Photo: 1982, Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon,
Palestinians were rounded up and systematically slaughtered in the thousands
by Israeli troops and their Phalangist Militia allies.
Today, in an attempt to smear me, posts have gone up all over the
internet accusing me of being an anti-Semite. Pieces of the following essay
are posted with other words inserted that are not my own. In addition,
accusations have been made that I have attempted to delete the following essay
from the public record. To contradict this smear tactic, and to prove that
opposing Zionism is not anti-Semitic, I am reposting the entire essay in full.
I wrote the following essay early in 2001 as part of a discussion on
the violence and repression taking place in Israel at the time. Yet, the essay
is still entirely relevant, because it takes a historical look at the roots of
the conflict, and discusses how the Zionist movement has been harmful to both
Arabs and Jews alike. How Israel Promotes Anti-Semitism (Part 1)
Pro-zionist Letter on Israel from Becky
Letter to Editor,
You have to go back and
read your history books. Palestine was the name the British gave to the
mandate they took over (in typical British imperial fashion) from the
crumbling Ottoman Empire. Palestinians at the time included everyone who lived
there, including the Jews. Palestine ceased to exist when Israel was formed in
1948. The plan
from the UN was to have the state of Palestine right next
to Israel. But all the Arab neighbors (and the Arab population within the
borders of the new state of Israel) rejected this two state solution and
responded by out and out war waged on the Israelis.
(Arabs who live or lived within the boundaries of Israel) didn't even start to
call themselves that until 1968--- twenty years after the establishment of
Israel. Basically the concept of Palestine is a manufactured one to drum up
support for these Arabs and to decrease support for Israel by the claim that
Israel is on THEIR land.
Remember, the Arabs and muslims [sic] who did
not flee in 1948, but stayed in Israel have full citizenship, have freedom to
practice their religion, own property, vote, have representation in the
Knesset, and compose 18% of the population.
There is no Palestine. And
there never was except as a British invention.
Steven Argue responds:
history is one of my strong points. You state that I need to consult my
history books, yet you make statements that are inarguably historically
incorrect. Palestine was in existence as a recognized territory of the Ottoman
Empire long before British control and even before the beginnings of Jewish
colonization by the Zionist movement.
These inhabitants of the region
also had Arab nationalist sentiments that opposed the control of the Ottoman
Empire before the creation of the Zionist State and have since opposed many of
the U.S., French, and British imposed kings, crown princes, emirs, sheiks,
etc. that Zionists like to claim represent the aspirations of the Arab people.
Your attempt to deny a people of even the name of their homeland is
consistent with an ideology that denies an entire people of the right to their
homeland. The fact that bloody repression and horrible discrimination has
driven the majority of Palestinians from large parts of their homeland without
the right of return is not enough. The Zionist movement wants to wipe away the
rightful name of the land they have conquered by re-writing history and
denying there ever was a Palestine.
From its beginnings in the
eighteen hundreds the Zionist movement had little concern for the Arab
inhabitants of the Palestinian land they would settle. Instead, they appealed
to imperialist powers as potential allies against the Arab people in setting
up their Zionist state. For example, Zionist leader T. Herzl stated around
1897: "If his majesty the Sultan were to give us Palestine, we could undertake
to regulate Turkey's finances. For Europe, we would constitute a bulwark
against Asia down there; we would be the advance post of civilization against
barbarism. As a neutral state, we would remain in constant touch with all of
Europe, which would guarantee our existence" (Rodinson, "Israel a Colonial
By being neutral, Herzl is obviously referring to
the Zionist dealings with powers of Europe, and not to the colonial
"barbarians" already in and around the land he would settle and conquer.
An Arab leader in Jerusalem named Nassif Bey al-Khalidi who tried
unsuccessfully to work out an agreement between Arabs and the Zionist movement
warned the Zionists with the following statement, "Be very careful, Messieurs
Zionists, governments disappear, but peoples remain. The Jewish immigrants
came to Palestine believing it to be a desolate, sparsely inhabited country.
They were too busy with their own business and too ignorant of Arabic to
notice what was going on around them. Since it was the Turks who ruled
Palestine, they turned all their attention toward the Turks. This did not make
them popular with the Arabs" (Neville Mandel, "Chapters of Arab-Jewish
The Jewish immigrants never became integrated
in any way with the native Arab population. This was true economically,
politically, socially, and linguistically. These Jewish immigrants were so
separate from the Palestinian people that they were only Palestinian to the
extent that they were physically living in Palestine.
