NEGEV – Dozens of Palestinians protested Thursday in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran near the town of Hura in the Negev, as Israel’s construction of a Jewish town on the village’s land continues, local sources said.
The Umm al-Hiran community — around 700 strong — is unrecognized by the Israeli government and residents’ lands were claimed by the state in 2013 in order to make way for the expansion of the Beersheba metropolitan area.
As a march set off from the village and moved towards the site of construction, protesters said they were able to force Israeli police to remove the bulldozers from the area.
Leaders and members of national and Islamic parties, Palestinian members of the Knesset, members of committees for Palestinians in the Negev, and Jewish-Israelis took part in the march.
Sources told Ma’an that the contractor responsible for razing the village is a Palestinian citizen of Israel from the Negev, and locals have condemned the use of Palestinian contractors against their people by the Israeli authorities.
Participants of Thursday’s demonstration called for launching an international media campaign in support of Umm al-Hiran and other villages threatened with land confiscation in order to pressure Israeli authorities to stop longstanding policies to displace Palestinian Bedouins.
Umm al-Hiran residents are a fraction of the thousands of Bedouins living in villages that the Israeli government does not recognize and are at risk of displacement in the Negev due to Israeli policies that critics argue amount to ethnic cleansing.
The community’s residents appealed their displacement in court earlier this year on the grounds that the Israeli military administration ordered the community to be moved to the area in 1956, but the appeal was rejected.
On Sunday, Israeli excavators began work on infrastructure for the Jewish-only town in Umm al-Hiran, building a new road under heavy protection of Israeli forces, locals told Ma’an at the time.
Knesset Member Talab Abu Arar described the Israeli move as racist.
“Racism has become crystal clear in Umm al-Hiran as a Jewish settlement Hiran is being built on the ruins of the Arab Umm al-Hiran village,” Abu Arar told Ma’an on Sunday.
He added that Israeli courts and authorities ignored the rights of Palestinians and worked towards confining them to a few recognized towns and denying their rights.
JERUSALEM – Israeli authorities have renewed the administrative detention of 85 percent of Palestinians detainees held under the policy, a prisoner rights group said Friday.
The Prisoners’ Center for Studies said that at least 75 of the 480 Palestinians held under the detention without trial policy have had their sentences — which range from two to six months — renewed four times in a row.
The detention of 135 detainees has been renewed three times in a row while 190 Palestinians have had their sentences renewed twice, the center added.
Israeli military courts have issued 726 administrative detention orders in 2015 alone, including first time sentences and renewals, the group said, over 340 of which were issued to Palestinians from the Hebron district in the occupied West Bank.
Riyad al-Ashqar, a spokesperson of the Prisoners’ Center for Studies, said Israel is keeping Palestinians as political hostages through the policy of administrative detention.
Most detainees held under the policy, which dates back to the British Mandate, are held on secret evidence and are not aware of the reason for their detention, which can be renewed indefinitely in six-month periods.
In 2012, over 2,000 Palestinian prisoners went on hunger strike to protest administrative detention, one of the only means available to Palestinians to challenge the policy.
Last week, Palestinian detainee Muhammad Allan ended a two-month hunger strike which he began to protest his detention without trial. An Israeli court ruled to lift his administrative detention due to his deteriorating health.
While administrative detention is legal under international law in exceptional circumstances, the international community and rights organizations have condemned excessive use of the practice by Israel.
By the worst means, the worst. For mine own good,
All causes shall give way: I am in blood
Stepped in so far, that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er.
Jeremy Corbyn is a longtime British Labour MP, hitherto little known outside Britain. Following the resignation of Labour leader Ed Miliband, Corbyn is one of four MPs nominated in the leadership contest, currently subject to ballot amongst Party members and supporters until 10 September.
Corbyn has been subject to a tsunami of criticism and abuse since his nomination, providing abundant evidence on the odious character of the current British political establishment and on the farce that is curiously labeled the democratic process.
Moreover, Corbyn, supporter of the Palestinian cause, has experienced full guns blazing from official British Jewry. On 12 August, the Jewish Chronicle broadsided with ‘The key questions that Jeremy Corbyn must answer’. With the emphasis on ‘must’.
Soon after, Jewish Labour MP Ivan Lewis becomes ‘the first senior Labour politician to attack Corbyn’s credentials on anti-Semitism’. And there will be more to come. How could anyone who finds Israel’s actions unacceptable imagine that they had the right to become leader of a major British political Party?
* * *
The treatment of Corbyn by the British Zionist mafia is not novel but redolent of the behavior of the British Zionist machine since its inception. Some insight into this machine can be had from a forgotten book, which a correspondent has alerted me to. The book is Publish It Not: The Middle East Cover-Up, written by Michael Adams and Christopher Mayhew, published in 1975 (Longman).
Adams (died 2005) was a journalist, Mayhew (died 1997) a Labour MP (later a Liberal) and broadcaster. Both came to be critics of Israel from a position of innocence, product of firsthand experience in their professional capacities. The hostility that they and other critics of Israel experienced on British soil led them to write the book.
The authors draw comfort from Nahum Goldmann, then President of the World Jewish Congress, reported (Jewish Chronicle, 7 June 1974) as claiming:
“… by blindly supporting the mistaken course of Israeli policy and by telling the Israelis only what they wanted to hear, Diaspora Jews had done Israel a disservice.”
Ill-informed (Adams was teaching in cut-off Finland in the late 1940s) and inexperienced, Adams found himself hired as Middle East correspondent for the Manchester Guardian in 1956. He was to remain employed until 1962, but continued to be published there until 1968. With respect to Israel:
“What I saw, in brief, was the fact of injustice; of an injustice which, it seemed, had been knowingly committed and was still being deliberately prolonged; an injustice – worst shock of all – which could be directly traced to a decision taken by a British government. I am speaking, of course, of the injustice done to the Palestinians …”
Adams notes that he could have accepted the past as spilt milk, but for two factors.
“The first of these was the realisation that the world’s ignorance of what had happened and was still happening in Palestine was not accidental: that there were plenty of people about whose primary concern it was to distort and suppress the truth about Palestine without bothering their heads with any concerns about freedom of speech. And the second factor … was the Suez crisis, which it became my duty to observe and report for The Manchester Guardian. It was a decisive experience.”
Then came the Israeli takeover of what was to become the ‘occupied territories’ following the Six Day War of June 1967. For Adams:
“There was a kind of Watergate in action … to protect those who made it their business to defend Israel and to subject to an insidious form of discrimination those who sought to expose the true aims of Israeli policy. Such non-conformists were subtly made aware that their jobs might be at risk, their books unpublishable, their preferment out of the question, their pubic reputations vulnerable, if they did not renounce the heresy of anti-Zionism. And for the most part, the merest flourish of such secret weapons was enough to reduce them to silence.”
The handful of dissenters learned that:
“… the imbalance of public opinion, in this deeply contentious area of foreign politics, was deliberately contrived and painstakingly maintained; and that those who were intent on maintaining it were not above resorting to some very dirty tricks against those who tried, as we were trying, to disturb it. I was to learn this lesson myself the hard way …”
In 1967, Adams, Mayhew and others formed the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding and the Labour Middle East Council. CAABU membership comprised well-credentialled professionals with Middle Eastern experience, but it was derided as an Arab propaganda front. The Labour Middle East Council was denied affiliation with the Labour Party. Mayhew notes:
“… we were startled by the vehemence with which … we were attacked and exposed to insult, and by the extraordinary anonymous letters which we became accustomed to receiving. In some respects these attacks were so bitter and unrestrained as to appear pathological.”
Christopher Mayhew’s first personal brush with Zionism was upon receipt of a letter dated 5 December 1946:
“We are determined this time to squash you British sons of a bitch and we declare war to the finish against the British. For every Jew you stinking British pigs kill in Palestine you will pay a thousandfold in fetid English blood. The [Lahome Herut Israel] has passed sentence of death on the British pig Mayhew. The execution will soon take place by silent and new means.”
At that time, letter bombs were received by several people. One such package was sent to an avowed anti-Zionist Roy Farran, which killed his brother.
Mayhew’s first professional exposure was as Undersecretary for Labour Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin. The Commons, 11 July 1948. It is 8 a.m., after an all night sitting. Mayhew is alone on the Government front bench. The Commons is empty. Save for:
“… behind me, wide awake, well-informed, passionate, articulate and aggressive, would be a group of twenty or thirty pro-Israeli Labour members. Most of them would be Jewish … and also Israel’s most brilliant non-Jewish supporter, Dick Crossman.”
At this ridiculous time, a debate on the recognition of Israel was initiated by a young Labour backbencher. Mayhew replied:
“Has my Honourable Friend ever heard that there is an Arab point of view? … The trouble with my Honourable Friend, as the whole of his speech shows, is that he is not sufficiently in touch with the Arab point of view on the Palestine problem.”
And thus it would be for Mayhew’s entire time in the Commons, harangued, abused, then marginalized. But the early target was Bevin himself, labelled successfully as an anti-Semite. Mayhew again:
“I remember clearly [Bevin’s] dislike of Zionist methods and tactics, and, indeed, of the Zionist philosophy itself. He was passionately and unshakably anti-Zionist. He held that Zionism was basically racialist, that it was inevitably wedded to violence and terror, that it demanded far more from the Arabs than they could or should be expected to accept peacefully, that its success would condemn the Middle East to decades of hatred and violence, and above all … that by turning the Arabs against Britain and the Western countries, it would open a highroad for Stalin into the Middle East. On all these points events proved him right …
“In 1947 and 1948 it was the political pressure on the Labour Cabinet from American Zionists, exerted through the United States government, which angered Bevin the most …. At that time, Britain was dependent on American goodwill for her economic survival [and Truman equally dependent on Zionist goodwill for his campaign funds]. As a consequence, the British government was subject to ruthless pressure from Washington to get the Arabs to accept the Zionists’ demands. It was a disgraceful abuse of power.”
By chance, Mayhew had to meet the US Ambassador, Lou Douglas, by himself. Douglas wanted British assent to admitting a hundred thousand Jewish refugees into Palestine immediately. Mayhew reiterated the government’s position – it was a prescription for war. Douglas then claimed that the President wanted it known that agreement on the intake would help him get the Marshall Aid appropriation through Congress.
“In other words, we must do as the Zionists wished – or starve. Bevin surrendered – he had to – but he was understandably bitter and angry. He felt it outrageous that the United States, which had no responsibility for law and order in Palestine (and no intention of permitting massive Jewish immigration into the United States), should, from very questionable motives, impose an impossibly burdensome and dangerous task on Britain.”
Mayhew’s first visit to the Middle East was in 1953 – as member of a Parliamentary delegation he went to a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan. There he saw ‘… the refugee camps not merely as relics of a past war, but as seedbeds of future vengeance’.
Other priorities intervened, but in 1963 Mayhew was a member of an official Labour Party delegation which toured Middle Eastern countries. On that tour, the delegation met then Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and other Israeli leaders. He was disgusted by Meir’s mocking and patronizing attitude towards the Palestinians.
“I remembered now where I had heard it before: at parties given by British settlers in Kenya and Tanganyika before those countries gained their independence. It was the tone in which it would be explained to visitors like myself that the African was scatterbrained but essentially a ‘good chap’, loyal (meaning loyal to his white masters) but easily led astray by trouble makers (meaning those of his fellow-Africans who aspired to self-rule).”
Thus did Mayhew develop a commitment to the Palestinian cause. But Mayhew’s answering back to the Israelis had immediate consequences. When Harold Wilson, a zealous Zionist, formed a government the next year in 1964, Mayhew was excluded from the Cabinet after the lobbying against him.
* * *
“The secret of the Zionists’ success has lain in the existence of a large, lively and influential Jewish community in Britain. [In the context of deliberations regarding the Balfour Declaration in 1917, s]upporters of Zionism, whether Jewish or non-Jewish … if they were not in positions of power themselves, they usually had easy access to those who were.”
Mayhew drew on Doreen Ingrams’ Palestine Papers 1917-1922, which highlights that the first drafts of the Balfour Declaration were written under the direction of Zionists (Lord Rothschild and Chaim Weizmann) on Balfour’s invitation. Weizmann had ready access to Balfour. Thus Weizmann to Balfour, 30 May 1918 (from Ingrams):
“The Arabs, who are superficially clever and quick-witted, worship one thing, and one thing only – power and success … The British authorities … knowing as they do the treacherous nature of the Arab, they have to watch carefully and constantly that nothing should happen which might give the Arabs the slightest grievance or ground of complaint. In other words, the Arabs have to be ‘nursed’ lest they should stab the army in the back. … So the English are ‘run’ by the Arabs.”
