Interview by Kourosh Ziabari, 10 Nov 2010
Alan Hart and Yasser Arafat
Alan Hart is an indispensable name in journalism. Unquestionably, he has been one of the most influential British journalists with an expertise in the Middle East affairs. A former BBC Panorama presenter, Hart was a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. During his fruitful career, Hart interviewed several prominent leaders including Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal, Jordan’s King Hussein and Egyptian Presidents Nasser and Sadat.
He was a media correspondent for the Independent Television Network and has covered the Vietnam War and Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well.
He is a vocal critic of Israel and its expansionistic policies and has repeatedly reprimanded the Arab leaders for their implicit complicity with Israel in its suppression of the Palestinian nation.
Alan Hart joined me in an exclusive, in-depth interview to explore the prospect of Israel-Palestinian conflict, the roots of Zionist lobby’s influence over the U.S. Congress, the 9/11 conspiracy theories and the possibility of a U.S.-directed military strike against Iran.
Kourosh Ziabari: In your recent article “Zionism and Peace are Incompatible” you reach a point where you state “if it is the case that American presidents are frightened of provoking Israel, the conclusion would have to be that the Zionist state is a monster beyond control and that all efforts for peace are doomed to failure.” Is it really the case that Israel possesses an uncontrollable, disproportionate power which enables it to violate the international law and enjoy immunity from being held accountable before the international community? What’s the source of this unwarrantable power and influence?
Alan Hart: Let’s start with Reality Number One. There are two sets of rules for the behavior of nations, one for all the countries of the world minus Israel, the other exclusively for Israel. This double-standard is the mother and father of Arab and other Muslim hurt, humiliation and anger. Put another way, this double-standard is the best recruiting sergeant for violent Islamic fundamentalism.
In the story of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel as I tell it fully documented in my latest book, Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, the moment when the major powers created the double-standard can be more or less pinpointed. In the immediate aftermath of the 1967 war, and because it was a war of Israeli aggression not self-defense, the major powers, through the UN Security Council, should have said to Israel something like the following: “You are not to build any settlements on newly occupied Arab land. If you do, you’ll be demonstrating your contempt for international law. In this event the international community will declare Israel to be an outlaw state and subject it to sanctions.”
If something like that riot act had been read to Israel, there probably would have been peace many, many years ago. For background let me briefly explain why.
The pragmatic Arafat was reluctantly reconciled to the reality of Israel’s existence inside its pre-1967 borders as far back as 1969. In his gun and olive branch address to the UN General Assembly on 13 November 1974 he said so by obvious implication. Thereafter he put his credibility with his leadership colleagues and his people, and his life, on the line to get a mandate for unthinkable compromise with Israel. He got the mandate at the end of 1979 when the Palestine National Council, then the highest decision-making body on the Palestinian side, voted by 296 votes to 4 to endorse his two-state policy – a solution which any rational Israeli government and people would have accepted with relief. What Arafat needed thereafter was an Israeli partner for peace. He eventually got a probable one, Yitzhak Rabin, but he was assassinated by a Zionist fanatic who knew exactly what he was doing – killing the peace process. The more it became clear that Israel’s leaders were not interested in a genuine two-state solution for which Arafat had prepared the ground on his side, the more his credibility with his own people suffered.
Eisenhower was the first and the last American president to contain Zionism. After Israel had secretly colluded with France and Britain in the 1956 invasion of Eygpt to overthrow Nasser and take back the Suez Canal which he had nationalized, Israel’s leaders tried to insist on conditions for Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai. Eisenhower confronted them by going over the heads of Congress in an address to the nation. In the course of it he said this:
“Israel insists on firm guarantees as a condition to withdrawing its forces of invasion. If we agree that armed attack can properly achieve the purposes of the assailant, then I fear we will have turned back the clock of international order. We will have countenanced the use of force as a means of settling international differences and gaining national advantage… If the UN once admits that international disputes can be settled using force, then we will have destroyed the very foundation of the organization and our best hope for establishing a real world order.”
