The Zionist Question

In recent times, no nationalist project has been so completely mythologized by its partisans as Zionism. In the construction of nearly all aspects of its history, the official Zionist narrative is often at variance — even complete variance — with the facts as they are known to the rest of the world: and, more recently, even as they have been documented by some Zionist historians.

Yet few Zionists would deny one central fact of their history: and that is the history of violence that has attended the insertion of Jewish colons into the Middle East. The history of the Zionist movement in Palestine — it can scarcely be disputed — has been attended by violence between the Jewish settlers and the Palestinians; it has led to unending conflicts between Arab societies and Israel; and these conflicts continue to draw Western powers, especially the United States since 1945, into ever widening clashes with the Islamic world.

The history of this violence was contained in the Zionist idea itself. Violence is integral to Zionism: not incidental to it.

This violent history of Zionism had been foreseen by the early Zionists in their private musings; and certainly, the risks inherent in Zionism could scarcely remain hidden once its victims began to resist the colonization of their lands. However, the Zionists chose to shelve these concerns, convinced that the ‘natives’ lacked the will, organization and resources to derail their plans.

Thus it is that the Zionists, who engaged in voluminous and intense discussions about the nature of their movement, never developed a coherent “Arab doctrine” that would examine and appraise the unfolding Arab response to Zionism.

In part, they may have felt that this was unnecessary. After all, many of the early Zionists — according to Ahad Ha’am writing in 1891 — believed that “the Arabs are all savages who live like animals and do not understand what is happening around them.” Why worry about these “savages,” when they were sure to be swept away by the inexorable advance of civilization the Jewish settlers were introducing into the region?

Other Zionists who took note of the incipient Arab resistance nevertheless chose to dismiss their concerns with wishful thinking. Once the Palestinians would begin to reap the benefits of Jewish colonization — in rising land prices and new employment opportunities – they would welcome the settlers with open arms.

In the Zionist worldview, the Palestinians were not a people; they had no national identity, no national aspirations.

In any case, it would have been impolitic for the early Zionists to air their concerns in public. In the face of open discussions about the violent consequences of Jewish colonization, and the resistance this was certain to evoke among Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, the meager support that Zionism enjoyed among Jews would quickly have dried up. At this stage, Zionism could not have survived sober consideration of its long-term, violent consequences.

Despite the absence of a public debate, these concerns could not have been limited to the Zionist leadership. How else can we explain — despite the putative Jewish yearning for Zion — that only a trickle of Jews had heeded the call to colonize Palestine in the years before the rise of Nazi Germany? Weren‘t they afraid that they might be walking into a trap?

The Zionists also made an effort to overcome Palestinian resistance by invoking pan-Arab nationalism. In return for help from Jews, who would advocate their cause in the councils of great powers, the Arab nationalists could be persuaded to sacrifice Palestine for a higher objective, the creation of an Arab kingdom stretching from Morocco to Iraq.

The historic centers of Arab civilization — so the Zionists argued — lay in Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, not in Jerusalem. Why would the Arabs grudge the loss of Jerusalem if this would help them to realize their dream of restoring the ancient Arab empire?

The Zionists met with some initial success in these efforts. In 1919, at the Conference of Versailles Chaim Weizmann persuaded Emir Faisal, a leader of what is known as the Arab revolt against the Ottomans, to cede Palestine to the Zionists. When he confronted Arab anger at this surrender of Islamic lands, the Emir inserted a clause making his contract with the Zionists conditional on the creation of the Arab kingdom that he and his family sought. This conditional agreement too was short-lived. Under Arab nationalist pressure, the Emir was forced to repudiate his deal with the Zionists.

The Zionists could not long maintain their fiction about somehow creating a Jewish state in Palestine without violence; the challenge came from the right wing of the Zionist movement. In an essay that laid the foundations of Revisionist Zionism in 1923, Ze’ev Jabotinsky punctured the fiction that the Palestinians would voluntarily surrender their historical rights to their country. He wrote that the Arabs would “resist alien settlers as long as … they possess a gleam of hope that they can prevent ‘Palestine’ from becoming the Land of Israel.”

Jabotinsky argued that a change in the stated Zionist strategy was imperative: in order to succeed, the Zionists would have to extinguish the Arab’s “gleam of hope.” If the Arabs were not going to sell their lands and move out, they would have to be defeated and driven out. Settlement would proceed, in the words of Jabotinsky, “under the protection of force that is not dependant on the local population, behind an iron wall which they will be powerless to break down.”

Jabotinsky had forced into the open what was always implicit in the Zionist idea — and, indeed, in the thinking of the Zionist leadership. Despite appearances, they had always known what Jabotinsky now challenged them to acknowledge openly.

The use of violence was not the Zionist fallback plan: privately, the Zionists knew that this was the only plan that had a chance of succeeding. Covertly and openly, with or without British support, they had always prepared for a showdown against the Arabs; and they had prepared well.