It took the
weakening of the Sultan during the First World War for Europe (specifically
England) to move in and grant the colonial framework for Jewish colonization
that aimed itself at the goal of an exclusively Jewish state. This framework
was set forth in a British political charter in November 1917 called the
Balfour Declaration which stated, "His Majesty's government views with favor
the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."
Within this framework an exclusive Jewish state was the stated goal of
all but a small minority in the Zionist movement, a goal that obviously would
be at the expense of the Arab people already living in Palestine. In order to
placate the Palestinians, however, the Balfour declaration stated, "It should
be clearly understood that nothing should be done which may prejudice the
civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine."
While Britain was trying to placate the Arabs, Zionist leader
Jabotinsky was very clear on Zionist intentions, stating in 1923 in his Book
the "Iron Wall", "There can be no discussion of voluntary reconciliation
between us and the Arabs, not now, and not in the foreseeable future. All well
meaning people, with the exception of those blind from birth, understood long
ago the complete impossibility of arriving at a voluntary agreement with the
Arabs of Palestine for the transformation of Palestine from an Arab country to
a country with a Jewish majority. Each of you has some understanding of the
history of colonization. Try to find even one example when the colonization
took place with the agreement of the native population."
understanding the existence of a Palestinian people and the struggles yet to
come, Jabotinsky went on to state, "They have the precise psychology we have.
They look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and fervor that any
Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux upon his prairie. Each people will
struggle against colonizers until the last spark of hope that they can avoid
the dangers of conquest and colonization is extinguished. The Palestinians
will struggle in this way until there is hardly a spark of hope."
Jabotinsky's view, and the policy that would later be carried out
against the Palestinians, could not be made any clearer than his following
statement from the same writing: "We can not give any compensation for
Palestine, neither to the Palestinians nor to the other Arabs. Therefore a
voluntary agreement is inconceivable. All colonization, even the most
restricted, must continue in defiance of the native population. Therefore it
can continue and develop only under the shield of force which comprises an
Iron Wall through which the Arab population can never break through. This is
our Arab policy. To formulate it any other way would be hypocrisy."
explaining the differences between Zionist factions in dealing with the
Palestinians Jabotinsky stated, "Force must play its role - with strength and
without indulgence. In this, in this there are no differences between our
militarists and our vegetarians. One prefers an Iron Wall of Jewish bayonets;
the other prefers an Iron Wall of English bayonets."
On these issues
Rabbi Judas L. Magnes, President of the Hebrew University Jerusalem wrote, "by
definition a Jewish state means that Jews will govern other people, other
people who live in this Jewish state
Jabotinsky knew this long ago. He was the
prophet of the Jewish state...In his early writings he said: 'Has a people
ever been known to give up its territory of its own volition? Likewise, the
Arabs of Palestine will not renounce their sovereignty without violence.'"
On the morals of Jabotinsky's plans and his desire to extinguish all
hopes of the Palestinian people he is as clear in the "Iron Wall" as Hitler is
of his intentions in "Mein Kampf" with Jabotinsky stating: "To the hackneyed
reproach that this point of view is unethical, I answer 'absolutely untrue.'
This is our ethic. There is no other ethic. As long as there is the faintest
hope for the Arabs to impede us they will not sell these hopes - not for any
sweet word nor for any tasty morsel, because this is not a rabble but a
people, a living people. And no people makes such enormous concessions on such
fateful questions, except when there is no hope left, until we have removed
every opening visible in the Iron Wall."
In 1940 Jabotinsky states in
"The Jewish War Front": "Since we have the moral authority for calmly
envisaging the exodus of the Arabs, we need not regard the possible departure
of 900,000 with dismay. Herr Hitler has recently been enhancing the popularity
of population transfer."
While the Arabs of Palestine were extremely
tolerant of the Zionists who were moving in to take their land and their
hopes, the Zionist movement was never interested in forming any sort of
alliance with the Arab people. Instead, the Zionist movement from its
inception was openly anti-Arab and pro-imperialist, even though those same
imperial powers were the same ones who were carrying out pogroms against the
Jews in the ghettos across Europe. This pro-imperialist policy included close
relations with the pogromist leaders of anti-Semitic Czarist Russia who
murdered tens of thousands of Jews, and later Zionist support and deals that
aided the fascist death camps of Nazi Germany.
