Is One State Possible?

The Two State Dreamers

If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s most intractable, much the same can be said of the parallel debate about whether its resolution can best be achieved by a single state embracing the two peoples living there or by a division of the land into two separate states, one for Jews and the other for Palestinians.

The central argument of the two-staters is that the one-state idea is impractical and therefore worthless of consideration. Their rallying cry is that it is at least possible to imagine a consensus emerging behind two states, whereas Israelis will never accept a single state. The one-state crowd are painted as inveterate dreamers and time-wasters.

That is the argument advanced by Israel’s only serious peace group, Gush Shalom. Here is the view of the group‘s indefatigable leader, Uri Avnery: “After 120 years of conflict, after a fifth generation was born into this conflict on both sides, to move from total war to total peace in a Single Joint State, with a total renunciation of national independence? This is total illusion.”

Given Avnery’s high-profile opposition to a single state, many in the international solidarity groups adopt the same position. They have been joined by an influential American intellectual, the philosopher Michael Neumann, who wrote the no-holds-barred book The Case against Israel. He appears to be waging a campaign to discredit the one-state idea too.

Recently in defence of two states, he wrote: “That Israel would concede a single state is laughable. … There is no chance at all [Israelis] will accept a single state that gives the Palestinians anything remotely like their rights.”

Unlike the one-state solution, according to Neumann and Avnery, the means to realising two states are within our grasp: the removal of the half a million Jewish settlers living in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Both believe that, were Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders, it would be possible to create two real states. “A two-state solution will, indeed, leave Palestinians with a sovereign state, because that’s what a two-state solution means,” argues Neumann. “It doesn’t mean one state and another non-state, and no Palestinian proponent of a two-state solution will settle for less than sovereignty.”

There is something surprisingly naive about arguing that, just because something is called a two-state solution, it will necessarily result in two sovereign states. What are the mimimum requirements for a state to qualify as sovereign, and who decides?

True, the various two-state solutions proposed by Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert and George Bush, and supported by most of the international community, would fail according to the two-staters’ chief criterion: these divisions are not premised on the removal of all the settlers.

But an alternative two-state solution requiring Israel’s withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders might still not concede, for example, a Palestinian army – equipped and trained by Iran? – to guard the borders of the West Bank and Gaza. Would that count? And how likely do the campaigners for two real states think it that Israel and the US would grant that kind of sovereignty to a Palestine state?

Importantly, Neumann and Avnery remind us that those with power are the ones who dictate solutions. In which case we can be sure that, when the time is right, Israel and its sponsor, the United States, will impose their own version of the two-state solution and that it will be far from the genuine article advocated by the two-state camp.

But let us return to the main argument: that the creation of two states is inherently more achievable and practical than the establishment of a single state. Strangely, however, from all the available evidence, this is not how it looks to Israel’s current leaders.

Prime minister Ehud Olmert, for example, has expressed in several speeches the fear that, should the Palestinian population under Israeli rule — both in the occupied territories and inside Israel proper — reach the point where it outnumbers the Jewish population, as demographers expect in the next few years, Israel will be compared to apartheid South Africa. In his words, Israel is facing an imminent and powerful “struggle for one-man-one-vote” along the lines of the anti-apartheid movement.

According to Olmert, without evasive action, political logic is drifting inexorably towards the creation of one state in Israel and Palestine. This was his sentiment as he addressed delegates to the recent Herzliya conference:

“Once we were afraid of the possibility that the reality in Israel would force a bi-national state on us. In 1948, the obstinate policy of all the Arabs, the anti-Israel fanaticism and our strength and the leadership of David Ben-Gurion saved us from such a state. For 60 years, we fought with unparalleled courage in order to avoid living in a reality of bi-nationalism, and in order to ensure that Israel exists as a Jewish and democratic state with a solid Jewish majority. We must act to this end and understand that such a [bi-national] reality is being created, and in a very short while it will be beyond our control.”

Olmert’s energies are therefore consumed with finding an alternative political programme that can be sold to the rest of the world. That is the reason he, and Sharon before him, began talking about a Palestinian state. Strangely, however, neither took up the offer of the ideal two-state solution — the kind Avnery and Neumann want — made in 2002. Then Saudi Arabia and the rest Arab world promised Israel peace in return for its withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders. They repeated their offer last year. Israel has steadfastly ignored them.

Instead an alternative version of two states — the bogus two-state solution — has become the default position of Israeli politics. It requires only that Israel and the Palestinians appear to divide the land, while in truth the occupation continues and Jewish sovereignty over all of historic Palestine is not only maintained but rubber-stamped by the international community. In other words, the Gazafication of the West Bank.

When Olmert warns that without two states “Israel is finished”, he is thinking primarily about how to stop the emergence of a single state. So, if the real two-state camp is to be believed, Olmert is a dreamer too, because he fears that a one-state solution is not only achievable but dangerously close at hand. Sharon, it seems, suffered from the same delusion, given that demography was the main impulse for his disengaging from Gaza.

Or maybe both of them understood rather better than Neumann and Avnery what is meant by a Jewish state, and what political conditions are incompatible with it.

In fact, the division of the land demanded by the real two-staters, however equitable, would be the very moment when the struggle for Israel to remain a Jewish state would enter its most critical and difficult phase. Which is precisely why Israel has blocked any meaningful division of the land so far and will continue to do so.

In the unimaginable event that the Israel were to divide the land, a Jewish state would not be able to live with the consequences of such a division for long. Eventually, the maintenance of an ethnic Israeli state would (and will) prove unsustainable: environmentally, demographically and ultimately physically. Division of the land simply “fast-forwards” the self-destructiveness inherent in a Jewish state.

Let us examine just a few of the consequences for the Jewish state of a genuine two-state solution.

First, Israel inside its recognised, shrunken borders would face an immediate and very serious water shortage. That is because, in returning the West Bank to the Palestinians, Israel would lose control of the large mountain aquifers that currently supply most of its water, not only to Israel proper but also to the Jewish settlers living illegally in the occupied territories. Israel would no longer be able to steal the water, but would be expected to negotiate for it on the open market.

