticism that he has mishandled the month-long war by limiting the military to an air offensive, with relatively few troops on the ground.

At the same time, Israel's inconclusive struggle with Hezbollah has forced the U.S. to accept a compromise resolution at the U.N. Security Council that may not secure its long-term goal of neutralizing Hezbollah as a military force and doesn't give the U.S. much of the credit for negotiating a cease-fire. While welcoming Friday's resolution, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, European Union foreign-policy representative Javier Solana and leaders in the region expressed anger that it had taken so long to secure a cease-fire deal -- a veiled reference to U.S. opposition to an "immediate" cease-fire that helped delay a resolution.
In the end, the U.S. did agree to an immediate cease-fire, although that was termed in the resolution a "cessation of hostilities." The U.S. had insisted that any cease-fire should come simultaneously with the introduction of a robust international force. Now it is likely to come several weeks before such a force hits the ground. Israeli troops are to withdraw after the cease-fire, in parallel with the introduction of Lebanese government troops, backed by the small and weak existing force of U.N. monitors.
"The way the U.S. has handled this so far, in failing to seize a moment a few weeks ago when a cease-fire might have been managed, has actually united Shia and Sunni sentiment in the streets against the U.S.," said Steven Simon, a former U.S. National Security Council official and now senior analyst at the Rand Corp. in Washington. By uniting Muslim opinion against it as never before, the U.S. has become less effective in the region, he said.
U.S. and Israeli officials alike stressed that any compromises were minor and that in the long term, if the resolution is implemented, it will secure the goals of both: an end to Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel; the return of the two Israeli soldiers whose capture triggered the conflict; Hezbollah eliminated as a military force from the region; and Lebanon's government in sovereign control of its entire territory and borders.
Indeed, many analysts say the dust will have to settle before it is clear how well Hezbollah survives Israel's attack and continuing international focus on its disarmament. Speaking at a cabinet meeting yesterday at which Friday's Security Council resolution was approved, Mr. Olmert said the agreement would ensure that "Hezbollah won't continue to exist as a state within a state."

Yossi Kuperwasser, a brigadier general in the Israeli army, wrote in an article for the Jerusalem Post, "We created the necessary conditions to compel the international community to... ultimately turn Lebanon into an accountable, sovereign nation. If this happens, Syria and Iran would be the main losers of this war."
For now, the conflict has hardened the U.S. image in the region as Israel's protector and weakened its ability to act as a broker in disputes, analysts say. It also has dented the reputation of the Israeli military for invincibility, undercut the policy of the Israeli and U.S. governments for resolving the Palestinian conflict and cast further doubt over the ability of Western powers to change the Middle East in their favor through war.

The biggest casualty of the conflict may be Mr. Olmert's so-called convergence plan to withdraw from large parts of the West Bank. Mr. Olmert took office in May with a pledge to fix Israel's permanent borders, building on last year's withdrawal from the Gaza strip with a similar, but much larger, pullout from the West Bank, the uprooting of 70,000 settlers and their removal behind the separation fence.

The war in Lebanon has bolstered those who argue that unilateral withdrawals -- from Lebanon and Gaza -- have undermined Israel's security by creating a vacuum that was quickly filled by militant groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. The idea of handing over control of the West Bank to a Hamas-led government whose armed wing already is firing homemade Qassam rockets at southern Israel from Gaza is now all but dead.

Abandoning the convergence plan would have severe implications for Israel's relations with the Palestinians and would badly set back the U.S. policy of fostering a two-state solution for Israel. It also could throw into question the future of Mr. Olmert's government and his Kadima party, which came to power on the promise of getting Israel out of the West Bank.
"If Olmert can't deliver on that, then what's the point of this government, or his party?" said Dan Schueftan, deputy director of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa.
A key beneficiary will be the opposition Likud party. Binyamin Netanyahu, the Likud leader is expected to savage the U.N. deal in a speech to the Knesset today after a month of holding back on any criticism of the government and its handling of the war.
Mr. Olmert now is fighting for his political survival, fending off accusations that even after four weeks of fighting, Israel failed to secure the release of the captured soldiers or to stop Hezbollah's shelling of Northern Israel, which left scores of Israeli civilians dead and forced hundreds of thousands to seek shelter in bunkers or flee their homes.
Writing in the newspaper Haaretz, former defense minister Moshe Arens said the war had shown that Israel "has none of the stamina needed for a long-term struggle against terror. The war that according to its leaders was supposed to restore Israel's deterrent force succeeded in destroying it in a month," he wrote.

from Richard B. Du Boff :
14 August 2006
The Independent

Bush "viewed war in Lebanon as a curtain-raiser for attack on Iran" 
by Andrew Buncombe
Washington D.C.
The Bush administration was informed in advance and gave the "green light" to Israel's military strikes against Hizbollah with plans drawn up months before two Israeli soldiers were seized it has been claimed.

The US reportedly considered Israel's actions as a necessary prerequisite for a possible strike against Iran. A report by a leading investigative reporter says that earlier this summer Israeli officials visited Washington to brief the government on its plan to respond to any Hizbollah provocation and to "find out how much the US would bear".

The officials apparently started their inquiries with Vice-President Dick Cheney, knowing that if they secured his support, obtaining the backing of President Bush and Condoleezza Rice would be easier.

The report by Seymour Hersh quotes an unidentified US government consultant with close ties to the Israelis who says: "The Israelis told us it would be a cheap war with many benefits. Why oppose it? We'll be able to hunt down and bomb missiles, tunnels, and bunkers from the air. It would be a demo for Iran."

A former intelligence officer, also quoted, says: "We told Israel,'Look, if you guys have to go, we're behind you all the way. But we think it should be sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the less time we have to evaluate and plan for Iran before Bush gets out of office'."

Both Israeli and US officials say that the Israeli military operation against Hizbollah was triggered by the seizing of two Israeli soldiers, apparently to be bargained with for a possible prisoner swap. But Hersh's report, published in today's issue of The New Yorker, adds to evidence that Israel had been anticipating a Hizbollah provocation for some time and planning its response a response that was widely condemned for being disproportionate.

Last month the San Francisco Chronicle reported that "Israel's military response by air, land and sea to what it considered a provocation last week by Hizbollah militants was unfolding according to a plan finalised more than a year ago". The report said that a senior Israeli army officer had been briefing diplomats, journalists and think-tanks for more than a year about the plan and it quoted Gerald Steinberg, professor of political science at [Israel's] Bar-Ilan University, who said: "Of all of Israel's wars since 1948, this was the one for which Israel was most prepared." Last week the New Statesman magazine reported that Britain had also been informed in advance of the military preparations and that the Prime Minister had chosen not to try to stop them "because he did not want to".

This latest report is the first to tie the Israeli operation to a broader framework that includes a possible US strike against Iran.

Unidentified officials said a strike could "ease Israel's security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American pre-emptive attack". Shabtai Shavit, a national security adviser to the Knesset, said: "We do what we think is best for us, and if it happens to meet America's requirements, that's just part of a relationship between two friends. Hizbollah is armed to the teeth and trained in the most advanced technology of guerrilla warfare. It was just a matter of time."

An anonymous Middle East expert claimed that while the State Department supported the plan because it believed it would help the Lebanese government assert control over the south, the White House was focussed on stripping Hizbollah of its missiles.

The expert added: "If there was to be a military option against Iran's nuclear facilities, it had to get rid of the weapons that Hizbollah could use in a potential retaliation at Israel. Bush was going after Iran, as part of the 'axis of evil', and its nuclear sites, and he was interested in going after Hizbollah as part of his interest in democratisation."

Last night the White House denied the allegations contained in Hersh's piece with a brief statement from the President describing it as "patently untrue". Mr Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, added: " The suggestion that the US and Israel planned and co-ordinated an attack on Hizbollah and did so as a prelude to an attack on Iran is just flat wrong."


from Richard B. Du Boff :
14 August 2006
The Hindu

A defeat for Israel, but also for justice
by Siddharth Varadarajan

[UN resolution is consolation prize for the Olmert regime, whose failure in Lebanon throws the wider U.S.-Israeli game plan for the region into disarray.]
WHEN ISRAEL attacked Lebanon a month ago, it had two stated and two unstated military objectives. The stated objectives were the unconditional release of two of its soldiers captured by Hizbollah, and the physical destruction of the Lebanese resistance force, its leadership and command structure. As for the unstated objectives, the first was to so totally degrade the civilian infrastructure of the country that the non-Shia population of Lebanon would turn against Hizbollah and the Shias for inviting the wrath of Israel upon them in this manner. And the second, to deny Iran and its supporters the chance of opening a second front against Israel from close quarters - in the event of American airstrikes on Iranian nuclear installations.
In turn, these military objectives were part of a wider political objective: to use Israel's overwhelming military superiority as the basis for implementing the Sharon-Olmert plan of a unilaterally imposed "peace settlement" on the region which would leave Tel Aviv in control of as much Palestinian, Lebanese, and Syrian land and water as it deems necessary.

When the promised ceasefire takes effect on Monday morning, however, Israel will find that not a single one of its objectives has been achieved.

This failure has ignited a predictable blame-game within the Israeli military and political establishment but the repercussions of military defeat will travel much further afield. The Olmert regime took a big gamble in going to war and the Bush administration backed it to the hilt in the hope that a "New Middle East" could be built on the backs of a military machine that was believed to be invincible. By smashing that myth of invincibility and registering a decisive military and even moral victory over the Israeli Defence Forces, Hizbollah has thrown the neo-conservative agenda for a "New Middle East" into utter disarray.

The Lebanese militia has not only managed to preserve its capability to fight despite the withering bombardment of its strongholds in southern Lebanon but has also inflicted severe losses on the Israeli military. Nor has its ability to fire Katyusha rockets into northern Israel in retaliation for the Israeli bombing of civilian areas been effectively degraded. The IDF's desperate push towards the Litani river following the adoption of a ceasefire resolution by the United Nations Security Council has itself cost the lives of more than two dozen soldiers, taking the number of Israeli troops killed in the war to well over 100.

More than 30 years of enforcing a military occupation and fighting children and poorly-equipped guerrillas have clearly taken their toll on the ability of the legendary Israeli army to fight a full-fledged war. That is why, right at the outset, the IDF had hoped to rely more or less exclusively on air power and deploy ground forces only after Hizbollah had been sufficiently softened up. However, the international outrage that Israel's bombardment of Lebanon provoked, particularly after the Qana massacre, forced Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his backers in Washington to change tack. Israel realised it had to commit a more significant detachment of ground troops if Hizbollah was to be defeated. At the same time, it preferred the easier option of an international stabilisation force coming in to finish the job for it.

Since the political balance of power in the Security Council is more decisively in favour of Israel than the military balance is on the ground in southern Lebanon, Washington's priority has been to use its clout at the U.N. to bring in to the region a well-armed military force that could prosecute Tel Aviv's war aims more effectively. UNSC Resolution 1701, passed unanimously on Friday, was originally intended to do just that. Its original version ignited outrage in Lebanon and the Arab world but even as now amended, the resolution is problematic on a number of grounds. At the same time, its military provisions fall somewhat short of the original American-Israeli objective.

Rather than creating a new stabilisation force - which would respond, by default, to the command and control structures of the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) - the Security Council has expanded the mandate and size of the existing U.N. peacekeeping force on the ground, UNIFIL. The new mandate will include monitoring the cessation of hostilities, accompanying and supporting the Lebanese Army as it deploys up to the Israeli border in tandem with the Israeli withdrawal, assisting the Lebanese army "in taking steps towards the establishment" of an area between the border and the Litani river that is free of armed forces not authorised by the Lebanese Government, and assisting the Lebanese Government "at its request" to establish better control over its borders.

In order to discharge this enlarged mandate, UNIFIL has been authorised to "take all necessary action" - a code word for the use of even offensive military action - to ensure that the territory where it is deployed is "not utilised for hostile activities of any kind." In other words, UNIFIL would be authorised to attack Hizbollah if the militia sends fighters south of the Litani to launch rockets into Israel. UNIFIL has also been authorised to use deadly force "to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence," which, at least in theory, could also apply to situations such as Israeli airstrikes and attacks on civilian areas of the kind Lebanon has witnessed this past month.

Whether this expanded mandate will help preserve the peace will depend entirely on UNIFIL's ability to avoid getting caught in the wider American political agenda. If it acts professionally and solely as a facilitator for the Lebanese army, there is no reason why Hizbollah will not cooperate with it. At any rate, Hizbollah, with the consent of the Lebanese Government, is free to preserve its military capability north of the Litani as a hedge against future Israeli aggression.

The problem with Resolution 1701, however, is that it is structured in such a way as to prolong or re-ignite the conflict between Israel and Lebanon rather than to settle it expeditiously on the basis of reason and justice.

The most important shortcoming is the resolution's vague formulation on the need for Israel to vacate the territories in Lebanon it has forcibly occupied over the past month. If Israel takes the view that it will not begin withdrawing until the expanded UNIFIL force is in place, Hizbollah will be perfectly justified in attacking what is after all an army of occupation. But apart from the immediate issue of an Israeli withdrawal, the resolution contains no timeframe for tackling the root causes of the conflict. Israel will remain in occupation of the Shebaa farms, which is Lebanese territory, it will not be obliged to hand over within any specified time period the map of land mines it has laid on Lebanese territory, nor is it obliged to return the Lebanese prisoners it is holding. As for the hundreds of Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace and territorial waters which occur every year, no specific mechanisms for redressal have been created to ensure these do not occur again.

