Siamese twins CIA2/MOSSAD, tribal politics and legitimacy full circle.
interfaith magazine Tikkun. 'It breaks my heart,' he lamented, 'to see
Israel's stupidity. As a religious Jew, it confirms to me how easy it
is to pervert the loving message of Judaism into a message of hatred
Perhaps the most severe criticism of Israel by an Israeli has come
from Professor Ilan Pappé, author of The Ethnic Cleansing of
Palestine, his devastating account, published in 2006, of how Israel
terrorized, killed and chased out the native population of Palestine
in 1947-48. His verdict on the Gaza war is damning: 'Zionism is an
ideology that endorses ethnic cleansing, occupation and now massive
massacres. What is needed now is not just a condemnation of the
present massacre but also delegitimization of the ideology.'
Zionism, Pappé argues, has been exposed as 'a racist and hegemonic
ideology.' This, of course, is not news to its Palestinian victims,
nor indeed to most Arabs and Muslims. 'Let us hope,' Pappé pleads,
'that significant voices in the world will tell the Jewish state that
this ideology and the overall conduct of the state are intolerable and
unacceptable and as long as they persist, Israel will be boycotted and
subject to sanctions.'
The answer came from the angry crowds demonstrating in cities across the world. For them, Israel's cruel assault on the helpless population of Gaza means that the Jewish state has lost its honor, its good name (or what small part of it is still intact), its threadbare claim to live by 'civilized Western values'.
Some demonstrators carried banners comparing Israel's cruel actions to Nazi barbarism against the Jews. The massacre in Gaza is just one too many to stomach, one too many after the long list of atrocities, from Deir Yassin onwards, that Israel has perpetrated against the Palestinians, the Lebanese and other Arabs since it emerged brutally at the heart of the region six decades ago.
Yet, most Israelis cheered on their soldiers in their gruesome task. Brainwashed by cynical leaders and by a compliant media, they seemed to believe that their country is waging a 'just war' in Gaza. The rest of the world knows better. And so do a handful of far-sighted Israelis, who - to their great credit - represent the troubled conscience of their violently aggressive country.
Uri Avnery, Israel's oldest and most relentlessly- consistent peace campaigner, wrote this week: 'What will be seared into the consciousness of the world will be the image of Israel as a blood-stained monster… This will have severe consequences for our long-term future… In the end, this war is a crime against ourselves too, a crime against the State of Israel.'
Another wise Israeli is Avi Shlaim, Professor of International Relations at Oxford University. Israel, he believes, has become a rogue state: 'A rogue state habitually violates international law, possesses weapons of mass destruction, and practices terrorism - the use of violence against civilians for political purposes. Israel fulfils all of these three criteria.'
What all these dissident Israeli voices are saying is that Israel has lost the battle for legitimacy. By reducing Gaza to ruins, by terrorizing and slaughtering its inhabitants, it has not only permanently damaged its 'image' - so important in today's media-dominated world - but it has also severely undermined its political and moral standing, so essential for its long-term survival.
So why is Israel doing it? As the world watches in horror as the F-16s and Apache helicopters flatten Gaza over the heads of its martyred inhabitants, two explanations might be advanced. One is that there is something profoundly irrational in Israel's search for absolute security for its own people, whatever the cost to others - an attitude which can perhaps be explained as a delayed response to the terrible suffering endured by the Jews in Europe in the last century.
This past trauma may explain why Israel seems unable to tolerate any resistance to itself, however feeble. Hamas's largely futile rockets seem to induce in it into an insane homicidal rage. How dare a rag-tag Arab militia challenge the might of the Jewish state, which has fought so hard to establish its absolute military dominance over any possible Arab combination, and which has insisted on America guaranteeing its 'military edge' over all its opponents?
But irrational may not be an adequate description of Israel's behavior. Its actions seem to reveal a profound psychological disturbance, suggesting that the United States has perhaps been unwise to put lethal weapons in the hands of professional killers, of uncertain sanity.
Another explanation of Israeli behavior is quite different, and points to a wider and more sinister Israeli goal than simply satisfying an exaggerated and paranoid need for security.
Since 1948 - indeed since Britain's Balfour Declaration of 1917 -- Israeli leaders of every political coloring have been determined to frustrate any move towards Palestinian statehood. They feared - and still fear --that this would undermine their own national project. They have acted systematically as if there were no room for two states in historic Palestine. They want the whole territory for themselves. How else to explain that Israel refuses to define its borders and keeps relentlessly pushing outwards?
