Abstract: In the context of a failing process begun at Oslo, the author contends that the only viable solution to the impasse and violence is the development and emergence of a binational state through international pressure. Without this as the stated goal of peacemakers in the region, the author sees catastrophe and disaster on the horizon.
It’s obvious to those (the few in global terms) who are fully informed of the facts on the ground that the idea of a genuine two-state solution to the Palestinian problem, whatever its merits might or might not have been in the name of pragmatism, is dead. The ongoing ethnic cleansing of Arab East Jerusalem and the consolidation of the Zionist state’s hold on not less than 58 percent of the West Bank and effective control of about 80 percent of it are the final nails in its coffin.
In my view there are now only two options – those indicated by the title of this contribution to debate.
I was never an advocate of a genuine two-state solution. I went along with it, so to speak, because Arafat the pragmatist made it possible. Beyond that my hope was that a generation of two-state peace would lead by natural evolution to one state.
In my book Arafat, Terrorist or Peacemaker? first published way back in 1984, I said that the Jews, generally speaking, are the intellectual elite of the Western world, and that the Palestinians, generally speaking, are the intellectual elite of the Arab world. On that basis I was of the view that what the two peoples could do together in peace and partnership was the stuff of which real dreams are made. I even dared to suggest that they could change the region and the world for the better. I still believe this to be the case and have said so in my latest book, ZIONISM: THE REAL ENEMY OF THE JEWS. But I am aware that the Zionist state’s arrogance of power and the humiliation it is continuing to heap on the Palestinians and by implication all Arabs and Muslims everywhere, plus American support for Zionism right or wrong, is eroding the Arab and Muslim goodwill required if Israeli Jews are to have a secure future in Palestine (or whatever a single state would be called).
On one level it could be argued that the prospects for a one-state solution ought to be quite good because Zionism, no doubt about it, is in trouble. Why?
First of all let’s be clear about what Zionism actually is. Incredible though it may seem to the informed few of all faiths and none, most people in the mainly Gentile (Judaeo-Christian) world, including apparently most diaspora Jews, could not define Zionism if asked. Most people presume that Judaism (the Jewish religion) and Zionism are somehow one and the same thing. They are absolutely not. The return of Jews to the land of ancient or biblical Israel by the efforts of man was actually proscribed by Judaism. (The return had to await the coming of the Messiah, which is why Ultra Orthodox religious Jews have always regarded modern Israel as an abomination). Knowledge of the difference between Judaism and Zionism is the key to understanding why, despite Zionism’s constant and brilliantly orchestrated assertion to the contrary, it is perfectly possible for people of all faiths and none to be passionately anti-Zionist without being in any way shape of form anti-Semitic.
Zionism is the nationalism of some Jews – actually only a tiny minority of Jews at the time of Zionism’s founding in 1897 – which colonised land, Palestine, to create a state for Jews; an enterprise which required the colonised land to be ethnically cleansed of many of its indigenous Arab inhabitants (the majority population at the time of the colonisation) by the incoming or colonising, alien Jewish nationalists. There are Jewish critics of Zionism who describe it as fascism and who note that this fascism predates that of Hitler and Mussolini by more than three decades.
Prior to the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust most informed and thoughtful Jews everywhere, including the small number of Jews then living in Palestine who regarded themselves as Palestinians, were opposed to Zionism’s colonial enterprise. They believed it to be morally wrong and they feared that it would lead to unending conflict. They also feared that the creation of a Zionist state for some Jews (a minority) would not be in the best interests of those (the majority) who preferred to live, as they still do, as assimilated citizens in the many lands of the mainly Gentile world.
While it is true that Zionism’s strategy was always to put itself at the service of whichever imperialist power was dominating the Middle East, it can be said without fear of contradiction that it, Zionism, could not have generated the momentum needed for the creation of a state without the holocaust – a Gentile crime for which, effectively, the Arabs were punished. Adolf Hitler was the second of Zionism’s godfathers. British Foreign Secretary Balfour was the first and American President Truman was the third.
Three other background statements can also be made without fear of contradiction.
The first is that Greater Israel could not have been created in 1967 if the Johnson administration, encouraged by Zionism’s strategically placed insiders, had not given Israel’s hawks the green light for war with Nasser’s Eygpt.
- In the first and still existing draft of Judaeo-Christian history, Israel went to war either because the Arabs attacked first or because they were intending to attack. In this version of history, which is constructed entirely on Zionist mythology, Israel launched its blitzkrieg because the state of some Jews was about to be annihilated. In reality, and as Israel’s leaders knew, the Arabs were not intending to attack. As I demonstrate in my latest book, Israel’s existence has never, ever, been in danger from any combination of Arab military force. Not in 1948. Not in 1967. And not in 1973. Zionism’s claim to the contrary has never, ever, been more than a cover to allow Israel to get away where it matters most, in America and Europe, with having its aggression perceived as self-defence.