Jews, in fact, are
victims of Zionism along side Arabs. From the beginning of Hitler's seizure of
power in 1933 the Zionist movement lent their support to the Nazis, support
which lasted until at least 1944 when they aided Hitler's "final solution" in
Hungary killing 800,000 Jews. On the surface, the idea of Zionist relations
with the Nazis may sound illogical and seem made up. Those relations, however,
are well documented.
Hitler seized power in 1933 with a clear
fascistic program that called for the annihilation of all socialists,
communists, labor leaders, and Jews. Despite this fact, the Zionist Federation
of Germany sent the Nazi Party a memorandum on June 21, 1933 stating: "
rebirth of national life such as is occurring in German life
must also take
place in the Jewish national group. On the foundation of the new [Nazi] state,
which has established itself on the principle of race, we wish to fit our
community into the total structure so that for us, too, in the sphere assigned
to us, fruitful activity for the Fatherland is possible
." (Brenner, Zionism,
The policy of supporting Hitler was later upheld at the World
Zionist Organization Congress in 1933, where a motion to take action against
Hitler was defeated 240 to 43. Thus, the Jewish boycott of the German economy
at a time of economic weakness and vulnerability was broken with the World
Zionist Organization' s Anglo Palestine Bank resuming trade. In fact, the
World Zionist Organization became the principal distributors of Nazi goods in
Northern Europe and the Middle East.
Feivel Polkes was a member of
Zionist leader Jabotinsky's Haganah militia. He was sent by Jabotinsky to
Berlin to inform Nazi leader Adolf Eichman of his intention to spy for the
S.S. in exchange for the release of the money of German Jews for use on the
Zionist project. Zionist Feivel told Nazi Eichman, "Jewish Nationalist Circles
are very pleased with the radical German policy, since the strength of the
Jewish population in Palestine would be so far increased thereby that in the
foreseeable future the Jews would reckon upon numerical superiority over the
Arabs" (Brenner, "Zionism" pg. 99).
Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's minister
of propaganda, felt so fond of the Zionist movement and their close working
relations that he wrote a 12 part report in Der Angriff (The Assault) praising
the Zionist movement, and ordered a medallion struck with a swastika on one
side and the Zionist Star of David on the other.
included an agreement in Hungary between Zionist agent Dr. Rudolph Kastner and
Nazi leader Adolph Eichman. Under the 1944 agreement the Nazis would murder
800,000 Hungarian Jews without Zionist interference and with complete silence
from the Zionist movement. In exchange, 600 prominent Jews would be freed from
Hungary. The Nazis then opened up a Rescue Department in Hungary headed by
Kastner. These facts were exposed by a survivor named Malchiel Greenwald who
was subsequently sued by the Israeli government, sued by the same leaders that
had fashioned the deal made by Kastner in the first place.
collaboration with the Nazis was confirmed with the Israeli court stating,
"The sacrifice of the majority of the Jews, in order to rescue the prominents
was the basic element in the agreement between Kastner and the Nazis. This
agreement fixed the division of the nation into two unequal camps, a small
fragment of prominents, whom the Nazis promised Kastner to save, on the one
hand, and the majority of Hungarian Jews whom the Nazis designated for death,
on the other hand." (Judgment given on June 22, 1955, Protocol of Criminal
124/53 in District Court, Jerusalem; cited in Ralph Schoenmans
Hidden History of Zionism)
The Zionists subsequently ignored a plan
drawn up by the resistance that could have saved many, if not most, of
Hungary's Jews. The Zionist silence and lack of action against Nazi atrocities
in fact characterizes their stance throughout the entire holocaust. A plan,
complete with maps, was drawn up that would blow-up railroad tracks to the
death camps and crematoria and airdropped ammunition to the 80,000 Jews in
Auschwitz. Part of the plan also included the parachuting of saboteurs to blow
up the Auschwitz facility that was murdering 13,000 people a day. Had the
Zionist movement not been so intent on fighting the Arabs, rather than the
real anti-Semite butchers of Europe, they could have gathered the resources to
carry out such operations. Likewise, Great Britain and the United States could
have carried out the proposed measures as well, but chose not to save the
Jews, and felt no pressure from the silent Zionist movement to do so.
This caused Rabbi Weismandel, who had drawn up the plans against
Auschwitz, to ask of the Zionists in July 1944, "this special message to
inform you that yesterday the Germans began deportations of Jews from Hungary.
