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Alan Hart on "The end of the Zionist State?"--8/10/06

This is a very interesting and important article. The introductory
comment is from my friend and contemporary colleague at CIA, Haviland
Smith. The British author of the speech, Alan Hart, has put into words
what many observers, especially in Israel, are beginning to see as a
real possibility when they consider the question of Israel's long-term
future. His viewpoint deserves to be heard more often in debates on this
issue here in the United States.
Ray Close

Salon*
*
The Beginning of the End of the Zionist State?*
*
This talk by Alan Hart must have shocked his audience at the
International Institute for Stragegic Studies, (IISS), a high-respected
think tank in London --- which was pressured to deny Mr. Hart a podium.
His views are so far from the conventional wisdom here that Americans
with blood pressure problems probably should not read on. Yet what Mr
Hart says represents the considered judgment of a remarkably
well-informed and seasoned observer of the mess in the Middle East --
and raises serious concerns that should not be swept under the rug, as
the enforcers of political correctness so often insist.. Censorship of
unpalatable views is the enemy of sound policy debate.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

*Israeli militarism and the necessity of seeking a unified state in
Israel-Palestine***
*
by Alan Hart

New Civilisation Forum
International Institute for Strategic Studies, London

10 August 2006

I'm going to suggest to you that what we might now be witnessing is the
long beginning of the end of the Zionist state of Israel. In the next 10
minutes or so I will talk my way to an explanation of why I think so;
and then I'll address the question of what the most likely consequences
would be. I can see two – One State of Palestine for All and real,
lasting peace, or Catastrophe for All... and by "All" I don't just mean
Israeli Jews and the Arabs of the region, I mean all of us, everywhere.

I thought I would be the first to give voice in public to the idea that
Israel might be planting in Lebanon the final seeds of its own
destruction, but while I was working on my text for this evening, I came
across an interview given by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President
Carter's National Security Adviser. He said: "Eventually, if neo-con
policies continue to be pursued, the United States will be expelled from
the region and that will be the beginning of the end for Israel as well."

As Israel's bombardment of Lebanon unfolded, a great deal of nonsense
was written and spoken by pundits and policymakers throughout the mainly
Gentile Judeo-Christian world about why it was happening. The main
thrust of the nonsense was that Hizbullah started the war and that
Israel was merely defending itself. I think the truth about Hizbullah's
role in triggering the war can be summarised as follows – bearing in
mind that the border incident of 12 July was one of many since Israel's
withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, and which more often than not,
according to UN monitors, were provoked by Israeli actions and/or
Israeli violations of agreements. By engaging an IDF border patrol,
killing three Israeli soldiers and taking two hostages, and firing a few
rockets to create a diversion for that operation, Hizbullah gave Israel's
generals and those politicians who rubber-stamp their demands the
pretext they wanted and needed to go to war – a war they had planned for
months.

I was reminded of what was said to me on the second of the six days of
the 1967 war when I was a very young ITN correspondent reporting from
Israel. One of my sources was Major General Chaim Herzog. He was one of
the founding fathers of Israel's Directorate of Military Intelligence.
On the second day of that war he said to me in private conversation:
"IfNasser had not been stupid enough to give us a pretext for war now,
we would have created one in the coming year to 18 months."

Hizbullah's purpose in taking Israeli prisoners/hostages was to have
them as bargaining chips - to secure the return of Lebanese prisoners
Israel had refused to release in a previous prisoner exchange. As former
President Carter implied in an article for The Washington Post on I
August, it was not unreasonable for Hizbullah to assume that an exchange
would be possible because "the assumption was based on a number of such
trades in the past." But on 12 July 2006 the government of Israel was
not interested in trades. It did not give a single moment to diplomacy
or negotiations of any kind. It did not even consider a local
retaliation to make a point. Israel rushed to war. As Defence Minister
Amir Peretz put it: "We're skipping the stage of threats and going
straight to the action."

