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Friday, October 15, 2004

Israel: The Unmentionable Source of Terrorism in the World

By John Pilger
March 21, 2004
www.antiwar.com, March 20, 2004.

The current threat of attacks in countries whose governments have
close alliances with Washington is the latest stage in a long
struggle against the empires of the west, their rapacious crusades
and domination. The motivation of those who plant bombs in railway
carriages derives directly from this truth. What is different today
is that the weak have learned how to attack the strong, and the
western crusaders' most recent colonial terrorism (as many as 55,000
Iraqis killed) exposes "us" to retaliation.

The source of much of this danger is Israel. A creation, then
guardian of the west's empire in the Middle East, the Zionist state
remains the cause of more regional grievance and sheer terror than
all the Muslim states combined. Read the melancholy Palestinian
Monitor on the Internet; it chronicles the equivalent of Madrid's
horror week after week, month after month, in occupied Palestine. No
front pages in the West acknowledge this enduring bloodbath, let
alone mourn its victims. Moreover, the Israeli army, a terrorist
organisation by any reasonable measure, is protected and rewarded in
the west.

In its current human rights report, the Foreign Office criticises
Israel for its "worrying disregard for human rights" and "the impact
that the continuing Israeli occupation and the associated military
occupations have had on the lives of ordinary Palestinians."

Yet the Blair government has secretly authorised the sale of vast
quantities of arms and terror equipment to Israel. These include leg-
irons, electric shock belts and chemical and biological agents. No
matter that Israel has defied more United Nations resolutions than
any other state since the founding of the world body. Last October,
the UN General Assembly voted by 144 to four to condemn the wall that
Israel has cut through the heart of the West Bank, annexing the best
agricultural land, including the aquifer system that provides most of
the Palestinians' water. Israel, as usual, ignored the world.

Israel is the guard dog of America's plans for the Middle East. The
former CIA analysts Kathleen and Bill Christison have described
how "two strains of Jewish and Christian fundamentalism have
dovetailed into an agenda for a vast imperial project to restructure
the Middle East, all further reinforced by the happy coincidence of
great oil resources up for grabs and a president and vice-president
heavily invested in oil."

The "neoconservatives" who run the Bush regime all have close ties
with the Likud government in Tel Aviv and the Zionist lobby groups in
Washington. In 1997, the Jewish Institute for National Security
Affairs (Jinsa) declared: "Jinsa has been working closely with Iraqi
National Council leader Dr Ahmad Chalabi to promote Saddam Hussein's
removal from office..." Chalabi is the CIA-backed stooge and
convicted embezzler at present organising the next "democratic"
government in Baghdad.

Until recently, a group of Zionists ran their own intelligence
service inside the Pentagon. This was known as the Office of Special
Plans, and was overseen by Douglas Feith, an under-secretary of
defence, extreme Zionist and opponent of any negotiated peace with
the Palestinians. It was the Office of Special Plans that supplied
Downing Street with much of its scuttlebutt about Iraq's weapons of
mass destruction; more often than not, the original source was

Israel can also claim responsibility for the law passed by Congress
that imposes sanctions on Syria and in effect threatens it with the
same fate as Iraq unless it agrees to the demands of Tel Aviv. Israel
is the guiding hand behind Bush's bellicose campaign against
the "nuclear threat" posed by Iran. Today, in occupied Iraq, Israeli
special forces are teaching the Americans how to "wall in" a hostile
population, in the same way that Israel has walled in the
Palestinians in pursuit of the Zionist dream of an apartheid state.
The author David Hirst describes the "Israelisation of US foreign
policy" as being "now operational as well as ideological."

In understanding Israel's enduring colonial role in the Middle East,
it is too simple to see the outrages of Ariel Sharon as an aberrant
version of a democracy that lost its way. The myths that abound in
middle-class Jewish homes in Britain about Israel's heroic, noble
birth have long been reinforced by a "liberal" or "left-wing" Zionism
as virulent and essentially destructive as the Likud strain.

In recent years, the truth has come from Israel's own "new
historians," who have revealed that the Zionist "idealists" of 1948
had no intention of treating justly or even humanely the
Palestinians, who instead were systematically and often murderously
driven from their homes. The most courageous of these historians is
Ilan Pappe, an Israeli-born professor at Haifa University, who, with
the publication of each of his ground-breaking books, has been both
acclaimed and smeared.

The latest is A History of Modern Palestine, in which he documents
the expulsion of Palestinians as an orchestrated crime of ethnic
cleansing that tore apart Jews and Arabs coexisting peacefully. As
for the modern "peace process," he describes the Oslo Accords of 1993
as a plan by liberal Zionists in the Israeli Labour Party to corral
Palestinians in South African-style bantustans. That they were aided
by a desperate Palestinian leadership made the "peace" and
its "failure" (blamed on the Palestinians) no less counterfeit.
During the years of negotiation and raised hopes, governments in Tel
Aviv secretly doubled the number of illegal Jewish settlements on
Palestinian land, intensified the military occupation and completed
the fragmentation of the 22 per cent of historic Palestine that the
Palestine Liberation Organisation had agreed to accept in return for
recognising the state of Israel.

Along with the late Edward Said, Ilan Pappe is the most eloquent
writer of Palestinian history. He is also one of the most scholarly.
This combination has brought him many admirers, but also enemies
among Israel's academic liberal mythologists in Britain, one of whom,
Stephen Howe, was given the Pappe book to review in the New Statesman
of 8 March. Howe often appears in these pages; his style is to damn
with faint praise and to set carefully the limits of debate about
empire, be it Irish history, the Middle East or the "war on terror."
In Pappe's case, what the reader doesn't know is Howe's personal link
to the Israeli establishment; and what Howe does not say in his
review is that here for the first time is a textbook on Palestine
that narrates the real story as it happened: a non-Zionist version of

He accuses Pappe of "factual mistakes," but gives no evidence, then
denigrates the book by dismissing it as a footnote to another book by
the Israeli historian Benny Morris, who has long atoned for his own
revisionist work. To its credit, Cambridge University Press has
published Pappe's pioneering and highly accessible work as an
authoritative history. This means that the "debate" over Israel's
origins is ending, regardless of what the empire's apologists say.



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