After the Balfour Declaration’s publication, the government established a special branch for Jewish propaganda in the Foreign office under a Zionist, Albert Hyamson, and a Zionist commission (led by Weizmann) was dispatched to Palestine to facilitate the Zionist agenda.
Mayhew notes the instructiveness of the diaries of Mrs Blanche Dugdale (Balfour’s niece), on ‘the intimacy of the Zionist lobby’s contracts with the Cabinet’, citing a September 1936 entry (p.32). Mayhew concludes:
“What is extraordinary about this extract – and many others in Mrs Dugdale’s revealing diaries – is that she is describing without apology (quite the contrary) a pattern of behaviour which would normally be considered scandalous, if not positively treasonable. A member of the British government was communicating Cabinet secrets to a private individual acting on behalf of a group of foreign nationals [etc] …”
Mayhew notes that the capture of the British Labour Party, even by comparison with the Liberals and Conservatives, has been a remarkable phenomenon.
“By tradition and principle the party was strongly opposed to territorial expansion, colonialism, racialism and military government; yet the Zionist lobby succeeded in committing it to a uniquely close friendship with a foreign government which [failed all these criteria].”
The Labour Party ‘welcomed Zionists most warmly to its ranks and gave the most consistent support to their aims’. Soon after Labour was elected in August 1929, riots broke out in Palestine, driven by the scale and character of Jewish immigration. A subsequent White Paper noted that Britain’s support for Jewish immigration was not formally unconditional. The lobby forced a retreat from Prime Minister MacDonald, following which Jewish immigration into Palestine escalated dramatically.
“In the 1930s and ‘40s the Zionists consolidated their grip on the Labour Party and came completely to control its policy on the Middle East.”
The Party’s National Executive Committee’s 1944 report proposed ‘Let the Arabs be encouraged to move out, as the Jews move in’, and that Jewish migration prospects might be enhanced by ‘extending the present Palestinian boundaries by agreement with Egypt, Syria or Transjordan’. Mayhew notes that the Labour Party thus ‘took on itself the role of a kind of Zionist fifth column’.
Then to the Attlee government. Professor Harold Laski, ardent Zionist, was chairman of the Party’s National Executive Committee during 1945-46, declaring that he was attempting to organize ‘an internal opposition to fight the Attlee-Bevin betrayal of the Jews’. Add the (much cited) Crossman-Strachey incident. Mayhew reproduces the fragment in Hugh Thomas’ biography of John Strachey. Strachey, Under-Secretary of State for Air and member of the government’s Defence Committee, gave Crossman tacit approval for the Haganah to engage in sabotage. Thus did Haganah blow up the bridges over the Jordan (June 1946?), cutting off the British army from its supply lines. As Mayhew notes:
“Such behaviour by supposedly responsible members of the Labour Party and Government would be inconceivable in any context other than that of Zionism.”
Mayhew neglects to add Thomas’ postscript:
“A few days later, the Foreign Office broke the Jewish Agency code. Crossman was for several days alarmed lest he and Strachey might be discovered.”
And on to the Wilson government, the Prime Minister’s contribution to the Zionist cause being unstinting. On 8 December 1972, the UN General Assembly re-affirmed the UN’s November 1967 Resolution 242 (demanding Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories, respect of Palestinian rights, etc). Wilson, in Israel over Christmas, in turn reaffirmed his carte blanche support for Israel’s freedom of action.
As a Jewish newspaper reported on the 29th: ‘Tidings of comfort and joy were brought to Israel’s political leaders this week by Harold Wilson’. Mayhew’s contrary response was:
“Today it is widely recognised that the policies to whose support Mr Wilson committed himself and the British Labour Party were gravely mistaken and that they were the principal cause of the fresh outbreak of war in the Middle East in October 1973.”
The fiftieth anniversary of the affiliation of the organization Paole Zion to the Labour Party was held in September 1970. After the 1920 affiliation, Mayhew notes, ‘a steady stream of pro-Zionist questions began’, involving fraudulent propaganda that ‘greatly influenced generations of credulous Labour Party members’.
The 1970 dinner was presided over by the acting chairman of the Party, the Zionist Ian Mikardo. Mikardo attacked Ernest Bevin (an anti-Zionist and anti-Semite), the British Diplomatic Service, and the Arabs. Said Mikardo, Foreign Office officials were ‘public school boys who share with the Arabs a common tendency towards homosexuality, romanticism and enthusiasm for horses’.
Mayhew claims that the dinner probably marks the zenith of the Zionist influence. Yet the general account of Adams and Mayhew up to the time of the book’s publication highlights that nothing had changed within the Labour Party. Dissenters within the ranks were perennially howled down and abused by the Zionist chorus.
* * *
Adams and Mayhew note that the British media bore a heavy responsibility, through its partisanry and its silences, for the public’s impoverished understanding of the Middle East. Most British media Middle East correspondents were Jewish, and some outlets lazily employed Jewish Israeli residents who doubled as ‘reporters’.
In early 1968 Adams, in visiting the Middle East on invitation by the BBC, arranged with the Guardian that he would write some articles on the state of affairs in the occupied territories – then little known in Britain. Adams was appalled by what he found.
The Guardian published the initial articles, but its editor baulked at the last. It referred to the destruction of three villages (Imwas, Yalu and Beit Nuba) not far from Jerusalem, after the access road from Ramallah was cut, the rubble carted away and the remains ploughed over. Adams confirmed the details with the Israeli military. Not least because none of the rest of the media’s patsies had reported on the affair, the Guardian’s editor found Adams’ account unpalatable. That was the end of Adams’ 12-year relationship with the Guardian.
Some outlets were worse than others. The New Statesman was notable in its partisanry under ‘a succession of vehemently pro-Israeli editors (Kingsley Martin, Paul Johnson, Richard Crossman)’, until 1972; and The Economist under Alastair Burnet. Johnson was subsequently appointed by Harold Wilson to be a member of the 1974 Royal Commission on the Press.
The most influential of the ‘gentile Zionists’ in the early days was the Manchester Guardian. On Adams’ first visit to Jerusalem in 1956 he was surprised to have a distinguished Palestinian refer to his employer as ‘Ah, the Zionist paper’. Adams then discovered that C. P. Scott had ‘launched’ Chaim Weizmann into British political society, introducing Weizmann to Lloyd George and putting ‘the authority of The Manchester Guardian at the disposal of the cause of Zionism’. No doubt Jonathan Freedland, keeping the acrid flame alive, has a photo of Scott on his desk.
The BBC (both television and radio) was consistently partisan through these years. According to Mayhew, the pro-Israel bias was for the most part inbuilt and unconscious. Although management would perennially consciously cave in under pressure from the lobby.
To the media’s bias, the authors add disgust at the silence of the British churches on Israeli abuses, not least because they had representatives on the ground in Jerusalem. The authors lament, in particular, the long silence of the Church of England on the issue.
“The years of acquiescence in the Israeli fait accompli had cost the church any moral standing it might have had in the matter …”
* * *
Adams and Mayhew started Publish It Not in 1974. The text is written in hindsight following the October 1973 war. They note the relative military strength of the combatant Arab states, ‘surprising’, given the seeming invincibility of the Israeli military apparatus. They also note the atypical unity of the Arab states (with Saudi Arabia a late adherent), embodied in the oil embargo and price hike. The western media belatedly started to report Arab opinion.
From this environment the authors conclude:
“Israel’s capacity to survive without making far-reaching concessions, concessions which would severely modify the nature and potential of the Jewish state, seems very doubtful. So far, Israel has established herself, and expanded her territories, on the basis of her dominant military power. But since October 1973 the balance of power has shifted significantly against Israel and the shift seems likely to continue in the same direction.”
What a dramatically flawed prognosis! Still, they weren’t alone. They cite a contemporary, longtime journalist at The Times, (Jewish) David Spanier, 15 January 1974:
“All of a sudden it seems blindingly clear, not to all, but to many, who had somehow looked the other way, that the permanent relegation of large numbers of people as second-class citizens will bring the Zionist mission to an end and may threaten the state itself. According to some religious thinkers, far from the political arena, a policy based on occupation will ultimately corrupt the essential value of Judaism itself.”
And the aftermath? Some time ago, I unearthed a cache of Guardian Weeklys stretching over the years. Product of a hoarding mentality, their existence product of a pre-internet compulsory subscription by an antipodean colonial seeking non-provincial media exposure.
For example, late 2003, with respect to Israel. Well what do you know? Some representative headlines.
‘100,000 [Israelis remembering Yitzhak Rabin] gathered last weekend under banners denouncing occupation and demanding peace
‘A European Commission opinion poll that claims 60% of Europeans see Israel as the greatest threat to world peace has drawn outraged denunciations of anti-semitism
‘Israeli planes kill 10 people in wave of attacks on Gaza
‘The Israeli military has ordered thousands of Palestinians living near the steel and concrete ‘security fence’ that cuts through the West Bank to obtain special permits to live in their own homes
‘Rafah braced for more misery: Eight Palestinians dead and 1,500 homeless – but Israeli raids go on
‘Iran threat must be eliminated – US hawk
‘3,000 dead – yet peace remains elusive; three years of intifada
‘Bitter harvest in West Bank’s olive groves: Jewish settlers destroy fruit of centuries of toil to force out Palestinian villagers
‘Deep anxiety unsettles the Jewish community in France
Add countless letters to the Editor fueled by passion and disgust, emanating from both anti-Zionist and Zionist camps. You couldn’t make it up. Plus ça change!
That interpretative failure of Adams and Mayhew provides a significant lesson. One is forced to ask – why did their prediction so dramatically miss the trend of ensuing decades? Literally, many things have changed. But plus c’est la même chose. The more things have stayed the same. The dialectical evolution of thrust and counter thrust that produced a form of status quo has been inadequately documented and analyzed.
In culminating with the status quo, there has been non-stop turbulence. What? We have witnessed the annexation of the Golan, two invasions of Lebanon, the repression of two intifadas, the creeping appropriations of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the perennial ravaging of Gaza, the perennial murder of Palestinians and long term incarceration of Palestinians, the wilful repulsion of Gaza-bound maritime traffic, etc. The entrenchment of an apartheid state.
Israel has never fulfilled the conditions on which it was admitted into UN membership; it has ignored myriad UN resolutions, it has attacked UN infrastructure and personnel, and has just sent a racist extremist to the UN as ambassador. Israel retains privileged access to the crucial markets of the European Union. And, of course, this state with the reputed strength of Solomon sucks voraciously on the American taxpayer teat.
Israel continues to operate with complete impunity for its crimes.
* * *
Serendipitously, a second edition of Publish It Not was published in 2006 (Signal Books). It is a desirable read, both for the insight, courage, commitment yet sobriety of the prose of Michael Adams and Christopher Mayhew, but also for the latter day complements. Jeremy Corbyn might profitably read it (for his sanity), if he has not already done so. The 2006 edition has three additions.
“It was only when I read Publish It Not … that I learned just how pervasive Zionist control of our media was and recognized the extent and effectiveness of its indoctrinating power. That was the moment that I changed my allegiance in this cause. It was the simple response of a man who awakened to the fact that he had been lied to.”
The Times Literary Supplement commissioned Tucker’s review, and the copy editor approved it. But the TLS editor pulled the plug (‘He doesn’t feel that the review is right for [us]’), instead publishing a dishonest Zionist review of the books. Exhibit A for the Adams/Mayhew narrative.
Two. There is an extended ‘testimony’ by Marion Woolfson of her experience as an honest reporter of Middle Eastern affairs. Woolfson’s experience is mentioned briefly by Mayhew in the 1975 text. But Woolfson’s account is harrowing.
Jewish, Woolfson moves to London following her husband’s death and visits her in-laws. She was informed over dinner that then Labour MP Christopher Mayhew was ‘evil, murderous, a Nazi and a terrible Jew-hater’. It was all downhill from then on.
Her media reports and letters lead to her being subject to (literally) non-stop harassment, brutalization, physical attacks. Endless letters and telephone calls calling her ‘a treacherous lying bitch’, receiving money from or sleeping with ‘filthy Arabs’, etc. She changes her number, made silent, but that number is readily made available to the harassers (!). The nature of the beast (in lieu of a local chapter of the vicious Jewish Defense League) deserves reproduction:
“Each evening … salesmen from a number of double-glazing firms would call and then throughout the night there would be a procession of taxis ‘to take me to the airport’. … Then lorries began arriving from early morning, laden with cement mixers, sand or gravel so that the narrow mews in which I lived was totally jammed and the lorry drivers … would be cursing. … Eventually I had to move out of my house until the harassment stopped. Not long after my return, I found a large swastika painted on my front gate. …
“Then, a huge rock was thrown through my large, plate-glass dining-room window with such force that it broke the wall opposite. … (There was a similar incident last year when the missile crashed through my bedroom window, at my present home, at 2 a.m. I tell myself that this was merely the action of a local hooligan.) Soon afterwards, a man called at my house. … A few days later … a man, who … had what looked like a metal cosh in his hand hit me on the forehead … [etc.]”
