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Review :: Civil & Human Rights

Against Zionism, A Historical Response To Becky Johnson

End U.S. Support For Israel!

Letters from Becky Johnson supporting Zionism and responses from Steve Argue:

In your letter to Sen. Kline you wrote:

"...and that there will not be peace for either the Palestinian or the Hebrew speaking population until the Israeli state is abolished and in its place a democratic secular Palestine is built with a separation of church and state where the civil rights of all nationalities are guaranteed. "

I am appalled that you are advocating the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. This is a horrendous idea which I'm sure, the Nazi party would have applauded.

You are misguided if you think that a secular democratic state with civil rights will replace Israel.
Can you give me a single example of an Arab/Muslim country that is a secular democracy with separation of church and state and where civil rights of all nationalities are guaranteed?

No!! Yet you advocate dismantling a country that does allow religious freedom, civil rights for all of its population whether they are citizens or not, women's rights, gay rights, a representative democracy with regular elections.

You advocate stopping US aid to Israel, but you still have not answered whether you also advocate breaking the peace treaty Israel has with Egypt to do this.

What is your agenda? Do you want peace in the mideast for Jews and Palestinians? Or do you want to eliminate the Jewish people like the Nazis tried to do in Germany in World War II? I assume you don't mean the latter, but the policies you are pushing for just might have that effect. Get a clue!!

--- Becky Johnson

Dear Becky Johnson,

Your ideas and ignorance are one hundred percent racist. The idea that Arabs and Muslims can’t run their own countries in a pluralistic manner where the rights of Jews, Christians, and others are respected flies in the face of history.

While Europe was suffering under the theocratic tyranny of Christianity during the dark ages; science and freedom of religion were flourishing in the Arab world. The idea that the conquering colonial Zionists from Europe and the U.S. who do not even pretend to give equal rights to the original inhabitants of the land are somehow more enlightened when it comes to civil rights, smacks of the most ugly kind of racism.

No, the bloody Christian crusades of old did not bring enlightenment, nor does the propping up of the theocratic and racist Zionist state with massive support from U.S. imperialism. To the contrary, Israel’s wars against the Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Egyptian people are, and have been, some of the biggest atrocities taking place in the Mideast.

I am an ardent opponent of anti-Semitism. In doing so I recognize that the atrocities of Zionism and U.S. imperialism are today the single largest promoter of anti-Semitism in the world, just as the crimes of U.S. imperialism are the biggest promoter of terrorist attacks against American civilians. When the victims of Zionism and U.S. imperialism lash out at the wrong enemy, this should not cause us to unite behind those whose injustice caused people to lash out in the first place.

This is what you are doing Becky, and you are doing it in the same racist manner as the murderous Israeli state, arguing that Arabs are not fit to rule and blaming Palestinians as a whole for attacks on civilians. In addition you do not differentiate between the brutal racist terror of the Israeli occupation army and the right of the Palestinian people to defend themselves from that terror with whatever meager arms they can gather.

The Palestinian people; walled off, denied basic human rights, starved, tortured, and facing mass murder; face the same situation as Jews did in the ghettos of Europe under the Third Reich, minus the gas chambers and crematoria that came later. The Zionist government instead prefers to drive the majority of Palestinians from their homeland through violence and never allow them the right to return while allowing Jews from everywhere to immigrate.

Becky, you as a Zionist have no right to mention the holocaust of the Third Reich, not just because Zionism is very similar to Nazism, but because the Zionist movement supported Hitler. (For documentation of these facts see the following response to another Becky Johnson letter.) Had the Zionist movement not lobbied the British and U.S. governments against the immigration of Jews so that they would be forced to go to Palestine, had they not kept quiet on the Third Reich’s atrocities when they knew full well what was going on, had they not opposed the bombing of the gas chambers and crematoria that could have stopped the death factories, and had they not given overt support to Hitler, many more Jews would have survived the holocaust of the Third Reich.

Racist Israel would not exist without U.S. support. Likewise the most oppressive and anti-worker Arab regimes of the region are propped up, and in many cases were put in power by, U.S., French, and British imperialism. To blame the Arab people for the governments imposed on them by imperialism is like blaming slaves for their brutal masters.

You speak of women’s rights in Near East countries. The 1978 Afghani revolution led by the PDPA was made primarily to promote women’s rights. Yet U.S. imperialism supplied billions of dollars in military aid to the misogynists of the Mujahideen and recruited 100,000 foreign religious fanatics to destroy that revolution. Besides death and destruction, the offspring of this U.S. crime against humanity was the clerical fascist regime of the Taliban. Now the U.S. has put the other warring factions of the misogynist Mujahideen back in power and as a result the horrible conditions caused by U.S. intervention persist.

Likewise, the capitalist counter-revolution that took place in the former Soviet Union has eroded the advanced state of women’s rights as well as healthcare, employment, and education that had been achieved in its Near East Republics during the Soviet era.

