By James Petras
Special to PalestineChronicle.com
War For Oil or War For Israel: The Public Record
Zionist Power Configuration support for the Iraq War was an open, relentless, propaganda campaign by well-known writers, publicists, and community leaders as well as by the 52 leading Jewish organizations. There was ‘no conspiracy’ or ‘cabal’ – the Zionist campaign was brazenly public, aggressive and reiterative.
A systematic review of the major propaganda organ of the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organization’s newsletter, Daily Alert, from 2002 to September 2007 – 1,760 issues – provides us with a scientific sample of ZPC opinion. On average, each issue contained 5 articles in favor of the war or moves toward war with Iraq and/or Iran. The Daily Alert featured op-ed articles by the major liberal, conservative and Zion-fascist writers and academics which regularly appeared in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, the New York Sun, and the New York and Los Angeles Times, the Daily Telegraph and Times of London, YNet and others. In other words, in the crucial pre-war to post-invasion period, the leading pro-Israel Jewish organizations produced approximately 8800 pieces of pro-Iraq war propaganda and circulated it to all its member organizations, every Congressman, every leading member of the executive branch with follow-ups by local activists and an army of Washington lobbyists (150 from AIPAC alone) plus several hundred full-time activists from local and regional offices.
In a comparable survey of the leading Anglo-American business and financial newspaper, the Financial Times between 2002 and September 2007, regarding Big Oil’s policy toward war with Iraq and now Iran is just as revealing. I reviewed the opinion, editorial and letter pages of 1,872 issues of the Financial Times and there is not a single article or letter by any spokesperson or representative of a major (or minor) oil company calling for the invasion and occupation of Iraq or the bombing of Iran. There was no oil lobby or grass roots organization demanding Congress or the Bush Administration to go to war in defense of US oil interests. But the ZPC was active, promoting the lie that disarmed and embargoed Iraq represented an ‘existential threat’ to the nuclear armed Israel.
A similar comparison of Zionist and Big Oil regarding propaganda for a US military confrontation with Iran reinforces the argument of the centrality of the major Jewish organizations in promoting United States involvement in Middle East wars for Israel. Between 2004 and September 2007 (3 years and 9 months) the Zionist propaganda sheet, the Daily Alert, published 960 issues in which an average of 6 articles argued for an immediate or near future US or Israeli preemptive military attack on Iran, tougher economic sanctions than the Security Council was willing to support, organized disinvestment and boycotts of Iran. A survey of the Financial Times during the same period, 1053 issues, (the FT prints 6 times a week, the Daily Alert 5 times), fails to produce a single letter or op-ed article by any representative or spokesperson of Big Oil supporting war against Iran. On the contrary, as was the case with Iraq, major oil leaders expressed anxiety and fear that an Israeli instigated war would destabilize the entire area and lead to the destruction of vital oil installations, undermine transport routes and shipping lanes and cancel lucrative service contracts. Contrary to the latest Zionist propaganda, Big Oil wants the US to lift its sanctions against investment in Iran, since it has lost lucrative deals to competitors.
In complete contradiction to the ‘leftist’ Trotskyist-Zionist finger pointing at Big Oil as the main push for war, big Texas oil was working profitable with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, signing hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal contracts with the now executed ruler. Oscar Wyatt, a Texas oil billionaire, recently convicted for paying bribes to Saddam Hussein, was one of many big oil dealers involved in the lucrative pre-war oil trade with Iraq (Financial Times Oct. 2, 2007, p.2).
Zionist Warmongering: Fear and Venom
As the pressure from Israel for a US-backed military attack on Iran mounts, and as top US military officials and the general public grow increasingly hostile to Zionist arm twisting and gross manipulation of policy makers, the ZPC turns aggressively authoritarian in its effort to silence opposition which exposes its role as a disloyal actor for a foreign power. In the past, agents for a foreign power, once detected, usually received severe sanction or worse. Today, numerous Zionist insiders know they are playing an increasingly risky game as the perceived costs of a new war with Iran rise and their Israeli ‘handlers’ press them to promote an attack Iran at the top of their agenda.
Ultimately, the Zionist Power Configuration, despite their wealth and current dominance over US Middle East policy, know that they represent less than 1% of the population: They are an elite without a mass base. They have power only as long as the other 99% of the population is inactive, manipulated or intimidated to serve Israel’s interests. But as the growing flow of books, articles and speeches begin to call attention to the Israeli-directed ZPC and their destructive war-mongering activities, their self-promoted images of their members as brilliant professionals, successful leaders in the world of business and finance and compassionate politicians serving the best interests of the USA, begins to erode. The ugly side of their servile loyalty to Israel, an arrogant, racist colonial power provoking wars via the US to establish itself as an unchallenged regional power has entered into the American public debate.