The deported ones go to Auschwitz to be put to death by cyanide gas. This is
the schedule, of Auschwitz from yesterday to the end: Twelve thousand Jews -
men, women and children, old men, infants, healthy and sick ones, are to be
suffocated daily. And you, our brothers in Palestine, in all the countries of
freedom, and you ministers of all the Kingdoms, how do you keep silent in the
face of this great murder. Silent while thousands upon thousands, reaching now
to six million Jews, are murdered? And silent now, while tens of thousands are
still being murdered or waiting to be murdered? Their destroyed hearts cry out
to you for help as they bewail your cruelty. Brutal, you are and murderers,
too, you are, because of the cold bloodedness of the silence in which you
watch, because you sit with folded arms and do nothing, although you could
stop or delay the murder of Jews at this very hour. You, our brothers, sons of
Israel, are you insane?" (Shoenman, "The Hidden History of Zionism?")
The Zionists also opposed the immigration of Jews to other countries
where they could escape extermination. Explaining their policy of pressuring
Great Britain and the United States not to adopt immigration policies that
would have saved the lives of Jews, Zionist leader Ben Gurion stated in 1938,
"If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by
bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to
Eretz Israel, then I would opt for the second option" (Brenner, "Zionism", pg.
The ability of the Zionist movement to sacrifice the lives of
millions of Jews for the settling of Palestine had a consistent inner logic.
That logic speaks volumes. While some of the first victims of these Zionist
madmen were the Jewish people, the Palestinians were next. And today, the
continued Zionist mistreatment of the Palestinian people is one of the biggest
threats to the lives of Jewish people because some of the Arab victims of
Zionism now do not differentiate between the crimes of Zionism and the Jewish
people. In addition, the Israeli government aided in the formation of the
anti-Semitic organization Hamas, and today uses their suicide bombings against
civilians as a way to gain sympathy and support in the Zionist war against the
Palestinian people (more on this later). Objectively, the Zionist capitalist
state is, in fact, the common enemy of both Jews and Arabs.
1940s Jews were only one third of the population of Palestine. The Arab
majority had not yet been driven from their land. The British, in considering
their entire imperial interests in the Middle East and their need for good
relations with Arabs had backtracked from their original support of a Jewish
state in Palestine. Thus the Zionist minority carried out a war of
independence against Britain in order to set up the Jewish state. The
Palestinian people, the majority of the population, were not consulted by the
Zionists on what kind of future they would like to have for their homeland and
had little involvement in the war, although a few did side with British
After independence from the Britain in 1948, the Zionist state
began a massive expropriation of Palestinian land that has not ended. Becky
Johnson's claim that, "the Arabs and Muslims who did not flee in 1948, but
stayed in Israel have full citizenship, have freedom to practice their
religion, own property, vote, have representation in the Knesset, and compose
18% of the population" is so utterly untrue as to defy common sense. Besides
defying the facts, which we shall establish, I ask why most of an entire
people would voluntarily flee the land in which they had built flourishing
towns, a rich agriculture, and a vibrant cultural life with nowhere else to
go? The short answer is that they did not flee voluntarily. They had met the
"Jewish bayonets" of Zionist Jabotinsky's "Iron Wall". To deny this fact comes
in on the same level as those who deny the Holocaust of Europe.
humiliating conditions of the Palestinian people were recently observed by
former anti-Apartheid fighter Archbishop Desmond Tutu who wrote:
have been very deeply distressed by my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me
so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the
humiliation of Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us
when young police officers prevented us from moving about.
visit to the Holy Land I drove to a church with the Anglican bishop in
Jerusalem. I could hear tears in his voice as he pointed to Jewish
settlements. I thought of the desire of Israelis for security. But what of the
Palestinians who have lost their land and homes?
"I have experienced
Palestinians pointing to what were their homes, now occupied by Jewish
Israelis. I was walking with Canon Naim Ateek (the head of the Sabeel
Ecumenical Centre) in Jerusalem. He pointed and said: 'Our home was over
there. We were driven out of our home; it is now occupied by Israeli Jews.'
"My heart aches. I say why are our memories so short. Have our Jewish
sisters and brothers forgotten their humiliation? Have they forgotten the
collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history so soon?"