Given the politics of water in the Middle East that would be no simple matter. However impoverished the new sovereign Palestinian state was, it would lose all legitimacy in the eyes of its own population were it to sell more than a trickle of water to the Israelis.

We can understand why by examining the current water situation. At the moment Israel drains off almost all of the water provided by the rivers and acquifers inside Israel and in the occupied territories for use by its own population, allowing each Palestinian far less than the minimum amount he or she requires each day, according to the World Health Organisation.

In a stark warning last month, Israel’s Water Authority reported that overdrilling has polluted with sea water most of the supply from the coastal aquifer — that is the main fresh water source inside Israel’s recognised borders.

Were Palestinians to be allowed a proper water ration from their own mountain aquifer, as well as to build a modern economy, there would not be enough left over to satisfy Israel’s first-world thirst. And that is before we consider the extra demand on water resources from all those Palestinians who choose to realise their right to return, not to their homes in Israel, but to the new sovereign Palestinian state.

In addition, for reasons that we will come to, the sovereign Jewish state would have every reason to continue its Judaisation policies, trying to attract as many Jews from the rest of the world as possible, thereby further straining the region’s water resources.

The environmental unsustainability of both states seeking to absorb large populations would inevitably result in a regional water crisis. In addition, should Israeli Jews, sensing water shortages, start to leave in significant numbers, Israel would have an even more pressing reason to locate water, by fair means or foul.

It can be expected that in a short time Israel, with the fourth most powerful army in the world, would seek to manufacture reasons for war against its weaker neighbours, particularly the Palestinians but possibly also Lebanon, in a bid to steal their water.

Water shortages would, of course, be a problem facing a single state too. But, at least in one state there would be mechanisms in place to reduce such tensions, to manage population growth and economic development, and to divide water resources equitably.

Second, with the labour-intensive occupation at an end, much of the Jewish state’s huge citizen army would become surplus to defence requirements. In addition to the massive social and economic disruptions, the dismantling of the country’s military complex would fundamentally change Israel’s role in the region, damage its relationship with the only global superpower and sever its financial ties to Diaspora Jews.

Israel would no longer have the laboratories of the occupied territories for testing its military hardware, its battlefield strategies and its booming surveillance and crowd control industries. If Israel chose to fight the Palestinians, it would have to do so in a proper war, even if one between very unequal sides. Doubtless the Palestinians, like Hizbullah, would quickly find regional sponsors to arm and train their army or militias.

The experience and reputation Israel has acquired — at least among the US military — in running an occupation and devising new and supposedly sophisticated ways to control the “Arab mind” would rapidly be lost, and with it Israel’s usefulness to the US in managing its own long-term occupation of Iraq.

Also, Israel’s vital strategic alliance with the US in dividing the Arab world, over the issue of the occupation and by signing peace treaties with some states and living in a state of permanent war with others, would start to unravel.

With the waning of Israel’s special relationship with Washington and the influence of its lobby groups, as well as the loss of billions of dollars in annual subsidies, the Jewish Diaspora would begin to lose interest in Israel. Its money and power ebbing away, Israel might eventually slip into Middle Eastern anonymity, another Jordan. In such circumstances it would rapidly see a large exodus of privileged Ashkenazi Jews, many of whom hold second passports.

Third, the Jewish state would not be as Jewish as some might think: currently one in five Israelis is not Jewish but Palestinian. Although in order to realise a real two-state vision all the Jewish settlers would probably need to leave the occupied territories and return to Israel, what would be done with the Palestinians with Israeli citizenship?

These Palestinians have been citizens for six decades and live legally on land that has belonged to their families for many generations. They are also growing in number at a rate faster than the Jewish population, the reason they are popularly referred to in Israel as a “demographic timebomb”.

Were these 1.3 million citizens to be removed from Israel by force under a two-state arrangement, it would be a violation of international law by a democratic state on a scale unprecedented in the modern era, and an act of ethnic cleansing even larger than the 1948 war that established Israel. The question would be: why even bother advocating two states if it has to be achieved on such appalling terms?

Assuming instead that the new Jewish state is supposed to maintain, as Israel currently does, the pretense of being democratic, these citizens would be entitled to continue living on their land and exercising their rights. Inside a Jewish state that had officially ended its conflict with the Palestinians, demands would grow from Palestinian citizens for equal rights and an end to their second-class status.

Most importantly, they would insist on two rights that challenge the very basis of a Jewish state. They would expect the right, backed by international law, to be able to marry Palestinians from outside Israel and bring them to live with them. And they would want a Right of Return for their exiled relatives on a similar basis to the Law of Return for Jews.

Israel’s Jewishness would be at stake, even more so than it is today from its Palestinian minority. It can be assumed that Israel’s leaders would react with great ferocity to protect the state’s Jewishness. Eventually Israel’s democratic pretensions would have to be jettisoned and the full-scale ethnic cleansing of Palestinian citizens implemented.

Still, do these arguments against the genuine two-state arrangement win the day for the one-state solution? Would Israel’s leaders not put up an equally vicious fight to protect their ethnic privileges by preventing, as they are doing now, the emergence of a single state?

Yes, they would and they will. But that misses my point. As long as Israel is an ethnic state, it will be forced to deepen the occupation and intensify its ethnic cleansing policies to prevent the emergence of genuine Palestinian political influence — for the reasons I cite above and for many others I don’t. In truth, both a one-state and a genuine two-state arrangement are impossible given Israel’s determination to remain a Jewish state.

The obstacle to a solution, then, is not about dividing the land but about Zionism itself, the ideology of ethnic supremacism that is the current orthodoxy in Israel. As long as Israel is a Zionist state, its leaders will allow neither one state nor two real states.

The solution, therefore, reduces to the question of how to defeat Zionism. It just so happens that the best way this can be achieved is by confronting the illusions of the two-state dreamers and explaining why Israel is in permanent bad faith about seeking peace.

In other words, if we stopped distracting ourselves with the Holy Grail of the two-state solution, we might channel our energies into something more useful: discrediting Israel as a Jewish state, and the ideology of Zionism that upholds it. Eventually the respectable façade of Zionism might crumble.