There are other glaring omissions too. For example, the resolution does not oblige Israel to pay Lebanon any compensation for the destruction of civilian life and property it has wilfully caused since its attack began on July 12.

Unless the international community moves sincerely to address these fundamental questions and finds a way to impose punitive costs on Israel for its wholly disproportionate use of military force, the underlying problem will never go away.

From Information Clearing House :

National cost of the war :

Cost in San Diego, California

from Monty Kroopkin :
10 August 2006


 San Diego's awful audit leaves it looking for ways to pay its pension bills.

San Diego Press Telegram | Editorial

The all-but-bankrupt city of San Diego has earned the comparison with such financial failures as Enron, WorldCom and Orange County, according to Arthur Levitt Jr., and he ought to know. He is the former chairman of the Security and Exchange Commissions and a respected figure in the field of finance.

    Levitt also headed a months-long investigation by Kroll Inc., a New York risk management firm that issued its findings Tuesday. The bottom line: San Diego city officials for many years recklessly mismanaged finances; they owe taxpayers the truth about a bloated and underfunded pension system, and they must face up to the fact the city needs more revenue (tax increases, in other words).

    The Koll report said city officials deliberately broke the law, disregarded fiscal responsibility, disregarded the financial welfare of residents and, oh by the way, cheated residents on their monthly sewage fees to benefit large industrial users.

    You might expect that would be enough to get some politicians in trouble, and it was. The mayor resigned, along with several other officials, and a federal grand jury has indicted five city pension board members for approving a pension mess that now is sinking the city.

    After the scandal become evident, San Diego voters approved a strong-mayor form of government to centralize authority and responsibility. But, the Kroll report says, the city still can't handle such basic functions as bank reconciliations, and long-range budget planning is nonexistent.

    Nobody has come close to figuring out what to do about the $2 billion difference between the costs of San Diego's extravagant new pension plan and what the city can afford to pay. The new mayor, Jerry Sanders, has been pretty good with the platitudes, but his only specific commitments have been: no more borrowing to cover up the problem, and no new taxes no matter what. That doesn't leave much room for solutions.

    The Kroll report clearly didn't buy the argument of San Diego's city attorney, Michael Aguirre, who argued that since the procedure for granting the big pension increases was illegal, it ought to be legal to simply roll them back. Levitt called Aguirre a demagogue, which seems about right.

    San Diego evidently has a long way to go before things get better. So does Orange County, and the reference to its financial problems was timely. The county still is recuperating from a bankruptcy triggered by $1.7 billion in debt, which is beginning to look almost small compared to the current $3.7 billion deficit caused by swollen county employee pensions and retiree medical benefits.

    Nobody in Orange County government has figured out what to do about its deficit either, although the county's wisest critic, Treasurer and Supervisor-elect John M.W. Moorlach, told the L.A. Times something has to give and "everything is on the table." That's at least promising.

    Should taxpayers outside San Diego and Orange County give a whit about these political and financial disasters? Yes, because politicians' giveaways have created serious underfunding of pensions in state government and in many local entities.

    The city of Long Beach is quick to point out that it has no unfunded pension liabilities (though growing retiree medical costs are a separate issue). And its pension enhancements aren't without cost.

    After the stock market took a nose dive in 2001, Long Beach had to resume pension-fund payments at the rate of more than $30 million a year, 25 percent of which is caused by enrichment of employees' pension benefits.

    At some point, voters will either have to wake up and elect more public officials like Orange County's Moorlach, or accept increased taxes or decreased services, or both.

    That, plus the possibility of joining the ranks of Enron, WorldCom, San Diego and Orange County, are more than enough of a wake-up call.


D. from Chalmers Johnson :
Sorrows of Empire

Four sorrows ... are certain to be visited on the United States. Their cumulative effect guarantees that the U.S. will cease to resemble the country outlined in the Constitution of 1787.

First, there will be a state of perpetual war, leading to more terrorism against Americans wherever they may be and a spreading reliance on nuclear weapons among
smaller nations as they try to ward off the imperial juggernaut.
Second is a loss of democracy and Constitutional rights as the presidency eclipses Congress and is itself transformed from a co- equal 'executive branch' of  overnment
into a military junta.

Third is the replacement of truth by propaganda, disinformation, and the glorification of war, power, and the military legions.

Lastly, there is bankruptcy, as the United States pours its economic resources into ever more grandiose military projects and shortchanges the education, health, and
safety of its citizens."

E. from Elisasbeth Chamorand :

Date : Mon, 07 Aug 2006
Objet : Guerre au "Moyen Orient"

Je vous invite à lire ce texte, certains parmi vous l'aurons déja lu, je vous invite à le re-lire et à vous en imprégner. Il est criant de vérité.

Lettre à des Israéliens

« Que vous a rapporté votre inflexibilité ? La terreur aux portes de vos maisons, un univers enfermé, hostile à toute différence : le contraire de la pensée juive universelle qui nous a tant donné » par Dominique Eddé

Vos choix, à l'heure qu'il est, nous concernent tous. Je m'adresse ici à ceux d'entre vous qui approuvent cette guerre. Plus de 80% du peuple israélien. Au nom de votre sécurité, vous avez donné à vos gouvernants le droit de mettre à terre deux peuples et deux pays, la Palestine et le Liban. Sur quoi se fonde votre confiance renouvelée dans le pouvoir des bombes ? En quoi cette vision de soi sans l'autre est-elle une manière d'affronter la réalité, de protéger votre avenir ?
Si seulement vous saviez le montant de violence et de haine que sèment vos chars et vos avions, si vous saviez le long chemin que tant d'entre nous, vos voisins, ont fait pour vous comprendre, vous connaître, vous reconnaître, vous auriez peur de votre peur, peur du fourvoiement qu'elle vous inspire. Vous useriez de la force écrasante qui est la vôtre pour ne confier la paix qu'à l'application du droit : au retrait de vos troupes de tous les territoires occupés, au démantèlement de toutes les colonies, au respect de la légitimité du gouvernement palestinien. Le recours à la toute-puissance militaire ne vous a-t-il pas donné la preuve en Palestine, ainsi qu'à vos alliés américains en Irak, de son impuissance à mettre la réalité au pas de vos désirs ? Vos gouvernants ont beau mettre le feu au paysage qui vous effraie, plus ce paysage brûle, plus il vous fait peur.
La réalité que vos chars et vos avions prennent pour cible - vies humaines, maisons, routes, villes et villages -, à peine l'avez-vous démolie qu'elle vous échappe. Si tangible, si spectaculaire soit-elle, la conquête qui est à la portée de vos soldats est un leurre. C'est, certes, une domination de l'espace, mais le temps ? Comment espérez-vous l'atteindre ? C'est pourtant lui votre ennemi, c'est lui qu'il vous faut amadouer, apprivoiser. Car cet espace, quoi que vous fassiez, est habité par un monde qui survit à ses morts et qui n'est pas le vôtre. Plus vous le détruisez, le rasez, l'effacez, plus sa mémoire grandit et se transforme en haine. D'elle, de cette mémoire embrasée, vous ne pourrez jamais vous faire obéir. Si loin soit-elle de la vôtre, plus rien ne sert de la nier et de lui faire porter le crime qui fut perpétré contre votre peuple. Ce n'est pas ici, c'est en Europe que le peuple juif a enduré l'horreur. Et c'est encore là-bas qu'un certain nombre de vos alliés, au prétexte de vous défendre, ne soutiennent vos guerres que pour mieux s'acquitter de leur culpabilité. Ne vous laissez pas berner par le silence approbateur du monde. Ralliez plutôt vos dissidents qui seront un jour l'honneur de votre histoire.
Les mouvements islamistes vous font peur ? Le Hamas et le Hezbollah vous menacent ? Il vous faut en finir, les rayer de la carte, les arracher comme des arbres, jusqu'aux dernières de leurs racines ? Vous ne pouvez pas, vous ne pourrez pas y parvenir. Voyez l'Irak démembré, décomposé, soumis depuis trois ans au rythme quotidien de ses plusieurs dizaines de morts et de blessés. Voyez maintenant le Liban, sur lequel votre armée s'acharne de tous côtés. Quel trophée vous attend à l'horizon des morts et de l'exode que vous causez ? Aucun. La presque totalité de la population chiite libanaise - soit près de 40% du peuple - soutient le Hezbollah, qui, souvenez-vous, est né en 1982 pour résister à la première invasion du Liban par vos troupes. Depuis, ce n'est plus seulement un parti armé, c'est une organisation sociale, politique, économique, un mode de pensée, une force incontournable.
Celle-ci, bien qu'alliée à l'Iran, n'est en aucun cas un corps étranger au Liban, elle en est désormais, que cela vous plaise, que cela nous plaise ou pas, une partie constituante, déterminante. Rêver son éradication à coups de bombes, c'est rêver de faire marcher un homme en lui coupant les jambes. C'est aussi exposer le Liban aux risques d'une nouvelle guerre civile. Seul le temps - encore lui - permettait, aurait peut-être permis, le lent réajustement des équilibres interlibanais. Votre Etat n'a cessé d'essayer, durant les cinquante-huit ans de son histoire, de troquer l'application du droit contre celle de la force. En est-il plus avancé ?
A présent, faisons les comptes. Mettons provisoirement de côté la souffrance endurée, une décennie après l'autre, par les Palestiniens, oublions un instant le droit du Liban, à n'être pas qu'un champ de ruines, qu'avez-vous gagné, vous, peuple israélien, à ne renoncer à rien ? Ou alors, si, soyons juste, vous avez renoncé au Grand Israël, mais en échange de quoi ? De quel territoire morcelé, de quelle invivable prison pour les Palestiniens ? Et pour finir, que vous a rapporté votre inflexibilité ? Quoi d'autre que la terreur aux portes de vos maisons ? Quoi de plus qu'un univers enfermé, hostile à toute différence : le contraire de la pensée juive universelle qui nous a tant donné ?
Vos ennemis de la veille - les Arabes - sont défaits, totalement défaits. Ce monde qu'on appelait « le monde arabe » et que vous perceviez, de loin, comme la pire des menaces, il n'est plus que l'ombre de lui-même. Son peu d'existence, il ne la doit plus désormais qu'à sa langue, qui, soit dit en passant, n'est pas sans rapport avec la vôtre. Ses autres liens et ressorts n'ont plus d'existence. Ils sont politiquement morts. Ni les guerres du Golfe, ni les guerres du Liban et de l'Algérie, ni celles de la Palestine et de l'Irak, ni, aujourd'hui, votre réinvasion de ce pays harcelé qui est le mien, n'ont provoqué le moindre mouvement de solidarité arabe.
Certains d'entre vous y voient peut-être le signe d'une première victoire. Ils auraient tort. Car ce monde vaincu, fini, décomposé, a donné à Israël, ainsi qu'aux grandes puissances, la mauvaise habitude de marcher au rythme et à la cadence que ceux-ci leur imposaient. Bon gré mal gré, il a, depuis la fin de l'Empire ottoman, réglé sa montre à l'heure occidentale, adopté un calendrier qui n'était pas le sien. Cette marche forcée ne fut pas, loin de là, le seul motif de ses naufrages mais elle y a contribué. Quoi qu'il en soit, le religieux, revenu en force sur la scène politique, a pris désormais le relais de l'arabisme. Et ce nouvel Orient déboussolé est, encore une fois, bien trop compliqué pour se laisser forger comme du métal par la seule volonté du couple israélo-américain et par le feu des bombes.
La plupart des régimes arabes, que n'épuise aucun adjectif - répressifs, mensongers, traîtres et corrompus -, sont en état de survie artificielle. C'est l'islamisme qui prend désormais un peu partout, sous des formes diverses, le relais de l'arabisme. Ce fait vous déplaît ? A bien d'entre nous aussi, figurez-vous. Quand je dis « nous », je pense à tous ceux qui, dans les pays arabes, se sont battus en faveur d'une citoyenneté qui transcende les appartenances communautaires. Pour des millions d'hommes, ce raz de marée signe une énorme défaite. Il n'empêche : le principe de réalité n'est pas une image que l'on efface en appuyant sur la gâchette.
Les équilibres ou les déséquilibres au sein de l'Islam, est-ce à vous ou est-ce aux musulmans eux-mêmes d'en décider ? Car le temps des islamistes, je me répète, n'est plus à la merci du vôtre. Vous aurez beau poursuivre leurs hommes de ville en ville, de pays en pays, les heures et les années qui sont les leurs n'ont plus de comptes à vous rendre. Tendez l'oreille, et comparez les discours arabes du siècle dernier avec ceux des actuels chefs religieux. Le débit des premiers est pressé, survolté, branché sur l'Occident, le second est lent, calme, indifférent à vos sommations, à vos ultimatums. Les islamistes ont donné un énorme coup de frein à la marche de l'histoire. Contre cette nouvelle horloge, vos bombes ne peuvent rien.
Votre compréhension, en revanche, votre juste appréciation du court et du long terme peut initier un mouvement qui protège vos droits sans détruire les nôtres ; mieux : qui fasse de votre pays un pôle autour duquel se rallier, une démocratie ouverte et non pas un vase clos fondé sur la conscience abusive d'une supériorité intrinsèque. Le pari est risqué ? Certes. Il est déjà trop tard ? Peut-être. Mais y a-t-il une autre voie qui ne soit suicidaire ?