As I note in a chapter of my book titled Goodbye to the Security Council’s Integrity, after the 1967 war there simply was not the Eisenhower-like political will to oblige Israel to behave like a normal state – i.e. in accordance with international law and its obligations as a member of the UN.
What, really, explains this lack of political will – in 1967 and still today?
I used to believe the short answer was the stranglehold on American policy for the Middle East of the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress. There’s no mystery about the prime source of the lobby’s power. It’s money to fund election campaigns. If you were an American and announced that you were going to run for Congress or any other significant public office, you’d be approached by the lobby. It would tell you the policy position on Israel and then offer you a choice. If you supported Israel, you would receive all the campaign funding you needed to defeat your opponent. If you were not interested, the funding would go to your opponent to enable him or her to defeat you. That’s an over-simplification of how the system works but it’s also the essence of the reality.
Incidentally, I do NOT blame the Zionist lobby for playing the game the way it does. It is only playing according to The System’s rules. I blame America’s pork-barrel system of politics which puts what passes for democracy up for sale to the highest bidders. It just so happens that the Zionist lobby in association with its Christian fundamentalist allies is one of the highest bidders, if not the highest. If I had the opportunity to advise an American president, I would say to him or her: “The best thing you could do for your country is to give it some real democracy by putting an end to your corrupt, pork-barrel politics.”
Today, and as I indicated in my recent article from you quoted, Zionism and Peace Are Incompatible, I am beginning to think that the awesome influence of the Zionist lobby may not be the complete explanation of the lack of political will. Because it is obviously not in America’s own best interests to go on supporting Israel right or wrong and making enemies of 1.4 billion Muslims by so doing, the question I am asking myself is this: Could it be that all American presidents are frightened of confronting Zionism because they know there is nothing nuclear-armed Israeli leaders would not do if they were seriously pressed to make peace on terms which they believed in their own deluded minds would put Israel’s security at risk?
That question was provoked by my recall of a statement made to me in a BBC Panorama interview by Golda Meir when she was prime minister. At a point I interrupted her to say: “I just want to be sure that I understand what you’re saying… You are saying that in a doomsday situation Israel would be prepared to take the region and the world down with it?” Without the shortest of pauses for reflection, and in the gravel voice that could charm or intimidate American presidents according to need, she replied: “Yes! That’s exactly what I am saying.”
In those days Panorama, the BBC’s flagship current affairs program, was transmitted on a Monday evening at 8.10pm. By 10.0pm, The Times, then a seriously good newspaper not the Murdoch product it is today, had changed its lead editorial to quote what Golda had said to me. It then added its own opinion. “We had better believe her.”
Exactly what I am saying comes down to this. Even if an American president was free to read the riot act to Israel, if only to best protect America’s own real interests, it does not follow that its leaders would say: “Okay. We’ll do what you want.” In my view it’s possible, even probable, that they would say: “Mr. President, go to hell. If you push us too far, we’ll create mayhem in the region.”
KZ: The pro-Palestinian journalist and activist Jeffrey Blankfort told me in a recent interview about the efforts made by the previous United State presidents to hold back the influence of Israel and Zionist lobby over the U.S. Congress. He cited the confrontation of George Bush Sr. with the Zionist network in 1991 and 1992 when he denied Israel its request for $10 billion in loan guarantees; however, Mr. Bush was eventually forced to surrender and endorse the loan. Will the same fate await President Obama who is said to be determined to put forward a proposal for the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders in the Security Council?
AH: About President Obama let me first of all say this. I do not believe as many of his anti-Zionist critics do that he came into office as a Zionist stooge, programmed to do Zionism’s bidding. If that was the case, why would he have challenged Netanyahu and the Zionist lobby over the settlements and set himself up to be humiliated? My view is that Obama meant well but was too naïve and inexperienced for the job and was therefore bound to become a prisoner of the Zionist lobby. I also think it is impossible for any new, first term president to be completely aware of the full extent of the Zionist lobby’s stranglehold on Congress until he is in the Oval Office trying to get things done.
