Monday, March 30, 2009

Gilad Atzmon - Lexicon of Resistance

by Gilad Atzmon for Palestine Think Tank

The following is an attempt to present my own personal dictionary of what seems to be the most charged terminology and concepts attached to the Palestinian solidarity and anti-war discourse.

Palestine- a piece of land on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. For many years Palestine was the home of the Palestinian people: Muslims, Christians and Jews who lived in peace and harmony for hundred of years. In the late 19th century, in the light of emerging European nationalism, a few Jews had decided that Jews should not be left out. They then invented the notions of: ”Jewish people”, ”Jewish history” and ”Jewish nationalism”. They decided to settle the majority of world Jewry in Palestine. Throughout the years the Jewish national project, i.e., Zionism, had become more and more sinister and ruthless. In 1949 70% of the indigenous Palestinian population had already been ethnically cleansed. Nowadays the majority of Palestinians are living behind barbed wire in a state of terror guarded by Israeli soldiers.

Jews- the people who happen to identify themselves as Jews. Jews are not a race, they do not follow a single belief system either. I made myself a rule. I categorically refrain from dealing with ”the Jews” as a collective or an ethnic group. Instead I restrict myself to criticism of Jewish politics, Jewish ideology and Jewish identity.

Judaism- one of the many religions practiced by the Jewish people (Jews for Jesus, Jews For Buddha, Jews For Allah and so on). Though Judaism contains some non-ethical aspects and teachings, the one and only peace-seeking collective amongst the Jewish people is actually a religious orthodox sect, namely Torah Jews. This fact is enough to make me very careful when criticising Judaism as a religion. When dealing with Judaism, I would restrict myself to criticism of interpretations of Talmudic racism and the biblically orientated Zionist genocidal plunder of Palestine.

Jewishness- Jewish ideology, the interpretations of the meaning of being a Jew by those who regard themselves as Jews. Jewishness is the core of Jewish identity, it is a dynamic notion. It is hard to pin down. While refraining from criticising Jews (the people) and Judaism (the religion), elaborating on Jewishness is a must, especially considering the crimes committed by the Jewish state in the name of Jewish people. As long as the Jewish state is shelling civilians with white phosphorous, it is our ethical duty to question: Who are the Jews? What does Judaism stand for? What is Jewishness all about?

Palestine vs Israel- Palestine is a country, Israel is a state.

Palestinians- currently the longest lasting sufferers of racist colonial abuse and state terrorism. Palestinians are the only true indigenous inhabitants of Palestine. 4,300,000 Palestinian refugees are scattered in the Middle East. There are Palestinians who managed to hold onto their land yet are denied equal civil rights, others live under military occupation. The Palestinian cause is largely the ethically grounded demand of the Palestinian people to return to their own land. The land that belongs to them and to them alone. The Palestinian cause is the demand to dismantle the Jewish state and to form a State of its Citizens instead.

Zionism- the national colonial practical interpretation of Jewish ideology. It asserts that Jews are entitled to a national home in Zion (Palestine) at the expense of the Palestinian people. Zionism is a colonial racist philosophy that practices genocidal tactics. It is a biblically orientated precept. Although Zionism portrayed itself initially as a secular movement, from the very beginning it transformed the Bible from a religious text into a land registry.

Israel- the Jewish state is a racist political concept. It is a place where Jewish supremacy is celebrated in an institutional manner. Israel is a place where 94% of the population supports dropping white phosphorus on innocent civilians. Israel is the place where Jews can pour their vengeance on the Goyim.

Palestinian resistance- the exercise of the ethical right to resist an invader, an ethnic cleanser and a racist.

Demographic bomb- Israel possesses many bombs, cluster bombs, petrol bombs, atomic bombs, WMD bombs, etc. The Palestinians have only one bomb, the demographic bomb. The Palestinians are the majority of the people between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. This fact itself defines the temporal quality of the Idea of Jewish state in Palestine.

Zionism vs Jewishness- it is difficult or maybe even impossible to determine where Zionism stops and Jewishness begins. Zionism and Jewishness establish a continuum. As it seems, Zionism has become the symbolic identifier of the contemporary Jew. Every Jew is identified by himself and others in reference to the Zionist compass (Zionist, anti-Zionist, oblivious to Zionism, love Zionism but hate Israel, love Israel but hate falafel and so on).

Secular Judaism and Jewish Secular Fundamentalism- secularity has been a very popular precept amongst Jews in the last two centuries. The Jewish form of secularity is very similar to rabbinical Judaism. It is fundamentally monotheistic, it believes in one truth (God is dead until further notice). It is supremacist, it is extremely intolerant of others in general and Muslims in particular, it even promotes wars in the name of enlightenment, liberalism, democracy and even in the name of the victims to come.

Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder- the kind of mental state that leads 94% of the Israeli population to support air raids against civilians. Within the condition of the Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Pre-TSD), the stress is the outcome of a phantasmic event, an imaginary episode set in the future; an event that has never taken place. Within Pre-TSD, an illusion pre-empts reality and the condition in which the fantasy of terror is itself becoming grave reality. If it is taken to extremes, even an agenda of total war against the rest of the world is not an unthinkable reaction. Unlike the case of paranoia, wherein the sufferer is subject to his own symptoms, in the case of Pre-TSD the sufferer actually celebrates his symptoms while others are left with the role of the audience or even victim. The sufferers of Pre-TSD within the press and media lobby for global conflict. Once they are in power they just spread death around. They manage to see a threat in almost anything. The Pre-TSD sufferer would call to flatten Iran, he would defend the IDF military campaign in Gaza for his own existential fears. The Pre-TSD sufferer is rather predictable and for one reason or other always to be found in the non-ethical cause.

Jihad- the struggle to improve one's self and society. Jihad is the attempt to reach a harmony between the self and the world. It is there to bridge the gap between self loving, loving self and the love towards others. Jihad is the answer to chosenness.

Holocaust- an overwhelmingly devastating chapter in recent Jewish past. It would be difficult to imagine the formation of the Jewish state without the effect of the holocaust. Yet, it is impossible to deny the fact that Palestinians ended up paying the ultimate price for crimes that were committed against the Jews by other people (Europeans). Hence, it would make sense to argue that if Europeans feel guilty about the Holocaust, they better take extra care of its last victims, i.e., the Palestinians.

It must be mentioned that due to some legislation that restricts the scrutiny of the holocaust in an open academic manner, the holocaust is no longer treated as an historical chapter. Instead it is regarded by many scholars as a religious narrative (namely, Holocaust Religion). Those who do not obey the religion or follow its restrictions are chased, excluded and jailed. The failure to maintain the holocaust as a vivid historic chapter turned Jewish history into a Pandora’s box sealed by prohibitions, legal restrictions and different forms of threats. In an ideal ”free world”, we would be able to look into the holocaust, to regard it as an historical chapter and to draw some lessons out of it. That would mean also questioning its meaning. In an ideal (free) world, we may as well be allowed to wonder how come, time after time, Jews ended up despised and detested by their neighbours. In an ideal (free) world Jews may have a chance to learn from their mistakes in the past. For the time being, as long as we want to keep free, we better avoid questioning the past.

The Meaning of the Holocaust- the Holocaust provides the Jews and others with two obvious lessons. One is universal and almost simplistic, it says: ”NO to racism”. As some Jewish intellectuals predicted after the war, Jews were supposed to lead the fight against racism. Seemingly, it didn’t happen. Not only did it fail to happen, but the Jewish state had become the ultimate form of racist practice. Three years after the liberation of Auschwitz the newly formed Jewish state brutally ethnically cleansed the vast majority of indigenous Palestinians. As time goes by, the Jewish state doesn’t try to disguise its racist agenda, i.e., Jews only state.

The second lesson that can be drawn out of the holocaust is far less abstract, it is actually very pragmatic. It suggests to Jews ”to be aware of their deed”. It suggests to Jews ”to act ethically, or at least to pretend to do so”. Seemingly, this lesson is totally ignored. In the Jewish state young IDF soldiers wear T-shirts depicting pregnant Palestinian women caught in the crosshairs of a rifle, with the disturbing caption "1 shot 2 kills". In the Jewish state, civilians had been caught picnicking watching their army dropping unconventional weapons on their Palestinian neighbours. The Israeli reality and the forceful Jewish lobbying around the world portray a complete dismissal of any ethical judgment or moral conduct. Whether it is the genocidal practice against the Palestinian people or the lobbying for more and more global conflicts. If the meaning of the holocaust would have been internalised, different appearances of such inhuman behaviour would have been addressed and tackled.

However, within the prohibition to re-visit our history we may still be entitled to reflect over Nazi brutality towards Jews in the light of the Jewish state’s crimes in Palestine. Seemingly, there is no legislation that prohibits us from doing that as yet.

Hamas- political party that was elected in 2006 by the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank. Since then Israel has withheld payments owed to Gaza, causing the Palestinian economy to collapse. It has blockaded Gaza for months, starving the civilian population. And yet, Hamas proved once again that the Palestinian people are resilient. In spite of Israel’s genocidal tactics, in spite of the IDF targeting children, women and the elderly, Hamas’ popularity increases by the day and more so especially after the last Gaza conflict. It has now become clear that Israel does not possess the means of combating Islamic resistance. In other words. Israel’s days are numbered.