Née à Beyrouth, Dominique Eddé, qui vit aujourd'hui à Paris, a publié en 1989 « Lettre posthume » chez Gallimard, puis, en 1992, « Beyrouth centre-ville » (Cyprès) et, en 1999, « Pourquoi il fait si sombre ? » (Seuil). Son dernier roman, « Cerf-volant », a été publié en 2003 dans la collection l'Arpenteur chez Gallimard.

from Rachel Saury :
August 13, 2006
Subject: Terroristes!

Une résolution vient d'être approuvée par les différents partis pour un cessez le feu immédiat. Une bonne nouvelle si ça marche! Malgré cela, l'armée israélienne bombarde toujours le Liban en ce moment... On veut la paix et la justice mais pas les méthodes terroriste qui sont appliquées par l'état d'Israel! Si cessez le feu il y a, l'état d'Israel devrait aussi payer et être punit pour tous les crimes commis! Sans oublier qu'une résolution globale du conflit régional (notamment le problème des territoires occupés de la palestine) est indispensable pour une paix durable au moyen-orient.

Je continue donc à militer et, de mon côté, je vous envoie encore un nouveau dossier pour dénoncer cette barbarie et continuer à informer.

Dans ce mail :



- Articles sur les manifestations à Grenoble :
-> "Ne faisons pas honte à notre histoire. Résistons." Philippe Robin 2006-08-11
-> "Liban, halte aux massacres !" écrit le 07/08/06

- Photos des manifestations (on était plus de 1500 personne à Grenoble aujourd'hui!!!) :

- Tract / appel pour la manifestation du 12 aout à Grenoble :
=> Fichier attaché : appel_12aout06.rtf

- Un des textes lu pendant la manifestation du 10 aout à Grenoble :
=> Fichier attaché : J_accuse__10ao_t.pdf


- SKY NEWS : Celle là, elle est énorme (pour ceux qui comprennent l'anglais..). Un entretien télévisé avec un député
anglais qui n'a pas la langue dans sa poche :

- FOX NEWS : 200 espions sionistes arretés aux USA impliqué aussi dans le trafique de drogue, fausses
cartes de credit :

- Pour lui, israel n'aurait jamais du existé selon la thora :

- Et encore... :


- Journal sur l'offensive israélienne contre le Liban :

- Lebanon: An Open Country for Civil Resistance :

- Le site "Samidoun" :

" Cheres toutes et chers tous,

Nous venons (enfin) de lancer les pages francaises du site web du
collectif SAMIDOUN, coalition d'associations locales impliquees dans le secours
aux deplaces et dans le plaidoyer politique. S'il reste encore pas mal de
travail a faire sur ce site, vous pouvez deja consulter le contenu existant
a l'adresse suivante :

Nous allons progressivement ameliorer ce site et en enrichir le
contenu, grace a l'appui de certains d'entre vous. Je remercie toutes celles et
tous ceux qui ont contribué aux traductions, et signale aux autres que nos
besoins en la matiere sont importants. L'un des enjeux, en effet, est
de mettre a la disposition d'un public francophone des articles et
contributions initialement publies en arabe (mais aussi en anglais). A
l'inverse, nous aimerions pouvoir traduire en anglais et en arabe des
textes initialement en francais, afin de leur assurer une plus large
diffusion. Si cela vous tente de nous donner un coup de main, il vous
suffit de me contacter par mail.

Vous pouvez aussi consulter le site anglophone (www.samidoun.org) et
le site arabophone (www.samidoun.org/ar) sachant que les contenus varient
d'une langue a l'autre.

Enfin, même si c'est un peu trivial de le signaler, tout don nous
aidera grandement à faire face aux besoins croissants d'un nombre chaque jour
plus important de réfugiés...

Merci par avance de votre solidarite,



=> urls du site :


- "Cette guerre est liée au désir d’hégémonie d’Israël et des États-Unis sur la région." - Georges Corm
=> Pièce jointe : G_Corm_080806.pdf

- "L’usurpation" - Sami Majzoub (géographe) et Jiad Awad (étudiant à la maîtrise en sociologie)
=> Pièce jointe : L_usurpation_par_Majzoub_et_Awad_06_08.pdf

- Témoignage de ??? (j'ai oublié de qui et j'ai perdu la source...)
=> Pièce jointe : Courbature_integrale.doc

- Le dernier mail de roger assaf metteur en scene libanais :

"Beyrouth, le 9 août 2006

Nous allons très bien,

Les dernières décisions d'Israël ont bien simplifié les choses, rien n'arrêtera plus, semble-t-il, sa volonté de tout casser, de tout écraser, pour aboutir à la seule solution qui puisse satisfaire son réel désir de "paix": l'extermination de l'adversaire, l'anéantissement de toutes ses capacités de réagir ultérieurement.
Dans ce genre de combat, il arrive qu'on achève les blessés. Mais aujourd'hui, un pas de plus a été franchi dans l'escalade meurtrière: on achève les morts !
Hier, 8 août, des habitants de Ghazieh enterraient quinze morts (score relativement maigre pour la saison), le cortège funèbre avançait lentement dans l'artère principale du village avec quinze cadavres (sans cercueils) portés à bout de bras sur des civières. Belle cible pour un bombardier professionnel au tir infaillible. A-t-il rigolé en canardant le cortège, en voyant les malheureux détaler et laisser tomber leurs morts sur la route? Comment va-t-il raconter son exploit? Aura-t-il droit à un bonus dans la compétition "massacres de civils"? Marwahine, Nmeyrieh, Srifa, Qana, Aytaroun, Taybeh, Kaa, Sour, Ansar, Machghara, Brital, Baalbeck, 'Ersal, etc.… etc.…

Le jour même (8 août), les morts de Chyah n'ont eu droit qu'à un carnage plus banal: deux immeubles de quatre et six étages dans un quartier populaire de Beyrouth, surpeuplé pour cause d'hébergement de réfugiés venus d'ailleurs, banalement bombardés et réduits à un banal tas de pierres informe. Une quarantaine de corps ont été retirés, une trentaine d'autres (au moins) sont encore sous les décombres. Laissez-les là où ils sont, laissez-les en paix sous les pierres de leur demeure terrestre, vous risquez en les rendant à l'air libre (libre?!!!) de les mettre en péril… et qui sait si le cimetière où vous destinez leurs dépouilles est un endroit où ils pourront reposer en paix?

« Nous devons réduire en poussière les villages du sud… Je ne comprends pas pourquoi il y a encore de l'électricité là bas…  » [Haaretz, 28  juillet] C'est par ces mots que Haim Ramon, ministre israélien de la justice, résumait ses recommandations pour la suite de l'offensive militaire au Liban. Il ne va pas bien, M. Ramon. Détruire les villages ne lui suffit pas, il faut les réduire en poussière. Nous priver d'électricité ne lui suffira pas, il faudra nous priver d'oxygène. Tuer les civils ne suffit pas, il faut empêcher qu'on les enterre. Il n'ira jamais bien, M. Ramon, parce qu'au bout de sa rage, les morts pourront le désigner à ceux qui, comme eux, avant eux, partagent dans un autre espace, le paradis réel ou imaginaire des morts par terrorisme d'Etat (cathares, huguenots, juifs, tziganes, arméniens, palestiniens, …).  

Nous, par contre, nous allons bien, ceux d'entre nous qui vont mourir iront bien. Les autres aussi. Les uns et les autres nous regarderons d'un œil fatigué mais serein, sans illusions et sans inquiétudes, le monde mis en condition d'asservissement sous le poids écrasant d'un impérialisme technocratique totalitaire, et sous la pression des mass media, viles et serviles, qui traqueront les individus jusque dans la salle à manger, la chambre à coucher et la salle de bains. Les inégalités et les pouvoirs abusifs atteindront des degrés d'insanité que les empereurs fous de Rome n'ont pas eu les moyens d'atteindre.

La pusillanimité, en politique, est la plus criminelle des erreurs (ou des lâchetés). Quand Chamberlain et Daladier, en 1938, cédaient le territoire des Sudètes à Hitler et signaient les accords de Munich, ils croyaient avoir sauvegardé la paix. Depuis 1990, l'Europe fait bien plus et bien pire, les œillères tournées vers l'Atlantique, les oreilles dans des casques branchés sur la traduction simultanée du Mein Kampf de George Bush, les mains crispées sur le pouvoir d'achat de l'Euro et les valeurs boursières, la peur au ventre et le cerveau amnésique après résection de la mémoire républicaine, l'Europe s'aplatit devant l'expansionnisme américain, et veut ramasser les miettes de profit qui traînent dans le sillage de l'insatiable conquérant du monde.

Dans l'adversité et dans la diversité, dans la douleur et dans la dignité, le peuple libanais et ses dirigeants ont choisi l'union, la solidarité et la proclamation en face des géants du monde du droit à la justice, à l'indépendance et à l'intégrité du territoire. Nous allons bien parce que nous sommes en harmonie avec les valeurs auxquelles nous croyons et que les lois internationales sont sensées nous garantir. Et vous?

La bataille du Liban a tout d'une épopée. La disproportion des belligérants, l'héroïsme des faibles, l'énormité des carnages, l'irréductibilité des volontés, et surtout, surtout, la dimension des enjeux au-delà de la guerre. Les actes de violence meurtrière, de tous bords, Grecs ou Troyens, Rome ou Carthage, Axe ou Alliés, Arabes ou Israéliens, sont toujours des actes condamnables, évitables, injustifiables. Mais l'enjeu se trouve ailleurs, il est éthique et culturel, il est dans la capacité de l'esprit à placer les valeurs morales au-dessus de la guerre et de la politique, il est dans la capacité de la communauté humaine à construire l'avenir sur le meilleur d'elle-même. Et c'est en fonction de cela que nous pouvons dire, sans crier ni trembler: nous allons bien, et vous?

Roger Assaf, Issam Bou Khaled, Kamal Chayya, Rawya El Chab, Zeina Saab De Melero, Said Serhan, Fadi el Far, Tarek Atoui, Hagop Der Ghougassian, Abdo Nawar, Hanane Hajj Ali, Abder Rahman Awad, Zeinab Assaf, Bernadette Houdeib, Ibrahim Serhan, Nehmat Atallah… "


L'escalade des violences continue...




. PHOTOS de la manifestation de jeudi 03 aout à Grenoble (fin de la page) :
=> Le texte du collectif à la manifestation en fichier joint : Pr_sentation_Manif_1er_ao_t.pdf
. Photos de la manifestation du 29 juillet à Paris en pièce jointe :

. Manifestation internationale prévu le 12 Aout
. LYON / GRENOBLE : Tous les jeudis soir a 18h au même endroit.


. MESSAGE DE ROGER ASSAF (directeur artistique à Beyrouth) :

Beyrouth le 3 août 2006  


Messieurs de TF1, taisez-vous

ou bien faites votre métier correctement

Je dis TF1 parce que c'est sur TF 1 que j'ai entendu les infos, pour les autres, je

n'en sais rien.

L'opération du commando israélien sur Baalbeck où 5 membres du Hezbollah ont été


1 – La descente des parachutistes a eu lieu sur un hôpital: Dar el Hekmat.

2 – La glorieuse bataille de ces soldats d'élite a fait 17 morts, dont huit enfants.

3 – Les cinq personnes enlevées sont des civils ordinaires habitant une maison voisine.

Deux d'entre eux, un père et son fils, s'appellent Nasrallah et n'ont aucun lien avec

le chef du Hezbollah (Nasrallah est un patronyme répandu non seulement au Liban, mais

au Proche-Orient, ex: Youssri Nasrallah, cinéaste égyptien chrétien ( pardonne-moi ce

distinguo mon ami Youssri, c'est pour la bonne cause) bien connu des milieux

cinématographiques français). Il est probable qu'ils soient sympathisants, comme plus

d'un million de personnes au Liban, mais il ne s'agit pas de combattants et encore

moins de "cadres" du Hezbollah. Un homme de plus de 70 ans fait partie des cinq

personnes enlevées.

4 – La voiture qui a quitté l'hôpital à toute vitesse et qui a été prise en chasse par

les israéliens et filmée par eux, avait à son bord un homme et sa femme, enceinte de 8

mois, qui se trouvaient à l'hôpital. Une première roquette atteint l'arrière du

véhicule. Les deux passagers sortent de la voiture en hurlant. L'hélicoptère fait

demi-tour et envoie un second projectile. L'homme réussit à échapper, la femme, moins

rapide, n'y parvient pas. Un peu plus tard, les gens du voisinage accourent et la

trouvent, le ventre éclaté et le fœtus projeté hors d'elle.  

Messieurs de TF 1, j'ai l'immense chagrin de vous faire part de la mort de Nesrine

Salloum, enceinte de 8 mois, victime de l'héroïque mission d'un valeureux commando

israélien sur un repaire de terroristes. Je réclame, pour elle, une minute de silence

(ce sera toujours ça de gagné sur vos mensonges).  

Vos envoyés spéciaux gagnent en un jour la moitié du salaire mensuel d'un enseignant

universitaire à Beyrouth. Faites votre métier correctement ou TAISEZ-VOUS!    