The ZPC is at or near the peak of its political power – in Congress, the Executive, the Office of Homeland Security and prospective Attorney General, in ‘culture’ and the mass media propaganda. But paradoxically, as the ZPC peaks, it also exposes more of itself – much more than it wants to be seen by the American public.
Even the brash and impudent Zionist polemicists who hole up in the prestigious universities and ‘think tank-propaganda mills’ are beginning to feel public anxiety, even perhaps private worries. As they do so, they back track, trying to cover their fingerprints on all the war plans and propaganda leading to the now-massively unpopular invasion of Iraq. They resort to outright lies in the form of denials or complicity or ‘war-mongering’. Outrageous denials abound! For the more aggressive die-hard Zion-Cons, exposure of the disloyal role of the ZPC and their complicity evokes savage rejoinders, academic screeds in the gutter language of ad hominem abuse which reflects poorly on their vaunted academic positions. The ZPC, its scribes, operatives and power brokers are vulnerable – they have committed great crimes against the interests of the American people. Their actions have led to the death and maiming of tens of thousands of US soldiers, 99.9% of whom have no ‘loyalties’ to the interest of greater Israel or its US agents who have their own children pursuing lucrative civilian careers. Recent estimates found less than 0.2% of US soldiers serving on the ground in Iraq are American Jews, some of whom were Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union. This despite the strong Zionist pressure to invade and destroy Iraq and Iran. The manipulations of the ZPC in pushing the Bush Administration into invading and occupying Iraq has led the US military into an unprecedented state of disgrace and demoralization, with thousands of officers tendering their early retirement, thousands of troops going AWOL and facing court-martial, and an increasing number of retired senior officers expressing outrage. It is no surprise that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates secured the support of top military officers in the Middle East in opposing an immediate invasion of Iran.
Zionist vituperation against their critics expresses fears of exposure and unmasking of their double discourse, their false amalgamation of Israeli colonial policies with the democratic values of the American people. Nothing else can explain the shrill verbal personal assaults – aimed at killing the messenger rather than facing unpleasant realities and working to rectify a disastrous situation. While the state of Israel has placed its American promoters in an uncomfortable position as the occupation of Iraq crumbles and Americans resist shrill calls for attacking Iran, nevertheless Israel has turned out to be the real winner, in the short term, having achieved the destruction of the unified, secular republic of Iraq.
From a Scratch to Gangrene: The Transition from Zionism to Zion-Fascism
The ‘mainstream’ Zionist conservatives early on demonstrated their authoritarian politics through their whole-hearted and un-problematical support for Israel’s brutal campaigns driving hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and lands. Subsequently, the Zion-Cons fully and un-questioningly endorsed the killing and jailing of thousands of Palestinian civilians protesting the Israeli military occupation and conversion of the occupied West Bank and Gaza into ‘open air’ concentration camps, with over 500 military outposts and roads blocks. More recently the entire leadership of the major Jewish organizations, comprising both Zion-Cons and Zion-Libs, defended Israel’s building of a massive 30 meter wall, effectively corralling the entire Palestinian population in ghettos resembling the walls constructed around the huge Jewish population in Warsaw by the Nazis. The wall and the military outposts strangle trade, movement of food and people from the occupied territories to markets, schools and hospitals and prevent farmers from even tilling their lands.
On October 10, 2007 the Jerusalem Post quoted Aron Soffer, head of research and lecturer at the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) National Defense College. The 71-year old father of 4 and grandfather of 8 had said on May 21, 2004: “When 2.5 million people live in a closed off Gaza, its going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure at the border will be awful. Its going to be a terrible war. So if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day…every day.”
This is the literal message of murder taught to Israeli officers at their most advanced military school by eminent Zion-Fascist lecturers. This helps us understand the naked brutality and homicidal behavior of Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories.
