Archive | November 6th, 2013

Iran calls for global nuclear disarmament

NOVANEWS

israelnukes

Total elimination of nukes ‘is the only absolute guarantee against their threat or use,’ says Islamic Republic’s UN envoy

Times of Israel

Iran’s UN ambassador called nuclear weapons the greatest threat to present and future generations on Monday, just days before Tehran resumes talks with six world powers aimed at reining in its suspect nuclear program.

Mohammad Khazaee told a meeting of the General Assembly’s disarmament committee that “the total elimination of these inhuman weapons is the only absolute guarantee against their threat or use.”

The election of President Hassan Rouhani, viewed as a moderate, has led to a revival of talks in Geneva aimed at allaying Western fears that the real aim of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program is producing nuclear weapons, not nuclear energy and medical isotopes as it claims.

For years, Iran has insisted that its nuclear program is purely peaceful, and that it opposes nuclear weapons, but Khazaee’s comments were especially strong.

“Before they consume us all together, we must consume them all together,” he said. “This is not an option but a must. This is both our right and responsibility.”

Khazaee told the committee “we need to invest further political will to achieve a nuclear weapon-free world at the earliest date.”

The committee adopted a number of resolutions, including a Japanese-sponsored measure on “united action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons,” which strongly condemned North Korea’s nuclear test in February and called for further efforts by nuclear states to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons.

It urges all countries to sign the nuclear test ban treaty, encourages the establishment of new nuclear-weapon-free zones, and calls on North Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons and expresses concern at its uranium enrichment and light water reactor construction.

The resolution was approved by a vote of 164-1 with 14 abstentions. North Korea voted “no” while Iran, Israel, Syria, Russia, China, Brazil and India were among those who abstained.

A North Korean diplomat, who refused to give his name, said his country believes there should be total elimination of nuclear weapons and supports denuclearization of the Korean peninsula — but he stressed that any actions must be simultaneous and the North “will therefore not unilaterally move first.”

The diplomat said North Korea is developing nuclear weapons “for the purpose of deterring the United States attack and defending its sovereignty.”

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Egypt looks to Russia for arms after U.S. cutoff — report

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Egypt is reported looking to Moscow to supply it with weapons following U.S. President Barack Obamas decision to suspend a large part of the $1.3 billion in military aide Washington provides Cairo to protest the army’s July 3 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy has acknowledged relations between the military-backed government in Cairo and the Obama White House are in “turmoil” following the Oct. 9 suspension.

He warned Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation and a longtime U.S. ally, would have to find “other sources” to supply its national security requirements.

The Cairo government has had little to say officially on what it plans to do to counter the U.S. action, possibly because it does not want to aggravate a highly sensitive situation.

However, Israel’s Channel 2 television reports the “other sources” to which Fahmy referred means Russia. It said Cairo is now looking to conclude a major arms deal with Moscow.

There have been no formal indications from Cairo or Moscow that such an arrangement is under discussion but it would fit in with Russia’s current Mideast strategy.

It should be kept in mind Israel is deeply alarmed at the U.S. action, and would prefer a military regime in Cairo than one wholeheartedly committed to a democracy that might one day be subsumed by hardline Islamists, as the Israelis believe it nearly was during Morsi’s one-year rule.

Israeli officials have told Washington it was a “strategic error” to cut aid to Egypt, and the regime’s strongman, army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, might simply turn to Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf monarchies for military assistance, which already have pledged $12 billion in aid.

Israel has said cutting back on military aid to Egypt now, as it struggles with political turmoil, will jeopardize the historic 1979 peace treaty it signed with Egypt, the linchpin of Israeli strategic planning.

“It’s evident the Israelis don’t want a sudden cut in military aid to Egypt because this will immediately affect its commitment to the peace treaty,” said Hassan Nafaa, a political science professor at Cairo University.

This is most evident in Israeli and Egyptian cooperation in confronting a growing jihadist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, which lies between Israel and the Nile Delta, Egypt’s heartland. Both states are targets for the jihadists, who would like nothing better than to wreck the peace treaty.