Roger Assaf


. Stop Destroying Lebanon Petition :
. Ceasefire Petition :
. Petition for the US Government :
.Association E-Arabesque :

4. Sites intéressants (articles) :



5. Blogs intéressants (récapitulatif) :

. En français :

. En anglais :

Découvrez un nouveau moyen de poser toutes vos questions quelque soit le sujet ! Yahoo! Questions/Réponses pour partager vos connaissances, vos opinions et vos expériences. Cliquez ici.

from Prof. Sheila Whittick :
7 August 2006
Counter Punch

Counterpunch Weekend Edition
August 5 / 6, 2006

The Case for Boycotting Israel

Boycott Now!

by Virginia Tilley

Johannesburg, South Africa

It is finally time. After years of internal arguments, confusion, and dithering, the time has come for a full-fledged international boycott of Israel. Good cause for a boycott has, of course, been in place for decades, as a raft of initiatives already attests. But Israel's war crimes are now so

shocking, its extremism so clear, the suffering so great, the UN so helpless, and the international community's need to contain Israel's behavior so urgent and compelling, that the time for global action has matured. A coordinated movement of divestment, sanctions, and boycotts against Israel must convene to contain not only Israel's aggressive acts and crimes against humanitarian law but also, as in South Africa, its founding racist logics that inspired and still drive the entire Palestinian problem.

That second goal of the boycott campaign is indeed the primary one. Calls for a boycott have long cited specific crimes: Israel's continual attacks on Palestinian civilians; its casual disdain for the Palestinian civilian lives "accidentally" destroyed in its assassinations and bombings; its deliberate ruin of the Palestinians' economic and social conditions; its continuing annexation and dismemberment of Palestinian land; its torture of prisoners; its contempt for UN resolutions and international law; and especially, its refusal to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. But the boycott cannot target these practices alone. It must target their ideological source.

The true offence to the international community is the racist motivation for these practices, which violates fundamental values and norms of the post-World War II order. That racial ideology isn't subtle or obscure. Mr. Olmert himself has repeatedly thumped the public podium about the "demographic threat" facing Israel: the "threat" that too many non-Jews will--the horror--someday become citizens of Israel. It is the "demographic threat" that, in Israeli doctrine, justifies sealing off the West Bank and Gaza Strip as open-air prisons for millions of people whose only real crime is that they are not Jewish. It is the "demographic threat," not security (Mr. Olmert has clarified), that requires the dreadful Wall to separate Arab and Jewish communities, now juxtaposed in a fragmented landscape, who might otherwise mingle.

"Demographic threat" is the most disgustingly racist phrase still openly deployed in international parlance. It has been mysteriously tolerated by a perplexed international community. But it can be tolerated no longer. Zionist fear of the demographic threat launched the expulsion of the indigenous Arab population in 1948 and 1967, created and perpetuates Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, inspires its terrible human rights abuses against Palestinians, spins into regional unrest like the 1982 attack on Lebanon (that gave rise to Hezbollah), and continues to drive Israeli militarism and aggression.

This open official racism and its attendant violence casts Israel into the ranks of pariah states, of which South Africa was the former banner emblem. In both countries, racist nationalist logic tormented and humiliated the native people. It also regularly spilled over to destabilize their surrounding regions (choc-a-block with "demographic threats"), leading both regimes to cruel and reckless attacks. Driven by a sense of perennial victimhood, they assumed the moral authority to crush the native hordes that threatened to dilute the organic Afrikaner/Jewish nations and the white/western civilization they believed they so nobly represented.

A humiliated white society in South Africa finally gave that myth up. Israel still clings to it. It has now brought Israel to pulverize Lebanon, trying to eliminate Hezbollah and, perhaps, to clear the way for an attack on Iran. Peace offers from the entire Arab world are cast aside like so much garbage. Yet again, the Middle East is plunged into chaos and turmoil, because a normal existence -- peace, full democracy -- is anathema to a regime that must see and treat its neighbors as an existential threat in order to justify the rejectionism that preserves its ethnic/racial character and enables its continuing annexations of land.

Why has this outrageously racist doctrine survived so long, rewarded by billions of dollars in US aid every year? We know the reasons. For too many Westerners, Israel's Jewish character conflates with the Holocaust legacy to make intuitive sense of Israel's claim to be under continual assault. Deep-seated Judeo-Christian bias against Islam demonizes Israel's mostly Muslim victims. European racist prejudice against Arabs (brown-skinned natives) casts their material dispossession as less humanly significant. Naïve Christian visions of the "Holy Land" naturalize Jewish governance in biblical landscapes. Idiot Christian evangelistic notions of the Rapture and the End Times posit Jewish governance as essential to the return of the Messiah and the final Millennium (even though, in that repellent narrative, Jews will roast afterwards).

All those notions and prejudices, long confounding international action, must now be set aside. The raw logic of Israel's distorted self-image and racist doctrines is expressed beyond confusion by the now-stark reality: the moonscape rubble of once-lovely Lebanese villages; a million desperate people trying to survive Israeli aerial attacks as they carry children and wheel disabled grandparents down cratered roads; the limp bodies of children pulled from the dusty basements of crushed buildings. This is the reality of Israel's national doctrine, the direct outcome of its racist worldview. It is endangering everyone, and it must stop.

Designing the Campaign

Much debate has circulated about a boycott campaign, but hitherto it has not moved beyond some ardent but isolated groups. Efforts have stalled on the usual difficult questions: e.g., whether a boycott is morally compulsory to reject Israel's rampant human rights violations or would impede vital engagement with Israeli forums, or whether principled defense of international law must be tempered by (bogus) calls for "balance". Especially, recent debate has foundered on calls for an academic boycott. Concerns here are reasonable, if rather narrow. Universities offer vital connections and arenas for collaboration, debate, and new thinking. Without such forums and their intellectual exchange, some argue, work toward a different future is arguably impeded.

But this argument has exploded along with the southern Lebanese villages, as Israeli university faculties roundly endorse the present war. As Ilan Pappé has repeatedly argued, Israel's universities are not forums for enlightened thought. They are crucibles of reproduction for racist Zionist logics and practice, monitoring and filtering admissible ideas. They produce the lawyers who defend the occupation regime and run its kangaroo "courts"; the civil planners and engineers who design and build the settlements on Palestinian land; the economists and financiers who design and implement the grants that subsidize those settlements; the geologists who facilitate seizure of Palestinian aquifers; the doctors who treat the tortured so that they can be tortured again; the historians and sociologists who make sense of a national society while preserving official lies about its own past; and the poets, playwrights, and novelists who compose the nationalist opus that glorifies and makes (internally, at least) moralistic sense of it all.

Those of us who have met with Jewish Israeli academics in Israeli universities find the vast majority of them, including well-meaning liberals, operating in a strange and unique bubble of enabling fictions. Most of them know nothing about Palestinian life, culture, or experience. They know strangely little about the occupation and its realities, which are crushing people just over the next hill. They have absorbed simplistic notions about rejectionist Arafat, terrorist Hamas, and urbane Abbas. In this special insulated world of illusions, they say nonsense things about unreal factors and fictionalized events. Trying to make sense of their assumptions is no more productive that conversing about the Middle East with the Bush administration's neo-cons, who also live in a strange bubble of ignorance and fantasy. Aside from a few brave and beleaguered souls, this is the world of Israel's universities. It will not change until it has to--when the conditions of its self-reproduction are impaired and its self-deceptions too glaring.

The Real Goal: Changing Minds

The universities represent and reproduce the bubble world of the Israeli Jewish population as a whole. And no people abandons its bubble willingly. In South Africa, Afrikaners clung to their own bubble--their self-exonerating myths about history, civilization, and race -- until they were forced by external sanctions and the collapsing national economy to rethink those myths. Their resistance to doing so, while racist, was not purely vicious. Many kind and well-meaning Afrikaners simply didn't believe they had to rethink ideas that manifested to them as givens and that shaped their reality. (One valued Afrikaner friend here recalls her life during apartheid South Africa as being like The Truman Show, a film in which a man unknowingly grows up in a television show, set in an artificial dome world designed to look like a small town.) When their reality fell apart, suddenly no one would admit to ever having believed or supported it.

The Zionist worldview is an even more complete system. All historical and geographic details are provided to create a total mythical world, in which Jews have rights to the land and Palestinians have none. It is a fully realized construction, like those Hebraized maps carefully drawn by the Zionist movement in the 1930s to erase the ancient Arabic landscape and substitute Hebrew biblical references. It is also very resilient. The "new historians" have exposed the cherished national historical narrative of 1948 and 1967 as a load of fictions, but the same fictions are still reproduced by state agencies to assure Israeli and diaspora Jews of their innocence and the righteousness of their cause. The vast majority of Israelis therefore remain comfortable in their Truman Show and even see any external pressure or criticism as substantiating it. We need no more graphic evidence of that campaign's success than the overwhelming support among Israeli Jews for the present catastrophic assault on Lebanon, reflecting their sincere beliefs that nuclear-power Israel is actually under existential threat by a guerrilla group lobbing katyushas across the border. Staggering to observers, that belief is both sobering and instructive.

To force people steeped in such a worldview to rethink their notions, their historical myths, and their own best interests requires two efforts:

(1) Serious external pressure: here, a full boycott that undermines Israel's capacity to sustain the economic standards its citizens and corporations expect, and which they associate with their own progressive self-image; and

(2) clear and unwavering commitment to the boycott's goal, which--in Israel as in South Africa--must be full equality, dignity, safety, and welfare of everyone in the land, including Palestinians, whose ancestral culture arose there, and the Jewish population, which has built a national society there.

That combination is essential. Nothing else will work. Diplomacy, threats, pleading, the "peace process," mediation, all will be useless until external pressure brings Israel's entire Jewish population to undertake the very difficult task of rethinking their world. This pressure requires the full range of boycotts, sanctions, and divestment that the world can employ. (South African intellectual Steven Friedman has observed wryly that the way to bring down any established settler-colonial regime is to make it choose between profits and identity. Profits, he says, will win every time.)


What to Target

Fortunately, from the South African experience, we know how to go forward, and strategies are proliferating. The basic methods of an international boycott campaign are familiar. First, each person works in his or her own immediate orbit. People might urge divestment from companies investing in Israel by their colleges and universities, corporations, clubs, and churches. Boycott any sports event that hosts an Israeli team, and work with planners to exclude them. Participate in, and visit, no Israeli cultural events--films, plays, music, art exhibits. Avoid collaborating with Israeli professional colleagues, except on anti-racist activism. Don't invite any Israeli academic or writer to contribute to any conference or research and don't attend their panels or buy their books, unless their work is engaged directly in anti-racist activism. Don't visit Israel except for purposes of anti-racist activism. Buy nothing made in Israel: start looking at labels on olive oil, oranges, and clothing. Tell people what you are doing and why. Set up discussion groups everywhere to explain why.

For ideas and allies, try Googling the "boycott Israel" and "sanctions against Israel" campaigns springing up around the world. Know those allies, like the major churches, and tell people about them. For more ideas, read about the history of the boycott of South Africa.

Second, don't be confused by liberal Zionist alternatives that argue against a boycott in favor of "dialogue". If we can draw any conclusion from the last half-century, it is that, without the boycott, dialogue will go nowhere. And don't be confused by liberal-Zionist arguments that Israel will allow Palestinians a state if they only do this or that. Israel is already the only sovereign power in Palestine: what fragments are left to Palestinians cannot make a state. The question now is not whether there is one state, but what kind of state it comprises. The present version is apartheid, and it must change. However difficult to achieve, and however frightening to Jewish Israelis, the only just and stable solution is full democracy.

Third, be prepared for the boycott's opposition, which will be much louder, more vicious, and more dangerous than it was in the boycott of South Africa. Read and assemble solid documentable facts. Support each other loudly and publicly against the inevitable charges of anti-Semitism. And support your media against the same charges. Write to news media and explain just who the "Israel media teams" actually are. Most pro-Israeli activism draws directly from the Israeli government's propaganda outreach programs. Spotlight this fact. Team up to counter their pressure on newspapers, radio stations, and television news forums. Don't let them capture or intimidate public debate. By insisting loudly (and it must be sincere) that the goal is the full equality of dignity and rights of everyone in Israel-Palestine, including the millions of Jewish citizens of Israel, demolish their specious claims of anti-Semitism.

Finally, hold true to the principles that drive the boycott's mission. Don't tolerate the slightest whiff of anti-Semitism in your own group or movement. Anti-Jewish racists are certainly out there, and they are attracted to these campaigns like roaches. They will distract and absorb your energies, while undermining, degrading, and destroying the boycott movement. Some are Zionist plants, who will do so deliberately. If you can't change their minds (and don't spend much time trying, because they will use your efforts to drain your time and distract your energies), denounce them, expel them, ignore them, have no truck with them. They are the enemy of a peaceful future, not its allies--part of the problem, not the solution.


Boycott the Hegemon

This is the moment to turn international pressure on the complicit US, too. It's impossible, today, to exert an effective boycott on the United States, as its products are far too ubiquitous in our lives. But it's quick and easy to launch a boycott of emblematic US products, upsetting its major corporations. It's especially easy to boycott the great global consumables, like Coca-Cola, MacDonald's, Burger King, and KFC, whose leverage has brought anti-democratic pressures on governments the world over. (Through ugly monopoly practices, Coke is a nasty player in developing countries anyway: see, for example, http://www.killercoke.org.) Think you'll miss these foods too much? Is consuming something else for a while too much of a sacrifice, given what is happening to people in Lebanon? And think of the local products you'll be supporting! (And how healthy you will get).

In the US, the impact of these measures may be small. But in Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the Arab and Muslim worlds, boycotting these famous brands can gain national scope and the impact on corporate profits will be enormous. Never underestimate the power of US corporations to leverage US foreign policy. They are the one force that consistently does so.