When the showdown came in 1948, the Zionists achieved their goals almost in their entirety: they defeated five Arab armies to create a Jewish state in 78 percent of Palestine nearly cleansed of its Arab population. Eight years later, in alliance with Britain and France, in a lightning strike, Israel occupied all of Egyptian Sinai.

And less than twenty years after its creation, in the June war of 1967, Israel went on to deal a crushing defeat on three Arab armies, occupied the rest of Palestine, the Sinai, and the Golan Heights – and, in the process, quadrupled its territories. Most importantly, however, they had dealt a stinging blow to the power of Arab nationalism, a humiliation from which it would not recover.

Yet, despite these dramatic successes, Israel has failed to attain normalcy — or, more likely, its interests are not served by normalcy. Many Israelis now openly acknowledge that something has gone awry.

Despite two massive rounds of ethnic cleansings in 1948 and 1967; despite repeated military victories over Arabs; despite a ten-fold increase in its Jewish population; despite unlimited US support; despite its deepening strangulation of Palestinians; despite the largest economic and military transfer from one country to another in history; despite one of the most powerful armies in the world; despite the sustained support of a Jewish Diaspora, more powerful and better organized than ever before; and despite the readiness of all Arab states to recognize Israel, the Zionist project has not come to rest.

Israel has yet to break away from its dependence on Western powers; it has not succeeded in extinguishing the Palestinian’s “gleam of hope”; and Israelis are far from being assured of a secure future.

Why have Israel’s triumphs — and no one would question the magnitude of these achievements — failed even to secure confidence in its survival?

Nearly six decades after its creation — six decades of impressive military, territorial, demographic and economic gains — Israel is still working to destroy its neighborhood, out of insecurity and to remove the last pockets of resistance to its hegemony.

After defeating nearly all its Arab adversaries, after successfully urging the United States to occupy Iraq, after devastating Lebanon in a new war in the summer of 2006, Israel is once again urging the United States to unleash its war machine against Iran, and to use nuclear strikes if necessary to destroy its nuclear sites.

Despite the “iron wall” that Israel erected against Palestinians in 1948, despite the wall of apartheid it has built in the past few years, the Palestinians have not disappeared. Indeed, the Israelis continue their policy of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians in slow motion, all the while preparing to launch a final round of ethnic cleansing to finish the job they had begun in 1948.

Israel is now seen as one of the leading threats to world peace. What is worse, Israelis are increasingly seen in nearly every country barring the United States as oppressors, as racists, the inheritors of South Africa’s apartheid.

Is it the case — as Hugo Bergmann, a young Jewish philosopher from Prague had feared in 1919 — that Palestine had became a Jewish state but only by betraying Jewish ideals?

In short, the creation of Israel has not solved the ‘Jewish question;’ it has changed its locale, its form and name. The Europeans had long wrestled with what they called the ‘Jewish question.’ Israel has transformed the ‘Jewish question’ into the ‘Zionist question’: and made it global.

Anxiously, the world now waits for the Zionist creation — Israel — to make its next significant move.

Anxiously, the world hopes that this next significant move will be historic and not destructive: that it will secure the rights of Palestinians, all Palestinians; that it will redress the wrongs done to Palestinians, all Palestinians, in the same way that Jews still demand redress for the wrongs done to them by the Nazis.

Yet, there is little reason for optimism. Israel cannot render justice to the Palestinians without abolishing its exclusively Jewish character, without dismantling the apartheid that grinds the Palestinians.

No colonialism yet has restrained itself because the colonial masters had acquired a conscience. It was force that stopped them: countervailing force, with or without violence.

The challenge before the Western world, before the Americans especially, is to develop the countervailing force that can compel a solution without violence.

If the West — if the Americans — fail here, if they fail to nurture this countervailing force: they only leave the room wide open to violent solutions.

M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University, Boston. You may read this essay with footnotes and references in Real World Economics Review where it was first published. He is the author of Poverty from the Wealth of Nations (Palgrave-Macmillan: 2000) and Intimations of Ghalib (Orison Books: 2018). Read other articles by M. Shahid.

24 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. jaime said on September 18th, 2007 at 8:28am #

    Standard piece of agitation propaganda.

    Please allow me to elucidate one glaring (and probably intentional) error of omission. There are many more. But let’s start with one.

    When Jews began the Zionist project; that is a return of Jews to the Middle East to revive a Jewish homeland after 2,000 of displacement and exile in the late 19th century; the area was under domination by the Ottoman Empire, population relatively, sparse and there were (and indeed still are) relatively large areas of land unsuitable for cultivation. It was not a “violent conquest.”

    Arabs happily sold tracts of land to the newcomers. Some of it was tillable. Much of it not. The area that eventually became the modern city of Tel Aviv was a malarial swamp.

    Also, the Jews and locals lived, worked and did business together and many of their descendants still do.

    A copy of this is being kept in case this “unacceptable viewpoint “gets erased by “management.”

