For One Democratic State
in the whole of Palestine (Israel)


FOR One Man, One Vote




Dear Israel,
What we agree on, the elemental, human, and divine right of the Palestinians to justice and freedom, is far more important than any disagreements in analysis. I am sure we also agree that the salvation of the Jewish soul demands the ending of this unspeakably brutal oppression, which the Palestinians have done nothing to deserve. And on the need for anyone of conscience to speak out against the earth- and heaven-defying hypocrisy of apologists for the historical Likud/Labour axis that for nearly a century now, under various names and under various pretexts, has plotted and acted to dispossess the native population of Palestine, without in any way furthering the goal of Jewish security and survival--on the contrary.

I am doubly flattered to be quoted by you, and in juxtaposition with Noam Chomsky. Let me now clarify where we do disagree:

1. You are a writer, an outstanding one. Surely you can recognize a metaphor when you see it: the U.S. State Department official referring to Israel as an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" is wrapping a political and strategic truth in a literary image. The U.S. has no need to land a single aeroplane on Israeli soil for the metaphor to be valid. However, in the final analysis, if in the Arab world the masses ever come close to threatening their traitorous rulers, the metaphor will no doubt become physical reality.

2. As for Turkey, where exactly is the contradiction? The Turks are historically quite practiced at oppressing the Arabs. Isn't there already a tacit 3-way U.S./Turkey/Israel alliance?

3. Israel does not owe it's existence to the U.S., however dependent she is now on the American empire. It was the dominant empire of the time, the British, who fostered the development of the Zionist entity in Palestine. If in the end there was a falling out among thieves, that doesn't change the two decades during which the British actively encouraged immigration, the training and organization of a Jewish army, the growth of Jewish political institutions all the while keeping the Palestinians divided, weak, subjected to arbitrary rule, and militarily suppressed. Do you imagine there was a powerful Jewish Lobby in London? All the Rothschild wealth was as nothing to the might and wealth of the British dominion. As no less an authority on imperialism than Winston Churchill stated in the early 1920's, "the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine is in accord with the best interests of the British Empire."

Why? Because settler states imposed on and alienated from the native population must, of necessity, act is imperial agents in order to thrive and survive.

4. It's true Palestine has no oil wells. But the Arab world does. And what would happen to that precious supply of black gold if the Arabs ever achieved genuine independence? So it's very useful for the U.S. to have a tough cop on the beat, to keep the Arabs off balance. The Israeli pitbull was loosened against the nationalist Nasserist regime in Egypt, first by the French and the British--by then doddering past their prime--and then by the U.S. And this game succeeded most gratifyingly from the U.S. imperial perspective: the nationalists who were wanting to move towards the development of independent advanced industrial states have been replaced by servile toadies like Sadat and Mubarak. Israel dealt a fatal blow to hopes of Arab independence in the 20th century.

5. Israel was not a liability during the Iraq war--only an asset the U.S. had no need to make use of, given its stable of loyal Arab lackeys who needed only that Israel stay out of the limelight. Again, should these lackey regime be overthrown or threatened, rest assured the Israeli pitbull would again be tearing at Arab calves all throughout the Middle East. What other significance, do you imagine, does the U.S.-sanctioned Israeli nuclear capacity have?
6. There used to be a powerful China Lobby, dedicated to the non-recognition of Beijing and the maintenance of the Nationalist Chang-Kai shek fiction in Taiwan. It feted and fed congressmen and senators, just as the present Israel Lobby does. Admittedly, it lacked the population base and quite the wealth of it's Jewish counterpart, but its fate ought to be an object lesson. Once the U.S. moved to accommodate itself to Maoist China, the power of the China Lobby evaporated. One may expect the same to happen to the Israel Lobby if U.S. strategic interest in the Middle East should undergo some sea-change (to me not foreseeable in the near future, alas for the Palestinians).

7. U.S. policy towards Israel would be exactly the same if there was not a single Jew living in the U.S., although the propaganda task facing it would be significantly greater. But what "Timor lobby" was there that controlled U.S. attitudes towards East Timor? Lobbies are useful disguises and surely the State Department would rather have people believe in the power of the Jewish Lobby than to have it's naked interests and cynicism clearly exposed. But lobbies are neither necessary nor sufficient for the making of imperial policy.

8. None of what I say above contradicts or diminishes the importance of countering the Israel Lobby, which you suggest. They play a sinister role which, apart from what it contributes to Palestinian suffering, confuses vast numbers of North American Jews and subjugates them to interests quite opposed to their genuine needs.

9. Like you, I reject the nonsense that criticism of Israel feeds anti-Semitism. On the contrary. Jews opposing the brutal hegemony Israel wields over the Palestinians can only give thinking people less reason to be anti-Semitic. (Not that people so inclined need "bad" Jews to believe the worst about Jews, since such beliefs arise out of their own pathology, not in reaction to anything real Jews--good or evil--do in the real world.) However:

10. To imply that the Jewish Lobby initiates and maintains U.S. policy would be fine, were it true. But it isn't. So it can only feed Protocols-of-the-Elders-of-Zion type paranoia of people who don't know any better. And, perhaps worse, it is also a red flag--if I may borrow your metaphor--that diverts the bull from the real enemy: the toreador with his stiletto. In this case, the U.S.

11. Finally, I respect and honour the righteous anger that burns through many of your writings. But I needn't tell you, we must remain compassionate not only towards the victims, but also towards the deluded and naives ones among those who support, if unwittingly, the oppression we ourselves oppose. There is that in your tone sometimes, I fear, will lessen or negate the impact of the truths you so eloquently express. This Jewish Lobby theory of yours, whatever partial truth it does contain, veers in a negative direction.
I trust you will accept my lengthy rebuttal, or attempt at same, for what it is: a sign of respect. I would ask you to share it with your list. But I don't see you under obligation to do so.
My name is Miriam. I am a NY Jewess, very sickened by what is going on in Israel, and enraged by the blessings of my own government (using my tax dollars to blast teenagers from apache helicopters!) and the Jewish lobby here. I am only slightly encouraged by what seems to be a faint lifting of the head by the enfeebled left in Israel. A sit-in at Bronfman's office would be a fine thing!
Dear Israel:
Great piece, as always!
Which gives me an idea: PMWatch is spinning off in the next few weeks focused efforts on the NYTimes, WashPost, NPR, and a couple of other media outlets. We've already spinned off . Your piece has given me the idea of setting up a web site that watches the activities of the ADL, AIPAC, Camera, HonsetReporting, etc. -- i.e., the major pro-Israeli groups -- and organizes people to neutralize their actions. Any ideas you may have on this would be appreciated.
Ahmed Bouzid