Without Zionism, the obstacle to creating either one or two states will finally be removed. And if that is the case, then why not also campaign for the solution that will best bring justice to both Israelis and Palestinians?

Jonathan Cook, based in Nazareth, Israel is a winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). Read other articles by Jonathan, or visit Jonathan's website.

36 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. jaime said on March 13th, 2008 at 8:02am #

    The Palestinians have never been further from independent sovereignty then they are today. This is due to their endless squabbling amongst themselves, a pathological need to kill Jews, plus the tendency of Hamas to take their people back into the stone age.

    Even with massive outside help, The Abbas Fatah regime has not been able to shake its roots as a tribal culture. Doesn’t maintain much of a semblance of order, or progress, and continues to support incitement against the existence of Jews and Israel.

    Until or if ever the Palestinians get their own house in order, the Israelis have no reason to discontinue developing new housing projects on land that is sold to them by Arabs.

  2. jaime said on March 13th, 2008 at 8:05am #

    Palestinians in Gaza are living in a dream world, says Youssef Ibrahim, and many of their Arab brothers have no time for their dead-end death cult.

    by Youssef M. Ibrahim

    As of now, the only viable Palestinian state looks pretty much like Gaza plus some desert land surrounding it. The West Bank, which could have been part of it, is fast disappearing as slices of salami allocated to Jewish settlements. Counting upon the world, including the Arabs, to be shaken by the injustice of it all is part of that Palestinian illusive Neverland.

    Israelis will stop only if they have a deal parallel to the one they are creating on the ground. Time is of the essence. Until then, Palestinian institutions, youth, economy, and indeed sanity will continue in free fall.

    Palestinian brothers: you are down and out, alone in a burnt-out landscape shrinking by the day. The question is: why?

  3. hp said on March 13th, 2008 at 8:47am #

    For you, of all people, to speak of ‘tribal culture’ and a ‘pathological need to kill,’ as if these were foreign concepts, when these were literally conceived and promoted by your ‘chosen’ tribe, in their ‘Holy’ books, is proof enough for me.
    Then trot out a ‘Self-hating Arab,’ ha, ha, a NYT sycophant, an ‘Energy Editor,’ what ever that may be, to convince anyone of your sincerity and concern for all, is….well…. I wouldn’t trade your chutzpah for all the oil wells in Israel.
    I guess that makes me an ‘Energy Idealist.’

  4. Max Shields said on March 13th, 2008 at 9:16am #

    Mr. Cook presents an exquisite and cogent argument for a one state solution. This is not a purely intellectual proposition he lays out but one with a deep understanding for the human condition in that region.

    It is essential an apolitical solution, one based not on ethnicity but on a certain inevitability that may very well overtake the tit for tat and wretched horror wrought by a military US client. It is only counterintuitive if you buy the notion of the simplicity of a two state – a “you have yours, I’ll have mine.” But Cook takes that logic forward with the current asymmetrical power dynamics in place, and concludes that it [two state] at best continues the status quo and at worse heightens the tension and descent into ever more hell.

    Cook, in raising the environmental, population, and particularly water issue makes the imperative for a single state the answer that transcends the lopsided and transient powers; a situation with is totally unsustainable.

    The intractability is a stall tactic which is clear from the acknowledgment by Sharon’s and Ehud Olmert’s in their “two-state solution embrace”. In the end, the Zionist state cannot tolerate a two state solution. From this vantage point theirs is a simple choice of annihilation of Palestinians (genocide) or to see the dissolve of the Zionist version of a Jewish state. There is no two state solution for the Zionist; it is simply a prop.

    To realize this is to realize that the world’s greatest mass killing is happening with the full sanction of the US government and in our political campaign rhetoric of Dem and Repub candidates.

  5. sk said on March 13th, 2008 at 11:24am #

    There was a debate held last year in Israel between Uri Avnery and Ilan Pappe on the topic “Two States Or One States”. Ilan Pappe summarized the outcome this way:

    …we have two agendas: a long term, principled agenda, and an immediate, vital; emergency agenda…The emergency agenda is to put an end to the Israeli oppression in the Occupied Territories.

  6. Hatuxka said on March 13th, 2008 at 1:13pm #

    Would it be possible to “collapse” jaimes comments, being, as usual, an unhinged screed of inordinate length even for jaime? So that we could more easily skip past them and other such “contributors” like jaime and read some real discussion.
    Anyway, can anyone imagine a “two-state solution” for South Africa being taken seriously? Well, it wasn’t ever. The ultimate way of dealing with a racist, aggressive state is to wipe it from the pages of history and how can anything short of doing that be taken seriously?

  7. Hatuxka said on March 13th, 2008 at 3:09pm #

    See there? My point is made.
    That Israel as we know it should not exist: a racist and hypermilitarized miniature dynamo of aggression and destruction, is an incitement to genocide.

    Just as the former apartheid Republic of South Africa was “wiped from the pages of history” so must the worlds goal be to work toward that in this case.

  8. dan e said on March 13th, 2008 at 3:31pm #

    To me, this is the heart of the matter:

    “In truth, both a one-state and a genuine two-state arrangement are impossible given Israel’s determination to remain a Jewish state.

    The obstacle to a solution, then, is not about dividing the land but about Zionism itself, the ideology of ethnic supremacism that is the current orthodoxy in Israel. As long as Israel is a Zionist state, its leaders will allow neither one state nor two real states.

    The solution, therefore, reduces to the question of how to defeat Zionism. It just so happens that the best way this can be achieved is by confronting the illusions of the two-state dreamers and explaining why Israel is in permanent bad faith about seeking peace.”

    This is what I (dan) prefaced my fwd with: “Now that M. Neumann & U Avneri’s Two-State Illusion nonsense has been demolished, can we do as the distinguished Mr Cook suggests, and move to discussing how most expeditiously to defeat the power of Zionism? Which I would suggest means first of all to expose and confront the power behind the Zionist Consensus in the US? Beginning with the “progressive” & “antiwar” movements?”