She is shut out of the media, prevented from plying her profession. She is ex-communicated from the bulk of the Jewish community. At least she should take heart from the experience of the valiant Spinoza.
Three. There is an extended foreword by longtime BBC journalist Tim Llewellyn. It is addressed specifically to the mis-judgment of Adams and Mayhew.
Llewellyn notes the changes. The Labour MP Zionist bully boys have gone. The public is far better informed, courtesy of considerable critical scholarly literature and daily internet exposés. The lies have been exposed as lies. The media acquired slightly more balance.
But the Parliamentary bully boys have been replaced by the trans-party ‘Friends of Israel’ cabals. Thus, for example, in September 2011, the Tory-Liberal Government moved to facilitate ready access of Israeli war criminals to British soil. And the public, no matter how better-informed, is ignored (witness the zero impact of the anti-Iraq invasion demonstrations). Since 2000, the BBC has backtracked, following 9/11, the second intifada, and Blair Labour’s relentless pressure for conformity. Add the organically pro-Israel Murdoch media (including The Times since 1981) and the Daily Telegraph.
More, the Zionist lobby is now better resourced, as powerful as ever. So-called representative national Jewish organizations, as in other countries, are first and foremost, pro-Israel lobby groups (have I missed a low-lying exception?). Claims Llewellyn:
“Since 1975, when the authors went into print, the official and institutional ranks of the Zionists in Britain have mounted and continue to mount campaigns of disinformation that dwarf their efforts of thirty and forty years ago. … the work goes on … not just in selling the Israeli package to the ordinary British people but also in changing the nature of British Jews’ perception of themselves and their relationship to Israel. Or, to put it another way, Israel’s alleged centrality to the life of a British Jew.”
As above, David Spanier was concerned that ‘a policy based on occupation will ultimately corrupt the essential value of Judaism itself’. Quite. The culturally unifying role of Judaism, in many families reduced to the conventionalized ritual of the Judaic calendar, has been displaced by the culturally unifying role of Israel. If less spiritual, a decidedly more muscular apparatus to be proud of (save for the hostility to this ersatz substitution by some Orthodox communities). And this even given that the majority of Jewry would never contemplate living there.
But the more does Israel perpetrate unsavory actions, the more does Israel need an effective propaganda machine. Llewelyn again, noting that the Americans arrived after 2000 to advise the British Israel Communications and Research Centre:
“The message was clear: be aggressive; pester and menace the media and the politicians in all their forms; go to court; never let up; let no adverse image or mention of Israel go unchallenged, however true, however perceived. In a word, the only story is our story: make sure everyone knows that.
“If Adams and Mayhew had been appalled at the Zionist intrusions they suffered in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, they would have been paralysed by the sheer aggression of the Zionist movement here, especially concerning the media after 2000 and the success it achieved with its tactics …”
Thus the Zionist messiah, political version, is now made flesh. But in its nurturing of human nature at its worst, it requires a most unholy propaganda and lobbying edifice to keep its yet incomplete pursuit of purity of spirit on track. The exercise, with its inevitable criminality, is fundamentally dependent upon the ‘dual loyalty’ (singular?) of the so-called Diaspora. And woe to the ‘self-hating’ Jews who dissent from the rule, saying ‘not in my name’.
In short, tribalism trumps reason, humanity and moral integrity. Can the evidence allow any other inference? Reason, humanity and moral integrity aside, what a brilliant success story.
* * *
Of the propaganda armory, the very rusty ‘anti-Semitism’ sword is still being brandished, and still to good effect. Here is Adams and Mayhew on the long silence of the churches:
“Nor was the situation any better in other western countries: the damaging accusation of anti-Semitism was held like a sword over the head of anyone rash enough to criticise Israel, from a moral or a spiritual standpoint, as from a political one.”
And Llewellyn on the BBC as highly-exposed public broadcaster:
“In institutional broadcasting there is a climate of fear. Executives do not like to be accused of anti-Semitism, which is the ready-to-hand smear the Zionists and their friends have available if they think Israel is receiving a bad press.”
It’s staggering to think that this canard still carries leverage, not least because it shits on the substantive anti-Semitism that has been central to the Jewish experience for centuries.
Thus the pro-Palestinian Jeremy Corbyn is naturally a target of this trusty weapon. Frankly, I don’t like his chances. If he manages to transcend the slur and its baggage, it will be a new day.
On the subject of this crime by Zionism against Jewry itself, one is perennially drawn to the stance of the philosopher Michael Neumann, outlined in Cockburn and St. Clair’s 2003 The Politics of Anti-Semitism. Neumann notes that definitional inflation cheapens the currency. (One might add that, as in Gresham’s Law in economics, ‘bad money drives out good’.)
With respect to the growth of Arab anti-Semitism, Neumann notes:
“… its chief cause is not anti-Semitic propaganda but the decades’ old (sic), systematic and unrelenting efforts of Israel to implicate all Jews in its crimes.”
Is opposition to the settlements (the Jews’ claimed historic right to Eretz Israel?) anti-Semitic? Claims Neumann:
“… since we are obliged to oppose the settlements, we are obliged to be anti-Semitic. Through definitional inflation, some form of anti-Semitism becomes morally obligatory.
“… anti-Zionism is a moral obligation, so, if anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism is a moral obligation.”
The Zionist armory, if one can be excused a mixed metaphor, has no clothes. It is long overdue that Zionism and its incarnation in the state of Israel be subject to the supposedly universal standards of reason, humanity and moral integrity.
US Vice President Joe Biden will go to Florida to “beg” American Jewish leaders to allow Washington to have its nuclear agreement with Iran, says a political commentator.
“Something this critically important to American foreign policy means only one thing… begging to powerful Jews to let America have its deal,” said David Christie, a broadcast journalist based in New York.
Christie made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday while commenting on Biden’s plan to visit Jewish leaders in Miami next week.
Biden’s office said in a statement that he will “participate in a discussion organized by [chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee] Debbie Wasserman Schultz to discuss the Iran deal with leaders in the Jewish community.”
The vice president, who has played an important behind-the-scenes role in the Obama administration’s lobbying push for the agreement approval by Congress in September, hopes to win support from Wasserman Schultz who has not announced her position on the issue.
“The best way to do that is for Joe [Biden] to make a pilgrimage to Miami so he can pay homage to the one group that has been at the core of our bizarre obsession with forging a nuclear deal with a country that can never be a threat to us in the first place,” said Christie.
Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the US, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany – announced the conclusion of nuclear negotiations in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on July 14. The US Congress will vote on the agreement in September.
Under the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, restrictions will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
“Indeed, none of our hysterical pre-occupation within an Iranian deal would even exist if it weren’t for what has become the mission in life for all US politicians and of course, that is to serve and protect Israel at all—and I mean—all costs,” said the journalist.
According to Carol Greenwald writing at American Thinker on 27 August 2015, Washington Post writer “[Carol] Morello does not mention how incredible it was that a few people, mostly a woman named Marsha Halteman from New Orleans, in one week could get 190 flag officers to sign a public letter stating that “the JCPOA [Iran Deal] would threaten the national security and vital interests of the United States and, therefore, should be disapproved by the Congress.”
Well not so incredible at all thanks to the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs (JINSA) very successful Generals and Admiral Program that has been in operation for many years. It has been the pipeline for 400 American military officers to visit Israel. Israel also runs similar programs for US military academy students and US law enforcement personnel.
The purpose of bringing American military personnel—and military academy students—is to maintain “Continued and robust military-to-military dialogue between the American and Israeli defense establishments is central to JINSA’s philosophy. The annual Generals and Admirals Program to Israel, in which recently retired American generals and admirals are invited to visit Israel with JINSA to meet the top echelon of the Israeli military and political leadership, ensures that the American delegation is well briefed on the security concerns of Israel, as well as the key role Israel plays as a friend and ally of the U.S. To date, JINSA has taken close to 400 retired officers to Israel, many of whom serve on JINSA’s Board of Advisors.”
As of this writing the Washington Post does not appear to have updated its story on the incredible effort of Marsha Halteman who is the recipient of a prestigious award from a US combatant command.
“It gives us great pleasure to announce that JINSA’s Marsha Halteman will be honored by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) with their Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for her tireless work on JINSA’s Soldiers Appeal, which raises funds for military members and their families who are in need of financial assistance. Her selfless and hard work is instrumental in actively supporting a USSOCOM priority – enhancing the quality of life of the individual warrior and family. Established by the Commander of USSOCOM in September 1998, the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal recognizes civilians who have provided outstanding support or service. For Marsha, this work has been both an act of love and admiration for our men and women in uniform, as well as above and beyond the call of duty. She has truly made a difference in the lives of so many soldiers and their families and she is most deserving of this award. This prestigious award will be presented to Marsha by a senior member of the USSOCOM Command at JINSA’s Spring 2014 Leadership Conference. Details of this meeting and a formal “Save the Date” will be released soon. We hope that many of you will be able to join us for the meeting and to honor Marsha.”
If the US national security and political establishment had the dedication, tenacity and thoroughness of the Israeli’s—in their pursuit of their national security interests, the USA would be a far more powerful country abroad and maybe at home. Israel’s interests are represented in every nook and cranny in the United States at the local, state and federal levels. They believe in Israel, nothing else. That deserves respect. American leaders, comparatively, are pathetic.
Fifty years ago, on April 15, 1945, British troops liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The anniversary was widely remembered in official ceremonies and in newspaper articles that, as the following essay shows, distort the camp’s true history.
Largely because of the circumstances of its liberation, the relatively unimportant German concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen has become — along with Dachau and Buchenwald — an international symbol of German barbarism.
The British troops who liberated the Belsen camp three weeks before the end of the war were shocked and disgusted by the many unburied corpses and dying inmates they found there. Horrific photos and films of the camp’s emaciated corpses and mortally sick inmates were quickly circulated around the globe. Within weeks the British military occupation newspaper proclaimed: “The story of that greatest of all exhibitions of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ which was Belsen Concentration Camp is known throughout the world.” (note 1)
Ghastly images recorded by Allied photographers at Belsen in mid-April 1945 and widely reproduced ever since have greatly contributed to the camp’s reputation as a notorious extermination center. In fact, the dead of Bergen-Belsen were, above all, unfortunate victims of war and its turmoil, not deliberate policy. It can even be argued that they were as much victims of Allied as of German measures.
Plan of the Bergen-Belsen camp
The Bergen-Belsen camp was located near Hannover in northwestern Germany on the site of a former army camp for wounded prisoners of war. In 1943 it was established as an internment camp (Aufenthaltslager) for European Jews who were to be exchanged for German citizens held by the Allies.