A similar situation is now faced by the women of Iraq that had gained an advanced status of equality under the secular Ba’ath regime. Women’s rights will surely suffer under a government made up of CIA stooges from the Iraqi National Congress and bought off Shi’ite leaders and Kurdish leaders.

The fact that women’s rights advanced under Saddam Hussein is largely a result of the working class influence of the Iraqi Communist Party and its advocacy of a secular state. Just as the U.S. supported the Ba’ath Party when it was murdering Communists and union leaders, in fact supplying lists through the CIA, today the U.S. excludes the well-organized Iraqi Communist Party from participation in Iraq’s future government.

The Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) promotes the deadly illusion that a Swedish style (capitalist) democracy can be built in Iraq as opposed to promoting a socialist and democratic program that would actually meet the peoples needs. Despite promoting this illusion the ICP is also is a political party that includes Jews, Christians, Shi’ite Muslims, Sunni Muslims, atheists, and Kurds.

While the ICP would establish a pluralistic society, the U.S. government knows full well that its corporate oil interests are less likely to be defended by people who were organized underground for social justice under Saddam Hussein than by its thieves on the CIA payroll who were flown in after the initial successes of the ongoing U.S. war of occupation.

Likewise the U.S. government militarily supports the repressive imperialist imposed Arab monarchies in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait who guarantee the profits of U.S. oil monopolies while their people live in poverty and women live as slaves.

Yes, I do advocate the total destruction and elimination of the Jewish State, just as I advocate the destruction of all Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu governments. The American, French, and Russian revolutions were major advances in many ways, including the fact that they decisive blows for the separation of church and state. Likewise the Chinese revolution ended feudal slavery in many forms. This included the Buddhist theocracy that enslaved the people of Tibet. That theocratic government declared that their peasant slaves, slaves who faced extreme exploitation, hunger, and torture under their rulers “enlightened? hands, were only paying for the bad karma of other lives and may be born in a better position in another life.

Likewise, in Palestine the Zionist state of Israel promotes the idea that it is written in biblical texts that Israel belongs to them. This fanatical and intolerant religious view is one of the excuses used deny the country’s original inhabitants their basic human rights, to murder them, and drive these Palestinian people from their homes.

Similarly the rightwing and pro-imperialist Hindu government of India organizes pogroms against Muslims as a tactic in keeping the working class and peasantry from uniting amongst them-selves to defeat the Indian capitalists and their government.

In Europe in the last century, the Jews became a target of violence by the ruling capitalists who saw in the large oppressed Jewish population a hotbed of socialist revolutionaries and a convenient scapegoat for the ills of capitalism.

Just as capitalist governments promote religion as a way to blind and opiate the people with lies, they also promote religious and ethnic divisions as a way to prevent the unity of those who may unite against them. Yet, against all odds, unite we must in order to achieve progress.

In 1945 Tito united the various ethnicities of Yugoslavia in a socialist revolution (all be it deformed by the Stalinist model) that threw the Nazi’s out of their country and ended ethnic conflict for many years. Likewise the socialist revolution that brings about a united democratic secular Palestine will have to unite Hebrew and Arabic speakers for the overthrow of racist Zionist government of Israel and the overthrow of the repressive monarchy of Jordan. Such a revolution would be a major step towards breaking the back of U.S. imperialism in the Near East.

Becky you say to me, “You advocate stopping US aid to Israel, but you still have not answered whether you also advocate breaking the Peace treaty Israel has with Egypt to do this.? I do not control what treaties Israel will and will not break. Israel and Egypt are a boon for the U.S. war industry. While the U.S. arms the repressive governments of Israel and Egypt in the billions of dollars at U.S. taxpayer expense, this policy does nothing to promote peace. Nor is it meant to. Ending U.S. military funding for repressive capitalist governments around the world through socialist revolution in the United States is a cause to which the Rosa Luxemburg Club of the Peace and Freedom Party is dedicated.

As such, our voices are part of a rising chorus that says the racist violence, exploitation, and oppression against the Palestinian people must stop. We want to stop paying for it with our tax dollars.

There were Trotskyists in the United States in the 1930s and 40s that stood alone against the Democrats, Republicans, Zionists, Communist Party USA, the American Nazi Party, and the fascist Silver Shirts in calling for letting Jewish refugees into the United States. I stand in that tradition, a tradition that organized the fight against the American Nazi Party in the Streets of New York, prevented the organization of the Silver Shirt fascists in Minneapolis, and organized workers in combative unions that won real gains through struggle and militant opposition to the Democrats and Republicans. They did not cower in face of police violence and the false promises of Roosevelt or the Zionists. They did not beg for political rights and other gains for workers and the unemployed as you beg the City Council for the homeless. Instead they told the truth. Becky Johnson, you could learn something from these revolutionary traditions rather than support the movement that helped to murder over 6 million Jews as well as others.