  2. Michael Kenny said on September 18th, 2007 at 12:07pm #

    Professor Alam is right to say that the problem began with Europe’s “Jewish Question”. Christian Europe has never liked its Jews and has spent centuries trying to get them either to integrate into European society or get out. Europe embraced Zionism because it saw it a means of making the Jews “go away”, both literally and figuratively. Europe is now turning against Zionism precisely because it has failed in that objective.

    But, of course, the error in Zionism is that it is typically European! It seeks to establish a classic, 19th century, European nation state for the Jews in their ancestral homeland in the Middle East. The underlying idea of such a state, the territorial monoculture (you “are” where you come from!), is utterly alien to the Middle East, where different groups of people have traditionally lived peacefully side by side while maintaining their own ethnic and/or religious identity. Indeed, it was precisely that typically Middle Eastern refusal to abandon their separate identity which got the Jews into trouble in Europe.

    Thus, the irony of the situation is that having behaved like Middle Easterners in Europe, and burned their fingers badly because of it, the Jews then fled back to the Middle East, where they proceeded to behave like … Europeans! And they have once again burned their fingers! It’s a bit like someone who puts their hand on a hot stove, puts a heatproof glove on their burned hand, goes back to the stove and puts their ungloved hand on it!

    The Jews need to start thinking like the Middle Eastern people they are and claim to be, not European wannabes!

  3. jaime said on September 18th, 2007 at 1:29pm #

    I disagree. Europe’s Holocaust of the Jews didn’t just liquidate obviously visible ones, but included those who had assimilated successfully in the prevailing culture for generations.

    Even if a Jew had converted to another religion or intermarried, that wouldn’t save them from the gas chambers or the death squads if they had one Jewish grandparent. Holland, Germany and France are examples of countries where Jews were thoroughly assimilated.

    Up until the Napoleanic era European Jews often weren’t permitted to assimilate and were forced into ghettos, forbidden to own land and were barred from many professions.

  4. opeluboy said on September 18th, 2007 at 5:35pm #

    Jaime repeats some of the standard Zionist mythology by asserting that there was hardly anyone there in Palestine (shades of Meir) and that violence was not a means of ridding the land of its native Arab population.

    Even Israeli historians don’t attempt to pass this fable off any longer.

    He also makes the gigantic leap, the one that Zionists always expect us to take with them, that all the Jews who came from Europe and stole the Palestinians land actually have historic roots in Palestine.

    This is utter nonsense.

    While certainly there are European Jews who can claim Palestinian ancestry, most cannot, and are not at all Semitic in origin.

    Of course there are those who will argue against this fact, but it is not too difficult to look a a blond, blue-eyed Jew and say with a good degree of certainty that this person is not of Middle Eastern descent. If I, a white man, were to attempt to convince you that my family comes form Mongolia or that I’m an Eskimo, you would likely doubt me.

    Jews from Palestine are indistinguishable from their Arab cousins, a fact that allows native Israelis to infiltrate groups like Hamas. It is doubtful that Woody Allen or Jon Stewart could do this, even if they spoke Arabic. Few Jews I’ve known in my entire 54 years bear any resemblance to an Arab. Most look exactly like what they are: Northern Europeans.

    Why is this important? Because if this is the case, that most Jews in Israel are not Semites and have no actual historical tie to the land whatsoever, it sort of blows the Right of Return idea to pieces. It also ruins people like Jamie’s argument that Zionism “is a return of Jews to the Middle East to revive a Jewish homeland after 2,000 of displacement and exile.”

    I’m sorry. This is impossible if your family has never been there.

  5. jaime said on September 19th, 2007 at 7:20am #

    Leaving aside your faulty “who is really Jewish” concept for the moment, let’s look slightly past that to the current situation.

    Taking your argument to it’s logical conclusion…effectively the state of Israel with some 7 million inhabitants “therefore” has no legitimate “right to exist.”

    What do you propose as a logical solution? ….Mass murder?

    A copy of this is being kept in case this “unacceptable viewpoint ” is erased by “management.”

  6. gerald spezio said on September 19th, 2007 at 7:25am #

    Any argument, any technique, any possible infiltration, any disguise is acceptable and justifiable to the Zionist propaganda machine.

    This is a basic multi-billion dollar part of the peeyar war for Israel’s very survival. There is no way out of this basic realization. Some Israeli agent is data mining even this blathering typing here.

    All of it is framing, peeyar, and pure unadulterated brain damage.
    It has worked very well up to now, and the Zionists are throwing everything into the war.

    You will have a difficult time finding any innocuous article, blog, movie, or tv discussion where Israel’s position isn’t pitched in some form or another. Madonna mia in the Holy Land hobnobbing with Olmert is a recent classic. Pelosi becomes Speaker of the House and immediately jets to Israel for photo ops.

    YABUT, it’s ONLY about the OIL?

    Weissman and Jacobs here on the pages of DV now are just two more of them. Yes, I am not sure as to whether their motives are conscious or unconscious, direct or indirect. They are selling the Israel First anti Arab peak oil with peace and justice HYPE, whether they like to be called on it or not. This is truly the age of propaganda, and the propaganda can only escalate.