A recent Israeli study by two prominent psychologists illustrates the deep strain of sadism and racism inculcated by Israel’s military academies and backed by Israel’s top politicians, including the Prime Minister’s Office. According to Haaretz on September 21, 2007, two Israeli psychologists interviewed 21 Israeli soldiers, who expressed “their innermost emotions about the horrendous crimes, in which they took part: murder, breaking the bones of Palestinian children, acts of humiliation, destruction of property, robbery and theft.” One of the Israeli psychologists was “shocked to find that the soldiers enjoyed the ‘intoxication of power’ and had pleasure from using violence.” She said, “Most of my interviewees enjoyed their own instigated violence during the occupation.” (Haaretz September 21, 2007) Absolute colonial domination brings out the psychopathic tendencies in an occupation army. Soldier C testified, “If I didn’t enter Rafah (Palestinian City in Gaza) to put down some rebellion – at least once a week I’d go beserk.” Like previous colonial occupiers, the Israeli soldiers adopt a totalitarian ‘super-race complex’. Soldier D testified, “What is great is that you don’t follow any law or rule. You feel that YOU ARE THE LAW. Once you go into the Occupied Territory YOU ARE GOD!.” The soldiers’ internalization of the powerful Zion-fascist ideology provides a self-justification in the eyes of the interviewees for castrating a man, bashing in the face of a woman protester, shooting an innocuous pedestrian, breaking the arm of a 4-year old child and other ‘gratuitous’ acts of random violence.
The Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations never ever mention, let along criticize, the daily psychopathic behavior of the IDF. Major Jewish billionaire philanthropists contribute hundreds of millions in support of the IDF’s violent occupation and repression of Palestinian civilians, described with cruel pleasure by the soldier-subjects of the Israeli study. In fact, the biggest Zionist contributor to the Democratic Party, Haim Saban ($12.3 million dollars in 2002), has a ‘soft spot for Israeli combat soldiers.’ According to Haaretz (September 12, 2006), Saban declared, “I can’t handle combat soldiers, whenever I have any interaction with them…I cry.” There is a powerful emotional bond that links Israeli Zion-fascism to its US counterparts. Saban arrogantly points to the primacy of his loyalty to Israel, “I strut around like a peacock in America and say I am an Israeli-American. What you hear…an Israeli-American.” (Haaretz October 14, 2007). The formerly respectable Brooking’s Institute now houses the ‘Saban Center’, financed by Haim Saban, turning Brookings into just another of a dozen propaganda mills churning out apologetics for the totalitarian practices of the IDF – their leading research directors and their Prime Minister. The deadly ‘sentimentality’ of the Israeli-American billionaires toward the psychopaths in the IDF does not extend to the young Americans serving Israel’s interests as US soldiers in Iraq and who are suffering the burdens of a war to extend Israel’s regional power. Saban, like the great majority of the top leaders of the most influential Zionist organization are pushing for another war – this time with Iran. According to Saban, “I would try other things first, but if they don’t work, then attack…In Iran you go in and wipe out their infrastructure completely. Plunge them into darkness. Cut off their water.” (Haaretz October 14, 2007). These are not the homicidal ranting of a fanatical Jewish settler beating a pre-adolescent Palestinian shepherd. Saban is a major leader in AIPAC, family friend and political broker of the Clintons and the entire current Israeli leadership. His $2.8 billion dollars buys the fawning attention of all major US presidential “candidates courting Jewish support” (MSNBC, October 14, 2007).
The Zionist Power Configuration has buried 3 top level political initiatives designed to reach a settlement of the Israeli colonial occupation of Palestine. A statement to President Bush and Secretary of State Rice sent by former top political officials of both political parties, including Brzezinski, Lee Hamilton, Brent Scowcroft and others calling for Israel to abide by UN Security Council Resolution 242 and 338 and other initiatives, was totally dismissed by the Democratic Congress and the Republican White House, after the ZPC intervened and labeled Brzezinski as ‘hostile to Israel’ – following the Israeli state’s complete dismissal of the statement. Tony Blair’s efforts as head of the ‘Quartet Peace-Making Mission’ has been a total failure in resolving even the humanitarian plight of the Palestinians, in the face of Israeli intransigence and rejection of any but the most banal conversations with the now subdued (formerly so frenetic) ex-British Prime Minister (Guardian October 13, 2007). Secretary Rice’s efforts to organize a Middle East peace conference for late November in Annapolis, Maryland were diluted to the point of pointlessness by Israeli pronouncements. Israel rejects any substantive agreements on borders, timetables, Jerusalem, settlements, territory etc.. They insist the conference focus on meaningless general agreements that commit them to nothing. In action designed to further humiliate US Secretary of State Rice, the Israeli government illegally seized several hundred acres of Palestinian lands – a clear example of extending the settlements (Aljazeera October 14, 2007). While trying to appear stylish in a dunce cap, Secretary Rice responded that the new Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land might ‘erode confidence in the parties’ commitment to a two state solution’ (BBC October 14, 2007).
