- In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger
writes that the atrocity in Madrid pales against the terrorism whose name
is seldom spoken and principal source is rarely identified. Moreover, this
source wags the dog in Bush's Washington...
- 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
- 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.
- 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 Zionism.
- 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.
- First published in the New Statesman - www.newstatesman.co.uk