That pact’s also been a cornerstone of U.S policy in the Middle East. The $1.3 billion in annual U.S. military aid, the second largest after the $3.1 billion Israel gets every year, is testament to that relationship.

All told, Washington has provided Cairo with more than $40 billion in military assistance in the last 34 years, around 80 percent of its annual military procurement budget.

It’s also been a boon to U.S. defense manufacturers, like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics Land Systems, which have provided Egypt with 224 F-16 jets and 1,100 Abrams M1A1 main battle tanks paid for out of the U.S. aid.

These weapons systems, and all the ancillary programs associated with them, replaced Soviet-era MiG fighters and T-72 tanks that Moscow began providing Egypt during the Cold War in the 1960s.

These have been phased out — a process that continues — since the late President Anwar Sadat, who signed the 1979 peace pact and was assassinated for doing so, booted out the Soviets in 1972, finally expelling Soviet diplomats in 1981.

It would be an immense shift in military procurement as well as the geopolitical landscape if Cairo sought to restore its old links with Moscow where President Vladimir Putin is driving to boost Russian arms sales across the Middle East in a bid to restore Moscow’s influence as U.S. power wanes.

In 2012, Putin signed a $4.3 billion arms deal with Iraq, thus challenging what had been pretty much a U.S. preserve, Moscow is also a key arms supplier to Iran and war-torn Syria, as well as Algeria and, until 2011, Libya.

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SYRIA – Mass graves in Sadad: 45 Christian civilians killed by Zio-NATO Rat’s

NOVANEWS

Sadad (Agenzia Fides) – The bodies of thirty Christian civilians have been found in two separate mass graves, including women and children, killed by Islamist militias in the city of Sadad. And, altogether, the Christian civilians killed in a small town halfway between Homs and Damascus are 45. This is what the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate in Damascus reported to Fides. The city of Sadad, a Christian settlement, was invaded and occupied by Islamist militias on October 21 and was recaptured in recent days by the Syrian regular army.

When the representatives of the Patriarchate and the families of the victims returned to town they found to their horror two mass graves, where they found the bodies of their relatives and friends. In an atmosphere of grief, outrage and emotion, the funerals of the thirty Christians were celebrated by Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh, Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Homs and Hama, who provided Fides the list of victims.

According to eyewitnesses, many of the civilians were killed by militia gangs of “Al- Nusra Front” and “Daash”. The city is now completely destroyed and looted. Some of the militants who invaded the city were holed up in the Syriac Orthodox Church of St. Theodore, which was profaned. Sadad is an ancient Syriac village which dates back to 2000 B.C. located in the region of Qalamoon, north of Damascus, with its churches, temples, historic landmarks and archaeological sites.

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UN: 9.3 million Syrians need humanitarian aid

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Figure includes 6.5 million people who are now internally displaced as a result of the conflict

Times of Israel

UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told the UN Security Council that the number of Syrians in need of humanitarian assistance has risen dramatically to 9.3 million people, up from 6.8 million in June.

Spokeswoman Amanda Pitt said Amos also told the council in a closed briefing Monday that those in need include 6.5 million people who have fled their homes but remain in the country, up from 4.25 million displaced people in June.

Syria’s cooperation on the elimination of its chemical weapons is in stark contrast to the obstacles it has erected for humanitarian access and delivery of aid.

Pitt said Amos has been pressing Security Council members to use their influence to ensure the unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid.

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Naziyahu launches Twitter campaign against Iran’s Khamenei to show ‘real face of Iran

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netanyahu2

Prime minister urges West to believe ‘death to America’ chants in Persian, not the smiles in English.

Haaretz

Ahead of the scheduled resumption of the international talks on Iran’s nuclear program in Geneva Thursday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office launched a Twitter campaign against Iran’s supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It focuses on protests in Iran marking the 34th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, at which demonstrators burned American flags and chanted “Death to America.”

On Monday night, the Prime Minister Office’s official Twitter feed carried, under the topic “The Real Face of Iran,” one photograph of Iranians burning U.S. flags and another of Khamenei denouncing America, both from this week. Netanyahu’s spokesman to the Arab media, Ofir Gendelman, retweeted the images, as did the Israeli ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, and embassy spokesman Aharon Sagi.