Recognizing that the ZPC has completely tied up her negotiation position, that she cannot demand anything substantive from Israel, Secretary Rice has signaled the futility of the Annapolis meeting by calling for ‘lower expectations’, that is no agreements of substance. There is good reason to believe that Israel and its Fifth Column have effectively scuttled Bush’s own Annapolis initiative. Even US clients like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and even the Palestinian puppet Abbas have expressed doubts since there are no substantive agreements on state boundaries, anathema to Israel and the ZPC. Whether the conference is ‘postponed’ or actually takes place, the event promises to be another inconsequential gesture, another US Middle East defeat, another victory for Israel’s colonial status quo and another reason for increased Arab resistance in the Middle East.
What is more ominous, Israel and the ZPC will find that their successful sabotage of the White House Annapolis Peace Conference is likely to encourage them to press ahead with further violent seizures in the Occupied Territories, new more deadly incursions in Lebanon and Syria and heightened pressure for war with Iran. Zion-fascism feeds into the sense of irresistible power over US Middle East policy against any major US institutional force, which fails to follow the Israeli line.
Along with the right-wing radicalization of Zion-Con ideology with regard to Israel’s push toward totalitarian solutions, came overt manifestations of racist anti-Islamic, anti-Arab and anti-Persian practices and speeches from leading Zion-Con spokespeople and especially academic propagandists in the United States.
War propaganda and military solutions dominate Zion-Con rhetoric: first against Palestine, then Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Somalia and Sudan. Accompanying the radicalization of Zion-con rhetoric is a growing number of repressive acts within US society.
The ZPC and Holocaust Denial: At the Service of Israel
Leading Zionist Democrats following Israeli directives played a major role in undermining a Congressional resolution condemning as genocide the Turkish murder of 1.5 million Armenians. For many years the state of Israel and its academic specialists both in Israel as well as in the US have denied Turkish-led Genocide against the Armenians in their ancient homeland between 1915-1917 despite the voluminous documentary record complied by scholars throughout the world. One reason is that the Jewish Holocaust industry insists on the exclusive franchise on 20th century genocide, in order to push its fundraising and propaganda efforts. An even more important contemporary reason for Israeli and US Zionist holocaust denial is the close military collaboration between Israel and Turkey and more recently the heavy presence of Israeli military advisers and secret police (Mossad) operations in Kurdish-controlled Northern Iraq, dubbed Kurdistan.
Former member of the Israeli armed services, ‘US’ Congressman Rahm Emanuel, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, opposed the resolution from the start and convinced a group of senior House Democrats to demand the Democratic Congressional leadership drop plans for a vote on the measure. Deeply implicated with the interests of Israel, Emanuel has both feet in the terrain of an Israeli-defined Middle East reality. Congressman Emanuel cynically rationalized his service for the state of Israel in a convoluted statement: “This vote (on the Armenian genocide) came face to face with the reality on the ground in that region of the world.” (NT Times, October 16, 2007) The Israeli fifth column in the US Congress has extended the scope of its control beyond narrow focus on the contemporary Middle East and Israel’s quest for regional dominance to encompass historical issues involving non-Arab, non-Muslim people who indirectly affect Israeli strategic interests. Israeli strategists see the Congressional resolution on the Armenian genocide as provoking Turkish hostility to the US, increasing the likelihood of an invasion against the US and Israeli-backed ‘Kurdistan’ in Northern Iraq. Israeli officials have been training and arming Kurdish commandos to engage in terrorist activities in Iran and elsewhere on the Turkish, Iranian and Syrian border. A Turkish land invasion and aerial attack would, at a minimum, destroy or disarticulate these terrorist bases and more likely lead to a generalized Kurdish mobilization in defense of the Kurdish irregulars. The Kurds are loyal clients and their Pershmerga militias play an integral role in ethnic cleansing of non-Kurds in Northern Iraq and savage repression in Central Iraq as US-led mercenary forces against the Iraq Arab resistance. A Turkish invasion is likely to result in the transfer of the Kurdish military toward their Turkish frontier, undermining US control in Iraq and weakening their assaults on Iran. The Israelis will have to choose between its alliance with Turkey, its only consequential ally in the Middle East, by withdrawing its operative and arms sales from ‘Kurdish’ Northern Iraq or its support for Kurdish separatists.
The entire ZPC was on maximum alert to block or defeat the Armenian resolution in the US Congress in order to show the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan that Israel is using its power over the US Congress on Turkey’s behalf. In this conflict between, on the one hand, millions of Americans who abhor genocide – wherever it occurs and whoever is victimized – and the influential Armenian lobby, and, on the other hand, a few dozen highly placed ‘Israel First’ Congress members and their billionaire Zionist political contributors, the latter won out. Even on an issue as palpable as genocide, the ZPC has no fear or shame in opposing a symbolic resolution recognizing a world-historic crime.
