Thursday, November 30, 2023

Jewish Apartheid State Opposed From the Beginning


"As a future form of government for Palestine will undoubtedly be considered by the approaching Peace Conference, we, the undersigned citizens of the United States, unite in this statement, setting forth our objections to the organization of a Jewish State in Palestine as proposed by the Zionist Societies in this country and Europe and to the segregation of the Jews as a nationalistic unit in any country.  

"We feel that in so doing we are voicing the opinion of the majority of American Jews born in this country and of those foreign born who have lived here long enough to thoroughly assimilate American political and social conditions. The American Zionists represent, according to the most recent statistics  available, only a small proportion of the Jews living in this country, about 150,000 out of   3,500,000. (American Jewish Yearbook 1918, Philadelphia.) 

"At the outset we wish to indicate our entire sympathy with the efforts of Zionists which aim to secure for Jews at present living in lands of oppression a refuge in Palestine or elsewhere, where they may freely develop their capabilities and carry on their activities as free citizens.

"But we raise our voices in warning and protest against the demand of the Zionists for the reorganization of the Jews as a national unit, to whom, now or in the future, territorial sovereignty in Palestine shall be committed. This demand not only misinterprets the trend of the history of the Jews, who ceased to be a nation 2000 years ago, but involves the limitation and possible annulment of the larger claims of Jews for full citizenship and human rights in all lands in which those rights are not yet secure. For the very reason that the new era upon which the world is entering aims to establish government everywhere on principles of true democracy, we reject the Zionistic project of a 'national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.'

"Zionism arose as a result of the intolerable conditions under which Jews have been forced to live in Russia and Roumania. But it is evident that for the Jewish population of these countries, variously estimated at from six to ten millions, Palestine can become no homeland. Even with the improvement of the neglected condition of this country, its limited area can offer no solution. The Jewish question in Russia and Roumania can be settled only within those countries by the grant of full rights of citizenship to Jews. 

"We are all the more opposed to the Zionists, because they, themselves, distinctly repudiate the solely ameliorative program. They demand and hail with delight the 'Balfour Declaration' to establish 'a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine,' i.e., a home not merely for Jews living in countries in which they are oppressed, but for Jews universally. No Jew, wherever he may live, can consider himself free from the implications of such a grant. 

"The willingness of Jews interested in the welfare of their brethren to aid in redeeming Palestine from the blight of centuries of Turkish misrule, is no acceptance of the Zionist project to segregate Jews as a political unit and to re-institute a section of such a political unit in Palestine or elsewhere.

"At the present juncture in the world's affairs when lands that have hitherto been subjected to foreign domination are to be recognized as free and independent states, we rejoice in the avowed proposal of the Peace Congress to put into practical application the fundamental principles of democracy. That principle, which asserts equal rights for all citizens of a state, irrespective of creed or ethnic descent, should be applied in such a manner as to exclude segregation of any kind, be it nationalistic or other.  Such segregation must inevitably create differences among the sections of the population of a country. Any such plan of segregation is necessarily reactionary in its tendency, undemocratic in spirit and totally contrary to the practices of free government, especially as these are exemplified by our own country. We therefore strongly urge the abandonment of such a basis for the reorganization of any state."


"Against such a political segregation of the Jews in Palestine or elsewhere we object:

1. "Because the Jews are dedicated heart and soul to the welfare of the countries in which they dwell under free conditions. All Jews repudiate every suspicion of a double allegiance, but to our minds it is necessarily implied in and cannot by any logic be eliminated from the establishment of a sovereign State for the Jews in Palestine.

"By the large part taken by them in the great war (WWI), the Jews have once and for all shattered the base aspersions of the Anti-Semites which charged them with being aliens in every land, incapable of true patriotism and prompted only by sinister and self-seeking motives. Moreover, it is safe to assume that the overwhelming bulk of the Jews of America, England, France, Italy, Holland, Switzerland and the other lands of freedom, have no thought whatever of surrendering their citizenship in these lands in order to resort to a 'Jewish homeland in Palestine.' As a rule those who favor such a restoration advocate it not for themselves but for others. Those who act thus, and yet insist on their patriotic attachment to the countries of which they are citizens, are self-deceived in their profession of Zionism and under the spell of an emotional romanticism or of a religious sentiment fostered through centuries of gloom. 

2.  "We also object to political segregation of Jews for those who take their Zionistic professions seriously as referring not to 'others' but to themselves. Granted that the establishment of a sovereign Jewish State in Palestine would lead many to emigrate to that land, the political conditions of the millions who would be unable to migrate for generations to come, if ever, would be made far more precarious. Roumania - despite the pledges of the Berlin Treaty - has legally branded her Jews as aliens, though many are descended from families settled in that country longer than the present Roumanian government has existed. The establishment of a Jewish State will manifestly serve the malevolent rulers of that and other lands as a new justification for additional repressive legislation. The multitudes who remain would be subject to worse perils, if possible, even though the few who escape might prosper in Palestine.

3. "We object to the political segregation also of those who might succeed in establishing themselves in Palestine. The proposition involves dangers, which, it is manifest, have not had the serious consideration of those who are so zealous in its advocacy. These dangers are adverted to in a most kindly spirit of warning by Sir George Adam Smith, who is generally acknowledged to be the greatest authority in the world on everything connected to Palestine, either past or present. In a recent publication, Syria and the Holy Land, he points out that there is absolutely no fixity to the boundaries of Palestine. These have varied greatly in the course of the centuries. The claims to various sections of this undefined territory would unquestionably evoke bitter controversies. 'It is not true,' says Sir George, 'that Palestine is the national home of the Jewish people and of no other people.' 'It is not correct to call its non-Jewish inhabitants  "Arabs,"  or to say that they have left no image of their spirit and made no history except in the Great Mosque.' 'Nor can we evade the fact that Christian communities have been as long in possession of their portion of this land as ever the Jews were.' 'These are legitimate questions,' he says, 'stirred up by the claims of Zionism, but the Zionists have not yet fully faced them.'

"To subject the Jews to the possible recurrence of such bitter and sanguinary conflicts which would be inevitable, would be a crime against the triumphs of their whole past history and against the lofty and world-embracing visions of their great prophets and leaders.