I think it is important to discuss the strategy of action, and the letters of the friends of Palestine present a step in this direction. Shamir

The new article by Israel Shamir is misleading. He dismisses the scientific notion that US Imperialist interests are the reason behind its support to Israel. He does that for a very clear reason; to further his thesis that the "Jewish lobby" is behind the unleashing of this "pit bull". This logic is unsubstantiated and very dangerous for the Palestinian liberation movement. It absolves the US and its Western allies from their responsibilities of all the war crimes it committed against the Arab and Palestinian people through their unconditional support for the Zionist project, which is a Western project and not a Jewish project. It also absolve the Arab puppet regimes from their betrayal of the Arab people in general by shifting the blame on the "Jewish lobby" rather than their allies in Washington and the other western capitals.
Dear Hanna, I think you are reading too much into Shamir's article. Furthermore, there is no such thing as a "scientific" notion regarding politics. There are different "theories" held in the minds of different people. I personally agree with Shamir that the surest way to weaken the Zionist Entity is to take to task American Jewish Zionists.
Sami B. Mashney
While American 'Imperialists" may have something to do with our support for Israel, I have observed the situation long enough to say that without the support for Israel from American Zionist sympathizing Jews, this country wouldn't be so strong for them. So I agree with Shamir.
Roger Alexander
I am afraid that writers like Dr Mate have their hearts in the right place, but are naive in so many ways. I wonder if Dr Mate has read Israel Shahak's books, or those of Victor Ostrovsky, or that of Seymour Hersh, among so many tell-all books. It is hard to read his analysis and imagine that the Israeli lobby in the U.S. is just an innocent pawn of U.S. machinations. I believe there is definitely an element of "I'll pat your back if you pat mine," but I think Dr Mate has the dog and his tail in reverse. I was once overlooked in an AIPAC organized function, and the president of AIPAC was conversing with some of his right-hand fellows, and I suppose he didn't notice my little presence on a chair nearby. The subject of discussion was the Marc Rich affair, and what I overheard that day only confirms to me that the AIPAC lobby is far from an innocent group of people led astray by U.S. strategic interests. One only need look at the plotting and planning going on in the House International Relations Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia to know that these pro-Israel Jewish congressmen didn't just happen to become members of that subcommittee by sheer chance. They planted themselves there on purpose, and they bark at any member of the U.S. administration who dares not to follow their bidding. I have a friend who works in the Federal Reserve, and he told me recently that anyone who dares to utter a word against Israeli policies to AIPAC members there, gets pounced upon by what he calls "attack dogs."
I too admire Chomsky enormously, but the reasons he advances for American support of Israel amount to no more than boilerplate--both in the sense of a reflexive set reaction--as well as self-defence and perhaps even self-deception. Political economy and globalist geopolitics are very safe antagonists, rather like weather; they are devoid of agency or remedy. As defensive boilerplate Chomsky's analysis serves to define and limit the terms of debate and inquiry and thus to disqualify opposition and the clear identification of the interlocutors and protagonists. Consciously or not, it's ultimate purpose is to disarm what it views as anti-Semitism by means of a coherent, if very abstract and counterintuitive, explanation. It is a meteorological, rather than a political analysis. n his recent book The New Dealers' War, Thomas Fleming describes how Roosevelt dealt with Zionist lobbyists. FDR would glad hand them, listen with great concern and sympathy as they made their case for American support for Israel, and then describe to them in vivid terms the jihad that would engulf the Arab world if Palestine were partitioned. He would then blithely usher them out with his assurance that they "wouldn't want that." As the Cold War began the Zionist lobby found a more sympathetic ear in Truman who accepted a bag of cash and media support for his re-election campaign. James Forrestal and the State Department couldn't--for the life of them (and quite literally in Forrestal's case)-- see any American national interest served for American support of the partition of Palestine. Forrestal's old Wall Street crony, Bernard Baruch, tried to warn him off the issue to no avail and showed up a short while later as a pallbearer at the funeral. Today there is not one member of congress who will oppose Israel's settlement policies in Palestine, much less call for the rule of international law in guaranteeing the right of return. This is not politics in a democratic republic; nor is it manufactured consent; it is terror and tyranny. I see that the Protocols have put in their obligatory appearance in the responses to your blasphemy in uttering the name of g-d. It is interesting that the most enthused, provocative, and applauded parody of these, Thomas Friedman's The Lexus and the Olive Tree, which celebrates global financial rapacity, cultural anomie, and universal deracination, features the odious rooted sustenance of Palestinians in its title. It is a very self-confident matador who can sarcastically hold the muleta over his heart. Friedman knows the rules: the blinders on the boilerplate may be opened from within but not from without.
What I most liked about your original San Fermin piece is that it rejectsthe all-too-tempting conspiracy explanation and points to the sheer irrationality of US policy, which I am sure both the former and the present President Bush are actually aware of. This is precisely why there is (as Gabor interestingly recognises in the end, despite using conspiracy language throughout his reply) huge scope for reaching out to those "victims of naivety", using language such as "Israel's and America's TRUE interest in a just peace..." It is extremely important for everyone in the struggle to realise that indignation against Israel is not inherently, and should not remain, a "left-wing" view. This is why the "hypocrisy" - as it is rightly called by Gabor - of official America is DOUBLY frustrating for those of us who, by and large, see the US as an historically progressive force for freedom (despite the blinkered vulgarity and bullying that comes so natural to all superpowers). I am a pro-globalisation libertarian constantly arguing against what I see as Utopian or authoritarian left wingers on economic and social issues, yet when it comes to Israel's outrageous treatment of the Palestinians, these same people are normally the ONLY ones I can agree with. Why on earth does it have to be so? Erasmus
I am one of the founding members of the Jewish Alliance against the Occupation and Palestinians and Jews Unite of Montreal, Canada. We have vigils every Friday outside the Israeli Consulate downtown. The Bronfmans are from Montreal. They have a major presence here. There is a cultural centre that puts on plays called the Saydie Bronfman Centre. There is the Bronfman Building of Commerce of McGill downtown on Sherbrooke. There is a small building on Peel Street called Seagram's- the whiskey company at the root of their fortune and conveniently close to the Israeli consul. In the coming week there are meetings of the 2 above mentioned groups.I could consider suggesting a demonstration outside one of the visible Bronfman buildings. However, I have a few hesitations! How public is the family's support for Israel? (Very. ISH) How much money to they contribute to Israel? Is the family divided on the issue? (Not that we know. ISH) I appreciate what you write and I appreciate what Gabor Mate a man of great intelligence, whether writing about medical politics or Israel in the Globe and Mail, whose son is member of the alliance, produce. Perhaps, like on June 8, we can collectively , at least in North America, organize demonstrations against the visible Jewish " leaders" who most publicly identify and justify Israel's shameful policy towards the Palestinians.
I entirely agree with your analysis. I have lived through the whole period since the beginning of British occupation until April 1948. Of course the British were the first perpetrators but in the last period of the mandate the US used tremendous leverage on the incapacitated British lion.