    However, after some reflection, maybe that’s NOT the best way to start.
    In my own case, by the time Walt & Mearsheimer’s “Study” came out in London Rev of Bks, everything they concluded I’d already assumed to be the case. Or had learned was the case, just by closely observing the antics of the Dumbothuglican Duopoly politicians & punditutes.

    I’d been an “activist” on the issue for a cpl years before I realized I really didn’t know much about it. Not until I had the good luck to share a crowded sedan with Lenni Brenner & listen to him talk all the way from SF State (where the Nov29 Coalition was being morphed into the PSC, Nov 1985) to the Berkeley hills did I grasp the full extent of my ignorance.
    So soon as I could I Hit The Books. First I read Brenner’s own early works: “The Iron Wall: Revisionist Zionism…”, then his “Zionism in the Age of the Dictators”. Which put me on the track; next I got into Herzl, several biographies, Der Judenstaat (in translation), correspondence with Ussushkin & the Lovers of Zion, proceedings of the Basel Conference.
    Next I went back even earlier, to Max Nordau, Moses Hess — finally to Prince Otto von Bismarck whose “blut & boden” concept formed the basis of the outlook shared by Herzl et al, which was to be “revived” later in even more radical (if highly diverse) forms by Zev Jabotinsky, Adolph Hitler, and Leo Strauss.

    Turning to go fwd again, I got into Chaim Weissman’s remarkable career of professional achievement, the Balfour Declaration, Guela Myers & early Jewish Zionism in the US, the even more remarkable career of David Ben Gurion, the genius inventor of “Labor Zionism”… There are a lot of books out on the subject:)
    Anyway, once you read these character’s own words, it’s impossible to mistake what their intentions were, what was important to them and what was not.
    Then look at the historical record, just at the basic facts of what happened. At what the Zionists did whenever they had options to choose from. Never mind what either side had to say about it: look at what happened.
    I don’t see how anyone, proceeding in good faith sans a predetermined axe to grind, could make a survey such as I’ve outlined, and fail to conclude that these Zionists will not yield an inch sans the application of Force Majeure.

    Either the Zionists will eventually annihilate the Palestinians, or the Palestinians plus everybody else will annihilate Zionism.

    What we are witnessing is a battle to the death. Not necessarily the death of the Israeli population or even of a substantial part of it. But the death of Zionism as a system and an ideology.

    Zionism must die.
    By any means available.

  9. Angie Tibbs said on March 13th, 2008 at 7:00pm #

    Let it be known, Jaime, that your comments with respect to Jonathan Cook’s most insightful and well-written article are no more intelligent or correct than they are elsewhere in DV.

    It is not Hamas that has brought the Palestinian people back to “the stone age”. It is the war criminals in the Israeli military, politics, and religion who continue destroying the infrastructure of the West Bank and Gaza, blowing up factories and businesses, uprooting olive trees, doing everything in their power to ensure that the Palestinian people remain devastatingly poor.

    And while I applaud the sentiments of Hatuxka re Jaime, I would go a step further and ask that his comments be removed the moment they appear in DV. They serve no useful purpose and contribute absolutely nothing to any meaningful discussion.

  10. Alex said on March 14th, 2008 at 12:46am #

    To Dan e regarding Zionism:

    What is Zionism’s prime fuel?

    I enjoyed your comment on Zionism above and your incredible understanding of the founders of this secular and political nationalistic movement. Most if not all nationalistic movements, if left unchallenged, will go towards the extreme and become ultra-nationalistic which would include imperialism and National Socialism – think WW2 and the current Empire. Interesting new revelations on Plato’s totalitarian views suggest that under certain circumstances the ‘absolute’ most ruthless individuals will rise to the top of any given society.
    Regarding a solution to any issue, one must not fall into the ‘find the guilty party syndrome’ as it is the system and not the people that are the issue. As example, we shouldn’t rush to judgment to blame Zionism or the Hamas liberation and social services movement for issues in the Holy Land.

    Mother Theresa once said regarding Christianity: No Mary; No Jesus. Could the Zionist equation be: No anti-Semitism; No Zionism?

    The definition of Semitism would include both Arabs (Semites) and Jews (including the non-Semitic European variety).

  11. joe rose said on March 14th, 2008 at 1:33am #

    My own views could not be further from jaime’s. And while I believe he is loosing his time and efforts here (as I have told him), I would never censor his comments here or anywere else.
    Censoring does not help the cause of justice, ever. What does help is rebucking arguments.
    Moreover, jaime’s comments are very useful as they laid bare the racism and bigotry of zionism. I am affraid poor old jaime is not that sofisticated.



  12. Max Shields said on March 14th, 2008 at 5:56am #

    Alex, “Regarding a solution to any issue, one must not fall into the ‘find the guilty party syndrome’ as it is the system and not the people that are the issue. As example, we shouldn’t rush to judgment to blame Zionism or the Hamas liberation and social services movement for issues in the Holy Land.”

    This remark is not unlike what I stated regarding the “human condition”. But I think it goes a bit too far. What makes Cook’s points so important, is that they don’t ascribe some kind of uniqueness to the dilemma of Israel/Palestine; nor that it is a situtation that is exactly the same as some other. Nation states are fabrications to begin with, which exist in large part as military protectorates. So, as you say, nationialism as an “ism” is always enmeshed in the dna of nation-states. But while nation-states are human inventions, they are still part of the natural order (humans are natural phenomena and their self-organizations such as cities and nations are too).

    I do think that it is important to refrain from a “beyond good and evil” systems view which would free zionist powers from responsibility. That said, Cook has provided an absolutely essential view of what is going on. Understanding how societies, nations, cities collapse should be given a voice in trying to understand what has been an intractable and cynical and horrific genocide against an indigenous people.

    As long as our politicians, govenment, and media support ultra-nationalism ala zionism run amok, it is not sufficient to wait for nature to take its course – environmental solution. Children, babies are being killed, civilians are being deprived of life providing necessities. An immediate solution to these is needed. We know what creates and sustains conflict and we know how to reduce it.

    While this is a human problem, it is of particular importance for Jews every where – and most importantly American Jews – to re-direct their energies from the red herring known as Save Darfur, and make it known that what is happening in Gaza will NOT STAND!

