Alfred M. Lilienthal - The Zionist Connection
What Price Peace ? Tome I - Tome II
If some compelling justification was required for bringing a most controversial book, with a most unorthodox approach, before a world in which the human psyche has become far more attuned to the pleasant process of being softly lulled by Big Brother than to the painstaking task of absorbing upsetting, nonconsensus material, then the astounding November 19-20, 1977, pilgrimage of Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat to Jerusalem supplied the reason. The Middle East imbroglio, always complex, had now become "curiouser and curiouser," to borrow words from Alice in Wonderland.
Euphoric Americans clung to their video sets over that weekend. Sadat was addressing the Knesset--Egyptians and Israelis were not only talking to one another, but smiling. The "A-rabs" were at last willing to give up war. Peace, surely, must be on the way.
This wishful thinking of course overlooked the fact that since 1948 there had been two wars going on simultaneously in the Middle East. The one between Israel and the Arab states was only a secondary consequence of what Syrian President Hafez al-Assad has called the "mother question"-the conflict between the Israeli Zionists and the Arab Palestinians. While there was some possibility of a separate agreement ending the Egyptian-Israeli war, a solution for the core of the dangerous Holy Land conflict seemed as distant as ever.
The November 10, 1975, U.N. resolution equated Zionism with racism and racial discrimination, and for the first time placed the genesis of the continuing Middle East struggle squarely before a startled American public. But fervent supporters of Israel, Christians as well as Jews, reacted with unprecedented furor to the overwhelming U.N. censure and stirred the media to direct an equally unprecedented onslaught against the U.N., the Arab states, and the Third World bloc. The supporters of the resolution were denigrated with the charge "emulators of Hitler." The pro-Israel American public was led to believe that this was indeed but another attack on Jews and Judaism, a Nazi renaissance. The pertinency of this U.N. action to the continuing Arab rejection of the State of Israel was totally covered over by whipped-up emotionalism.
What is Zionism, and what is its connection with the Middle East conflict? How, if at all, is it differentiated from Judaism? Why has Organized Jewry, invariably an unequivocal exponent of the separation of church and state, condoned their union in an Israeli state demanding the allegiance of everyone everywhere who considers himself a Jew, whether he be an observant practitioner or not? What validity is there to the insistence of a persistent minority that anti-Zionism is the equivalent of anti-Semitism? Such questions may mystify 90 percent of Americans, yet the answers go to the very heart of the Middle East conflict.
It was the serious confusion between religion and nationalism that led directly to the 1948 establishment of the Zionist state of Israel in the heart of the Arab world, causing disastrous consequences for all concerned, including Americans whose government had played a major role in that nation-making. The resultant uprooting of Palestinian Arabs, whose numbers today have swollen to more than 1.6 million, many exiled for thirty years to refugee camps living on a U.N. dole of seven cents per day, brought down on the U.S. the enmity of an Arab-Muslim world, eroding a measureless reservoir of goodwill stemming from the educational and eleemosynary institutions America helped found. The creation of Israel, likewise, led to the penetration of the area for the first time by the Soviet Union, endangered the security interests of the U.S., and thrust the burden of a premature energy crisis into every American home. However much the essence of Judaism may have remained as distinct as ever from Zionism, the nationalist shadow has so overtaken the religious substance that virtually all Jews have, in practice, become Israelists, if not Zionists. Many who mistrust the Zionist connotation can still have their cake and eat it, through Israelism. While the vast majority of Jews in the Diaspora (the aggregate of Jews living outside of Palestine) do not believe in Zionist ideology, out of what is mistaken for religious duty they have given fullest support, bordering on worship, to Israel. Such worship of collective human power is just about as old as Pharaonic Egypt, and was practiced by the Sumerians, pre-Christian Greeks, and Romans as well. As Dr. Arnold Toynbee pointed out in A Study of History.
The prevalence of this worship of collective human power is a calamity. It is a bad religion because it is the worship of a false god. It is a form of idolatry which has led its adherents to commit innumerable crimes and follies. Unhappily, the prevalence of this idolatrous religion is one of the tragic facts of contemporary human life.
And these Jewish Zionists-Israelists have been joined by a large segment of articulate Christian opinion in the new worship of the State of Israel, which has been accorded the same privileges and immunities that have been vouchsafed to religionists who follow a genuine faith. On every other issue of concern to Americans, both sides have invariably been publicly presented, no matter how controversial: the cigarette lobby vs. cancer research, the drug alarmists vs. the upholders of pot, traditionalists-oldsters vs. Beatles-hippies, civil rights gradualists vs. extremists, hawks and doves over Vietnam, pro-Watergate outcome vs. Nixon apologists-to mention but a few. It has only been on the subject of Jews, Zionism, and Israel that the U.S. and most of the Western world have had a near-total blackout. The mere presence of the powerful Anti-Defamation League, even before the fearsome "anti-Semitic" label might be brandished, has imparted a sensitivity so powerful as to smother any idea of private discussion, let alone public debate, on the grave issues involved.