But always, always, remember the goal and vision. Anger and hatred, arising from the Lebanon debacle, must be channelled not into retaliation and vengeance but into principled action. Armed struggle against occupation remains legitimate and, if properly handled (no killing of civilians), is a key tool. But the goal of all efforts, of every stamp, must be to secure security for everyone, toward building a new peaceful future. It's very hard, in the midst of our moral outrage, to stay on the high road. That challenge is, however, well-known to human rights campaigns as it is to all three monotheistic faiths. It is what Islam knows as the "great jihad"--the struggle of the heart. It must remain the guiding torch of this effort, which we must defend together.

Virginia Tilley is a professor of political science, a US citizen working in South Africa, and author of The One-State Solution: A Breakthrough for Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Deadlock (University of Michigan Press and Manchester University Press, 2005). She can be reached at tilley@hws.edu.

Copyright Virginia Tilley and CounterPunch.

from Truthout :
21 August 2006
The New Yorker

Watching Lebanon
    By Seymour M. Hersh

 In the days after Hezbollah crossed from Lebanon into Israel, on July 12th, to kidnap two soldiers, triggering an Israeli air attack on Lebanon and a full-scale war, the Bush Administration seemed strangely passive. "It's a moment of clarification," President George W. Bush said at the G-8 summit, in St. Petersburg, on July 16th. "It's now become clear why we don't have peace in the Middle East." He described the relationship between Hezbollah and its supporters in Iran and Syria as one of the "root causes of instability," and subsequently said that it was up to those countries to end the crisis. Two days later, despite calls from several governments for the United States to take the lead in negotiations to end the fighting, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that a ceasefire should be put off until "the conditions are conducive."

    The Bush Administration, however, was closely involved in the planning of Israel's retaliatory attacks. President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced, current and former intelligence and diplomatic officials told me, that a successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hezbollah's heavily fortified underground-missile and command-and-control complexes in Lebanon could ease Israel's security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American preëmptive attack to destroy Iran's nuclear installations, some of which are also buried deep underground.

    Israeli military and intelligence experts I spoke to emphasized that the country's immediate security issues were reason enough to confront Hezbollah, regardless of what the Bush Administration wanted. Shabtai Shavit, a national-security adviser to the Knesset who headed the Mossad, Israel's foreign-intelligence service, from 1989 to 1996, told me, "We do what we think is best for us, and if it happens to meet America's requirements, that's just part of a relationship between two friends. Hezbollah is armed to the teeth and trained in the most advanced technology of guerrilla warfare. It was just a matter of time. We had to address it."

    Hezbollah is seen by Israelis as a profound threat - a terrorist organization, operating on their border, with a military arsenal that, with help from Iran and Syria, has grown stronger since the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon ended, in 2000. Hezbollah's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has said he does not believe that Israel is a "legal state." Israeli intelligence estimated at the outset of the air war that Hezbollah had roughly five hundred medium-range Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rockets and a few dozen long-range Zelzal rockets; the Zelzals, with a range of about two hundred kilometres, could reach Tel Aviv. (One rocket hit Haifa the day after the kidnappings.) It also has more than twelve thousand shorter-range rockets. Since the conflict began, more than three thousand of these have been fired at Israel.

    According to a Middle East expert with knowledge of the current thinking of both the Israeli and the U.S. governments, Israel had devised a plan for attacking Hezbollah - and shared it with Bush Administration officials - well before the July 12th kidnappings. "It's not that the Israelis had a trap that Hezbollah walked into," he said, "but there was a strong feeling in the White House that sooner or later the Israelis were going to do it."

    The Middle East expert said that the Administration had several reasons for supporting the Israeli bombing campaign. Within the State Department, it was seen as a way to strengthen the Lebanese government so that it could assert its authority over the south of the country, much of which is controlled by Hezbollah. He went on, "The White House was more focussed on stripping Hezbollah of its missiles, because, if there was to be a military option against Iran's nuclear facilities, it had to get rid of the weapons that Hezbollah could use in a potential retaliation at Israel. Bush wanted both. Bush was going after Iran, as part of the Axis of Evil, and its nuclear sites, and he was interested in going after Hezbollah as part of his interest in democratization, with Lebanon as one of the crown jewels of Middle East democracy."

    Administration officials denied that they knew of Israel's plan for the air war. The White House did not respond to a detailed list of questions. In response to a separate request, a National Security Council spokesman said, "Prior to Hezbollah's attack on Israel, the Israeli government gave no official in Washington any reason to believe that Israel was planning to attack. Even after the July 12th attack, we did not know what the Israeli plans were." A Pentagon spokesman said, "The United States government remains committed to a diplomatic solution to the problem of Iran's clandestine nuclear weapons program," and denied the story, as did a State Department spokesman.

    The United States and Israel have shared intelligence and enjoyed close military coöperation for decades, but early this spring, according to a former senior intelligence official, high-level planners from the U.S. Air Force - under pressure from the White House to develop a war plan for a decisive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities - began consulting with their counterparts in the Israeli Air Force.

    "The big question for our Air Force was how to hit a series of hard targets in Iran successfully," the former senior intelligence official said. "Who is the closest ally of the U.S. Air Force in its planning? It's not Congo - it's Israel. Everybody knows that Iranian engineers have been advising Hezbollah on tunnels and underground gun emplacements. And so the Air Force went to the Israelis with some new tactics and said to them, 'Let's concentrate on the bombing and share what we have on Iran and what you have on Lebanon.' " The discussions reached the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, he said.

    "The Israelis told us it would be a cheap war with many benefits," a U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel said. "Why oppose it? We'll be able to hunt down and bomb missiles, tunnels, and bunkers from the air. It would be a demo for Iran."

    A Pentagon consultant said that the Bush White House "has been agitating for some time to find a reason for a preëmptive blow against Hezbollah." He added, "It was our intent to have Hezbollah diminished, and now we have someone else doing it." (As this article went to press, the United Nations Security Council passed a ceasefire resolution, although it was unclear if it would change the situation on the ground.)

    According to Richard Armitage, who served as Deputy Secretary of State in Bush's first term - and who, in 2002, said that Hezbollah "may be the A team of terrorists" - Israel's campaign in Lebanon, which has faced unexpected difficulties and widespread criticism, may, in the end, serve as a warning to the White House about Iran. "If the most dominant military force in the region - the Israel Defense Forces - can't pacify a country like Lebanon, with a population of four million, you should think carefully about taking that template to Iran, with strategic depth and a population of seventy million," Armitage said. "The only thing that the bombing has achieved so far is to unite the population against the Israelis."

    Several current and former officials involved in the Middle East told me that Israel viewed the soldiers' kidnapping as the opportune moment to begin its planned military campaign against Hezbollah. "Hezbollah, like clockwork, was instigating something small every month or two," the U.S. government consultant with ties to Israel said. Two weeks earlier, in late June, members of Hamas, the Palestinian group, had tunnelled under the barrier separating southern Gaza from Israel and captured an Israeli soldier. Hamas also had lobbed a series of rockets at Israeli towns near the border with Gaza. In response, Israel had initiated an extensive bombing campaign and reoccupied parts of Gaza.

    The Pentagon consultant noted that there had also been cross-border incidents involving Israel and Hezbollah, in both directions, for some time. "They've been sniping at each other," he said. "Either side could have pointed to some incident and said 'We have to go to war with these guys' - because they were already at war."

    David Siegel, the spokesman at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, said that the Israeli Air Force had not been seeking a reason to attack Hezbollah. "We did not plan the campaign. That decision was forced on us." There were ongoing alerts that Hezbollah "was pressing to go on the attack," Siegel said. "Hezbollah attacks every two or three months," but the kidnapping of the soldiers raised the stakes.

    In interviews, several Israeli academics, journalists, and retired military and intelligence officers all made one point: they believed that the Israeli leadership, and not Washington, had decided that it would go to war with Hezbollah. Opinion polls showed that a broad spectrum of Israelis supported that choice. "The neocons in Washington may be happy, but Israel did not need to be pushed, because Israel has been wanting to get rid of Hezbollah," Yossi Melman, a journalist for the newspaper Ha'aretz, who has written several books about the Israeli intelligence community, said. "By provoking Israel, Hezbollah provided that opportunity."

    "We were facing a dilemma," an Israeli official said. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "had to decide whether to go for a local response, which we always do, or for a comprehensive response - to really take on Hezbollah once and for all." Olmert made his decision, the official said, only after a series of Israeli rescue efforts failed.

    The U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel told me, however, that, from Israel's perspective, the decision to take strong action had become inevitable weeks earlier, after the Israeli Army's signals intelligence group, known as Unit 8200, picked up bellicose intercepts in late spring and early summer, involving Hamas, Hezbollah, and Khaled Meshal, the Hamas leader now living in Damascus.

    One intercept was of a meeting in late May of the Hamas political and military leadership, with Meshal participating by telephone. "Hamas believed the call from Damascus was scrambled, but Israel had broken the code," the consultant said. For almost a year before its victory in the Palestinian elections in January, Hamas had curtailed its terrorist activities. In the late May intercepted conversation, the consultant told me, the Hamas leadership said that "they got no benefit from it, and were losing standing among the Palestinian population." The conclusion, he said, was " 'Let's go back into the terror business and then try and wrestle concessions from the Israeli government.' " The consultant told me that the U.S. and Israel agreed that if the Hamas leadership did so, and if Nasrallah backed them up, there should be "a full-scale response." In the next several weeks, when Hamas began digging the tunnel into Israel, the consultant said, Unit 8200 "picked up signals intelligence involving Hamas, Syria, and Hezbollah, saying, in essence, that they wanted Hezbollah to 'warm up' the north." In one intercept, the consultant said, Nasrallah referred to Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz "as seeming to be weak," in comparison with the former Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak, who had extensive military experience, and said "he thought Israel would respond in a small-scale, local way, as they had in the past."

    Earlier this summer, before the Hezbollah kidnappings, the U.S. government consultant said, several Israeli officials visited Washington, separately, "to get a green light for the bombing operation and to find out how much the United States would bear." The consultant added, "Israel began with Cheney. It wanted to be sure that it had his support and the support of his office and the Middle East desk of the National Security Council." After that, "persuading Bush was never a problem, and Condi Rice was on board," the consultant said.

    The initial plan, as outlined by the Israelis, called for a major bombing campaign in response to the next Hezbollah provocation, according to the Middle East expert with knowledge of U.S. and Israeli thinking. Israel believed that, by targeting Lebanon's infrastructure, including highways, fuel depots, and even the civilian runways at the main Beirut airport, it could persuade Lebanon's large Christian and Sunni populations to turn against Hezbollah, according to the former senior intelligence official. The airport, highways, and bridges, among other things, have been hit in the bombing campaign. The Israeli Air Force had flown almost nine thousand missions as of last week. (David Siegel, the Israeli spokesman, said that Israel had targeted only sites connected to Hezbollah; the bombing of bridges and roads was meant to prevent the transport of weapons.)

    The Israeli plan, according to the former senior intelligence official, was "the mirror image of what the United States has been planning for Iran." (The initial U.S. Air Force proposals for an air attack to destroy Iran's nuclear capacity, which included the option of intense bombing of civilian infrastructure targets inside Iran, have been resisted by the top leadership of the Army, the Navy, and the Marine Corps, according to current and former officials. They argue that the Air Force plan will not work and will inevitably lead, as in the Israeli war with Hezbollah, to the insertion of troops on the ground.)

    Uzi Arad, who served for more than two decades in the Mossad, told me that to the best of his knowledge the contacts between the Israeli and U.S. governments were routine, and that, "in all my meetings and conversations with government officials, never once did I hear anyone refer to prior coördination with the United States." He was troubled by one issue - the speed with which the Olmert government went to war. "For the life of me, I've never seen a decision to go to war taken so speedily," he said. "We usually go through long analyses."

    The key military planner was Lieutenant General Dan Halutz, the I.D.F. chief of staff, who, during a career in the Israeli Air Force, worked on contingency planning for an air war with Iran. Olmert, a former mayor of Jerusalem, and Peretz, a former labor leader, could not match his experience and expertise.

    In the early discussions with American officials, I was told by the Middle East expert and the government consultant, the Israelis repeatedly pointed to the war in Kosovo as an example of what Israel would try to achieve. The NATO forces commanded by U.S. Army General Wesley Clark methodically bombed and strafed not only military targets but tunnels, bridges, and roads, in Kosovo and elsewhere in Serbia, for seventy-eight days before forcing Serbian forces to withdraw from Kosovo. "Israel studied the Kosovo war as its role model," the government consultant said. "The Israelis told Condi Rice, 'You did it in about seventy days, but we need half of that - thirty-five days.' "

    There are, of course, vast differences between Lebanon and Kosovo. Clark, who retired from the military in 2000 and unsuccessfully ran as a Democrat for the Presidency in 2004, took issue with the analogy: "If it's true that the Israeli campaign is based on the American approach in Kosovo, then it missed the point. Ours was to use force to obtain a diplomatic objective - it was not about killing people." Clark noted in a 2001 book, "Waging Modern War," that it was the threat of a possible ground invasion as well as the bombing that forced the Serbs to end the war. He told me, "In my experience, air campaigns have to be backed, ultimately, by the will and capability to finish the job on the ground."

    Kosovo has been cited publicly by Israeli officials and journalists since the war began. On August 6th, Prime Minister Olmert, responding to European condemnation of the deaths of Lebanese civilians, said, "Where do they get the right to preach to Israel? European countries attacked Kosovo and killed ten thousand civilians. Ten thousand! And none of these countries had to suffer before that from a single rocket. I'm not saying it was wrong to intervene in Kosovo. But please: don't preach to us about the treatment of civilians." (Human Rights Watch estimated the number of civilians killed in the NATO bombing to be five hundred; the Yugoslav government put the number between twelve hundred and five thousand.)