4. "Though these grave difficulties be met, still we protest against the political segregation of the Jews and the re-establishment in Palestine of a distinctively Jewish State as utterly opposed to the principles of democracy which it is the avowed purpose of the World's Peace Conference to establish.

"Whether the Jews be regarded as a 'race' or as a 'religion,' it is contrary to the democratic principles for which the world war was waged to found a nation on either or both of these bases. America, England, France, Italy, Switzerland and all the most advanced nations of the world are composed of representatives of many races and religions. Their glory lies in the freedom of conscience and worship, in the liberty of thought and custom which binds the followers of many faiths and varied civilizations in the common bonds of political union. A Jewish State involves fundamental limitations as to race and religion, else the term 'Jewish' means nothing. To unite Church and State, in any form, as under the old Jewish hierarchy, would be a leap backward of two thousand years.

"'The rights of other creeds and races will be respected under Jewish dominance,' is the assurance of Zionism. But the keynotes of democracy are neither condescension nor tolerance, but justice and equality. All this applies with special force to a country like Palestine. That land is filled with associations sacred to the followers of three great religions, and as a result of migration movements of many centuries contains an extraordinary number of different ethnic groups, far out of proportion to the small extent of the country itself. Such a condition points clearly to a reorganization of Palestine on the broadest possible basis.

5. "We object to the political segregation of the Jews because it is an error to assume that the bond uniting them is of a national character. They are bound by two factors: First, the bond of common religious beliefs and aspirations and, secondly, the bond of common traditions customs, and experiences, largely, alas, of common trials and sufferings. Nothing in their present status suggests that they form in any real sense a separate nationalist unit.

"The reorganization of Palestine as far as it affects the Jews is but part of a far larger issue, namely, the constructive endeavor, to secure the emancipation of the Jews in all the lands in which they dwell. This movement, inaugurated in the eighteenth century and advancing with steady progress through the western lands, was checked by such reactionary tendencies as caused the expulsion of the Poles from Eastern Prussia and the massacre of Armenians in Turkey. As directed against Jews these tendencies crystallized into a political movement called Anti-Semitism, which had its rise in Germany. Its virulence spread (especially) throughout eastern Europe and led to cruel outbreaks in Roumania and elsewhere, and to the pogroms of Russia with their dire consequences.

"To guard against such evils in the future, we urge that the great constructive movement, so sadly interrupted, be reinstituted and that efficient measures be taken to insure the protection of the law and the full rights of citizenship to Jews in every land. If the basis of the reorganization of governments is henceforth to be democratic, it cannot be contemplated to exclude any group of people from the enjoyment of full rights.

"As to the future of Palestine, it is our fervent hope that what was once a 'promised land' for the Jews may become a 'land of promise' for all races and creeds, safeguarded by the League of Nations which, it is expected, will be one of the fruits of the Peace Conference to whose deliberations the world now looks forward so anxiously and so full of hope.  We ask that Palestine be constituted as a free and independent state, to be governed under a democratic form of government recognizing no distinctions of creed or race or ethnic descent, and with adequate power to protect the country against oppression of any kind. We do not wish to see Palestine, either now or at any time in the future, organized as a Jewish State."

*Handed to President Wilson on behalf of the signers by Congressman Julius Kahn on March 4th, 1919, for transmission to the Peace Conference at Paris. 

1. The statement was prepared conjointly by the Rev. Dr. Henry Berkowitz, of Philadelphia, Mr. Max Senior, of Cincinnati, and Professor Morris Jastrow, Jr., of the University of Pennsylvania.


Source: Anti-Zionism - Analytical Reflections, Amana Books, 1988, pps. 341-349


Monday, November 27, 2023

Genocide Isn't About Mass Killing - It's More Identity Politics

Norman Finkelstein is all over the media recently; he even got a solo appearance on Piers Morgan. While it's wonderful to see him get the attention his brilliant 40-year investigation of Israel-Palestine deserves, he nearly always does something irritating as well . . . Yesterday he was interviewed by Krystal Ball on Breaking Points, and he dismissed with contempt the line we've been hearing the past six weeks, i.e., "The October 7 attacks were the greatest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust." Finkelstein snorted and replied, "What the hell do 1400 deaths have to do with the Holocaust?" He accused Israel of always "dragging in" the Holocaust as moral backing for its endless outrages against the Palestinians, but if that disproportion (1400 to 6 million) is absurd, can't a similar argument be made that 15,000 Gazans killed, less than one percent of the Gazan population, cannot constitute genocide, whatever Israel's intentions? 

Too much of the legal definition of genocide hangs on intent, which is not likely of much concern to the victims of - take your pick - massacre, ethnic cleansing, extermination, genocide, slaughter, etc. If Israeli attacks in Gaza today constitute a genocide, whereas European colonizers' wiping out of 97%-99% if the indigenous populations of the Americas is NOT genocide, as few talking heads think it is, then massive killing is really not the central issue defining "genocide," and we need to start saying so. 

By the way, if Israel were to agree to a permanent cease-fire in return for the sterilization of all Palestinian women of child-bearing age, would that be a peace proposal or more genocide?

In any event, it does not appear that Israel's intent in the current massacre has anything to do with genocide, if that word is taken to mean utter annihilation. It's ethnic cleansing, which is not a synonym for genocide, though it's often treated as though it were. Jewish supremacists want to keep killing Gazans until international horror forces open the Rafa crossing so the despised Gazans can be dispersed throughout Egypt and the Gulf States. "Transfer," it's called in Zionist commentary, and that goal has been a constant from the beginning. Every time there's a "war," Israel takes more land and drives more Arabs off it. A land without a people for a people without shame.

Finkelstein also dropped into his conversation with Krystal Ball the claim that "10,000 Jews a week were gassed at Auschwitz," which, if true, likewise makes the charge of genocide in Gaza seem pretty absurd by comparison. In case you're wondering, here's the current genocide scorecard, according to various experts in the topic:

Gaza 2023: under 1% killed, definitely genocide.

Indians 1500-1900 98% killed, NOT genocide

European Jews 1933-1945 - 66% killed, the worst genocide ever, don't even try to compare it to anything else.

