From: Francis Feeley <Francis.Feeley@u-grenoble3.fr>
Subject: HOW REAL IS ISRAEL? : FROM THE CENTER FOR THE ADVANCED STUDY
OF AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, GRENOBLE, FRANCE.
30 November 2003
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements has received mail concerning Western Asia and the Bush administration's tactics for the survival of American corporate interests in the area.
Item A. is an article sent to us by our research associate Professor Ed Herman. "Israel and Empire" is an interview with anthropologist Jeff Halper who is the Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, ICAHD.
Item B. is a report from former CIA analysists recently published in the radical journal CounterPunch. "Zionism as a Racist Ideology," by Kathleen and Bill Christison, discusses the false premises upon which the state of Israel was founded.
Item C. is an excerpt from the correspondance of Arthur Mitzman, who last spring defined a non-zionist position for himself and warned that Jews are being manipulated by corporate America and the Bush administration in order to focus attention away from the international capitalist crisis and multi-trillion dollar economy that is now faltering.
Finally, item D. is a message from
Jean Bricmont who is recommending a new book on the Israeli-American connection,
Tuer l'espoir by Norman Finkestein.
As usual, we invite you to respond to these essays, and if you would
like to be removed from this mailing list please notify us by return mail.
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
Université de Grenoble 3
from Ed Herman :
November 28, 2003
Jeff Halper is extremely well informed and an on-the-scene observer, but as you can see from his connection with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, he has mistaken opinions hence you will never see him on US TV or read what he has to say in the NYT or Philadelphia Inquirer.
Subject: Israel and the Empire
Jon Elmer is currently reporting from Israel-Palestine and is the editor of <www.FromOccupiedPalestine.org>
Jon Elmer, FromOccupiedPalestine.org : You use the term 'matrix of control' to describe the Israeli occupation. Can you explain exactly what that is and how it functions ?
Jeff Halper : The Israel-Palestine conflict is often framed in terms of territory : ending the occupation, a viable Palestinian state, and what that means in terms of territory. But two states and a complete end of the occupation, even in the best scenario, is not really the best solution. The whole Palestinian state would be on only 22% of the country, divided between the West Bank and Gaza. The State of Israel today, within the 1967 borders, represents 78% percent of the country. So even in the ideal situation, if the entire occupation ended and Israel pushed back to 1967 borders, the Palestinian state would be in only 22% of the country. Israel can't compromise on any more than that - even that is a question mark.
But Israel does want a Palestinian state because it needs to get rid of the three and a half million Palestinians currently living in the Occupied Territories. If it can't send them out of the country, it at least wants to enclose them in a little Bantustan-type state. And so, the issue is framed in terms of territory, and what gets lost is the issue of control.
The issue is this : will the Palestinians in the end have a state that has potential for economic development, that has real political sovereignty, that has control of its borders, that has control of its resources, like water ? Will Palestinians have a state that is a coherent territory that people can move freely within ? Is it a real state, even if it's a small one, or is it really a Bantustan controlled by Israel ?
And so, the matrix of control talks about how Israel controls the Palestinians : through incorporating the West Bank into Israel-proper with roads, through connecting electrical systems, water systems, urban systems, and so on. It talks about Israel keeping military control, about Israel keeping control of parts of the country like Jerusalem and parts of West Bank, which in the end will leave the Palestinians with non-viable islands.
The matrix of control talks about the use of planning and law, and administration bureaucracy to control the movements, building, and commercial activity of the Palestinians. In other words, what the matrix of control says is that besides the issue of military control, and besides the issue of territory, Israel exerts a lot of control over Palestine. It controls the water, it controls the borders, it controls Jerusalem, it controls their army, it controls their freedom of movement. And unless we dismantle the matrix of control, we haven't really done anything. The difference between a real Palestinian state, even if it's small, and a Bantustan, is the matrix of control.
Now, I don't think we can dismantle the matrix of control. I think it has gone too far, and that the occupation is permanent. We are in a state of apartheid. But not everybody agrees with me - Uri Avnery doesn't agree with me, the people who are in favour of a two-state solution still think that we can end the occupation, or that we can roll it back enough that a Palestinian state will emerge. But the danger in being for a Palestinian state is that if you don't understand the control dimensions, then you are actually agitating for a Bantustan. I mean, Sharon also wants a Palestinian state ; he wants a state that is completely controlled by Israel. So if you only look at territory and you don't look at the issue of control, you end up advocating a Bantustan.