Gatekeepers- for many years the Palestinian solidarity discourse had been shattered by those who claimed to know what is right and what is wrong. They also claimed to know what should be discussed and what subject must be dropped. Initially, gatekeepers tried to recruit the Palestinian movement to fight antisemitism. Another bizarre agenda was to use the Palestinian people as another Guinea pig in a dogmatic socialist exercise.

Due to the growing success of Palestinian and Islamic resistance, the power of Gatekeepers is now reduced to none. Though gatekeeping operators still insist upon exercising their powers, their influence is totally restricted to primarily Jewish cells.

Antisemites- in the old days, antisemites were those who didn’t like Jews, nowadays, antisemites are those the Jews don’t like. Considering the growing chasm between the Jewish state and its lobbies and the rest of humanity, we have good reason to believe that before not too long, the entirety of humanity will be denounced as antisemitic by one Jewish lobby or another.

Antisemitism- a misleading signifier. Though it refers largely to anti-Jewish feelings, it gives the impression that these feelings are racially motivated or orientated. It must be clear that Jews are not a race and do not establish a racial continuum. Thus, no one hates the Jews for their race or their racial identity.

Bearing in mind Israeli crimes and Jewish lobbying around the world, anti-Jewish feeling should be realised as a political, ideological and ethical reaction. It is a response to a criminal state and its institutional support amongst world Jewry. Though resentment to Zionism, Israel and Jewish lobbying is rather rational, the failure to distinguish between the ”Jew”, and Zionism is indeed very problematic and dangerous especially considering the fact that many Jews have nothing to do with the Zionist crime. However, due to the extensive Jewish institutional support of Israel, it is far from easy to determine where the ”Jew” ends and the Zionist starts. In fact, there is no such demarcation line or spot of transition. The outcome is clear, Jews are implicated collectively by the crimes of their national project. One obvious solution for the Jew is to oppose Zionism as an individual, another option is to oppose Zionism in the name of the Torah, it is also possible for the Jew to shun the tribal ideologist in himself.

Self loving- the belief that something about oneself is categorically and fundamentally right, moral and unique. This is the secular interpretation of being chosen.

Self Hatred- the belief that something about oneself is categorically and fundamentally wrong, immoral and ordinary. This state of being may also be a point of departure of a spiritual ethical quest.

Chicken Soup- is what is left once you strip Jewish identity of Judaism, racism, chauvinism, White Phosphorous, supremacy, cluster bombs, secularity, Zionism, Israel, intolerance, Nuclear reactor in Dimona, cosmopolitanism, genocidal tendency, etc. The Jew can always revert to chicken soup, the iconic symbolic identifier of Jewish cultural affiliation. The Jew is always more than welcome to say: ”I am not religious nor am I a Zionist, I am not a banker, nor is my name Madoff. I am not a ”Labour friend of Israel” nor I am a Lord or look like a cash machine. I am just a little innocent Jew because my mama’le used to feed me with chicken soup when I was slightly unwell.” Let’s face it once and for all, chicken soup is not that dangerous (unless you are a chicken). My grandmother taught me that it was very healthy. In fact I tried it once in winter 1978, I had the flu then. It helped, I feel better now.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Did you know that Israel attacked Sudan in January?

Did you know that Israel attacked Sudan in January?

Probably not. After all, if democracy is the best political system money can buy, then the corporate media is the best media the Israel Lobby can buy too...

There were some reports and rumors before, but now the quasi official New York Times confirms the story.

So after bombing Syria Israel also bombed Sudan. Makes me wonder which country is next. Iran probably.

Whatever maybe the case, it is quite clear that Israel does not give a damn about international law or public opinion. Clearly, Israel's rulers realize that keeping up a facade of compliance with civilized norms of international relations has become utterly futile. Following years of criminal behavior which peaked with the building of the Wall and the rampage in Gaza, Israel has totally given up on trying to maintain an appearance of respectability. That, in itself, is an admission of defeat, a sign of weakness. Long gone is the myth of Leon Uris' like heroic Zionists who came to "make a desert green" ("an land without people for a people without land"). The Israelis now openly behave like baseball bat wielding skinheads who "proudly" display their hatred and violence. Their rabid racism and contempt for the rest of mankind is now fully in the open, "out of the closet" so to speak. Good.

Combine that with the Rahm Obama Presidency and the prognosis is clear: much, much worse to come. Soon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Israeli humor: 1 shot 2 kills

Check out this amazing photo representing a T-shirt popular among Israeli snipers:

It shows a veiled pregnant woman (presumably Palestinian) through a rifle scope. Under it, a short sentence:


(read all about it in Ha'aretz)

Can anyone even imagine the worldwide outrage if, say, Iranian snipers had been seen with such T-shirts with the Muslim woman replaced by a pregnant Jewish Haredi woman?

If one picture speaks a million words, then this one says it all about the Israelis, their visceral racism and their genocidal dreams.

One can only marvel at the fact that it takes an Israeli newspaper to cover this story while the rest of the corporate press piously looks away (in search of a possible resurgence of a "new anti-Semitism" I suppose).

These kind of T-shirts are distributed among Israeli troops with the full knowledge of their commanding officers. So if this is not quite official policy, it is most definitely not seen as disruptive, slanderous or otherwise unbecoming an Israeli solider.

This T-shirt is not an aberration, quite to the contrary, it is a new trend (remember the Israeli "tourists" who were visiting special "viewing sites" from which they could drink cold drinks and observe the wholesale destruction of Gaza?). Clearly, the vast majority of Israelis have gone rabid and with the Netanyahu forming the next government we can expect the worst.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

In Loving Memory of America

Gilad Atzmon moving tribute for America's greatest heroes

"On an especially cold Jerusalem night I heard Bird playing "April in Paris" on a radio program. I was knocked down. It was by far more organic, poetic, sentimental and yet wilder than anything I had ever heard before. Bird was a fierce libidinal extravaganza of wit and energy. The morning after, I decided to skip school, I rushed to the one and only music shop in Jerusalem. I found the jazz section and bought every album that was on the shelves. It was that moment when I fell in love with jazz, it was that moment when I fell in love in America"

Gilad Atzmon

Gilad Atzmon's latest album entitled In Loving Memory of America might well be the best album Gilad has ever recorded (and God knows Gilad recorded plenty of good music in the past). This latest album, however, stand apart from all his previous recordings.

The album is recorded with the Sigamos String Quartet (Ros Stephen and Emil Chakalov on violins, Rachel Robson one the viola and Daisy Vatalaro on the cello). His usual band (keyboard player Frank Harrison, bassist Yaron Stavi and drummer Asaf Sirkis) is also present. This unique combination of a jazz band with a string quartet will immediately reminds jazz fans of another famous jazz album: Charlie "Bird" Parker's "With Strings". Gilad's reference to Bird's album is also shown through several of the pieces also recorded on "With Strings", including the nostalgic and very moving "Everything Happens To Me" which begins Gilad's new album.

"In Loving Memory of America" is not, however, simply a re-recording of Bird's pieces: seven of Gilad's best past compositions are intertwined within Parker's jazz standards. What is amazing is how well these various compositions are blended together. For example, the third track on the album, Gilad's "musiK", is followed by "What Is This Thing Called Love" which is also present on Parker's recording. Gilad's version is, however, very different, slower, far more deliberate and tense, and it eventually "resolves" into Gilad's very moving "Call Me Stupid, Ungrateful, Vicious And Unstable" which begins with an almost Piazzolla-like opening with the strings supporting a lamentful exposition by Gilad's clarinet.

Gilad's use of the strings if far most complex and sophisticated than Parker's. The latter saw them mainly as a support for his instrument, whereas Gilad uses them much more as an interlocutor to his own phrases. Again, the figure of Piazzolla immediately comes to mind.

In fact, while Bird is the obvious reference, Piazzolla is the esoteric figure standing behind much of the lyricism and drama present in Gilad's latest album. Still, hints of this hidden filiation can even be found amongst Gilad's key musicians. Ros Stephen, for example, has played for many years in the tango quartet Tango Siempre. And can you guess who did many of the arrangements of "In Loving Memory of America"? The very same Ros Stephen, of course!

Still, for all the references found in this album, "In Loving Memory of America" is Gilad's album first and foremost. As John McLauglin likes to say, jazz musicians are "Thieves and Poets", and Gilad is not exception. Still, the poetry of Gilad's album is definitely uniquely his. Most importantly, it is Gilad's pain at seeing what the America of his youth has turned into which forms the basso continuo of this unique to this album.

One could ask whether the America of Gilad's youth every existed. I would say that it definitely did, if only in the hearts of those who listened to jazz music - America's beautiful gift to the world -in their youths. Gilad's music is a lament for the loss of this (mostly, but not exclusively, imagined) America, and it is a tribute to all those who share that pain today (one can think of all the jazz musicians who, with Charlie Haden, recorded the album Not In Our Name). Call it a much belated loss of innocence of poets and artists (the "bleeding hearts and artists" as Roger Waters would, no doubt, call them) , if you want, but somebody had to weep for this America the beautiful and jazz musicians did.