One wishes that there were some sense in this, but alas, it appears there is not. And Finkelstein always plays into the idea that his being the son of Holocaust survivors is what makes his voice relevant, even as he stresses that the only thing that matters is the facts and a logical accounting of them. Consistency, please, could we please just have some consistency, once in a while, even just as a holiday treat?

Remember also that genocide experts claimed a generation ago that Slobodan Milosevic was guilty of it in the war over the break-up of Yugoslavia, though that was a three-way ethnic fight with massacres on all sides. Furthermore, Germany was said to be redeeming its guilt for the Holocaust by bombing Belgrade, just as the Nazis had done!

So let's abstain from easy conclusions that "genocide scholars" are an intellectual fire department come to deliver us from evil. More likely, they're capitalism's latest branding exercise to keep us forever at each other's throats.


Thursday, November 23, 2023

Bulletin! Zionists Have Known They Were Lying From The Beginning

 "Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader, I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it's true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we came here and stole their country. Why should they accept that?

--------First Prime Minister of Israel David Ben Gurion 


Anti-Zionism, Analytical Reflections (Amana Books, 1988), p. 135

Saturday, November 18, 2023

What Really Happened on October 7?

"You want to know what happened on October 7 that doesn't appear in the press? Here's what happened, according to Israeli sources. It was a one-time raid, by several thousand Hamas fighters, chosen at a relatively young age, because they've lost their sisters or their brothers or mothers or cousins or fathers in prior Israeli wars against them. So they chose them because they were so motivated that way - for revenge. Number two, they were unemployed, and they felt hopeless, they had no will to live anymore, and in that (Palestinian) culture when you're unemployed you're going to have a hard time getting married and raising a family, so they sent them over there. Hamas and others are probably stunned that they even got so far. And it was a homicide-suicide mission. They knew they were going to die, and so they started shooting anything they saw, whether it was soldiers, a party going on, civilians in their homes, until they were wiped out. Some of them got back with hostages, and, of course, there are seven thousand hostages in Israeli prisons, the Palestinians, because they are abducted in order to extract information from their relatives in Gaza and the West Bank, that's an old practice,, and they control extended families that way, so that's why we - Bruce Fein and I, teach them - Biden - to have a hostage-to-hostage exchange, in order to start a process of reconciliation and resolution of that conflict over there. But on terms of the attack the Israeli government (1) after the attack said they counted 1600 Hamas bodies that they killed in the shoot-out on October 7. And that's more than the estimated Israelis that were killed by these Hamas fighters. So you can see that there's something wrong with the numbers here. And about one hundred of the Israeli fourteen hundred were, by the way, migrant workers. They were Thai migrant workers, Polish migrant workers, and Arab Bedouins working in the orchards - innocently - and they were killed savagely. So this idea that Hamas is an existential threat to Palestine is absurd. It was a one-time raid that caught the military napping, and they're never going to get over the border again no matter what they do. So that's why we've got to stop this attempt to treat this whole war as if it's Israel's war of survival. It's nothing of the sort."

-----Ralph Nader, interview with Briahna Joy Gray, Bad Faith podcast, 11/16/23

Friday, November 17, 2023

Humanity’s Most Critical Test: Surviving Global Capitalist Savagery

Humanity’s Most Critical Test: Surviving Global Capitalist Savagery




“The present system of production is self-destructive; the present course of human civilization is suicidal”


Barry Commoner


The increasing threats posed by capitalist economics that bring luxurious splendor to some only by creating grotesque misery for others have increased to become immediate rather than long-term problems for all of us and not just some of us. The present mass murders taking place in Israel and Ukraine are immediate problems for tens of millions but the profit seeking assault on all of nature puts all humans in terrible jeopardy. Cataclysmic capital’s reduction of the planet to domination by a pro-profit anti-community west under control of the USA since the end of world war two is coming to a close. This is a situation that can bring a rebirth of humanity, a multipolar world out from under the deadly weight of imperial rules enforced by a uni-polar minority claiming a form of master race status while reducing the majority to peonage for most while a relative handful live in luxury and a large group of its servants enjoy physical if not mental comfort. But it can lead to an immediate, complete and total destruction of the human race in a nuclear holocaust provoked by western leadership that even brain transplants might not help, or a longer range breakdown of humanity’s support system of origin: nature itself.




The present crisis brought on by Israel’s long theft and domination of Palestine to supposedly atone for the dreadful German assault on European Jews by totally demolishing Palestinian society that had absolutely nothing to do with past euro-Jewish suffering which has seen – for the first time – a bloody retaliatory assault on Israeli citizenry such as has been performed on Palestinians since the birth of a stolen nation. This has led to the most blatant attack not only on the bodies of the people in the region but on the consciousness of those who have been kept blessedly ignorant of material conditions and are now having their minds raped by western propaganda which in the present labels everything and anything as fascist or communist or racist for simply demanding equality among all and ending the supremacy of some of the most morally degenerate leaders in all history.


While U.S. taxpayers are lulled into a belief that a bastardized form of market democracy in which those with the greatest buying power rule awards us some form of superiority over other humans, we are paying billions to kill Russians in alleged defense of the Ukraine and billions more to sustain Israeli apartheid rule in Palestine. Greater numbers of citizens than ever before, though still a minority in America, are protesting the bastardization of language, politics and economics that can call mass murder by anything but its name. Thus we have “genocide” and “war crime” label-synonyms attached to the reality of mass murder, long a profit-making endeavor for imperial capitalist America, which covers its crimes with occasional contributions to the well being of suffering children after having murdered their parents.


Authority and its subjects struggle to attempt balance between mass murder and mass mind control when both must be overcome to bring about any hope for the full flowering of humanity and the achievement of peace, social justice and better lives for all and not just favored-by- themselves minorities which trust in biblical fable and mass murderous military power to act as humans supposedly chosen by deities to reign over all of nature.



Race is only one of the lies leading to separation of humans who originated in primitive communistic tribes of hunter-gatherers who shared and cooperated in order to survive, which is what we must relearn in order to have a future. When the hunt was successful all shared in the meat and when not they shared what was gathered. After millennia we advanced (?) to a system which transformed earth into real estate while bringing about wonderful material reality for some but only while destroying lives and other aspects of nature for many more. Just as slavery was great for many but dreadful for most, present day capitalism has advanced the life styles of millions but only by reducing billions to poverty, bigotry, social injustice and worse.