The Zionist Congressional victory on the Armenian resolution illustrates in the most graphic manner the way Israeli interests degrades our institutions and values. The fact that many Congress-members, including the majority of Democrats, were initially convinced of the justice of passing the resolution, and later under the pressure of the Zionist Congressional leadership, withdrew their support, is indicative of just how far Congress has degenerated into a Zionist colonized institution. Not only does Congress ignore its electorate, the values of the people who elected them, but also they surrender their own values and conscience, for what Seymour Hersh aptly refers to as ‘New York Jewish money.’
The Israeli effort to head off a Turkish attack on their Kurdish clients is closely related to their efforts to undermine Iranian defenses and gain intelligence via terrorist ‘commando operations’ by Kurdish irregulars.
The centerpiece of activity for all the major national, state and local pro-Israeli Jewish organizations is to isolate and destroy Iran, by economic sanctions and a massive military attack by the US. There is absolutely no consideration of the millions of Iranians who would be killed, injured or made homeless by a US or Israeli effort to ‘wipe Iran off the map.’
The major recipient of ‘New York (and Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago) Jewish money’ is Hillary Clinton, the most hawkish Democratic war monger in the 2008 president race – in fact the most hawkish Democratic candidate since the Vietnam era. Clinton, in a recent article in Foreign Affairs, has all but written the date and weapons with which the US will strike Iran. She argues that ‘Iran poses a long-term strategic challenge to America and its allies and that it must not be permitted to build or acquire nuclear weapons…” If Iran does not comply, all options must remain on the table. (Guardian, October 15, 2007).
Israel keeps a box-score on how servile US presidential candidates are to Israeli state interests and obedient to the dictates of the Israel lobby. Clinton, by far, is the Zionist choice among Democratic presidential candidates. They have forgiven her for kissing Suha Arafat over a decade ago, because she has kissed both cheeks of each and all male and female Zionist lobbyists and Israeli officials in Washington and applauded the repression of Palestinians. Clinton aroused the passion and pleasure of the pro-Israel Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organization by being the only Democratic presidential candidate to support the Senate resolution calling on the US government to declare the Iranian government’s ‘Revolutionary Guards’, an elite division of Teheran’s military, to be a ‘terrorist entity’, thus providing the Bush administration with a justification for a massive pre-emptive attack against Iran and its infrastructure.
Both in terms of financing war resolutions and sanctions campaigns against Iran, in terms of lobby authored legislation and Congressional speeches, of hours campaigning for an attack on Iran, of op-ed columns published and media pundits comments, the Zionist Power Configuration exceeds by a multiple of ten any other group in pushing for a war with Iran. Not only do the Zionist monopolize the ‘attack Iran’ propaganda, but they are leading all other authoritarian groups in silencing US critics of this aggressive military option.
Let us be perfectly clear that the ZPC, the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations, the Rahm Emanuels (Israeli-Americans) controlling the Democratic caucus agenda…do not always and everywhere speak for the majority of American Jews, especially on the denial of the Turkish genocide of the Armenians. Pugnacious ADL President Abraham Foxman found out in Watham, Massachusetts that both the local Armenian-American community and their Jewish-American compatriots and neighbors do not tolerate the denial of genocide – even by the ADL. Substantial sectors of American Jews object to Clinton’s war mongering and find her servile truckling to Israeli officials offensive, even obscene. Zionist polls reveal the majority of educated young American Jews are less and less interested in Israel and its local Fifth Column – much to the chagrin of the self-styled ‘leaders’ of the community. Saying that a Jewish minority speaks in the name of an unwilling majority, however, does not lessen its power and stranglehold over US political institutions and public opinion with regard to policy or appropriations touching on the Middle East or Israeli-defined interests.
“Jew-haters’ became the agitation slogan animating the Zion-con purge of public forums and a call for mass direct action by hundreds of local Jewish notables and ‘community’ councils. Even Presbyterian elders were brow-beaten by Jewish Zionists because of their tepid stand divesting from US companies involved in oppressing Palestinians.
There is no transcendent event, which defines the moment in which Zion-conservation became Zion-Fascism. The transition was an evolutionary process, during which racism, militarism and authoritarianism developed a mass community base and took hold over time and became the definitive modus operendi of the ZPC.