Here are three new important responses, or rather opinion pieces re our Palestine Whodunit, the Jewish Power or the American Imperialism? (nobody proposed the butler). They are penned by three wise, good and fearless persons, the historian Susanne Scheidt of Milan; the next US President, Bob Green of Vermont; and Anton Baumgarten, the editor of , Moscow.
From Susanne:
I got to read the Fiesta of St. Fermin on my office-email-account, on Friday, during working hours. At the end of the article, I was surrounded by colleagues who are completely unacquainted with the Palestinian cause, except for what they hear from me when I answer their occasional questions.

Shamir’s Fiesta of St. Fermin had put on a light in me and somehow it must have shown on my face, because the colleagues had become curious. I asked them what they thought about the idea of spending the coming August holidays (Italy usually closes up during August for summer holidays) organizing squatter tent camps in front of the houses of .Mrs. Tullia Zevi, of Rabbi Toaff, of Mr. Gad Lerner and Mrs. Fiamma Nierenstein and Mr. Alberto Negri, just to name the outstanding Jewish zionists in Italy. I let my fantasy go on: the camp must be right in the front entrance, with the family of the house owner ordered to keep their windows shut for the sake of security of the squatters, to never look out of the window and to use the back entrance, during hours that the squatters would communicate from day to day, for their daily chores. In case of resistance from the landlords, the squatters would interrupt the water supply and shut down electricity and gas. As I went on with this proposal, the faces of my colleagues brightened up, life got into their office-routine-stiffened muscles and a spark lit up in their eyes.

It was the spark of hope that galvanizes who has for too long a time been put in a position to reinterpret his own impotence to change things as a virtue. And to misinterpret obedience and submission as maturity and discipline. The prospect of getting on one's feet and into action, of creating "facts on the ground" to demonstrate that the "facts on the ground" in Palestine and elsewhere have been created just in this way and therefore are completely reversible, is the prospect of re-appropriation of one's own life, the prospect that lights up your life. And it's the need of re-appropriation of one's own life - collectively - against the state-prescribed non-life in the cage in which we are redefined as a factor of the system's mechanism, that links the destiny of every one of us, be he aware or not of the Palestinians cause, to the destiny of the Palestinians. If Palestine falls, we will remain locked up in our cages for many decades to come.

When I got home and opened my e-mail, I was stunned to find out, that on the Al-Awda-list the article of Shamir had mainly aroused an academic discussion about the role of the Jewish American diaspora versus the dynamics of USA-imperialism, as if Shamir was a university-lecturer that had wanted to give an academic lesson. I admit that I too have thought about this question a lot reading analyses of Edward Said, Noam Chomsky and of European authors and military analysts and I confess to have my own ideas which elaborate both points of view in a historical analysis of military history. But that wasn't the topic of Shamir's article !

I propose we discuss this extremely important issue in the big discussion tent that we'll put up in the center of the big squatter camp that we will build in the frontyard of ........
Susanne, Italy
From Bob
I read very carefully your piece, "Fiesta of St. Fermin", and then read the criticism by your friend Gabor. In reading and rereading both, I realize a great paradox: both of you sound correct; it appears the Jewish Lobby is the true engine of Israeli hegemony, and it also seems quite possible that the reverse is true.

It seems as though U.S. strategic interests are the real culprit. How to solve this dilemma is a most important question for those of us laboring in despair, rage and shock to oppose the violence of the Israeli Brown Shirts against their gentle Palestinian neighbors. If you are correct, we must wage a principled struggle against the Jewish so-called leaders, especially here in the true Jewish homeland, The United States of America, and expose them as the deceivers and evildoers they truly are.

If Gabor and others, Noam Chomsky included are correct, we would simply be charging at another red cape instead of discerning the true identity of the aggressor. And, the hour is late; the Second Naqba is already underway; a culture, a way of life, a land, a history, a People are being obliterated by a group whose slogan, absurdly, is "Never Again."

Can it be, dear friend, that you both are correct? Can it be, that, as the interests of two crime families in a gangland movie sometimes coincide, so do the interests of the Jewish Supremacists coincide with those of the non-Jewish American Imperialists? I should really say the "apparent" interests, because anyone with even a modicum of the gift of discernment can easily predict the ultimate destruction of both Israel and the United States as being the logical and just outcome for the commission of such crimes against humanity. Al-Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X) once remarked, upon the occasion of the assassination of President Kennedy, that, after all, "the chickens always come home to roost." This is most true at the current moment. Israel, which has always done its best to slay or otherwise neutralize its most vocal and effective enemies, is now in a position where the enemies list is too long, and is growing exponentially day by day.

The U.S. of A., of course, has made itself the sworn enemy of almost every individual on this planet who is a friend of the oppressed and a lover of truth. Both of these entities are clearly doomed, which, for me, as both a Jewish and an American person, is a sad and frightening thing to realize. In some ways, my dedication to the cause of Palestinian survival, self-determination, return and liberty is part of a possibly futile try at preventing the terrible fate which at this moment surely looms for the U.S., Israel, and for many Jews and Americans who may be innocent of wrongdoing, but who nevertheless will be punished for the crimes of their leaders.