On the subject of Hizbullah's rockets, (which are hit-and-miss low tech
weapons when compared with Israel's state of the art firepower), it is
right to ask –- Why, really, were they there? What, really, explains
Hizbullah's stock-piling and its bunkering down? The honest answer,
which has its context in the whole history of the Arab-Israeli conflict,
and Zionism's demonstrated designs on Southern Lebanon in particular, is
this: Hizbullah was strengthening itself militarily for the same reason
as Eygpt did when President Nasser, with great reluctance after America
had refused to supply him, accepted weapons from the Soviet Union.
Nasser did not upgrade Eygpt's military capabilities to make war on
Israel. He wanted to be able to demonstrate to Israel that attacking
Eygpt to impose Zionism's will on it was not a cost-free option. In
other words, Hizbullah had been improving its military capability to
deter Israeli incursions and attacks, which was something the Lebanese
army was incapable of doing. Am I suggesting that Hizbullah would not
have let loose its rockets if Israel had not gone for the war option?
YES! The notion that, on 12 July 2006, Hizbullah was joined in
conspiracy with Iran and Syria to wipe Israel off the face of the earth
is nothing but Zionist and neo-con propaganda nonsense – to justify
Israel's latest war of aggression and also, perhaps, to justify, in
advance of it happening, war on Iran.


It's true that the rhetoric of Iran's President gave and gives a degree
of apparent credibility to Zionist and neo-con spin – but only to those
who are unaware of, or don't want to know, the difference between the
facts and documented truth of the real history of the Arab-Israeli
conflict (as in my book) and Zionism's version of it.

To those who really want to understand why the Zionist state of Israel
behaves in the way it does, and is (as described in a recent article
courageously carried by The Independent) "a terrorist state like no
other", I say not only read my book, but give special attention to page
485 of Volume One. On it I quote what was said behind closed doors in
May 1955 by Moshe Dayan, Israel's one-eyed warlord and master of
deception. He was in conversation with Israel's ambassadors to
Washington,London and Paris. At the time the Eisenhower administration
was pressing Israel to abandon its policy of reprisal attacks.

Eisenhower was aware that Nasser did not want war with Israel, and that
he would, when he could, make an accommodation with it. Eisenhower also
knew that Israel's reprisal attacks were making it impossible for Nasser
to prepare the ground on his side for peace with Israel.

In conversation with Israel's three most important ambassadors to the
West, Dayan explained why he was totally opposed - whatever the pressure
from the West - to the idea that Israel should abandon its policy of
reprisal attacks. They were, he said, "a life drug." What he meant, he
also explained, was that reprisal attacks enabled the Israeli government
"to maintain a high degree of tension in the country and the army."
What, really, did that mean? Israel's standing or full-time army was (as
it still is and must be) relatively small, not more than about 23,000
souls in all. The other quarter of a million fighting men and women who
could be mobilised in 48 hours were reservists from every walk of
Israel's civil society. The real point? Without Israeli reprisal attacks
and all that they implied – that the Zionist state was in constant
danger of being annihilated - there was a possibility that some and
perhaps many reservists would not be motivated enough to respond to
Zionism's calls to arms.

Put another way, what Dayan really feared was the truth. He knew, as
all of Israel's leaders knew, that Israel's existence was not in danger
from any combination of Arab forces. And that was the truth which had to
be kept from the Jews of Israel. Dayan's fear was that if they became
aware of it, they might insist on peace on terms the Arab regimes could
accept but which were not acceptable to Zionism. Among those present
when Dayan explained the need for Israeli reprisal attacks as a "life
drug" was the Foreign Ministry's Gideon Rafael. He reported what Dayan
told the ambassadors to Prime Minister Moshe Sharret –- in my view, and
with the arguable exception of Yitzhak Rabin, the only completely
rational prime minister Israel has ever had. And we know from Sharret's
diaries what Rafael then said to him: "This is how fascism began in
Italy and Germany!"

Ladies and gentlemen, I think future historians may say that was how
fascism began in the Zionist state of Israel.

The idea of Israel as a fully functioning democracy is a seriously
flawed one. It's true that Israeli Jews are free to speak their minds
(in a way that most Jews of the world are frightened to do), and to that
extent it can be said that Israel has the appearance of a vibrant
democracy... But in reality, and especially since the countdown to the
1967 war, it's Israel's generals who call most of the policy shots, even
when one of them is not prime minister.

In June 1967 Israel's prime minister of the time, the much maligned
Levi Eshkol, did not want to take his country to war. The war, was
imposed upon him by the generals, led by Dayan. As I explain in Volume
Two of my book, what really happened in Israel in the final countdown to
that war was something very close to a military coup in all but name.

And that's where we are today – the generals effectively calling the
shots in Israel, to the applause of the neo-cons. Why, really, did
Israel's generals want to make war on Lebanon? There was obviously much
more to it than the collective punishment of a whole people as part and
parcel of a stated objective - the destruction of Hizbullah as a Moslem
David which could hit and hurt the Zionist Goliath. I think there were
two main reasons. The first was that Israel's generals believed they
should and could restore the "deterrent power" of the IDF (Israel's war
machine). They believed, correctly, that it had been seriously damaged
by Hizbullah's success in not only confronting the IDF following
Sharon's invasion of Lebanon in 1982, but eventually forcing it to
withdraw, effectively defeated and humiliated... I think it is more than
reasonable to presume that for most if not all of the past six years,
Israel's generals were itching to make war on Lebanon to repair that
damage – to restore the IDF's deterrent power. Put another way, it was
time, Israel's generals believed, to give the Arabs (all Arabs, not just
Hizbullah) another lesson in who the master was.


The second main reason for the insistence of Israel's generals on 12
July this year that war was the only option...? I think it's also more
than reasonable to presume that they saw the opportunity to ethnically
cleanse Lebanon up to the Litani River, with a view, eventually, to
occupying and then annexing the ethnically cleansed territory. For
Zionism this would be the fulfilment of the vision of modern Israel's
founding father, David Ben-Gurion - a Zionist state within "natural"
borders, those borders being the Jordan River in the East and the Litani
River of Lebanon in the north. Israel gained control of theJordan River
border in its 1967 war of expansion, but prior to its rush to war on 12
July, all of its attempts to establish the Litani border had failed.
Since 1982 because of Hizbullah's ability to cause the occupying IDF
forces more casualties than Israeli public opinion was prepared to
tolerate. According to those currently calling the policy shots -
Israel's generals and politicians, the neo-cons in and around the Bush
administration and their associate in Downing Street - the name of the
game is creating a "new Middle East". It is happening. A new Middle East
is being created.

But what kind of new Middle East will it actually be? In my analysis it
will be one in which the Zionist state of Israel, having rejected a
number of opportunities to make peace with the Palestinians and all the
Arab states, will become increasingly vulnerable and, at a point,
actually for the first time ever in its shortish history, could face the
possibility of defeat. In my view the seeds of that possible defeat have
just been sewn in Lebanon. The fact is that Israel's latest military
adventure has been totally counter-productive in that it has caused
Hizbullah to be admired by the angry and humiliated masses of the Arab
and wider Moslem world. That being so, would it really be surprising if,
in growing numbers, Arabs and Moslems everywhere begin to entertain -–
if they are not already entertaining –- something like the following
thought: "If 3,000 Hizbullah guerrillas can stand up to mighty Israel
for weeks and give it a seriously bloody nose, what would happen if we
all joined the fight?" (Do I hear the sound of pro-Western Arab regimes
being toppled? Yes, I think so). I imagine that even the thought of
Israel being defeated one day will bring joy to very many Arabs and
other Moslems. But there ought to be no place for joy because there's no
mystery about what would happen in the event of Israel actually being on
the brink of defeat. I want to quote to you now from one of my Panorama
interviews with Golda Meir. (It can be found, this quote, on the second
page Volume One of my book, in the Prologue which is titled Waiting for
the Apocalypse).