    Israeli designs could very well set the entire world ablaze soon. Joe Lieberman is real.

  7. Hue Longer said on September 19th, 2007 at 4:18pm #


    What other state has a “right to exist”, much less a right to force other states to recognize that right?

    how much money do US tax payers give Israel? Maybe a plane ticket for Israeli Jews to the US would be cheaper, and I’m sure the lobby could chip in or at least create enough sympathy so that they’d get a better head start than most “refugees”

    There too is always the live side by side in an equall environment scrapping the racist Jewish only welcome wagon (New York sound better than that?)

    I’m not Opeluboy, but now that something other than the mass murdering of Jews has been offered for a logical conclusion, are you going to switch back to religious burying ceremonies?

  8. jaime said on September 21st, 2007 at 12:00pm #

    I like your “logical” solution. It’s funny.

  9. Hue Longer said on September 21st, 2007 at 6:54pm #

    I like your laughter…it’s nervous

  10. opeluboy said on September 21st, 2007 at 6:58pm #


    I never ceased to be amazed at how Zionists like yourself, when responding to inconvenient points made by others, entirely ignore those points in favor of a straw man.

    You addressed none of the points I made except to grandly wave your hand and declare them “faulty.” For why this may be the case, you offer no proof or argument, but proceed to assume that I am for total anihilation of The Jews.

    This, again, is one of the favorite canards of your ilk. Bring up the Holocaust, shreik “anti-Semitism” and equate anyone who does not support your myth of supremacy with a neo-Nazi. That is certain to silence all debate.

    Sorry, that no longer works.

    And yes, you are correct. I DO believe that the state of Israel has no right to exist. No state has a “right” to exist, but less one that won’t even define the actual borders of that state and which keeps millions of the original inhabitants in what amounts to an open-air prison.

    That being said, Israel is a fact, like it or not. I do not wish for its removal, but for it to follow international law and honor the terms laid down for its creation.

    Of course expecting Jews like yourself to do so is ridiculous as you believe yourselves to be above any law, and Israel to be uniquely chosen and supreme to any other state.

    And of course none of this would even be happening if the Palestinians would just behave and let your friends and relatives take their land and resources.

    But please keep writing and ask your like-minded friends to do the same here and elsewhere. Nothing reveals the utter bankruptcy of your soul and the very rotten heart of Zionism better than its adherants.

  11. jaime said on September 22nd, 2007 at 8:37am #

    I actually answered the above some hours ago, but my polite response was deleted by management. I guess it wasn’t “revolutionary” enough.

    Israel’s existence is a fact. Get over it. Make peace with it. Half-baked rhetorical pronouncements like “not recognizing the existence of israel” are just plain violently racist as well as ignorant.

    A copy of this is being kept in case this “unacceptable viewpoint ” is erased by “management.”

  12. Hue Longer said on September 22nd, 2007 at 4:09pm #

    Stop pretending that you are being deleted Jaime. Intentionally missing every point made to you screams cog dis and the following is an easy non-Israeli one for you to begin with…

    Your calling people racists and”Joo haters” is what’s being deleted, not your “unnacceptable viewpoint”.

    If debate continues to lead you to frustrated attempts to deceive or change subjects (or reality), maybe it’s time you started learning without bias?

  13. jaime said on September 23rd, 2007 at 7:59am #

    That’s a load of bullcrap! I’ve answered all kinds of assertions on this board. Always to exposed the faulty reasoning and outright racism behind them. You nice people have a big hate on for Israel. and Jews. It’s pretty obvious. Why even bother denying it anymore?

  14. Hue Longer said on September 23rd, 2007 at 12:00pm #

    lol…quit it

  15. opeluboy said on September 25th, 2007 at 7:48pm #

    That Jaime just doesn’t get it. Some of my best friends are Jews, and I’d even let my sister marry one, if she could find one that could tolerate her.

  16. Salmi said on September 26th, 2007 at 7:31am #

    Hey~Jaime are you really that naive or are YOU playing HEIGHT of INNOCENCE. I’ll simply advise you & your ilk to take some pains n watch & listen to ALTERNATENATE media, also get some History Lessons from Robert Fisk, AmyGoodman{Jewish}, Jeremy Sccahill~~~ if you want more names I’ll provide you with tons & tons.

    Jews have half the claim on palestine that Muslims have over Spain!
    Get your History Ironed out~~~pleeeeaaaseeee

  17. jaime said on September 26th, 2007 at 11:52am #

    Thanks Salmi,

    It’s O.K., this is not my first encounter with Jewish antisemites.

    And if you like alternative for alternative sake (though here my postings tend to be alternative…think about that one) you’ll LUV David Icke and his Illuminati elite who really call the shots around here..and they’re shape-shifting lizards from another dimension. Yowza!

    How can you not luv a guy like this ?