The anti-American demonstrations in Tehran played right into Netanyahu’s hands. Ignoring the fact that the majority of Iranians, including President Hassan Rohani and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of his predecessors in the post, object strongly to the anti-U.S. rhetoric, Netanyahu cited them at a news conference on Monday with the visiting Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and in an interview with Israeli English-language television channel i24News.

“There’s a debate in the West today,” Netanyahu said at the press conference, addressing Komorowski.

“People are saying: What is the true face of the Iranian regime? Because they have obviously changed their style. They speak now in English and they smile. They smile in the talks in Europe. But that regime, which is controlled by Khamenei, has tens of thousands of people on the streets of Tehran today chanting ‘death to America,’ celebrating the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in 1979, 34 years ago. They’re celebrating, and Khamenei, who is the real ruler of Iran, yesterday says: ‘America is the most hated country in the world. You can’t believe a word of what they say.’ And he fuels that hatred. That’s the real Iran,” Netanyahu said.

Continuing, Netanyahu said, “Do we want this country to have nuclear weapons? And the answer is: Absolutely not …. America and the P5+1 should listen to the chants of ‘Death to America’ in Tehran, give no discounts to Tehran.”

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Assad advisor: With political will, Syrian crisis over in 2 weeks

NOVANEWS

There’s a chance to end the Syrian crisis in two weeks if there’s political will on all sides, according to Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, political and media advisor to the Syrian president.

“If the various parties have the political will to put an end to the Syrian suffering, to the Syrian crisis, they can do it within weeks. If they can only stop financing the arming [of Syrian rebels] and the smuggling of terrorists across the border from Turkey, 50 percent of the Syrian crisis would be over in two weeks’ time,” Dr. Shaaban said in an exclusive interview to RT.

She said that the Syrian government was ready to take part in Geneva-2 peace talks without any preconditions. President Bashar Assad’s government is ready to sit down for peace talks with “people who represent the political opposition” of the Syrian population, but not the armed rebel groups, Dr. Shaaban said.

For example, the coalition represented by Saudi Arabia “has nothing to do with the Syrian people,” she said.

“We would like to know, ‘Who do these people represent on the ground?’ Do they represent the [Al-] Nusra Front or Al-Qaeda? They do not represent the Syrian people.”

Although many groups on the ground have refused to be part of the Syrian opposition’s national coalition, the main political parties are calling for Assad to step down as a precondition for the talks.

After a day of talks on Tuesday with representatives from the US, Russia, the permanent members of the UN Security Council, the UN and Arab League special envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi said the sides have not managed to agree on a date for the Geneva 2 peace conference. He added that the next meeting was scheduled for November 25.

Dr. Shaaban also urged US Secretary of State John Kerry to be more constructive, “not to change his narrative” and to “take the same stance” every time he speaks about the Syrian crisis.

“The US Secretary of State should honor his words … and take the same stance everywhere he goes, so the people would understand what [the US stance is].”

Meanwhile, a joint mission of UN international experts and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is working in Syria on the destruction of the country’s chemical weapons arsenal.

In September, Syria agreed to comply with Moscow’s offer to put its chemical weapons under international control for destruction by mid-2014. The decision was made following threats by the US and its allies to launch military action against Syria after the August 21 attack in Damascus’s eastern Ghouta suburbs. The deadly attack killed anywhere from dozens to 1,300 people, according to differing reports.

The final report on the chemical attacks in Syria should be ready by the beginning of December and will include the analysis of seven incidents, Farhan Haq, acting UN deputy spokesman told Itar-tass news agency on Tuesday. He added that the laboratory tests of the samples taken at the sites have not finished.

“We expect the results this week,” he said, adding that “the final report should be ready by the beginning of December.”

For the past few months UN experts have been collecting and analyzing samples from seven chemical attacks. Experts have already submitted an interim report on the attack in Ghouta in which they confirmed the use of the poison gas sarin.
Assad’s advisor added that Russia, China and Iran want to help put an end to the war in Syria, but other parties “have been putting up obstacles for two years” to undermine the solution of the crisis.

On Thursday, the OPCW said that Syria’s declared stock of chemical weapons – 1,300 tons of chemicals and precursors needed for chemical weapons production, as well as over 1,200 empty chemical munitions – has been sealed off.

 

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Iran Revolutionary Guards commander killed in Syria

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Reuters
A general view shows buildings that were damaged during clashes between with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and Free Syrian Army fighters, near Sayeda Zainab area in Damascus May 27, 2013. REUTERS/ Alaa Al-Marjani
 

A general view shows buildings that were damaged during clashes between with forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and Free Syrian Army fighters, near Sayeda Zainab area in Damascus May 27, 2013. REUTERS/ Alaa Al-Marjani

DUBAI: A commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has been killed in Syria after volunteering to defend a Shiite shrine in Damascus, the Iranian Mehr news agency said on Monday.

Commander Mohammad Jamalizadeh of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the southeastern province of Kerman was killed in the last few days by “Wahhabi terrorists”, the agency said, giving no more details.

The report could not be independently confirmed.

Jamalizadeh was a veteran of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and then served in anti-smuggling units. He did not travel to Syria for the IRGC, but volunteered to defend the Sayyida Zainab mosque in the southern suburbs of Damascus, Mehr said.

The area around the mosque revered by Shiites as the burial site of a grand-daughter of the prophet Mohammad has been the scene of heavy fighting.

Jamalizadeh’s funeral is to take place on Tuesday in Kerman, capital of the province of the same name.

Western diplomats say Iran, an ally of President Bashar al-Assad, provides billions of dollars of aid and an undisclosed number of military advisers to Syria.

Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah group openly acknowledges its guerrillas are fighting for Assad, but Tehran denies its troops have been engaged directly in combat in Syria.

“As we have said many times before, Iran has no battalions in Syria and only advisers are present to transfer their defensive experience to the defenders of that country,” Sepah news agency quoted General Ramazan Sharif, head of public relations for IRGC, as saying on Monday.

Video footage seized and posted online by Syrian rebels in September showed armed Iranians in military uniform working on the front lines alongside Syrian government soldiers. Iranian media later reported that both the cameraman and the Iranian commander in the footage had been killed.

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US Jewish groups divided over more Iran sanctions

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AIPAC and AJC reject White House call for time-out on new economic pressure, while ADL amenable to administration’s approach

Times of Israel

In the wake of an unusual meeting at the White House last week, Jewish organizations in the United States are divided over whether to suspend lobbying for new sanctions against Iran.

The pro-Israel lobby AIPAC stated flatly that there would be “no pause, delay or moratorium in our efforts” to seek new sanctions on Iran. The American Jewish Committee said it found the argument in favor of increased economic pressure on Iran “compelling.” And the Simon Wiesenthal Center declared that “only further sanctions, not talk, can stop the centrifuges.”

By contrast, Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman told JTA that he favored the administration’s request — made to the Jewish leaders at last Tuesday’s meeting — to suspend for 60 days lobbying for new congressional legislation that would intensify sanctions.

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, was unavailable for comment.

Top National Security Council staffers had made the request for a suspension of lobbying for new sanctions at the hurriedly convened White House meeting.

The message the Jewish leaders heard, The Times of Israel learned, was that while the Obama administration recognizes that military intervention could slow or complicate Iran’s progress to the bomb, it does not believe that military might can completely resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis — since Iran has mastered the technology, and will merely redouble its efforts if it sustains a military strike. Therefore, in the administration’s assessment, every effort must be made to reach an agreement via the diplomatic engagement that resumes in Geneva in the next few days.

In addition, the US Jewish leaders were told, the administration is concerned that if the international community is not demonstrably receptive to the ostensibly moderate outreach efforts of new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, there is a risk that he will be marginalized by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and this rare opportunity for rapprochement will be lost. Thus, in the administration’s view, the last thing that the US should be doing right now is imposing more sanctions on the Iranians — discrediting Rouhani, as the administration sees it.

What’s more, President Barack Obama’s team was at pains to point out, if the US is perceived to be adopting too tough a stance against the Iranians, the international coalition facing off against Iran — the P5+1 countries: the US, China, Russia, France, the UK and Germany — might well start to crumble.

Thus the administration asked the assembled Jewish organizational leaders to stop lobbying for new sanctions, and give diplomacy some time to work. In a couple of months, the White House staffers promised, they would call in the Jewish notables again, and take stock.

AIPAC quickly made plain its opposition to this approach. “AIPAC continues to support congressional action to adopt legislation to further strengthen sanctions and there will absolutely be no pause, delay or moratorium in our efforts,” said a statement by AIPAC President Michael Kassen.

And while AJC director David Harris showed some sympathy for the Obama administration’s view that new sanctions could disrupt renewed talks with Iran, he said he found the argument in favor of such sanctions “more compelling.” Writing in Haaretz, Harris noted, “Since it is the ever-toughening sanctions that got Iran to negotiate in the first place, there needs to be a reminder that things will get still worse for Tehran if nothing changes soon on the ground.” He added: “Elaborate efforts on Iran’s part to buy time — with Tehran’s mastery of modulated feints, nods, winks, and hints of openness — just won’t wash.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Monday, for its part, urged two leading US Senators to push for the immediate adoption of the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, which earlier passed the House with broad bi-partisan support. In letters sent to Senators Richard Menendez (D-NJ) and Tim Johnson (D-SD), chairs of the Foreign Relations and Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committees, respectively, Wiesenthal Center officials disagreed with the White House’s push to give Iranians more time to stop their nuclear program.

“It is important to remember that the Iranians are now celebrating the 10th anniversary of lying about their nuclear ambitions. The world can’t afford to allow them to celebrate another anniversary of obfuscation,” the letters stated. “The only hope of stopping the program in the eleventh hour, is the threat of an even more powerful sanctions program, already approved by the US House of Representatives… The Wiesenthal Center urges the Senate to vote on the bill immediately and for the President to sign it. Unless and until the Iranians can prove they have stopped their nuclear program, they deserve no moratorium on sanctions.”

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Iran urges dialogue between Islam, Christianity

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Vatican’s new nuncio to Tehran Leo Boccardi submits his credentials to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on November 5, 2013.

Vatican’s new nuncio to Tehran Leo Boccardi submits his credentials to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on November 5, 2013.
Iran President Hassan Rouhani has called for dialogue between Islam and Christianity as the followers of both religions share the same divine values and face a common enemy.

Rouhani made the remarks on Tuesday as he received Vatican’s new Apostolic Nuncio to Tehran Archbishop Leo Boccardi to submit his credentials.

The Iranian president stressed the need for dialogue between Islam and Christianity as well as Shias and Catholics.

“Today we have common objectives and enemies. Extremism and terrorism are our common enemies and, based on the divine teachings, human interactions and cooperation for the elimination of poverty and injustice are common objectives,” the Iranian president added.

“Some countries in our region are now plagued with security problems and civil wars as a result of which both Muslims and Christians are suffering,” he pointed out.

Boccardi, for his part, extended the greetings of Pope Francis to Rouhani, noting that Vatican believes that the door must be always open for dialogue, so that the countries can cooperate based on mutual respect.

The Holy See’s nuncio also hailed Iran’s political developments following the election of President Rouhani as “very important” and praised the Islamic Republic’s decisive role in global equations, including regional peace and stability.

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The curse of Zionism and the Jewish paradox

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Zionism: the real enemy of the Jews

By Alan Hart

I was inspired (perhaps I should say provoked) to write this piece by something US Vice-President Joe Biden said in his speech to the recent J Street national conference in Washington DC. He recalled visiting Golda Meir when she was Israel’s prime minister and he was a junior senator. Her parting words to him were, he said, these: “We Jews have a secret weapon in our conflict with the Arabs. We have no place else to go.”