Music is probably the most sublime form of art because it allows to directly convey the the listener emotions which very often cannot be expressed in words. In this sense, it is also the most abstract art. The paradox, however, is that music and, in particular, jazz music is - or, at least, should be - also extremely subversive.

Emotions are, after all, probably the most powerful element of one's personality and, therefore, one of the most powerful influences on our thoughts and actions. In the booklet which comes with the album, Gilad writes: I do realise that ‘things have changed’. I do grasp that Jazz is not exactly a form of resistance anymore. It is not even a revolutionary art form. Maybe. Maybe not. But I don't believe that Gilad would ever have been capable of releasing such a powerful album if he did not feel that somebody out there was listening, feeling and understanding. The very fact that he did release this album is therefore an act of revolutionary resistance.

Sometimes, the emotion-idea is given rather directly, like in Gilad's piece "Refuge" which begins with a tension building Middle-Eastern melody which abruptly transforms itself in an African sounding explosion of joy. One could be forgiven for instinctively thinking of the collapse of the Apartheid regime in South Africa and the precedent this sets for the last Apartheid-like regime left on this planet: the "Jewish state" of Israel. Sometimes, the emotion-idea is far more subtle, like in Gilad's "In The Small Hours", but no less powerful.

The entire album feels like a "painful embrace", painful because of the immense sadness it expresses, but an embrace nonetheless, because of the shared love it conveys to its audience. This mixture of seemingly contradictory feelings is yet another feature common to Gilad Atzmon and Astor Piazzolla. I sometimes think of it as "wise sadness" or "peaceful pain". It is this amazing capability for art to sublimate pain - or even agony- and to transform them into energy, beauty and hope.

There is one thing which Parker's and Gilad's albums definitely have in common: being deceptively easy to listen to. These albums need to be carefully listened to many times before they reveal all their nuances and subtleties . This is particularly true of Gilad's album which is, in many ways, a more complex and more multi-layered creation than Bird's more "straightforward" recording.

Two things should, in particular, be mentioned here: the very elegant and sophisticated arrangements and the very minimalist yet absolutely superb playing by Frank Harrison on the piano and, in particular, on the Fender Rhodes (a sound which I regret not hearing more often).

"In Loving Memory of America" is the kind of album which you can listen to for hours and days at a time without ever getting bored or feeling that you got enough of it. It is intoxicating and addictive as only the very best jazz albums ever are.

You can already order the album on Amazon in the UK, at Jazz CDs or, for those living in the USA, pre-order it at CD Universe.

Either way - get the album. It is truly a masterpiece.

Preparing for Civil Unrest in America: Legislation to Establish Internment Camps on US Military Bases

By Michel Chossudovsky for Global Research

The Economic and Social Crisis

The financial meltdown has unleashed a latent and emergent social crisis across the United States.

What is at stake is the fraudulent confiscation of lifelong savings and pension funds, the appropriation of tax revenues to finance the trillion dollar "bank bailouts", which ultimately serve to line the pockets of the richest people in America.

This economic crisis is in large part the result of financial manipulation and outright fraud to the detriment of entire populations, to a renewed wave of corporate bankruptcies, mass unemployment and poverty.

The criminalization of the global financial system, characterized by a "Shadow Banking" network has resulted in the centralization of bank power and an unprecedented concentration of private wealth.

Obama's "economic stimulus" package and budget proposals contribute to a further process of concentration and centralization of bank power, the cumulative effects of which will eventually resul in large scale corporate, bankruptcies, a new wave of foreclosures not to mention fiscal collapse and the downfall of State social programs. (For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, America's Fiscal Collapse, Global Research, March 2, 2009).

The cumulative decline of real economic activity backlashes on employment and wages, which in turn leads to a collapse in purchaisng power. The proposed "solution" under the Obama administration contributes to exacerbating rather than alleviating social inequalities and the process of wealth concentration.

The Protest Movement

When people across America, whose lives have been shattered and destroyed, come to realize the true face of the global "free market" system, the legitimacy of the Wall Street, the Federal Reserve and the US administration will be challenged.

A latent protest movement directed against the seat of economic and political power is unfolding.

How this process will occur is hard to predict. All sectors of American society are potentially affected: wage earners, small, medium and even large businesses, farmers, professionals, federal, State and municipal employees, students, teachers, health workers, and unemployed. Protests will initially emerge from these various sectors. There is, however, at this stage, no organized national resistance movement directed against the administration's economic and financial agenda.

Obama's populist rhetoric conceals the true nature of macro-economic policy. Acting on behalf of Wall Street, the administration's economic package, which includes close to a trillion dollar "aid" package for the financial services industry, coupled with massive austerity measures, contributes to precipitating America into a bottomless crisis.

"Orwellian Solution" to the Great Depression: Curbing Civil Unrest

At this particular juncture, there is no economic recovery program in sight. The Washington-Wall Street consensus prevails. There are no policies, no alternatives formulated from within the political and economic system. .

What is the way out? How will the US government face an impending social catastrophe?

The solution is to curb social unrest. The chosen avenue, inherited from the outgoing Bush administration is the reinforcement of the Homeland Security apparatus and the militarization of civilian State institutions.

The outgoing administration has laid the groundwork. Various pieces of "anti-terrorist" legislation (including the Patriot Acts) and presidential directives have been put in place since 2001, largely using the pretext of the "Global War on Terrorism."

Homeland Security's Internment Camps

Directly related to the issue of curbing social unrest, cohesive system of detention camps is also envisaged, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon.

A bill entitled the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act (HR 645) was introduced in the US Congress in January. It calls for the establishment of six national emergency centers in major regions in the US to be located on existing military installations.

The stated purpose of the "national emergency centers" is to provide "temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster." In actuality, what we are dealing with are FEMA internment camps. HR 645 states that the camps can be used to "meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security."

There has been virtually no press coverage of HR 645.

These "civilian facilities" on US military bases are to be established in cooperation with the US Military. Modeled on Guantanamo, what we are dealing with is the militarization of FEMA internment facilities.

Once a person is arrested and interned in a FEMA camp located on a military base, that person would in all likelihood, under a national emergency, fall under the de facto jurisdiction of the Military: civilian justice and law enforcement including habeas corpus would no longer apply.

HR 645 bears a direct relationship to the economic crisis and the likelihood of mass protests across America. It constitutes a further move to militarize civilian law enforcement, repealing the Posse Comitatus Act.

In the words of Rep. Ron Paul:

"...the fusion centers, militarized police, surveillance cameras and a domestic military command is not enough... Even though we know that detention facilities are already in place, they now want to legalize the construction of FEMA camps on military installations using the ever popular excuse that the facilities are for the purposes of a national emergency. With the phony debt-based economy getting worse and worse by the day, the possibility of civil unrest is becoming a greater threat to the establishment. One need only look at Iceland, Greece and other nations for what might happen in the United States next." (Daily Paul, September 2008, emphasis added)

The proposed internment camps should be seen in relation to the broader process of militarization of civilian institutions. The construction of internment camps predates the introduction of HR 645 (Establishment of Emergency Centers) in January 2009. There are, according to various (unconfirmed) reports, some 800 FEMA prison camps in different regions of the U.S. Moreover, since the 1980s, the US military has developed "tactics, techniques and procedures" to suppress civilian dissent, to be used in the eventuality of mass protests (United States Army Field Manual 19-15 under Operation Garden Plot, entitled "Civil Disturbances" was issued in 1985)

In early 2006, tax revenues were allocated to building modern internment camp facilities. In January 2006, Kellogg Brown and Roots, which at the time was a subsidiary of Halliburton, received a $385 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE):

"The contract, which is effective immediately [January 2006], provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs...

The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other U.S. Government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster. (KBR, 24 January 2006, emphasis added)

The stated objectives of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are to:

"protect national security and uphold public safety by targeting criminal networks and terrorist organizations that seek to exploit vulnerabilities in our immigration system, in our financial networks, along our border, at federal facilities and elsewhere in order to do harm to the United States. The end result is a safer, more secure America" (ICE homepage)

The US media is mum on the issue of the internment camps on US soil. While casually acknowledging the multimillion dollar contract granted to Halliburton's subsidiary, the news reports largely focused their attention on possible "cost overruns" (similar to those which occurred with KBR in Iraq).

What is the political intent and purpose of these camps? The potential use of these internment facilities to detain American citizens under a martial law situation are not an object of media debate or discussion.

Combat Units Assigned to the Homeland

In the last months of the Bush administration, prior to the November 2008 presidential elections, the Department of Defense ordered the recall of the 3rd Infantry's 1st Brigade Combat Team from Iraq. The relocation of a combat unit from the war theater to domestic front is an integral part of the Homeland Security agenda. The BCT was assigned to assist in law enforcement activities within the US.

The BCT combat unit was attached to US Army North, the Army's component of US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). The 1st BCT and other combat units would be called upon to perform specific military functions in the case of civil unrest:

The 1st BCT's soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.(

(See Gina Cavallaro, Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1, Army Times, September 8, 2008).