    We can rail against zionism but it’s like spitting in the wind and does absolutely nothing to change the monstrousness.

  13. hp said on March 14th, 2008 at 11:01am #

    Alex, I suggest; no philosemitism, no Zionism.

  14. opeluboy said on March 14th, 2008 at 4:33pm #

    I have to agree 100% with Joe Rose’s comments above regarding censoring Jaime. In fact, I wish more of his fellow Zionists would respond to articles they perceive as negative to Israel (and therefor Jews) on this site and others, as they do more to destroy their own cause than any of us could hope to.

    Every time one of these Zionists respond, with the usual discredited, illogical, tired propaganda, they do nothing to erase the image of their Israel as a pariah, but instead bolster the perception that the people who support this criminal state are narcissistic, smug, arrogant and utterly amoral racial supremacists unworthy of any enlightened person’s support, sympathy or concern.

  15. dan e said on March 14th, 2008 at 5:45pm #

    Jay Colbe fwdd this today:
    —– Original Message —–
    From: If Americans Knew List Administrator
    To: moc.spuorgelgoognull@wenksnaciremafi
    Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2008 2:35 PM
    Subject: mustread (!) book now available online:

    “Jewish History, Jewish Religion”, by Israel Shahak

    Recently, an Israeli religious school was in the news a great deal because of a tragic attack that cost the lives of 8 students (this attack was preceded by Israeli attacks that had cost the lives of 238 Palestinians.) Yet, in all the media attention, little was reported about the kind of beliefs this school and others often teach their students.

    Accordingly, we have posted the excellent book by Israel Shahak: JEWISH HISTORY, JEWISH RELIGION on our website. Shahak, a survivor of Bergen-Belsen, was a highly respected Israeli professor, endorsed by such writers as Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, and Gore Vidal.

    [cuibonote inserted in fwd to Xeripic list:
    >The late Israel Shahak is still among the very best writers to deal with the Israel problem. I’ll look fwd to reading this. Back in the eighties/early nineties I was able to read numerous articles by him, plus a cpl small books or “booklets”. I was & remain utterly impressed.

    >A suggestion for those who posted the Shahak online: that they likewise post work by Rabbi Elmer Berger (who was N. Mezvinsky’s mentor, BTW). Maybe “anthologize” a selection of seminal articles from the periodical he edited for years, “American Jewish Alternatives to Zionism”/ “AJAZ”.

    >I’m going to see if I can order a few copies of the Shahak from Amazon to display on my booktable… might be a while, already carrying more Inventory than I can afford… –dan e]

    If Americans Knew article continues:
    Shahak’s information is profoundly unsettling, but it is important to understand it if one is to fully comprehend the conditions Palestinians are living under.

    One of Shahak’s major themes is that a great deal of significant information is never translated from the Hebrew into English. For that reason, he wrote this book. Below is a short excerpt:

    “My final, more general example … concerns the attitude of the Hassidic movement towards non-Jews. Hassidism – a continuation (and debasement!) of Jewish mysticism – is still a living movement, with hundreds of thousands of active adherents who are fanatically devoted to their ‘holy rabbis’, some of whom have acquired a very considerable political influence in Israel, among the leaders of most parties and even more so in the higher echelons of the army.

    “What, then, are the views of this movement concerning non-Jews? As an example, let us take the famous Hatanya, fundamental book of the Habbad movement, one of the most important branches of Hassidism. According to this book, all non-Jews are totally satanic creatures ‘in whom there is absolutely nothing good’. Even a non-Jewish embryo is qualitatively different from a Jewish one. The very existence of a non-Jew is ‘non-essential’, whereas all of creation was created solely for the sake of the Jews.

    “This book is circulated in countless editions… In Israel these ideas are widely disseminated among the public at large, in the schools and in the army. (According to the testimony of Shulamit Aloni, Member of the Knesset, this Habbad propaganda was particularly stepped up before Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in March 1978, in order to induce military doctors and nurses to withhold medical help from ‘Gentile wounded’.

    This Nazi-like advice did not refer specifically to Arabs or Palestinians, but simply to ‘Gentiles’, goyim.) A former Israeli President, Shazar, was an ardent adherent of Habbad, and many top Israeli and American politicians – headed by Prime Minister Begin – publicly courted and supported it.

    It is easier to read this book in the print version, and we urge people to buy it at local bookstore, or order it from the University of Michigan Press ( ) or Amazon. However, we are also making the text available online so that it will be quickly available and easily searched.

    (We are still in the process of adding the forward to the second edition, written by Edward Said, the introduction by Norton Mezvinsky, and proofreading this edition, so please let us know if you notice any typos, etc.)

    In addition, we recommend purchasing a companion book, “Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel,” by Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky. This is also excellent and highly informative: .

  16. dan e said on March 14th, 2008 at 6:38pm #

    Clarification, Re what I posted yesterday 3/13 at 3:31PM: I have to apologize for the last cpl paras, which were very poorly stated. I know many readers will have concluded that I’m overly bloodthirsty. It’s my own fault, should have been more careful, should have gone back and rephrased a cpl sentences. My bad:(

    To clarify, I’m not calling for the death of any human individual or group of individuals. I’m NOT urging anyone to “kill Zionists” or to “kill Israelis”.

    Neither am I calling for Palestinians to adopt non-violence, or to reject it. Palestinians will decide such questions for themselves.

    The point I was trying (clumsily) to make is this: Once you understand the nature of the Zionist ideology, and that undeviating loyalty to Herzl’s vision as elaborated by Jabotinsky and his followers Begin, Shamir, & Sharon among others, is absolutely a prerequisite for anyone hoping to enter or even remain in the top echelon of Israeli militarist politicians — and as everyone knows, it is the IDF that makes the decisions — you will realize how absurd it is to prate about negotiating with these fanatics, about some dreamworld “settlement fair and just to both sides”.

    The Zionist ideology is the glue that holds the whole enterprise together. Thus we see things like Zionist Colonialist entrepreneurs having Kosher meals flown hundreds of miles from Kinshasha to remotest Katanga.
    Once you subtract the vision of Eretz Yisroel from the equation, give up the religion-inspired fantasy of a rebuilt “temple” centering a renewed “Empire of David”, “Israel” becomes a country like any other.