Although the Israeli government claims that Palestinians have the
right to own property, this is a lie. Ever since 1948, Palestinians in Israel
do not have the right to own land, because their land is often confiscated by
force for Hebrew speaking settlement and agriculture. Water rights have been
systematically cut off and diverted away from Palestinian lands and given to
stolen Hebrew owned lands. Palestinian laborers are then denied by law the
right to work the Hebrew owned agricultural lands, although they are sometimes
illegally employed as cheap labor with no labor rights.
do not have the right to freely travel. Reminiscent of chattel slavery,
Palestinian families are often separated by Israeli officials who commonly do
not grant necessary permits for Palestinians to enter neighborhoods or towns
where wives, husbands, or children live. In contrast, the Hebrew speaking
population has full rights to travel.
Palestinians often do not have
the right to keep their own homes, which are often confiscated or bulldozed.
The bulldozing of houses is a common punishment of families whose children are
accused of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. Recently, in Jenin, houses
were bulldozed with people inside, an act that besides killing people, also
made an estimated 4,000 people homeless.
Palestinians do not have the
right to freedom of speech and regularly face arrest, torture, and even death
for their political views. Even Hebrew speakers who support rights for
Palestinians, or an end to Israeli wars, have, at times, had their press shut
down by the Israeli government, or had their demonstrations attacked and
beaten by Israeli soldiers.
Palestinians do not have the same right to
an education as Hebrew speaking people, based on the fact that higher
education is paid for through the forced military inscription of Hebrew
speakers, while Palestinians are generally excluded from the military. While
most Palestinians cant serve, so-called Israeli Arabs have the choice of
serving, but it would, in fact, make no sense for Palestinians to serve their
military, since humiliation, brutality, and outright terror against
Palestinians is a part of every day duty for an Israeli soldier. Likewise, few
blacks served in the Apartheid military of South Africa. In Israel, this is
used to deny Palestinians their right to education.
who are then driven out of what was once Palestine usually are not allowed to
return, while Jews who have never set foot in Israel are granted automatic
citizenship, with the exception of two Jewish supporters of Palestinians named
Ralph Shoenman and Mya Shone, who have the honor of not being allowed into
Israel because of their excellent writings. Those Palestinians who are forced
from Israel are often bombed by Israel in their refugee camps or massacred in
other ways. In the 1982 case of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in
Lebanon, Palestinians were rounded up and systematically slaughtered in the
thousands by Israeli troops and their Phalangist Militia allies.
survivor Mrs. Sersawi testified in a Belgium appeals court on the Israeli
governments war crimes:
"The Lebanese forces militia [Phalangists] had
taken us from our homes and marched us up to the entrance of the camp where a
large hole had been dug in the earth. The men were told to get into it. Then
the militiamen shot a Palestinian. The women and children climbed over bodies
to get to this spot, but we were truly shocked by seeing this man killed in
front of us and there was a roar of shouting and screams from the women.
That's when we heard the Israelis on a loudspeaker shouting, 'give us your
men.' We thought, 'thank God, they will save us.'
"We were told to
walk up the road to the Kuwaiti Embassy, the women and children in front, the
men behind. We had been separated. There were Phalangist Militiamen and
Israeli soldiers walking alongside us. I could still see Hassan (her husband
with whom she was 3 months pregnant) and Faraj (her brother-in-law) . It
was like a parade. There were several hundred of us. When we got to Cite
Sportif, the Israelis put us women in a big concrete room and the men were
taken to another side of the stadium. There were a lot of men from the camp
and I could no longer see my husband. The Israelis went around saying 'Sit,
sit.' It was 11 AM. An hour later we were told to leave. But we stood outside
amid the Israeli soldiers, waiting for our men.
"Some men came out,
none of them younger than 40, and they told us to be patient, that hundreds of
men were still inside. Then about 4 PM an Israeli officer came out. He was
wearing dark glasses and said in Arabic: 'What are you waiting for?' He said
there was nobody left, that everyone had gone. There were Israeli trucks
moving out with tarpaulin over them. We couldn't see inside. And there were
jeeps and tanks and a bulldozer making a lot of noise. We stayed there as it
got dark and the Israelis appeared to be leaving and we were very nervous. But
when the Israelis had moved away, we went inside. And there was no one there.
Nobody. I had been only three years married. I never saw my husband again."