More than 9,000 Jews with citizenship papers or passports from Latin American countries, entry visas for Palestine, or other documents making them eligible for emigration, arrived in late 1943 and 1944 from Poland, France, Holland and other parts of Europe. During the final months of the war, several groups of these “exchange Jews” were transported from Axis-occupied Europe. German authorities transferred several hundred to neutral Switzerland, and at least one group of 222 Jewish detainees was transferred from Belsen (by way of neutral Turkey) to British-controlled Palestine. /2
Until late 1944 conditions were generally better than in other concentration camps. Marika Frank Abrams, a Jewish woman from Hungary, was transferred from Auschwitz in 1944. Years later she recalled her arrival at Belsen: “… We were each given two blankets and a dish. There was running water and latrines. We were given food that was edible and didn’t have to stand for hours to be counted. The conditions were so superior to Auschwitz we felt we were practically in a sanitarium.” /3
Inmates normally received three meals a day. Coffee and bread were served in the morning and evening, with cheese and sausage as available. The main mid-day meal consisted of one liter of vegetable stew. Families lived together. Otherwise, men and women were housed in separate barracks. /4
Children were also held there. There were some 500 Jewish children in Belsen’s “No. 1 Women’s Camp” section when British forces arrived. /5
During the final months of the war, tens of thousands of Jews were evacuated to Belsen from Auschwitz and other eastern camps threatened by the advancing Soviets. Belsen became severely overcrowded as the number of inmates increased from 15,000 in December 1944 to 42,000 at the beginning of March 1945, and more than 50,000 a month later. /6
Many of these Jewish prisoners had chosen to be evacuated westwards with their German captors rather than remain in eastern camps to await liberation by Soviet forces. /7
So catastrophic had conditions become during the final months of the war that about a third of the prisoners evacuated to Belsen in February and March 1945 perished during the journey and were dead on arrival. /8
As order broke down across Europe during those chaotic final months, regular deliveries of food and medicine to the camp stopped. Foraging trucks were sent to scrounge up whatever supplies of bread, potatoes and turnips were available in nearby towns. /9
Disease was kept under control by routinely disinfecting all new arrivals. But in early February 1945 a large transport of Hungarian Jews was admitted while the disinfection facility was out of order. As a result, typhus broke out and quickly spread beyond control. /10
Commandant Josef Kramer quarantined the camp in an effort to save lives, but SS camp administration headquarters in Berlin insisted that Belsen be kept open to receive still more Jewish evacuees arriving from the East. The death rate soon rose to 400 a day. /11
The worst killer was typhus, but typhoid fever and dysentery also claimed many lives. Aggravating the situation was a policy during the final months of transferring already sick inmates from other camps to Belsen, which was then officially designated a sick or convalescence camp (Krankenlager). The sick women of Auschwitz, for example, were transferred to Belsen in three groups in November-December 1944. /12
When SS chief Heinrich Himmler learned of the typhus outbreak at Bergen-Belsen, he immediately issued an order to all appropriate officials requiring that “all medical means necessary to combat the epidemic should be employed … There can be no question of skimping either with doctors or medical supplies.” However, the general breakdown of order that prevailed on Germany by this time made it impossible to implement the command. /13
Violette Fintz, a Jewish woman who had been deported from the island of Rhodes to Auschwitz in mid-1944, and then to Dachau and, finally, in early 1945, to Belsen, later compared conditions in the different camps: /14
Belsen was in the beginning bearable and we had bunks to sleep on, and a small ration of soup and bread. But as the camp got fuller, our group and many others were given a barracks to hold about seven hundred lying on the floor without blankets and without food or anything. It was a pitiful scene as the camp was attacked by lice and most of the people had typhus and cholera … Many people talk about Auschwitz — it was a horrible camp. But Belsen, no words can describe it … From my experience and suffering, Belsen was the worst.
Belsen’s most famous inmate was doubtless Anne Frank, who had been evacuated from Auschwitz in late October 1944. She succumbed to typhus in March 1945, three or four weeks before liberation.
Kramer Reports a ‘Catastrophe’
In a March 1, 1945, letter to Gruppenführer (General) Richard Glücks, head of the SS camp administration agency, Commandant Kramer reported in detail on the catastrophic situation in the Bergen-Belsen, and pleaded for help: /15
If I had sufficient sleeping accommodation at my disposal, then the accommodation of the detainees who have already arrived and of those still to come would appear more possible. In addition to this question a spotted fever and typhus epidemic has now begun, which increases in extent every day. The daily mortality rate, which was still in the region of 60-70 at the beginning of February, has in the meantime attained a daily average of 250-300 and will increase still further in view of the conditions which at present prevail.
Supply. When I took over the camp, winter supplies for 1500 internees had been indented for; some had been received, but the greater part had not been delivered. This failure was due not only to difficulties of transport, but also to the fact that practically nothing is available in this area and all must be brought from outside the area …
For the last four days there has been no delivery [of food] from Hannover owing to interrupted communications, and I shall be compelled, if this state of affairs prevails till the end of the week, to fetch bread also by means of truck from Hannover. The trucks allotted to the local unit are in no way adequate for this work, and I am compelled to ask for at least three to four trucks and five to six trailers. When I once have here a means of towing then I can send out the trailers into the surrounding area … The supply question must, without fail, be cleared up in the next few days. I ask you, Gruppenführer, for an allocation of transport …
State of Health. The incidence of disease is very high here in proportion to the number of detainees. When you interviewed me on Dec. 1, 1944, at Oranienburg, you told me that Bergen-Belsen was to serve as a sick camp for all concentration camps in north Germany. The number of sick has greatly increased, particularly on account of the transports of detainees that have arrived from the East in recent times — these transports have sometimes spent eight or fourteen days in open trucks …
The fight against spotted fever is made extremely difficult by the lack of means of disinfection. Due to constant use, the hot-air delousing machine is now in bad working order and sometimes fails for several days …
A catastrophe is taking place for which no one wishes to assume responsibility … Gruppenführer, I can assure you that from this end everything will be done to overcome the present crisis …
I am now asking you for your assistance as it lies in your power. In addition to the above-mentioned points I need here, before everything, accommodation facilities, beds, blankets, eating utensils — all for about 20,000 internees … I implore your help in overcoming this situation.
Mass grave at Belsen camp, shortly after its liberation by British troops. Photographs such as this are widely reproduced as proof of a German policy of extermination. Contrary to Allied propaganda claims of the time, and Holocaust allegations in recent decades, though, these unfortunate prisoners were victims of typhus and starvation that were indirect consequences of the war – not of any deliberate policy. At least 14,000 Jews died in the camp following the British takeover.
Under such terrible conditions, Kramer did everything in his power to reduce suffering and prevent death among the inmates, even appealing to the hard-pressed German army. “I don’t know what else to do,” he told high-ranking army officers. “I have reached the limit. Masses of people are dying. The drinking water supply has broken down. A trainload of food was destroyed by low-flying [Allied] war planes. Something must be done immediately.” /16
Working together with both Commandant Kramer and chief inmate representative Kuestermeier, Colonel Hanns Schmidt responded by arranging for the local volunteer fire department to provide water. He also saw to it that food supplies were brought to the camp from abandoned rail cars. Schmidt later recalled that Kramer “did not at all impress one as a criminal type. He acted like an upright and rather honorable man. Neither did he strike me as someone with a guilty conscience. He worked with great dedication to improve conditions in the camp. For example, he rounded up horse drawn vehicles to bring food to the camp from rail cars that had been shot up.” /17
“I was swamped,” Kramer later explained to incredulous British military interrogators: /18
The camp was not really inefficient before you [British and American forces] crossed the Rhine. There was running water, regular meals of a kind — I had to accept what food I was given for the camp and distribute it the best way I could. But then they suddenly began to send me trainloads of new prisoners from all over Germany. It was impossible to cope with them. I appealed for more staff, more food. I was told that this was impossible. I had to carry on with what I had.
Then as a last straw the Allies bombed the electric plant that pumped our water. Loads of food were unable to reach the camp because of the Allied fighters. Then things really got out of hand. During the last six weeks I have been helpless. I did not even have sufficient staff to bury the dead, let alone segregate the sick … I tried to get medicines and food for the prisoners and I failed. I was swamped. I may have been hated, but I was doing my duty.
Kramer’s clear conscience is also suggested by the fact that he made no effort to save his life by fleeing, but instead calmly awaited the approaching British forces, naively confident of decent treatment. “When Belsen Camp was eventually taken over by the Allies,” he later stated, “I was quite satisfied that I had done all I possibly could under the circumstances to remedy the conditions in the camp.” /19
As British forces approached Bergen-Belsen, German authorities sought to turn over the camp to the British so that it would not become a combat zone. After some negotiation, it was peacefully transferred, with an agreement that “both British and German troops will make every effort to avoid battle in the area.” /20
A revealing account of the circumstances under which the British took control appeared in a 1945 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association: /21
By negotiations between British and German officers, British troops took over from the SS and the Wehrmacht the task of guarding the vast concentration camp at Belsen, a few miles northwest of Celle, which contains 60,000 prisoners, many of them political. This has been done because typhus is rampant in the camp and it is vital that no prisoners be released until the infection is checked. The advancing British agreed to refrain from bombing or shelling the area of the camp, and the Germans agreed to leave behind an armed guard which would be allowed to return to their own lines a week after the British arrival.
The story of the negotiations is curious. Two German officers presented themselves before the British outposts and explained that there were 9,000 sick in the camp and that all sanitation had failed. They proposed that the British should occupy the camp at once, as the responsibility was international in the interests of health. In return for the delay caused by the truce the Germans offered to surrender intact the bridges over the river Aller. After brief consideration the British senior officer rejected the German proposals, saying it was necessary that the British should occupy an area of ten kilometers round the camp in order to be sure of keeping their troops and lines of communication away from the disease. The British eventually took over the camp.
On April 15, 1945, Belsen’s commanders turned over the camp to British troops, who lost no time mistreating the SS camp personnel. The Germans were beaten with rifle butts, kicked, and stabbed with bayonets. Most were shot or worked to death. /22
British journalist Alan Moorehead described the treatment of some of the camp personnel shortly after the takeover: /23
As we approached the cells of the SS guards, the [British] sergeant’s language become ferocious. “We had had an interrogation this morning,” the captain said. ‘I’m afraid they are not a pretty sight.’ … The sergeant unbolted the first door and … strode into the cell, jabbing a metal spike in front of him. “Get up,” he shouted. “Get up. Get up, you dirty bastards.” There were half a dozen men lying or half lying on the floor. One or two were able to pull themselves erect at once. The man nearest me, his shirt and face spattered with blood, made two attempts before he got on to his knees and then gradually on to his feet. He stood with his arms stretched out in front of him, trembling violently.
“Come on. Get up,” the sergeant shouted [in the next cell]. The man was lying in his blood on the floor, a massive figure with a heavy head and bedraggled beard … “Why don’t you kill me?” he whispered. “Why don’t you kill me? I can’t stand it any more.” The same phrases dribbled out of his lips over and over again. “He’s been saying that all morning, the dirty bastard,” the sergeant said.
Josef Kramer in British captivity. After a military trial, the former Bergen-Belsen Commandant was put to death.
Commandant Kramer, who was vilified in the British and American press as “The Beast of Belsen” and “The Monster of Belsen,” was put on trial and then executed, along with chief physician Dr. Fritz Klein and other camp officials. At his trial, Kramer’s defense attorney, Major T.C.M. Winwood, predicted: “When the curtain finally rings down on this stage Josef Kramer will, in my submission, stand forth not as ‘The Beast of Belsen’ but as ‘The Scapegoat of Belsen’.” /24
In an “act of revenge,” the British liberators expelled the residents of the nearby town of Bergen, and then permitted camp inmates to loot the houses and buildings. Much of the town was also set on fire. /25
There were some 55,000 to 60,000 prisoners in Bergen-Belsen when the British took control of the camp. The new administrators proved no more capable of mastering the chaos than the Germans had been, and some 14,000 Jewish inmates died at Belsen in the months following the British takeover. /26
Although still occasionally referred to as an “extermination camp” or “mass murder” center, the truth about Bergen-Belsen has been quietly acknowledged by scholars. /27 In his 1978 survey of German history, University of Erlangen professor Helmut Diwald wrote of /28
… The notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where 50,000 inmates were supposedly murdered. Actually, about 7,000 inmates died during the period when the camp existed, from 1943 to 1945. Most of them died in the final months of the war as a result of disease and malnutrition — consequences of the bombings that had completely disrupted normal deliveries of medical supplies and food. The British commander who took control of the camp after the capitulation testified that crimes on a large scale had not taken place at Bergen-Belsen.
Martin Broszat, Director of the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, wrote in 1976: /29
… In Bergen-Belsen, for example, thousands of corpses of Jewish prisoners were found by British soldiers on the day of liberation, which gave the impression that this was one of the notorious extermination camps. Actually, many Jews in Bergen-Belsen as well as in the satellite camps of Dachau died in the last weeks before the end of the war as a result of the quickly improvised retransfers and evacuations of Jewish workers from the still existing ghettos, work camps and concentration camps in the East (Auschwitz) …
Dr. Russell Barton, an English physician who spent a month in Bergen-Belsen after the war with the British Army, has also explained the reasons for the catastrophic conditions found there: /30
Most people attributed the conditions of the inmates to deliberate intention on the part of the Germans in general and the camp administrators in particular. Inmates were eager to cite examples of brutality and neglect, and visiting journalists from different countries interpreted the situation according to the needs of propaganda at home.
For example, one newspaper emphasized the wickedness of the “German masters” by remarking that some of the 10,000 unburied dead were naked. In fact, when the dead were taken from a hut and left in the open for burial, other prisoners would take their clothing from them …
German medical officers told me that it had been increasingly difficult to transport food to the camp for some months. Anything that moved on the autobahns was likely to be bombed …
I was surprised to find records, going back for two or three years, of large quantities of food cooked daily for distribution. I became convinced, contrary to popular opinion, that there had never been a policy of deliberate starvation. This was confirmed by the large numbers of well-fed inmates. Why then were so many people suffering from malnutrition?… The major reasons for the state of Belsen were disease, gross overcrowding by central authority, lack of law and order within the huts, and inadequate supplies of food, water and drugs.