So, where do we put the piles of dirt? Where do we confront the ethnic cleansers? My answer is "Anywhere we find them." I will not discriminate: if I see a government office, I will think it fair game for a protest, providing it is an office which houses the guilty. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s office is therefore immune to my ire, as is the office or home of the illustrious Jewish Professor Noam Chomsky. Foxman's office, well, let's just say that there is an awful lot of extra manure and many excellent bulldozers in my home state of Vermont, aching for creative use. There are U.S. government offices which need to be picketed, and corporations whose commerce with Israel spills the blood of innocent Palestinian children. These corporations should be identified and shut down. There are other computer chip manufacturers to replace the disgraced Intel Corporation which supports the Israeli Fascist Enterprise with a new $4 billion dollar order from its Israeli suppliers. There are better ice creams than Vermont's own Ben & Jerry's, ice cream companies that do not do business in Israel. We must boycott, blockade, protest, write, yell, educate, and in short, bring to a halt the activities of all of the buttressing organizations which make possible the Zionist Colony in Palestine, be they governmental, Jewish Organizational, business, or otherwise. The critical question of identifying the central or most crucial engine of the Israeli crimes against humanity is one which needs much more study and debate, but, in the meantime, we need to pile high the shit at ALL of the proper doorsteps.
Bob, Vermont
From Anton
"Up to a point" I find myself in agreement with Gabor who assigns the "commanding heights" to US imperialism rather than the Zionist lobby or/and the state of Israel in the modern history of the Middle East. Not that I find his examples particularly convincing. On the contrary. For example, his crucial point four begs this question: Why in the world did American imperialism (minus American Zionism) choose to antagonize and radicalize the Arab world and put at terrible risk its own strategic security (oil) for the sake of the Israeli state, and that at the height of the Cold War?!

Nor Gabor's method of reasoning impresses me as suitable for understanding historical phenomena. As Marc Bloch observed from the height of his life-long preoccupation with the methodology of historical science, "what-would-have-been" type of questions does not belong in it ("U.S. policy towards Israel would be exactly the same if there was not a single Jew living in the U.S).

Moreover, the very way of positing the problem (i.e., "who is first to blame") seems to me slightly sophistic as any search for causa prima, as if the US "Zionist lobby" can be abstracted from US imperialism and analyzed in isolation, or other way around. Perhaps it would be more productive to approach things historically and investigate step by step how and under what conditions the alliance between Israel and US has been formed and evolved. Such a story will no doubt include the formation and evolution of organized Zionism in US. In its turn, this substory will branch out, at least in the hands of a materialist historian, to the history of Jewish capitalist class in this country, and more generally to the fortunes of American Jewish population, from humble beginnings to the present position of wealth, power and influence. What were the turning points of this development? When and how Jewish bourgeoisie gained entrance into the largely anti-Semitic Establishment and, especially, into its holy of holies, the big finance capital, the Wall Street? What role if any did the "civil rights movement" of the 60s, with the NYT as its mouthpiece, have in promoting not only the rights of black people but of Jewish bankers as well ("the cunning of history")? But the mother of all questions will be the relation of all of the above to the Cold War, i.e. the absolute imperative of defending the capitalist system against communism.
Now if we make this imperative the basis of our explanatory method then the seemingly self-hurting doings of US imperialism in the Middle East may appear rather logical and fully consistent with its long-term interests, even if they were risky and dangerous in the near term. And isn't it the essence of liberalism to take care of the former? To support my point, I will evoke Gabor's argument about the failure of the anti-Communist "Chinese lobby" to block the US deal with China. Can we explain this failure on the basis of internal dynamics of US politics or even US/Taiwan/China relations? I do not think so. The missing essential term here was the Soviet Union. The parochial interests of a specific (ethnic) group of bourgeoisie were sacrificed for the common good of the capitalist class.

This brings me to the question of what is the historical place of Jewish bourgeoisie in this universal class and how this ethnic section came to occupy this place. I can't answer this question, only concerted and multidisciplinary historical research can. I only want to suggest that the Cold War holds the key this question. Capitalist mobilization against communism allowed Jewish bourgeoisie to negotiate for itself a position of unprecedented power in this class. And Israel has been used as a lever to achieve and preserve this power. For the obvious weakness of Jewish bourgeoisie vis-a-vis other national bourgeoisies before 1948 was that it did not have its ethnic state to protect its interests (and often their very lives) on the international arena. The Cold War against the Soviet Union, with its 5 or so million Jews among other factors, tremendously increased the importance of the Jewish state--"the unsinkable aircraft carrier" but not against the Arabs as Stalin realized all too well-- and gave Jewish capitalists, particularly in the US as the leader of this anti-Communist crusade, the opportunity to advance their standing within the US and international ruling class.

I guess what I want to say is that this whole question of "Jewish lobby" and the "Jewish state" of Israel should be explored from a different perspective if we want to put this question on its feet. From this perspective, it is sooner Israel who might be called a lobbyist state for the US and international Jewish bourgeoisie rather than the other way around, in the same way as the American state is the "lobbyist" for the US capitalist class as such. It goes without saying that a common Palestinian state will never be able to replace the "Jewish state" as the lobbyist for Jewish bourgeoisie. This is why it will never come about unless the power of this bourgeoisie is undermined, which is to say, unless the capitalist class as a whole is seriously weakened. (here is your logical fault, dear Anton. How do you go from ‘this’ to the ‘whole’? ISH) While the petty-bourgeois Right, notably, libertarians, begin to appropriate anti-Zionism in order to weaken the regime of the finance capital ruinous for their social base - after all the "progressive" function of US imperialism in respect to communism has been fulfilled! - these efforts are likely to be doomed. It's simply too late.

The Cold War was also a war for the souls and very bodies of the Jewish people. This war was won by capitalism in the Soviet Union and internationally with the help of Jewish bourgeoisie and their tools: the state of Israel and Zionism. Considering the prominent role played by Jewish activists in socialist and labor movements around the world this was a great service that Jewish capitalists did to their class. One Jewish communist from Argentine wrote recently about the devastating impact of Zionism on the Left in that country and across the Latin America. Bronfmans may be indifferent to the trappings of Judaism and tradition. Capital is blind to race, ethnicity, religion or gender. But capital knows how to exploit them to its advantage and protection.

As to Gabor's warnings - and as I understand they have been recently coming from other people - I hope you both disregard these warning and take them very seriously.