    So one might say the first priority is the eradication of the Zionist ideology in its various forms. But this is an ideology that is Institutionalized. It doesn’t exist just in people’s heads or their conversations. So to eradicate it, you have to dismantle the institutions, the structures, that maintain and disseminate it.

    As long as the Zionist Power Centers have a firm grip on the Power of a State, they will continue to propagate their “faith”, i.e. Zionism. I say “a State”, not “The State”, since they presently control the State Apparatus in two countries, “Israel” and the US.

    So in order for Justice to prevail, the Israeli state must be dismantled & replaced by a polity observant of the norms current in other capitalist societies — AND: the political process in the USA must be freed from the grip of the US branch of the Zionist Power Configuration.

    So all this talk about a “one-state solution” is as nonsensical as that about the Two-State Illusion. The only solution is the dissolution of the Israeli State.

    If this could be done “Ghandi-style”, I’d be all for it. Unfortunately that’s been tried, & the IDF is not buying it.

    What we need to be about is not speculating about this or that form of a “solution”, about which armchair Blueprint should be adopted in some far-in-the-future Cloudcuckooland of cohabiting lambs & lions.

    What we in the US can do is to expose Zionism for what it is. Yes, it’s a tall order. I’ve been engaged in it for a while now, & there’s no end in sight. In fact things in general are much worse now than when I started.

    Except that there are a few more people willing to look at these questions with an open mind, and there is now a webpage like DV where this kind of “unorthodox” opinion can be posted for others to read.

    We could even be approaching the point when large numbers of USians will realize that the Democratic Party is first and foremost an expression of the power of the Zionist Enterprise.

    to be continued:)

  17. hp said on March 14th, 2008 at 8:57pm #

    These Zionist dual citizen Israelis need talked about a whole lot more.
    There are literally dozens of these so-called ‘Americans’ in the highest positions of our government. A government which Pat Buchanan called ZOG more than twenty years ago. He doesn’t look so crazy now, does he?
    I’ve already given a couple of outrageous examples which are simply incredible. The two highest law enforcement officials in OUR nation are Zionist dual citizen ISRAELIS.
    Henry Kissinger, war criminal, mass murderer, is a dual citizen Israeli.
    Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith. Architects of the illegal and immoral war on Iraq. ALL Zionist dual citizen Israelis.
    and on and on and on…

  18. jaime said on March 15th, 2008 at 8:19am #

    “Zionism must die. By any means available.”

    “… I know many readers will have concluded that I’m overly bloodthirsty…. I’m not calling for the death of any human individual or group of individuals….”


    You’re kidding…right?

  19. Angie Tibbs said on March 15th, 2008 at 8:35am #

    There appears to be general confusion here with respect to what should be censored and what should not be, if anything.

    I would suggest that once an individual’s character is being smeared, once outright lies are being posted, once obvious attempts are being made to derail any meaningful discussion, then the person behaving in this manner ought to be removed.

    Jaime’s comments are doing absolutely nothing to further the cause of the stated goals of Dissident Voice.

    Should Jaime continue on in this fashion with his continual demonization of Mr. Petersen’s character, snide inneundo with respect to myself and other posters, I will simply say, okay, I’ve had enough and move elsewhere to post my opinions.

    Time wasted debunking accusations from Jaime is time that could be better spent reading legitimate comments from posters who are genuinely attempting to make valid points about DV’s top rate articles.

    These articles are often ignored as posters hasten to deal with lies, insinuations, and the open support of Israeli terrorism which Jaime gleefully brings to DV’s comment section. He is, in fact, a huge success in diverting attention from the topics under discussion.

    Perhaps guidelines could be put in place with respect to posting comments at DV so as to ensure that posters are aware of what they can, and cannot, post. Lies, character assassination, disinformation, propaganda, threats, and the like have no place in any newsletter, be it DV or any other.

    Certainly this ongoing garbage from Jaime is not what legimitate posters wish to deal with every time we read an article in DV.

  20. Max Shields said on March 15th, 2008 at 9:23am #

    Angie Tibbs

    Second that!

    Now, on ward…dan e ,
    While I appreciate your in depth knowledge of Zionist ideology, I don’t think it’s necessary to have that understanding to take on the balant and all too common nationalism that drives Israel. It is clear and the results are horrifically clear.

    I do think that such ideology is a “luxury” which is about to collapse under the tidal wave of an unsustainable world-wide global economic collapse coupled with the points that Cook makes. Zionism and the state of Israel will pass – and soon. It will happen under a combination of it’s own seeds of destruction and the collapse of the US empire.

    So, while I applaud your studied knowledge of the historical underpinnings of Zionism, I don’t think it will be much more than just that – a historical artifact.

    The pain that many of us seem to share here on DV is the continued massive killing of Palestinians. There is a impotence in that pain that leads us to want to drive a stake in the heart of Israeli Zionism. I appreciate it, but I have yet to find a practical value in it.

  21. hp said on March 15th, 2008 at 10:15am #

    Max, I don’t think you fully understand the problem. This is not some isolated quirk of Israeli phenomena, it is now the official policy of the good ole USA, as well. Just because people are unaware does not make it nonexistent. On the contrary..
    “We are all Israelis now!”
    Not just some offhand remark by a misguided supporter. This remark was made with great exuberance by one Ken Mehlman; Bush-Cheney campaign manager, Republican National Committee Chairman and yep, you bet, ZIONIST DUAL CITIZEN ISRAELI.
    “A historical artifact?” Are you joking?

  22. hp said on March 15th, 2008 at 10:24am #

    Max, I think you made a perfect point with “driving a stake in the heart of Israeli Zionism.” Here’s the “practical value” as stated by a famous American revered by Ghandi as “his teacher.”

    “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”
    Henry David Thoreau

  23. Deadbeat said on March 15th, 2008 at 10:35am #

    To defeat Zionism the left must being a real confrontation of the ideology here in the U.S. Unfortunately much of the energies on the left has been to obscure the issue rather than confront it openly and honestly as Mr. Cook has.