The present explosion in Israel with Palestinians dying by margins of ten to one after they murdered Israelis in number for the first time has seen a reaction globally and especially in America of opposition carefully stated as being against all violence but especially reacting to the bigoted savagery Palestinians have been forced to endure since 1948 when they lost their homeland and lives due to European savagery which they had nothing to do with by any stretch of idiocy or bigotry.


The present butchering of Palestinians is only the latest outrage rationalized as necessary to stop lower human forms of allegedly weaker races from being allowed to act as equals and achieve freedom said to be the sole possession of those who bless themselves with holiness while cursing the world with mass murder. The racial basis for most of this brutality is among the biggest lies perpetuated by supposed superior beings to rationalize all forms of human degradation made excusable by supposed children of gods in all their forms.


The solution to racism is to end the evil stupidity that socially creates it and face reality. There is only one human race. Rulers, especially capitalists, create divisions among people in order to create profits and prevent democracy, but it is long past time to wake up and smell the bullshit. There is no tall race or short race or yellow race or white race but only ruling powers that have forced those thoughts into captive minds to keep humanity unaware of our racial unity. All people are people of color and only a tiny group of us - albinos - have no mescaline and thus lack any color. Out of more than 8 billion humans there are some 200 thousand albinos and they are also human, suffering serious disabilities but still very much humans like all of us. Our sometimes broad differences are national, linguistic and ethnic but all of us share the need for food, clothing and shelter, no matter our skin tones, languages, cultures or reproductive organs. The class divisions that allow some to lavish in privilege while serving rulers are the serious divisions that must be overcome but racial differences are about as real as the Easter bunny, Santa Claus and all the other myths like poisoned vaccines and secret plots by one or another race that make as much sense as picking your nose to perform a self lobotomy.


If the hundreds of billions spent on mass murder rationalized as war and only seen as a degenerate social reality when performers do not murder in the proper form their rulers dictate so they, the rulers, can continue feeling superior while counting profits, were used for humanity’s sake, peace, social justice, equality and all the things most humans wish for could be reality. The present human nightmare as living reality will continue until and unless there is a mass awakening among a global and not just a national majority that cooperation for public good is absolutely necessary for there to be any future for all of us. That means the end of a so-called free market of private profiteers, which will help bring about a global community of truly free, and equal human beings, housed instead of being homeless, well fed instead of going hungry, and at peace in and among ourselves.


The continued pursuit of private profit at the market which demands that humans must produce market forces in order to find food, clothing, shelter and any and all other things that can create decent lives will mean the ultimate destruction of humanity and nature, no matter what minority led majorities may still believe. The ongoing slaughters in Europe and the middle east are business as usual and their attendant horror mean more profits for the billionaire minority at most dreadful expense of the eternally-so far- gulled majority.


Democracy means power of all the people to benefit all the people. Capitalism means continued destruction of humanity and our foundation, nature. It must end so that we can return to our roots as cooperating humans or we will end as a race, no matter what national or identity group we have been mentally tortured to believe in. All of us or none of us. Let’s put that too a global vote instead of accepting the national choice between political employees of the ruling minorities and their multi -billion dollar mass murder economy. Then we can truly speak of “our” democracy, and face a future of hope.


Osama bin Laden Goes Viral - A Look Back At What He Said

 How angry America gets when it attacks people and those people resist!

-----------Osama bin Laden, December 1998

How can they hope to be blessed with security while they are dishing out destruction, devastation, and murder on our people in Palestine and Iraq?

-----------Osama bin Laden, December 16, 2004

His political awakening dates from the early 1970s, and especially 1973, when a U.S. airlift helped Israel turn the tide in the so-called Yom Kippur War. Egypt and Syria had overrun Israeli defenses and its vaunted Bar-Lev line at the beginning of the war, leading a stunned Tel Aviv to hint that it might resort to nuclear weapons if the U.S. didn't save the day for the Jewish state. By the time Washington's intervention helped deal the Arabs another bitter defeat, sixteen-year-old Osama had already stopped watching cowboy shows and wearing Western clothes (except at school, where it was required). He "would sit in front of the television and weep over the news from Palestine."*

The immediate cause of the war was Israeli "development" of the Northeastern Sinai, which involved the forcible removal of Arab farmers from their lands. U.S. support for Israeli annexation of large parts of the Occupied Territories and its refusal to respond to Anwar Sadat's peace overtures, made war inevitable. For bin Laden, it made sympathetic consideration of Western culture impossible.

It was the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, which killed 20,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, that planted in bin Laden the seed of revenge. In a November 2004 video he recalled the carnage, the "blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents . . ." He longed to strike back. "As I looked at those destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me to punish the oppressor in kind by destroying the towers in America, so that it would have a taste of its own medicine and would be prevented from killing our women and children. On that day I became sure that the oppression and intentional murder of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy."

A decade before the release of this video, bin Laden had been stripped of his Saudi citizenship (1994) for his continued harsh criticism of the Saudi royal family. He wrote a letter to the Chief Mufti, the foremost juridical authority in the Kingdom, calling his endorsement of the 1993 Oslo Accords an "astonishing juridical decree," a betrayal of the word of God and the community of the faithful. Like millions of other Arabs, bin Laden was anguished at the contemptuous treatment Palestinian Arabs continually received at the hands of the West, and saw no reason why it should continue.

Bin Laden's letter argued flat out that the Jews that came to Palestine were not indigenous to the region: "The current Jewish enemy is not an enemy settled in his own original country fighting in its defense until he gains a peace agreement, but an attacking enemy." The only proper course of action, therefore, was to wage jihad, both for the sake of God and "so that Palestine may be completely liberated and returned to Islamic sovereignty." The Oslo Agreement, which nullified Palestinian national rights, converting the PLO to a municipal authority, was a patent fraud: ". . . the alleged peace that the rulers and tyrants are falling over themselves to make with the Jews is nothing but a massive betrayal, epitomized by their signing of the documents of capitulation and surrender of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all of Palestine to the Jews, and their acknowledgement of Jewish sovereignty over Palestine for ever."