Some Israeli leaders, like Yitzhak Rabin for example, have talked peace, but without matching actions to their words. The creeping annexation of the West Bank has proceeded apace, whether under Labor or Likud or, more recently, under Kadima.
The war in Gaza looks like a desperate attempt to sink, once and for all, any possibility of a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What alternative do Israel's leaders have in mind? Clearly, they would like to hand Gaza over to Egypt, thereby ridding themselves of responsibility for this mass of suffering humanity, while dealing a massive blow to the Palestinians' aspiration for statehood. Egypt has been most reluctant to open the Rafah crossing - even at the risk of facing the anger and contempt of Arab opinion --precisely because it suspects that this is Israel's ultimate intention.
Ariel Sharon, Israel's former Prime Minister, withdrew Jewish settlements from Gaza in 2005 in order to consolidate Israel's hold over the West Bank. That policy is still very much alive. The West Bank settlers have by now become so numerous and so powerful as to be virtually immovable. They have no interest in peace. They want land and still more land....and the PNAC neo-hegemonic killers want more tribes with flags to splinter the whole middle east, south Asia, central Asia, and from Tibet all the way to Africa....they just won't let go of that grand scheming....with Cheney, Brzezinski or Oubama....the Siamese twins will be on a roll again....evidence by the mounting sectarian violence in IRAQ again, as a direct result of American inspired tribal politics....Tribal Rivalries Persist as Iraqis Seek Local Posts. Here in barren Anbar Province, the tribes that were once the main source of support for killing American soldiers are now running in provincial elections that, in the best case, could fulfill American promises to create stability in Iraq by the ballot box....
But two weeks before the voting, in Anbar it appears that the ancient
tribal way of doing business is on a collision course with the new
ideal of democracy. Anbar is where the United States military enlisted
tribal leaders and former insurgents to create the Sunni Awakening,
fostering a calm that rippled around Iraq.
Now the tribes are jockeying to gain or maintain power, and people
here complain bitterly that the machinery of democracy is gilding
corruption, internal rivalries and an intense feudal instinct that
regards elected office — unthinkable under Saddam Hussein — as a
chance for a bigger cut of provincial resources and security forces.
“It’s a mess,” said Sheik Amer Abdul-Jabbar, an elderly and ailing
tribal leader from Anbar Province, respected among some as the wise
“prince” of Anbar, but derided by others as an opportunist eager to
lend his tribal credentials to the highest bidder.
Around Iraq, the provincial elections, scheduled for Jan. 31, are
viewed as a landmark moment to reshape, and make fairer, local
politics. Many Sunni Muslims boycotted the last provincial elections
four years ago, and as a result are now underrepresented in local
councils in many parts of the country. The United States hopes that
these elections will fix that as its own military and political power
in Iraq wane.
And in Anbar, the campaign looks refreshingly like elections all over
the world. Party posters are plastered around the province, at times
on concrete blast walls, reminders of more violent days.
There are more than 500 candidates divided into 37 political groups —
a robust choice given the boycott of four years ago. Sheiks making
earnest campaign promises proudly display photographs of themselves
posing with other politicians. One tribal leader managed pictures with
both President Bush and Barack Obama.
But Anbar, poor and lawless even under Mr. Hussein, is different from
many other parts of Iraq. It is overwhelmingly Sunni, so the fights
are not ethnic or sectarian but between competing tribes. When the
Americans began paying former insurgents and tribal leaders to help
enforce security, they favored some tribes over others, in many cases
displacing the old for upstarts.
That fostered a general peace layered over an angry tribal instability
that many fear could turn lethal, in the elections or after.
“We are not suited for democracy,” said Maj. Gen. Tariq al-Youssef,
the chief of the provincial police force, who worries that the tribes
are seeking political power not to administer the security forces, but
to co-opt them as quasi tribal militias.
Broadly, the Awakening is seeking to transform its credentials as
peacemakers into political power, a force for the minority Sunnis
against the dominance of the Shiite prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-
Maliki, and the Shiite parties. Here in Anbar, the new political
forces are meant to challenge the Iraqi Islamic Party, which became
the main Sunni party after the elections in 2005, but is often accused
of corrupt and autocratic rule.
On one level, the elections are functioning as their American
designers had hoped: The lure of elective office is creating new
political entities seeking to gain legitimacy by attracting the
largest number of voters.
“This is democracy,” reveled Mamoon Sami Rashid, the governor, who is
running for re-election despite many corruption allegations against
him. “Each sheik wants to have his say. Previously only the paramount
On a recent afternoon here in Ramadi, Bangladeshi servants whisked
around trays of mutton and rice for well-wishers at the opulent
compound of Sheik Ahmed Abu Risha, who is not running for office but
is fielding a slate of candidates. His party is casting for votes on
promises to rebuild Anbar’s war-battered economy and to create jobs.