Under the proposed withdrawal of US forces from Iraq under the Obama administration, one expects that other combat units will be brought home from the war theater and reassigned in the United States.

The evolving national security scenario is characterized by a mesh of civilian and military institutions:

-Army combat units working with civilian law enforcement, with the stated mission to curb "social unrest".

- the establishment of new internment camps under civilian jurisdiction located on US military facilities.

The FEMA internment camps are part of the Continuity of Government (COG), which would be put in place in the case of martial law.

The internment camps are intended to "protect the government" against its citizens, by locking up protesters as well as political activists who might challenge the legitimacy of the Administration's national security, economic or military agenda.

Spying on Americans: The Big Brother Data Bank

Related to the issue of internment and mass protests, how will data on American citizens be collected?

How will individuals across America be categorized?

What are the criteria of the Department of Homeland Security?

In a 2004 report of the Homeland Security Council entitled Planning Scenarios, pertaining to the defense of the Homeland, the following categories of potential "conspirators" were identified:

"foreign [Islamic] terrorists" ,

"domestic radical groups", [antiwar and civil rights groups]

"state sponsored adversaries" ["rogue states", "unstable nations"]

"disgruntled employees" [labor and union activists].

In June of last year, the Bush administration issued a National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD 59- HSPD 24) entitled Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security (For Further details see Michel Chossudovsky, "Big Brother" Presidential Directive: "Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security", Global Research, June 2008)

Adopted without public debate or Congressional approval, its relevant procedures are far-reaching. They are related to the issue of civil unrest. They are also part of the logic behind the establishment of FEMA internment camps under HR 645. .

NSPD 59 (Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security) goes far beyond the narrow issue of biometric identification, it recommends the collection and storage of "associated biographic" information, meaning information on the private lives of US citizens, in minute detail, all of which will be "accomplished within the law":

"The contextual data that accompanies biometric data includes information on date and place of birth, citizenship, current address and address history, current employment and employment history, current phone numbers and phone number history, use of government services and tax filings. Other contextual data may include bank account and credit card histories, plus criminal database records on a local, state and federal level. The database also could include legal judgments or other public records documenting involvement in legal disputes, child custody records and marriage or divorce records."(See Jerome Corsi, June 2008)

The directive uses 9/11 and the "Global War on Terrorism" as an all encompassing justification to wage a witch hunt against dissenting citizens, establishing at the same time an atmosphere of fear and intimidation across the land.

It also calls for the integration of various data banks as well as inter-agency cooperation in the sharing of information, with a view to eventually centralizing the information on American citizens.

In a carefully worded text, NSPD 59 "establishes a framework" to enable the Federal government and its various police and intelligence agencies to:

"use mutually compatible methods and procedures in the collection, storage, use, analysis, and sharing of biometric and associated biographic and contextual information of individuals in a lawful and appropriate manner, while respecting their information privacy and other legal rights under United States law."

The NSPD 59 Directive recommends: "actions and associated timelines for enhancing the existing terrorist-oriented identification and screening processes by expanding the use of biometrics".

The procedures under NSPD 59 are consistent with an earlier June 2005 decision which consisted increating a "domestic spy service", under the auspices of the FBI. (For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Bush Administration creates "Secret State Police", June 30, 2005)

Working hand in glove with Homeland Security (DHS), the proposed "domestic intelligence department" would combine FBI counterterrorism, intelligence and espionage operations into a single service.

The new department operating under the auspices of the FBI would have the authority to "seize the property of people deemed to be helping the spread of WMD": They would be able to "spy on people in America suspected of terrorism or having critical intelligence information, even if they are not suspected of committing a crime." (NBC Tonight, 29 June 2005).\


Text of H.R. 645: National Emergency Centers Establishment Act

This version: Introduced in House.

This is the original text of the bill as it was written by its sponsor and submitted to the House for consideration. This is the latest version of the bill available on this website.


HR 645 IH


1st Session

H. R. 645

To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers on military installations.


January 22, 2009

Mr. HASTINGS of Florida introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned



To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers on military installations.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ‘National Emergency Centers Establishment Act'.


(a) In General- In accordance with the requirements of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish not fewer than 6 national emergency centers on military installations.

(b) Purpose of National Emergency Centers- The purpose of a national emergency center shall be to use existing infrastructure--

(1) to provide temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster;

(2) to provide centralized locations for the purposes of training and ensuring the coordination of Federal, State, and local first responders;

(3) to provide centralized locations to improve the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts of government, private, and not-for-profit entities and faith-based organizations; and

(4) to meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.


(a) In General- Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall designate not fewer than 6 military installations as sites for the establishment of national emergency centers.

(b) Minimum Requirements- A site designated as a national emergency center shall be--

(1) capable of meeting for an extended period of time the housing, health, transportation, education, public works, humanitarian and other transition needs of a large number of individuals affected by an emergency or major disaster;

(2) environmentally safe and shall not pose a health risk to individuals who may use the center;

(3) capable of being scaled up or down to accommodate major disaster preparedness and response drills, operations, and procedures;

(4) capable of housing existing permanent structures necessary to meet training and first responders coordination requirements during nondisaster periods;

(5) capable of hosting the infrastructure necessary to rapidly adjust to temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance needs;

(6) required to consist of a complete operations command center, including 2 state-of-the art command and control centers that will comprise a 24/7 operations watch center as follows:

(A) one of the command and control centers shall be in full ready mode; and

(B) the other shall be used daily for training; and

(7) easily accessible at all times and be able to facilitate handicapped and medical facilities, including during an emergency or major disaster.

(c) Location of National Emergency Centers- There shall be established not fewer than one national emergency center in each of the following areas:

(1) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions I, II, and III.

(2) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IV.

(3) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions V and VII.

(4) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region VI.

(5) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions VIII and X.

(6) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IX.

(d) Preference for Designation of Closed Military Installations- Wherever possible, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall designate a closed military installation as a site for a national emergency center. If the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Defense jointly determine that there is not a sufficient number of closed military installations that meet the requirements of subsections (b) and (c), the Secretaries shall jointly designate portions of existing military installations other than closed military installations as national emergency centers.

(e) Transfer of Control of Closed Military Installations- If a closed military installation is designated as a national emergency center, not later than 180 days after the date of designation, the Secretary of Defense shall transfer to the Secretary of Homeland Security administrative jurisdiction over such closed military installation.

(f) Cooperative Agreement for Joint Use of Existing Military Installations- If an existing military installation other than a closed military installation is designated as a national emergency center, not later than 180 days after the date of designation, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Defense shall enter into a cooperative agreement to provide for the establishment of the national emergency center.

(g) Reports-

(1) PRELIMINARY REPORT- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit to Congress a report that contains for each designated site--

(A) an outline of the reasons why the site was selected;

(B) an outline of the need to construct, repair, or update any existing infrastructure at the site;

(C) an outline of the need to conduct any necessary environmental clean-up at the site;

(D) an outline of preliminary plans for the transfer of control of the site from the Secretary of Defense to the Secretary of Homeland Security, if necessary under subsection (e); and

(E) an outline of preliminary plans for entering into a cooperative agreement for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site, if necessary under subsection (f).

(2) UPDATE REPORT- Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit to Congress a report that contains for each designated site--

(A) an update on the information contained in the report as required by paragraph (1);

(B) an outline of the progress made toward the transfer of control of the site, if necessary under subsection (e);

(C) an outline of the progress made toward entering a cooperative agreement for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site, if necessary under subsection (f); and

(D) recommendations regarding any authorizations and appropriations that may be necessary to provide for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site.

(3) FINAL REPORT- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit to Congress a report that contains for each designated site--

(A) finalized information detailing the transfer of control of the site, if necessary under subsection (e);

(B) the finalized cooperative agreement for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site, if necessary under subsection (f); and

(C) any additional information pertinent to the establishment of a national emergency center at the site.

(4) ADDITIONAL REPORTS- The Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, may submit to Congress additional reports as necessary to provide updates on steps being taken to meet the requirements of this Act.


This Act does not affect--

(1) the authority of the Federal Government to provide emergency or major disaster assistance or to implement any disaster mitigation and response program, including any program authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.); or

(2) the authority of a State or local government to respond to an emergency.


There is authorized to be appropriated $180,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 and 2010 to carry out this Act. Such funds shall remain available until expended.


In this Act, the following definitions apply:

(1) CLOSED MILITARY INSTALLATION- The term ‘closed military installation' means a military installation, or portion thereof, approved for closure or realignment under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (part A of title XXIX of Public Law 101-510; 10 U.S.C. 2687 note) that meet all, or 2 out of the 3 following requirements:

(A) Is located in close proximity to a transportation corridor.

(B) Is located in a State with a high level or threat of disaster related activities.

(C) Is located near a major metropolitan center.

(2) EMERGENCY- The term ‘emergency' has the meaning given such term in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122).

(3) MAJOR DISASTER- The term ‘major disaster' has the meaning given such term in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122).

