The Zionist Lobby and American Foreign Policy - 22 August 2002
by Gilad Atzmon*
In the last weeks there have been some very serious rumours, probably originated in Israel, claiming that George W. Bush's latest speech concerning the need for 'Palestinian reforms' was sent to Jerusalem for final proofing and corrections not less than twenty-eight times. Whether this is the case, whether it was twenty-eight times or just seven, whether it was physically corrected in Jerusalem or just followed some guidelines that were drawn by the Jewish lobby in Washington, is not the real issue anymore. It is more than clear that the American administration is completely biased when it comes to the Israeli-Arab conflict. This very one-sided approach should be scrutinised.
These days when American policy makers endorse far right nationalistic views, the US administration reveals itself voluntarily as a major enemy of world peace, and the American president is searching desperately for new allies to form a coalition to support his phony 'war against terror', it is hardly surprising to discover that the Jewish state and Zionists lobbies are fairly active behind the scenes. It all makes far more sense when you find out that America's current divorce from humanism is closely associated with Israeli interests. A brief study of the history of Israel will reveal that from its very early days Zionism specialised in tracing dark political motivations and interests in order to abuse them to the very limit. Zionism is a very singular political method aimed at perfecting the transformation of world disasters and human pain into Jewish gain.
Already in the first Zionist congress, in Basel (1897), Herzl, the first and most famous Jewish Zionist, illustrated this method. According to Herzl, Zionism could promise redemption for the Jewish people as long as it fit into a larger colonial agenda of any of the greater colonial superpowers. Herzl himself travelled between the European political centres, promising full collaboration and support from the Jewish people in exchange for land in which to locate the Jewish state. This very basic motivation to associate with the world superpowers is an evident factor throughout the history of Zionism. Somehow, Zionists always volunteer to serve the colonial interests of any leading power. This fundamental tendency to join forces with superpowers led to an internal debate within the Zionist movement concerning the independence of the whole Zionist adventure. Since Zionism religiously presents itself as a devoted servant of larger colonial forces, it is not clear whether Zionism can possess any sense of autonomy.
After the creation of the state of Israel this very question turned into a political debate. Since the Zionist movement insisted on presenting the world with the Idea of a Jewish sovereign state, it is clear that many of the most crucial developments in the history of Israel and Zionism were influenced by major global changes. Since Israel associates its fate with major dominating forces there is a growing concern among Zionist politicians regarding the independence and the autonomy of Israeli decision-making. Those concerns are well justified. Throughout the history of Israel we can detect different cases of obvious conflict between Israel and its source of colonial hegemony.
From time to time, Israel fails to comply with its supporting superpower. These kinds of conflicts led to the divorce from the British Empire (1947) and from the French hegemony (before the '67 war). Moreover, more than once Israel got itself into face to face conflicts with the US. Until now it has been Israel that had to bow and eventually to accept American views. Somehow, this time it looks a bit different. For the very first time it looks as if it is America, the world supreme superpower, that should be concerned. This time it is America that is about to lose its sovereignty. Now, it looks as if Zionist lobbies control American foreign politics. After so many years of independence, the United States of America is becoming a remote colony of an apparently far greater state, the Jewish state. Yes Israel, a very small place in the eastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea. If you try to look for it on your globe at home you will probably need a magnifying glass.
The idea that Zionists have taken over America might sound bizarre in the first instance but we must remember that this kind of strange scenario does happen. Last month I heard Israel Shamir's observation regarding this very issue. In a very open manner he said that no one would be surprised to hear that during different phases of the British Empire the world was governed by a very close group of 'Eton' graduates. "Some times" he added, "great empires are taken over by very marginal groups". We might have to acknowledge that this is the case with America. American foreign policy is dictated by a very marginal group of Zionist activists, even by the state of Israel itself. Good news for Israel, quite an amazing achievement for a microscopic state. But is it good news for the American people? Is it good news for the world?
The history of Zionism provides us with manifold stories of great empires that were misled in believing that coalition with the Jewish state will serve their own interests. In the long run those decisions proved to be unreasonable, irrational and even disastrous. The most famous one is probably the 'Balfour Declaration' (1917). It was in the midst of WW1 when the British foreign minister announced the empire's support for turning Palestine into the "national home for the Jewish people". At the time there were less than 60.000 Jews in Palestine leaving peacefully among a total population of 600.000 Arabs.
What led the British Empire to such a strange declaration? What led the world leading superpower at the time to commit itself to such an unreasonable affair based on support from a marginal ethnic group (less than 10% of the entire population)?
If there had been some deep colonial strategic or any other rational thought behind 'Balfour's declaration' they proved to be very misleading. Soon Jews flood into Palestine. Native Arab Palestinians start to show their severe dissatisfaction. Conflict becomes inevitable. When Britain tried to repair Balfour's damage it was too late ('The White Paper' 1939). The Jewish right wing terrorist and paramilitary resistance were about to teach the mandate forces a lesson in Yiddisher brutality. From a British point of view, the alliance with Zionism turned into a disaster. It was 2 years after the 2nd WW when the Zionist pushed the British colonial forces out of the region. A very similar pattern of unfortunate thought led both decaying empires Britain and France to join forces with Israel in the Suez operation (1956).
Following Nasser's nationalisation of the 'Suez Canal Company' both France and Britain were looking for a military operation that would retrieve control over the Suez to the west. Clearly, Israel wasn't a part of this conflict but as an 'obedient servant' of colonial western thought Israel as usual offered its military assistance for any imperial aggression. As long as the aggressor promises to inflict pain over its Arab neighbours. The Suez Operation was launched with an IDF operation on 29 October. Two days later both Britain and France joined the party. The operation provoked an outraged American response to the aggressive coalition. On November 9th, less than ten days after the operation had started, Israel bowed to American pressure and announced its immediate withdraw from Sinai desert. For Britain and France this unsuccessful affair symbolised the end of their colonial era. More than anything else the Suez Operation indicated the loss of European influence in the region. Again, from a colonial point of view, the association with Zionism was counter-productive.
The Europeans learnt their lesson; they became very suspicious of Zionist political affairs. At the same time we have to admit that the Americans have not yet learned theirs. The American people have not yet seen that a coalition with Israel puts their life at great risk. The American people fail to associate September 11th and the hopeless American support of Zionism. I assume the reason the American people fail to acknowledge such a straightforward connection can only be due to the fact that Zionist lobbies have managed to comprehensively dominate the major sources that control American public opinion: both in culture, in media and in finance. Ted Turner the owner of CNN, the world's leading TV news network had to go out of his way to persuade the Zionist lobbies that he was in a mental state when he 'mistakenly' referred to Israel as a "terrorist state". It is very apparent that Israel enjoys full protection in the American media. The question to be asked is who is going to protect the Americans from their motherland Israel?
While the American people take their time to answer this crucial question we can stretch our intellectual faculties by contemplating the following questions. How is it that the great American nation, the world's leading superpower, has become dominated by a narrow lobby from a miniature foreign state? Do the American and the Israelis really share the same interests? And if they do can someone enlighten us as to what those interests are? Are the American people aware of the fact that their becoming a direct target of Islamic terror is of prior interest to Israel?
On reflection, it must be terrifying that such a small lobby from a tiny state is so eager to push the rest of the world into endless confrontation.
Do we really need all this?
Gilad Atzmon is the top selling jazz musician in the UK. His group is the Orient House Ensemble. He is also the author of a novel, Guide to the Perplexed, just published in Israel to great acclaim. It will be available in English (published in UK by Serpent's Tail, and distributed in the USA by them) from October 17th 2002.