Like earlier fascist movements, Zion-fascism subscribes to racialist doctrines of knowledge: According to Zionist epistemology only Jews can (if they dare) criticize Jews as knowledge of Jewry is monopolized by a closed communally defined people. This Zion-fascist theory of knowledge is buttressed by the frequent utterances of progressive or leftist Zionists who frequently dismiss or warn non-Jewish writers that they enter the ‘Jewish’ debate at their peril.
Zion-fascism is not merely an ideological expression of a marginal group of unbalanced extremists – its ideology and practice, in full or part, has been taken over by mainstream Jewish organizations.
Zionist Authoritarianism on the March
Grassroots Zionist-led authoritarianism, practicing coercion, repression and financial blackmail in defense of Israel and the ZPC is occurring in every region of the country, in every sphere of social, cultural and academic life at an accelerating pace. Below we cite a small sample of cases which have gotten national and even international attention and which illustrate a far more extensive pattern. We lack a comprehensive data bank to cover the hundreds of incidents of Zionist intimidation and thought control which occur on a weekly basis and go unreported by their victims for fear of retaliation or because they would not receive sympathetic public attention given the media bias. In informal interviews, writers and journalists have reported to me ‘visits’ by local Jewish ‘notables’ and members of the Jewish Community Councils to local newspaper editors to demand the firing of columnists who dared to criticize, for example, Israel’s horrific invasion of Lebanon. After one such ‘visit’ and ‘talk’, a local columnist never ventured to criticize or even write about the Middle East. This is not a matter confined to the United States. In 2004, after I wrote an article for the Mexico City daily, La Jornada, critical of Israel’s savage repression of Palestinians in Jena and the US Zionist apology for mass killings, the Israeli Ambassador in Mexico visited the editors to demand they discontinue publishing my articles. The editor refused to accede at that time, but immediately afterwards they published several vicious personal attacks by their regular columnists (one a Troskyist, and the other a Jewish dentist) labeling my critiques as ‘Nazi’ propaganda , in line with the ‘Protocols of Zion’. This was in a reputed independent progressive daily newspaper.
‘Private visits’, abusive phone calls by Zionist zealots, including death threats are not uncommon practices among ‘respectable’ Zion-fascists. One incident involved a local doctor who received a ‘visit’ to her office by a fanatical Zionist ‘colleague’ complaining of her letter to the local newspaper criticizing the role of the Zionists in financing the electoral defeat of Georgia Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney because of her criticism of Israeli policy. She was ‘warned’ that it was anti-Semitic to criticize the activities of organized Jewry in destroying politicians, especially black politicians, for their support of Palestinian civil rights. African Americans, she was told, were increasingly ungrateful to American Jews, who had lead and financed the civil rights struggle, and therefore had to be taught a history lesson. A local ‘group’ of notables had chosen her Harvard-educated Zionist colleague to deliver this message. When he declared himself ‘a Jew and a Zionist’, she countered that she was ‘an anti-fascist and an anti-Zionist’ and pointed to the door but not before asking him how an educated man of high professional standing could stomach such a degrading task of trying to censor a colleague. These types of ‘visits’ from ‘respectable’ Zionists intimidate others with less standing and intestinal fortitude.
When presented with the manuscript of my book, The Power of Israel in the United States, many of my previous editors informed me that it would make a great book…but…they didn’t want to face the backlash, threats and vituperation that they expected from the ZPC, Jewish academics, writers on contract and publishers. Even the publisher and editor who finally agreed to publish my MS expressed real fear of Zionist hostility – and eventually a dozen or so Jewish academics cancelled book orders for their classes.
A sample of the most publicized cases of Zionist efforts to silence and purge American society of critics of Israel and the Zionist Power Configuration includes the case of over one thousand Zionist alumni of Barnard College campaigning to deny tenure to Professor Nadia Abu el-Haj for publishing Facts on the Ground , her ground-breaking critique on Israeli archeologists efforts to erase centuries of continued Palestinian presence in the Holy Lands (Chronicle of Higher Education, August 5, 2007).
More recently there was the public campaign to rescind Colombia University’s invitation to Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmedinejad resulting in an unprecedented insulting introductory address by the President of Colombia University.
Banning the successful British play, ‘My Name is Rachel Corrie’ based on the writings of the murdered American activist from scheduled performances in New York, Miami and Toronto caused consternation among theater goers and actors on both sides of the Atlantic. The Israeli soldier who murdered the young woman was exonerated in Israel while Rachel’s words were banned from the cultural capital of her own country.
Even more recently, the Chicago Council of Global Affairs bowed to pressure from the Zionist lobby and cancelled a lecture by the respected professors of political science, John Mearsheimer and Stephan Walt because of their critical study The Israel Lobby.