- I respect and admire Avi Shlaim enormously and I cannot thank him enough for allowing me to plunder his magnificent book, The Iron Wall, Israel and the Arabs; but I take issue with him on the 1967 war. He wrote that Israel did not go to war to take territory, it just happened as opportunities opened up on the battlefield. That assessment is both right and wrong. Right because the government headed by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol with Yitzhak Rabin as Chief of Staff did NOT want to take territory. In fact, they didn’t even want to go to war. They favoured and had planned a very limited military operation to supplement international pressure on Nasser to re-open the Straits of Tiran. Wrong because Israel’s one-eyed warlord and master of deception, Moshe Dayan, DID want to take territory. The truth about the Six Days war is that Israel’s hawks set a trap for Nasser and, for reasons of face, he walked into it with eyes more than half open. When he was trapped, Israel’s hawks insisted that Prime Minister Eshkol surrender the defense portfolio and give it to Dayan. What happened in Israel on the eve of that war was close to a military coup executed by political means. For Defence Minister Dayan the war of 1967, for the creation of Greater Israel, was the unfinished business of 1948/49. He was of the opinion, and no doubt he was right, that Israel would never again get the opportunity to gobble up more territory.
The second background statement that can be made without fear of contradiction is this. If the Security Council had acted in accordance with its Charter obligations and international law, Israel would have been prevented from settling, colonising, the Arab land it grabbed in 1967. (Chapter 26 in Volume 2 of my latest book is headed Goodbye to the Security Council’s Integrity). It was utterly predictable that the building of illegal Israeli settlements would become the obstacle to peace, and the truth is that the major powers allowed it to happen.
- Just imagine how different the regional and global situation might have been today if there had been no Israeli settlement of Arab territory occupied in 1967 when Prime Minister Rabin accepted Arafat’s outstretched hand on the lawn of President Clinton’s White House on 13 September 1993. I think it is reasonable to speculate that there could then have been rapid progress in negotiations to end the conflict on the basis of a genuine two-state solution.
- As I reveal in my latest book, it was Shimon Peres, early in 1980 when he was the Leader of the Opposition to Begin’s first Likud-led government, who gave me real insight into the significance of the settlements, those on the occupied West Bank including Arab East Jerusalem especially, as the obstacle to peace.
- I was at the start of some secret, unofficial shuttle diplomacy between Arafat and Peres. At an early point in our first private conversation for the mission, Peres said to me, “I fear it’s already too late (for peace).” I asked why. His reply was the following: “Begin knows exactly what he’s doing. Every new day sees new bricks on new settlements. He’s creating the conditions for a Jewish civil war. He knows that no Israeli prime minister is going down in history as the one who gave the order to the Jewish army to shoot large numbers of Jews (who resisted withdrawal)… I’m not.”
- If it was too late then, in 1980 when there were only about 70,000 illegal Jewish settlers in residence on the West Bank including Arab East Jerusalem, how much more too late is it today when their number is in excess of 450,000 and rising on a daily basis?
The third background statement that can be made without fear of contradiction is that Zionism is today more powerful and influential than ever.
– The nuclear-armed Zionist state is the superpower of the region and, in military terms, the master of all it surveys. (Zionists in America, most notably Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearl, were the prime pushers for war with Iraq because Zionism perceived Saddam Hussein to be the existing Arab Order’s only potential threat to Israel’s ability to dominate the region).
– Zionism is in unholy alliance with America’s Christian fundamentalists. These particular Christians, some of whom are probably Jew-haters in private, want Israel to be the instrument of bringing about the end of the world, Armageddon, in accordance with biblical prophecy. Zionism has no shame on this account. It’s happy, delighted, to use, and be used by, Christian fundamentalism because of the influence it has, not least on President “Dubya” Bush. (A report in Monitorworld for the week of 6-12 March 2004, noted that a 2002 survey showed that “59 percent of Americans believe that the events in the Bible book of Revelations will occur in the future.” The report was headlined THE END OF THE WORLD – THE DEBATE HEATS UP. It noted that while fundamentalists were a minority of American Christians, “the interest in end-times prophecy has spread far beyond their circles and is not only shaping people’s lives, but even influencing United States foreign policy, say supporters and critics.” The lobby that was formed, effectively if not institutionally, by the Zionists joining forces with the Christian fundamentalists was described by the BBC’s admirable Stephen Sackur in a remarkable radio documentary as an alliance of “the two best organised networks in the U.S.”)