In a March, 1997 interview with Robert Fisk of the London Independent, bin Laden again made clear that Israel was a primary grievance. Referring to the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia the year before, he said: "The explosion in al-Khobar did not come as a direct reaction to the American occupation, but as a result of American behavior against Muslims, its support of Jews in Palestine and of the massacres of Muslims in Palestine and Lebanon - of Sabra and Chatila and Qana - and of the Sharm el-Sheikh conference." Sabra and Chatila was a 1982 massacre of over a thousand Palestinian refugees by Israel's Phalangist Christian allies in Lebanon; Qana was a U.N. base attacked by Israel in 1996, in which roughly a hundred Lebanese were killed; Sharm el-Sheikh was an "anti-terrorism" conference in which Bill Clinton accused Hamas and Hizbollah of terrorism but said nothing of Israel's far greater violence. Events like these merged Israel and the U.S. in bin Laden's mind. ""For us there is no difference between the American and Israeli governments or between the American and Israeli soldiers."

Four months after the 1998 attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which Bin Laden disclaimed responsibility for, he returned to the theme of the betrayal of Palestine: "Every time a king meets a president they say they have 'discussed the Palestinian issue,' but over half a century a clear picture has emerged: they have abandoned the mujahidin in Palestine. . . they have given a guilty verdict on those lions whose fathers and brothers have been killed, imprisoned, tortured, and persecuted . . . . I don't know what people are waiting for after this clearest of betrayals, and after the shameful way in which the Arab rulers have acted in the interests of the Jews or America."

An interesting side note on the Nairobi Embassy bombing concerns a young Arab questioned by F.B.I. investigator Stephen Gaudin. Identifying himself as Khaled Saleem bin Rasheed from Yemen, he shouted at Gaudin: "You want to blame this (bombing) on me? It's your fault, your country's fault for supporting Israel!" Livid at the death toll, he asked Gaudin: "Why did these people have to die? They had nothing to do with the United States and Israel and Palestine!"

In a statement faxed to Al Jazeera on September 24, 2001, bin Laden excoriated USrael hypocrisy in waxing moralistic on the issue of human rights while it was engaged in wholesale killing in Iraq and Palestine: "Until this point, a million innocent children have been killed in Iraq . . . As I speak, Israeli tanks and bulldozers are going in and wreaking havoc and sin in Palestine - in Jenin, in Ramallah, in Rafah, in Beit Jala . . . . and we do not hear anyone protesting or even lifting a finger to stop it." He insisted on reciprocal security or none at all: "I swear by God Almighty Who raised the heavens without effort that neither America nor anyone who lives there will enjoy safety until safety becomes a reality for us living in Palestine and before all the infidel armies leave the land of Muhammad." The U.S. response came two weeks later, when the White House announced that it had asked the five major U.S. T.V. networks to censor footage of al-Qaeda. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice "urged all the American network chiefs not to screen videos of Bin Laden."

In a October 20, 2001 interview with Al Jazeera reporter Taysir Alluni in Afghanistan, bin Laden expressed outrage that President Bush and Colin Powell had promised in their first few months in office that "they would move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and that Jerusalem would be the eternal capital of Israel." Asked about the justification for killing innocent civilians, Bin Laden condemned Washington's selective and self-serving morality: "Whenever we kill their civilians, the whole world yells . . . . and America starts putting pressure on its allies and puppets. . . . What about the people that have been killed in our lands for decades? . . . Who said that our blood isn't blood and that their blood is blood? . . . More than 1,000,000 children died in Iraq, and they are still dying . . . . Everyday in Palestine, children are killed . . . . How is it that these people are moved when civilians die in America, and not when we are being killed everyday?" Near the end of the interview he returned to the constant killing in Palestine: "By what right are our families in Palestine denied safety? The helicopters hunt them while they are in their homes, while they are amongst their women and children; everyday the bodies and wounded are removed."

In an interview published in London's Al Quds on November 12, 2001, bin Laden explained that, "The United States and their allies are killing us in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, and Iraq," so "that's why Muslims have the right to carry out revenge attacks on the U.S.." He added that the democratic nature of the U.S. government implicated all Americans in such crimes. "The American people should remember that they pay taxes to their government and that they voted for their president. Their government makes weapons and provides them to Israel, which they use to kill Palestinian Muslims. Given that the American Congress is a committee that represents the people, the fact that it agrees with the actions of the American government proves that America in its entirety is responsible for the atrocities that it is committing against Muslims. . . . The onus is on Americans to prevent Muslims from being killed at the hands of their government."

In a statement recorded for release to Al Jazeera in December 2001, bin Laden reiterated his claim that the 911 attacks were retaliation for the West's injustices against Muslims worldwide. Once again, he drew attention to Palestine: "Our terrorism against America is a praiseworthy terrorism in defense against the oppressor, in order that America will stop supporting Israel, who kills our sons."

In a letter to the American people on October 6, 2002, bin Laden posed the question, "Why are we fighting and opposing you?" He answered succinctly: "Because you attacked us and continue to attack us." He again drew special attention to Palestine. "The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. . . . The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased . . . The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years, years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction, and devastation." He rejected out of hand tortured Zionist justifications for taking control of the land: "It brings us both laughter and tears to see that you have not yet tired of repeating your fabricated lies that the Jews have a historical right to Palestine, as it was promised to them in the Torah." Debate, he noted, is not tolerated, as "anyone who disputes with them on this alleged fact is accused of anti-semitism." But the Zionist legend claiming justification for Israel "is one of the most fallacious, widely-circulated fabrications in history," since "the people of Palestine are pure Arabs and original Semites." Therefore, "it is the Muslims who are the inheritors of Moses (peace be upon him) and the inheritors of the real Torah that has not been changed," so "if the followers of Moses have been promised a right to Palestine in the Torah, then the Muslims are the most worthy nation of this."

Living under elected government, he went on, "the American people have chosen, consented to, and affirmed their support for Israel's oppression of the Palestinians, the occupation and usurpation of their land, and its continuous killing, torture, punishment, and expulsion of the Palestinians." Better choices exist. "The American people have the ability and choice to refuse the policies of their government, and even to change it if they want."