  24. joe rose said on March 15th, 2008 at 10:49am #


    I understand your point. But I am still against forbidding anyone posting here. The lies and false accusations jaime dishes out are clear enough and speak by themselves. In this respect I do not believe jaime’s accusations and general bollocks-speak need much debunking. I was talking in general terms.

    On the discussion of Israel-tail wagging the USA-dog: My personal view is that USA calls the shots but the shots it calls are being stirred towards ziofriendly interests. From 911 “the lobby” has been working overtime in a propaganda campaign aimed to ensure USA identifies the Islam as the enemy. Once it has been succesfull in that it does not need to “micromanage” USA’s forgein policy; USA will do Israel bid “spontaneouly”, out of its “own volition”.
    However this does not absolve the non-zionist elite of blame. They follow this path willingly cause they believe is in their interest. Too often I see americans in places like this one blaming “the zionists” of USA’s imerial crimes. It looks to me an exercise in shiting blame that is kinda pathetic.

  25. hp said on March 15th, 2008 at 11:02am #

    Joe, I lean more towards the big dumb American puppet with the Zionist Israeli’s sly hand working his mouth to the effect of “we’re all Israelis now” folks.
    You seem to fail to understand that Zionism is not just an Israeli exclusive ideology/disease. It has spread to the USA and Europe like the plague it is.

  26. Deadbeat said on March 15th, 2008 at 11:09am #

    I think the dog and tail analogy is a false one and simplifies as well as obscures the problem. Zionism is an ideology that transcends boundaries. In other words I don’t think that you need “Israeli” agent running U.S. policies. Zionism has ingrained itself into the culture and has such control of the media (and other medium’s of propaganda) that its pervade the way our politics and discourse functions.

    In other words to defeat Zionism in the U.S. it must be confronted as a RACIST ideology because the U.S. does have a history of confronting racism. It is this history that must be renewed. Once the discourse becomes that Zionism equal racism then Americans will better understand how to confront it.

  27. hp said on March 15th, 2008 at 3:44pm #

    Here’s the soon to be official policy of the USA, if it’s not already.
    Criticism of Israel or Zionism is anti-semitic.

    Just for fun, here’s a few fine “Americans” who have our best interests at heart. Yours and mine.
    Each and every one of these fine “Americans” are
    DUAL CITIZEN ISRAELIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Michael Chertoff – Head of Homeland Security
    Michael Mukasey – US Attorney General
    Richard Perle – Iraq war architect
    Paul Wolfowitz – Iraq war architect

  28. hp said on March 15th, 2008 at 4:02pm #

    Here’s the soon to be official policy of the USA, if it’s not already.
    Criticism of Israel or Zionism is anti-semitic.

    Just for fun, here’s a few fine “Americans” who have our best interests at heart. Yours and mine.
    Each and every one of these fine “Americans” are

    Michael Chertoff – Head of Homeland Security
    Michael Mukasey – US Attorney General
    Richard Perle – Iraq war architect
    Paul Wolfowitz – Iraq war architect
    Douglas Feith – Iraq war architect
    Jonathan Pollard – Spy and traitor
    Ariel Weinmann – -Spy and traitor
    Larry Franklin – Spy and traitor
    Henry Kissinger – war criminal and chairman on 911 investigating committee
    Dov Zakheim – Council on foreign relations and Pentagon comptroller when pentagon had over 2 TRILLION dollars go missing and unaccounted for. Money has never been found..
    Edward Luttwak – Member National Security study group of department of defense at the pentagon.
    Kenneth Adelman – Advisor, Pentagon’s defense policy board
    Scooter Libby – Dick Chaney’s chief of staff
    Robert Satloff – National security council advisor
    Elliott Abrams – National security advisor
    Marc Grossman – Under secretary of state for political affairs
    Richard Haass – Director of policy planning at the state department
    Robert Zoellick – US trade representative –

  29. hp said on March 15th, 2008 at 4:27pm #

    Sorry. I slipped. Twice.

    Michael Chertoff – Head of Homeland Security
    Michael Mukasey – US Attorney General
    Richard Perle – Iraq war architect
    Paul Wolfowitz – Iraq war architect
    Douglas Feith – Iraq war architect
    Jonathan Pollard – Spy and traitor
    Ariel Weinmann – -Spy and traitor
    Larry Franklin – Spy and traitor
    Henry Kissinger – war criminal – chairman on 911 investigating committee
    Dov Zakheim – Council on foreign relations and Pentagon comptroller when pentagon had over 2 TRILLION dollars go missing and unaccounted for. Money has never been found!!!!!!!.
    Edward Luttwak – Member National Security study group of department of defense at the pentagon.
    Kenneth Adelman – Advisor, Pentagon’s defense policy board
    Scooter Libby – Dick Chaney’s ex-chief of staff
    Robert Satloff – National security council advisor
    Elliott Abrams – National security council advisor
    Marc Grossman – Under secretary of state for political affairs
    Richard Haass – Director of policy planning at the state department
    Robert Zoellick – US trade representative – cabinet level
    Ari Fleischer – White house spokesman for Bush
    James Schlesinger – Pentagon defense policy board
    David Frum – White house speech writer
    Joshua Bolten – White house deputy chief of staff
    John Bolton – Senior advisor to Bush
    David Wurmser – special assistant to Bolton (above)
    Eliot Cohen – Pentagon defense policy board
    Mel Sembler – President import-export bank of the USA
    Steve Goldsmith – Senior advisor to Bush
    Mark Weinberger – Assistant secretary HUD
    Samuel Bodman – Deputy secretary of commerce
    Bonnie Cohen – Under secretary of state for management
    Ruth Davis – Director of foreign service institute
    Cliff Sobel – Ambassador to Netherlands
    Stuart Bernstein – Ambassador to Denmark
    Nancy Brinker – Ambassador to Hungary
    Frank Lavin – Ambassador to Singapore
    Ron Weiser – Ambassador to Slovakia
    Mel Sembler – ambassador to Italy
    Mark Silverstein – Ambassador to Uruguay

    This is just a little taste…

  30. Max Shields said on March 15th, 2008 at 8:01pm #

    hp And besides the rhetorical position that you repeatedly take, what do you propose to do?