In trying to assess the causes of the conditions found in Belsen one must be alerted to the tremendous visual display, ripe for purposes of propaganda, that masses of starved corpses presented.
Gas Chamber Myths
Some former inmates and a few historians have claimed that Jews were put to death in gas chambers at Bergen-Belsen. For example, an “authoritative” work published shortly after the end of the war, A History of World War II, informed readers: “In Belsen, [Commandant] Kramer kept an orchestra to play him Viennese music while he watched children torn from their mothers to be burned alive. Gas chambers disposed of thousands of persons daily.” /31
A protest meeting in the Bergen-Belsen camp, September 1947. For five years following the end of the war, British authorities maintained the camp as a “Displaced Persons” center. During this period it flourished as a major black market center. At this pro-Zionist gathering of 4,000 Jews, camp leader Joseph Rosensaft speaks against British policy in Palestine.
In Jews, God and History, Jewish historian Max Dimont wrote of gassings at Bergen-Belsen. /32 A semi-official work published in Poland in 1981 claimed that women and babies were “put to death in gas chambers” at Belsen. /33
In 1945 the Associated Press news agency reported: /34
In Lueneburg, Germany, a Jewish physician, testifying at the trial of 45 men and women for war crimes at the Belsen and Oswiecim [Auschwitz] concentration camps, said that 80,000 Jews, representing the entire ghetto of Lodz, Poland, had been gassed or burned to death in one night at the Belsen camp.
Five decades after the camp’s liberation, British army Captain Robert Daniell recalled seeing “the gas chambers” there. /35
Years after the war, Robert Spitz, a Hungarian Jew, remembered taking a shower at Belsen in February 1945: “… It was delightful. What I didn’t know then was that there were other showers in the same building where gas came out instead of water.” /36
Another former inmate, Moshe Peer, recalled a miraculous escape from death as an eleven-year-old in the camp. In a 1993 interview with a Canadian newspaper, the French-born Peer claimed that he “was sent to the [Belsen] camp gas chamber at least six times.” The newspaper account went on to relate: “Each time he survived, watching with horror as many of the women and children gassed with him collapsed and died. To this day, Peer doesn’t know how he was able to survive.” In an effort to explain the miracle, Peer mused: “Maybe children resist better, I don’t know.” (Although Peer claimed that “Bergen-Belsen was worse than Auschwitz,” he acknowledged that he and his younger brother and sister, who were deported to the camp in 1944, all somehow survived internment there.) /37
Such gas chamber tales are entirely fanciful. As early as 1960, historian Martin Broszat had publicly repudiated the Belsen gassing story. These days no reputable scholar supports it. /38
Exaggerated Death Estimates
Estimates of the number of people who died in Bergen-Belsen have ranged widely over the years. Many have been irresponsible exaggerations. Typical is a 1985 York Daily News report, which told readers that “probably 100,000 died at Bergen-Belsen.” /39 An official German government publication issued in 1990 declared that “more than 50,000 people had been murdered” in the Belsen camp under German control, and “an additional 13,000 died in the first weeks after liberation.” /40
Closer to the truth is the Encyclopaedia Judaica, which maintains that 37,000 perished in the camp before the British takeover, and another 14,000 afterwards. /41
Whatever the actual number of dead, Belsen’s victims were not “murdered,” and the camp was not an “extermination” center.
Black Market Center
From 1945 until 1950, when it was finally shut down, the British maintained Belsen as a camp for displaced European Jews. During this period it achieved new notoriety as a major European black market center. The “uncrowned king” of Belsen’s 10,000 Jews was Yossl (Josef) Rosensaft, who amassed tremendous profits from the illegal trading. Rosensaft had been interned in various camps, including Auschwitz, before arriving in Belsen in early April 1945. /42
British Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Morgan, chief of “displaced persons” operations in postwar Germany for the United Nations relief organization UNRRA recalled in his memoir that /43
under Zionist auspices there had been organized at Belsen a vast illegitimate trading organization with worldwide ramifications and dealing in a wide range of goods, principally precious metals and stones. A money market dealt with a wide range of currencies. Goods were being imported in cryptically marked containers consigned in UNRRA shipments to Jewish voluntary agencies …
A kind of memorial center now draws many tourists annually to the camp site. Not surprisingly, Bergen’s 13,000 residents are not very pleased with their town’s infamous reputation. Citizens report being called “murderers” during visits to foreign countries. /44
In striking contrast to the widely-accepted image of Belsen, which is essentially a product of hateful wartime propaganda, is the suppressed, albeit grim, historical reality. In truth, the Bergen-Belsen story may be regarded as the Holocaust story in miniature.
- Walter Laqueur, The Terrible Secret: Suppression of the Truth about Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ (Boston: Little Brown, 1980), p. 1.
- Testimony of Commandant Kramer in: Raymond Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others (The Belsen Trial) (London: William Hodge, 1949), p. 160; “Bergen-Belsen,” Encyclopaedia Judaica (New York and Jerusalem: Macmillan and Keter, 1971), Vol. 4, p. 610. According to this source, one group of 136 of these “exchange Jews” was deported from Belsen during the war to neutral Switzerland, and another group of 222 was transferred to Palestine.; According to an Israeli newspaper report, a group of 222 “exchange” Jews reportedly left Bergen-Belsen on June 29, 1944, and, by way of Istanbul, arrived in Palestine on July 10. (Israel Nachrichten, quoted in: D. National-Zeitung, Munich, Sept. 23, 1994, p. 5)
- Sylvia Rothchild, ed., Voices from the Holocaust (New York: NAL, 1981), p. 190.
- Josef Kramer statement (1945) in: R. Phillips, Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 731-737. This is also in: Arthur Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century (Newport Beach: Institute for Historical Review, 1993), pp. 272-274.
- R. Phillips, Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 19, 32, 33; Roman Hrabar, with Zofia Tokarz and J. E. Wilczur, The Fate of Polish Children During the Last War (Warsaw: Interpress, 1981), p. 76.
- Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 4, p. 610; Gedenkbuch: Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft (Koblenz: Bundesarchiv, 1986; 2 vols.), pp. 1761-1762.
- Testimony of Dr. Russell Barton, Feb. 7, 1985, in the first “Holocaust” trial of Ernst Zündel. Official trial transcript, pp. 2916-2917; See also Barton’s testimony during the second, 1988 Zündel trial in: Barbara Kulaszka, ed., Did Six Million Really Die? (Toronto: Samisdat, 1992), p. 175, and, Robert Lenski, The Holocaust on Trial: The Case of Ernst Zündel (Decatur, Ala.: Reporter Press, 1990), p. 159.
- Testimony of Commandant Kramer in: R. Phillips, Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, p. 162.
- Josef Kramer statement (1945) in: R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 731-737. Also in: A. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, p. 274.
- Derrick Sington, Belsen Uncovered (London: 1946), pp. 117-118. Quoted in: A. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, pp. 34-35; Gerald Reitlinger, The Final Solution (London: Sphere Books, pb., 1971), p. 504 (note).
- R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 152-153, 166-167, 734, 736; Tom Bower, Blind Eye to Murder (London: Granada, 1983), p. 224; Dr. Ernst von Briesen, “Was passierte in Bergen-Belsen wirklich?,” D. National-Zeitung (Munich), Jan. 13, 1984, pp. 4, 5, 8.
- G.Reitlinger, The Final Solution, p. 497 (and 638, n. 23).
- Andre Biss, A Million Jews to Save (New York: A.S. Barnes, 1975), pp. 242, 249-250; Felix Kersten, The Kersten Memoirs, 1940-1945 (New York: Macmillan, 1957), p. 276.
- Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1986), pp. 722, 785-786.
- R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 163-166.
- Signed report by retired Colonel (Oberst a.D.) Hanns Schmidt to Kurt Mehner and Lt. Colonel Bechtold, Braunschweig, March 3, 1981. Photocopy in author’s possession.
- Signed report by Hanns Schmidt to Kurt Mehner and Lt. Colonel Bechtold, March 3, 1981. Photocopy in author’s possession.
- Essay by Alan Moorehead, “Belsen,” in: Cyril Connolly, ed., The Golden Horizon (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1953), pp. 109-110.
- Josef Kramer statement (1945) in: R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, p. 737. Also quoted in: A. Butz, Hoax, p. 275; Essay by Alan Moorehead, “Belsen,” in: Cyril Connolly, ed., The Golden Horizon, pp. 109-110; Dr. Russell Barton, “Belsen,” History of the Second World War (Editor: Barrie Pitt, Copyright BPC publications, 1966), Part 109, 1975, p. 3025.
- R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 396-397.
- “Typhus Causes a Truce,” The Journal of the American Medical Association (Chicago), May 19, 1945, p. 220.
- Leonard O. Mosley, Report from Germany (1945). Quoted in: Montgomery Belgion, Victor’s Justice (Regnery, 1949), p. 80 (and p. 81); Time magazine, April 29, 1985, p. 21; See also essay by A. Moorehead, “Belsen,” in: Cyril Connolly, ed., The Golden Horizon (London: 1953), pp. 105-106.
- Essay by A. Moorehead, “Belsen,” in: Cyril Connolly, ed., The Golden Horizon, pp. 105-106.
- R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, p. 156.
- “Bergen-Belsen,” Der Spiegel (Hamburg), Nr. 30, 1985, pp. 71, 72.
- “Holocaust,” Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 8, p. 859; M. Gilbert, The Holocaust (1986), pp. 793-795; See also: R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 20, 46-47; According to a 1992 Associated Press report, more than 60,000 prisoners were held in Belsen camp when it was liberated. Then, “in the first five days of liberation, 14,000 prisoners died and another 14,000 perished in the following weeks.” Graham Heathcote, AP from Tostock, England, “2 hours changed me for the rest of my life,” Orlando Sentinel (Florida), Dec. 20, 1992, p. A 29, and, “Journey into hell,” The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington), Dec. 20, 1992.
- Time magazine, April 29, 1985, p. 21, referred to Belsen as a camp created for the “extermination” of “the Jewish people.”
- Helmut Diwald, Geschichte der Deutschen (Frankfurt: Propyläen, first ed., 1978), pp. 164-165.
- M. Broszat, “Zur Kritik der Publizistik des antisemitischen Rechtsextremismus,” Supplement B 19/76 of May 8, 1976, to the weekly newspaper Das Parlament (Bonn), p. 6. Revised from issue No. 2, 1976, of the Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte (Munich).
- Dr. R. Barton, “Belsen,” History of the Second World War, Part 109, 1975, pp. 3025-3029; Barton confirmed this evaluation in testimony given in the 1985 and 1988 Toronto trials of German-Canadian publisher Ernst Zündel. On Barton’s testimony in the first, 1985 trial, see: “View of Belsen was propaganda, trial told,” The Globe and Mail (Toronto), Feb. 8, 1985, pp. M1, M5, and, “Disease killed Nazis’ prisoners, MD says,” Toronto Star, Feb. 8, 1985, p. A2; On Barton’s testimony in the second, 1988 Zündel trial, see: Barbara Kulaszka, ed., Did Six Million Really Die?, pp. 175-180, and, R. Lenski, The Holocaust on Trial (1990), pp. 157-160; Among his other positions after the war, Barton was superintendent and consultant psychiatrist at Severalls Hospital (Essex, England), and director of the Rochester Psychiatric Center (New York).
- Francis Trevelyan Miller, Litt.D., LLD, A History of World War II (Philadelphia: John C. Winston Co., 1945), p. 868.
- M. Dimont, Jews, God and History (New York: Signet/NAL, pb., 1962?), p. 383.
- R. Hrabar, et al, The Fate of Polish Children During the Last War (Warsaw: 1981), p. 76.
- The Associated Press News Annual: 1945, p. 404.
- M. Holland, “The horrors of Belsen,” Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), Jan. 22, 1995, p. 93; M. Holland, “Man who uncovered the horror of Belsen,” Sunday Times (Perth, W. Australia), Feb. 5, 1995, p. 2.
- S. Rothchild, ed., Voices From the Holocaust, p. 197.
- K. Seidman, “Surviving the horror,” The Gazette (Montreal, Canada), August 5, 1993. Facsimile reprint in: The Journal of Historical Review, Nov.-Dec. 1993, p. 24.
- Die Zeit (Hamburg), August 19, 1960, p. 16. (U.S. edition: August 26, 1960.) Facsimile and translation in The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 1993, p. 12.
- “Bergen-Belsen,” Daily News (New York), April 20, 1985, p. 3.