On the matter of violence, he observed that "If (Ariel) Sharon is a man of peace in the eyes of Bush," (which Bush declared he was), "then we are also men of peace. America does not understand the language of manners and principles, so we are addressing it using the language it understands."

In a video dated February 14, 2003, bin Laden warned that "The current Zionist-Crusader campaign . . . is the most dangerous and rabid ever . . . He claimed again that al-Qaeda's violence was merely retaliation, since "we strike them (the U.S.) because of their injustice towards us in the Islamic world, especially in Palestine and Iraq, and their occupation of Saudi Arabia. He observed that the 60 states identified by President Bush as prime targets in his "crusade" against terror pretty much defined the Islamic world. "Is the Islamic world not around 60 states? . . . Did they not say that they want to change the region's ideology, which vents hatred against the Americans?"

In a statement broadcast by Al-Jazeera a month after the Madrid train bombings in 2004 bin Laden accused Washington of "persistently ignor[ing] the real problem, which is the occupation of Palestine," and decried the double standard that allowed U.S. leaders to "indulge in lies and deceit about our right to self-defense," which proved "they have no self-respect." "They show contempt for peoples' blood and minds through such deceit, but it only means that your blood will continue to be shed." He was not too blinded by passion to see the injustice being done to ordinary Americans: ". . . an important truth becomes clear, which is that we are both suffering injustice at the hands of your leaders, who send your sons to our countries, despite their objections, to kill and be killed." He identified a common enemy benefitting from all the carnage: "It is all too clear . . . who benefits most from stirring up this war and bloodshed: the merchants of war, the bloodsuckers who direct world policy. . . President Bush . . . the big media . . . the United Nations . . . These and others are groups who are a mortal danger to the entire world, the most dangerous and difficult of these being the Zionist lobby . . ."

Condemning the transparent fraud of Bush's talk of peace, he asked: "Why hasn't he spoken about the one who slit open the bellies of pregnant women in Sabra and Shatila . . . the 'man of peace' [Ariel Sharon]?" He reiterated that al-Qaeda violence was retaliatory: "We only killed Russians after they invaded Afghanistan and Chechnya, we only killed Europeans after they invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, and we only killed Americans after they supported the Jews in Palestine and invaded the Arabian peninsula. . . " He offered to make peace with any state that agreed to leave Muslims alone: "So I present to them this peace proposal, which is essentially a commitment to cease operations against any state that pledges not to attack Muslims or intervene in their affairs . . . It will come into effect on the departure of its last soldier from our lands."

Just days before Bush was re-(s)elected in November 2004, bin Laden released a video telling the American people that its security was in its own hands, that it could achieve safety by reigning in its lawless government. "We have been fighting you because we are free men who cannot acquiesce in injustice . . . Just as you violate our security, so we violate yours. Whoever encroaches upon the security of others and imagines that he will himself remain safe is but a foolish criminal. When disasters happen, intelligent people look for the reasons behind them, so they can avoid them in the future."

Bin Laden's determination to rectify the injustice of dismembering Palestine is apparently not going away. On March 20, 2008 a videotape reputed to be his was aired on Al Jazeera, in which he urged holy war on behalf of the Palestinians. "Palestine cannot be retaken by negotiations and dialogue, but with fire and iron."


*Political awakening  . . . . see Bruce Lawrence, ed., Messages To The World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden, (Verso, 2005) p. 31 Stops wearing Western clothes . . . .Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower - Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, (Knopf, 2006) p. 75


The Sources:

"Bin laden accuses pope of 'crusade' in new tape," March 20, 2008

Bruce Lawrence, ed., "Messages To The World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden" (Verso, 2005)

Lawrence Wright, "The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11," (Knopf, 2006)

Alfred Lilienthal, "The Zionist Connection - What Price Peace?" (Dodd, Mead, 1978)

Anonymous, "Imperial Hubris - Why The West Is Losing The War on Terror," (Brassey's, 2004)

Robert Fisk, "The Great War For Civilisation - The Conquest of the Middle East," (Knopf, 2005)

-----Michael K. Smith is the author of "Portraits of Empire" from Common Courage Press. He co-blogs with Frank Scott at

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

The "Great Beast" Stirs As Palestine Explodes

"We are witnessing the sick relationship between the United States and Israel."

-----Egyptian podcaster Rahma Zain

The outpouring of support for Palestine around the world in recent weeks has been a very encouraging sight. Dotted with signs calling for “Freedom For Palestine,” “Ceasefire Now,” and “We Are All Palestinians,” protests burst forth in London, Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Ankara, Istanbul, Tokyo, New York City, Toronto, Washington D.C., Rome, Beirut, Baghdad, Cairo, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Karachi, Stockholm, Oslo, and Wellington New Zealand. While they have no direct power to change government behavior, governments cannot afford to ignore the threat they pose to their legitimacy. The “Great Beast,” as Alexander Hamilton called the public, is at last stirring, this time on behalf of a colonized people whose suffering has for far too long been rendered invisible.  

And for once social media has proven itself a positive force, spreading videos of Israel carpet-bombing a concentration camp full of children to all corners of the earth. The steady flow of images from this Truth Superhighway instantly shattered rationalizations of the barbarity, leaving in their wake only a stark and haunting picture of USraelis as remorseless killers. 

Though it’s impossible to reconcile with the American self-image, we can hardly claim to be surprised at this. After all, the latest round of  “humanitarian” butchery is merely one in a long line of betrayals of all that is allegedly most sacred to Americans - human rights, self-determination, the rule of law - blah, blah, blah. The latest bloodletting is supposedly justified now more than ever because - wait for it - the enemy is irredeemably evil and irrevocably committed to the rape of women, the decapitation of babies, and the massacre of old people, among other uniquely diabolical horrors. What else can we-as-decent-people do but bury them in blood-spattered rubble?

In other words, the closest thing we can actually claim as a “sacred” value is hypocrisy. We preach peace, but are forever at war. We praise diplomacy, but spit out “obey-or-die” ultimatums like machine-gun fire. We recommend self-determination, but enthusiastically guarantee Israeli apartheid with an avalanche of lethal weaponry.