The list goes on to include the cancellation of a concert by Marcel Khalife in San Diego, California and the cancellation of an invitation to Nobel Peace Prize winner, South African Bishop Desmond Tutu because of his criticism of Israeli apartheid policies in the occupied territories.
There was a successful campaign to prevent author Susan Abulhawa from presenting her gripping novel, The Scar of David, at a Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Bayside, New York. This was followed by a cyberspace attack on the author to undermine a scheduled speaking tour. This pro-Israel attack was led by 14 rabbis and the President of the Queens Jewish Community Council.
The University of Michigan Press was pressured to withdraw distribution of Joel Kovel’s Overcoming Zionism, violating a contract with his publisher, Pluto Press. The University Press then threatened to stop distribution of all books published by Pluto Press.
The recent Congressional Hearings of a blue ribbon committee, which finally got around to investigating the Israeli military attack on the USS Liberty (after 40 years of successfully preventing an official investigation through the pressure of the Israel lobby) found Israel guilty of the deliberate killing and maiming of over 100 US service personnel. Its explosive findings, published in the Congressional Record, never appeared in the print and broadcast media.
In violation of United Nations resolutions, Israel’s military aggression against Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, were rewarded by the US Congress with an additional $30 billion dollars in military aid over the next 10 years, making the US annual ‘tribute to Israel’ in excess of $6 Billion dollars a year (NY Times, August 16, 2007). At a time of record US deficits and cuts in domestic health programs for poor children and educational services, the vote to give Israel an additional $30 billion dollars passed with virtually no opposition or even discussion.
Australian journalist and documentary maker, John Pilger produced a searing critique of Israel entitled “Palestine is Still the Issue” which has been viewed all over the world. Its scheduled showing on the public educational channel in San Francisco was blocked by a campaign led by the Jewish Community Relations Council.
The bilingual Arabic-English public middle school in New York City named after the Lebanese Christian poet, Kahil Gibran, was attacked by the ZPC (NY Times August 11, 2007) leading to the firing of its Arab American Principal. Her ‘crime’ was accurately translating the Arabic word ‘intifada’ into ‘shaking off’ instead of ranting against the Palestinian rights movement in the Occupied Territories. The Zionist-controlled United Federation of Teachers actively backed the blatant purge of one of its own members for her thought crimes.
At San Francisco State College there was a campaign led by the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco to ban a mural depicting a famous Palestinian cartoon character, a little boy defiant before Israeli occupiers. The subject in question was a child holding a key in his hand, which, according to the local Jewish leadership represented a ‘veiled reference to Palestinian right of return to Israel’ (Jewish Forum, August 10, 2007).
One of the most bitter and successful Zionist Purge campaigns was to deny tenure to highly respected scholar, Professor Norman Finkelstein of De Paul University in Chicago. The purge, led by Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, was a direct response to Finkelstein’s numerous scholarly studies critical of Israel and the exploitation of the Holocaust to further the aims of the Zionist Power Configuration.
Despite the recommendations of three academic committees at Yale University, Zionist millionaire philanthropists were able to block the appointment of renowned Middle East specialist, Professor Juan Cole. The millionaires threatened to withdraw contributions and several Zionist professors prepared a scurrilous attack on Professor Cole (June 1, 2006).
A campaign was mounted to pressure several state pension funds to divest funds from any company doing business with Iran and pushing the funds to invest in Israel bonds. This has so far succeeded in Texas, Florida, New York, and New Jersey. Several state governors were ‘persuaded’ while on Zionist-paid junkets to Israel (see Houston Chronicle, July 18, 2007). During one of these junkets, the now disgraced New Jersey Governor McGreevy met an Israeli operative with whom he formed a homosexual relation and later had him installed as ‘Homeland Security’ Chief for the State of New Jersey, until the FBI intervened. McGreevy resigned from office after denouncing the Israeli, Golan Cipal, for blackmail.
The Anti-Defamation League, pro-Israel transmission belt, forced the only Muslim Congressman, Keith Ellison, to recant and humiliate himself for daring to compare the tactics of the Bush Administration to the Nazis (Jewish Telegraph Agency, July 20, 2007). As in the case of Congresswoman McKinney, Zionist ‘punishment’ against African-American politicians is particularly vehement.
The major Zionist organizations led by the American Jewish Committee successfully mobilized the major US trade union bureaucrats to denounce the United Kingdom’s militant trade union’s boycotts of Israel (Jerusalem Post, July 22, 2007). The AFL-CIO unions are under the thumb of the ZPC and have purchased over $5 billion dollars of their members pension funds in Israel bonds which consistently under-perform market indexes, thus costing their 12 million members hundreds of millions of investment returns each year.