Elmer : Do you see a long-term political plan within Israel ? Or is it just reacting ?
Halper : Well, Sharon is accused of not having a political plan, and just blindly hitting out against the 'infrastructure of terror,' as they call it. But I think there is a very definite political plan - apartheid. Sharon calls this plan cantonization : a Palestinian state on about 42% of the West Bank in three or four islands, all controlled and surrounded by Israel.
The plan involves making the Palestinians submit by getting a weak Palestinian leadership that will sign off on this Bantustan, this cantonization. It involves getting rid of the Palestinian middle class that would oppose it by what we call 'quiet transfer' - forcing them out of the country with bad housing, bad education and no economic life, in order to create a very malleable Palestinian mass that would then simply passively accept a Bantustan. Sharon is not saying that explicitly, he is leaving things deliberately vague, but that is where he is going.
Elmer : Would a move toward a one-state solution, as you've suggested, increase the likelihood of traditional ethnic cleaning ? As Sharon has said, there is already a Palestinian state : Jordan.
Halper : It depends on how threatened Israel becomes. It doesn't need ethnic cleansing at this stage, because Israel is in a situation where it controls the whole country. A Palestinian state is necessary for Israel, because unless you can place the Palestinians into a state of their own, then Israel really does have existential dangers.
There are three and a half million Palestinians in the Territories, and almost a million in Israel, that threaten the Jewish majority. So the only way to keep a Jewish majority is to control the whole country. It is to take the Palestinians, put them into these little islands, and call it a state. That's what Israel will try to do.
Now, to the degree that this does not work, because, for example, the international community doesn't accept the Bantustan - as in the case of South Africa - or because of continued Palestinian resistance, or a movement towards one state develops, or the refugees show signs of wanting to return - namely, in a situation where Israel feels demographically threatened, and therefore existentially threatened, it could resort to transfer as a last resort.
Elmer : Commenting on the expulsion option, David Ben-Gurion wrote in the 1930s, "What is inconceivable in normal times is possible in revolutionary times ; and if at this time the opportunity is missed and what is possible in such great hours is not carried out - a whole world is lost."
Are the assassinations that Israel is conducting right now an attempt to create the pretext for "revolutionary times," in much the same way that they used the bombing raids on Southern Lebanon in 1981 and early 1982 to provoke the inevitable retaliation that provided the pretext for the war on Lebanon in 1982 ?
Halper : The assassinations are partly an attempt to destroy a real Palestinian leadership. Israel needs a quisling, a collaborator-type leader - like in South Africa in the Bantustans - in order to make its apartheid plan work. I asked a Palestinian fellow the other day, 'look, Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] didn't work, Abu Ala [Ahmed Qureia] doesn't seem to be working, aren't there any strong Palestinian leaders ?' He said, "Israel killed them all." Like Abu Jihad [Khalil al-Wasir, head of the military wing of the PLO killed in Tunis in 1988], the strong Palestinian leaders were killed by Israel. And now they are threatening Arafat. You eliminate the leaders that could really stand up to you, and you only allow leaders who will sign off on this Bantustan to emerge. I think it's a part of Israel's strategy. Israel thinks that if it can defeat the Palestinians militarily, it can make them submit. It has to break the Palestinians militarily.
Elmer : Is there a military solution ?
Halper : Sharon believes very much that there is a military solution. The Israeli government and the army are working on the assumption that this is a win-lose situation : we can win and they can lose. As a matter of fact IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon told Yedioth Ahronoth a couple months ago that we won, and now we're just mopping up. Assassination is part of the war to defeat the Palestinians, and it is also part of the political process of eliminating leaders who won't agree to the Bantustan option.
Elmer : Can you describe what you have called the "paradigm panic" within Israeli society - how Rabin shaking hands with Arafat in Oslo disturbed the "Arabs are our enemy" paradigm ?
Halper : From the 1920s until 1993, every generation of Israelis were educated into the notion that "Arabs are our enemy." We're the good guys ; they are the bad guys, they are terrorists, they just want to kill us, they just want us to "throw us in the sea" - there is no political solution. After Oslo there starts to be a little bit of a change.
