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There is no good in much of their secret conferences save (in) whosoever enjoineth charity and fairness and peace-making among the people and whoso doeth that, seeking the good pleasure of God, We shall bestow on him a vast reward. (Al-Nisa, 4:114).

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Friday, May 18, 2012

A closer look: The Israeli origins of Bush II's war

While the neoconservatives were the driving force behind the American invasion of Iraq and the consequent efforts to bring about regime change throughout the Middle East, the idea for such a war did not originate with American neocon thinkers but rather in Israel. An obvious linkage exists between the war position of the neocons and what has long been a strategy of the Israeli Right and, to a lesser extent, of the Israeli mainstream.

The idea of a Middle East war had been bandied about in Israel for many years as a means of enhancing Israeli security. War would serve two purposes. It would enhance Israel's external security by weakening and splintering Israel's neighbors. Moreover, such a war and the consequent weakening of Israel's external enemies could help resolve the internal Palestinian demographic problem, since the Palestinian resistance has derived material and moral support from Israel's neighboring states.

A brief look at the history of the Zionist movement and its goals will help to provide an understanding of this issue. The Zionist goal of creating an exclusive Jewish state in Palestine was complicated by the fundamental problem that the country was already settled with a mostly non-Jewish population. Despite public rhetoric to the contrary, the idea of expelling the indigenous Palestinian population (euphemistically referred to as a "transfer") was an integral part of the Zionist effort to found a Jewish national state in Palestine.

"The idea of transfer had accompanied the Zionist movement from its very beginnings, first appearing in Theodore Herzl's diary," Israeli historian Tom Segev observes. "In practice, the Zionists began executing a mini-transfer from the time they began purchasing the land and evacuating the Arab tenants.... 'Disappearing' the Arabs lay at the heart of the Zionist dream, and was also a necessary condition of its existence.... With few exceptions, none of the Zionists disputed the desirability of forced transfer — or its morality." However, the Zionist leaders learned not to publicly proclaim their goal of mass expulsion because "this would cause the Zionists to lose the world's sympathy." [1]

The challenge was to find an opportune time to initiate the mass-expulsion process when it would not incur the world's condemnation. In the late 1930s, Ben-Gurion wrote: "What is inconceivable in normal times is possible in revolutionary times; and if at this time the opportunity is missed and what is possible in such great hours is not carried out — a whole world is lost." [2] Those "revolutionary times" would come with the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, when the Zionists were able to expel 750,000 Palestinians (more than 80 percent of the indigenous population) and thus achieve an overwhelmingly Jewish state, though the area did not include the entirety of Palestine, or the "Land of Israel," which Zionist leaders thought necessary for a viable country.

By : By STEPHEN J. SNIEGOSKI - full article