It is often the case in this century that progressive and reactionary positions on specific issues appear similar or even identical. This illusion disappears, of course, once we go beyond their rhetoric to respective social projects. Demonstrations against the Nato bombings of Serbia brought together leftists and the extreme right. The critique of capitalism by socialists and fascists may have certain similarities as they reflect the common source of oppression in relation to workers and petty bourgeois respectively. Moreover, this common oppressor can make them unite for its "critique in arms." The so-called "red-brown" coalition in Russia is the most recent example of this phenomenon.
The obvious problem with these warnings about anti-Semitism is that they prevent us from rational investigation of its material causes thereby leaving intact its irrational assumptions and disarming those who realize that the struggle against anti-Semitism is an integral part of struggle against their respective nationalisms. In Russia today this struggle is vital because ideological anti-Semitism forms the heart of Russian nationalism, both in its left and right varieties, with the name "Trotsky" serving to ally them. This anti-Semitism is based on the compelling evidence of the powerful positions held by Jewish capitalists and their ideological representatives within the comprador class. And to divert the struggle against "Jews" into one against capitalism takes much more than even most brilliant essays. We need a materialist analysis explaining the prominent position and the role of Jewish bourgeoisie in modern capitalism and imperialism.

This is the first sense in which Gabor's warning should be taken seriously: journalism is not enough; it must be based on scientific inquiry and a materialist theory of history to escape the danger of being appropriated by reactionary forces.

Now for the harder part.
Gabor writes: “To imply that the Jewish Lobby initiates and maintains U.S. policy would be fine, were it true. But it isn't. So it can only feed Protocols-of-the-Elders-of-Zion type paranoia of people who don't know any better. And, perhaps worse, it is also a red flag - if I may borrow your metaphor - that diverts the bull from matador”.

What Gabor is actually saying is that to prove this will NOT be fine. Moreover, that it will be very dangerous even to explore the relations between American Jewish bourgeoisie and the US policy, i.e. the place of this bourgeoisie in the ruling class of this country and in the system of world capitalism in general. And as I said, there is some truth to his claim that "implying" something of the sort can be exploited by the anti-Semitic Right. The problem is that Gabor does not ask you to PROVE what you only "IMPLY"; that by wavering the "red flag" of anti-Semitism he attempts to PREVENT you from trying to prove what you imply. I have no reason to believe that in doing so Gabor meant to protect the "Jewish Lobby" or Jewish bourgeoisie for that. Rather, I think he is genuinely anxious about the possibility of anti-Semitic exploitation of your writings. But shouldn't he be even more anxious about the possibility of you proving your point? Would it be indeed "fine" if instead of the fake Protocols, anti-Semites will have a body of research providing the evidence of how Jewish capital has shaped the US policy and how the US anti-Communism has "emancipated" Jewish bourgeoisie and empowered the "Jewish state" on the backs of the Palestinians? How about that possibility? I am afraid that the evidence of this sort will blow up your whole project designed to appeal to the sensibilities of liberals. That is the red cloth they all hate to see - from Said to the looniest libertarian. And the bull does not miss the matador all the time.

Anton Baumgarten , Moscow

The discussion of the Fiesta, or, more properly, on the extent of Jewish influence on the US politics, does not want to run out of steam. Until the website is completed, I’ll try and sustain the discussion by the means of this listserv. I run the responses without email addresses and full names on order to encourage a free unrestricted discussion, but whoever wishes to have his name and email address provided, it will be done. ISH
From Ahmed Amr, Editor,
Israel Shamir Strikes a Chord
America supports Israel because American Jews are a fabulously rich, powerful and arrogant ethnic group that has come to accept Zionist racism as part of the core of its value system.

Israel Shamir's insightful analysis of the power of Jewish Lobby in the United States seems to be hitting a real nerve with the Jewish community. The response to his most recent article, 'The Fiesta of St Fermin', is astounding and very thought provoking. There still appears to be a great reluctance among individual American Jews of the liberal and leftist persuasion to recognize that their community does more than just wield influence in the United States. The largest contributors to both the Democratic and Republican party are American Jews. It takes very thick blinders to fail to understand that the Jewish Lobby, acting in the interests of a foreign fascist state, has seen fit to participate fully in the corrupting of America's elected officials.
The Israeli Lobby is by no means the only culprit in the buying and selling of America's governors. But they are the most powerful single force in this process. Indeed it makes absolute sense to leverage Jewish contributions by buying Congressmen and Senators. A dime of political contributions ends up being a dollar in the pocket of the IDF and the settler movement. The question is whether the lobby corrupts Congress or a corrupt Congress bows to any powerful lobby that shows them the money. Given the way that America finances its political campaigns, it is probably a little bit of this and a little bit of that. But they don't call Israel's partisans 'The Lobby' without good reason. Add to their enormous financial contributions the fact that the media industry is a virtual monopoly of powerful American Jewish families and there is no mystery as to why America allows Israel to get away with murder.

Where exactly do politicians spend their campaign money? The media barons laugh all the way to the bank every presidential campaign season. So 'The Lobby' gives a little money to our politicians and turns around and takes it all back in advertising revenue. Pity the politician who stands up to their coersion techniques. They not only choke his campaign lifeline, but also can trounce his ads with 'free' articles by pro-Israeli pundits who will denigrate any American who stands up to their dogma of Jewish exceptionalism. The case of George Bush the elder is instructive. He came out of the Gulf war with a 90% positive approval rating and was then demolished by the media barons and other activists in the Jewish lobby. There was a point where he was considered invincible, until he challenged the vicious war criminal assassin Yitzhak Shamir on illegal Jewish settlements. Now, that is a chapter of modern American history that was written by Sulzberger of the New York Times and the men who financed Bill Clinton's campaign.

Ethnic politics are part of the game in America. But their are few American ethnic constituencies that rally around foreign despots and war criminals. Filipino Americans did not support the Marcos dictatorship. The Haitian American community did not lobby Congress to support either Papa Doc or Baby Doc. Arab-Americans never applauded or acted as apologists for military dictators like Sadam. Dutch Americans did not conspire with the Boers of South Africa. German-Americans and Italian-Americans, among our largest ethnic minorities, valiantly fought in two World Wars against their kinsmen. Without their heroic sacrifices, Europe might still be under Nazi rule. Many Japanese-Americans died defending the United States against the axis powers. The Jewish Lobby, on the other hand, serves Israel's interests, even to the point of maligning their fellow Americans of Arab heritage.
Rail against capitalism and globalism all you want. Most Americans accept it as a fact of life. This is not just economics; but a fiercely competitive national character that champions individualism. Yet, the average American also loves freedom, his freedom and the freedom of others. It is not that they are oblivious to Israeli aggression, or for that matter American aggression, but rather that the action in Washington is not a part of the fabric of our daily lives. We let these politicians pick our pockets and make our wars because they never seem to improve with the passage of time. American politicians are considered the lowest form of American life. Being in the political world is just not considered an honest profession, not among decent folk. The corridors of power in Washington attract men, who would surely ply their trade in the oldest profession in the world. So, we stay away from the polls on voting day in the same way we avoid the bad side of town.