Sincerely, Steve Argue

Dear Steve Argue,

You have to go back and read your history books. Palestine was the name the
British gave to the mandate they took over (in typical British imperial fashion) from the crumbling Ottoman Empire. Palestinians at the time included everyone who lived there, including the Jews. Palestine ceased to exist when Israel was formed in 1948. The plan from the UN was to have the state of Palestine right next to Israel. But all the Arab neighbors (and the Arab population within the borders of the new state of Israel) rejected this two state solution and responded by out and out war waged on the Israelis.

The Palestinians (Arabs who live or lived within the boundaries of Israel) didn't even start to call themselves that until 1968--- twenty years after the establishment of Israel. Basically the concept of Palestine is a manufactured one to drum up support for these Arabs and to decrease support for Israel by the claim that Israel is on THEIR land.

Remember, the Arabs and Muslims who did not flee in 1948, but stayed in Israel have full citizenship, have freedom to practice their religion, own property, vote, have representation in the Knesset, and compose 18% of the population.

There is no Palestine. And there never was except as a British invention.

---Becky Johnson

Steve Argue responds:

Actually history is one of my strong points. You state that I need to consult my history books, yet you make statements that are inarguably historically incorrect. Palestine was in existence as a recognized territory of the Ottoman Empire long before British control and even before the beginnings of Jewish colonization by the Zionist movement.

These inhabitants of the region also had Arab nationalist sentiments that opposed the control of the Ottoman Empire before the creation of the Zionist State and have since opposed many of the U.S., French, and British imposed kings, crown princes, emirs, sheiks, etc. that Zionists like to claim represent the aspirations of the Arab people.

Your attempt to deny a people of even the name of their homeland is consistent with an ideology that denies an entire people of the right to their homeland. The fact that bloody repression and horrible discrimination has driven the majority of Palestinians from large parts of their homeland without the right of return is not enough. The Zionist movement wants to wipe away the rightful name of the land they have conquered by re-writing history and denying there ever was a Palestine.

From its beginnings in the eighteen hundreds the Zionist movement had little concern for the Arab inhabitants of the Palestinian land they would settle. Instead they appealed to imperialist powers as potential allies against the Arab people in setting up their Zionist state. For example Zionist leader T. Herzl stated around 1897: “If his majesty the Sultan were to give us Palestine, we could undertake to regulate Turkey’s finances. For Europe, we would constitute a bulwark against Asia down there; we would be the advance post of civilization against barbarism. As a neutral state, we would remain in constant touch with all of Europe, which would guarantee our existence? (from Rodinson, “Israel a Colonial Settler State??).

By being neutral Herzl is obviously referring to the Zionist dealings with powers of Europe and not to the colonial “barbarians? already in and around the land he would settle and conquer.

An Arab leader in Jerusalem named Nassif Bey al-Khalidi who tried unsuccessfully to work out an agreement between Arabs and the Zionist movement warned the Zionists with the following statement, “Be very careful, Messieurs Zionists, governments disappear, but peoples remain. The Jewish immigrants came to Palestine believing it to be a desolate, sparsely inhabited country. They were too busy with their own business and too ignorant of Arabic to notice what was going on around them. Since it was the Turks who ruled Palestine, they turned all their attention toward the Turks. This did not make them popular with the Arabs? (from Neville Mandel, “Chapters of Arab-Jewish Diplomacy 1918-1922?).

The Jewish immigrants never became integrated in any way with the native Arab population. This was true economically, politically, socially, and linguistically. These Jewish immigrants were so separate from the Palestinian people that they were only Palestinian to the extent that they were physically living in Palestine.

It took the weakening of the Sultan during the First World War for Europe (specifically England) to move in and grant the colonial framework for Jewish colonization that aimed itself at the goal of an exclusively Jewish state. This framework was set forth in a British political charter in November 1917 called the Balfour Declaration which stated, “His Majesty’s government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.?

Within this framework an exclusive Jewish state was the stated goal of all but a small minority in the Zionist movement, a goal that obviously would be at the expense of the Arab people already living in Palestine. In order to placate the Palestinians, however, the Balfour declaration stated, “it should be clearly understood that nothing should be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine.?

While Britain was trying to placate the Arabs Zionist leader Jabotinsky was very clear on Zionist intentions stating in 1923 in his Book the “Iron Wall?, “There can be no discussion of voluntary reconciliation between us and the Arabs, not now, and not in the foreseeable future. All well meaning people, with the exception of those blind from birth, understood long ago the complete impossibility of arriving at a voluntary agreement with the Arabs of Palestine for the transformation of Palestine from an Arab country to a country with a Jewish majority. Each of you has some understanding of the history of colonization. Try to find even one example when the colonization took place with the agreement of the native population.?