(4) MILITARY INSTALLATION- The term ‘military installation' has the meaning given such term in section 2910 of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (part A of title XXIX of Public Law 101-510; 10 U.S.C. 2687 note).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Israel lobby gets its man—and tips its hand.

by Philip Weiss for the American Conservative Magazine

Charles Freeman Jr.’s withdrawal of his acceptance of a high-level intelligence position in the Obama administration was a national-security drama more riveting than an episode of “24.” The moral was clear: even a president who owes his job to a progressive movement in American politics could not support a longtime public servant who had made the mistake of criticizing Israel. Fierce advocates of the Jewish state, notably Sens. Chuck Schumer and Joe Lieberman and Reps. Eric Cantor and Steve Israel, played important roles in Freeman’s exit, while present and former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee flitted in and out of the wings.

The message to all office-seekers is obvious. “They want to kill the chicken to scare the monkeys. They want other people to be intimidated,” Freeman told The American Conservative just before he withdrew his name to be chairman of the National Intelligence Council. He went on, “If the administration does not stick with me, then it’s destroying the argument that the Israel lobby is only a mythic entity and does not control the public space. … It will show the world that it is not able to exercise independent thinking on these issues.”

If there was encouraging news in the administration’s collapse, there it was. When Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair announced Freeman’s withdrawal late on the afternoon of March 10, the matter was on center stage, in plain sight of what Freeman calls “the American political class.”

Three hours later, Freeman issued a statement directly accusing the Israel lobby of “doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.” He wrote that its tactics “plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth.” He continued:

I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for U.S. policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so.

Freeman’s ability to say so to a wide audience was electrifying and unique. His charge was soon mentioned in the chief boroughs of liberal opinion, National Public Radio, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. Time’s Joe Klein called his exit “an assassination,” and The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan said it was a “scalping.” Unlike countless other incidents in which American policy on the Middle East has been compromised behind closed doors, this time the Israel lobby was seen fleeing the scene of the crime.

The drama began on Feb. 19, when the Foreign Policy blog reported that Blair, a retired Navy admiral, was planning to name Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council, which sorts out the reports of the many intelligence agencies and presents them to the White House. In 2007, one of its assessments, concluding that Iran had halted its nuclear-weapons program following the invasion of Iraq, chilled the neoconservative drive to attack Iran. “No one has ever made the case that it’s a primary policy-making role,” says William Quandt, the longtime expert on the Middle East.

Freeman is hardly a cipher. An outspoken and formidable thinker firmly in the realist camp, he spent four decades in the State Department marked by his poise in the presence of heads of state. In 1972, at age 29, having mastered Mandarin, he was saving Richard Nixon, whom he regarded as “totally lacking in personal grace, with no sense of the proper distance to keep in human relations,” from embarrassment with Zhou En-Lai on the famous trip to China. Twenty years later, as an Arabic speaker, he was interpreting George H.W. Bush—a fellow Yaleman and blueblood who fixed his name forever as “Chas”—to King Fahd as ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. Freeman is a throwback. He celebrates his Puritan roots and the idea of wide historical reading for its own sake. He is also completely dedicated. He lost his third son in India because of poor medical treatment. He lost a 30-year marriage in Saudi Arabia during the long hours of the Gulf War.

“Frankly I was hoping to see him become a secretary of state,” says Edward Kane, a former CIA official who heads the Cosmos Club’s program on foreign affairs.

Freeman’s position on the Middle East made such ambitions pointless. In fact, he had resisted being sent to the region in the 1980s because of the “totalitarian” character of debate over American policies there—the lobby’s “virtual hammerlock on American foreign policy,” as he told an interviewer in the mid-’90s. He went on bluntly:

The American Jewish community, which had always been extremely suspicious of people who trafficked with the Arabs … became increasingly hostile to Arabists in the State Department. It essentially became difficult, if not impossible, for Foreign Service officers dealing with the Arab world, or with the Middle East generally, to take anything other than a stance that was assertively loyal to causes espoused by the Israelis… By the ’80s, as AIPAC … achieved the transcendent influence in the Congress that it did, there was an atmosphere of intimidation, worthy of the McCarthy era, in many respects, imposed on Arabists.

Following his retirement from government in 1995, Freeman took over from George McGovern as head of the Middle East Policy Council, a think tank that gets Saudi support and seeks to educate Americans about the Arab and Muslim world.

I asked him whether he is an Arabist. “What is an Arabist?” he countered. “Maybe it’s just someone who speaks Arabic. Someone who understands the Arabs. Obviously, that’s a bad thing. We shouldn’t understand the Arabs. We might actually think they have justice on their side. We might want to negotiate with them rather than clobber them.”

Freeman openly admires Israel: “The good has outweighed the bad in Israel for a long time. I would like to see Israel survive and prosper. Right now it is doing itself in and taking us with it.” Years ago, he became aware of how fierce adherence to Israel in our political class was damaging both nations. “I came to all this really very late,” he says. “I was an admirer of what I thought was a humane society in Israel. What really got me was when I was in Abu Dhabi many years ago and turned on the local TV. There was a home video of two Israeli plainclothesmen pulling a Palestinian teenager out of his house and kicking him in the head, and when he was semiconscious, they shot him in the back of the head. And the same story was on the back page of the English language newspaper, with six panels from the video. I thought, when this hits the U.S. press, all hell will break loose. Well, it didn’t ever hit our press. The self-censorship extended to a point that it was really dangerous to our society.”

Freeman made no secret of these views at the Middle East Policy Council. After the cancellation of the Dubai ports contract in 2006, he denounced the political class for exploiting the popular prejudice of “Arabophobia.” Soon after, when the London Review of Books published Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer’s bombshell essay on the Israel lobby, Freeman unapologetically celebrated the scholars.

“He does not hide his light under a bushel, and we’ve been waiting a long time for these ideas,” Edward Kane says. Adds Jim Lobe, a foreign-policy correspondent for Interpress, “I can tell you from personal experience that he is absolutely brilliant and incredibly well-rounded in his knowledge.”

In 2005, Freeman’s friend Boyden Gray saw his appointment to be ambassador to the EU held up for months because of his association with realist thinking on the Middle East, and he had to visit with AIPAC before he could take the job. Freeman’s case was far more serious. His appointment had only been leaked when it drew the wrath of the Israel lobby. Steve Rosen, a former AIPAC staffer who is under indictment for allegedly passing secrets to the Israelis, immediately attacked Freeman on the website of the Middle East Forum, a neoconservative think tank. “Freeman is a strident critic of Israel and a textbook case of the old-line Arabism that afflicted American diplomacy at the time the state of Israel was born,” Rosen said. He quoted this horrifying statement by Freeman: “Israeli occupation and settlement of Arab lands is inherently violent. ... And as long as such Israeli violence against Palestinians continues, it is utterly unrealistic to expect that Palestinians will stand down from violent resistance and retaliation against Israelis.”

At least Rosen was straightforward about his concern with Israel. The same cannot be said of the pack that followed him. They focused on the money that the Middle East Policy Council receives from Saudi Arabia and several cold-blooded statements that Freeman had made justifying Chinese repression in Tiananmen Square and Tibet (which his supporters attempted to dignify, not always persuasively, as “realist”). The group included Gabriel Schoenfeld at the Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Chait and Martin Peretz at The New Republic, Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic, and Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard. All Jewish, all supporters of the Iraq War, which Freeman vigorously opposed.

The focus on the China and Saudi connections is typical of the Israel lobby’s work. While it quietly spreads the word about its ability to take scalps, it does not like to do so publicly. That might force Americans to debate the slaughter in Gaza or the ongoing oppression of Palestinians in the West Bank. Far better for Freeman’s critics in Congress—notably Joe Lieberman in the Senate and Eric Cantor, Shelly Berkley, and Mark Kirk in the House—to talk about Saudi Arabian money, which was never an impediment to Hillary Clinton’s appointment to be secretary of state, though her husband’s library was showered in it.

The good news in the Freeman case is that he was even named in the first place and that he got a public defense. Writers Joe Klein, Richard Silverstein, M.J. Rosenberg, and Glenn Greenwald, all Jews, said that the issue was whether there was any room in the discourse for critics of Israel. Klein called the attackers a “mob.” Robert Dreyfuss at the Nation denounced the “thunderous, coordinated assault.” Steve Walt characterized the campaign as a McCarthyite witchhunt with an important negative function: making ambitious public servants afraid to say anything about Israel. “Freeman might be too smart, too senior, and too well-qualified to stop,” he wrote before the appointment was scuttled, “but there are plenty of younger people eager to rise in the foreign policy establishment and they need to be reminded that their careers could be jeopardized if they followed in Freeman’s footsteps and said what they thought.”

There could be little doubt what was at stake. Jim Lobe said on Scott Horton’s radio show that the fight was the “first big test of the influence of the so-called Israel lobby in the Administration.” Freeman wrote to friends, “I suspect that my appointment won’t be final till the fat lady at AIPAC sighs.”

The fight dragged on for nearly three weeks. Freeman’s critics circulated e-mailed comments he had made about China on a foreign-policy listserv, and eight congressmen, including House Minority Leader John Boehner, called on Blair to investigate Freeman’s links to Saudi Arabia. Blair wrote back that Freeman had his “full support” and said that he “has never received any income directly from Saudi Arabia or any Saudi-controlled entity.” He defended him against angry questioning by Joe Lieberman on the morning of March 10. But by then, several Republican senators were demanding answers from the White House. Dianne Feinstein reportedly called for a meeting of senators with Freeman. He was gaining endorsements from influential journalists like Andrew Sullivan and James Fallows, but no congressman was lifting his head above the melee to support Freeman.