The prompt international protest against this two-faced lunacy has been a welcome demonstration that much of the world will no longer tolerate the gratuitous contempt with which USrael treats Palestinian Arabs.* It is this, not international human rights law, that is forcing governments to confront their complicity in apartheid, and it is only a great deal more of it that stands any chance of bringing about peace. 

Obviously, Hamas could not possibly have initiated this conflict a mere one month ago. In fact, it dates back more than a century, to when the British, themselves lacking any legitimate right to the land, promised Palestine to both Zionist Jews and Palestinian Arabs. As we know, the Zionist Jews won out based on strength of evidence - a Bronze Age land deed carved by God on a tablet, helpfully carried down the mountain by Uncle Moses. Even Jimmy Carter, the reputedly neutral broker of the Camp David Accords, found this evidence convincing, saying in his memoirs that Israel was “ordained by God.”

With neutrals like that, who needs partisans? Though the appearance of Biblical mythology in historical discussion ought to evoke alarm bells in any mind claiming a speck of rationality, the peculiar justifications offered up for Jewish sovereignty over Palestine have long passed muster in the United States. In a nutshell, this is the story that is quite uncritically accepted: a largely irreligious people re-claimed land after an absence of two thousand years based on Biblical texts few of them believed in. An ethno-theocratic state bent on conquest and expansion was hailed as a model of democratic socialism with unique sensitivity to morality and human rights. Its leaders embarked on an “in-gathering” of Jews from lands they had lived in for centuries while intoning the words Hitler had used in carrying out the Holocaust: “You are not a German, you are a Jew - you are not a Frenchman, you are a Jew - you are not a Belgian, you are a Jew.” 

The heart of the matter was a serious and deliberate confusion of nationalism and religion. Organized Jewry, an unequivocal supporter of separation of Church and State outside the Holy Land, condoned their union in Israel, demanding the loyalty of Jews everywhere, whether or not they considered themselves as such. Diasporan Jews supported Israel out of religious duty, though they may or may not have realized what Zionist ideology actually entailed. 

Though twenty percent of Israelis were Arabs from the start, Israeli citizenship** was anchored in Jewish identity, and the state announced its independence in “the name of the Jewish people.” In that context, public debate naturally centered on the question, “What is a Jew?” Since Jews, like most people, had a mixed ancestry, Israeli myth-makers eager to buttress territorial claims with evidence of historical continuity quickly blurred distinctions between Hebrew, Israelite, Judean, Jewish, Judaism, and Zionism, forestalling recognition that these referred to different people at different points in history with different ways of life. Neither the Jews or these various forebears ever constituted a race or even a distinctive pure ethnic grouping, and since Judaism had been of declining significance for most Jews for some time, it was not at all clear what the basis of Jewish statehood actually amounted to - apart from subjugating Palestinian Arabs, which quickly became the national pastime. 

Seventy-five years of dispossession and two fake peace agreements later, and the overwhelming majority of today's Gazan population - "human animals" according to Israel - are indeed living like such in the Gaza concentration camp, after having survived a whole series of violent land grabs inspired by the quest for a Greater Israel, another concept derived from Biblical fantasy. Counterposed to that fanciful notion has been the all-too-real dreadfulness of Gaza, which was the world's most wretched colonial outpost long before Hamas appeared on the scene.

Refusing to accept their assigned fate, Gazans rose in rebellion in December 1987. Children threw rocks at tanks and soldiers carrying automatic rifles. Old people, too feeble to hurl their defiance, filled sacks with rocks for their grandchildren to throw. Young and old alike went on strike, established liberated zones, directed an underground economy, and shut their shops at noon in honor of imprisoned compatriots.

Shooting and cursing, Israeli soldiers chased the insolent children through the unpaved, pothole-ridden streets, where open sewers reeked with a stomach-turning odor. With a violent banging they announced their presence, ransacking homes and raiding hospitals in pursuit of child “terrorists.” Whenever they winged their prey or left a corpse lying in the road, they, laughed, whistled, or clapped their hands with glee.

The Palestinian Arabs, then ninety-eight percent of the West Bank and Gaza, were called the minorities. The two percent who resided in religious settlements - replete with green lawns and swimming pools - were their designated masters.

Anyone caught using the word “Palestine,” or displaying a map of its territory, was subject to immediate arrest and torture. But for reasons Israel still can’t understand, hooded interrogations didn’t make Gazans sing, while their outlawed Palestine national anthem did.

This was the language of the occupiers: confiscation, demolition, surveillance, arrest, prison, torture, humiliation, deportation, death. These were the results: hunger, disease, mutilation, death, pride, defiance, insurrection.

All this was so sixteen years before Hebrew University sociology professor Baruch Kimmerling pronounced Gaza the largest concentration camp in the world, and nineteen years before Hamas was elected, quickly followed by the siege of Gaza. Though few people seem to remember, those fateful elections were certified as eminently fair by Jimmy Carter. And once in power, Hamas quickly put out peace feelers. By 2008 they had negotiated a cease-fire, which Hamas honored for months and Israel ultimately violated. 

Keep all this in mind when you are asked, “Do you support Hamas?” The reasonable answer is “yes,” when they act constructively, as they frequently do. Israel, on the other hand, never misses an opportunity to indulge an infantile spasm of murderous rage that shocks the world and worsens Jewish security. This is what we are seeing yet again in the rubble of Gaza, and it will not end until the ideology of Jewish supremacy is dealt a stinging defeat.

But what about the hostages, and don't we have to “condemn Hamas?" Hopefully, these are naive, but not consciously diversionary questions. The answer is "no," we do not have to condemn Hamas, at least not until Israel responds constructively to the countless daily acts of non-violent Palestinian resistance, which are by far the most numerous and common response to Israeli apartheid by its victims. Until that happens,“condemning Hamas” will continue to be an exercise in sheer hypocrisy, i.e., justifying apartheid for Israel, but not national liberation for Palestinians. 

As for “the hostages,” the current campaign of saturation bombing stands a good chance of getting them killed before a negotiated exchange can get them released. But even more fundamentally, hand-wringing about Hamas’s hostages overlooks the fact that all Gazans were already hostages on October 7, and had been for decades as a consequence of their colonial subjugation. When is their release date?