Sabra and Shatila are only one of the massacres of people done by the
Israeli government in the past 54 years of Israeli occupation of Palestinian
land. Today, all of the Palestinian towns of historic Palestine are either
occupied by Israeli troops who are killing people, or surrounded by Israeli
troops and tanks who are poised to attack. While Israeli troops are claiming
that they are only killing combatants, Human Rights Watch has documented the
following crimes in Jenin alone: murders of civilians including children, the
old, and the disabled; summary executions; the bulldozing of houses with
people in them; and the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields.
The cities of Ramallah and Jenin have been laid to waste by the
Zionists just as the Nazis smashed the towns of Guarnica and Lidice in the
name of collective punishment. Likewise, the heroic resistance of Palestinian
fighters in the face of superior military force is reminiscent of the Jewish
fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto and Vilna.
The Israeli offensive will
not stop those willing to do suicide missions against civilians, attacks that
are futile attempts to combat the genocide Palestinians face. The Israeli
offensive does the opposite, in deepening the conditions that created suicide
bombers in the first place. The anger created is by escalated Israeli murder
is actually more likely to increase the number of tragic attacks on Hebrew
speaking civilians. At the same time, Israel has not targeted the main base of
the suicide bombers, Gaza, where Hamas is heavily organized. In fact, the
murderous Israeli repression really isn't meant to stop attacks on Hebrew
speaking civilians because these bombings by Hamas actually play right into
the Zionist government's aims and objectives in dividing Arab and Hebrew
speaking peoples, diverting international sympathy for the Palestinian cause,
and potentially pushing for a final solution against the Palestinian people,
and the Palestinian Authority, who the Israeli government consistently blame
for the attacks by Hamas.
Hamas is an anti-Semitic fundamentalist
religious organization that killed 150 Israeli civilians through suicide
bombings between 1994 and 1998 alone. From its beginnings as the Mujama in the
1970s to this day, Hamas does not face the same kind of repression as any
other Palestinian group. In addition, Hamas reportedly receives $28 million
dollars a year from another key U.S. ally in the region, Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. and the Saudi Arabian monarchy work together closely to
systematically loot Saudi Arabia's oil resources for the profits of U.S. oil
monopolies, while the vast majority of the Saudi people live in poverty. In
addition, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Hamas worked together closely in the
U.S. war drive to destroy the left progressive PDPA government that held power
in Afghanistan from 1978 to 1992. This was a war where the U.S. government and
Saudi Arabia gave billions of dollars of military aid to Osama Bin Laden and
the Islamic fundamentalists of the Mujahedin who were waging a holy war
against the advances in women's rights, including women's literacy, that were
occurring under the PDPA government. Tactics of the Mujahedin included
throwing acid in the faces of women liberated from the veil and murdering
women for teaching little girls how to read and write. Fearing a Mujahedin
government right on its border, and defending the PDPA government from U.S.
aggression, the Soviet Union sent troops into Afghanistan in 1979. Although
these Soviet troops were invited by the Afghan PDPA, U.S. propaganda called
this a Soviet invasion.
An estimated 100,000 of the Islamic
fundamentalists who fought in Afghanistan were recruited by the CIA outside of
Afghanistan. Hamas participated in this activity. As John Cooley from ABC news
pointed out on March 13th, 1996 in the International Herald Tribune:
"A key Hamas organizer was Abdallah Azzam. He was a tough, brilliant
and charismatic Palestinian from Jordan. He supervised training for the CIA's
Afghan guerrillas in Peshawar, Pakistan, where a car bomb killed him in 1989.
In the earlier 1980s he toured the United States, recruiting Arab-Americans
for the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan. "
Just as the United
States used Hamas against the Afghani people and the leftist PDPA government,
Israel has used the religious fundamentalists of Hamas as a club against the
socialist and secular nationalist movements in Palestine that Hamas has
violently opposed. It is those secular and socialist movements that Israel has
seen as more of a threat in terms of winning the masses of people, including
Hebrew speakers, over to positions of sympathy and solidarity with the
Palestinians. Hamas's suicide bombers against civilians instead serve Zionist
interests in driving a larger wedge between Palestinians and Hebrew speakers,
people who will need to unite against their common oppressor and killer, the
Israeli Zionist government.
Early Israeli support for Hamas included
in 1978 the granting of Mujama charitable status in Gaza while other
organizations, especially political organizations as Mujama was, could not get
such status. In 1979, Israeli collusion with the Mujama movement set up the
Islamic University of Gaza, whose anti-PLO and anti-socialist slogan was: "How
can uncovered women and men with Beatle haircuts liberate our holy places?"