In Oslo the whole world turned around. On every Israeli television, there it was, Yitzhak Rabin, a soldier, shaking hands with Yasser Arafat. Maybe there will be a Palestinian state, maybe no occupation, maybe no refugee problem· And you have a paradigm panic. For example, there was a popular bumper sticker in Israel after Oslo saying, "This is a nightmare peace." But in 1994 and 1995, there was a small window where it looked like the old paradigm might be changing, but it was closed down again with the election of Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996.
The Hamas bus bombings in 1996 did enough to give Netanyahu that fraction of a percentage point electoral advantage in which he beat Peres in the election - and that of course led to the collapse of the whole Oslo process. With Netanyahu, you have a return to the old paradigm, and Israelis are even further into that mindset today.
Elmer : Norman Finkelstein has commented that the Israelis have always bided their time, waiting for "a miracle". He cites several examples : i) The Balfour Declaration of 1917, which nobody could have predicted, ii) The USSR and USA agreeing in the United Nations in 1947 on the founding of a Jewish State, iii) during a serious economic crisis in the 1960s came the "miracle" of the June '67 war, and iv) the "miracle" of the immigration of one million Soviet Jews, right at the time that the 'demographic bomb' was at its most threatening. Can you comment on this ?
Halper : It's true, we're waiting, but waiting from a position of power. In all these instances, even though we had problems, we were still the strong party. Today we are also waiting, because Israelis don't believe there is any solution. And Israelis are also very disenfranchised ; we have a system of government here that is really a rule by political parties. You vote for parties, you don't vote for candidates in Israel, so there is a huge distance between the parties and the people. No political party in the history of Israel has ever gotten a majority in the Knesset, so there has always had to be coalition governments, with partners that your own voters wouldn't necessarily agree to.
As Avi Shlaim [pointed out] in the Iron Wall, when Nasser approached Ben-Gurion in 1954 with a famous negotiation, Ben-Gurion turned him down. He said that the Arabs will always make peace with us, because we are strong. The Arabs will always sue for peace, so we can't do it too early. First, lets get everything we want. So it is not a passive waiting. You create a situation where you pick your opportunities, and you are ready to spring.
The June '67 war was a miracle in a sense - it was unpredictable. On the other hand, when it happened, Israel was right there ready and knew exactly what to do. Within two weeks you had the Dayan Plan [settling Jews in densely populated Arab areas, ie Hebron], Alon Plan [establishing settlements as territorial buffers in strategic areas] and Israel had already taken half of the West Bank.
Israelis today say that there is no solution, but we have American support, European support, we're strong militarily, so something is going to give, at some point, in someway. And when it does, we are primed to take advantage of it. For now, we can wait.
Elmer : Noam Chomsky has said that Israel is essentially an offshore American base. What strategic role does Israel play in the American empire, and what does that mean for activism within the United States, in terms of ending the occupation ? Does it make activism in the United States just as important, or more important than in Israel, or in even in Palestine ?
Halper : I don't completely agree with Chomsky - I think he underestimates
the proactiveness of Israel, and how Israel manipulates the United States.
In a way, if you did a rational analysis, you would say that [America's
support of Israel] is counter-productive for the United States. It is messing
up the whole Muslim world, it is messing up oil, and now there is occupation
of Iraq and its comparison to here. The alliance of America and Israel
made sense in the Cold War - we used to have a joke within Israel that
we were America's largest aircraft carrier. Maybe then it made sense, but
The key that everyone is missing, though Chomsky has picked up on it because this is what he studies, is that Israel has located itself very strategically right in the centre of the global arms industry. Israel's sophisticated military hardware and military software are very important to weapons development in the United States. Israel has also become the main subcontractor of American arms. Just last year, Israel signed a contract to train and equip the Chinese army. It signed another multi-billion dollar contract to train and equip the Indian army. What is it equipping them with ? It is equipping them with American weapons.
Israel is very important, because on the one hand it is a very sophisticated, high-tech, arms developer and dealer. But on the other hand, there are no ethical or moral constraints : there is no Congress, there are no human rights concerns, there are no laws against taking bribes - the Israeli government can do anything it wants to. So you have very sophisticated rogue state - not a Libyan rogue state, but a high tech, military-expert rogue state. Now that is tremendously useful, both for Europe and for the United States.