    Heeeeeeere’s Dave:

    “I strongly believe that a small Jewish clique which has contempt for the mass of Jewish people worked with non-Jews to create the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the Second World War. This Jewish/non-Jewish Elite used the First World War to secure the Balfour Declaration and the principle of the Jewish State of Israel. They then dominated the Versailles Peace Conference and created the circumstances which made the Second World War inevitable. They financed Hitler to power in 1933 and made the funds available for his rearmament.”

  18. salmi said on September 29th, 2007 at 8:29am #

    Welcome Dave~~~ pl. do a favor to jaime & give him some private tutoring in history {I’m positive he can afford you}. I can’t wake him up when he’s pretending to BE sleeping! He he were reallly sleeping he could be awakend!!!
    Jamie u have nothing else to say except to make baseless, false accusations. Then there’s a difference in alternate AND alternative~~~ kindly open a dictionary~any how for your enlightment here some thing you AUGHT TO READ:

    **CounterPunch September 25, 2007**
    To Mr. Lee Bollinger,
    *Subject:* An Open Letter to Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University
    Clifton Ross is the co-editor of Voice of Fire: Communiques and
    Interviews of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (1994, New Earth Publications). His book, Fables for an Open Field (1994, Trombone Press, New Earth Publications), has just been released in Spanish by La Casa Tomada of Venezuela. His forthcoming book of poems in translation, Traducir el Silencio, will be published later this year by Venezuela´s Ministry of Culture editorial, Perro y Rana. Ross
    teaches English at Berkeley City College, Berkeley, California. He can
    be reached at: moc.liamgnull@ssorfilc__
    I’m writing you to express my outrage over your vulgar treatment of President Ahmadinejad yesterday when you invited him to speak at your university. Simple human etiquette of the most primitive and elemental sort, was required in the situation, but you failed to deliver even that. You were obnoxious, insulting and displayed an appalling
    ignorance of President Ahmadinejad, Iran and politics, not to mention
    the rules that govern “civilized” human conduct (arguably “primitive”
    conduct is even more governed by politeness and elevated rules of
    Moreover, in a context that calls for objectivity, investigation, open
    mindedness and a willingness to learn and exchange ideas, you
    displayed a remarkable absence of any of those qualities. Instead, you
    showed yourself to be one with the bullying, abusive, ignorant and
    arrogant people who unfortunately govern our country at the moment and who are attempting to induce a phobic and neurotic xenophobia
    comparable only to what Hitler and Mussolini and Stalin inculcated in
    their countries during those moments of greatest darkness in human
    history. The irony of the situation is that you displayed all those
    qualities of which you accused President Ahmadinejad. Where was that
    display of that “great tradition of openness” in your callous, close
    minded speech? Your speech shows you to “exhibit all the signs of a
    petty and cruel dictator” and worse: a bully, a man who invites a
    guest into his house, then abuses him before a cheering crowd.
    However, when you say “your [Iran’s] government is now undermining
    American troops in Iraq by funding, arming, and providing safe transit to insurgent leaders like Muqtada al-Sadr and his forces” you show
    yourself to be as biased, and blinded by nationalism and an imperial arrogance as the architects of the genocide we’re currently seeing in. Iraq. You don’t ask what “American troops in Iraq” are doing there as invaders, occupiers, who are, de facto, now made war criminals by being the willing instruments of the “war of aggression,” considered the supreme international crime, one committed by Mr. George Bush through fabrications of evidence, lies, and manipulation; you don’t ask what role those resistance fighters like Muqtada Al Sadr are playing, but those less blinded by nationalism than you would compare him to our own patriotic forefathers who fought the British for our own nationhood; and now you don’t bother to ask what your ignorant, uninformed criticisms of President Ahmadinejad will do to help the same war criminals who destroyed Iraq to now go on and destroy Iran.
    I’m writing you to express my outrage over your vulgar treatment of
    President Ahmadinejad yesterday when you invited him to speak at your university. Simple human etiquette of the most primitive and elemental sort, was required in the situation, but you failed to deliver even that.
    You accuse President Ahmadinejad of “a brutal crackdown on scholars, journalists and human rights advocates” but you fail to mention the scores of scholars, journalists and human rights advocates, imprisoned, tortured and murdered by U.S. forces in Iraq. Is that cowardice or a double standard or merely “oversight” on your part? And when you accuse President Ahmadinejad of denying the Holocaust and calling for the destruction of the state of Israel, that is, when you pander to your Zionist supporters, you merely display an ignorance of the actual words of Ahmadinejad (words that were twisted in the translation to English, predictably; see this piece by Virginia
    Tilley,), which he corrected yesterday in his comments and
    However, when you say “your [Iran’s] government is now undermining
    American troops in Iraq by funding, arming, and providing safe transit
    to insurgent leaders like Muqtada al-Sadr and his forces” you show
    yourself to be as biased, and blinded by nationalism and an imperial
    arrogance as the architects of the genocide we’re currently seeing in
    Iraq. You don’t ask what “American troops in Iraq” are doing there as
    invaders, occupiers, who are, de facto, now made war criminals by
    being the willing instruments of the “war of aggression,” considered
    the supreme international crime, one committed by Mr. George Bush
    through fabrications of evidence, lies, and manipulation; you don’t
    ask what role those resistance fighters like Muqtada Al Sadr are
    playing, but those less blinded by nationalism than you would compare
    him to our own patriotic forefathers who fought the British for our
    own nationhood; and now you don’t bother to ask what your ignorant,
    uninformed criticisms of President Ahmadinejad will do to help the
    same war criminals who destroyed Iraq to now go on and destroy Iran.
    If you knew anything of history, the history of your own lifetime, you
    might understand the situation that currently confronts Iran. You
    probably know that the U.S. overthrew Iran’s democracy in 1953 and set up a brutal, decadent Shah who was our man in the Middle East for the following two and a half decades. You may even know that the CIA
    helped organize the imprisonment, torture and killings of dissidents
    under that Shah, which is why the students took over the U.S. embassy
    when they finally got rid of the filth the U.S. had imposed upon them
    for all those dark years.
    We don’t need to agree with the elected President of Iran, Ahmadinejad, to show him the simple respect due an elected head of
    state. But you seem incapable of that simple act required of someone
    in your position. To call an elected president a “dictator,” however,
    is not only insulting but inaccurate. Such epithets are reserved for
    those who impose themselves by force and by fraud, such as Mr. Bush,
    who has stolen two elections. But I’m sure you wouldn’t use terms to
    describe your own head of state so, now would you?
    The Chinese have a saying, roughly translated, that goes, “the one
    pointing his finger at another, has three fingers pointing at
    himself.” But you are so blind to who you are, up there in your
    position of power as President of the prestigious Columbia University
    of New York in the great empire of the United States of America, that
    you don’t see the man being accused by his three fingers. So, to
    close, I invite you to take a look at yourself, and our people, as
    another sees us. Her name is Layla Anwar and she writes a blog called
    Arab Woman Blues which you can find here.