As for Obama, he said not a word, just as he said nothing about Gaza. Finally, by the afternoon of March 10, Blair had changed his mind. “I came to a conclusion, as did Denny Blair at the same time,” Freeman told TAC, “that I couldn’t accomplish what I wanted to do.” Yes, he could come up with quality intelligence products, but his presence would hurt their credibility. “I left for the same reason that I accepted the job, for the best interests of my country.”

Chuck Schumer quickly made clear that this was a White House decision, and it was all about Israel. “Charles Freeman was the wrong guy for this position,” Schumer said. “His statements against Israel were way over the top and severely out of step with the administration. I repeatedly urged the White House to reject him, and I am glad they did the right thing.”

Then Freeman issued his barnburner of a statement saying it was all about “a Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government.” “There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments and societies by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government—in this case, the government of Israel,” he wrote. “This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.”

National Public Radio’s Robert Siegel described Freeman’s charge as “angry” and suggested that he was merely the Marty Peretz of the Arabs. The Washington Post called it a “crackpot” conspiracy theory and tirade. Meanwhile, Freeman’s supporters rallied to his side. Steve Walt called Obama a “wimp.” “Caving on Freeman was a blunder that could come back to haunt any subsequent effort to address the deteriorating situation in the region,” he wrote. Andrew Sullivan said that the affair showed that when push comes to shove, Obama is behind AIPAC “110 percent.” Joe Klein noted that Schumer and company have made Washington “even less hospitable for those who aren’t afraid to speak their minds, for those who are reflexively contentious, who would defy the conventional wisdom.”

This is where I differ from Chas Freeman’s new friends. Years ago, he understood that the Israel lobby produced secret resentment among its victims throughout Washington. More recently, John Mearsheimer told me that Israel’s critics are engaged in a kind of “mortal combat” in which career and reputation are at stake. Having long battled the Israel lobby, these men have no illusions about how it operates and still dare to speak out. Others—for instance those who say that it just controls Congress, not the White House—are now awaking to its methods. This is the great lesson, and even joy, of Chas Freeman’s mugging. A lobby operates best as a “night flower,” Steve Rosen once said. The Freeman takedown happened in broad daylight. Sunshine means everything in a democracy. Now the diverse political forces who want to change our Mideast policy can find one another.

Speaking to this magazine two days after his withdrawal, a reflective Freeman framed the episode as a chance to educate Americans. He only regretted imprecision—that he had blasted the lobby rather than doing more to emphasize the reflexive organizational American support for the policies of the right-wing Israeli government.

Of the Gaza assault, he said, “I don’t think they wanted to do anything but beat the living daylights out of the Palestinian people. Schrecklichkeit [a World War I German policy of intimidation] is the basis of this policy, and it makes it harder and harder for more and more people here to overlook.”

Freeman was gratified by the wide support he had gotten from Jewish writers. “I think the most courageous people on this issue are those of Jewish origin or faith. They have the most at stake in this. These things are being done in their name.” He said he hoped that his withdrawal would allow Americans to talk about what Israel is doing in a historical and diplomatic light:

I am interested in seeing the survival of a humane and not a thuggish Jewish state in the Middle East. I am interested in finding ways of coming to grips with the fact that the perpetrators of the Holocaust and those who halted it accept Israel’s right to exist, but in the region in which it does exist, no one accepts its right to exist. That’s the problem we must overcome.

As for himself, at 66, having severed his institutional connections, Freeman has a chance to “redefine myself.” He doesn’t expect to have any role in government, directly or indirectly, “but one thing I’m not going to do is shut up.”

Philip Weiss blogs at

Freeman and the lobby: Pride and Prejudice

This will appear in the next issue of Al-Ahram Weekly

Pride and Prejudice

The Zionists are playing a dangerous game by scuttling Freeman’s appointment, warns Eric Walberg

The remarkable hegemony of Zionists in US -- and by implication -- world politics continues unabated, as demonstrated starkly by the withdrawal of Chas Freeman as United States President Barack Obama’s nominee to chair his National Intelligence Council (NIC).

Unlike cabinet positions, the NIC chair is not subject to Senate approval, but when Freeman was subjected to a campaign of slander led by AIPAC functionary Steve Rosen, joined by a chorus of senators, he withdrew, relating in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) the “libelous distortions of my record”, the “efforts to smear me and destroy my credibility ... by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country.”

Jews have more of a tradition of being liberals and supporting Democrats. But nowadays, more important than shades of pink are the Zionist colours one flaunts, and no US politician, left or right, dares to buck the Zionist tide. Whether or not Freeman -- or any other US public figure -- is Jewish is now a moot point. So it is not really so important to point out that Obama’s closest advisers are Jewish, such as his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, his veepee’s chief of staff Ron Klain, senior advisor David Axelrod, and his domestic cabinet members Timothy Geithner, Lawrence Summers, Paul Volker, Peter Orszag, and Jason Furman and Jamie Rubin. It is more to the point to emphasise that they are Zionists one and all, including his WASP veepee Joseph Biden (“You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist”) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The waning of Jewish liberalism and the growing irrelevance of tribal affinity in American politics began with the rise of the neocons under president Ronald Reagan and is reflected in Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman’s endorsement of Republican John McCain for president in 2008. That Lieberman was not expelled, and managed to retain his chairmanship of the Senate Armed Services Committee, shows who’s in control.

Zionists are the essential second leg that Obama stands on, along with his imperial support. As Democratic Caucus chairman, Emanuel helped make sure that 60 per cent of Democratic congressmen and virtually all the senators will continue to support the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan , with the possibility of an attack on Iran still on the table, despite that fact that 60 per cent of Americans (80 per cent of Demcrats) are against such policies. Emanuel served in the IDF during the 1990 Gulf war, which would have resulted in his arrest and the end of his political career if he had been involved in any other country’s war as a foreign soldier. His father was a member of the terrorist organisation Irgun and no doubt murdered dozens of Palestinians fighting to protect their homeland. “Rahm-bo” also knocked on doors for AIPAC as a student in the 1980s in AIPAC’s successful effort to unseat former Republican congressman Paul Findley just because he was for balance in US Middle East policy.

Ironically Zionism has become a bit of a dirty word around Washington , and the Jewish press prefers to brag -- in the words of former president Clinton counsel Abner Mikvner -- that “Barack Obama is the first Jewish President.” Whatever epithetic is used, Israeli political leaders, too, brag about their clout at the highest levels of US politics. Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert crowed about his telephone call to president George W Bush in January 2009 -- interrupting him in the middle of a speech -- to insist that secretary of state Condoleezza Rice vote against her own Gaza ceasefire motion in the UN Security Council. Jewish chutzpah celebrates the November 2008 US elections, where more Jews were elected than ever -- 10 per cent of congressmen, four times their proportion in the population. This leaves aside the fact that more than 90 per cent of congressmen and senators vote for all motions concerning Israel which are approved, if not formulated, by AIPAC.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, inspired by the Zionists and their stranglehold on politics and media, have led to mounting frustration, allowing occasional, if carefully modulated criticism to trickle down into the mainstream media. Time columnist Joe Klein, who supported Bush’s war against Iraq and considers himself “a strong supporter of Israel”, wrote (in a lowly blog) that the “fact that a great many Jewish neoconservatives -- people like Joe Lieberman and the crowd at Commentary -- plumped for this war [in Iraq], and now for an even more foolish assault on Iran, raised the question of divided loyalties.” Within a day, Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, accused Klein of espousing “age-old anti-Semitic canards about a Jewish conspiracy to control and manipulate government.”

Other brave souls include Norm Finkelstein, author of Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, Jimmy Carter (Palestine: Peace not Apartheid), Mearsheimer and Walt (The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy. Whether or not their efforts mark the beginning of a decline in the Zionists’ hegemony is yet to be seen.

That their power is still formidable was brought home by the Freeman debacle. “The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views,” writes Freeman.

The Zionists made no mention of the real reason for scuttling his nomination, instead inventing the charge that he was a lobbyist for Saudi and Chinese interests. A career diplomat, he was president Richard Nixon’s personal interpreter during the first meetings with Mao Tse Tung. Since 1997, he has presided over the Middle East Policy Council, a nonprofit organisation that is partly funded by Saudi money. “There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments ... by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government -- in this case, the government of Israel ... policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel .”

Fighting the Zionists is not easy. Jewish scholars like Finkelstein argue that Zionists generally refuse to answer the content of critiques of Israel , invariably reducing the argument to an ad hominem attack, questioning the legitimacy of the critic, as they did with Freeman. Finkelstein was personally the target of their wrath, losing his university tenure battle due to their protests that he was too impartial. Where ad hominem is not enough, they merely ignore valid criticisms and relying on control of the public discourse, including laws forbidding anti-Semitism, racism or slander, to bury the issue.