In understanding the existence of a Palestinian people and the struggles yet to come Jabotinsky went on to state, “They have the precise psychology we have. They look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and fervor that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux upon his prairie. Each people will struggle against colonizers until the last spark of hope that they can avoid the dangers of conquest and colonization is extinguished. The Palestinians will struggle in this way until there is hardly a spark of hope.?

Jabotinsky’s view, and the policy that would later be carried out against the Palestinians could not be made any clearer than his following statement from the same writing: “We can not give any compensation for Palestine, neither to the Palestinians nor to the other Arabs. Therefore a voluntary agreement is inconceivable. All colonization, even the most restricted, must continue in defiance of the native population. Therefore it can continue and develop only under the shield of force which comprises an Iron Wall through which the Arab population can never break through. This is our Arab policy. To formulate it any other way would be hypocrisy.?

In explaining the differences between Zionist factions in dealing with the Palestinians Jabotinsky stated, “Force must play its role – with strength and without indulgence. In this, in this there are no differences between our militarists and our vegetarians. One prefers an Iron Wall of Jewish bayonets; the other prefers an Iron Wall of English bayonets.?

On these issues Rabbi Judas L. Magnes, President of the Hebrew University Jerusalem wrote, “by definition a Jewish state means that Jews will govern other people, other people who live in this Jewish state…Jabotinsky knew this long ago. He was the prophet of the Jewish state...In his early writings he said: ‘Has a people ever been known to give up its territory of its own volition? Likewise, the Arabs of Palestine will not renounce their sovereignty without violence.’?

On the morals of Jabotinsky’s plans and his desire to extinguish all hopes of the Palestinian people he is as clear in the “Iron Wall? as Hitler is of his intentions in “Mein Kampf? with Jabotinsky stating: “To the hackneyed reproach that this point of view is unethical, I answer ‘absolutely untrue.’ This is our ethic. There is no other ethic. As long as there is the faintest hope for the Arabs to impede us they will not sell these hopes – not for any sweet word nor for any tasty morsel, because this is not a rabble but a people, a living people. And no people makes such enormous concessions on such fateful questions, except when there is no hope left, until we have removed every opening visible in the Iron Wall.?

In 1940 Jabotinsky states in “The Jewish War Front?: “Since we have the moral authority for calmly envisaging the exodus of the Arabs, we need not regard the possible departure of 900,000 with dismay. Herr Hitler has recently been enhancing the popularity of population transfer.?

While the Arabs of Palestine were extremely tolerant of the Zionists who were moving in to take their land and their hopes the Zionist movement was never interested in forming any sort of alliance with the Arab people. Instead the Zionist movement from its inception was openly anti-Arab and pro-imperialist, even though those same imperial powers were the same ones who were carrying out pogroms against the Jews in the ghettos across Europe. This pro-imperialist policy included close relations with the pogromist leaders of anti-Semitic Czarist Russia who murdered tens of thousands of Jews, and later Zionist support and deals that aided the fascist death camps of Nazi Germany.
Jews, in fact, are victims of Zionism along side Arabs. From the beginning of Hitler’s seizure of power in 1933 the Zionist movement lent their support to the Nazis, support which lasted until at least 1944 when they aided Hitler’s “final solution? in Hungary killing 800,000 Jews. On the surface the idea of Zionist relations with the Nazis may sound illogical and seem made up. Those relations, however, are well documented.

Hitler seized power in 1933 with a clear fascistic program that called for the annihilation of all socialists, communists, labor leaders, and Jews. Despite this fact the Zionist Federation of Germany sent the Nazi Party a memorandum on June 21, 1933 stating: “…a rebirth of national life such as is occurring in German life … must also take place in the Jewish national group. On the foundation of the new [Nazi] state, which has established itself on the principle of race, we wish to fit our community into the total structure so that for us, too, in the sphere assigned to us, fruitful activity for the Fatherland is possible….? (Brenner, Zionism, pg. 48).

The policy of supporting Hitler was later upheld at the World Zionist Organization Congress in 1933 where a motion to take action against Hitler was defeated 240 to 43. Thus the Jewish boycott of the German economy at a time of economic weakness and vulnerability was broken with the World Zionist Organization’s Anglo Palestine Bank resuming trade. In fact the World Zionist Organization became the principal distributors of Nazi goods in Northern Europe and the Middle East.

Feivel Polkes was a member of Zionist leader Jabotinsky’s Haganah militia. He was sent by Jabotinsky to Berlin to inform Nazi leader Adolf Eichman of his intention to spy for the S.S. in exchange for the release of the money of German Jews for use on the Zionist project. Zionist Feivel told Nazi Eichman, “Jewish Nationalist Circles are very pleased with the radical German policy, since the strength of the Jewish population in Palestine would be so far increased thereby that in the foreseeable future the Jews would reckon upon numerical superiority over the Arabs? (from Brenner, “Zionism? pg. 99).

Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda, felt so fond of the Zionist movement and their close working relations that he wrote a 12 part report in Der Angriff (The Assault) praising the Zionist movement and ordered a medallion struck with a swastika on one side and the Zionist Star of David on the other.

Collaboration included an agreement in Hungary between Zionist agent Dr. Rudolph Kastner and Nazi leader Adolph Eichman. Under the 1944 agreement the Nazis would murder 800,000 Hungarian Jews without Zionist interference and with complete silence from the Zionist movement. In exchange 600 prominent Jews would be freed from Hungary. The Nazis then opened up a Rescue Department in Hungary headed by Kastner. These facts were exposed by a survivor named Malchiel Greenwald who was subsequently sued by the Israeli government, sued by the same leaders that had fashioned the deal made by Kastner in the first place.

Kastner’s collaboration with the Nazis was confirmed with the Israeli court stating, “The sacrifice of the majority of the Jews, in order to rescue the prominents was the basic element in the agreement between Kastner and the Nazis. This agreement fixed the division of the nation into two unequal camps, a small fragment of prominents, whom the Nazis promised Kastner to save, on the one hand, and the majority of Hungarian Jews whom the Nazis designated for death, on the other hand.? (Judgment given on June 22, 1955, Protocol of Criminal Case 124/53 in District Court, Jerusalem)

The Zionists subsequently ignored a plan drawn up by the resistance that could have saved many, if not most, of Hungary’s Jews. The Zionist silence and lack of action against Nazi atrocities in fact characterizes their stance throughout the entire holocaust. A plan complete with maps was drawn up that would blow-up railroad tracks to the death camps and crematoria and airdropped ammunition to the 80,000 Jews in Auschwitz. Part of the plan also included the parachuting of saboteurs to blow up the Auschwitz facility that was murdering 13,000 people a day. Had the Zionist movement not been so intent on fighting the Arabs rather than the real anti-Semite butchers of Europe they could have gathered the resources to carry out such operations. Likewise Great Britain and the United States could have carried out the proposed measures as well, but chose not to save the Jews and felt no pressure from the silent Zionist movement to do so.

This caused Rabbi Weismandel who had drawn up the plans against Auschwitz to ask of the Zionists in July 1944, “this special message to inform you that yesterday the Germans began deportations of Jews from Hungary. … The deported ones go to Auschwitz to be put to death by cyanide gas. This is the schedule, of Auschwitz from yesterday to the end: Twelve thousand Jews – men, women and children, old men, infants, healthy and sick ones, are to be suffocated daily. And you, our brothers in Palestine, in all the countries of freedom, and you ministers of all the Kingdoms, how do you keep silent in the face of this great murder. Silent while thousands upon thousands, reaching now to six million Jews, are murdered? And silent now, while tens of thousands are still being murdered or waiting to be murdered? Their destroyed hearts cry out to you for help as they bewail your cruelty. Brutal, you are and murderers, too, you are, because of the cold bloodedness of the silence in which you watch, because you sit with folded arms and do nothing, although you could stop or delay the murder of Jews at this very hour. You, our brothers, sons of Israel, are you insane?? (From Schoenman, “The Hidden History of Zionism??)

The Zionists also fought against the immigration of Jews to other countries where they could escape extermination. Explaining their policy of pressuring Great Britain and the United States not to adopt immigration policies that would have saved the lives of Jews Zionist leader Ben Gurion stated in 1938: “If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Israel, then I would opt for the second option? (from Brenner, “Zionism?, pg. 149).

The ability of the Zionist movement to sacrifice the lives of millions of Jews for the settling of Palestine had a consistent inner logic. That logic speaks volumes. While some of the first victims of these Zionist madmen were the Jewish people, the Palestinians were next. And today the continued Zionist mistreatment of the Palestinian people is one of the biggest threats to the lives of Jewish people because some of the Arab victims of Zionism now do not differentiate between the crimes of Zionism and the Jewish people. In addition the Israeli government aided in the formation of the anti-Semitic organization Hamas and today uses their suicide bombings against civilians as a way to gain sympathy and support in the Zionist war against the Palestinian people (more on this later). Objectively the Zionist capitalist state is, in fact, the common enemy of both Jews and Arabs.

In the 1940s Jews were only one third of the population of Palestine. The Arab majority had not yet been driven from their land. The British, in considering their entire imperial interests in the Middle East and their need for good relations with Arabs had backtracked from their original support of a Jewish state in Palestine. Thus the Zionist minority carried out a war of independence against Britain in order to set up the Jewish state. The Palestinian people, the majority of the population, were not consulted by the Zionists on what kind of future they would like to have for their homeland and had little involvement in the war although a few did side with British forces.