Most Americans are also fully aware that American Jews are big time on the political scene and that they dictate every detail of America's foreign policy in the Middle East. There are rational reasons why we have eleven Jewish Senators and no African-American Senators. It is not because American Jews make better senators than African-Americans, but because Jews can afford a Senate campaign. And, yes, it does help that they are of European descent. There are also rational reasons why Arab-Americans have been politically quarantined. Ask Hillary Clinton, our first bigot, why it so valuable for politicians to align themselves with the 'Yiddish Power' crowd. Watch these American-Jewish pundits, on the left and on the right, market one of the most extremely repressive governments in the world. And they do it all with such an easy smile and without a hint of any embarrassment. That takes raw 'KKK' bone-deep bigotry. America supports Israel because American Jews are a fabulously rich, powerful and arrogant ethnic group that has come to accept Zionist racism as part of the core of its value system. Repressing Palestinians, killing their kids and stealing their lands is something most American Jews are not only content to keep silent about, but will vocally support. That is fact. There is no doubt that there is a healthy minority in this community that feels a little discomfort about being so closely affiliated with a country that has a penchant for electing notorious war criminals to the highest office in the land. But this group of American-Jewish dissidents is virtually invisible. Indeed, there is more vocal and visible dissent among Israeli Jewish intellectuals.
I will leave it to American Jews to figure out why their community so easily follows a leadership whose ranks swell with shallow and wicked bigots. That is their problem. Our problem is how to confront them. To expect the Palestinians to have to wait for American Jews to redefine its core values is to ask them to abandon hope. The history books are clear on this count. American Jewish leaders, including intellectuals, follow the script written in Tel Aviv. (Ahmad, our leaders in Tel Aviv can’t write! ISH) And their community willingly goes along. They are every bit as chauvinist as Israelis, maybe more so, because they tend to be more ignorant of the facts on the ground. I always advise the rare American Jew who wants to bring a little justice into the lives of the Palestinians to publicly denounce folks like 'Punch' Sulzberger (NYT), Foxman (ADL), William Safire, Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk and Thomas Friedman. These men are the muscle that allows this racist Lobby to push its weight around. But the most important thing is to address the arrogant and callous misuse of Jewish power in America. We certainly don't need to waste any more time discussing whether the 'Jewish Lobby' is fact or fiction. What the Palestinians need are Americans who will help them neutralize the belligerence of the 'Jewish Lobby'. Let us start by being intellectually honest about how the Israel Firsters are fully complicit in the corruption of elected American public servants.

As to those who want to buy into the 'American Imperialism' school of thought. As Israel Shamir points out, Turkey and Egypt are more logical candidates for the job of strategic partner in gouging out Arab eyes for cheap oil. Besides, half the Arab Middle East is already one large contiguous American military base. There is a big difference between the American Imperial project to assure access to natural resources and Israel's racist colonial enterprise to eradicate the native population of the land. The average Saudi hardly feels the presence of the American military. But the Israeli military boot is daily mixed into the recipe of repression that confronts Palestinians when they stick their heads out of their front door. No American settlers are heading for the suburbs of Baghdad. True enough, the American government has no problem wasting Arab lives. But, that too, is often in service to the Lobby, which spares no effort to create a permanent enmity between Arabs and Americans. One only need scan the diaries of former presidents, to realize that they support racist Israeli policies reluctantly, not out of conviction, not because it is in the national interest, but because it helps finance campaigns. The path to political power in America is too often through the doors of the Israeli Lobby. American presidents think nothing of playing the role of door mats for Israeli war criminals, like Sharon. In Washington, it has become an rite of passage into the corridors of power to turn on as many green lights as Israel needs to torment the Palestinians.
From: L. E. Ernst, Virginia, USA
The fundamentalist, based on his comparatively casual appreciation of the same Scriptures, and ignorant of the rabbi's condescension, considers the rabbi to be an exemplar of a chosen race

Greetings to all commentators on this issue.....
By digesting the untrammeled knowledge and candor in these first-person accounts of men and women of good will, one attains more proximity to truth than in all the tabloids and monographs being written. This is light without heat, legitimate criticism without lamentable class hatred.

Special thanks to Israel Shamir for making the forum possible.

And kudos to Tawfiq, Galilee - Hawaii, to John Paul Leonard, and to the anonymous Lebanese gentleman for their very lucid discourse. De profundis! These are the sentiments which the masses never hear.... the minds proscribed by organizational religion and academe.... the voices crying in the proverbial wilderness.

I add my mite to the considerable erudition which has gone before:

When one enumerates the ontological factors which aid and abet the plunder and on-going military humiliation of Palestinians..... the realities which contribute to the continuing sanction (nay, support!) of Israeli war crimes, and to the ad infinitum, tragi-comic performances of presidential and other political clowns in the modern version of the emperor's clothes saga ("the peace process"), one must not ignore or discount the ubiquity and the influence (albeit waning in other important ways) of America's men of the cloth.....
In the orthodox rabbi, and his fundamentalist Christian fellow traveler, one is confronted with a pernicious paradox:

The rabbi - drawing from a pedantic understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures, largely derived from the traditions of his predecessors (and irrespective of his views on political Zionism) - considers all non-Jews - whom he regards as goyim - to be something less than human stature, and his fundamentalist peer to be beneath the status of a righteous goy: a minim, certainly, an idolator, perhaps. The fundamentalist, based on his comparatively casual appreciation of the same Scriptures, and ignorant of the rabbi's condescension, considers the rabbi to be an exemplar of a chosen race: a sage..... and himself to be merely 'a gentile (goy) saved by grace', as opposed to the divinely-favored, Torah-observant Jew, whom - he presumes - is (eventually) to be 'saved' by race: a presumption which reveals itself in the fundamentalist's antinomian lifestyle and the appellation by which he terms the foundational underpinnings of his belief system: "Judaeo-Christian" . Without pondering the incongruities of these racial/religious beliefs in terms of their mutual epistemology, and without assessing this rather one-sided ecumenism and interfaith, the point I wish to make is this:

Despite mutually exclusive views on the Messiah of Israel, soteriology, other matters of revelation, and their own intrinsic worth, the rabbi and the fundamentalist are in essential harmony on what they deem to be the 'revealed' status of today's Jewish and non-Jewish peoples, i.e., Jews are presuppositionally regarded as special and holy, without reference to their personal righteousness (or lack of it); non-Jews, by the same criteria, are regarded as relatively inferior: something less than 'chosen', something less than a Jew (in the case of Palestinians, something far less).