But dig deeper, and the tensions become clear.
Before the American invasion in 2003, the Abu Risha tribe had not been
among the most powerful.
But as the American military built up the Awakening groups, his tribe
has flourished with American support and political largess. Sheik
Ahmed’s brother, Abdul Sattar Buzaigh al-Rishawi, was the leader of
the Awakening until he was killed in a suicide bombing, betrayed by
his own bodyguard, in September 2007.
Now the sprawling Abu Risha estate is ringed with Iraqi Army and
police checkpoints. Sheik Ahmed’s new wealth, as the Awakening leader,
is on display: stables of Arabian horses, a camel farm, caged fawns, a
pink mansion and a fleet of armored S.U.V.’s. Sheik Ahmed owns
properties as well as trade and investment companies in the United
Arab Emirates. He envisions a similar future for Anbar, and is pushing
for a natural gas project worth billions.
“I dream of Anbar becoming like Dubai,” Sheik Ahmed said. “We have all
Not everyone shares his vision.
Nestled amid palm groves just across the river from the Abu Risha fief
is the seat of the Abu Dhiab tribe. Its leader, Sheik Mohammed al-
Hayis, is nicknamed “the whale” because of the lucrative contracts
steered his way by the American military, admits his brother, Sheik
Hamid al-Hayis. A large photograph of Sheik Mohammed with President
Bush adorns his opulent mansion, which is decked with marble stairs
and giant crystal chandeliers.
Sheik Hamid, who counts himself among the early Awakening leaders,
said that Sheik Ahmed had “dishonored” the legacy of his late brother
Sattar by forming his own political party and making friendly
overtures to the ruling Iraqi Islamic Party, which Sheik Hamid
describes as the sworn enemy of the tribes.
As a result, Sheik Hamid and his brother have formed their own rival
election slate called simply the Tribes of Iraq.
Among his backers is Sheik Jabbar al-Fahdawi, who accuses Sheik Ahmed
of sowing discord inside many tribes, including his own Abu Fahed, by
extending patronage to certain members of the tribes and promoting
them over others as the real leaders.
“Ahmed inherited the Awakening from Sattar and turned it into an
enterprise for deals and contracts,” said Sheik Jabbar, 35, who owns a
“Anbar is splintered; the tribes are splintered.”
At the seat of the influential Abu Nimer tribe in the town of Hit,
west of Ramadi, a part of the tribe has backed the Abu Risha and a
rival group within the tribe belittles them as “highway bandits” unfit
to enter politics.
Mr. Maliki has also jumped into the fray in Anbar, drafting nearly
3,000 Awakening members last fall in the town of Garma, near Fallujah,
into a new tribal council answerable to his office with oversight
powers over the local government. This has jolted several sheiks
affiliated with the Awakening in Garma, where security remains
The council’s chief, Col. Saad Abbas, recently survived an attempt to
poison him after narrowly escaping a truck bomb attack last month. The
effective crumbling of the Awakening has benefited other forces in
In a move viewed by many as a shrewd game of political survival, the
Iraqi Islamic Party has spread its candidates among several lists,
while its main list, the Alliance of the Educated and Tribes for
Development, is led by Sheik Amer, the septuagenarian “prince” of
The party’s legacy, after four years in power, has been tainted by
numerous corruption charges, including financial improprieties
involving a $52 million contract to import medical equipment for
provincial hospitals and a $60 million contract to upgrade the
And so some in Anbar are turning quietly to other alternatives: Gen.
Saadoun al-Jumaili, a former commander in the Iraqi Air Force who now
leads an elite police unit in Garma, said a reconstructed version of
Mr. Hussein’s ruling Baath Party was becoming more popular. While it
is officially banned, General Jumaili said with some approval that it
was operating in secret in Anbar and that it was making strides in
The party reportedly held a large secret meeting for its members late
last year in the town of Khaldiya.
“The most honorable party at the moment is the Baath,” said General
Jumaili, adding that tribal leaders, even his own relatives, have no
place in electoral politics.
On the streets of Ramadi and Fallujah there is little enthusiasm for
the elections and there are ample accusations that both the Iraqi
Islamic Party and the Awakening tribal leaders are siphoning off much
of the billions of dollars of American and Iraqi financing intended
for reconstruction. Much of the reconstruction, indeed, seems
“One gang leaves and another one comes in,” said Anas Ahmed, 22, a
government employee in Ramadi.