Dozens of Jewish and overtly Zionist lobby groups throughout the US monitor all school and university teaching content, regularly denouncing critics and lobbying for their dismissal. As part of the campaign to vilify Islam, David Horowitz organised “Islamofascism Awareness Week” (IFAW) on close to a hundred college campuses in October 2007. At Michigan State University, the campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom invited a bona fide fascist -- Nick Griffin, the head of the British National Party -- to speak on how Europe is becoming “Eurabia”. IFAW is now an annual event, with seminars on jihad and Islamic totalitarianism.

But there is a silver lining. Formerly schemes to control the discourse took place behind the scenes. Steve Rosen, who led the attack on Freeman, says, “A lobby is like a night flower. It thrives in the dark and dies in the sun.” That Rosen is now indicted as a spy, that the Finkelstein, Mearsheimer and Carter books even saw the light of day, and that Freeman was able to blast the lobby so witheringly in the WSJ suggest that broader US society may be awakening to the devastation that the Zionists have wrought on America.


Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly. You can reach him at

War On Terror Within: The End of Jewish History

by Gilad Atzmon for Palestine Think Tank

The issue I am going to discuss today is probably the most important thing I’ve ever had to say about Israeli brutality and contemporary Jewish identity. I assume that I could have shaped my thought into a wide-ranging book or an analytical academic text but instead, I will do the very opposite, I will make it as short and as simple as possible.

In the weeks that have just passed we had been witness to an Israeli genocidal campaign against the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza. We had been witnessing one of the strongest armies in the world squashing women, elderly people and children. We saw blizzards of unconventional weapons bursting over schools, hospitals and refugee camps. We had seen and heard about war crimes committed before, but this time, the Israeli transgression was categorically different. It was supported by the total absolute majority of the Israeli Jewish population. The IDF military campaign in Gaza enjoyed the support of 94% of the Israeli population. 94% of the Israelis apparently approved of the air raids against civilians. The Israeli people saw the carnage on their TV screens, they heard the voices, they saw hospitals and refugee camps in flames and yet, they weren’t really moved by it all. They didn’t do much to stop their “democratically elected” ruthless leaders. Instead, some of them grabbed a seat and settled on the hills overlooking the Gaza Strip to watch their army turning Gaza into modern Hebraic coliseum of blood. Even now when the campaign seems to be over and the scale of the carnage in Gaza has been revealed, the Israelis fail to show any signs of remorse. As if this is not enough, all throughout the war, Jews around the world rallied in support of their “Jews-only state”. Such a popular support of outright war crimes is unheard of. Terrorist states do kill, yet they are slightly shy about it all. Stalin’s USSR did it in some remote Gulags, Nazi Germany executed its victims in deep forests and behind barbed wire. In the Jewish state, the Israelis slaughter defenceless women, children and the old in broad daylight, using unconventional weapons targeting schools, hospitals and refugee camps.

This level of group barbarism cries for an explanation. The task ahead can be easily defined as the quest for a realisation of Israeli collective brutality. How is it that a society has managed to lose its grip of any sense of compassion and mercy?

The Terror Within

More than anything else, the Israelis and their supportive Jewish communities are terrorised by the brutality they find in themselves. The more ruthless the Israelis are, the more frightened they become. The logic is simple. The more suffering one inflicts on the other, the more anxious one becomes of the possible potential deadly capacity around. In broad terms, the Israeli projects on the Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and Iranian the aggression which he finds in himself. Considering the fact that Israeli brutality is now proved to be with no limit and with no comparison, their anxiety is as at least as great.

Seemingly, the Israelis are fearful of themselves being the henchmen. They are engaged in a deadly battle with the terror within. But the Israeli is not alone. The Diaspora Jew who rallies in support support of a state that pours white phosphorous on civilians is caught in the exact same devastating trap. Being an enthusiastic backer of an overwhelming crime, he is horrified by the thought that the cruelty he happens to find in himself may manifest itself in others. The Diaspora Jew who supports Israel is devastated by the imaginary possibility that a brutal intent, similar to his own, may one day turn against him. This very concern is what the fear of anti-Semitism is all about. It is basically the projection of the collective Zio-centric tribal ruthlessness onto others.

There is no Israeli - Palestinian Conflict

What we see here is a clear formation of a vicious cycle in which the Israeli and his supporters are becoming an insular fireball of vengeance that is fuelled by some explosive internal aggression. The meaning of it all is pretty revealing. Since Palestinians cannot militarily confront Israeli aggression and destructive capacity, we are entitled to argue that there is no Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All there is, is Israeli psychosis in which the Israeli is being shattered with anxiety by the reflection of his own ruthlessness. Being regarded as the Nazis of our time, the Israeli is thus doomed to seeing a Nazi in everyone. Similarly, there is no rise in anti-Semitism either. The Diaspora Zionist Jew is simply devastated by the possibility that someone out there is as ethically corrupted and merciless as he himself proved to be. In short, Israeli politics and Zionist lobbying should be seen as no less than a lethal Zio-centric collective paranoia on the verge of total psychosis.

Is there a way to redeem the Zionist of his bloody expedition? Is there a way to change the course of history, to save the Israelis and their supporters from total depravity? Probably the best way to pose this question is to ask whether there is a way to save the Israeli and the Zionist from themselves. As one may gather, I am not exactly interested in saving Israelis or Zionists, however, I do grasp that redeeming Zionists of their transgression may bring a prospect of peace to Palestine, Iraq and probably the rest of us. For those who fail to see it, Israel is just the tip of the iceberg. At the end of the day, America, Britain and the West are now subject to some similar forms of "politics of fear" that are the direct outcome of Neocon deadly interventionist ideology and practices.

The Shrink from Nazareth

Many years ago, so we are told, there was an Israelite who lived amongst his brethren in the land of Canaan. Like the contemporary Israelis, he was surrounded by hate, vengeance and fear. At a certain stage he had decided to intervene and to bring a change about, he realised that there was no other way to fight ruthlessness than to search for grace. “Turn your other cheek” was his simple suggestion. Identifying the Israelite’s psychosis as “a war against terror within”, Jesus grasped that the only way to counter violence is to look in the mirror while searching for Goodness within.

It is rather apparent that Jesus’ lesson paved the way to the formation of western universal ethics. Modern political ideologies drew their lesson from the Christian prospect. Marx’s normative search for equality can be seen as a secular rewriting of Jesus’ notion of brotherhood. And yet, not a single political ideology has managed to integrate the deepest notion of Jesus’ grace. To seek peace is primarily to search for one within. While Israelis and their Neocon twins would aim at achieving peace by means of deterrence, true peace is achieved by the search for harmony within. As a Lacanian scholar may suggest, to love your neighbour is actually to love yourself loving your neighbour. The case of the Israeli is the complete opposite. As they manage to prove time after time, they are really loving themselves hating their neighbours or in short, they simply love themselves hating in general. They hate almost everything: the neighbour, the Arab, Chavez, the German, Islam, the Goy, Pork, the Pope, the Palestinian, the Church, Jesus, Hamas, calamari and Iran. You name it, they hate it. One may have to admit that hating so much must be a very consuming project unless it gives pleasure. And indeed the Israeli “pleasure principle” could be articulated as follows: it continuously drives the Israeli to seek pleasure in hate while inflicting pain upon others.

It must be mentioned at this point that the ˜War Against Terror within” is not exactly a Jewish invention. Everyone, whether it is nations, peoples or individuals, are a potential subject to it. The consequences of American nuclear murderous slaughter in Hiroshima and Nagasaki made the American people into a terrorised collective. This collective anxiety is known as the “cold war”. America is yet to redeem itself of the fear that there maybe someone out there as merciless as America proved to be. To a certain extent, operation Shock and Awe had a very similar effect on Britain and America. It led to the creation of horrified masses easily manipulated by highly motivated elite. This exact type of politics is called “politics of fear”.

And yet, within the western discourse a correction mechanism is in place. Unlike the Jewish state that is getting radicalised by its own self feeding paranoia, in the West, evil is somehow confronted and contained eventually. The murderer is denounced and hope for peace is somehow reinstated till further notice. Not that I hold my breath for President Obama bringing any change, one thing is rather clear, Obama was voted in to bring a change. Obama is a symbol of our genuine attempt to curtail evil. In the Jewish state, not only it doesn’t happen, it can never happen. The difference between Israel and the West is rather obvious. In the West, Christian heritage is providing us with a possibility of a wish grounded on belief in universal goodness. Though, we are under the constant danger of exposure to evil, we tend to believe that goodness will eventually prevail. On the other hand, in Hebraic tribal discourse, Goodness is the property of the chosen. The Israelis do not see goodness or kindness in their neighbors, they see them as savage and as a life-threatening entity. For the Israelis, kindness is their very own property, accidentally they are also innocent and victims. Within the western universal discourse, goodness doesn’t belong to one people or a single nation, it belongs to all and to none at the same time. Within the western universal heritage, Goodness is found in each of us. It doesn’t belong to a political party or an ideology. The elevating notion of grace and a Good God is there in each of us, it is always very close to home.

What Kind Of Father Is That?