- “Ceremony Recalls Victims of Bergen-Belsen,” The Week in Germany (New York: German Information Center), April 27, 1990, p. 6; A figure of 50,000 is also given in Time magazine, April 29, 1985, p. 21; According to a stone memorial at the Belsen camp site, 30,000 Jews were “exterminated” there; A semi-official Polish account published in 1980 reported 48,000 Belsen “victims.” Czeslaw Pilichowski, No Time Limit for These Crimes (Warsaw: Interpress, 1980), pp. 154-155.
- “Bergen-Belsen,” Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971), vol. 4, pp. 610-612; Colonel Schmidt, the German officer who worked to alleviate conditions in Belsen during the final weeks and also arranged for the camp’s surrender to the British, estimated that “altogether about 8,000 people” died in the camp. (This figure may, however, only include victims of the final chaotic weeks under German control.) Source: Signed report by Oberst a.D. Hanns Schmidt to Kurt Mehner and Lt. Colonel Bechtold, Braunschweig, March 3, 1981. (Cited above.) Photocopy in author’s possession.
- L. Dawidowicz, “Belsen Remembered,” Commentary (New York: American Jewish Comm.), March 1966, pp. 84, 85; D. National-Zeitung (Munich), March 21, 1986, p. 4; M. Gilbert, The Holocaust, pp. 690, 793.
- F. Morgan, Peace and War (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1961), p. 259.
- “Bergen-Belsen,” Der Spiegel, Nr. 30, 1985, pp. 71, 72.
From The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 1995 (Vol. 15, No. 3), pages 23-30.
It is obvious that Bernie Sanders functions as the political “sheepdog” of the 2016 presidential election. The sheepdog makes certain that otherwise disillusioned Democrats are energized enough to stay in line and support the eventual candidate, in this case Hillary Clinton. That is reason enough to oppose his campaign but it isn’t the only one. A hard look at Sanders on foreign policy issues shows that he is a progressive poseur, a phony, a conservative Democrat, and not a socialist by any means.
The Sanders website looks like every other candidate’s with a bio, donation information and of course “Bernie on the issues.” But it seems that Bernie doesn’t have any opinions on foreign policy because they are nowhere to be found. How can he be a serious presidential contender if he doesn’t discuss foreign policy? How does he differentiate himself from Hillary Clinton or Republicans if he won’t state for the record how his foreign policy differs from theirs? The truth is obvious. He isn’t a serious contender and his foreign policy views are no different from those of the other candidates.
Sanders’ candidacy is as grave a danger to the rest of the world as that of his rivals. In no way does he challenge the belief that the United States has the right to determine the fates of millions of people without regard to their human rights. He doesn’t believe that other nations have the right to oppose what the United States chooses to impose upon them.
Sanders makes quite a big deal about voting against the invasion of Iraq in 2002 and says he wants United States troops to leave that nation for good. But he never says that this intervention was wrong. He never said that the United States had no right to destroy that country or kill its people. He never said that these interventions are war crimes and violations of international law. Instead he speaks of the efficacy of particular interventions and how they impact Americans.
A presidential campaign should be an opportune moment to say that the Islamic State, ISIS, is a creation of the United States. Instead Sanders repeats that the United States must defeat this force but he only differs slightly in saying that he wants the Saudis to spend their money doing it. “I’ll be damned if kids in the state of Vermont – or taxpayers in the state of Vermont – have to defend the royal Saudi family, which is worth hundreds of billions of dollars.” That mealy mouthed opinion does nothing to end the premise of an American right to do what it wants anywhere in the world. Imagine if Sanders was willing to talk about support for jihadists going back nearly forty years and how each one delivers a more terrifying result.
In 2011 Obama was bombing Libya and planning to kill its president but Sanders didn’t see it as being particularly problematic. He repeated almost verbatim the rationales that assassinated a president and destroyed a nation. “Look, everybody understands Gaddafi is a thug and murderer. We want to see him go, but I think in the midst of two wars, I’m not quite sure we need a third war, and I hope the president tells us that our troops will be leaving there, that our military action will be ending very, very shortly.” Libya’s obliteration was no problem for Sanders as long as the process didn’t take very long.
In 2015 the Bernie Sanders foreign policy still does not digress from American political orthodoxy. He doesn’t question American policy towards Russia. “Well you totally isolate him [Putin] politically. You totally isolate him economically.” “Freeze assets that the Russian government has all over the world.” At no time did Sanders oppose the American policy of intervening in Ukraine and expanding NATO in eastern Europe, the actions which created the current confrontation with Russia. He doesn’t question why the United States has the right to dictate policy to another nation or interfere in its sphere of influence.
Sanders supports the Iran nuclear energy agreement with the P5+1 nations, but issues the same dishonest rationales about it expressed by president Obama. Sanders doesn’t say that Iran was never a nuclear power, an easily provable fact. He doesn’t question the sanctions which forced Iran to the table or point out that the 25 years of inspections called for in the agreement are a violation of Iran’s sovereignty. Instead he repeats the discredited mantra that the United States must make war in order to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear nation when even the CIA said that it never had that capability.
The big elephant in the room, Israel, gets the standard Bernie Sanders treatment. When Israel killed 2,000 people in Gaza in 2014 he would only say that Israel “over reacted.” He didn’t like being questioned about his stance either. When protesters interrupted a speech he told them to shut up and repeated nonsense about Hamas missiles that rarely hit their targets while Israel massacred a civilian population.
When Sanders speaks out against American interventions he couches his opposition in terms of spending money at home instead of abroad. That is somewhat admirable, but there is no reason to cut the defense budget as he says he wants to do, if there is no change in how this country attempts to dominate the rest of the world.
The Sanders campaign may be an interesting footnote, but it won’t bring about needed conversation about United States imperialism. The supposedly socialist senator never even uses that word. There is blatant dishonesty in claiming to want a changed domestic policy in the United States without also changing foreign policy. The two are linked, and American workers can’t have a living wage or health care as long as imperialism goes unchecked. Liberals can’t claim superiority to followers of Donald Trump if they consent to war crimes and human rights violations. Their only requirement seems to be that Democrats ought to be in charge of the carnage. Sanders wouldn’t be a very good sheepdog if there weren’t so many willing sheep.
Margaret Kimberley can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.
NABLUS – A Palestinian father said Wednesday that Israeli soldiers stole money and jewelry from his family home when they detained his son in a predawn raid in the the northern West Bank village of Salem east of Nablus.
Nasim Hilmi Karaki, a lieutenant colonel in the Palestinian Authority national security forces, told Ma’an that Israeli special forces stormed his house around 1:00 a.m. after blowing up the main door.
Large numbers of troops ransacked the house as they inspected rooms using metal detectors and police dogs, Karaki said, adding that they blew up the doors of three rooms inside the house.
He said that the operation lasted until around 5:00 a.m., during which Karaki was cuffed and forced to stay with the rest of the family in one of the rooms.
The soldiers then detained Karaki’s 18-year-old son, Hilmi.
Karaki said that the troops were searching for firearms but were unable to find any.
However, after they left, he said he discovered that they had stolen 21,000 shekels and his wife’s jewelry, worth around 2,000 Jordanian Dinars (about $2,820).
An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into the incident.
Karaki’s son was one of 31 Palestinians detained by Israeli forces across the occupied West Bank overnight Tuesday.
Israeli forces routinely detain Palestinians throughout the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, often on the pretext of perceived security threats.
Palestinians often report theft by Israeli forces during such raids. During a detention campaign Operation Brother’s Keeper in the summer of 2014, Israeli forces confiscated an estimated $2.9 million worth of cash and property from Palestinian homes, charities, and businesses according to a report by Geneva-based human rights organization Euro-Mid Observer.
Spokespeople for the Israeli government justified confiscations during this time by claiming their planned use to fund or support terrorism.
The Euro-Mid Observer reported, however, that Israeli authorities neither provided evidence nor judicial permission for the confiscations.
The idea of partition for Iraq would never be agreed by Moscow, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov said, stressing that this kind of ‘state structure manipulation’ is obsolete and Iraqis should define the future of their country themselves.
“We would never adopt a position voiced without any constraint by US Vice President Joe Biden, who said directly that Iraq should be split into Shia and Sunni parts and that the Kurds should be given what they want,” Lavrov told the participants of the youth forum ‘Territory of meanings’ near Moscow.
Lavrov labeled Biden’s position as “highly irresponsible and what’s more important – unacceptable,” because someone from overseas is lecturing Iraqi people on what to do with their country.
“We won’t commit to such things, telling Sunnis to get out today and urging Shia to move on next time. This is ‘social engineering,’ state structure manipulation from far outside,” Lavrov said, stressing that the destructiveness of such a plan is obvious.
“We believe that Iraqis – Shia, Sunnis and Kurds – should decide for themselves how to live together,” said the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Lavrov’s remarks come following reports that Vice President Joe Biden is “seriously deciding whether to jump into the Democratic presidential race.”
The idea of decentralizing Iraq was voiced by Biden as early as 2006, in his ‘Unity Through Autonomy in Iraq’ article for the New York Times.
In this article, Biden proposed the idea of Iraq’s federalization and autonomous regions in Iraq for Sunnis, Shia and Kurds.
In April 2015, the Office of the Vice President published Biden’s article ‘Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden on Iraq’ on the White House’s official website.
“We want what Iraqis want: a united, federal, and democratic Iraq that is defined by its own constitution where power is shared among all Iraqi communities, where a sovereign government exercises command and control over the forces in the field. And that’s overwhelmingly what the Iraqis want,” Biden wrote.
The US together with an international coalition waged war in Iraq in 2003, under the pretext of eliminating weapons of mass destruction developed by Saddam Hussein’s regime. After the regime was brought down, WMD were never found and the former ruler was hanged by the new Iraqi authorities on December 30, 2006.
The Iraqi war lasted until 2011 and claimed the lives of nearly 1.5 million Iraqis and at least 6,000 coalition soldiers. Many more were wounded on each side.
The civil war in Iraq that started immediately after the withdrawal of the occupation forces is still going on. Many thousands have perished in terror acts and skirmishes.
Today the situation in Iraq is deeply aggravated by the advancement of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). The militant group is steadily capturing Iraqi territory. A significant part of Islamic State’s military backbone reportedly consists of former high-ranking Iraqi soldiers, who lost their careers and jobs following the fall of the former regime.
Israel’s attacks on Gaza ended a year ago, but the strip remains an expanse of rubble and devastation. Who’s to blame for this outrage? The New York Times has an answer: everyone but Israel.
Jodi Rudoren comes up with this response in a story that aims to whitewash Israel’s brutal treatment of Gaza by blaming the Palestinian victims along with the international community for the lack of rebuilding. It is all summed up in the story’s subhead, “Political Infighting and Lack of Funds Stymie a Reconstruction Mechanism.”
Her article takes pains to present the process as a collaborative project between the Palestinian Authority, Israel and the United Nations, and she is hazy about Israel’s role, describing it as nothing more than “involvement in approving projects and participants.”
Rudoren furthers her efforts in a single paragraph that absolves Israel completely: “[The Palestinian minister of housing], other Palestinian leaders and United Nations representatives all said that Israel had done its part in reasonable time and allowed cement into Gaza. Empty coffers, they said, are the primary problem.”
Times readers, however, never learn the direct quotes or the names of the “leaders” and “representatives” that would help substantiate this claim, nor does Rudoren explain what “Israel’s part” actually refers to here.
In fact, Israel controls everything that goes into Gaza, from people to foodstuffs to building material, and the agreed-on process for rebuilding the strip—the “reconstruction mechanism” referred to in the subhead—is built solely on Israeli demands. (Israel also blocks Gaza traffic by sea and has the full cooperation of the Egyptian government on that border as well.)
Although the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority have roles in the process, Israel determines who gets building materials, what they get and in what amounts. As Harvard-based Gaza expert Sara Roy notes, the two major documents outlining the reconstruction process “read like security plans, carefully laying out Israeli concerns and the ways in which the United Nations will accommodate them.”
Roy adds, “Israel will have to approve all projects and their locations and will be able to veto any part of the process on security grounds.” Moreover, she writes, “No mechanism for accountability or transparency will apply to Israel.”
Without doubt, Palestinian bureaucracy, donor fears of yet another attack on Gaza and other factors come into play in reconstruction efforts, but Rudoren ignores the major element, which is the Israeli blockade.
Her story, in fact, never refers to the eight-year blockade of Gaza and makes only vague mention of Israeli “control” of the enclave. Readers are left without any relevant context.