As I write in Is Peace Possible?, the Epilogue of Volume Three of the American edition of my book, I think there was a reason why Obama moved so quickly to try to get a Middle East peace process going.
He knew something that all American presidents know about when serious initiatives for peace can and cannot be taken. I know what that something is because a president told me a few months after events had denied him a second term in office. Any American president has only two windows of opportunity to break or try to break the Zionist lobby’s stranglehold on Congress on matters to do with Israel/Palestine.
The first window is during the first nine months of his first term because after that the soliciting of funds for the mid-term elections begins. Presidents don’t have to worry on their own account about funds for the mid-term elections, but with their approach no president can do or say anything that would cost his party seats in Congress. The second window of opportunity is the last year of his second term if he has one. In that year, because he can’t run for a third term, no president has a personal need for election campaign funds or organized votes.
As things are there’s a question mark over whether Obama will get a second term, but with the mid-term elections are out of the way, he might have one more opportunity to put some real pressure on Israel – if he has the will. There has been talk of a Palestinian and presumably wider Arab initiative to have the Security Council recognize Palestinian independence on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. If such a resolution does find its way to the Security Council, Obama could do what American Presidents always do when resolutions are not to Israel’s liking – veto it. But he could also say and do nothing and effectively let the resolution pass. What then?
In Ha’aretz on 20 October, Israeli commentator Aluf Benn offered this answer. A Security Council decision to recognize Palestinian independence on the West Bank and Gaza “would deem Israel an invader and occupier, paving the way for measures against Israel.” In Aluff Benn’s view the international movement to boycott Israel would “gain massive encouragement when Europe, China and India turn their backs on Israel and erode the last remnants of its legitimacy. Gradually the Israeli public will also feel the diplomatic and economic stranglehold.”
My guess is that such a resolution will not find its way to the Security Council because the Arab regimes are too frightened of offending Zionism too much; but if it does, Obama will have his last chance to demonstrate that, as it relates to American efforts for peace in the Middle East, his “Yes, we can” has not become “No, we can’t.”
KZ. Arab leaders have shown signs that they’re willing to renormalize their ties with Israel. Politicians in some of the Arab states have openly negotiated with high-ranking Israeli officials and invited them to their events. What are the benefits of this renormalization for the Arab leaders while anger and hatred against the Israeli regime is growing in the Arab world on a daily basis? How can the Arab leaders disregard the crowds of people who storm into streets en masse to protest the aggressive and belligerent policies of Israel in the West Bank and Gaza?
AH: Most Arabs quietly despise their leaders but I’m not aware that they have stormed into the streets to protest against Israel’s policies. I would re-phrase what I think is the essence of your question in this way: “Do Arab leaders care about what happens to the occupied and oppressed Palestinians?”
My short answer is “No”. My longer answer is this.
The real history of the making and sustaining of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel invites the conclusion that the Arab regimes, more by default than design in my view, betrayed the Palestinians. And there’s no mystery about the nature of this betrayal.
When the Palestine file was closed by Israel’s 1948 victory on the battlefield and the armistice agreements, the divided and impotent Arab regimes secretly shared the same hope as the Zionists and the major powers. It was that the file would remain closed for ever. The Palestinians were supposed to accept their lot as the sacrificial lamb on the altar of political expediency.
Nor is there any mystery about why the Arab regimes were at one with the Zionists and the major powers in hoping that there would never be a regeneration of Palestinian nationalism. They all knew that if there was, there would one day have to be a confrontation with Zionism; and nobody wanted that.
When Yasser Arafat, Abu Jihad and a few others lit the slow burning fire of the regeneration, it was the security services of Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon which took the lead in trying to put it out.
Fast forward to 1982, Before Sharon sent the IDF all the way to Beirut to exterminate the PLO’s leadership and destroy its infrastructure, [Persian] Gulf Arab leaders met in secret, without advisers present, in order to agree a message to the Reagan administration. The message was to the effect that they would not intervene in any way when Sharon made his move. After that message was sent, one of the Arab leaders present, Oman’s Sultan Qaboos, said to Arafat: “Be careful. You are going to ask for our help and it will not come.”
And let me add this. Last year I had a private conversation in London with a major royal from the Arab world. I said to him, “Nothing is going to change in the Arab world until your regimes are more frightened of their own masses than they are of offending Zionism and America”. He replied, “You’re right.” I also said to him, “If the Zionists do resort to a final round of ethnic cleaning to close the Palestine file, Arab leaders, behind closed doors, will give thanks and celebrate.” His reply was the same, “You’re right.”
KZ. You’ve implied in your article “Obama speaks at the UN… Goodbye to peace” that if the Arab and Muslim leaders were effectively united against the United States whose ultimate objective is to consolidate and empower the quisling government of Mahmoud Abbas, Israel couldn’t have succeeded in imposing its expansionistic wills on the Palestinian nation and its chances for legitimizing a Greater Israel which goes beyond the borders of 1967 would have been insignificant; however, we don’t find such a solidarity among the Muslim and Arab leaders. except in the streets, as you put it. So what will be the fate of Palestinian nation? Should they surrender into what Israel has foreseen for them, that is displacement, homelessness and destruction?
A: My point has never been that Arab and other Muslim leaders have to be “against” the U.S. The main difference at leadership level between the Jews and the Arabs is that the Jews know how to play the game of international politics and the Arabs don’t. Put another way, Zionism’s key players know how to play the cards they were dealt and Arab leaders don’t.
Zionism’s five main cards were and are the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust for blackmail purposes; money (virtually unlimited funds) and the influence it buys; the organized Jewish vote in close American election races; overwhelming military superiority; and, more generally speaking, breathtakingly, brilliant organization and coordination.
The Arabs had, and still have an ace that would have trumped all of Zionism’s cards: OIL.
Imagine what would have happened in the immediate aftermath of the 1967 war if Arab leaders had put their act together and sent one of their number secretly to Washington DC to say something very like the following to President Johnson behind closed doors: “If you don’t get Israel back behind its pre-war borders, we’ll turn off the oil taps.”
If Johnson had believed that Arab leaders were united and serious, he would have replied with something very like the following: “I can’t guarantee swift action on Jerusalem but give me two or three weeks for the rest.”
If the Zionists had been in the Arab position, that is how they would have played their hand. And that is not pure speculation on my part. Over the years I have been told so by a number of Israeli leaders including former Directors of Military Intelligence.
The main point is that if Johnson had believed that Arab leaders were united and serious, they would not have had to turn off the oil taps. A secret, credible threat to do so would have been enough to cause Johnson or any president to put America’s own best interests first.
Against that background the question to be asked today is something like this: What, in theory, could Arab leaders still do to give themselves a reasonable chance of countering Zionism’s influence on American policy for the Middle East?
Prefaced by a summary statement of all the initiatives the Arabs including the Palestinians have taken for peace. They could threaten to
– Sever their diplomatic relations with the U.S.
– Withdraw their financial support for America’s broken economy
– Turn off the oil taps
Will Arab leaders ever learn how to play their cards if only to best protect their own longer term, real interests?
I think not, and that takes me to the second part of your question – What will be the fate of the Palestinian nation and should the Palestinians surrender to Zionism’s will?
The main point is that the occupied and oppressed Palestinians, the masses, are not going to surrender to Zionism’s will and accept crumbs from its table; the crumbs being three or four Bantustans on maximum 40% of the West Bank, which would not come even close to satisfying the Palestinians’ minimum demand and need for some justice but which they could call a state if they wished. It’s not totally impossible that under pressure from the Arab regimes and America, a quisling Palestinian leadership will seek to do such a deal with Israel, but it would be rejected by the masses; and probably the quisling Palestinian leader would be assassinated.
The question arising is what will Zionism’s in-Israel leaders do when they conclude that with bombs and bullets and repressive measure of all kinds they cannot break the will of the occupied and oppressed Palestinians to continue their struggle? My guess is that they will create a pretext to drive the Palestinians off the West Bank and into Jordan or wherever. If that happens, the West Bank will be soaked in blood, mostly Palestinian blood, and honest reporters will describe it as a Zionist holocaust.
It’s because I truly fear that is the most likely scenario that I think the priority of the international community should stopping the final Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
KZ: A growing number of internet writers and technical experts in America and many other countries believe that Israel was behind or implicated in the 9/11 attacks. Do you think this conspiracy theory is credible and, if you do, in what ways did 9/11 benefit Israel?
A: In my view the starting point for any serious and honest discussion of 9/11 has to be this question: Did the impact of the planes and the heat of their burning fuel bring the Twin Towers down? If the answer is “Yes”, there’s no need for conspiracy theories. If the answer is “No”, the speculative question has to be – Who did it and how and why?
My answer is “No”. In my analysis there’s enough evidence – visual, technical and scientific, and from eye-witnesses including fire fighters – to invite the conclusion that the Twin Towers, like Building Seven, were pre-wired for controlled demolition with nanothermite, the highest-tech military explosive.
For context, the first observation I’d like to offer is that the mainstream Western media’s complicity in suppressing even questions and debate about what really happened on 9/11 is consistent. What I mean is that for the past 63 years – from the creation of the Zionist state of Israel mainly by terrorism and ethnic cleansing to the present the mainstream media have been complicit in the suppression of the truth about the making and sustaining of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel. Put another way, the mainstream media have been content to peddle Zionism’s propaganda lies. The two biggest lies can be summed up in a very few words.
The first is that poor little Israel has lived in constant danger of annihilation, the “driving into the sea” of its Jews. The truth, as I document in detail through the three volumes of the American edition of Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, is that Israel’s existence has never, ever, been in danger from any combination of Arab force. Zionism’s assertion to the contrary was the cover that allowed Israel to get away where it mattered most – in the Western world and America especially – with presenting its aggression as self defense and itself as the victim when it was and is the oppressor.
The second is that Israel “never had Arab partners for peace” That is complete nonsense. I’ve already mentioned Arafat’s pragmatism and work for peace to make the point, but here’s another example. From almost the moment he came to power in 1951, Eygpt’s President Nasser wanted an accommodation with Israel. He had secret exchanges with Israel’s foreign minister, Moshe Sharret, who was in my view the only completely sane Israeli leader of his time. For wanting to make peace with Nasser and the Arabs, Sharett was destroyed by Israel’s founding father and first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion.
Prior to 9/11, the best single example of the mainstream media’s complicity in the suppression of the truth as it relates to conflict in the Middle East is Israel’s attack on the American spy ship, the USS Liberty, on 8th June 1967, the 4th day of the 6-Day war. (I was the first Western correspondent to the banks of the Suez Canal with the advancing Israelis, so I was in the Sinai desert at the time). That attack killed 37 Americans and seriously wounded more than 90 others. If things had gone according to the plan of the man who ordered that attack, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, the Liberty would have been sunk with all hands on board, leaving nobody to tell the story of what really happened… If it had been an Arab/Muslim attack on an American vessel, it’s reasonable to speculate that America would have resorted to a military strike, if not war, on the country or countries it held responsible. What did President Johnson do? Out of fear of offending the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress, he ordered a cover-up which remains in force to this day. And the mainstream media went along with it, as it still does.
Now to my summary thoughts on the possible, probable involvement of Israel’s Mossad in 9/11. I will offer you two scenarios – A or B.
In scenario A it’s not impossible that 9/11 started out as an Arab/Muslim idea. But even if this was the case, Mossad would have had an inside track very quickly. From almost the moment of the Zionist state’s birth, Mossad put great effort into placing agents inside every Arab regime, every Arab military and security establishment and every Arab/Muslim liberation movement and terrorist group. Many of Mossad’s best and most effective agents were Moroccan and other North African Jews because they could pose most perfectly as Arabs. In a moment I’ll tell you the short story of Mossad’s penetration of the Abu Nidal terrorist group.