    I warn you. A man of your highly sensitive sensibilities may find some
    of her language harsh, painful, distasteful. But I assure you, she has
    far more justification for saying what she does than you did in your
    pronouncements against the President of Iran yesterday. And it is
    long, but I plead for you to have patience because you are a man in
    need of an education, and sometimes education is a very painful process.
    > >> She writes>>>>*************>>>>>>>>>>>>

  19. salmi said on September 30th, 2007 at 1:28pm #

    **Is there anything in Iraq that the Americans have not destroyed?***
    Anything at all? … The past – you have looted and destroyed.
    Trying to erase our collective historical memory …. Our roots, where
    we came from, what our ancestors did, their achievements, their
    trials, their statues, their writings …. **
    **You do not know history, you are rejects of history. You have no history. You have no past, you have nothing … you are nothing.**
    **You are nothing but ogres of consumerism. Not just material stuff,
    but anything you can swallow whole you will. You even swallow other
    people’s history whole.**
    **You are a greedy, covetous, gluttonous, voracious, jealous, envious
    people … **
    **Since you are nothing, your nihilism contaminates everything else …. **
    **You destroy and self destruct …. **
    **No Future – You have no future, because inside of yourselves, your
    future is limited to your own little egos. Little egos have no future.
    Little egos are amoebas, parasites, feeding off others … You think
    you have a vision but your vision is only about your stomach, your
    pockets and what you have in between your legs … That is it.**
    **This is where it stops. Surely this does not make you seers … **
    **What have you contributed to the world ? Anything of real substance?
    Nothing. Apart from brutal might and power … and your sickening
    culture that is as hollow and as empty as you are.**
    **And just as you have no real future, you robbed us of our own. You
    are collectively a bunch of criminals, thieves, thugs and perverts of
    the worst kind.**
    **Since your f*cking 9/11, you have totally destroyed two countries.
    Afghanistan and Iraq. And you have not stopped. Not one day, not one
    hour … **
    **You wanted regime change in Iraq – you got it. You also changed us,
    me, beyond anything I can recognize … I never hated you before.
    Today I do. I really hate you.**
    **You collectively disgust me.. Even our ancient Mesopotamian deities
    and spirits are disgusted with you. Every single letter of the
    Alphabet is disgusted with you.**
    **The earth, the rivers, the sky, the mountains, the trees, the birds
    of Iraq are disgusted with you … The cosmos is disgusted with you ….**
    **Everytime I spot one of you anywhere in close proximity and hear
    that ugly accent of yours I run away … I avoid you like the plague.
    I can’t bear to hear you or see you.**
    **You represent nothing but Death and Destruction to me. Your ugliness
    is all pervading … **
    **Everytime I switch on the TV or the Radio and see or hear one of
    you, I zap. I wish I can zap you out of my life once and for all … **
    **I know, I keep repeating myself, but then you keep repeating the
    same acts.**
    **Iraq is going down, with its past and its future … **
    **I can only promise you one thing, however long it may take, we are
    going to take you down with us.”**
    As a North American I can add nothing more except to apologize to Iraq for what my government has done and continues to do to them and to Iran for what you, and your government have done, and are preparing to
    do, to them. And to President Ahmadinejad, I apologize for Mr.
    Bollinger’s barbarous and inexcusable words. Not all U..S. citizens are
    as ignorant and lacking in basic manners as the presidents of our