Rudoren’s article also omits other details that would place Israel’s role in a different light: the fact that by July of this year it had allowed the passage less than 1 percent of the construction materials needed to adequately house Gaza residents or that as of May, a total of 20 schools (kindergarten to college level) completely destroyed by Israel had yet to be repaired.
Readers never learn, for instance, that aid agencies in Gaza were forced to rely on temporary building materials as the Israeli-mandated process kept concrete, cement and steel supplies to a trickle. They also never learn the sequel to this chapter: that Israel stepped in to squelch the effort just as it was gaining momentum.
The project was run by Catholic Relief Services, which began using lumber to build temporary homes for the displaced residents this year, and media reports in February and March stated that 70 had been built and 40 families had moved into the new houses. CRS had plans to construct more than 100 additional wooden homes, but in April the program came to an end when Israel suddenly banned all lumber for housing.
Here we can see how Israel actually operates in the opaque rebuilding process mentioned in Rudoren’s piece. Times readers, however, never learn of this sad narrative nor of many others that would reveal how Israeli actions are destroying the economy and depressing the living conditions in Gaza.
And yet, the Times story would have us believe that Israel has “done its part” in the reconstruction of Gaza, ignoring the obvious: that Israel alone has complete control of its borders with the strip, and if Israel so willed, Gaza residents would have moved out of the rubble long ago.
In the lawsuit, T’ruah, The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, asked the New York state Attorney General’s Office to investigate Honenu, a New York-based Israeli nonprofit organization that provides financial support to Jewish settlers convicted of or on trial for violence against Palestinians.
The complaint also names Honenu’s fiscal sponsor, the Central Fund of Israel, according to Israeli media.
Since 2003, Honenu has operated a fundraising program in the state of New York. The tax-exempt Israeli organization raised $233,700 in 2010, the last year for which official data is available, according to tax filings.
Israeli media say Honenu’s budget for 2013 was approximately $600,000.
In one instance in 2013, the organization provided funds to the family of an Israeli convicted of killing seven Palestinians in May 1990.
The lawsuit follows a recent expose by Israel’s Channel 10 about Israeli settlers’ crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The television program was aired earlier this month in the aftermath of the July 31 firebombing of a Palestinian home in the West Bank by Israeli settlers in which a Palestinian baby and his father were burned to death.
In a statement issued hours after the incident, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) condemned the “brutal assassination” of the Palestinian infant, stressing that the regime in Tel Aviv bears “full responsibility” for the arson attack.
Earlier this month, Israel released all suspects held in connection with the arson attack in the village of Duma.
A friend once got a bit of a reputation by pointing out that “you don’t need the weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.” But you do need a demographer to know which way the Jews are going.
Some readers will recall the journalistic hockey brawl in the NY Times over the National Jewish Population Survey 2000/2001, partially released in October 2002. Now the full survey is out, but the sticks are still flying, and the penalty box is full.
J. J. Goldberg, editor of Forward, the leading ‘Jewish community’ weekly, contributed an op-ed to the 9/17 Times, denouncing “flawed figures.” James Tisch, chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, replied in the 9/22 issue, defending their numbers against “critics” who “try in vain to ascribe to us ulterior motives.”
If gentile readers were confused about the furor, they will be comforted in knowing that most Jews likewise don’t grasp the underlying issues. But valid stats are crucial to a scientific understanding of the evolution of American Jewry. And with the US military all over the Middle East, and Palestine/Israel certain to be a priority concern in the forthcoming presidential election, universal misunderstanding of the status of Jewry in modern America can have fatal consequences for Palestinians, Israelis and Americans.
The best way for us to start is with the reader estimating the percentage of Americans who are Jews. Got your number? Now the scholars’ calculations. Their figures sit between 2.2% and 2.5%. Now compare your estimate and these figures with the guesses put forth by Americans in a 3/90 Gallup poll.
Twenty-four percent had no opinion. Beyond them, the average American thought that America was 18% Jewish.
That broke down to eight percent of Americans thinking that Jews are less than 5% of the people, 10% saying that Jews are between 5% and 9%, 25% believing that Jews are between 10% and 19%, 18% estimating that Jews are between 20% and 29%, 12% coming up with between 30% and 49%, and 3% reckoning that Jews are 50% — or more! — of all Americans.
Pretty wild? But why should gentile Americans know better? Their guesses are based on what they see. Turn on the TV, go to the movies, pick up a newspaper, follow an election, and in every case Jewish involvement is far above 2.5%.
It is much more shocking that most Jewish estimates are also surreal. Here are the numbers given by American Jews in a 3/98 poll, done nationally by the LA Times.
Twelve percent of our Jews think they are 2% of Americans, 13% think Jews are 3%, and 11% say they don’t know, which is also a ‘proper’ answer. But 7% of America’s Jews think they are 1% of Americans. Five percent of the Jews thought Jews are 4%. Ten percent of the Jews said they are 5%. Eighteen percent believed Jews are 6-10%. Six percent estimated our Jews to be 11-15%, and 18% of America’s Jews projected themselves as over 15% of the population, a whopping margin of error of over 600%.
So, where did those delicious Jewish overestimations come from? Jews know the country is overwhelmingly Protestant, and that the Jewish percentage is much smaller than the Catholics. But they watch the same TV, go to the same movies, etc. Thus, while their numbers aren’t as stratospheric as most gentiles, they likewise tend to be on the high side.
There are two reasons for the Jewish miscalculations. They fall into two broad categories, religious and non-religious. Pious Jews may or may not read the Bible, but the overwhelming majority definitely don’t read much about the mundane history of Judaism since biblical times. And while atheists and agnostics know enough about their ex-religion’s follies to justify abandoning it, once they bail out they usually lose interest in its evolution.
To be sure, many Jews, nationally, read the NY Times, which ran stories on the 1990 NJPS and the 2000-1 follow-up. Atheists might read an article about a bombing in Israel, but they often ignore articles about Judaism as a religion as they see it as not worth reading about. And most religious Jews don’t read the Times or the community weeklies which sit, for the most part unbought, on newsstands in their neighborhoods.
The scholars, real and alleged, argue over the absolute number of Jews because the US census doesn’t count people by religion and it doesn’t accept ‘Jewish’ as an ethnic category. While the contested figures range from 5.2 million in the 2000-1 Survey, to a high of 6.7 million give by a few dissenters, the blood really flows over the intermarriage rate.
The 1990 Survey reported a 52% intermarriage rate. The latest survey reports that “the intermarriage rate for Jews who have married since 1996 is 47%. Differences between intermarriage rates … are due to differences between the “born Jewish” definition used for the 1990 analysis and the “currently Jewish” definition used in this report.”
They say that 1990 NJPS researchers “calculated and presented an intermarriage rate for ‘born Jews,’ a category that included those they considered Jewish at the time of the survey and some they considered non-Jewish, including non-Jews who had been born to at least one Jewish parent and were raised in a non-Jewish religion.”
They admit further on that “In the current survey, applying the broad “born Jews” definition to people whose marriages began in 1991-95 and since 1996 yields intermarriage rates of 53% and 54%, respectively.”
To understand their distinctions between “born Jews” and “currently Jewish,” you must appreciate the sociological law which, as I’m its discoverer, I call, with my customary modesty, Brenner’s law: All religions lie about how many followers they have, and all left wing groups lie about how many people came to their last demonstration. Indeed, more paper has been wasted on debates over who is a Jew than on any other topic, including who really is a Trotskyist.
Today, with the enormous intermarriage rate, the Jewish establishment can’t face reality. They know that “slightly more than a fifth of Jewish adults who were raised by two Jewish parents are intermarried. In contrast, nearly three-quarters of Jewish adults with just one Jewish parent are intermarried. In other words, Jewish adults who are the children of intermarriages are more than three times as likely to be married to non-Jews themselves. At the same time, among those who had intermarried parents, a Jewish upbringing reduces the rate of intermarriage. Almost 60% of Jewish adults who were raised Jewish by intermarried parents are themselves intermarried, compared to 86% of their counterparts who had intermarried parents but were not raised Jewish by them.”
So they stopped counting adults who convert to another monotheistic religion as Jews, and don’t put kids of intermarried Jews, who aren’t raised Jewish, in their ‘current Jews’ category, and, lo presto, they come up with the 47% figure.
Serious scholars find this grotesque. Bob Dylan, my friend mentioned above, converted to Christianity. But many pollsters consider him to be the most famous Jew of his generation. Subsequently, Bob oriented towards Menachem Schneersohn, the late Lubavicher ‘rebbe,’ who most members of his Orthodox sub-sect believe to be the messiah, hovering over his grave in New York, eventually to come back again. It would be unworkable for demographers tracking the evolution of Jewry to drop Bob from their rolls of Jewry because he became a Jesus freak, and then put him back, but as a convert from Christianity.
When doing scientific surveys of religions, races, nationalities, the standard rule is ‘all’s fish that comes into the net.’ T. S. Elliot became a British citizen, but every literary critic correctly lists him as an American poet.
The intermarriage rate has become such an obsession with the Jewish honchos that they overlook an even more ominous stat. Eight out of 10 Jews living with a sexual partner without benefit of clergy is sleeping with a non-Jew. But in their formalistic minds, ‘only’ 47%, for marriages, means that they are still in business, if in deep trouble, whereas if a majority of kids with at least one born Jewish parent intermarry, and the rest are shacking up with gentiles, “organized Jewry,” as their journals call them, is unmistakably little more than the dirty ring in the bathtub after the water is gone down the drain.
For all their abracadabras, Judaism is well and truly shriveling up, everywhere except in Israel, and it doesn’t matter what intermarriage percentage they concoct. Intermarriage is a symptom of the collapse of Jewry, not its cause.
The 1st colonial American Jews, known as the Sephardim, of Portuguese and Spanish descent, in time intermarried and converted to Christianity, as did most of the 1st colonial Ashkenazis, meaning German and Eastern European Jews. In the 19th century, almost 200,000 German Jews came here. About 60,000 converted in that century. By now, most of the rest have intermarried, tho not necessarily converted, and have no connection to organized Jewry.
From 1881 and the 1st czarist pogroms, thru to 1921, when the US established immigration quotas, to keep out Jews and other undesirables, a minority of Ashkenazis from the Russian empire came here already Marxist atheists. They still considered themselves Jews because they spoke Yiddish, which only Jews spoke. Once here, they recruited other immigrants to leftist atheism.
In the 30s, another minority of American-born Jews became Communists. They also saw themselves as Jews because most lived in Jewish neighborhoods, and most married atheist Jews. Moreover anti-Semitism was still a force here, and they were considered Jews by the larger American public. But most of their descendants, usually no longer leftists, are completely assimilated
Today things are significantly different. Many young Jews grow up in ‘white’ suburbs, mixed in with gentiles. They don’t know a word of Yiddish. They go to school with and then work with gentiles. Most of them never encounter anti-Semitism. This is the sociological basis for the intermarriage wave.
Their great-grandparents came here ‘Orthodox,’ now only 9.7% of our Jews, by the NJPS numbers, even less in other surveys. Orthodoxy segregates women in a separate section of the synagogue. Only men can be rabbis. Everyone keeps the kosher laws, no pork, shrimp, etc. Somewhere along the line most of their families abandoned Orthodoxy for either the ‘Conservative’ sect, 15.2%, with its synagogues having local option on segregation and women rabbis, or ‘Reform,’ 17.4%. They have complete gender equality and now have some gay rabbis. They also have, according to rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, an intermarriage rate of “60% to 70%.”
Even if they went to Hebrew school after their day in public school, after their bar mitzvah, their initiation into theological adulthood, at 13, most drop away from any form of Jewish identification. Some of the consequences were described by Reform’s Michael Myers in “Beyond Survival and Philanthropy,” a book based on a symposium in Israel, re the disintegration of American Jewry:
“Host cultures, especially that of America, represent a more serious threat to our collective Jewish existence than ever before. Not only are Jews more socially acceptable then ever in the past, but so is Judaism. The problem is that Jewish tradition is seen as narrow and prejudiced the moment it makes any claim to exclusivity, the moment it makes any claim to superiority.”
Two contributors, Steven Cohen and Charles Liebman, presented the problem from a Zionist perspective:
“After all, if all people are to be treated equally without regard to race, religion, national origin, sex, and most recently, sexual preference, how can American Jews feel totally comfortable in maintaining a special relationship with, let alone granting preference to, Israelis?”
The end result of the process of de facto assimilation is expressed in a host of stats from the 2000-1 NJPS, and from the American Jewish Identity Survey-2001, done at the Center for Jewish Studies at City University of New York. The latter is based on the methodology of the 1990 NJPS and is more reliable than the 2000-1 NJPS, compromised as it is by sugarcoating facts to please the establishment.