In Scenario A the question is: Did Mossad tell anybody? My speculation is that it told some in the CIA and a few of Zionism’s neo-con associates, Jews and non-Jews, including Vice President Cheney I call him the real Doctor Strangelove and the likes of Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. In this scenario Mossad could have asked, “What do we do about this?” And the answer could have been something like, “We’ll use it for the Pearl Harbor-like pretext we need.”
In this scenario, 9/11, even if it started out as an Arab/Muslim idea, was a joint Israeli/Mossad and American/neo-con conspiracy.
For background here’s a very short story about Mossad’s penetration of the Abu Nidal terrorist group. Abu Nidal was a member of Arafat’s Fatah but he broke with it when Arafat had come to terms with the reality of Israel’s existence and was preparing the ground on his side for compromise with Israel. The Abu Nidal group, based mainly in Iraq, was responsible for the assassinations, mainly in Europe, of more than 20 of Arafat’s emissaries who were telling Western governments behind closed doors that the Fatah-dominated PLO was serious about compromise with Israel. An investigation by Arafat and Abu Iyad, Fatah’s counter intelligence chief, subsequently revealed that Abu Nidal was an alcoholic – he consumed between one and two bottles of whisky a day, and for much of most days he was drunk, not sober. His number two was running the show and targeting those to be assassinated and directing the killing. Abu Nidal’s number two was a Mossad agent.
It was, in fact, two Palestinian students in London who were activated by the Abu Nidal group to assassinate Israeli ambassador Argov. It was that assassination attempt in 1982 that gave Israeli Prime Minister Begin and Defense Minister Sharon the pretext they needed to launch their invasion of Lebanon all the way to Beirut, for the purpose of exterminating the entire leadership of the PLO and destroying its infrastructure… Ambassador Argov survived and quite some time after the event, he indicated that he suspected Israel’s involvement (he could only have meant targeting) in the attempt to kill him.
Scenario B has to be considered because it’s a fact that some of the Arab/Muslim plotters, actual or alleged, were under surveillance by various Western intelligence agencies for years before 9/11. The agencies who were tracking them as possible/probable terrorists included those of America, Germany and Israel.
In this scenario it’s not impossible that the idea for 9/11 was put into the heads of possible/probable Arab/Muslim terrorists by Mossad agents.
In this scenario, Mossad was actually running the show with key American neo-cons fixing things in America to make sure the attack was successful. From all that happened on the day, I’m not convinced that President Bush was in the pre-9/11 fixing loop. I think Cheney was most probably in control of the American executive oversight of what was essentially a Mossad false flag operation. Who else, for example, could have authorized the blocking of President Bush’s electronic communications with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld for a critical period?
Question: How did 9/11 serve the interests of the lunatic right in Israel and its neo-con associates in America?
In their view Saddam Hussein represented the only foreseeable potential Arab challenge to Greater Israel’s continued military domination of the whole Arab world. He had to be removed. By falsely claiming that Iraq was implicated in the 9/11 attack, Zionism and its neo-con associates in America set the stage for President Bush to be conned into going to war.
Zionism’s intention to get rid of Saddam Hussein was not, in fact, a secret. In 1996, under the chairmanship of Richard Perle, widely known in informed circles as the “Prince of Darkness”, American Zionism presented a policy document with the title A Clean Break: A New Strategy For Securing The Realm.
It urged incoming Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to have no second thoughts about making a clean break with the Rabin policy of negotiating with the PLO and trading land for peace. Israel’s claim to all the land it occupied was “legitimate and noble”, the policy paper said. “Only the unconditional acceptance by Arabs of our rights is a solid basis for the future.” After the clean break Israel would be free to shape its “strategic environment”. What would that involve? Among other things, “re-establishing the principle of pre-emption (pre-emptive strikes)… focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq… weakening, containing and even rolling back Syria, Hizbollah and Iran.”