After independence from the Britain in 1948 the Zionist state began a massive expropriation of Palestinian land that has not ended. Becky Johnson’s claim that, “the Arabs and Muslims who did not flee in 1948, but stayed in Israel have full citizenship, have freedom to practice their religion, own property, vote, have representation in the Knesset, and compose 18% of the population? is so utterly untrue as to defy common sense. Besides defying the facts, which we shall establish, I ask why most of an entire people would voluntarily flee the land in which they had built flourishing towns, a rich agriculture, and a vibrant cultural life with nowhere else to go? The short answer is that they did not flee voluntarily. They had met the “Jewish bayonets? of Zionist Jabotinsky’s “Iron Wall?. To deny this fact comes in on the same level as those who deny the Holocaust of Europe.

The humiliating conditions of the Palestinian people were recently observed by former anti-Apartheid fighter Archbishop Desmond Tutu who wrote: “I have been very deeply distressed by my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young police officers prevented us from moving about.

“On my visit to the Holy Land I drove to a church with the Anglican bishop in Jerusalem. I could hear tears in his voice as he pointed to Jewish settlements. I thought of the desire of Israelis for security. But what of the Palestinians who have lost their land and homes?

“I have experienced Palestinians pointing to what were their homes, now occupied by Jewish Israelis. I was walking with Canon Naim Ateek (the head of the Sabeel Ecumenical Centre) in Jerusalem. He pointed and said: ‘Our home was over there. We were driven out of our home; it is now occupied by Israeli Jews.’

“My heart aches. I say why are our memories so short. Have our Jewish sisters and brothers forgotten their humiliation? Have they forgotten the collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history so soon??

Although the Israeli government claims that Palestinians have the right to own property, this is a lie. Ever since 1948 Palestinians in Israel do not have the right to own land, because their land is often confiscated by force for Hebrew settlement and agriculture. Water rights have been systematically cut off and diverted away from Palestinian lands and given to stolen Hebrew owned lands. Palestinian laborers are then denied by law the right to work the Hebrew owned agricultural lands, although they are sometimes illegally employed as cheap labor with no labor rights.

Palestinians do not have the right to freely travel. Reminiscent of chattel slavery, Palestinian families are often separated by Israeli officials who commonly do not grant necessary permits for Palestinians to enter neighborhoods or towns where wives, husbands, or children live. In contrast the Hebrew population has full rights to travel.

Palestinians often do not have the right to keep their own homes, which are often confiscated or bulldozed. The bulldozing of houses is a common punishment of families whose children are accused of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. Recently in Jenin houses were bulldozed with people inside, an act that besides killing people also made an estimated 4,000 people homeless.

Palestinians do not have the right to freedom of speech and regularly face arrest, torture, and execution for their political views. Even Hebrew speakers who support rights for Palestinians or an end to Israeli wars have, at times, had their press shut down by the Israeli government or had their demonstrations attacked and beaten by Israeli soldiers.

Palestinians do not have the same right to an education as Hebrew speaking people based on the fact that higher education is paid for through the forced military inscription of Hebrew speakers while Palestinians are excluded from the military. It would in fact make no sense for the Zionists to allow Palestinians into their military since military humiliation, brutality, and outright terror against Palestinians is a part of every day duty for an Israeli soldier. Likewise few blacks served in the Apartheid military of South Africa.

Those Palestinians that are then driven out of what was once Palestine usually are not allowed to return, while Jews who have never set foot in Israel are granted automatic citizenship (with the exception of two Jewish supporters of Palestinians named Ralph Shoenman and Mya Shone who have the honor of not being allowed into Israel because of their writings). Those Palestinians that are forced from Israel are often bombed by Israel in their refugee camps or massacred in other ways. In the 1982 case of the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Lebanon, Palestinians were rounded up and systematically slaughtered in the thousands by Israeli troops and their Phalangist Militia allies.

As survivor Mrs. Sersawi testified in a Belgium appeals court on the Israeli governments war crimes, “The Lebanese forces militia [Phalangists] had taken us from our homes and marched us up to the entrance of the camp where a large hole had been dug in the earth. The men were told to get into it. Then the militiamen shot a Palestinian. The women and children climbed over bodies to get to this spot, but we were truly shocked by seeing this man killed in front of us and there was a roar of shouting and screams from the women. That’s when we heard the Israelis on a loudspeaker shouting, ‘give us your men.’ We thought, ‘thank God, they will save us.’

“We were told to walk up the road to the Kuwaiti Embassy, the women and children in front, the men behind. We had been separated. There were Phalangist Militiamen and Israeli soldiers walking alongside us. I could still see Hassan (her husband with whom she was 3 months pregnant) and Faraj (her brother-in-law). It was like a parade. There were several hundred of us. When we got to Cite Sportif, the Israelis put us women in a big concrete room and the men were taken to another side of the stadium. There were a lot of men from the camp and I could no longer see my husband. The Israelis went around saying ‘Sit, sit.’ It was 11 AM. An hour later we were told to leave. But we stood outside amid the Israeli soldiers, waiting for our men.

