By James Petras
On July 18, 2008 the New York Times published an article by Israeli-Jewish historian, Professor Benny Morris, advocating an Israeli nuclear-genocidal attack on Iran with the likelihood of killing 70 million Iranians — 12 times the number of Jewish victims in the Nazi holocaust:
Iran’s leaders would do well to rethink their gamble and suspend their nuclear program. Barring this, the best they could hope for is that Israel’s conventional air assault will destroy their nuclear facilities. To be sure, this would mean thousands of Iranian casualties and international humiliation. But the alternative is an Iran turned into a nuclear wasteland.
Morris is a frequent lecturer and consultant to the Israeli political and military establishment and has unique access to Israeli strategic military planners. Morris’ advocacy and public support of the massive, brutal expulsion of all Palestinians is on public record. Yet his genocidal views have not precluded his receiving numerous academic awards. His writings and views are published in Israel’s leading newspapers and journals. Morris’ views are not the idle ranting of a marginal psychopath, as witnessed by the recent publication of his latest op-ed article in the New York Times.
What does the publication by the New York Times of an article, which calls for the nuclear incineration of 70 million Iranians and the contamination of the better part of a billion people in the Middle East, Asia and Europe, tell us about US politics and culture? For it is the NYT, which informs the ‘educated classes’ in the US, its Sunday supplements, literary and editorial pages and which serves as the ‘moral conscience’ of important sectors of the cultural, economic and political elite.
The New York Times provides a certain respectability to mass murder, which Morris’ views otherwise would not possess if say, they were published in the neo-conservative weeklies or monthlies. The fact that the NYT considers the prospect of an Israeli mass extermination of millions of Iranians part of the policy debate in the Middle East reveals the degree to which Zionofascism has infected the ‘higher’ cultural and journalist circles of the United States. Truth to say, this is the logical outgrowth of the Times‘ public endorsement of Israel’s economic blockade to starve 1.4 million Palestinians in Gaza; the Times’ cover-up of Israeli-Zionist-AIPAC influence in launching the US invasion of Iraq leading to over one million murdered Iraqi citizens.
The Times sets the tone for the entire New York cultural scene, which privileges Israeli interests, to the point of assimilating into the US political discourse not only its routine violations of international law, but its threats, indeed promises, to scorch vast areas of the earth in pursuit of its regional supremacy. The willingness of the NYT to publish an Israeli genocide-ethnocide advocate tells us about the strength of the ties between a purportedly ‘liberal establishment’ pro-Israel publication and the totalitarian Israeli right: It is as if to say that for the liberal pro-Israel establishment, the non-Jewish Nazis are off limits, but the views and policies of Judeo-fascists need careful consideration and possible implementation.
Morris’ New York Times ‘nuclear-extermination’ article did not provoke any opposition from the 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations (PMAJO) because, in its daily information bulletin, Daily Alert, it has frequently published articles by Israeli and US Zionists advocating an Israeli and/or US nuclear attack on Iran. In other words, Morris’ totalitarian views are part of the cultural matrix deeply embedded in the Zionist organizational networks and its extensive ‘reach’ in US cultural and political circles. What the Times did in publishing Morris’ lunacy has taken genocidal discourse out of the limited circulation of Zionist influentials and into the mainstream of millions of American readers.
Apart from a handful of writers (Gentile and Jewish) publishing in marginal web sites, there was no political or moral condemnation from the entire literary, political and journalistic world of this affront to our humanity. No attempt was made to link Morris’ totalitarian genocidal policies to Israel’s public official threats and preparations for nuclear war. There is no anti-nuclear campaign led by our most influential public intellectuals to repudiate the state (Israel) and its public intellectuals who prepare a nuclear war with the potential to exterminate more than ten times the number of Jews slaughtered by the Nazis.
A nuclear incineration of the nation of Iran is the Israeli counterpart of Hitler’s gas chambers and ovens writ large. Extermination is the last stage of Zionism: Informed by the doctrine of rule the Middle East or ruin the air and land of the world. That is the explicit message of Benny Morris (and his official Israeli sponsors), who like Hitler, issues ultimatums to the Iranians, ‘surrender or be destroyed’ and who threatens the US, join us in bombing Iran or face a world ecological and economic catastrophe.
That Morris is utterly, starkly and clinically insane is beyond question. That the New York Times in publishing his genocidal ravings provides new signs of how power and wealth has contributed to the degeneration of Jewish intellectual and cultural life in the US. To comprehend the dimensions of this decay we need only compare the brilliant tragic-romantic German-Jewish writer, Walter Benjamin, desperately fleeing the advance of totalitarian Nazi terror to the Israeli-Jewish writer Benny Morris’ criminal advocacy of Zionist nuclear terror published in the New York Times.
The question of Zionist power in America is not merely a question of a ‘lobby’ influencing Congressional and White House decisions concerning foreign aid to Israel. What is at stake today are the related questions of the advocacy of a nuclear war in which 70 million Iranians face extermination and the complicity of the US mass media in providing a platform, nay a certain political respectability for mass murder and global contamination. Unlike the Nazi past, we cannot claim, as the good Germans did, that ‘we did not know’ or ‘we weren’t notified’, because it was written by an eminent Israeli academic and was published in the New York Times.
-James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co-author of Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). Petras’ forthcoming book, Zionism and US Militarism, is due from Clarity Press, Atlanta, in August 2008. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: email@example.com.