Furthermore, one does not have to wish Hamas's hostages any harm to point out that it doesn't really make much sense to build one's home on a volcano and then wax indignant at having lava in the living room. As a measure of the moral bankruptcy that prevails in Israel, consider the fact that the music festival dedicated to peace and love that Hamas savagely attacked - was just two kilometers from a concentration camp full of children.  

The truth is that Hamas “terror” has never been the problem, as Israel reflexively dismisses any Palestinian nationalist impulse as terrorism, quite apart from any associated violence. The real problem, therefore, is not terrorism, but the 1948 declaration of Jewish sovereignty over Arab lands, which instantly made every act of Palestinian resistance into "terrorism." Asserting a right to Jewish supremacy in Palestine was a very predictable - and predicted - disaster, even for Jews, who claim to be "redeeming" the land by taking it from indigenous Arabs. Any notion that this robbery is wrong is unthinkable in Israel, which is why prior to October 7 the only discussion of apartheid in the Holy State was about what form it should take: messianic, religious, and theocratic, or secular, Western, and democratic. Palestinians had been completely forgotten. 

And not only in Israel. To our everlasting shame, it took a hideous act of mass killing to put them back on the world’s agenda. One can only hope that the "Great Beast" will keep up the pressure until Holy Apartheid is no more.

*Nevertheless, much of the rhetoric of denunciation aimed at Israel has exceeded rational bounds. Gazans are not being subjected to genocide, for example, as is rather commonly suggested by human rights experts, independent media outlets, and pro-Palestine activists, with no reflection on just how difficult it would be for Israel, itself born as the alleged solution to genocide, to get away with its own genocide. Tedious legal debates aside, mathematics argues against the claim that genocide is occurring. Right now, ten thousand plus Gazans are said to have been killed since October 7. Even if we assume another ten thousand are buried beneath the rubble, that is still less than one percent of the population of Gaza (2.3 million), an appalling total, but nevertheless well short of genocide. Furthermore, the intent is to make them flee, not kill them to the last man, woman, and child. This de-population effort, known as "transfer" in Zionist commentary, has been present from the beginning. A June 12, 1895 diary entry by Theodore Herzl, the "Founding Father" of Zionism, predicted that his dream of a Jewish homeland would require the expulsion of the indigenous Arab population.

**Actually, "Israeli" citizenship is codified as either "Jew" or "Arab." Allegedly possessed of equal civil rights, the two groups belong to separate nations.


Egyptian podcaster Rahma Zaid  quoted in Novara Media You Tube video, "Netanyahu Gears Up For Ground Invasion," October 26, 2023

On Hitler's words during the Holocaust, and the blurring of history and mythology see Alfred Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection - What Price Peace? (Dodd, Mead & Co., 1978) p. 5, 10, 106

On Theodore Herzl and "transfer" of the Palestinians, see Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe, Gaza in Crisis - Reflections On Israel's War Against The Palestinians, (Haymarket, 2010), p. 67

On the music festival that Hamas attacked, see Ilan Pappe, "Crisis in Zionism, Opportunity For Palestine?" U.C. Berkeley lecture, October 19, 2023 

On Baruch Kimmerling describing Gaza as a concentration camp, see Norman Finkelstein interview with Jeremy Scahill, The Intercept, May 20, 2018

On the 2006-8 history of Hamas, see "Norman Finkelstein RESPONDS to Bernie Sanders statement OPPOSING GAZA CEASEFIRE," You Tube video available at

On the Gaza uprising of 1987 see all of the following: 

Edward W. Said The Politics of Dispossession - The Struggle For Palestinian Self-Determination 1969-1994 (Chatto & Windus, 1994) p. 166, 194

Edward Said, The Pen and the Sword, (Common Courage, 1994) p. 114

Gloria Emerson, Gaza, (Atlantic Monthly, 1991) pps. 15, 21, 30, 35, 183

Michael Palumbo, Imperial Israel, (Bloomsbury, 1990) p. 233

William Lutz, Doublespeak (Harper Collins, 1990) pps. 157-8

Monday, November 6, 2023

"Peace" Activist Bernie Sanders Proves Himself a Craven Coward on Gaza

 "I don't know how you can have a permanent cease-fire with an organization like Hamas, which is dedicated to turmoil and chaos and destroying the state of Israel. And I think what the Arab countries in the region understand (is) that Hamas has got to go."

--------Senator Bernie Sanders


The Hill, "Rising," November 6, 2023

Friday, November 3, 2023

Letter To a California Senator re Gaza Slaughter

Senator Alex Padilla
Senate Office Building
Washington, DC

Dear Senator Padilla,

It is a strange sympathy for innocent Palestinians that supports a massive U.S. military presence in the region, giving Israel carte blanche to slaughter Gazans while Prime Minister Netanyahu cites Biblical genocide as justification for piling up civilian corpses. Have you taken leave of your senses, sir?

Israel does not, in fact, have a "right to defend itself" on occupied territory, any more than I would have the right to shoot you down after taking over your home. It is unbecoming of a U.S. Senator to use such mindless propaganda.

Hamas is not the issue. Israel actually supported Hamas as an alternative to Fatah, which makes its current condemnation of the organization hypocritical. In any event, the U.S. and Israel reject not "terrorism," but any independent nationalist movement among the Palestinian people, which they have opposed for 75 years. When the Palestinians sought their national rights through non-violent means, Israel crushed them, killing thousands. Until you or someone else can demonstrate how Palestinians can peacefully avail themselves of their national rights, all criticism of "terrorism" is irrelevant. Recall that George Washington was a terrorist in British eyes when our own national independence was at stake.

And enough already with claims to be trying to "minimize civilian casualties" while we watch thousands of wailing Gazans on TV searching the rubble of bombed hospitals and collapsed apartment buildings for their loved ones. Your support for this barbarity is clear; please have the integrity to declare it without resort to pious euphemisms about humanitarianism. We've all had more than enough of blood-soaked "humanitarianism" from Washington.

The $100 million in "humanitarian" aid you favor sending to assist this slaughter, not to mention the $260 billion we have sent the Holy State since its founding, could find far better uses at home, if you cared to look for them.

Covered in the blood of innocent Gazans, today is a day of shame for all Americans.