For example, there are American Congressional constraints on selling arms to China because of China's human rights problems. So what Israel does is it tinkers with American arms just enough that they can be considered Israeli arms, and in that way bypasses Congress.
For the most part, Israel is the subcontractor for American arms to the 'Third World.' There is no terrible regime - Columbia, Guatemala, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile during the time of the colonels, Burma, Taiwan, Zaire, Liberia, Congo, Sierra Leone - there is not one that does not have a major military connection to Israel. Israeli arms dealers are there [acting as] mercenaries - the guy behind Noriega was Michael Harari, an Israeli, who got out of Panama. Israeli mercenaries in Sierra Leone go around the UN boycotts of what are called blood diamonds, same in Angola. Israel was very involved in South Africa, of course, during the apartheid regime. Now Israel is developing missile systems with England, developing a new jet aircraft for Holland, and it just bought three sophisticated submarines from Germany. So Israel is playing with the big boys.
Israeli arms dealers are at home, they're like fish in water in the rough and tumble countries that eat Americans alive : Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, China, Indonesia, these countries where Americans just cannot operate, partly because of business practices, and partly because they have [Congressional] constraints and laws.
So this is the missing piece. If you read the American Israel Public Affairs Committee ( AIPAC ) website, the main pro-Israel lobby in the US, there's one piece called "Strategic Cooperation." The United States and Israel have a formal treaty, a formal alliance, which gives Israel access to almost all of American military technology.
When AIPAC sells Israel to Congress, it doesn't go to Congressmen and ask them to support Israel because it is Judea Christian, or because it is the 'only democracy in the Middle East,' which it also does. It sells it on this basis : 'you are a member of Congress and it is your responsibility to support Israel, because this is how many industries in your state have business links to Israel, this is how many military research people are sitting in universities in your district, this is how many jobs in your district are dependent on the military and the defence industry·' and they translate it down to the extent to which your district is dependent on Israel. Therefore, if you are voting against Israel, you are voting against the goose that lays the golden egg.
In most of the districts in the United States, members of Congress have a great dependence on the military. More than half of industrial employment in California is in one way or another connected to defence. Israel is right there, right in the middle of it all. And that is part of its strength.
And then we ( the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, for example ) come to a member of Congress, we talk about human rights, about occupation, about Palestinians, and he says : 'look I know, I read the papers, I'm not dumb, but that is not the basis on which I vote. The basis on which I vote is what is good for my constituents.'
So in terms of activism, when you are thinking of an international campaign, an important part of it must be to expose Israel's links to the defence industry, the arms industry, Israel's support of terrible regimes and their violations of human rights, and what that is doing to the world.
If you want to talk about Empire, although it is a tiny country, Israel is a key member of the Empire. If you look at the AIPAC website they'll say in black and white that the job of Israel is to protect American economic interests in the Middle East. They say we are developing laser weapons from outer space to protect American interests. It's all upfront. Israel sees itself, and is proud of being a part of the American Empire. Where Israel has a great PR advantage is that it presents itself as a victim. It a country surrounded by a sea of Arabs, and Arabs are all terrorists, and Muslims are fanatics.
Elmer : And playing the victim becomes a political tool, much like anti-Semitism.
Halper : Yes. Anti-Semitism feeds on the idea that Israel is a victim. The Foreign Ministry of Israel invented a new form of anti-Semitism in the last few years called the 'New anti-Semitism,' and they then found some professors willing to give it some academic credibility. The New anti-Semitism that is now being spread all over says that any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism, period. And it has been very effective.
A member of Congress will say, 'besides voting for my constituents, I also have to get re-elected, and the last thing I need is someone saying I'm an anti-Semite.' This complex is very powerful, it allows Israel to avoid accountability - you can't apply international law to Israel, you can't apply human rights obligations, you can't hold it responsible for its actions, because we are the victims, we are the weak party, we are just defending ourselves. You can't criticize us, we are Jews, and you persecuted us. This complex is impenetrable, and this is why Israel can thumb its nose at everybody.