Taken a face value what Golda said was obviously not true because there were then, as there still are, many countries to which Israeli Jews can go to start a new life if they wish. For the  one million who have taken their leave of the Zionist (not Jewish) state for a better life elsewhere, America was and remains the first choice, but today Germany is also becoming popular.

So what, really, was Golda’s message to Biden by implication?

Zionism’s raison d’être

In very low key “Mother Israel” was giving voice to Zionism’s raison d’etre (reason for being). The logic of it can be summarized as follows.

The world always has been anti-Semitic (meaning anti-Jew because Arabs are Semites, too) and always will be. So, Zionism takes it as a given that holocaust II – shorthand for another great turning against Jews – is inevitable. Israel therefore exists to be a safe haven, a refuge of last resort, an insurance policy for all the Jews of the world when that day comes. That’s why Israel has an unsatisfied hunger for more Palestinian land, an unquenchable thirst for more Palestinian water and a lust for the oil that has very recently been discovered in Palestine that became Israel.

And that in turn is why Zionism’s in-Israel leaders, assisted by their lobby and its associates and allies in America, will stop at nothing to advance their cause; a cause which requires, among other things, consolidating Zionism’s hold on the occupied West Bank and not ruling out a final ethnic cleansing of it, and the creation of a pretext to go to war with Lebanon again to take for keeps the south of that country up to the River Litani. (In a recent article Franklin Lamb made reference to an Israeli document which contains the text of a speech made in 1941 by David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding father and first prime minister. One particular sentence is circled by hand. “We have to remember that for the Jewish state’s ability to survive it must have within its borders the waters of the [rivers] Jordan and Litani.”)

In passing I have to say that one of the greatest promoters of the Jewish fear of a new upsurge of anti-Semitism is Abe Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in America. (A more appropriate name for his organization would be DIC – Defame Israel’s Critics.) A decade ago, in his address to the ADL’s 90th annual meeting in New York, he said: “We currently face as great a threat to the safety and security of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930s – if not a greater one.”

In addition to its elected traitor agents in Congress, the Zionist lobby’s associates and allies include the non-Jewish neo-cons in various departments of state and the security services, a host of think tanks and the mainstream media, and the leaders of the tens of millions of deluded, mad, Christian fundamentalists. (This fundamentalism is historically anti-Semitic but supports Israel right or wrong because it sees the Zionist state as the instrument for bringing about Armageddon. For their part, Israel’s right wing leaders and their lobby courted and welcomed Christian fundamentalism because the alliance with it gave them maximum influence in Washington DC.)

The Jewish paradox

As I note in my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, the answer to the question of what Zionism would do in the event of mission failure was given to me by Golda Meir in one of my interviews with her for the BBC’s flagship “Panorama” programme. She said that in the event of a doomsday situation, Israel “would be prepared to take the region and the whole world down with it.”

Israel was created by Zionism to guarantee the wellbeing and existence of the Jews, but that wellbeing and perhaps even existence is most seriously threatened by Zionism’s policies and actions

The Jewish paradox comes down to this. Israel was created by Zionism to guarantee the wellbeing and existence of the Jews, but that wellbeing and perhaps even existence is most seriously threatened by Zionism’s policies and actions.

How can that possibly be true?

What we are witnessing today is a rising, global tide of anti-Israelism. It is not a manifestation of anti-Semitism, meaning that it’s not being driven by prejudice against or loathing and even hatred of Jews just because they are Jews. Anti-Israelism is being provoked by Israel’s arrogance of power, its sickening self-righteousness and its contempt for international law in general and the rights of the Palestinians in particular.

The danger for Jews everywhere is that anti-Israelism could be transformed into rampant and rabid anti-Semitism. The most explicit warning that this could happen was given voice by Yehoshafat Harkabi, Israel’s longest serving director of military intelligence. In his book, Israel’s Fateful Hour, published in English in 1988, he wrote this (my emphasis added):

Israel is the criterion according to which all Jews will tend to be judged. Israel as a Jewish state is an example of the Jewish character, which finds free and concentrated expression within it. Anti-Semitism has deep and historical roots. Nevertheless, any flaw in Israeli conduct, which initially is cited as anti-Israelism, is likely to be transformed into empirical proof of the validity of anti-Semitism. It would be a tragic irony if the Jewish state, which was intended to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, was to become a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism. Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world.