“Some men came out, none of them younger than 40, and they told us to be patient, that hundreds of men were still inside. Then about 4 PM an Israeli officer came out. He was wearing dark glasses and said in Arabic: ‘What are you waiting for?’ He said there was nobody left, that everyone had gone. There were Israeli trucks moving out with tarpaulin over them. We couldn’t see inside. And there were jeeps and tanks and a bulldozer making a lot of noise. We stayed there as it got dark and the Israelis appeared to be leaving and we were very nervous. But when the Israelis had moved away, we went inside. And there was no one there. Nobody. I had been only three years married. I never saw my husband again.?

Sabra and Shatila are only one of the massacres of people done by the Israeli government in the past 54 years of Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Today all of the Palestinian towns of historic Palestine are either occupied by Israeli troops who are killing people or surrounded by Israeli troops and tanks who are poised to attack. While Israeli troops are claiming that they are only killing combatants Human Rights Watch has documented the following crimes in Jenin alone: murders of civilians including children, the old, and the disabled; summary executions; the bulldozing of houses with people in them; and the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields.

The cities of Ramallah and Jenin have been laid to waste by the Zionists just as the Nazis smashed the towns of Guarnica and Lidice in the name of collective punishment. Likewise the heroic resistance of Palestinian fighters in the face of superior military force is reminiscent of the Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto and Vilna.

The Israeli offensive will not stop those willing to do suicide missions against civilians, attacks that are futile attempts to combat the genocide Palestinians face. The Israeli offensive does the opposite in deepening the conditions that created suicide bombers in the first place. The anger created is by escalated Israeli murder is actually more likely to increase the number tragic of attacks on Hebrew civilians. At the same time Israel has not targeted the main base of the suicide bombers, Gaza, where Hamas is heavily organized. In fact, the murderous Israeli repression really isn’t meant to stop attacks on Hebrew civilians because these bombings by Hamas actually play right into the Zionist government’s aims and objectives in pushing for a final solution against the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority who the Israeli government consistently blame for the attacks by Hamas.

Hamas is an anti-Semitic fundamentalist religious organization that killed 150 Israeli civilians through suicide bombings between 1994 and 1998 alone. From its beginnings as the Mujama in the 1970s to this day Hamas does not face the same kind of repression as any other Palestinian group. In addition Hamas reportedly receives $28 million dollars a year from another key U.S. ally in the region, Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. and the Saudi Arabian monarchy work together closely to systematically loot Saudi Arabia’s oil resources for the profits of U.S. oil monopolies while the vast majority of the Saudi people live in poverty. In addition the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Hamas worked together closely in the U.S. war drive to destroy the left progressive PDPA government that held power in Afghanistan from 1978 to 1992. This was a war where the U.S. government and Saudi Arabia gave billions of dollars of military aid to Osama Bin Laden and the Islamic fundamentalists of the Mujahedin who were waging a holy war against the advances in women’s rights, including women’s literacy, that were occurring under the PDPA government. Tactics of the Mujahedin included throwing acid in the faces of women liberated from the veil and murdering women for teaching little girls how to read and write. Fearing a Mujahedin government right on its border and defending the PDPA government from U.S. aggression the Soviet Union sent troops into Afghanistan in 1979. Although these Soviet troops were invited by the Afghan PDPA U.S. propaganda called this a Soviet invasion.

An estimated 100,000 of the Islamic fundamentalists who fought in Afghanistan were recruited by the CIA outside of Afghanistan. Hamas participated in this activity. As John Cooley from ABC news pointed out on March 13th, 1996 in the International Herald Tribune: “A key Hamas organizer was Abdallah Azzam. He was a tough, brilliant and charismatic Palestinian from Jordan. He supervised training for the CIA’s Afghan guerrillas in Peshawar, Pakistan, where a car bomb killed him in 1989. In the earlier 1980s he toured the United States, recruiting Arab-Americans for the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan.?

Just as the United States used Hamas against the Afghani people and the leftist PDPA government, Israel has used the religious fundamentalists of Hamas as a club against the socialist and secular nationalist movements in Palestine that Hamas has violently opposed. It is those secular and socialist movements that Israel has seen as more of a threat in terms of winning the masses of people, including Hebrew speakers, over to positions of sympathy and solidarity with the Palestinians. Hamas’s suicide bombers against civilians instead serve Zionist interests in driving a larger wedge between Palestinians and Hebrew speakers, people who will need to unite against their common oppressor and killer, the Israeli Zionist government.