While both subscribe to the superior/inferior race presupposition, not all orthodox rabbis are political Zionists. However, all Judaeo-Christian fundamentalist ministers are Zionists, and some, rabidly so. The basis for their 'Christian Zionism' is a flawed eschatological premise superimposed on the aforementioned racial presuppositions and tempered by a linguistic and historical ignorance unheard of in clerical Christianity but a century ago. Never mind. Fundamentalism's Zionistic zeal may be misplaced, but it is real. And it is militant.

From this untenable albeit cherished theological posture, literally all depredations by Jews (the chosen race) are accomplished by divine warrant..... while the slightest offences against Jews ('the apple of His eye') are singularly blasphemous insults to the Supreme Being, Himself. In this schizophrenic radicalism, Ariel Sharon is a modern David, and the Zionist state of Israel a fulfillment of prophecy; state murder of innocent people is divine retribution; oppression and pillage of 'inferiors' is to be not only expected, but accepted; the theft of Arab lands is but a glorious fulfillment of the prophets; the cause of the Israelis is Biblical ......... a divine mandate. The Israeli government's calculated, cold-blooded practice of wholesale carnage, destruction and mayhem is something to be vaunted in prime time sermons, telecasted to the masses. By the same token and by the same means, Palestinian resistance to Israeli tyranny is to be decried as infamous..... as resistance to God. The sole issue which competes with the dastardly Arabs for their pious oratory is the holocaust against the Jews by the demonic Nazis..... which, walking by their lights, they do not perceive to be but predecessor to the holocaust against the Palestinians by the demonic Israelis, the former being done in violation of God's Law, the latter in compliance with it, or so they say.

And here, as viewed by all other men of good will, both the naive fundamentalist and his modern tutor, the orthodox rabbi, [whose racial beliefs, if not his politics, provide the impetus for these deadly aberrations] may be seen as the mortal (if unwitting) enemies of civilization..... and the real power brokers and sustainers of the ungodly status quo.
Profound is their influence on public opinion and the great masses of well-intentioned, otherwise good-willed Christian and Jewish people, who, were they but properly instructed, would make a prompt, righteous, and determining difference in the tribulations now being endured by stoic Palestinians in the Middle East.

Woe to these vain rabbis, these proud shepherds, these influential pastors of the sheep, these blind leaders of the blind !
May their hearts be turned toward their children and may their children's hearts be turned toward their Father, before the entire world is smitten with this 'superman' curse!
L. E. Ernst
From Dr Gabor Mate
Zionist leadership and the U.S: partnership between two groups of gangsters
We all need to keep in mind that what we agree on if far more important than our disagreement.

For those of us who don't believe that the Israel Lobby controls U.S. policy it's hardly a matter of therefore absolving Zionism or the "Diaspora" Jewish leadership of responsibility for what Israel does. The oppression of the Palestinians is very much a Jewish act, carried out by a supposedly Jewish state with the active support of official North American Jewish organizations and leaders, and religious institutions. From the point of view of U.S. interests it would even be better if the opression of the Palestinians were not so harsh--the State Department doesn't need those settlements or the deprivation of Palestinian water rights, etc., they just need a militarily and economically dependent Israel to be used against the Arabs as needed, as a weapon of last resort, as the ultimate threat against Arab independence. Israeli intransigence complicates the U.S. task of keeping their Arab lackeys in the fold. However, in the final analysis, the U.S. will countenance almost anything Israel does--the oppression of Palestinians is a "sacrifice" the U.S. is quite willing to make, in order to keep its Israeli pitbull satisfied and loyal.