    Cheney's office supported the Israeli plan, as did Elliott Abrams, a deputy national-security adviser, according to several former and current officials. (A spokesman for the N.S.C. denied that Abrams had done so.) They believed that Israel should move quickly in its air war against Hezbollah. A former intelligence officer said, "We told Israel, 'Look, if you guys have to go, we're behind you all the way. But we think it should be sooner rather than later - the longer you wait, the less time we have to evaluate and plan for Iran before Bush gets out of office.' "

    Cheney's point, the former senior intelligence official said, was "What if the Israelis execute their part of this first, and it's really successful? It'd be great. We can learn what to do in Iran by watching what the Israelis do in Lebanon."

    The Pentagon consultant told me that intelligence about Hezbollah and Iran is being mishandled by the White House the same way intelligence had been when, in 2002 and early 2003, the Administration was making the case that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. "The big complaint now in the intelligence community is that all of the important stuff is being sent directly to the top - at the insistence of the White House - and not being analyzed at all, or scarcely," he said. "It's an awful policy and violates all of the N.S.A.'s strictures, and if you complain about it you're out," he said. "Cheney had a strong hand in this."

    The long-term Administration goal was to help set up a Sunni Arab coalition - including countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt - that would join the United States and Europe to pressure the ruling Shiite mullahs in Iran. "But the thought behind that plan was that Israel would defeat Hezbollah, not lose to it," the consultant with close ties to Israel said. Some officials in Cheney's office and at the N.S.C. had become convinced, on the basis of private talks, that those nations would moderate their public criticism of Israel and blame Hezbollah for creating the crisis that led to war. Although they did so at first, they shifted their position in the wake of public protests in their countries about the Israeli bombing. The White House was clearly disappointed when, late last month, Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, came to Washington and, at a meeting with Bush, called for the President to intervene immediately to end the war. The Washington Post reported that Washington had hoped to enlist moderate Arab states "in an effort to pressure Syria and Iran to rein in Hezbollah, but the Saudi move . . . seemed to cloud that initiative."

    The surprising strength of Hezbollah's resistance, and its continuing ability to fire rockets into northern Israel in the face of the constant Israeli bombing, the Middle East expert told me, "is a massive setback for those in the White House who want to use force in Iran. And those who argue that the bombing will create internal dissent and revolt in Iran are also set back."

    Nonetheless, some officers serving with the Joint Chiefs of Staff remain deeply concerned that the Administration will have a far more positive assessment of the air campaign than they should, the former senior intelligence official said. "There is no way that Rumsfeld and Cheney will draw the right conclusion about this," he said. "When the smoke clears, they'll say it was a success, and they'll draw reinforcement for their plan to attack Iran."

    In the White House, especially in the Vice-President's office, many officials believe that the military campaign against Hezbollah is working and should be carried forward. At the same time, the government consultant said, some policymakers in the Administration have concluded that the cost of the bombing to Lebanese society is too high. "They are telling Israel that it's time to wind down the attacks on infrastructure."

    Similar divisions are emerging in Israel. David Siegel, the Israeli spokesman, said that his country's leadership believed, as of early August, that the air war had been successful, and had destroyed more than seventy per cent of Hezbollah's medium- and long-range-missile launching capacity. "The problem is short-range missiles, without launchers, that can be shot from civilian areas and homes," Siegel told me. "The only way to resolve this is ground operations - which is why Israel would be forced to expand ground operations if the latest round of diplomacy doesn't work." Last week, however, there was evidence that the Israeli government was troubled by the progress of the war. In an unusual move, Major General Moshe Kaplinsky, Halutz's deputy, was put in charge of the operation, supplanting Major General Udi Adam. The worry in Israel is that Nasrallah might escalate the crisis by firing missiles at Tel Aviv. "There is a big debate over how much damage Israel should inflict to prevent it," the consultant said. "If Nasrallah hits Tel Aviv, what should Israel do? Its goal is to deter more attacks by telling Nasrallah that it will destroy his country if he doesn't stop, and to remind the Arab world that Israel can set it back twenty years. We're no longer playing by the same rules."

    A European intelligence officer told me, "The Israelis have been caught in a psychological trap. In earlier years, they had the belief that they could solve their problems with toughness. But now, with Islamic martyrdom, things have changed, and they need different answers. How do you scare people who love martyrdom?" The problem with trying to eliminate Hezbollah, the intelligence officer said, is the group's ties to the Shiite population in southern Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley, and Beirut's southern suburbs, where it operates schools, hospitals, a radio station, and various charities.

    A high-level American military planner told me, "We have a lot of vulnerability in the region, and we've talked about some of the effects of an Iranian or Hezbollah attack on the Saudi regime and on the oil infrastructure." There is special concern inside the Pentagon, he added, about the oil-producing nations north of the Strait of Hormuz. "We have to anticipate the unintended consequences," he told me. "Will we be able to absorb a barrel of oil at one hundred dollars? There is this almost comical thinking that you can do it all from the air, even when you're up against an irregular enemy with a dug-in capability. You're not going to be successful unless you have a ground presence, but the political leadership never considers the worst case. These guys only want to hear the best case."

    There is evidence that the Iranians were expecting the war against Hezbollah. Vali Nasr, an expert on Shiite Muslims and Iran, who is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and also teaches at the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, California, said, "Every negative American move against Hezbollah was seen by Iran as part of a larger campaign against it. And Iran began to prepare for the showdown by supplying more sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah - anti-ship and anti-tank missiles - and training its fighters in their use. And now Hezbollah is testing Iran's new weapons. Iran sees the Bush Administration as trying to marginalize its regional role, so it fomented trouble."

    Nasr, an Iranian-American who recently published a study of the Sunni-Shiite divide, entitled "The Shia Revival," also said that the Iranian leadership believes that Washington's ultimate political goal is to get some international force to act as a buffer - to physically separate Syria and Lebanon in an effort to isolate and disarm Hezbollah, whose main supply route is through Syria. "Military action cannot bring about the desired political result," Nasr said. The popularity of Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a virulent critic of Israel, is greatest in his own country. If the U.S. were to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, Nasr said, "you may end up turning Ahmadinejad into another Nasrallah - the rock star of the Arab street."

    Donald Rumsfeld, who is one of the Bush Administration's most outspoken, and powerful, officials, has said very little publicly about the crisis in Lebanon. His relative quiet, compared to his aggressive visibility in the run-up to the Iraq war, has prompted a debate in Washington about where he stands on the issue.

    Some current and former intelligence officials who were interviewed for this article believe that Rumsfeld disagrees with Bush and Cheney about the American role in the war between Israel and Hezbollah. The U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel said that "there was a feeling that Rumsfeld was jaded in his approach to the Israeli war." He added, "Air power and the use of a few Special Forces had worked in Afghanistan, and he tried to do it again in Iraq. It was the same idea, but it didn't work. He thought that Hezbollah was too dug in and the Israeli attack plan would not work, and the last thing he wanted was another war on his shift that would put the American forces in Iraq in greater jeopardy."

    A Western diplomat said that he understood that Rumsfeld did not know all the intricacies of the war plan. "He is angry and worried about his troops" in Iraq, the diplomat said. Rumsfeld served in the White House during the last year of the war in Vietnam, from which American troops withdrew in 1975, "and he did not want to see something like this having an impact in Iraq." Rumsfeld's concern, the diplomat added, was that an expansion of the war into Iran could put the American troops in Iraq at greater risk of attacks by pro-Iranian Shiite militias.

    At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on August 3rd, Rumsfeld was less than enthusiastic about the war's implications for the American troops in Iraq. Asked whether the Administration was mindful of the war's impact on Iraq, he testified that, in his meetings with Bush and Condoleezza Rice, "there is a sensitivity to the desire to not have our country or our interests or our forces put at greater risk as a result of what's taking place between Israel and Hezbollah. . . . There are a variety of risks that we face in that region, and it's a difficult and delicate situation."

    The Pentagon consultant dismissed talk of a split at the top of the Administration, however, and said simply, "Rummy is on the team. He'd love to see Hezbollah degraded, but he also is a voice for less bombing and more innovative Israeli ground operations." The former senior intelligence official similarly depicted Rumsfeld as being "delighted that Israel is our stalking horse."

    There are also questions about the status of Condoleezza Rice. Her initial support for the Israeli air war against Hezbollah has reportedly been tempered by dismay at the effects of the attacks on Lebanon. The Pentagon consultant said that in early August she began privately "agitating" inside the Administration for permission to begin direct diplomatic talks with Syria - so far, without much success. Last week, the Times reported that Rice had directed an Embassy official in Damascus to meet with the Syrian foreign minister, though the meeting apparently yielded no results. The Times also reported that Rice viewed herself as "trying to be not only a peacemaker abroad but also a mediator among contending parties" within the Administration. The article pointed to a divide between career diplomats in the State Department and "conservatives in the government," including Cheney and Abrams, "who were pushing for strong American support for Israel."

    The Western diplomat told me his embassy believes that Abrams has emerged as a key policymaker on Iran, and on the current Hezbollah-Israeli crisis, and that Rice's role has been relatively diminished. Rice did not want to make her most recent diplomatic trip to the Middle East, the diplomat said. "She only wanted to go if she thought there was a real chance to get a ceasefire."

    Bush's strongest supporter in Europe continues to be British Prime Minister Tony Blair, but many in Blair's own Foreign Office, as a former diplomat said, believe that he has "gone out on a particular limb on this" - especially by accepting Bush's refusal to seek an immediate and total ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah. "Blair stands alone on this," the former diplomat said. "He knows he's a lame duck who's on the way out, but he buys it" - the Bush policy. "He drinks the White House Kool-Aid as much as anybody in Washington." The crisis will really start at the end of August, the diplomat added, "when the Iranians" - under a United Nations deadline to stop uranium enrichment - "will say no."

    Even those who continue to support Israel's war against Hezbollah agree that it is failing to achieve one of its main goals - to rally the Lebanese against Hezbollah. "Strategic bombing has been a failed military concept for ninety years, and yet air forces all over the world keep on doing it," John Arquilla, a defense analyst at the Naval Postgraduate School, told me. Arquilla has been campaigning for more than a decade, with growing success, to change the way America fights terrorism. "The warfare of today is not mass on mass," he said. "You have to hunt like a network to defeat a network. Israel focussed on bombing against Hezbollah, and, when that did not work, it became more aggressive on the ground. The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result."


from Edward Herman :
13 August 2006

Le nettoyage ethnique d'Israël
Ed Herman  Envoyer à un(e) ami(e)    Imprimer
Comment l’Ouest et la Presse Libre Ont Accepté, Approuvé, et Occulté l’Interminable Nettoyage Ethnique d’Israël et son Racisme Institutionnalisé, en Violation de Toutes les Prétendues Valeurs des Lumières, Sous l’Image Hypocrite d’un Drame Cornélien.
 Le Nettoyage Ethnique Israélien ou « l’Instinct Moral » refoulé

L’un des clichés les plus vaseux des « intellectuels d’interventions humanitaires » comme des éditeurs et magnats de la presse, est que les Droits de l’Homme sont devenus l’une des principales préoccupations de Etats-Unis et des autres puissances de l’ONU, et l’un des axes majeurs de leur politique étrangère de ces dernières décennies. Pour David Rieff, « Dans toutes les grandes capitales européennes, les Droits de l’Homme se sont imposés comme un principe, non purement rhétorique, mais opérationnel. » Son collègue Michael Ignatieff, autre zélateur de l’appel aux armes, assure que nos « instincts moraux », exaltés, ont renforcé « l’audace d’intervenir aussitôt que massacre et déportation deviennent une politique gouvernementale. » [David Rieff, “A New Age of Liberal Imperialism?,” World Policy Journal, été 1999. Ignatieff est cité par Rieff] Cette perspective s’est construite en grande part sur une relecture de l’expérience de certaines phases du démantèlement de la Yougoslavie, dans les années 90, où la ligne de propagande voulait que l’OTAN soit intervenu dans le conflit, tardivement et à contre cœur mais non sans succès, afin de mettre un terme au nettoyage ethnique et au génocide perpétrés par les Serbes. L’intervention était supposée avoir été l’expression profonde de l’humanisme de MM. Blair, Clinton, Kohl, Schroeder, soutenue et exigée de ces dirigeants par les journalistes et les grands défenseurs des Droits de l’Homme.

Bon nombre de choses étaient inexactes dans cette version de l’histoire récente des Balkans, l’une, et non des moindres, étant que l’intervention de l’OTAN n’avait nullement été tardive – lancée très tôt, elle avait même été l’une des principales causes du nettoyage ethnique qui avait suivi, ayant favorisé l’éclatement de la Yougoslavie sur un mode qui laissait sans protection d’importantes minorités enclavées dans les républiques nouvellement formées, un facteur majeur de conflit ethnique. En outre, l’intervention sapait les accords de paix signés entre ces différents états entre 1992 et 1994, et encourageait les minorités non serbes à solliciter l’assistance militaire de l’OTAN pour trancher le différend en leur faveur – ce qui leur fut effectivement accordé. Activement ou passivement, les puissances de l’OTAN contribuèrent au nettoyage ethnique le plus systématique de toutes les guerres des Balkans, à savoir celui des Serbes, dans la province croate de Krajina et dans le Kosovo occupé par l’OTAN, à partir de juin 1999. [cf. Susan Woodward, Balkan Tragedy (Brookings: 1995); Diana Johnstone, Fools’ Crusade (Pluto and Monthly Review: 1999); David Owen, Balkan Odyssey (Harcourt Brace: 1995); Lenard J. Cohen, Serpent in the Bosom: The Rise and Fall of Slobodan Milosevic (Westview: 2001).]