Early Israeli support for Hamas included in 1978 the granting of Mujama charitable status in Gaza while other organizations, especially political organizations as Mujama was, could not get such status. In 1979 Israeli collusion with the Mujama movement set up the Islamic University of Gaza whose anti-PLO and anti-socialist slogan was: “How can uncovered women and men with Beatle haircuts liberate our holy places?? Students who did not tow the Islamic line were disciplined through brutal beatings and sometimes had acid thrown in their faces. In addition Mujama mobs were allowed to violently attack and burn down PLO controlled institutions at a time when other street demonstrations were not allowed or tightly controlled by the Israeli authorities.

In 1979 the Mujama movement burned the Palestinian Red Crescent Society’s (PRC) building to the ground. In response the PRC issued the following statement, “The tacit approval of the authorities, if not their actual connivance in what happened, was displayed in their attitude of non-interference. While they usually display great alertness to combating even peaceful demonstrations of young students within schools, here they stood indifferently watching a violently destructive demonstration march to its objectives.?

In 1988 Hamas was formed out of Mujama. While PLO supporters were organizing mass demonstrations in the streets Hamas was instead focusing on shooting Israeli soldiers. Despite this fact Hamas had top-level meetings with the Israeli government while that same government would not even meet with the PLO. Milton Edwards in “Islamic Politics In Palestine? noted the relationship: “The relationship between Hamas and the Israeli authorities was, however, at the strongest during the second year of the Intifada. The Israelis had been quick to extend legitimacy status to Hamas in an attempt to marginalize the PLO. Leaders of Hamas were regularly filmed at meetings with top-level Israeli officials and the message the Israelis were sending out was that they regarded Hamas as the type of people with whom they could work…

“In addition the Israelis continued turning a blind eye to large amounts of money coming into the country destined for Hamas coffers, while at the same time stopping the flow of PLO funds in support of the Intifada.?

In 1994 Hamas began its indiscriminate attacks on Hebrew speaking people through suicide bombings. Those suicide bombings had been stepped up by Hamas in the beginnings of the Intifada 2 uprising in September 2000, but then ended due to an agreement between Arafat’s Palestinian Authority and Hamas. While this agreement was in effect world attention became focused on the gunning down of Palestinian children by Israeli sharp shooters on the West Bank. For the Zionist government this was becoming a public relations disaster.

Israeli Prime Minister Sharon needed a new provocation he could use as propaganda to escalate the war against the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority (P.A.). To create this provocation he took action to end the truce between the P.A. and Hamas on ending the suicide bombings of civilians. On November 23rd Israeli security forces assassinated Hamas leader Mahmud Abu Hunud. On November 25th, 2001 right-wing Israeli journalist Alex Fishman accurately observed in the “Yediot Achronot?: “Whoever gave the green light to this act of liquidation knew full well that he is thereby shattering in one blow the gentleman’s agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority; under that agreement, Hamas was to avoid in the near future suicide bombings inside the Green Line.?

Of course no one but Sharon could have given the green light for such an important operation. Sharon’s provocation against the Hamas anti-Semites had its intended affect. Within days Hamas resumed attacks against Israeli civilians. In March a Hamas bomber killed 25 civilians in the Passover attack that was then used by Sharon as his excuse to attack the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority while leaving the Hamas stronghold of Gaza untouched.

The U.S. government’s massive military support to the Zionist State and, to a lesser extent to the repressive Saudi Arabian monarchy is responsible for the bloodshed in Palestine. The racist state of Israel currently receives 300,000 dollars per hour in U.S. military and economic aid. The F-16 bombers, Apache and Cobra helicopters used in the latest attacks are just some of the weapons used to kill Palestinians that are made in the United States.

Socialists stand for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel and all of the crowned princes, sheiks, emirs, and Islamic fanatics of the Middle East. We understand that these U.S. policies are the policies of both the Democrat and Republican Parties. Imperialist policy isn’t the result of some misunderstanding by these parties of the wealthy. Instead the repressive and genocidal policies of U.S. imperialism flow from the drive for profits by the rapacious U.S. capitalists that rule America and much of the world. From this understanding socialists know that the only way we will get a just foreign policy, fair treatment of workers and the poor, and sound ecological policies is through a socialist revolution in the United States.

---Steve Argue, for Liberation News

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Re: Against Zionism, A Historical Response To Becky Johnson

The name "Palestine" was originated by the Romans a few years after they burned the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem to the ground. It was a cruel joke on the Israelis, as they renamed the Country of Israel (which the Jews had lived in for 1500 years at the time) "Palestine" after a Roman word "Palestina" and a play on the name of the Phillistines, the Jewish people's mortal enemy.

The concept of the Palestinians as a separate people with a national identity is a relatively new invention ---circa 1968. (The modern state of Israel was founded in 1948). There never was a country called "Palestine" only a geographical region with no prescribed boundaries, no local government, no native language, customs, or religion. Yet you continue to insist, despite history, that the Israelis have no claim on their homeland.


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