Again, it's not a matter of believing that the Zionist leadership are simply unwitting and innocent tools in the hands of the U.S. It's a very much a question of partnership between two groups of gangsters, if you will--one group the senior party, without whose support the other would have no room to maneuver, the other the junior one whose services the senior very much benefits from. They may even have divergent interests up to a point--but the basic goal, the robbing and subjection of their common victims, necessitates their cooperation. It's not a relationship based on blood ties or loyalty, but a powerful strategic-tactical alliance. It will not last forever: and when it's over, the junior partner will find itself in deep trouble. In the meanwhile, the junior partner is given a fair bit of tactical freedom, so long as its activities do not fundamentally undermine the strategic goals of the senior.
From Sami, Toronto
I can see the defeat of the Zionism closer than anybody could imagine.  It’s really a great debate Mr. Shamir, but the worst thing about it, the reality that, the more you write and your respectful debaters, especially intellectual Jews, about the crimes and atrocities of Zionism inside Palestine or across the Western countries (civilized world), the more killing and blood sheds are committed by the state of Zionism. (Wallah, Sami, I doubt our writing is that atrocious! ISH) And this will take me to the final days of American Yankees in Vietnam. The most ugly face and the worst crimes committed by the Yankees against the struggling Vietnamese were in the last months before admitting defeat and accepting surrender to the will of the fighting people. I can see the defeat of the Zionism closer than anybody could imagine, I can see it from your writing, American Jews and European Jews writings against the inhuman barbaric acts of Zionism, I can see it from the lies and the intense propaganda, which is coming from the Civilized West. I can see it from they once were, human beings who are bloodthirsty and couldn’t see but themselves, they will end up hitting the walls that they once created to protect themselves from other human beings. This is the reality, but would the military cartel in the USA accept the defeat twice. Will the fear of shedding the holy blood of kids in Palestine as in Vietnam defeat the mighty F-16 and the Apache, will the Imperialist American accept that defeat for the second time, by the kids’ blood. I can hear them saying NEVER AGAIN. The struggle is long and bloody. One more reason, It’s not the Zionist, who is hard to defeat in Palestine. It’s the Arabic Dictatorships, who rules their people in the name of fighting Israel, who give their oil for free to the Imperialist USA, in the name of protecting the holy sites of Islam. So Mr. Shamir let me add one more thing for the debate, the Arab military dictators, they have more than hundred reasons, to keep Palestine in the same place as the mighty Uncle Sam wishes and his friend Edgar Bronfman.
Sami, Toronto
From Genie Trone, Washington DC
It is only us, chickens…
I had finally gotten totally disillusioned this week and had begun to feel like the poor bull in Feria de St. Fermin...charging after lots of distracting red flags being waved in front of my nose only to be then jabbed by picadors til I'm wounded and exhausted by it all......I had even begun thinking of running off "to save the whales" as Shamir suggests the weak-hearted and not so intrepid do...Quick! before a matador appears..... but I don't know where all the whales are...there seems to be only chickens around. And these chickens I would rather roast as they are not worth saving in most cases....
From Jeffrey Blankfort:
The notion that the Israel lobby is a myth that is the myth…
I am disappointed to note that Elias Davidsson, for whom I have the greatest respect does not see "that the debate initiated by Shamir is of great relevance." In fact, it is the first time, in my knowledge, that outside, of Israel, the subject is being discussed at all. At Sonoma State University there is a group that each year publishes a list of the 10 most censored stories, under the title, Project Censored. The discussion of the role and power of the Israel Lobby is taboo beyond even that list.
In a special issue of the Middle East Labor Bulletin, I ran a number of articles from the Hebrew Press, translated by the wonderful, and unfortunately recently departed, Israel Shahak, including the ones below. What intrigued me at the time and still does as I reread them is the notion that Israel uses the myth of the Israel lobby to intimidate politicians and get its way. Washington does not bow to myths, but to money, and in this instance, it is the notion that the Israel lobby is a myth that is the myth. There are any number of members of Congress and lesser politicians around the country who discovered that their ignorance of its very real existence proved to be a career-ending mistake and I have enough personal anecdotes just from the San Francisco area alone to prove my point.
As to the conspiracy part, each month, according to the Jerusalem Report, the heads of the three major Jewish organizations, the ADL, the American Jewish Congress, and the American Jewish Committee, sit down and plan their pro-Israel strategy for the coming month. And then we have AIPAC and several hundred Jewish federations that send politicians, at every level, on all expenses paid trips to Israel all the time. It is convenient to lay all this activity at the feet or on the head of evil Capitalism or Western imperialism (which already has enough bedecking it), but capitalism is not the bogeyman here, but a racist ideology which has been embraced by Jews of every political persuasion, including communist.
What I sincerely wish is that people who question the power of the lobby would take the time to do the research and not rely on their latent fears to dismiss it.
Jeff Blankfort
From Dolores Shatz to Susanne Schedt
this programming is concretized with the idea that the Jew is experiencing all of this because of his/her superiority.  I think that your response sets up a pretty good case for my comment that "it is not the 'diasporic Jews' but the corrupt American and Canadian self-proclaimed Jewish 'leaders' that need to be brought to task here."

I have been observing Jews being programmed by Zionist Jews to be defensive and fearful of the "growing menace of anti-semitism", which is now "surfacing" and being exhibited by the "goyim" as a particularly irrational brand of "anti-semitism". And that this can only be due to the "jealousy" of non-Jews because of the Jews' "special status", whether this superiority be "innate" or "ordained by God".

In every way, they are conditioned that the threat of "anti-semitism" is an ever-present danger, an eternal peril for the Jew, who must maintain a constant vigilance lest it raise its ugly head and again, lead to their annihilation (thus the phrase, "Never again"). Psychologically, this creates a kind of perpetual state of 'post-traumatic stress disorder', keeping them in a sort of constant state of panic.

This programming allows the Zionist agenda to proceed unencumbered, constantly and consistently being shielded by the Jews' frightful and defensive charges of "anti-semitism" whenever Zionist actions are being brought into question or when faced with bearing the consequences of their deeds.

Non-Jews react to either the atrocities of the Zionists or to the defensiveness of the Jews, and the cycle repeats ad infinitum.

Anyway, the antidote is to 1) let the Jews to be aware of this programming and how it is protecting an element with criminal intentions and how they are being used for their disgraceful purposes, and 2) take these Zionist manipulators to task for a) creating this psychosis in their "fellow" Jews, and b) their destructive methods and crimes against humanity in the pursuit of aggregating power and influence.

As for 1) (above), it seems that this is what you were referring to in proposing to Jews in Al-Awda to track the "Gleichschaltung" of European Jewry, the "getting in line to work in one prescribed direction". From being in the US all of my life, I can tell you that it is a world-wide effort!

Because this programming is concretized with the idea that the Jew is experiencing all of this because of his/her superiority, it makes it particularly difficult to convince a people otherwise. They have another psychological stake in preserving it.

I think it is important for humanity to realize the manipulations we are being put through (all of us in various ways) in order for us to find a different path, to forge a different reality, and to live in a way in which we empower ourselves. I think it's important to understand where the invisible strings are, so we know where to cut ourselves free, and learn to live from our own power and not at the whim and will of manipulators.

I also meant to talk about the role of international bankers in the whole scheme of things. It is a very important method of manipulation that I think is being overlooked. How could everybody forget that it's money that "makes the world go round!".

In solidarity,
Dolores Schatz
From: Hani Shukrallah
In today's US, one does not need to be Jewish to be a Zionist, as Edward Said has so clearly illustrated in his series of articles on Zionism in America. It is not that the "Zionist lobby" has become all-powerful in America, but that Zionism, in ideology and practice, has become the most accurate expression of America's imperial self-image and needs in a post-Cold War, globalised and globalising world. No other ideology and practice seems to both embody and epitomise the arrogance of power, the arbitrary and unchecked dispensing of violence, the unequivocally racist contempt for the oppressed and the heartless denial of their most fundamental rights, that appear more and more to be essential requisites of US-led capitalist globalisation -- at so little cost, and so successfully.
From Adib Kawar:
Whether it is Jewish power, that is the Zionist lobbies in the U.S., or American Imperialism, which controls the situation over the Palestinian question, in our opinion it is both. Zionism wants to monopolize power not only in the Middle East, but on the international arena, which does not contradict with American Imperialism. The U.S. Administration wrongly believes that its interests lies with the Zionist state, which acts as a long arm to tame the Arabs who should be more importent to the U. S.
A. S. K.