– Zionism is in bed with America’s neo-cons (some of whom are both neo-cons and Zionists) and the Military Industrial Complex.
– All governments, including the impotent and repressive regimes of the existing Arab Order, are frightened of taking action aimed at obliging the Zionist state to withdraw from Arab territory occupied in 1967 in exchange for a signed and sealed peace as required by the letter and the spirit of Security Council Resolution 242 (the resolution has been gathering diplomatic dust for 38 years).
– And throughout the mainly Gentile Judaeo-Christian world the media, generally speaking, is so terrified of offending Zionism that it censors itself so as not to give offence, not too much too often. (It is also the case that most major Arab newspapers are either censored or censor themselves to avoid giving too much real offence to Zionism. Some evidence of this is that with the exception of Al Quds, all major Arab newspapers were too frightened to have anything to do with my latest book. I tried to exorcise their fear of being falsely and maliciously charged with anti-Semitism by pointing out that my book is, actually, the opposite of anti-Semitic, and that stripped down to its absolute essence it’s the call of a concerned and caring goy for the Jews to become the light unto nations. But they didn’t want to know. And nor did Al Jazeera. There’s a case for saying that with the regimes and elites of the existing Arab Order as enemies, Zionism doesn’t need friends).
There is only one word I can think of to describe Zionism’s influence. Awesome.
So why is it, how can it be, that Zionism today is in trouble and vulnerable?
For the Zionist state to become a permanent implant in the Arab heartland, it was necessary, absolutely essential, for the Palestine file to remain closed – i.e. after it was closed by Zionism’s fait accompli in 1948/49. The point being that if it was ever re-opened by a regeneration of Palestinian nationalism, the governments of the world and the major powers in particular would find it extremely difficult to avoid supporting the Palestinian claim for justice, even though doing so could, almost certainly would, put them on course for a confrontation with Zionism at some point.
It the context above it can be said that Arafat’s real crime was causing the Palestine file to be re-opened. And that’s why he had to be demonised and destroyed.
The truth of history as opposed to Zionism’s mythology is that with the arguable exception of Syria, which plotted to possess and play the Palestinian card for its own ends, not even the Arab regimes wanted the Palestine file to be re-opened. It was, in fact, the frontline Arab states – Eygpt, Jordan and Lebanon – which made the first attempt to strangle the child of regenerating Palestinian nationalism, Arafat’s Fatah, at birth. Eygpt’s President Nasser, the frontline Arab leader, was not stupid. Though he could never say so in public, he understood, as in fact all Arab leaders understood, that fighting Israel to liberate Palestine was not an option, because the fight would be not only with Israel but with its American sponsor. (As Avi Shlaim documented with the help of declassified Israeli state documents and Moshe Sharett’s diaries, Nasser, actually, was for an accommodation with Israel. And as I revealed, it was Nasser who persuaded Arafat that he had to accept the reality of Israel’s existence in more or less its pre-1967 borders if he was to obtain Arab regime and international backing for his cause).
Arafat was never less than completely aware that, despite their rhetoric to the contrary, all Arab leaders had not wanted there to be a regeneration of Palestinian nationalism, and that the more he (and others) made it happen, the more they loathed and feared him. He also knew that most Arab leaders would sell him down the river if they could.
- During one of our many conversations for my book about him and his struggle, Arafat let slip his innermost thoughts on the matter in a very graphic way. “Being the Chairman of the PLO”, he said, “is like being the only male customer in a brothel of 22 whores.” I quoted him in my book and the first time I saw him after its publication he exploded with rage, enabling me to understand for the first time why most of his leadership colleagues and all of his aides were terrified of his terrible tempter and intimidated by it. “You have made for me big troubles!” he screamed. When he had calmed down I said: “Abu Ammar, you did say it to me and we both know it’s true.” Eventually he said: “You should not have quoted me. You should have said it was your understanding of my thinking and I could have said you were wrong. Now I can’t deny I said it.”
Zionism’s first response to the regeneration of Palestinian nationalism was to deny to itself as well as the world the existence of the Palestinians as a people with rights.
- It was to me in an interview for the BBC’s Panorama programme that Prime Minister Golda Meir made her infamous statement on the matter. “There is no such thing as a Palestinian. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country from them. They did not exist.” (As I reveal in my latest book, Golda sent me a message from the grave. It was a confession. As soon as those words left her lips, she knew they were “the silliest damn thing she ever said.”)