    Clifton Ross

    ****Now this’s what Israel & USA be doing~ {APOLOGIZING} to thousands of Palestinian children, women & men~ dead & injured physically & tortured mentally~ that would be the 1st. tiny little step in the right direction~& then start making the amends~~~Salmi

  20. jaime said on September 30th, 2007 at 3:12pm #

    Wow, Salmi, I AM IMPRESSED!!!!!

    Re: Columbia Chancellor Bollinger’s treatment of the Pres. of Iran….did I miss something? Has Iran stopped hanging people in public from building cranes, beating women in the streets for wearing blue jeans and perscuting Gays? Maybe we’re talking about another Iran?

    I can’t wait to see what you have to say about Burma!

  21. salmi said on October 1st, 2007 at 7:21am #


    I THINK you are sitting there with a stainer where you let every thing SLIP DOWN the HOLES!!!
    i neither MEANT to nor INTENDED toIMPRESS you n your kind.
    ALSO am not EVEN IMPRESSED by you being IMPRESSED BY me~ehhhhhh { but am sOrry that my efforts to put some COMPASSION & sense into your horrendously& completely closed byIRON wall~(which is worse than the one erected in Palestine)MIND went in VAIN}. YOU WANT to be impressed??? Runnnnnn & read the journalist who ARE honest, fair& just AND WHO have spent their WHOLE lives DIGGING the truth & DEFENDING the rights of the MEEK n the WEEK!

    IN the MOST PRIMITIVE cultures too,when a GUEST is INVITED {EVEN iF he/she is the WORST ENEMY is TREATED with HIGH HONOR & RESPECT}!!! If you CANNNNOT abide by the BASIC DECENCY thennnnnn DON’T INVITE~~~ IS Thaaaaat sooooo COMPLicaTED jAIME???

    YOUR questions are sooooo stupid n childish that i WOULDN’t bother responding & wasting any more time~~~ gooooo EDUCATE yourself, and BEFORE pointing fingers at others~ take a peek under your own carpet and clean all the MESS & theFILTH that you’ve hid!!! I’ve better thing to do than ARGUE with you,,,ANYHOW rest assured that I STAND for JUSTICE & TRUTH for any one n every one~ INDISCRIMINATELY!!!
    As for Burma ~~~ keep WAAAAitinggggggg~~~~~~~~~~~~
    {GOOD trick to CHANGE the sticky, BURNING topic & issues!

    *^*^*WAKE UP and SMELL the BLOOD!!!!!^*^*^

  22. Shabnam said on October 1st, 2007 at 1:10pm #

    For those who raise a question about “Iran hanging people in public,” I should say when American and Israeli and British stop training terrorists to send them back to Iran to kill and destroy buildings then Iran starts thinking about the capital punishment. When Israel stop to give Kurds military training and Send them back to the Iranian border to kill Iranians then Iran starts to think about capital punishment. Lee Bollinger’ foolish charges and remarks only ridiculed him and his Zionist friends not Ahmadi Nejad and this has widely been circulated in Iran, Middle East and beyond. As Horetz reported: “ISRAEL WAS A BIG LOSER.” In fact Israel should answer few questions like when is Israel going to stop killing Palestinian children in their own land? When Israel stop destroying Palestinian’s land and property? When is Israel going to stop killing cripple people in wheel chair? When Israel stop assassinating anything moves in Palestinian territories? When are Americans leaving Iraq and the region? When do they stop torturing and raping the population of the region. When are Zionists going to stop the lies and deception when they say Iranians are killing American soldiers!!! before asking this question they should answer this question frist: What are American and Israeli doing in Iraq? People have fought against the colonial and imperial and now the Zionist forces and continue to do so. If you don’t want to be killed then do not invade other countries and land…………………………………………… and then Iran may start thinking about capital punishment.

  23. jaime said on October 2nd, 2007 at 11:58am #

    Well THANK YOU!!!!!!!

    Now let’s have a look at this rant…..

    “…When do they stop torturing and raping the population of the region.”

    Rape? Rape? I never seen any documentation to support rape by Israeli soldiers of Palestinians. Of course, you can show us lots of documentation to prove this can’t you? Or can you?

    “When are Zionists going to stop the lies and deception when they say Iranians are killing American soldiers!!! ”

    Well, the UN and NATO forces have been intercepting shipments of weapons including those deadly shaped charges that are clearly marked as manufactured in Iran. But don’t change your story just for me.

  24. Salmi said on October 10th, 2007 at 6:46am #

    rEMEMBER what HAPPENed to the SOVIET WALL???