In Qattana, a Ramadi neighborhood that was once an insurgent
stronghold, and behind the crumbling and war-battered buildings on the
main road that were given a quick bright paint job as part of the
reconstruction drive, the back streets are flooded with a sludgy mix
of sewage and clogged rainwater. A few dead rats float. Several months
ago, a major water drainage project was supposed to have fixed the
The greatest risk is that dissatisfaction with the current order could
leave room for a return of the insurgency.
In recent months there have been a number of assassination attempts
against political and tribal figures in Anbar. A double truck bombing
against police stations in Fallujah on Dec. 4 killed 17 people. On Dec.
26, militants broke out of a jail here, leaving 14 dead.
“I am pained because the situation is providing openings for Al Qaeda
to come back, and it is coming back slowly but surely,” said Sheik
Aifan al-Issawi, a native of Fallujah and one of the original Anbar
Awakening leaders, who is running for office.
Perhaps worse, some in Anbar say they are so fed up with what
democracy seems to be bringing that they would welcome back the
“This is what we will get from elections,” said Hassan Ramzi, 47, a
carpenter, pointing to the filthy streets of Ramadi. “There must be a
--The Long--and Largely Untold--History Of Jewish Opposition to Zionism...
"No one who reads Yakov Rabkin’s thoroughly researched book will ever
again believe that Zionism and Judaism are the same, or that Zionism
enjoys the level of support among Jews in the United States and
elsewhere in the world which it claims."
While many in Israel and in Jewish communities here and in other
countries now promote the idea that Zionism and Judaism are, in effect,
the same, and that opposition to Zionism constitutes “anti-Semitism,”
the historical--largely untold--fact is that, for most of its history,
Zionism has been a decidedly minority movement among Jews throughout the
Since its inception as a political movement in 1897, both Reform and
Orthodox Jews have rejected Zionism’s basic premise of creating a Jewish
state in Palestine and having Jews either emigrate to it or, at the very
least, view it as “central” to their Jewish identity.
An overwhelming majority of Orthodox Jews, unwilling to accept the
restoration of a Jewish state in Palestine by means other than divine
intervention, considered Zionism a false messianic movement. Most Jewish
liberals and socialists, having accepted the ideals of the
Enlightenment, with its emphasis in optimism, reason and progress,
rejected Zionism as a reactionary philosophy. Acculturated Jews in
Western and Central Europe who regarded themselves simply as members of
a religious community, rejected the notion that their nationality was
not English, French or German--but “Jewish.”
Reform Judaism’s position was quite contrary to that promulgated by
Zionism. The most articulate spokesman for the German Reform movement,
the distinguished rabbi and scholar Abraham Geiger (1810-1874), argued
that Judaism developed through an evolutionary process that had begun
with God’s revelation to the Hebrew prophets. That revelation was
progressive, with new truth becoming available to every generation.
According to Geiger, the underlying and unchangeable essence of Judaism
was its morality, and the core of Judaism was ethical monotheism. He
considered the Jewish people a religious community, destined to carry on
the mission to “serve as a light to the nations,” to bear witness to God
and His moral law. The dispersion of the Jews was not a punishment for
their sins, in Geiger’s view, but a part of God’s plan whereby they were
to disseminate the universal message of ethical monotheism throughout
the world. Indeed, in a Reform prayerbook he edited in 1854 Geiger
deleted all prayers about a return to Zion.
American Reform Judaism, in the 1885 Pittsburgh Platform, rejected
Jewish nationalism. Its fifth paragraph declared: “We consider ourselves
no longer a nation but a religious community.”
On March 4, 1919 Julius Kahn, a Jewish congressman from San Fransisco,
delivered to President Woodrow Wilson a statement endorsed by 299
prominent Jewish Americans denouncing the Zionists for attempting to
segregate Jews and reverse the historic trend toward emancipation. It
objected to the creation of a distinctly Jewish state in Palestine
because such a political entity would be contrary “to the principles of
On April 20, 1922, Rabbi David Philipson, testifying before the House
Foreign Affairs Committee, rejected the characterization of Palestine
“as the national home of the Jewish people.” He insisted that, “No land
can be spoken of as the national home of the Jewish people, as Jews are
nationals of many lands.”
An important new book, A Threat From Within: A Century of Jewish
Opposition to Zionism (available from the AET Book Club) by Professor
Yakov M. Rabkin, professor of history at the University of Montreal,
sheds significant light on Jewish religious opposition to Zionism. After
completing his university education, Dr. Rabkin studied Judaism with
rabbis in Montreal, Paris and Jerusalem. He brings a lifetime of study
and experience to his subject.