Zionism’s second response to the regeneration of Palestinian nationalism was to criminalise Arafat’s authentic PLO and, with Henry Kissinger’s assistance, to have it perceived throughout the Judaeo-Christian world as nothing but a bunch of terrorists. When it was so perceived, Israel regarded itself as having the green light to do anything, go anywhere, to destroy the PLO.
The most spectacular of the attempts to do so was, of course, Sharon’s invasion of an Arab country, Lebanon, all the way to its capital, Beirut, with the Arab regimes sitting on their hands and doing nothing; and actually hoping that Sharon would succeed. According to what King Hussein and Arafat told me some time after the events, Arab leaders knew what Sharon’s plan for a final solution to the Palestine problem was – killing Arafat and all of his leadership colleagues and destroying the PLO’s infrastructure; and this as the overture to destabilising Jordan and overthrowing the Hashemite regime, then to say to the Palestinians under Israeli occupation: “There’s your state. Go take it and welcome.” Before he invaded Lebanon, Sharon had in place on the West Bank a group of 70 Palestinian stooges, which was to be the nucleus of the first administration of the new Palestinian state, (the former Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan).
Zionism’s third response to the regeneration of Palestinian nationalism is what we are now witnessing – the implementation of Sharon’s revised plan. It tells us, among other things, that events have had a similar impact on Zionism’s aging “bulldozer” as they had on the aging Arafat. I mean that events have forced Sharon to become a little bit pragmatic. Arafat’s pragmatism was a recognition of the need for the Palestinians to accept the reality of Israel’s existence inside its pre-1967 borders and to make peace with that Israel. Sharon’s pragmatism is the recognition of the fact that the re-opened Palestine file cannot be closed by brute force.
There is no mystery about the main elements of the revised Sharon plan. Its implications, (as stated in my opening paragraph and which bear repeating), have been well documented by Israel’s own experts, most notably by Jeff Halper and his colleagues. The final borders of the Zionist state Sharon is now in the process of arranging will include about 58 percent of the West Bank including all of Jerusalem and all the territory’s principal water resources, and effectively control of about 82 percent of it. On this basis, and assuming he is prime minister after Israel’s forthcoming election, Sharon will say to the Palestinians, “What’s left is yours, and if you want to call it a state, that’s fine by me.”
What will be left is two main Palestinian Bantustans with, perhaps, a narrow corridor linking them to the Gaza Strip, something that even a certifiable idiot could not call a viable state. Such a take-it or leave-it “offer” would not come even close to satisfying the minimum Palestinian demand and need for justice.
Sharon, it seems to me, is gambling on two things happening.
One is that the Bush administration certainly, and the governments of Europe probably, will accept this Zionist fait accompli because for them it will be a better option than confronting Zionism for the sake of justice for the Palestinians.
The other is that a weak and somewhat compliant Palestinian leadership will be prevailed upon (by the governments of the international community as well as Israel) to settle for what is on offer, and will, if necessary, seek to impose acceptance of it by force in the name of “dismantling the infrastructure of terror”; and that at the end of the day the Palestinians, out of sheer exhaustion and despair, will finally accept the crumbs from Zionism’s table.
I think it can be said, again without fear of contradiction, that the latter is not going to happen. The minimum the Palestinians can accept is a genuine two-state solution, that is (or rather was!) Israel withdrawn to more or less its borders as they were on the eve of the 1967 war in accordance with Resolution 242, and with Jerusalem an open city and the capital of two states.
With the idea of a genuine two-state solution dead if not yet buried, what are the most likely scenarios for the future?
I can see only two and I think the most likely is catastrophe for all. I also think the signposts to catastrophe are not difficult to read.
Palestinian, other Arab and Muslim support for violent Islamic radicalism will grow. Regimes of the existing impotent, corrupt and repressive Arab order – including the puppets upon whom the West relies for Middle East oil – will be toppled. And we’ll be well on course for a Clash of Civilisations, Judaeo-Christian, v Islamic, with, along the way, the monsters of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia going on the rampage.
- In Waiting for the Apocalypse, the Prologue to Volume I of ZIONISM: THE REAL ENEMY OF THE JEWS, I quote from an interview with one of America’s leading and most influential Christian fundamentalists. The following is a part of what he said.
- “We are seeing in my judgement the birth pangs of what will be called in the future the beginning of the end. I believe in my mind that the Third World War has begun. I believe that it began on 9/11. I believe that we’re going to see an escalation of Islamic influence all over the earth, and God in his sovereign grace is going to stand up and defend Israel, and the enemies of Israel are going to be decimated.”
Must it really come to this?
I think not, but only if enough minds of peoples of all faiths and none can be concentrated on the need for a ONE STATE solution to the Palestine problem. (Because, it bears repeating, Zionism has made a genuine and viable two-state solution impossible).