Harkabi also noted that Israel’s biggest enemy was its own self-righteousness. If he was alive today I would suggest to him for comment that if “enemy” can be defined as a force with the ability and real intention to destroy Israel by military means, self-righteousness is the only enemy of the Zionist state.

The real enemy of the Jews

Harkabi was not the first Jew to warn of the danger of Israel becoming a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism, and he was in very good Jewish company. Prior to the Nazi holocaust most Jews everywhere were opposed to Zionism’s colonial-like enterprise. They believed it was morally wrong (which, of course, it was) and would lead to unending conflict with the Arab and wider Muslim world. But most of all they feared that if Zionism was allowed by the major powers to have its way, it would one day provoke anti-Semitism.

As I write I find myself wondering if honest future historians will conclude that one of the greatest ironies in all of human history, perhaps even the greatest, is in the fact that Zionism wanted and needed anti-Semitism in order to justify its criminal policies and actions to Jews everywhere and misinformed and therefore gullible gentiles in America and Europe.

At school I was given what I still believe to be the best definition of a paradox – “The truth standing on its head to attract attention.” One such truth is this. There is no such thing as a “Palestine problem”. There is only a Jewish problem in and over Palestine that became Israel.

The headline over an article by Bradley Burston in Ha’aretz on the first day of this year was “Will 2013 be the year American Jews secede from Israel?” One of his concluding paragraphs was this: “American Jews want to know what is being done in their name. In the name of Judaism. And if they think that it is self-destructive, oppressive, blockheaded and wrong, it stands to reason they would want it to stop.“

The gentile me has a problem with that expression of hope.

If reason prevailed…

The evidence is that while a growing but still smallish number of American Jews are publicly critical of Israel’s policies and actions, very many, still the majority, are remaining silent and don’t want to know what Zionism is doing in their name; and while that remains the case there is no prospect of reason prevailing in enough Jewish minds to change the course of history.

…while it is perfectly possible that Zionism’s in-Israel’s leaders could tell an American president and the whole of the non-Jewish world to go to hell, they would not be stupid enough to say the same to the Jews of the world, Jewish Americans and Europeans especially.

How it could be changed if reason was assisted to prevail can be simply stated. If a majority of American and European Jews were prepared to openly acknowledge the wrong done to the Palestinians in Zionism’s name, and then insist that the wrong be righted on terms acceptable to the Palestinians, any Israeli government would have to change course and be serious about peace on terms the Palestinians could accept.

What I really mean is that while it is perfectly possible that Zionism’s in-Israel’s leaders could tell an American president and the whole of the non-Jewish world to go to hell, they would not be stupid enough to say the same to the Jews of the world, Jewish Americans and Europeans especially.

That stands to reason – doesn’t it?

On public speaking platforms (as in my book) I never tire of giving voice to my thoughts about the great prize available to the Jews of the world and Israeli Jews especially if they did allow justice-driven reason to prevail. Generally speaking, they are the intellectual elite of the Western world and the Palestinians are the intellectual elite of the Arab world. Together in peace and partnership, in one state with equal rights and security for all, they could change the region for the better and by so doing give new hope and inspiration to the whole world. Put another way, Jews and Palestinians in peace and partnership could become the light unto nations.

Dream on, Alan.

Note

An indication that Netanyahu is alarmed by the possibility of a majority of Jewish Americans demanding or even requesting that Israel be serious about making peace on terms the Palestinians could accept is in the following.

The Israeli American Council recently commissioned the distribution of leaflets to thousands of Jewish Americans asking them where their allegiance would lie in the event of a real crisis between the US and Israel. The leaflet was originally endorsed by representatives of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. When Netanyahu learned of this endorsement he directed the ministry to disassociate itself from the questionnaire.

I think it’s reasonable to assume he was worried by the prospect of the survey indicating that in the event of a showdown between himself and President Obama, a majority of Jewish Americans would be Americans first and not Israel firsters.

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