“Then when the Lord your God brings you to the land he promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give you –“ a land with large, fine cities you did not build, houses filled with choice things you did not accumulate, hewn out cisterns you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant – and you eat your fill.” (Deuteronomy: 6: 10 -11).

"When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations…then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy.” (Deuteronomy 7:1-2)

At this point we may try to attempt and to grasp the root cause behind the severe lack of compassion within the Israeli discourse and its supportive lobbies. I believe that an elaboration on the troubled relationships between the Jews and their different Gods may throw some light on the topic. It is rather obvious that the ever growing list of Jewish “Gods”, “Idols” and “Father-figures” is slightly problematic at least as far as ethics and kindness are concerned. The very relationship between “the son” and the “non-ethical father” must be explored. The philosopher Ariella Atzmon (who happens to be my mother) defines the complexity of the false beginning as the “Fagin Syndrome”. Charles Dickens’ Fagin is a “kidsman”, an adult who recruits children and trains them as pickpockets and thieves, exchanging food and shelter for goods the children steal. Though the kids must be grateful towards their master, they must also despise him for turning them into thieves and pickpockets. The kids realise that Fagin’s goods are all stolen and his kindness is far from being genuinely honest or pure. Sooner or later the kids will turn against their master Fagin in an attempt to liberate themselves of the immoral catch.

From a father-son perspective, the Biblical Jewish God Jehovah is no different from what we might see in the Fagin syndrome. The father of Israel leads his chosen people through the desert to the promised land so they can rob and plunder its indigenous habitants. This is not exactly what one may expect of an ethical father or a “kind God”. Consequently, as much as the sons of Israel love Jehovah, they must also be slightly suspicious of him for turning them into robbers and murderers. They might even be apprehensive regarding his kindness. Thus, it shouldn’t take us by a surprise that throughout Jewish history more than just a few Jews had turned against their heavenly father.

However, bearing in mind the common secularist perception that Gods are actually invented by people, one may wonder, what leads to the invention of such an “unethical God”? What makes people follow the rules of such a God? It would be also interesting to find out what kind of alternative Gods Jews happened to pick or invent once Jehovah has been shunned.

Since emancipation, more than just a few Jews had been disassociating themselves from the traditional tribal setting and rabbinical Judaism. Many intermingled with their surrounding realities, dropped their chosen entitlement and turned into ordinary human beings. Many other Jews insisted upon dropping God yet maintaining their racially orientated tribal affiliation. They decided to base their tribal belonging on ethnic, racial, political, cultural and ideological grounds rather than the Judaic precept. Though they noticeably dropped Jehovah they insisted upon adopting a secularist view that was soon shaped into a monolithic religious-like precept. All throughout the 20th century, the two religious-like political ideologies that had been found to be most appealing by the Jewish masses were Marxism and Zionism.

Marxism can be easily portrayed as a secular universal ethical ideology. However, within the process of transformation into a Jewish tribal precept, Marxism has managed to lose any traces of humanism or universalism. As we know, early Zionist ideology and practice was largely dominated by Jewish leftists who regarded themselves as true followers of Marx. They genuinely believed that celebrating their Jewish national revival at the expense of Palestinians was a legitimate socialist endeavour.

Interestingly enough, their opponents, the anti-Zionist Bund of the East European Jewish Labour, didn’t really believe in the institutional robbery of the Palestinians, instead, they believed that taking from rich European is a great universal mitzvah on the path towards social justice.

The following are a few lines from The Bund’s anthem

We swear our stalwart hate persists,

Of those who rob and kill the poor:

The Tsar, the masters, capitalists.

Our vengeance will be swift and sure.

So swear together to live or die!

Without engaging in questions having to do with ethics or political affiliation, it is rather obvious that the Jewish Marxist anthem is overwhelmingly saturated with “hate” and “vengeance”. As much as Jews were enthusiastic about Marx, Marxism, Bolshevism and equality, the end of the story is known. Jews en masse dropped Marx a long time ago. They somehow left the revolution to some enlightened Goyim such as Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales. Leaders who truly internalised in the real meaning of universal equality and ethics.

Though in the late 19th century and the early 20th century, Marxism found many followers amongst European Jews, following the Holocaust, Zionism has gradually become the voice of world Jewry. Like Fagin, the Zionist Gods and Idols: Herzl, Ben Gurion, Nordau, Weizmann, promised their followers a new unethical beginning. Robbing the Palestinians was their path towards a long overdue historical justice. Zionism transformed the Old Testament from a spiritual text into a land registry. But again as in the case of Jehovah, the Zio God transformed the Jew into a thief, it promised him someone else’s property. This in itself may explain the Israeli resentment towards Zionism and Zionist ideology. Israelis prefer to see themselves as the natural dwellers of the land rather than pioneers in a non-ethical Jewish Diaspora colonial project. The Israeli Jew furnishes his political stand by means of severe ethical escapism. This may explain the fact that as much as the Israelis love their wars, they really hate to fight them. They are not willing to die for a big abstract remote ideology such as the “Jewish nation” or “Zionism”. They overwhelmingly prefer to drop white phosphorous and cluster bombs from afar.

However, along the relatively short history of modern Jewish nationalism the Zio God made friends with some other Gods and kosher idols. Back in 1917 Lord Balfour promised the Jews that they would erect their national home in Palestine. Needless to say, as in the case of Jehovah, Lord Balfour made the Jews into plunderers and robbers, he came up with an outright non-ethical promise. He promised the Jews someone else’s land. This was basically a false beginning. Evidently, it didn’t take long before the Jews turned against the British Empire. In 1947 the UN made exactly the same foolish mistake, it gave birth to the “Jews-only State” again at the expense of the Palestinians. It legitimised the robbery of Palestine in the name of the nations. Like in the case of shunned Jehovah, it didn’t take long before the Jews turned against the UN. “It doesn’t matter what the Goyim say, all that matters is what the Jews do”, said Israeli PM David Ben Gurion. Recently Israelis had managed to even shun their best subservient friends in the White House. On the eve of the last American presidential election Israeli Generals had been filmed denouncing President Bush for “damaging Israeli interests for being overwhelmingly supportive” (Ret. Brig General Shlomo Brom). The Israeli Generals basically blamed Bush for not stopping Israel from destroying its neighbours. The moral is rather clear, the Zionists and the Israelis will inevitably turn against their Gods, Idols, fathers and others who try to help them. This is the real meaning of the Fagin syndrome within the Israeli political context. They will always have to turn against their fathers.

I believe that the most interesting Jewish belief system of them all is the Holocaust Religion, which the Israeli Philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz rightly defined as the “new Jewish religion”. The most interesting aspect of the Holocaust religion is its God-figure, namely “the Jew”. The Jewish follower of that newly formed dogmatic precept believes in “the Jew”, the one who redeemed oneself. The one who “survived” the “ultimate genocidal” event. The followers believe in “the Jew”, the “innocent” victim sufferer who returned to his “promised land” and now celebrates his successful revival narrative. To a certain extent, within the Holocaust religious discourse, the Jew believes in “the Jew”, expressed as his/her powers and his/her eternal qualities. Within the newly formed religious framework, Mecca is Tel Aviv and the Holy Shrine is the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. The newly formed religion has many shrines (Museums) scattered around the world and it has many priests who spread the message around and punish its opposing elements. From a Jewish perspective, the Holocaust religion is a fully transparent expression of self love. It is where past and future merge into a meaningful present, it is when history is translated into praxis. Whether consciously or unconsciously, every person who identifies politically and ideologically (rather than religiously) as a Jew is, practically speaking, succumbing to the Holocaust religion and a follower of its father-figure “the Jew”. And yet, one may wonder, what about Kindness, is there any goodness in this newly formed ‘father-figure’? Is there any grace in this narrative of innocent victimhood that is celebrated daily at the expense of the Palestinian people?

If there is an end to history, the Holocaust religion embodies the very end of Jewish history. In the light of the Holocaust religion the “Father” and the “Son” unite at last. At least in the case of Israel and Zionism they bond into an amalgam of genocidal ideology and reality. In the light of the Holocaust religion and its epic survival ethos the Jewish State considers itself legitimated in dropping white phosphorus on women and children who they have caged in an inescapable open-air prison. Sadly enough, the crimes committed by the Jewish State are done on behalf of the Jewish people and in the name of their troubled history of persecution. The Holocaust religion brings to life what seems to be the ultimate possible form of insular brutal incarnation.

Historically Jews have shunned many Gods, they dropped Jehovah, they dumped Marx, some have never followed Zionism. But in the light of the Holocaust religion, while bearing in mind the scenes from Gaza, Jenin and Lebanon, the Jew may have to continue in the tradition and drop “the Jew”. He will have to accept that his newly formed father-figure was formed in his own shape. More concerning is the devastating fact that the new father is proved to be a call to kill. Seemingly, the new father is the ultimate evil God of them all.

I wonder how many Jews will be courageous enough to shun their esoteric newly formed father-figure. Will they be courageous enough to join the rest of humanity adopting a universal ethical discourse? Whether the Jew drops “The Jew”, only time will tell. Just to remove any doubt, I did drop my “Jew” a long time ago and I am doing fine.