For example, [19 September 2003] the United Nations General Assembly voted 133 to four against Israel's threat to remove Arafat. The four are Israel, the United States, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. That's happened for years. It happened back in the '70s and Israelis said 'Micronesia ? Where is Micronesia ?'
And so they sent a journalist from Yediot Ahronoth to get out a map and go to Micronesia. And he went and he found this little country that doesn't even have a newspaper, and he said, 'why do you support Israel ?' And he was told, '100% of our national budget comes from the United States, so we do what the US tells us - there is no issue here.' So that's Israel's great Pacific ally, Micronesia. That's the point. The entire world can be against the United States on these issues, and it doesn't care, because that one United States vote more than equals the other 133.
So we need to change the image that Israel is the victim. In other words, we have to reframe things. Israel presents the conflict in a certain way, and if we are just left to rebut them all the time, we will never win. Whoever frames the conflict wins, whoever frames the discussion wins, because conclusions follow from the way you frame things. We need to expose Israel as the regional superpower and [necessary component in the American Empire] that it really is. Its economy is three times larger than Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon put together. Israel is not the little David of the area, but actually the Goliath.
This interview was conducted in Jerusalem, 20 September 2003.
from Ed Herman :
28 November 2003
A very good article on a painful subject by two former long-time CIA analysts.
Subject: Zionism as a racist ideology
CounterPunch November 8 / 9, 2003
"Zionism as a racist ideology Reviving an old theme to prevent Palestinian ethnicide"
By Kathleen and Bill Christison
from Arthur Mitzman :
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2003
Subject: Re: Israel, Palestine, the Left and the War
To: Bertell Ollman and Francis Feeley
Thanks for sending on Uri Avnery's column on the neocon's Jewish connection. I admire Avnery and read him regularly, but this is a weak, derivative piece on a subject he knows too little about. Even so, you distort its significance in your description.
For you refer to it as an account of "Zionist influence on U.S.
foreign policy in the middle-east." But Avnery's description of that policy
-- "a mixture of ideological fervor and crass material interests, an exaggerated
American patriotism and right-wing Zionism" -- is both more specific (the adjective "right-wing" is as crucial here as it would be if he were castigating "right wing Christians") and broader, since he broaches the
issue of Christian fundamentalism and those "crass material interests". The pity of it is that Avnery is so eager to point up the link between the Likudniks and Bush, he makes it seem as if the Jewish neocons, rather than
being used by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld for their own political and economic ends, are actually determining Washington's policy in the name of Sharon's ideology, : "...the small group that initiated this war--an
alliance of Christian fundamentalists and Jewish neo-conservatives--has won big, and from now on it will control Washington almost without limits."
This view that Jewish ideologists are responsible for U.S. aggression,
unfortunately for the left-wing Jew Avnery, recalls the German Marxist
description of pre-WWI nationalist antisemitism as a "socialism of fools"
-- the notion that rich and reactionary Jews are behind everything evil in modern society, from power politics to the exploitation of the working class. In the second half of the 20th century, the consequences of this
idea between 1940 and 1945 had made it taboo for anyone without a screw loose upstairs, but apparently that is no longer the case. It is, alas, current coin in the circles of Islamic fundamentalists who believe in everything from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to the Jewish conspiracy behind September 11.
Avnery's piece unfortunately betrays the parochialism of the increasingly
isolated Israeli left, hammered between Sharon's militarist repression
and the anguished support for it of many formerly pacifist Israelis, when
confronted with the criminal stupidity of the suicide bombers. His concern with lambasting Sharon as complicit in Bush's foreign policy, however, leads to confusion about the actual significance of the Jewish neocons and
their "Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs". Does anyone with his brains north of his tuchas really think these Likudniks and Trotzkyist "transfuges" are the real power behind U.S. aggression, rather than simply
being paraded by Bush as a stalking horse to cut into the Jewish vote and reduce Jewish financing of the Democrats?
The pity of the embrace of this kind of argumentation by "progressives" is that the belief in a "Zionist" conspiracy, aka "the Jewish lobby", behind U.S. foreign policy exonerates many who think of themselves as left critics from serious examination of precisely the "crass material interests" represented by Bush. Cheney, etc. The U.S. proconsul in Iraq, for example, Jay Garner, whom I believe to be no more Jewish than Bush, is much more significant as a weapons manufacturer than for his connections with Israel. In fact, the "interests" the present regime represents are precisely those of the arms producers (the only present beneficiaries of large-scale direct government subsidies after 9/11 and the tax giveaway) and the energy barons, whose grip on Middle Eastern oil has been vastly increased by the conquest of Iraq.