In fact the commitment of Zionism’s in-America fixers and their neo-con associates to getting rid of Saddam Hussein goes back further than 1996. They were angry when President Bush the First refused to complete the job when he assembled a coalition to eject Iraq from Kuwait. After that Zionism’s in-America fixers and their neo-con associates needed two things:
A president who was dumb enough to buy their ideas – they got that with George “Dubya” Bush; and
A “Pearl Harbour” like event to trigger the action. They got that with 9/11.
But there was much more to it. 9/11 was a win-win for Zionism in another way.
Predictably it provoked a rising tide of Islamophobia throughout the Western world and across America especially. In the minds of uninformed and ignorant Americans (i.e. most Americans), that in turn gave added credibility to the Zionist state’s claim to be America’s only true and reliable ally in the whole of the Arab and wider Muslim world.
As I say in the Dear America introduction to the American edition of Volume 1 of my book, when Americans asked “Why do they hate us?”, they were more or less all Arabs and Muslims everywhere. And I asked this question: What would Americans have learned if, instead of rushing to declare his war on global terrorism, President Bush had caused the Why-do-they-hate-us question to be addressed seriously?
The short answer I give in my Dear America Introduction – the long answer is in the three volumes of my book – begins with the statement that the overwhelming majority of all Arabs and Muslims everywhere do NOT hate America or Americans. What almost all Arabs and Muslims everywhere DO hate is American foreign policy – its double standards in general and, in particular, its unconditional support for an Israel which ignores UN resolutions, demonstrates its contempt for international law and human rights conventions and resorts to state terrorism… A related truth is that for decades very many Arabs and other Muslims would, if they could, have migrated to America to enjoy a better life there. Today, however, the number of Arabs and other Muslims who would opt for American residence and citizenship if they could is greatly reduced because of the fact, sad but true, that the monster of Islamophobia is on the prowl across the Land of the Free and licking its lips.
KZ: Over the past five years and since the escalation of international controversy over Iran’s nuclear program, Israel has repeatedly threatened Iran with an imminent military strike and supported the imposition of financial sanctions against the country over its nuclear activities. Will Israel eventually attack Iran? What will be the consequences of such an attack for the Middle East?
AH: I do not believe that Iran is developing nuclear weapons but, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that I am wrong and that in the not too distant future it does possess some. Does anybody seriously think it would launch a nuclear first strike on Israel? Of course it would not. If it did, the whole of Iran would be devastated by a retaliatory response. No Iranian leadership is ever going to invite such a catastrophe. Unless Zionism’s leaders are completely out of their minds, they know this. So why, really, are they playing up the alleged Iranian nuclear threat?
I think they are doing so for three reasons.
One is to deflect attention from their crimes, in part to reduce the prospect of real pressure on them to be serious about peace on terms virtually all Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could just about accept.
Another is what might be called a strategic consideration. Israel’s leaders know that if Iran did posses nuclear weapons, their freedom to go on imposing their will on the region would be greatly restricted.
But most of all there is Zionism’s need for Israeli Jews to feel frightened.
A good explanation of why was provided by Ira Cherna in a Truthout post in November 2009. It was headlined Israel’s Pathology. Cherna asked – How can it be that pathological feelings of fear, weakness and victimization are “comforting” to very many Israelis? His answer was the following:
“For starters, they automatically put Jews on the side of innocence. Who can blame the weak victim for the violence? All the trouble, it seems, is started by the other side… And if all the trouble is started by the other side, then all the fault must lie with the other side. Weakness and victimization seem to prove that ‘We’re moral.’ Obviously, it’s our enemies who are immoral and thus to blame for all our problems. So Israelis have no reason even to consider changing any of their policies or behaviors.”
Will Israel eventually attack Iran?
Where Zionism is concerned nothing is impossible, but I prefer to think that even Israel’s leaders, despite their rhetoric, are not that mad. As I’m sure you know, there have been reports that Obama sent messengers to Israel to tell its leaders that attacking Iran was not an option. That suggests to me there won’t be an attack on Iran on his watch. But what if Obama doesn’t get a second term? If the Republican and Tea Party lunatics come to power in the 2012 American elections, I imagine that all bets will be off. In a worst case scenario there’s a Mossad nuclear false flag operation in America which is blamed on Iran. Within minutes if not seconds of it happening, the cry goes up, “Bomb the bastards!” The only thing then to be decided would be whether the U.S. should give Israel the greenlight or do the job itself.