Students who did not tow the Islamic line were disciplined through brutal
beatings and sometimes had acid thrown in their faces. In addition, Mujama
mobs were allowed to violently attack and burn down PLO controlled
institutions at a time when other street demonstrations were not allowed or
tightly controlled by the Israeli authorities.
In 1979 the Mujama
movement burned the Palestinian Red Crescent Society's (PRC) building to the
ground. In response, the PRC issued the following statement, "The tacit
approval of the authorities, if not their actual connivance in what happened,
was displayed in their attitude of non-interference. While they usually
display great alertness to combating even peaceful demonstrations of young
students within schools, here they stood indifferently watching a violently
destructive demonstration march to its objectives."
In 1988 Hamas was
formed out of Mujama. While PLO supporters were organizing mass demonstrations
in the streets, Hamas was instead focusing on shooting Israeli soldiers.
Despite this fact, Hamas had top-level meetings with the Israeli government
while that same government would not even meet with the PLO. Milton Edwards in
"Islamic Politics In Palestine" noted the relationship:
relationship between Hamas and the Israeli authorities was, however, at the
strongest during the second year of the Intifada. The Israelis had been quick
to extend legitimacy status to Hamas in an attempt to marginalize the PLO.
Leaders of Hamas were regularly filmed at meetings with top-level Israeli
officials and the message the Israelis were sending out was that they regarded
Hamas as the type of people with whom they could work
the Israelis continued turning a blind eye to large amounts of money coming
into the country destined for Hamas coffers, while at the same time stopping
the flow of PLO funds in support of the
In 1994, Hamas
began its indiscriminate attacks on Hebrew speaking people through suicide
bombings. Those suicide bombings had been stepped up by Hamas in the
beginnings of the Intifada 2 uprising in September 2000, but then ended due to
an agreement between Arafat's Palestinian Authority and Hamas. While this
agreement was in effect world attention became focused on the gunning down of
Palestinian children by Israeli sharp shooters on the West Bank. For the
Zionist government this was becoming a public relations disaster.
Israeli Prime Minister Sharon needed a new provocation he could use as
propaganda to escalate the war against the Palestinian people and the
Palestinian Authority (P.A.). To create this provocation he took action to end
the truce between the P.A. and Hamas on ending the suicide bombings of
civilians. On November 23rd Israeli security forces assassinated Hamas leader
Mahmud Abu Hunud. On November 25th, 2001 right-wing Israeli journalist Alex
Fishman accurately observed in the "Yediot Achronot", "Whoever gave the green
light to this act of liquidation knew full well that he is thereby shattering
in one blow the gentleman's agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian
Authority; under that agreement, Hamas was to avoid in the near future suicide
bombings inside the Green Line."
Of course no one but Sharon could
have given the green light for such an important operation. Sharon's
provocation against the Hamas anti-Semites had its intended affect. Within
days Hamas resumed attacks against Israeli civilians. In March a Hamas bomber
killed 25 civilians in the Passover attack that was then used by Sharon as his
excuse to attack the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority while
leaving the Hamas stronghold of Gaza untouched.
The U.S. government's
massive military support to the Zionist State and, to a lesser extent to the
repressive Saudi Arabian monarchy, is responsible for the bloodshed in
Palestine. The racist state of Israel currently receives 300,000 dollars per
hour in U.S. military and economic aid. The F-16 bombers and Apache and Cobra
helicopters used in the latest attacks are just some of the weapons used to
kill Palestinians that are made in the United States.
for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel and all of the crowned princes,
sheiks, emirs, and Islamic fanatics of the Middle East. We understand that
these U.S. policies are the policies of both the Democrat and Republican
Parties. Imperialist policy isn't the result of some misunderstanding by these
parties of the wealthy. Instead, the repressive and genocidal policies of U.S.
imperialism flow from the drive for profits by the rapacious U.S. capitalists
that rule America and much of the world. From this understanding, socialists
know that the only way we will get a just foreign policy, fair treatment of
workers and the poor, and sound ecological policies, is through a socialist
revolution in the United States.
---Steve Argue, for Liberation News
This is an article of Liberation News, a low volume newsletter,
Subscribe free! https://lists. riseup.net/ www/info/ liberation_ news