According to the AJIS, “More Jews than most other Americans respond ‘None,’ when asked ‘What is your religion, if any?’…. Fewer Jews than members of most other American religious groups agree with the essential proposition of religious belief that ‘God exists.’” Twenty-seven percent of all Jews are uncertain or reject theism, with only 14% of Americans saying they have no religion. The AJIS reported that by 2001 only 51% still believed in some form of Judaism, a 12% decline since 1990. By my reckoning, by this writing, a majority of US Jews reject Judaism. Even the NJPS 2000-1 concedes that only 46% belong to synagogues. That minority divides up 39% Reform, 33% Conservative, 21% Orthodox, 7% other types.
Inevitably the Zionist movement has been dramatically affected by the migrations into religious skepticism and intermarriage. A 1995 American Jewish Committee poll found only 22 percent of America’s Jews calling themselves Zionists, down from 90 percent in 1948. I haven’t found a later percentage figure, but, according to an article in New York’s May 2002 Jewish Post, the decline continues. In 1997, 107,802 votes were cast for American delegates to the World Zionist Congress. In 2002, 88,753 votes were cast.
Even that decline doesn’t tell the whole story of the movement’s decadence. Reform’s slate got 42.24% of the vote, the conservatives received 22.29% and the Orthodox slate garnered 20.23%. The American branch of the Israeli Labor Party got 2.2% and Meretz, a liberal ally of the LP received 3.96%. The rest went to tiny factions supporting Sharon’s ruling Likud Party.
Followers of the late terrorist, Meir Kahane, are not allowed to run in the elections, but they number a few dozen to a couple of hundred, at most. The most significant outside group are the Lubavitchers, who number about 15,000. They are major funders of the Likud and many New York Democrats and Republicans. When the rebbe was alive, a visit to him was a ritual stop for our politicians. Although most Jews look upon the Lubavichers as the Jewish Amish, and have nothing to do with them, a photo op with Schneersohn meant you were ‘good for the Jews.’
The election percentages give an impression that is contradicted by visible reality. Everyone attending the annual NY Salute to Israel Day parade notices that almost all the men wear kippot, Hebrew for skull caps, which tells us that they are Orthodox. Reform and Conservative rabbis got their congregations to sign up for the election so that they could put pressure on the Israeli government to grant equality to their co-religionists there, who are not allowed to legally marry or divorce even their own followers. But the bulk of the voters do nothing more than vote.
The vote drop from 1997 to 2002 can be explained, in large part, by disenchantment over the fact that Israel didn’t do anything significant in the way granting them their rights. Reform Zionists have an ideology of ‘Jewish peoplehood,’ which ties them to Israel in spite of their getting nothing more than a kick in the teeth from the government. In case you haven’t noticed, most politicians, everywhere, operate on one principle. ‘If we don’t give the beggars what they want, what will they do to hurt us?’ Since the Reform rabbis will do nothing, they get nothing. But the penalty they and Zionism pay is that the bulk of Reform, especially the youth, are de facto non-Zionist. As Beyond Survival and Philanthropy delicately put it, US Jews “have such difficulty appreciating the virtual monopoly the Orthodox exercise over the meaning of Judaism in Israel.”
Our universities are disaster areas for Judaism and Zionism. Darwin and physics courses destroy most students lingering faith in the Old Testament. And the devil, taking the form of left-wing professors and the anti-war movement, does the rest. The 1/4/02 issue of Ha’ aretz, Israel’s liberal daily, reported that out of “about 400,000 Jewish students … only about 5 percent have any connection to the Jewish community.”
In many respects, the best illustration of Zionism’s increasing isolation are the tourist stats. According to the NJPS, “just over one-third of all American Jewish adults have been to Israel, (35%).” Ninety-two percent of all Jews have traveled abroad, but England and France outrank Israel as a destination. Although Reform’s members are the most affluent of the 3 groups, they are least likely to go to Israel.
We see this again with immigration to Israel. Most of the true believers who go there to live, and especially the ones who actually stay, are Orthodox.
It is characteristic of the NJPS that it didn’t ask a direct question, ‘are you a Zionist?’ Instead it asked vague questions as to emotional attachment, whether US and Israeli Jews shared a common destiny, etc.
“My people are American. My time is today.” George Gershwin, who was never even bar mitzvahed, said that in 1926. Its taken decades for the typical young Jew to get to that point, but that is the case today. And the assimilation process is a worldwide one, with intermarriage rates of over 50% in every country in the world except Israel and Australia, and even in that last country the rate is climbing.
Why then is the Zionist lobby so powerful when their own scholars write endlessly about the alienation of their youth from the movement? The answer is simple: the Jews are the richest ethnic or religious stratum in the US. Because their standard of living is so high, they are the most educated. Because they are the most educated, they are the most scientific oriented, hence most inclined towards atheism or religious skepticism. But the true believer minority still has an unbelievable amount of money to throw at the politicians.
In 1991, I interviewed Harold Seneker, then the editor of the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans, for an article in The Nation. I told him that I found Jews, 2.2% of the population, to be about 25% of the 400. He told me that he thought this a success story, both for American capitalism and for the Jews, and that he wanted to write a story on it. But Forbes wouldn’t let him. The then publisher had gone thru the Hitler era, when talking about Jewish money was an anti-Semitic specialty.
This mentality is still common on the left as well, and it is wide spread among elderly Jews. Forbes, much of the left, and old Jews share what must be called a ‘folk Marxist’ mentality. Despite the differences in their politics, they all believe that history repeats itself. Someday there is going to be another 1929 Depression. The capitalists will, once again, call up central casting and get another Hitler to smash the left.
This is fantasy. Its a projection of the past, and Germany’s past at that, into America’s future. In reality, journalists constantly turn out articles for Zionist publications about how Jewish campaign contributors play a major role in funding both parties and, very rarely, the topic is touched on in the mainstream media. “The Political Future of American Jews,” a 1985 American Jewish Congress pamphlet by Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, declared that “While there have been few reliable statistics on the subject — and some reluctance to gather any — the journalistic and anecdotal evidence is overwhelming that more than a majority of Democratic funds on a national level, and as much as a quarter of Republican funds have come from Jewish sources.” They were referring to private contributions, as was an article in the 1/5/93 NY Times announcing that “Jews contributed about 60 percent of Mr. Clinton’s noninstitutional campaign funds.”
My estimate is that 84 of the latest 400 are Jews. The magazine doesn’t list religious affiliations unless the person involved is distinctive in giving to religious charities, etc. And not all of the Jews are pro-Zionists. Some listees are among the educated disaffiliated we are discussing. But Zionist money is prodigious. James Tisch, chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations isn’t on the list, altho he is CEO of Loews Corp., listed on the Fortune 500 list. But daddy, Laurence, is, at $2 billion, and uncle Preston is worth $2.3 billion. His predecessors at the Conference were Ronald Lauder, $1.8 billion, and Mort Zuckerman, who struggles along with a penny ante $1.2 billion. Chaim Sabon, $1.7 billion, is a University of California regent. Mayhaps he got the job because he gave the Democrats the largest campaign contribution in American history?
Because of the establishment’s cover-up of the extent of the disintegration of organized Jewry, it is reasonable to think that most gentile politicians don’t realize it. But the Jewish pols do. And there is no reason to think that the gentiles would stop pandering to Zionists even if they understood that they are a shrinking minority among Jews.
Both major parties pick their candidates via primaries which any member can enter. So occasionally an honest Democrat or Republican is elected to congress and begins to criticize their party’s Israel über alles line. Usually it doesn’t take long before a tidal wave of Zionist cash pours in against them in the next election and out they go.
Some Arabs denounce Zionist funding, all day and all night, but there is no way of suppressing Zionist campaign contributions without doing away with the whole structure of privately funded campaigns, and they never talk about that. Many leftists don’t like to talk about it because of their fear of raising anti-Semitism. They want to talk about oil money. That’s fine. Any kid who they let cross streets alone knows that oil is the major reason that the US in so deeply involved in the Middle East. But that doesn’t explain why the two capitalist parties are so pro-Zionist. Indeed their pro-Zionism creates problems for them with the Arab masses. And it doesn’t explain why liberal Democrats are as zealous for Israel as the most fanatic Republican Christian Zionist.
If liberals constantly badmouth big business, they don’t get contributions from the major corporations. But Zionist money is single issue money. A liberal can dump on oil companies, or whatever, and he still gets a share of the Zionist gusher.
A personal experience tells it all about liberals and Zionism. In 1971, the Vietnam-era National Peace Action Coalition asked me to draw in Eldon Clingen, the Liberal Party member of the New York City Council from Manhattan. We had been in the Socialist Party’s youth In the 1950s. He joined the Libs on assignment but subsequently involved himself in Democratic Party politics, without changing party registration. But, as he was “Mr. Clean Air” for his leadership in the anti-pollution effort, the Libs asked him to be their Council candidate.
He was pleased to get his Lib faction involved. We chatted. I mentioned that lower-case liberals, against war in Vietnam, shot passing Arabs, even camels, to get Jewish votes.
“Oh, you have me wrong. I’m of Christian descent, and when I think of the terrible things Christians have done to Jews, I say I can’t do enough for the Jews.”
I told him that the next time he called for more ‘enough’ for Israel, he should write a check to me because, although I’m a Jew, I don’t get any of that ‘enough.’
“OK, I’ll tell it like it is: In order for a liberal — and I mean a lower-case liberal — to win in New York, he must have the Black, Puerto Rican and Jewish votes because he can’t get the Irish or Italian vote. They are locked away with the right-wing. But Blacks and Puerto Ricans don’t give us money. So don’t tell me about terrible things Israelis are doing to Palestinians. It would upset me. But I’m not going to break with my meal ticket.”
The moral of the story is that, while it is crucial to talk about oil industry domination of US foreign policy, it is just as crucial to talk about Zionist funding and its enormous influence on domestic politics. The discussion of both factors must be within a context of insisting that ordinary Americans, Jew or gentile, are fools if they continue to support parties that are so obviously funded by the rich.
Far from being afraid of discussing Zionist funding, it should be a major point in any critique of private contributions. Jews are less than 2.5% of the people. Zionists are now considerably less than 22% of all Jews. (My current estimate is ca. 10%.) And rich campaign contributors are a minority of Zionists. Yet we have an overwhelmingly gentile Congress that is emphatically more pro-Zionist than the majority of Jews.
Far from being a diversion of public attention from the capitalist nature of American politics, as some leftists fear, talking about Zionist money is one of the best ways of making that point. Because of the civil rights struggle and other battles, equality for all races, religions, nationalities, has become part of the broad American value system. Because of this, my percentage estimate of the Jewish proportion of the 400 richest Americans, which, trust me on this, is shared by serious scholars, has an automatic tendency to shock. But isn’t capitalism about inequality? It is absurd to think that a system that sanctifies inequality could be egalitarian in the ethno-religious distribution of wealth.
All that is necessary to make the important point that it isn’t Jewish contributions but Zionist slush that is offensive, is to cite the fact that we now can see that the Zionists are a minority of Jews. Talk about the oil industry and Zionist contributions at the same time, and people will get the correct idea that we are trying to explain a complex problem in detail.
Let’s go further. What US support for Israel and support for Saudi Arabia additionally have in common is that both regimes are theocratic states. An atheist of Jewish background should be concerned if we talked about Israel and didn’t talk about Saudi Arabia. So the moral of the story is talk about both. Additionally, everyone now sees a growing alliance between the Zionist establishment and the so-called Christian Zionists. These fanatics support Israel because of their lunatic notion that the creation of Israel means that Christ is coming, any minute now, to save a Christian America, and send all those atheist Jews, and atheist gentiles, to hell. Hitherto, the Jewish establishment could at least be relied on to resist attempts to convert America into a ‘Christian’ government. But, with the new alliance on foreign policy, that resistance is getting weaker and weaker. The Christian right now reasonably expects an increase in Zionist votes and funding for their candidates. Indeed it is a central tenet of Jewish neo-con politics that it is unreasonable to expect perpetual Christian Zionist support for Israel, unless they get something back in return.
In other words, we are now in a complex political crisis with profound domestic and international consequences. A complex situation can’t be dealt with in a one-sided manner. We have no choice but to examine all parts of the situation. If we denounce all the criminals, Americans, Arabs, Christians, Israelis, Jews, Muslims, for their crimes, from a democratic secular perspective, in a scientific manner, the Zionists and their Democratic and Republican patrons can say anything they want. An educated public will see that we don’t want to deny anyone their rights. On the contrary, they will see that we want to extend human equality and secularism, here and in the Middle East.
LENNI BRENNER is editor of 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis.