Gunther Dean which appeared in the September issue of the Paris magazine
Afrique-Asie. The French text can also be read on: _www.afrique-asie.fr
<http://www.afrique-asie.fr/>_ The interview is by Jacques Marie Bourget:
*_Article in Afrique-Asie - September 2007 published in Paris and
available on Internet: _*_*www.afrique-asie.fr*
<http://www.afrique-asie.fr/>_*_ . Article and interview by Jacques
*Translation from French*
Interview: One has rarely seen an American diplomat who speaks so
straight. Nor setting forth as clear-sighted an analysis which denounces
the consequences for the Middle East and the world in general on account
for the injustices done to the Palestinians by Israel and the United
States. At more than eighty years of age, John Gunther Dean has lost
none of his candor. His fight for peace is as determined as ever: tell
the truth to his country, whatever it may cost him.
_“*The existence of Israel is threatened by its own policies”*_
Interview obtained by Jacques Marie Bourget
*_Question:_* The dramatic events today lived by the people of the
Near/Middle East, are they the result of the old strategies of history?
*_John Gunther Dean:_* the Zionists first asked for a land for the Jews.
Then came the atrocities, the genocide, the survivors who roamed the
countryside and were frightened. Israel was born from this monstrosity
of History. It was the United Nations who by its vote created the
existence of a state, established in fairly precise borders, and in the
same resolution provided for the creation of a Palestinian state. All
this with a majority in the United Nations obtained with the help of
some votes which were bought. It is of no use to conceal reality.
In the long run, the existence of Israel is threatened by its own
policies, and by our policies, meaning American policies. The rest of
the world is threatened by the injustice done to the Palestinians. It is
this threat that motivates what is called “Islamic Terrorism”.
*_Question:_* how do you get history to move in the right direction?
*_John Gunther Dean:_* the solution should be the same as the one used
by the Americans in the 1950’s facing North Korea: the geopolitical
approach, meaning the United Nations. The U.N. Security Council should
say: “the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is a danger for
peace and the stability of the world. Let us bring all parties together
in the presence of all the great powers to find a fair solution.” Sixty
years of war, that is enough. Such a meeting could be held at the site
which is associated with peace; for example at the United Nations in
Geneva, Switzerland. The Abdallah plan, set forth in the year 2002 in
Beirut by the Arab countries, could serve as the first line of approach.
By the end of this debate, it would be the General Assembly of the
Untied Nations, which created Israel and still-born Palestine, which
would take the decisions regarding the new world order [in the region].
And acting for the Untied States, President Bush could ask former
President Bill Clinton to take hold of this important issue. Former
Prime Minister Blair would remain the mediator representing Europe.
*_Question:_* But Hillary Clinton is a presidential candidate who
maintains a very anti-Palestinian position.
*_John Gunther Dean:_* before being Senator for the State of New York,
Hillary Clinton had a very moderate position on the issue. That problem
has become explosive, and the Report of Mr. de Sotto, written on behalf
of the United Nations, shows the inanity and the stupidity of the
policies carried out in the Middle East for the last half century. I
have always taken chances; I have put my life on the line for my
country. At first at the beginning of the cold war [immediately after
the end of World War Two], then in Vietnam, then in Lebanon; and despite
being Jewish and Ambassador of the United States, I was a target for
assassination by mercenaries working for a friendly democratic,
neighboring country. The killers were equipped with weapons made in the
U.S.A. Every time I was posted abroad [as a U.S. Foreign Service
Officer], in countries or regions which were in a crisis, I said the
truth to my country. Under the Kennedy Letter [initiated in the spring
of 1961] American ambassadors are directly responsible to the American
President. The archives [including the documents I donated to the
Presidential Libraries] are there to prove what I am saying. Thus, on
Afghanistan, for having written that we must respect the word given to
Mr. Gorbatchev and that Mr.Najiboulah in Kabul is better than Mr.
Hikmatyar, who was the creator of the Taliban – but was supported by the
U.S. -, I was called back to Washington and declared “mentally
deranged.” The time of those who falsify History must come to an end, as
well as the time of lame excuses. U.S. Congressional Representatives,
known in Congress for their links to Israel, came to me to ask the
following: “ John, with your origins, your past, you must help Israel.”
I replied: “my boss is the President of the United States of America. I
owe him the truth, even if, for your ears, the truth does not want to be
*_Question:_* Do you believe that Israel might find it in its political
interest to continue a state of war?
*_John Gunther Dean:_* No. I can not forget that my father was the
President of the second most numerous Jewish community in Germany, in
the city of Breslau. That city in Germany had 7 Noble Prize Winners
before 1933. Four of them were Jewish. Really outstanding people. In
Israel, these kind of people can not speak up, but such upright people
also exist in Israel. These people know that Jews and Moslem have
written History together since their expulsion from Spain  until
today. And a fair solution [in the Middle East] would wipe out memories
of the Intifada and the war which has gone on for the last 40 years.
Another example: after all, who was it who gave refuge in Solonika
[Greece] to the ancestors of President of France Nicolas Sarkozy? The
Ottomans, the Moslems, who protected the Jews who had fled Andalousia in
*_Question_*: In your utopian peace, what do you do with the settlers
who occupy the West Bank?
*_John Gunther Dean:_* The settlers? They are only the concrete
manifestation of Zionism which is based on the concept of colonialism.
In other words, colonialism – a 19^th century concept – which does not
work any longer today. The concept of colonialism is no longer valid in
any part of the world. France, with de Gaulle, the British, the Germans,
the Portuguese, the Americans with the Philippines, have all decolonized
a long time ago. The colonies established in the West Bank, financed by
the U.S., is also an act of that past.
*_Question: _*in the colonization of Palestine, there is also a
religious idea. The argument is to reconquer the Promised Land.
*_John Gunther Dean:_* I think this is completely right. It is largely
the follow-up of the old idea of 19^th century colonialism. The first
settlers [in the British mandate of Palestine] were so cialist not
orthodox religious Jews. And if one wants to enter into that debate, I
would like to mention that the Hebrews at the time of Moses conquered
the country which today is known as Israel and it did not belong to the
Hebrews before that time. The religious argument is only a cover for the
ideology of Zionism. In 1948, the people who had been persecuted since
the crusades were given a piece of land. And by military acts, the
Zionists went beyond the borders of the territory allocated to them.
Without any respect for justice or law. They persecuted the Palestinians
by acting in the same way as former colonial countries had done in the
past. The principles of the former colonial countries and the military
action which went hand in hand with this policy are not part of the
great Jewish tradition. The United States of America should stop
financing such a policy and stop closing their eyes to the illegal
actions committed by Israel.
*_Question:_* How do you convince President George Bush and his friends
to help move toward peace?
*_John Gunther Dean:_* if we don’t find rapidly a way to put Israel and
the Arab countries around a negotiating table, on the basis of the
Abdallah plan [which implies mutual recognition and working together
with Israel in its 1967 borders], it will lead to a situation which will
threaten the very existence of Israel as I have said so often.
*_John Gunther Dean:_* History is quite clear: in the long run, a
country of 5 Million people can not survive against the hostility of a
billion people. This just does not happen. Everybody knows that the
Israeli atomic bomb is basically a self deception [that it will
effectively defend Israel]. The Israeli atomic bomb is rather a sedative
used to reassure the public [that Israel is prepared for war]. [With the
Islamic bomb in existence today], it is doubtful that Israel’s atomic
bomb will be used. All Moslems from around the world have the right to
visit the Mosque of the Temple Mount; all Christians should be able to
visit the Holy Sepulcher. And Israel does [at times] prevent them. I
repeat what I have said all along: the only future for Israel is peace.
*_Question:_* a new devil, Iran, has come on the scene, which Israel
uses to justify its military policy. One speaks little about Pakistan.
Is Pakistan more dangerous than Iran?
*_John Gunther Dean:_* The Pakistanis know very well who killed
Zia-Al-Huq, their President and disseminator of Islamic fundamentalism.
Remember the story of the basket full of mangoes which exploded in Zia’s
plane [on August 17, 1988]. And until today, Pakistan has understood
that war is not the right way to develop a nation. Hence the agreements
signed by Pakistan with its adversary: India. Next door in Afghanistan,
the Afghan military commander Massoud, did he not make peace with the
Russians when he was in charge, and it was he who had chased the
Russians out of his country? The future is peace, talking with all
parties without exception. This is the only political weapon capable of
bringing about a “new, viable Middle East.” A far cry from the ideology
of the imperialist era which used “divide and rule.” Those who still
believe in this ideology are mistaken; this ideology is dead. Who is
willing to submit to an occupying power? In Irak? In Palestine? In the
latter no more than in the former country. Or submit to the “diktat”
coming from abroad? Thus we are told: “Hamas is not really good.” But
there were free elections and they voted Hamas. And now one tells them:
“ you were wrong [in choosing Hamas].” How can one preach democracy and
at the same time refuse the result of a democratic election? Jimmy
Carter, who was observer in Palestine at the time of vote, has said:
“these elections are honest.” As a small boy, Jewish, and forced to flee
Germany, I came to America which is great and generous. I love my
country a great deal. It is for America, in the name of a certain
historic morality and value system for which America stands, that I
personally experienced in America, that I speak: “let us this time have
the greatness and generosity to speak the truth about the situation in
the world, the world as it really is and not to fantasise about
something that does not exist.” With Michel Debré [former French Foreign
Minister and son of a Rabbi], I helped in the negotiations in Paris
which resulted in the peace agreement in Vietnam. I know the labor pains
in giving birth to peace, but I also know the joy of being successful in
*_Question:_* Your view is that one should speak to everyone?
*_John Gunther Dean:_* Sure. To neglect one party – be they angel or
devil – is to sow the seed of the war of tomorrow. In the new world we
live in, where anything that happens in one part of the globe, making
war is an anachronism, a suicidal luxury which should not be allowed to
happen. I have been a member of the Marshall Plan [1950-53]. We
Americans helped at the time France in spite of the fact that communists
were part of the French government. And what about Tito receiving
Marshall Plan aid? Those are examples of a realistic foreign policy.
*_Question:_* The “real” policy of America these last few years has been
rather helping Ben Landen, Hekmatyar and having to choose among
different forms of fundamentalism and even helping some to come to power.
*_John Gunther Dean:_* [in my opinion] that was largely in the past the
choice of our intelligence services. At the time these acts were
committed, Saudi Arabia, the guardian of the Moslem Holly places, was
afraid that communism, via Afghanistan, would gain ground in the Moslem
world. Islam became at that point a way of struggling against an alien
ideology [atheism]. What was not foreseen at the time that the principle
of Jihad would continue to live on and would oppose targets other than
communism in Afghanistan. After the end of communism in Afghanistan,
Saudi Arabia became the country where the Jihadists came together. Look
at the President of Iran, although not an Arab, he went to Riyadh some
months ago. There the new enemy was Israel [and no longer communism]. It
is the new factor of Israel which brings different Moslems together. And
the Saudis are disappointed by the boycott of the Abdallah Plan. This is
another reason why one should not always blame the Palestinians for the
failure of negotiations with Israel: the Palestinians are not usually
the ones who are responsible for the failure of Israeli and Palestinian
to make peace. To accept the truth is important if future tragedies are
to be avoided in the Near East.
Europeans: be courageous; if Israel refuses to come to the negotiating
table, why not threaten to abolish Israel’s status as an “Associate
member” of the European Union? Also listen to the Russians. The Russia
of Putine is not the Russia of Staline. I believe in dialogue, in
co-existence. These great principles and values common to all humanity
are the only way leading to the salvation of humanity.