The record of pressures, suppression, and terrorization practiced against many-including Presidents of the U.S., who in undisclosed memoranda, letters, and documents have entertained serious doubts about the course upon which Zionism has embarked-is massive and yet incomplete. The more submissive of the Victims of Jewish nationalist pressure have usually been either too ashamed or too afraid to publicize their experiences.
Rarely has the deceit of so few been so widely practiced to the disastrous detriment of so many, as in the formulation and implementation of U.S. Middle East policy. Guilt, fear, and the preoccupation with domestic politics rather than consideration of policy, justice, and security interests have molded the direction of the deep U.S. involvement. And if John Q. Citizen was unmindful of what was really taking place, it was largely due to the inordinate power of the media to penetrate the inner sanctum of every home with its slantings, distortions, and myth-information. "T'ain't people's ignorance," as Artemus Ward once quipped, "that does the harm, 'tis their knowin' so much that ain't so." Barnum notwithstanding, the media has been able to fool the people most, if not all, of the time.
The Watergate cover-up has to play second fiddle to the concealments in the Middle East fiasco for more than thirty years, involving, as it has, the continuous serious threat to world peace manifested by four regional wars and three serious Big Power confrontations, which only narrowly missed becoming World War III. The stationing of American technicians in the Sinai to help supervise the second Egyptian-Israeli disengagement accord may have been a step in the making of a new Vietnam. "One day," predicted a senior U.S. diplomat, according to Newsweek magazine, "there will be a congressional investigation into how we lost the Middle East that will make the great China debate seem trivial."
This book, it is hoped, will contribute to a great Middle East debate that should take place before, rather than after, catastrophe strikes again in that already harassed portion of the globe. Certain basic questions require. answers: "Whose legal and moral claim to Palestine is stronger, the Israeli Zionists or the Arab Palestinians? How, if at all, may these claims be reconciled? How may the U.S. protect its vast political and economic stake in the area and simultaneously continue to foster its special, unique relationship with Israel? Will the undeniable, overwhelming public statement of "never again," as to another Vietnam, be meticulously regarded in our pursuit of Middle East peace? And above all, this clincher: Will President Reagan and his policy advisers cease avoiding and openly face the central issue in the entire problem--not the existence of an Israeli state, nor even the nonexistence of a Palestinian state, but the kind of a state Israel has to become so as to bring lasting peace to the area?
For some time it has been apparent that someone would have to assume the burden of carefully examining the historical record of the Arab-Israeli conflict, starting with the "original sin" in uprooting the indigenous Arab Palestinians, and daring to articulate conclusions seldom aired. As Norman Thomas once observed, one of the Jewish faith is perhaps able to speak with "the necessary moral authority that no Gentile can express."
However strong the temptation may be for any author to succumb to the prevailing mood of his surroundings and to indulge in indiscriminate stereotyping, heightened by cliche's and slogans, I have tried to maintain a fair perspective and not to allow personal experiences to dull the observer's vision, nor instill too deep-seated a passion. It is out of sadness, not anger, that I am forced to conclude that in embarking upon the new path that Organized Jewry has hewn for it, prophetic Judaism has incurred an incalculable loss in moral values, which author Moshe Menuhin has described as "the Decadence of Judaism in Our Times." What else can account for the anomaly by which the once-persecuted have adopted the philosophy of their chief persecutor?
In doling out incarceration and death while sweeping through conquered Europe, did not the Führer undo the laws of emancipation for which so many Jews had so long struggled, as he decreed: "You are not a German, you are a Jew-you are not a Frenchman, you are a Jew, you are not a Belgian, you are a Jew"? Yet these are the identical words that Zionist leaders have been intoning as they have meticulously promoted the in-gathering to Israel (Palestine) of Jews from around the globe, even plotting their exodus from lands in which they have lived happily for centuries. If at times this book seems unduly critical of Israel, and neglects to place in balance the oft-repeated arguments in its favor, it is simply because the gigantic propaganda apparatus of Israel-World Zionism has spun such extensive and deeply ingrained mythology that there is hardly enough space to refute widely accepted theses and expose the picture as it really is. The reader, however, is particularly cautioned to keep in mind at all times the very vital distinction between the State of Israel and the people of Israel. Nor can he overlook the fact that one of Western man's most precious possessions is the inalienable right to dissent. As Thomas Jefferson expressed it, "For God's sake, let us freely hear both sides."
This new, updated paperback edition has been published as an answer to the widespread demand to learn more about the untold side of a subject, the understanding of which may be vital to man's very existence.
In giving fair consideration to what to many will come as an astounding recital, my readers are asked to display what William Ellery Channing once defined as the free mind:
"I call that mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith, which opens itself to light whencesoever it may come, and which receives new truth as an angel from heaven."