The dean of religion Barry Levin, a pro-Israel activist at McGill University recently fired Professor Norman Cornelt after 15 years of teaching for his support of Palestinian human rights (Montreal Gazette, June 2, 2007).
Every major newspaper published editorials and scurrilous book reviews attacking former US President Jimmy Carter’s critical study, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. This was part of a high-priority propaganda campaign coordinated by major Zionist organizations and prominently included Professor Alan Dershowitz (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, April 2007).
The prominent Jewish writer, Professor Tony Judt of New York University was dis-invited from a scheduled talk at the Polish Consulate because of Zionist opposition to his criticism of Israeli policy.
B’nai Brith of Vancouver, Canada attacked a Canadian web site called Peace, Earth and Justice forcing the removal of 18 articles critical of Israel.
In early 2007 the ZPC intervened in the US Civil Rights Commission and introduced a section equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and slandered dozens of academic Middle Eastern studies programs as centers of campus ‘anti-Semitism’. The Middle East Studies Association of North America, the major academic group, wrote a reasoned refutation on June 11, 2007.
Plans to construct a mosque for the Muslim community in Roxbury, Massachusetts were attacked in a campaign by the ‘David Project’, a Zionist front group affiliated with the Jewish Community Council of Greater Boston.
On the basis of secret testimony by Israeli intelligence agents and backed by the ZPC ‘terrorism’ charges were made against 16 members of a US Islamic charity. A Texas court convicted them of ‘crimes’ against Israel, even though many of the accused were US citizens and had no access to challenge their hooded accusers, Israeli secret agents operating in the US. The lead defendant, Dr. Rafil Dhofer received a sentence of 22 years for an ‘Israeli’ crime – although he was never convicted of any crime committed in the US. The defendants and their attorneys were never allowed to question the secret foreign ‘witnesses’.
Campus Zion-fascist organizations run by their ‘little fuehrer’ David Horowitz, routinely bait blacks, Latinos and Arab Americans by praising the ‘benefits’ of the African slave trade and defend the use of torture and assassination by Israelis and their US counterparts in Iraq and Guantanamo. In addition, they smear professors not sufficiently favorable to Zionism, spy on instructors, disrupt classes, bring lawsuits for ‘anti-Zionist’ bias against teachers, other students and college administrators throughout the US.
Despite the Zionist turn to fascist tactics and embrace of authoritarian-coercive measures, the fact of the matter is they still only have partial control over civil society and political power. Some of the Zion-fascist power plays were, at least temporarily, defeated in specific circumstances. The play, My Name is Rachel Corrie played to packed houses in London, Seattle and other courageous cities even as it was banned in New York, Toronto and Miami.
Norman Finkelstein was fired, but he got powerful support throughout the academic world and was able to negotiate monetary compensation for De Paul University’s cowardly betrayal of one of its faculty. Above all, Professor Finkelstein is fighting back.
The University of Michigan was forced to distribute Kovel’s book even as they threatened to cancel their contract with his publisher, Pluto Press.
The lesson is clear: the rise of this sort of fascism (JF) represents a clear and present danger to our democratic freedoms in the United States. They do not come with black shirts and stiff-arm salutes. The public face is a clean-shaved, necktied, pink-jowled attorney, real estate philanthropist or Ivy League professor. They work hard to send the family members of non-Zionists to fight wars in the Middle East in the interest of Greater Israel. And they tells us to keep quiet or face slander, ostracism in our communities, loss of jobs or worst… And it is the exemplary punishment of the many small voices, which keeps the number of vocal critics low…until recently. There is rising anger and hostility in America against the ZPC, against its arrogant authoritarian communal attacks on our democratic values. Sooner or later there will be a major backlash – and it ill behooves those who, through vocation or conviction, engaged in the firings, censoring and intimidation campaigns against the American majority. The American people will not remember their cries of ‘anti-Semitism’ they will recall their role in sending thousands of American soldiers to their death in the Middle East in the interests of Israel.
Let us hope that those who seek justice will not use the same authoritarian laws like the Patriot Act, nor the harsh interrogation techniques of degradation (torture) and anti-Arab/Muslim practices promoted by the Zionists in the Pentagon, Congress, Justice Department and Homeland Security. Those who oppose Zionism need to abide solidly by higher moral standards.
-James Petras’ latest books: The Power of Israel in the United States (2006) and Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire: Bankers, Zionists and Militarists (2007).