    Israel’s Palestinian Road Hit by Critics
    JERICHO, West Bank, Tue Oct 09, 04:08 PM

    Israel confirmed Tuesday it is building a new road for Palestinians in the West Bank, prompting charges an increasingly segregated road system is meant to seal Israeli control over a swath of land near Jerusalem as the sides try to revive peace talks.
    Israel said the 10-mile road will help connect Palestinian communities that would otherwise be cut off by a loop of the Israeli separation barrier that is intended to reach deep into the West Bank.
    Palestinian and Israeli critics accused Israel’s government of creating “facts on the ground” before peace talks and said it was undermining trust.
    “How can we establish a contiguous Palestinian state, in the context of this policy of dividing the Palestinian land and turning it into isolated islands?” said Nabil Abu Rdeneh, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
    Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia called on Israel to rescind its decision and urged the U.S. to intervene. “Such measures will eliminate the possibility of establishing an independent Palestinian state and thus the possibility of a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
    In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said he had no information about the plan. “We’re going to look into it,” he said.
    The new road is part of what a recent U.N. report called an increasingly separate road system emerging in the West Bank. Some 1,032 miles of West Bank roads are mainly for Israeli use, and Palestinian access is restricted by checkpoints and a permit system, the report said.
    A road under construction east of Jerusalem has a stretch in which lanes for Israeli and Palestinian traffic are divided by a tall wall. The Israeli lanes connect to Jerusalem, the Palestinians lanes bypass the city.
    The road dispute comes at a particularly sensitive time.
    Israeli and Palestinian teams are trying to draft a joint declaration that would guide future peace negotiations. The teams first met Monday, will have a second session next week and are to present the document at a U.S.-hosted conference in November.
    The document is to address the most difficult issues in the conflict, such as borders, Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and Palestinian refugees.
    Israel insists it is ready to negotiate a peace deal. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told his parliament Monday he would not miss this opportunity and warned that failure to reach agreement would mean a “demographic struggle steeped in blood and tears.”
    At the same time, Israel has been pressing ahead with its contentious West Bank separation barrier, including a segment around Jerusalem, known as the “Jerusalem Envelope.”
    Planned to keep out Palestinian attackers, the barrier will also slice off about 10 percent of the West Bank, and some Israeli leaders have suggested it should form the basis of a future border. According to such proposals, the Palestinians could be compensated with other Israeli land.
    In the Jerusalem area, the Israeli measures have had the most far-reaching repercussions for a future Palestinian state. The barrier encircling Jerusalem has been largely completed, but a gap of several miles has been left on the eastern side.
    According to a government-approved route, the barrier would dip deep into the West Bank in that area, in order to incorporate not just the Maaleh Adumim settlement of 30,000 residents, about two miles from Jerusalem, but also outlying Jewish enclaves, for a total of 23 square miles.
    The construction is on hold because of an appeal to Israel’s Supreme Court by the Council for Peace and Security, a group of hundreds of retired Israeli security officials who have proposed a much smaller loop.
    The barrier route proposed by the government would drive a deep wedge into the West Bank, to the midpoint between Jerusalem and the Jordanian border, jeopardizing the contiguity of a Palestinian state.
    In confirming plans for the Palestinian road, the Defense Ministry said the highway would run on the “Palestinian side” of that wedge, starting south of Jerusalem.
    “Due to the construction of the security fence in Maaleh Adumim, a need arose to build a road to directly connect the Bethlehem and Judea regions (southern West Bank) and the Jericho and Jordan Valley area (in the east), in order to improve quality of life for the Palestinians,” a ministry statement said.
    The road will be built on about 400 acres, of which 56 acres were expropriated from Palestinian land owners, the ministry said. Palestinian municipal officials said a total of 275 acres had been expropriated.
    Shaul Arieli, a former Israeli peace negotiator and member of the Council for Peace and Security, urged Israel not to go ahead with the wide barrier loop and the new road.
    “You cannot talk about a Mideast conference and in the meantime create facts on the ground that create a reality that cannot enable a final peace deal,” he said. “If you want to go to a peace conference, you have to stop these actions.”
    Benny Kashriel, the mayor of Maaleh Adumim, said the proposed road would make life easier for Palestinians. He said Palestinian motorists would eventually be able to drive from the southern to the northern West Bank without encountering any Israeli checkpoints.
    The mayor denied charges that the road was indirectly linked to plans to expand Maaleh Adumim by building 3,500 more homes on the last stretch of empty West Bank land just east of Jerusalem.
    The project, known as E-1, remains on hold because of U.S. pressure, he said. If built, E-1 would cut off a future Palestinian state from its intended capital, east Jerusalem.
    The new Maaleh Adumim bypass road could eventually erode opposition to the E-1 project, Arieli said. “If they build this road, they can say there is Palestinian contiguity,” he said.
    Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said there is nothing new. “There has been no change in the position of the Israeli government,” he said. “There is no settlement construction in the area of E-1.”