    Other than Jaime, most DVers pretty much agree on the horror in Gaza and who’s doing who. Your responses seem to indicate that you don’t get that or that me (and others) are not loud enough, not fervant enough, aren’t consumed enough….

    Cook has made a pretty interesting case for one state. I’ve tried here and there to speak to that, but you seem to insist that we need to see that this monster requires….well you never quite get to that and so you want to beat the Zionist monster with one word after another as if you’ve accomplished something.

    To be consumed by one evil (Zionism) to the neglect of the rest of the universe would appear to be demanding one truth – Zionism (see where I’m going, a kind of Borgesian tale). All of this becomes the inverse of Jaime’s case – one demonizes Palestinians, the other Israelis. It’s as if I/P exists in a parallel universe with strings to the USA and an audience of spectators yelling this way and that without any control over events.

    Alternatively, Cook provides a solution that is worth understanding.

  31. hp said on March 15th, 2008 at 8:45pm #

    Yes and there’s been more than one perfectly viable solution but it never happens. How long Max? Decade after decade after decade.
    Cook knows damn well the Zionist Israelis never have wanted peace, do not want peace nor will they ever want peace. They want Greater Israel. Period. Cook knows that. How could he not? How could you and everyone on this post not know this?
    And if you do, why pretend it can be?
    I’m just trying to get the word out Max. That’s all.
    Did you know about this list before I brought it up?
    ZOG isn’t a joke. It isn’t a distraction for nut jobs or wackos.
    I guess I’m done here now. At least I got a couple of people to notice and I hope they let their friends know.
    Remember, fiction has limitations, the truth does not.

    PS… This Mickey Z guy is a gatekeeper. It’s disgusting and disheartening to see good intentioned intelligent people fawn over this creep as he spreads his disinformation.
    Isn’t it obvious what that “Z” stands for?
    It should be.
    Happy Trails, y’all.

  32. hp said on March 15th, 2008 at 9:06pm #

    After thought…
    An apology to Mickey Z.
    I get a little pumped now and again. Something I’m sure Mickey can relate to.
    Anywho, sorry Mickey. It was small and mean of me to stab you with my keyboard, accuse you of a hidden motive and I hope you accept this apology.

  33. Angie Tibbs said on March 16th, 2008 at 1:02am #

    Joe, you are forgetting a very important point. We who post here are guests of Dissident Voice, and we must be always mindful of that. As guests we must always be cognizant of what DV is — “a radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice”, and we must ensure we adhere to this principle.

    To do otherwise is to tarnish the image of, and bring into question, the integrity of this very important newsletter.

    You apparently do not have a problem with this. I do.

  34. Max Shields said on March 16th, 2008 at 10:29am #


    I think the onion has many more layers than you would allow. The American Empire is not a Zionist Empire. Let’s be clear. As far as tails wagging dogs, that implies simple causality which really doesn’t exist except under the most limited circumstances which is contrived and has no basis in the real world – modern science does not proceed that way. No, it is not a tail wagging the dog, it appears to be much more incestuous and complex than that.

    Your litany and dot connecting is certainly worthy of scrutiny, but that tree and its branches can lead to many, many other dots and connections that completely obfiscate your position. Just a for instance, take the global corporate fiefdoms. Are these merely the playthings of Israeli Zionism?

    If you see what I’m saying as clouding your point and making your point less persuasive, than you begin to rail about my blindness or lack of understanding. Thinking through as best we can about these matters rather than succumbing to one narrative and making it explain all is not due to a lack of understanding (nor disagreement, at least in large part).


  35. Alex said on March 16th, 2008 at 5:43pm #

    Nazism = Zionism = Fascism = Imperialism. They all are secular ideologies that EVENTUALLY seek world domination. A rose (or secular ‘isms’ taken to the extreme by being left unchallenged) by any other name is still a rose.

    When talking to people about dismantling Zionism, a secular ideology in its radical militant phase, one must differentiated the difference between Judaism, Israel, and Zionism which have been erroneously conflated in the mind of most people. During the 1930’s, there was a similar conflation between Christianity, Germany, and Nazism where most of European countries where ‘Nazi Occupied Governments’ (NOGS). Zionism according to many Rabbis (YouTube this) is diametrically opposed to the peaceful religion of Judaism. Similarly, all nation-states are “military protectorates’ and at best are abstract ideas, one can dismantle any country say Bolivia, USSR, USA or Israel without harming concrete things such as a single person or the land (‘Haartez’ in Hebrew).

    Dismantling of Zionism now in its radical phase (which has not been challenged in the USA) is similar to dismantling Nazism as they are similar in nature as are all ultra-nationalistic movements (i.e. secularly ‘isms’). Right, are you with me here? All of these secular ideologies (“isms”) have the same goal – world domination. If you are a student of the rise and fall of Empires (e.g. Edward Gibbon’s book
    ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’) or have ever played the historical simulation games of ‘Risk’ or ‘Civilization’, you would understand what I mean by ideologies seeking world domination. After all, the world is a big ‘Chess’ game for the powerful elitists, and we are their pawns.

    Now as I remember, Nazism didn’t end well for the German people nor did Japanese Imperialism end well for the Japanese people. Do you want us – Zionist influenced USA & Israel – to meet a similar fate as WW2 Germany and Japan?

    Please also see my prior post regarding finding Zionism’s fuel.

  36. Alex said on March 16th, 2008 at 8:26pm #

    Supporting quotes to my last post, “Clarification”.

    We will establish ourselves in Palestine whether you like it or not…You can hasten our arrival or you can equally retard it. It is however better for you to help us so as to avoid our constructive powers being turned into a destructive power which will overthrow the world.”

    (Israel’s first President Chaim Weizmann, Published in “Judische Rundschau,” No. 4, 1920)

    We will have a world government whether you like it or not. The only question is whether that government will be achieved by conquest or consent.” (Jewish Banker Paul Warburg, February 17, 1950, as he testified before the U.S. Senate).

    The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only bluff, which was born and developed after the war.” Israeli General Matityahu Peled, Ha’aretz, 19 March 1972.