To be fit for its purpose, justice and peace, it would have to be a secular, democratic state with complete equality for all of its citizens, Arabs and Jews. And there could be no law, as there is in the Zionist state, giving all the Jews of the world a “right of return”. (In fact most Jews in the world today, including most Israeli Jews, do not have their origins in the land that became for a brief period the Israel of the ancient Hebrews, so the notion of the “right of return” for all diaspora Jews holds good only in Zionist mythology, not real history).
At the present time almost all discussions about the need for a one-state solution to the Palestine problem as the only way of averting a catastrophe for all can be brought to a grinding halt by the statement that “Zionism won’t allow it to happen.” The implication being that it will be impossible to overcome Zionism’s opposition – because of its awesome power and influence.
My own view is that this will almost certainly be the case unless there is informed and honest public debate about why it is in the best interests of all for Zionism to be deprived of its veto on peacemaking. For there to be such a debate, two things must happen.
One is that mainstream diaspora Jews – the majority of the Jews in the world – must end their silence and participate fully in debate. And this begs a primordial question. Why are mainstream diaspora Jews, many of whom are deeply troubled by the behaviour of Zionism’s child, Israel, so frightened of criticising it in public?
I think the honest answer has what can be called background and foreground elements.
- In the background there is this… Deep down many if not all diaspora Jews have a fear of Holocaust II, shorthand for another great turning against Jews, and thus the perceived need, if only in the sub-consciousness, for Israel as an insurance policy of last resort. This being so, they feel it’s in their best longer term interests to say and do nothing which could be interpreted as antipathy to Israel, and which could undermine the wellbeing and perhaps even the security of the refuge of last resort.
- In the foreground there is this… In the mainly Gentile lands of their diaspora, most assimilated Jews live in communities with a touch of the ghetto about them – meaning the togetherness of the ghetto. Community is security. A diaspora Jew who criticises Israel in public can expect to be condemned and reviled by some other members of the community – I mean condemned and reviled by those prepared to do the bidding of the Zionist lobby. This could mean alienation and the loss of community as security.
Given the very real fears of diaspora Jews, fears with which I empathise completely, it seems obvious to me that mainstream diaspora Jews will not end their silence unless and until they have the maximum possible in the way of reassurance about their security in the mainly Gentile lands of which they are citizens. In other words, diaspora Jews in sufficient numbers are not going to play their necessary part in challenging the Zionist monster until they feel absolutely certain that they will not have a need for Israel as a refuge of last resort.
But I must add that I believe diaspora Jews have a powerful incentive to become a part of the solution instead of remaining by their silence a part of the problem. The incentive is in the fact that a prime cause of rising anti-Semitism in the mainly Gentile lands of which most diaspora Jews are citizens is the Zionist state’s behaviour.
The second thing that must happen if there is to be informed and honest public debate is that the Gentiles among whom most diaspora Jews live have got to end their silence. (Of course I know that some Gentiles do speak out, but most don’t). And this is why it is so important for the difference between Judaism and Zionism to be understood. If we are confused on this issue, as Zionism wants and needs us to be, we are frightened to criticise Israel out of fear of being accused of anti-Semitism.
What I think is demonstrated by understanding of why Jews and Gentiles (and also Muslims) are silent is the need for all of us to work ever closer together and, in particular, for us Gentiles to give the Jews who live among us the reassurance they need about their security.
At the time of writing a House of Commons Review Committee is looking into the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK. If this Committee is to serve a useful purpose – i.e. if the review is to be more than a public relations exercise on Zionism’s behalf – Honourable Members will give priority to defining what anti-Semitism actually is, as opposed to what Zionism asserts it to be. In Zionism’s definition, for the purpose of silencing critics of Israel and suppressing informed and honest debate, anti-Semitism includes criticism of Israel. Some critics of Israel are anti-Semites, but Zionism’s assertion – often explicit, sometimes by innuendo – that all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism is ludicrous and malicious propaganda nonsense.
In the battle of ideas to date, Zionist propaganda has been allowed to triumph over the truth of history. If a one-state solution to the Palestine problem is to have more than a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming a reality, and a Clash of Civilisations is to be averted, the truth of history and its implications for the future must be assisted to triumph over Zionist propaganda.
ZIONISM: THE REAL ENEMY OF THE JEWS by Alan Hart – First edition hardback of Volume 1 published on 5 October by World Focus Publishing; ISBN 0-9550207-0-0; available bookshops and Amazon; cover price £19.99. Volume 2, publication in March. Book’s website www.zionism-realenemyofthejews.com