L’idée que l’intervention de l’OTAN était, de A à Z, fondamentalement humanitaire pose, bien sûr, d’autres problèmes mais on aurait tort de négliger l’aspect sélectif de cette présentation des faits et ce qu’il peut avoir d’intrinsèquement politique. Le silence des humanitaro-interventionnistes était assourdissant lorsque, dans les années 90, l’Indonésie accumulait massacres et déportations au Timor Oriental, que la Turquie exterminait sa minorité kurde, incendiant village après village, que des milliers de réfugiés fuyaient les massacres en Colombie et que le Congo [sombrait dans une guerre civile qui fit près d’un million de morts par an sur cinq ans], en grande partie du fait de la présence d’envahisseurs Rwandais et Ougandais. Curieusement, « l’instinct moral » des politiciens humanitaires semblait s’évanouir dans certains cas – ceux justement où les bourreaux étaient de bons clients de ces mêmes politiciens, dont ils recevaient équipements, soutien et encadrement militaire. Curieusement, « l’instinct moral » des interventionnistes, intellectuels et journalistes humanitaires peinait à dépasser la focalisation biaisée de leurs leaders politiques, au point de s’y retrouver même parfaitement aligné. Cet alignement facilitait bien la tâche des leaders politiques, qui s’acharnaient d’autant plus violemment contre les « méchants » officiels, car il détournait l’attention des exactions que les « méchants » officieux infligeaient à des victimes (implicitement reconnues) sans intérêt.

Israël, un Cas d’Ecole.
Le cas le plus intéressant, et sans doute le plus flagrant, d’inhibition de « l’instinct moral », peut être observé vis-à-vis d’Israël, un pays qui a mené des décennies durant une politique systématique de spoliation et de nettoyage ethnique des Palestiniens, en Cisjordanie et à Jérusalem Est notamment, non seulement sans provoquer de réaction ferme de la part du Monde Libre, mais avec l’indéfectible soutien des Etats-Unis et des effusions de ferveur et d’encouragements chez leurs très démocratiques alliés. L’aversion spontanée des leaders politiques occidentaux et des intellectuels humanitaires et médiatiques, à l’égard de « méchants » officiels tels qu’Arafat, Chavez, ou Milosevic, lors même qu’ils tiennent avec égards Begin, Netanyahu ou Sharon, pour de respectables hommes d’Etat, méritant incontestablement notre soutien économique, militaire et diplomatique, est véritablement un prodige d’auto-duperie, d’inconséquence, de duplicité et de turpitude morale.

Que les exactions comme les fondements mêmes de l’Etat d’Israël puissent bafouer aussi ouvertement l’intégralité des valeurs des Lumières, que nous tenons pour le fondement par excellence des civilisations occidentales, tient littéralement du miracle.

Premièrement, c’est un Etat raciste, idéologiquement et législativement. Israël est officiellement un Etat juif, 90 % des terres est exclusivement réservé aux juifs, les Palestiniens se sont vu interdire tout achat ou leasing de terres annexées par l’Etat depuis 1948, mais les juifs du monde entier peuvent en toute légalité émigrer et obtenir, avec la nationalité israélienne, davantage de privilèges que les indigènes non juifs. Ce type d’idéologie et de législation était inacceptable lorsqu’il s’agissait de la politique d’apartheid en Afrique du Sud – rappelons que Reagan n’en était pas moins « constructivement engagé » auprès de cet Etat que Margaret Thatcher jugeait, pour sa part, tout à fait acceptable, et que les opérations « anti-terroristes » sud-africaines étaient coordonnées à celles du Monde Libre. [cette intégration des services de sécurité et des “experts,” occidentaux incluant l’apartheid sud-africain, se trouve décrite dans The Terrorism Industry, d’Edward Herman et Gerry O’Sullivan, (Pantheon: 1990).] Le traitement des juifs par les nazis en Allemagne, même avant l’organisation des camps de la mort, était considéré comme monstrueux. Il l’est toujours. De même l’attitude des autorités soviétiques à l’égard de leur communauté juive, qui entraîna aux USA l’instauration d’une législation punitive (la loi Jackson-Vanik, toujours en vigueur). Mais les lois israéliennes, analogues à celles de Nuremberg, et la construction d’un Etat fondé sur la discrimination raciale, demeurent tout à fait acceptables aux yeux des héritiers des Lumières. Le « peuple élu » remplace la « race des maîtres » et non seulement le principe devient acceptable, mais Israël devient un modèle de démocratie et « de lumière aux yeux du monde » (Anthony Lewis). Par voie de conséquence, la création par Israël d’une catégorie d’humains classés de facto comme citoyens de seconde classe, devant la loi (et d’une catégorie encore inférieure dans les territoires occupés), officiellement et politiquement « undermenschen », est tout aussi acceptable. Un système unique de « racisme d’exception. »

Deuxièmement, l’Etat d’Israël s’est vu autorisé à tenir pour nulles et non avenues de nombreuses résolutions du Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies, la Quatrième Convention de Genève pour ce qui est de son occupation de la Cisjordanie, les décisions de la Cour Internationale de Justice concernant son mur d’apartheid, et à spolier purement et simplement les Palestiniens de la majeure partie des terres et réserves d’eau, à démolir leurs habitations par milliers, à abattre leurs oliviers par centaines de milliers, à détruire leurs infrastructures et à construire illégalement en Cisjordanie occupée un vaste réseau routier moderne, à l’usage exclusif des juifs, créant simultanément des restrictions considérables aux possibilités de déplacement des Palestiniens à l’intérieur même de la Cisjordanie. [Pour une description documentée de ce processus de dépossession, de violences et d’abus de toutes sortes, cf. Noam Chomsky, The Fateful Triangle (South End: 1999), Chap. 8; Kathleen Christison, The Wound of Dispossession (Ocean Tree Book: 2003); Norman Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah (University of California: 2005), Part 2; Michel Warschawski, Toward An Open Tomb (Monthly Review: 2004); Jeff Halper, "Despair: Israel’s Ultimate Weapon," Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine, March 28, 2001, (http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/carryover/pubs/20010328ib.html ); and Jeff Halper, "The 94 Percent Solution: A Matrix of Control," Middle East Report, Fall, 2000 (http://www.merip.org/mer/mer216/216_halper.html ).] Cette épuration ethnique systématique a été conduite par une armée puissamment entraînée et équipée, marchant sur une population indigène littéralement sans armes, afin d’en débarrasser le pays pour permettre l’installation des colons juifs – en violation du Droit International, ne fut-ce que pour ce qui règle l’attitude d’une puissance occupante. Un système unique « d’épuration ethnique par exception », de « non droit d’exception », de « dispense exceptionnelle de se plier aux décisions du Conseil de Sécurité et de la Cour Internationale. »

Troisièmement, Israël a périodiquement débordé ses frontières pour porter la guerre chez ses voisins – Egypte, Syrie, et Liban – a mené des bombardements et des actions terroristes contre ces trois pays plus la Tunisie puis l’Iraq, et a maintenu des années durant une milice terroriste au Liban, menant en outre dans ce pays de nombreux raids terroristes, dans le cadre de sa politique « Poing de Fer », infligeant de lourdes pertes aux populations civiles visées. [Noam Chomsky, Pirates & Emperors (Claremont Research: 1986), chap. 2; Chomsky, Fateful Triangle, chap. 9.] Bien que l’invasion du Liban, en 1982, ait été déclarée avoir été lancée en réponse à des attaques terroristes, elle répondait en réalité à une absence d’attaque terroriste (en dépit de provocations israéliennes délibérées) et à la crainte de devoir négocier avec les Palestiniens, plutôt que de les nettoyer ethniquement. [Yehoshua Porath, expert israélien du mouvement national palestinien, écrivait dans Haaretz, le 25 juin 1982 : “il me semble que la décision du gouvernement [d’envahir le Liban]… venait précisément de ce que le cessez-le-feu avait été observé [par les Palestiniens]. » Pour advantage de détails, cf. Chomsky, Fateful Triangle, pp. 198-209.] Evidemment, aucune mesure ou sanction ne fut prise à l’encontre d’Israël pour toutes ces exactions, Israël bénéficiant d’un « droit d’exception à l’agression, au terrorisme d’Etat et au soutien au terrorisme », dont il n’a certes pas l’apanage mais qui découle de son statut d’Etat client et allié privilégié des Etats-Unis.

Quatrièmement, du fait de son droit à pratiquer l’épuration ethnique et la terreur en violation des résolutions du Conseil de Sécurité et du Droit International, ses victimes se voient dénier tout droit de se défendre. On peut les expulser de leurs terres, détruire leurs maisons et immeubles, arracher leurs oliviers, les laisser massacrer par l’armée ou les colons, toute résistance violente de leur part reste un « attentat terroriste », inadmissible et profondément regrettable. Plus d’un millier de Palestiniens ont été tués par les Israéliens au cours de leur première phase de résistance non-violente, la première Intifada (1987-1992), mais leur résistance pacifique n’a eu aucun effet sur l’occupation illégale. La communauté internationale n’a pris aucune mesure pour les défendre réellement, et Israël a pu bénéficier de l’aval tacite des Etats-Unis pour répondre par la violence à l’Intifada, jusque à ce que toute résistance soit brisée. La proportion de victimes palestiniennes et israéliennes fut alors de 25 pour 1, mais étant donné le droit d’exception d’Israël de recourir à la terreur, seuls les palestiniens furent qualifiés de terroristes.

Cinquièmement, du fait leur dispense de Droit International et de leur plein droit à pratiquer terreur et nettoyage ethnique, les Israéliens disposent du privilège d’installer à la tête de leur gouvernement le responsable d’une série d’attaques terroristes contre des civils et du massacre, à Sabra et Shatila, d’environ 800 à 3 000 civils palestiniens. Paradoxalement, la décision du Tribunal Pénal International pour l’ex-Yougoslavie (TPIY), de considérer qu’une intention de génocide peut être déduite de toute action visant à exterminer les membres d’un groupe donné, en un lieu donné, y compris dans le cas où cette action ne s’inscrit pas dans le projet d’exterminer partout ailleurs tous les membres de ce même groupe, se fondait précisément sur une résolution de 1982 de l’Assemblée des Nations Unies, condamnant officiellement les massacres de Sabra et Shatila comme « acte de génocide. » [Verdict du 2 août 2001 au procès de v. Radislav Krstic (IT-98-33-T), (http://www.un.org/icty/krstic/TrialC1/judgement/index.htm), Section G, “Genocide” (http://www.un.org/icty/krstic/TrialC1/judgement/krs-tj010802e-3.htm#IIIG), approx. pars. 589 - 595, et note 1306, le jugement reposait sur une « Résolution de l’Assemblée Générale des Nations Unies, de 1982, statuant que le meurtre d’au moins 800 Palestiniens dans les camps de réfugiés de Sabra et Shatila cette année là était un ‘acte de génocide’. » Résolution de l’Assemblée Générale des Nations Unies intitulée : “ La Situation au Proche Orient ” (A/RES/37/123), Section D, 16 décembre 1982 (http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/37/a37r123.htm)] Bien évidemment, si telles dispositions judiciaires n’ont jamais servi qu’à condamner des Serbes, non seulement elles sont restées lettre morte concernant Sharon, mais elles n’ont nullement empêché les Occidentaux d’honorer ce dernier comme un chef de gouvernement parfaitement respectable.

Sixièmement, du fait du droit d’Israël à pratiquer terreur et nettoyage ethnique, de tels termes ne peuvent en aucun cas s’appliquer à des actions de cet Etat. Lors qu’ils servirent à caractériser les opérations serbes au Kosovo, ces termes soulevèrent une vague d’indignation. Ces opérations s’inscrivaient pourtant dans le cadre d’une guerre civile (attisée depuis l’étranger) et n’avaient nullement pour objectif, comme dans le cas d’Israël, de purger un pays entier de sa population indigène pour la remplacer par un autre groupe ethnique. Israël fut non seulement exempté d’office de ce type de qualificatifs, mais se vit en outre accorder le privilège de recourir à des termes tels que « sécurité » ou « violences. » Quels que puissent être le niveau d’insécurité ou la violence des agressions auxquels doivent faire face les Palestiniens, c’est néanmoins à eux de renoncer à la violence, et l’enjeu du conflit demeure de toute façon la sécurité d’Israël. Pour les dirigeants occidentaux, la sécurité des Palestiniens est tout sauf un enjeu car leur sort manque d’intérêts, et parce que leur insécurité découle de leur incapacité à assumer le processus d’épuration ethnique et de leur propre résistance à ce processus.