What would be the consequences of an attack on Iran?
Short answer, catastrophe for the region – sustained conflict and instability; huge damage to American and other Western interests throughout the Arab and wider Muslim world; and quite possibly the collapse of what remains of the global economy, this because Iran has the ability to disrupt oil exports from the Gulf and provoke a worldwide oil crisis.
It’s also not impossible that an attack on Iran would encourage its leadership, any leadership, to acquire nuclear weapons.
KZ: What’s your prediction for the future of Israel’s political entity? Will it continue to survive or will it terminate in a destiny like that of the apartheid regime of South Africa or the Soviet Union?
AH: I personally think Zionism’s colonial enterprise is doomed. In my analysis there was a pre-condition for the survival of the Zionist, not Jewish state. When it closed the Palestine file in 1948/49, it had to keep the file closed, prevent a re-generation of Palestinian nationalism. It has failed to do that.
That fact takes us to the real threat to Israel’s existence. It is not Hamas, Hizbollah, Iran or any combination of Arab and other Muslim force. The real threat is the demographic time-bomb of occupation.
In occupation of the West Bank, Israel has three options:
1. Formally annexing it and granting all of its citizens equal rights, this to enable Israel to go on claiming that it is a democracy. The problem with this option s that it would bring about an end of the Zionist state by political means because, in due course, the Arab citizens of Greater Israel would outnumber and outvote its Jewish citizens.
2. Formally annexing the West Bank but denying Greater Israel’s Arab citizens (the majority in the making) equal rights. In this scenario Greater Israel would have to treat its Arab citizens even worse than the black majority in South Africa was treated by the apartheid regime. And that would not be acceptable to many Jews of the world and, perhaps, a significant number of Israeli Jews. It would also present the governments of the international community with no choice, at some point, but to declare Greater Israel a pariah state and impose sanctions on it.
3. Resort to a final round of ethnic cleansing – provoking an all-out confrontation with the Palestinians to give the IDF and the armed settlers the pretext to drive the Palestinians off the West Bank and into Jordan or wherever, in the name of self-defense, of course. If the Palestinians refused to flee, there would be, as I said earlier, a bloodbath. A Zionist holocaust.
As things are today it’s my view that, at a point, Israel’s leaders will go for the third option.
When they do there will such outrage in the world that governments including the one in Washington DC will have to say to Israel, “Enough is enough!” And the Zionist state will then be subjected to diplomatic isolation and crippling sanctions, with serious efforts to call and hold its political and military leaders to account for their crimes.
How will Israel’s leaders respond?
As Golda Meir said, in a doomsday situation they will be prepared to take the region and possibly the world down with them.
If you asked me if I really believe that’s how the story of the struggle for Palestine could end, I would answer “Yes”, and this is why.
Zionism is not only Jewish nationalism which created a state for some Jews in the Arab heartland mainly by terrorism and ethnic cleansing. Zionism is a pathological mindset. And what the deluded Zionist mind actually thinks is this: “The world has always hated Jews and always will.” In other words, the pathological Jewish mindset assumes that Holocaust II (shorthand for another great turning against Jews) is inevitable.
In the shadow of the Nazi holocaust, that way of thinking led Zionism’s leaders into believing there was nothing they should not do to preserve Israel as a refuge of last resort for all Jews when the world turned against them again.
And the end, mad, Zionist logic speaks for itself. “If the world won’t let us do whatever we believe to be necessary to preserve Israel as a refuge of last resort for all Jews, our enterprise is doomed, but we won’t go down alone.”
Kourosh Ziabari is an Iranian freelance journalist, and regular contributor to RamallahOnline.com. Read more articles by Kourosh Ziabari.