Noting that “the rejection of Zionism is often interpreted as an act of
treachery toward the Jewish people,” Rabkin explains that “’Zionism’ was
an invention of intellectuals and assimilated Jews...who turned their
back on the rabbis and aspired to modernity, seeking desperately for a
remedy for their existential anxiety.”
Zionism gained support in areas where social and political conditions
were unfavorable to Jews, particularly within the Russian Empire.
Indeed, Rabkin argues, Zionism has far more in common with the emerging
nationalisms which swept Europe in the late 19th and early 20th
centuries than with anything to be found in Jewish tradition.
Many today forget the fact that, as Rabkin writes, “Zionism constitutes
the most radical revolution in Jewish history. Opposition to this
nationalist conceptualization of the Jew and of Jewish history was as
intense as it was immediate. Even those rabbis who at first encouraged
settlement in Palestine in the closing decades of the 19th century felt
obliged to turn against Zionism. What made the Jews unique, they
declared, was neither the territory of Eretz Israel nor the Hebrew
language, but the Torah and the practice of mitzvahs. The pious Jews of
Palestine--the only kind before Zionist settlement--enjoyed a certain
degree of autonomy granted by the sultan. They had never contemplated
national status, a concept as foreign to the Palestinian Jews as it was
to the Ottoman authorities in Istanbul.”
In the early 20th century, the reaction to Zionism among both Orthodox
and Reform Jews was overwhelming. The French rabbis were unanimous.
Zionism was “narrow-minded and reactionary.” They refused to recognize
Jews as a separate political nation. “We, the French Israelites, have a
fatherland and we intend to keep it.”
Israel, the state, rather than God, has become the object of worship for
many Jews at the present time, Rabkin notes. Indeed, Zionism not only
has changed Jewish life, but has shifted the meaning of the word
“Israel.” According to Rabbi Jacob Neusner, an American academic and one
of the most prolific interpreters of Judaism, “The word ‘Israel’ today
generally refers to the overseas political nation, the State of Israel.
When people say, ‘I am going to Israel,’ they mean a trip to Tel Aviv or
Jerusalem...[But] the prayers that Judaism teaches, all use the word
‘Israel’ to mean ‘the holy community.’”
In his book, Transformation, Rabbi Israel Domb writes: “It manifestly is
absurd to believe that we have been waiting for 2000 years in so much
anguish and with such high hopes and with so many heartfelt prayers
merely in order to finish up by playing the same role in the world as an
Albania or Honduras. Is it not the height of futility, to believe that
all the streams of blood and tears, to which we ourselves can bear
witness in our own time apart from the testimony of our ancestors,
should have been fated to the acquisition of this kind of nationhood
which the Rumanians or Czechs, for instance, have achieved to a greater
extent of success without all these preparations.”
Professor Rabkin points out in A Threat From Within that many positions
taken by anti-Zionists are close to those of the Israeli “peace camp.”
For example, a Neturei Karta document asserts: “The Zionist movement was
not only a heretical departure from Judaism...It was monstrously blind
to the indigenous inhabitants of the Holy Land. In the 1890s, less than
5% of the Holy Land’s population was Jewish, yet Theodor
Herzl...described his movement as that of ‘a people without a land for a
land without a people’...They have dispossessed thousands...and plunged
the region into its never-ending spiral of bloodshed.”
No one who reads Yakov Rabkin’s thoroughly researched book will ever
again believe that Zionism and Judaism are the same, or that Zionism
enjoys the level of support among Jews in the United States and
elsewhere in the world which it claims.
Links referenced within this article.
Lincoln Institute for Research and Education
American Council for Judaism
Media Monitors Network (MMN)
the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Pakistan-India Relations: Lets Engage By Rules
Final Status in the Shape of a Wall
Organization of Islamic Conference - Vision for 2050
Jewish Power: The "0.002%" World Problem
Who Murdered Arafat?
Help others before you need one regardless any natural or man-made calamity!
MMN Shopping web-site
A Threat From Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism
A Threat From Within
Allan C. Brownfeld
Report, dealing with the founding and funding of what we know as Al
Qaeda. This installment of the documentary goes into Zbigniew
Brzezinski, Operation Cyclone, the ISI-CIA-MAK-US government funding
circle and CIA connections to Osama Bin Laden. For more information
about this documentary, including a bibliography of works cited, please
visit the documentary website:
Al Qaeda Doesn't Exist - Part 1
Al Qaeda Doesn't Exist - Part 2