Ce processus d’épuration ethnique, qui repose sur un terrorisme de grande envergure, et qui est véritablement l’origine et la cause même de la réponse terroriste des Palestiniens, est en réalité mis en avant par les Israéliens (de même que la construction du « mur de sécurité »), non comme participant d’un programme parfaitement officiel de « rédemption des terres* » au profit du peuple élu, mais comme une réponse parfaitement légitime et nécessaire au attaques terroristes palestiniennes. [Citation d’un politologue israélien, Gerald Steinberg, dans Chris McGreal, “Worlds apart,” Guardian, February 6, 2006: http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1703245,00.html] Et personne n’y trouve à redire !
[*« Rédemption des terres » : Element central de l’idéologie et de la politique coloniale sioniste, cet euphémisme recouvre toutes les formes possibles d’annexion des « terres bibliques » par l’Etat d’Israël, qu’on leur conserve ou non le statut officiel de colonie. Souvent traduit en français par « rachat », le terme hébreux « gueoula » signifie plus précisément « rédemption. »]

Septièmement, Israël est le seul état du Proche Orient à disposer d’un arsenal nucléaire. Ont collaboré à la constitution de cet arsenal, non seulement les Etats-Unis, mais aussi la France et la Norvège. Cette collaboration a été décidée malgré 39 années d’épuration ethnique, une violation systématique du Droit International comme d’un nombre record d’injonctions du Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies, et de l’invasion à répétition, par Israël, de pays frontaliers. Ce monopole nucléaire régional et le maintien hors de la juridiction de l’Agence Internationale pour l’Energie Atomique (AIEA) et du Traité de Non Prolifération Nucléaire découle naturellement des différents privilèges énumérés plus haut et plus particulièrement de la protection inconditionnelle de la première des grandes puissances.

Huitièmement, le Monde Libre s’est récemment indigné de l’éventualité que l’Iran puisse prétendre à se doter, tôt ou tard, d’un armement nucléaire. On a bien évidemment menacé l’Iran de « changement de régime », de bombardements et autres attaques israélo-américaines, mais l’attitude de l’Iran déstabilise ici un régime d’exception où seul Israël (et son puissant allié) peuvent faire valoir un problème de sécurité et le droit de se défendre ; les autres, tels les Palestiniens de Cisjordanie, étant tenus d’assumer leur position d’infériorité, avec son lot d’insécurité, de nettoyage ethnique, de politique de murs d’apartheid et autres. Ceux qui n’assument pas, l’Iran notamment, doivent en assumer les conséquences, telle la menace d’une attaque et de sanctions pour avoir entrepris des actions légales, mais possiblement suspectes de viser à l’acquisition d’une capacité nucléaire de défense, sans l’aval du Monde Libre, tout occupé à apaiser l’ire des Etats-Unis et de leur premier client proche-oriental. De sorte qu’Israël dispose du privilège, non seulement de pouvoir disposer d’un arsenal nucléaire, mais en outre de pouvoir mobiliser le Monde Libre pour s’en voir garantir le monopole absolu – d’autant plus assuré de pouvoir poursuivre à sa guise son nettoyage ethnique.

Neuvièmement, le Monde Libre a aussi manifesté son irritation au sujet de la victoire du Hamas aux élections palestiniennes du 26 janvier 2006. On proteste assez unanimement que le « processus de paix » risque d’en pâtir, et George Bush lui-même, affirme n’être pas disposé à négocier avec des gens qui ont recours à la « violence » ! La violence est pourtant sa spécialité et celle de son pays, avec trois agressions majeures au cours des sept dernières années et un programme de domination ouvertement annoncé, fondé sur une totale suprématie militaire. Certes la violence des opérations israéliennes en Palestine dépasse infiniment tout ce à quoi les Palestiniens ont jamais pu prétendre, mais la partialité éhontée des Occidentaux, reste horrifiée par les « attentats suicides », non par les « assassinats ciblés » (qui doute que les mêmes méthodes appliquées par des Palestiniens aux diplomates israéliens horrifieraient énormément ?). Mais, de même que le terme de « terrorisme » ne saurait s’appliquer aux actions des Etats-Unis et d’Israël, celui de « violence » ne peut les concerner qu’en tant que victimes. Ces pays ne font que « riposter », ne recourant qu’à contre cœur à la violence et par « autodéfense », assurant seulement leur « sécurité », avec les meilleures intentions et dans un but humanitaire. Et les Occidentaux gobent ça sans problème !

La popularité du Hamas tient en grande partie à ce que le Fatah et ses dirigeants n’ont pu enrayer ni le processus de nettoyage ethnique, ni la constante dégradation des conditions de vie en Palestine. En refusant systématiquement de les considérer comme des interlocuteurs valables, Israël condamnait sciemment leur législature à l’échec. Le Hamas, pour sa part, fut en réalité financé par Israël, il y a des années, dans le but de diviser les Palestiniens et de saper la trop grande influence du Fatah. Cet objectif atteint, dès lors que c’est un groupe islamiste qui a désormais pris le pouvoir, chacun aura les meilleures raisons du monde de repousser toute issue négociée avec des Palestiniens qui se sont prononcés en faveur d’un parti qui n’exclut pas la violence, comme Sharon et Bush ! Pour les occidentaux il ne serait pas raisonnable que le Hamas refuse de déposer les armes et s’accroche au droit de défendre son peuple contre une occupation et une épuration ethnique acharnée, attendu qu’un seul des deux belligérants à droit à l’autodéfense et à assurer sa « sécurité ». A ce degré de refoulement des « instincts moraux », le droit à la résistance est évidemment exclu.

Le « processus de paix » est un parfait Orwellisme, que j’avais décrit il y a de nombreuses années dans mon Doublespeak Dictionary [Dictionnaire du Double Langage] comme « toute action menée ou soutenue par le gouvernement U.S. dans une zone de conflit, à un moment donné. Ceci n’implique aucun impératif, à court ou à long terme, de mettre un terme au conflit ou aux opérations de pacifications. » De sorte que le « processus de paix » israélo-palestinien, constamment avalisé ou activement soutenu par le gouvernement américain, s’est singularisé par une intensification du nettoyage ethnique, la destruction des infrastructures palestiniennes, l’installation de quelque 450 000 colons en Cisjordanie, l’érection d’un mur d’apartheid et l’annexion de la majeure partie de Jérusalem Est – en d’autres termes, l’instauration par le terrorisme d’Etat, d’un telle masse de « faits accomplis » que toute idée d’un Etat palestinien viable en devient littéralement impensable. Or pour les organes de propagande du Monde Libre, un authentique « processus de paix » était bel et bien en cours et c’est dorénavant l’élection du Hamas qui risque de le faire échouer ! [cf. “Washington’s Peace Process,” ch. 10, dans : N. Chomsky, The Fateful Triangle.]

Comment Expliquer un Tel Degré d’Abominations d’Hypocrisie ?
Tout cela découle au départ de l’ambition des dirigeants israéliens de créer un lebensraum pour le peuple élu. Les Palestiniens étaient en travers du chemin, il fallait s’en débarrasser. Pour ce faire, les Israéliens ont bénéficié de l’indispensable soutien diplomatique et militaire des Etats-Unis. Ce mécanisme s’est ensuite auto-alimenté. De sorte que, le durcissement de la résistance des Palestiniens, malgré leur vulnérabilité et leur relative faiblesse, ne pouvait qu’exacerber le caractère fondamentalement raciste du projet d’épuration ethnique qui, année après année, ne cessa de gagner en brutalité ; une situation que ne pouvait qu’aggraver la nomination à la tête du gouvernement d’un criminel de guerre notoire. Dans ce projet, la collaboration et la protection des Etats-Unis demeuraient cruciales, car elles oblitéraient toute velléité de réponse internationale effective à des politiques aussi ouvertement contraires au Droit qu’à la simple moralité, et qui, mises en œuvre par quelque état non aligné entraîneraient inévitablement bombardements et procès pour crimes de guerre. [Le 22 mai 1999, Slobodan Milosevic était reconnu coupable devant un Tribunal Yougoslave, de responsabilité de commandement dans la mort de 344 Albanais du Kosovo. La plupart d’entre eux avaient été tués peu après le début d’un bombardement de l’OTAN, le 24 mars 1999; Sharon, pour sa part, fut reconnu coupable, y compris par une commission israélienne, d’avoir ordonné les massacres de Sabra et Shatila, au cours duquel furent massacrés [à l’intérieur de deux camps de réfugiés] deux fois plus de Palestiniens, majoritairement des femmes et des enfants. Pour autant, comme nous le soulignons dans le texte, Sharon bénéficia d’un type d’évaluation et de traitement pour le poins différent.]

Le rôle des Etats-Unis et l’inhibition de tout « instinct moral » aux Etats-Unis même, découlent en partie de considérations géopolitiques et de la position d’Israël comme mandataire et point d’ancrage des politiques U.S. dans la région, mais aussi de la capacité du lobby pro-israélien, de sa base et de ses supporters au sein de la droite chrétienne, à obtenir des médias et de la classe politique, un soutien ouvert ou tacite au processus d’épuration ethnique. La stratégie du lobby inclut l’exploitation agressive de la culpabilisation, avec les références à l’holocauste, l’assimilation de toute critique de l’épuration ethnique israélienne à de « l’anti-sémitisme », et le recours pur et simple à l’intimidation pour étouffer toute approche critique ou débat de fond [Cf. Joan Wallach Scott, “Middle East Studies Under Siege,” The Link, January-March 2006.] – réactions qui s’intensifient proportionnellement aux exactions perpétrées dans le cadre du processus d’épuration ethnique.

Les attentats de New York et la « guerre contre le terrorisme » ont largement favorisé ces mécanismes, en justifiant une diabolisation des Arabes et en présentant les politiques israéliennes comme participant de cette supposée guerre. Le lobby et ses représentants au sein de l’administration Bush, comptaient parmi les plus fervents supporters de l’invasion de l’Iraq, et combattent aujourd’hui énergiquement en faveur d’une guerre contre l’Iran – ce lobby est en réalité le seul secteur de la société [américaine] à réclamer une confrontation avec l’Iran, et prépare actuellement une vaste campagne de pression sur Bush et le Congrès pour obtenir des Etats-Unis le déclenchement des hostilités. La guerre contre l’Iraq s’est avérée un excellent paravent pour une intensification du nettoyage ethnique de la Palestine, et un nouveau conflit, quels qu’en soient les risques, pourrait justifier une nouvelle phase de nettoyage intensif, voire l’éventuelle déportation (« transfert ») d’une population qui constitue toujours un « risque démographique. »

L’attitude de la « communauté internationale » à l’égard de ce programme d’épuration ethnique est véritablement une honte. Après leurs appels véhéments à la guerre et à la justice face aux « méchants » désignés en ex-Yougoslavie, où les Etats-Unis se plaisaient à combattre, sélectivement, le nettoyage ethnique, l’Union Européenne, le Japon, Kofi Annan, la plupart des ONG et des pays arabes, toute honte bue et leur « instinct moral » platement refoulé, s’écrasaient lamentablement devant le soutien inconditionnel des USA à Israël, la puissance économique d’Israël et de sa diaspora, l’exploitation de la culpabilisation liée à l’Holocauste, et en Europe, un vieux parti pris raciste aux relents de nostalgies coloniale, exacerbé par une propagande massive qui, sous l’image omniprésente des « attentats suicides », occulte la totale illégalité des assassinats ciblés, des violences quotidiennes et de l’occupation.

La négation de l’Holocauste est incontestablement répréhensible, mais dans le contexte politique actuel elle ne concerne qu’une infime fraction de nos populations et n’est d’aucun impact réel, sinon précisément pour faire diversion lorsque sont dénoncés ceux qui s’enferrent dans la « négation d’épuration ethnique », une tendance particulièrement répandue parmi nos élites occidentales – dès qu’il s’agit d’Israël – et lourde de conséquences.

La Palestine est une zone de non droit par excellence, dont la population – littéralement sans défense – a été dupée, humiliée, réduite à la mendicité, et méthodiquement expulsée de force au profit de colons protégés par une colossale machine militaire, tour à tour armée et défendue par les Etats-Unis, avec le soutien et l’aval tacite, voire ouvert, de tout le reste du Monde Libre. La grande question pour ledit Monde Libre est désormais : « Le Hamas saura-t-il se tenir et accepter le nettoyage ethnique (toujours activement mené) et, au mieux, un éventuel statut de bantoustan, ou va-t-il menacer de résister encore et de poursuivre les actions « terroristes » ? Face à cette question cruciale, pouvoir et racisme ont littéralement neutralisé « l’instinct moral » des occidentaux.

Si cette question est cruciale, c’est notamment parce que plusieurs millions de Palestiniens intégralement dépossédés, se trouvent pris dans une tragique spirale de violence face à laquelle la communauté internationale et les Etats-Unis n’ont qu’à dire « Stop ! », à suspendre leur aide et à menacer de sanctions pour qu’elle s’arrête net. Mais pour le Monde Libre, la cause du conflit n’est ni l’occupation, ni le nettoyage ethnique, mais bien la résistance à ces abus. Abjecte et stupide, cette perspective n’est en réalité qu’une piètre rationalisation du soutien raciste et opportuniste à un authentique projet de nettoyage ethnique.

La situation en Palestine est en outre cruciale pour des millions d’Arabes dans le monde, pour plus d’un milliard de musulmans, et pour des milliards d’autres habitants de la planète, qui voient dans l’attitude des occidentaux à l’égard des Palestiniens, le reflet de l’attitude raciste et colonialiste qu’ils affichent à l’égard des Arabes, des musulmans, et plus généralement de l’ensemble des populations du Tiers Monde. C’est un terreau prodigieusement fertile de terrorisme anti-occidental, mais plus fondamentalement de profonde colère, de haine et de défiance à l’égard des occidentaux et de ce qui les motive. Un cancer qui n’augure rien de bon pour la santé de l’humanité à venir.