These are hardly sectors typical of Jewish capital. More to the point,
they are atypical for neoliberal capitalism as a whole, which stands to
LOSE big if the present unilateral, pre-emptive military policy leads to
ruptures between the U.S. and its former European and Asian clones and markets. There's a lot of talk about "protectionist" blocks being formed in opposition to U.S. imperial pretensions. How are U.S. manufacturers to
regain profits and "growth" if they can't exploit the labor power of 170 million Chinese willing to work for a quarter an hour? Where are they to sell their goods if, having impoverished their own working class with waves
of downsizing, they are unable to reach the growing middle class markets of China, Japan, Indonesia and the Indian subcontinent?
When the editor of Business Week complains in a BBC radio interview
that you can't combine unilateralism in foreign policy with multilateralism
in foreign trade, you begin to see the tensions emerging within the establishment
about the administration's guns-over-butter policies. Bush has profound
ties to the energy sector and the arms dealers, and he certainly needs
war and terror to sufficiently distract the public from his
giveaways and his renewal of voodoo economics to get him a second term, but he's likely to be viewed more and more by the real powers that have been running the U.S. economy for decades as an increasingly dangerous ex-drunk with too many wierdo friends. If they can't lean on him enough to force a volte-face, the big money may well be moving to the Democrats next time around, particularly if, as is likely, their candidate is a centrist. After all, the establishment did fabulously under Clinton.
If this scenario becomes reality, the present return to gunboat imperialism
may turn out to be no more than a bizarre interlude, and the left will
have to return to the task of opposing, and finding a viable alternative
neoliberal globalization. If, however, Bush and his pals come to call the shots for the next decade or two, then we will have to work within an increasingly divided planet. For the European left, the challenge will be
to socialize and democratize the European bloc from top to bottom.
But intelligent analysis of these issues is impossible if one seriously entertains the notion that the multi-trillion dollar U.S. capitalist establishment is going to have its global interests dictated to it by a few media-hungry Jewish neocons and Ariel Sharon. . . . .
ON ISRAEL :
Yes, the Jews of Israel have in turn become oppressors, and that is tragic and should be reversed. Yes, the Palestinians have as much right to their land and their culture as the Jews. But to expect the Jews to "disappear" now because of that original sin, or because of the further colonization of Palestinian land in the occupied territories, is simply to compound crime upon crime. It is also unreal, almost as unreal as the expectation that the 300 million descendants and beneficiaries of the white genocide of the North American Indian should pack their bags, go back to where they came from and leave the continent to the half million or so Indian descendants of the survivors of that genocide. That would make about as much sense as demanding that descendants of the various Gothic and Frankish tribes that migrated into Europe in the first millennium of the Christian era should vanish into central Asia and give the continent back to the conquered and decimated Celtic cultures that had preceded them.
To return to the main point: fundamentalist Jewish nationalists
are no more representative of "Zionism" or of Israeli society as a whole
than the Islamic fundamentalists are representative of Palestinian society
whole. The hatred and intolerance of both fundamentalisms for anything outside their religious or ideological belief system, their inability to comprehend human "otherness" makes BOTH groups my enemy, and if I were born into a Moslem family rather than a Jewish one, I would, I hope, be inspired by a sense of common humanity to say the same thing.
In other words, I'm not at all sure what you mean by Zionism, which
in the Hashomer Hatzair of my youth included the idea of a binational Jewish-Arab
state. Many of those who then supported that idea have been driven by political
reality to put it on the back burner and now simply support the ideal of
peace and justice for the two peoples in two states, an idea whose public
enunciation in Porto Alegre earned its supporters physical attack from
"anti-Zionists" who deny the legitimacy of the state of Israel and call
for its destruction, along with the annihilation or deportation of its
inhabitants. That this extremist position normally goes together
most vile forms of Jew-hatred is evidenced by the examples I have given. In denying that crimes -- random terror against civilians for example -- can be justified by the crimes of Israeli colonization and repression of
the occupied territories, I am simply putting forward what I believe decent people in the Israeli as well as the Palestinian communities perfectly well know. The kind of people who support the recent Call for Peace signatured by, among other Israelis and Palestinians, Uri Avnery, Tanya Reinhart and Hanan Ashrawi. This statement, which I would have signed if asked, represents accurately the position I have outlined above. I close by presenting its main text:
"The experience of more than 50 years of conflict between the State of Israel and the Palestinian people proves, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the problem cannot be solved by force. The continued occupation creates resistance to it in various forms. Therefore, the occupation is responsible for the suffering of both Palestinians and Israelis, condemning them to a life of physical insecurity, economic crisis and social disintegration.