At a point I interrupted her to say: "Prime Minister I want to be sure I
understand what you're saying... You are saying that if ever Israel was
in danger of being defeated on the battlefield, it would be prepared to
take the region and the whole world down with it?" Without the shortest
of pauses for reflection, Golda replied: "Yes, that's exactly what I'm
saying." In those days Panorama went on-air at 8 o'clock on Monday
evenings. Shortly after the transmission of that interview The Times had
a new lead editorial. It quoted what Golda had said to me and added its
view that "We had better believe her." How, actually, would the Zionist
state of Israel take at least the region down with it? It would arm its
nuclear missiles, target Arab capitals, then fire the missiles. Such an
End-Game to the Arab-Israeli conflict, if it happened, and which I would
describe as a self-fulfilled Zionist prophesy of doom, would probably
take many years to play out. But the countdown to such a catastrophe
would be speeded up if, as Brzezinski put it, "neo-con policies continue
to be pursued." If they are, and if Iran is attacked, I think that a
Clash of Civilisations, Judeo-Christian v Islamic, would become unstoppable.

Is there no way to stop the madness and create a "new Middle East"
worth having? Yes, of course, there is, but it requires the agenda of
the neo-cons and their associates to be thrown into the dustbin of
history, in order for there to be a resolution of the Palestine problem,
which I describe as the cancer at the heart of international affairs.
Unfortunately, and because of the facts Zionism has been allowed to
create on the ground in Israel/Palestine, it's already much too late for
a genuine two-state solution, one which would see Israel back behind
more or less its pre-1967 borders with Jerusalem an open city and the
capital of two states. The conclusion which I think is invited is this:
If the countdown to catastrophe for all is to be stopped, the only
possible solution to the Palestine problem is One State for All. That
would, of course, be the end of Zionism's colonial enterprise and of
Zionism itself. But in my view that's what has to happen if there's to
be a "new Middle East" in which there can be security and peace for all,
Arabs and Jews. Ladies and gentlemen: I'm not a politician or, any more,
a working journalist and broadcaster who must write and speak in way
that doesn't offend very powerful vested interests. I am a reasonably
well informed human being who cares and who is free to say what he
really thinks. (Which probably makes me a member of a very small club!)
And in summary of all that I've said this evening, what I really think
comes down to this: The equation is a very simple one: No justice for
the Palestinians = no peace for any of us.





*Alan Hart* is a well-known Middle East scholar.

Editorial Comment: About New Civilisation

New Civilisation's recent event: "Israel-Lebanon Crisis: Time for a
Rethink" took place on Thursday 10th August 2006 and attracted an
audience that reflected a broad spectrum of opinion on what is a complex
and often emotive subject. In organising the event, New Civilisation
aimed to form a panel that would represent the major strains of argument
in order that a meaningful debate take place. We regret, however, that
some of the panellists felt the need to withdraw beforehand because of
circumstances surrounding the event. As a result, some of the key
arguments lacked sufficient representation in a debate New Civilisation
intended to be open, representative and fair.

We were informed by the International Institute for Strategic Studies,
the venue of our event (although it was not organised in conjunction
with them), that they were repeatedly pressured by 'The Jewish
Chronicle' to prevent the event from going ahead. Those who contacted
the Institute, and some of the speakers, raised doubts about New
Civilisation's independence and its association with the organisation
'Hizb ut Tahrir'. To be precise, they claimed that New Civilisation is a
'front' organisation for Hizb ut Tahrir.

We note that it is in the interests of some parties to make such claims
to ensure that debate and discussion on sensitive issues doesn't take
place, possibly due to the difficulty that they may find in justifying
their adopted position in an open debate.

We would like to make clear that New Civilisation is not a front for any
other organisation. It is an independent and open forum that aims to
lead debates and discussion on Islamic political thinking with western
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It is public knowledge that members of Hizb ut Tahrir have written for
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forum. In fact last year New Civilisation jointly hosted a panel
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New Civilisation has made clear that it wishes to be a forum of debate
and discussion on two of the central issues of the day, namely
'political' Islam and the future of the Middle East. It is unfortunate
that in a climate of increasing polarisation and misunderstanding,
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