"At the same time, we wish to express our profound concern about the incidents of extreme violence, resulting from the intensification of the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian Territories and of the Palestinian attacks inside Israel.
"We condemn the brutal policy of the Israeli government aimed at destroying the Palestinian society, the Palestinian economy and the elected Palestinian leadershipheaded by President Yasser Arafat. The erection of the 'apartheid wall' is a further device to help the ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people.
"However, we believe that there is no way to put an end to the acts of all forms of violence, without a just peace based on the co-existence of two states for the two peoples. This solution should be based on the June 4, 1967 borders, with two capitals in Jerusalem, the evacuation of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and a just solution to the refugee problem by agreement between the two sides and cooperation between them and the international community, based on the relevant UN resolutions.
"We emphasize again our call for complete termination of all attacks on civilians, both on the Israeli and Palestinians sides. We believe that on both sides there are forces that are willing to reopen the way to peace. We call on the international community to urgently intervene in the interests of ending the violence on both sides and concluding a final peace agreement. We finally call on everybody who supports these ideas to speak out now in support of an Israeli-Palestinian peace front against the occupation, for mutual recognition and peace between the two nations."
This, and not blind support for "Intifada," is in my opinion a position
the Left as a whole can and should Embrace.
from Jean Bricmont :
Thanks for the news you send me; here is a book which is worth advertising around I think.
Vient de paraître : Tuer l'espoir, Editions Aden par Norman Finkelstein, avec préface de Jean Bricmont
Dans cette introduction au conflit israélo-palestinien, Norman
Finkelstein retrace les grandes orientations qui inspirent les
cercles dirigeants israéliens depuis 1948. Il met le doigt sur la
terrible dialectique qui anime le cÞur de lâEtat hébreu face à la
question palestinienne: expulser les Palestiniens ( le transfert )
ou les enfermer dans des territoires " autonomes " ( lâapartheid).
Nul doute que lâhistoire agitée dâIsraël fournira à ses partisans
les plus déterminés lâoccasion dâappliquer lâune ou l'autre de ces
Norman Finkelstein est avec William Blum, Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, Barbara Ehrenreich, Edward Herman, Diana Johnstone, Michael Parenti, James Petras et quelques autres, une de ces voix de l'autre Amérique qui ont été si longtemps et si efficacement étouffées en Europe. Aujourd'hui, alors que l'agressivité américaine se déploie partout avec insolence, on commence à se rendre compte, avec un certain retard, que ces gens qui nous avertissent depuis longtemps de la menace pesant sur l'ensemble du genre humain, menace causée par l'extraordinaire concentration de pouvoir économique, militaire et culturel entre les mains de la minuscule élite qui contrôle leur pays, n'ont peut-être pas tout à fait tort.
Norman Finkestein est l'auteur de L'industrie de l'Holocauste (La Fabrique).
Voir la couverture sur <http://www.aden.be/>
Mieux connaître le travail de Norman Finkelstein :
Préface de Jean Bricmont
"Pour en finir avec l'intimidation"
"Qui est Norman Finkestein ?"
Le contexte :
Première étape: "La méthode du transfert"
Deuxième étape: "La méthode sud-africaine"
Le "processus de paix"
Leçons tirées de l'Holocauste nazi
A nouveau la menace d'expulsion
Format 11 * 17 cm
Prix : 8 euros
Commander le livre: <mailto:email@example.com>
Le livre est dans toutes les bonnes librairies de France ou de Belgique.
Francis McCollum Feeley
Research Center Director <http://www.u-grenoble3.fr/ciesimsa>
and Professor of North American Studies