can’t see the forest

Cockburn on the Israel Lobby vs. Carter (and anyone else opposed to racism)

Posted in hegemony, Israel, News, News and politics, Palestine, Politics, USA by Curtis on 1/21/07

From this weekend’s edition of Counterpunch, an editorial by Alexander Cockburn on the high-strung, high-voltage reaction from certain quarters to Carter’s successful book Peace Not Apartheid. In his landmark book, the former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize-winning statesman eloquently blasts decades of hypocritical expansionist policy on the part of Israel against the region’s indigenous Palestinians. Cockburn writes:

Suppose the movers and shakers in the Israel lobby here — Abe Foxman, Alan Dershowitz and the rest of the crew — had simply decided to leave Jimmy Carter’s Palestine Peace Not Apartheid alone. How long before the book would have been gathering dust on the remainder shelves? Suppose even that Dershowitz had rounded up his unacknowledged co-authors in all their tens of thousands and sallied forth to buy up every copy of Carter’s book and toss each one into the Charles River, would not that have been a more successful suppressor than the blitzkrieg strategy they did adopt?

Of course it would. For weeks now the lobby has hurled its legions into battle against Carter. He has been stigmatized as an anti-Semite, a Holocaust denier, a patron of former concentration camp killers, a Christian madman, a pawn of the Arabs who “flatly condones mass murder” of Israeli Jews. (This last was from Murdoch’s New York Post editorial, relayed to its mailing list by the Zionist Organization of America.)

Any day now I expect some janitors at the Carter Center to resign, declaring that they can no longer in all conscience mop bathrooms that might have been used by the former President, their letter of protest duly front-paged by the New York Times, just like the famous fourteen members of the Carter Center’s Board of Councilors. Actually there were, at the time of resignations, 224 people on this board, where membership is mostly a thank you for a financial donation to the center. So the headlines could be saying, “Nearly 95 per cent of Carter Center Board Members Back Former President.”

Indeed they could; but they won’t. As it grows increasingly clear that nothing less than the complete negation of the United Nations plus a total overhaul of the Iranian government and one Gaza-in-a-vacuum (to go, please) will satisfy the self-righteous men of peace at the head of the Israeli establishment, criticism of even the most obvious atrocities committed by the Zionists-gone-amuck now and in decades past will become less and less tolerable.

It is fairly well understood, I think, that the guilty dog barks first and loudest. At least, that’s what my granddad told me. “Of what are the Zionist extremists guilty?” one could fairly ask. The docket piles up to dizzying heights quite quickly, but underscoring all the murder, all the pillaging, all the degradation, all the screams, and every last sentence of dystopian rhetoric is a simple concept: racism. The belief that one race is superior to another, the belief that we gots rights that they don’t gots, see, the same belief that fueled the horrific ovens of Nazi Konzentrazionläger, has been the driving idea behind the Zionist conquest of territory that once was multicultural and relatively harmonious. Now, what is harmony and what is discord are defined solely by the big suits in Jerusalem. They have very peculiar ideas about these things. If, like me, you’re an American citizen getting ready to file those gleaming forms W-2, then you can join me in facing a harsh fact: we paid for it. Holocaust denial? Of course not. Try holocaust extrapolation, maybe.

What about Palestinian “militants?” Aren’t they guilty of something? No one here wants to condone violence of any kind. Everyone bleeds. But, consider this: if someone broke into your home in the middle of the night, planted his flag in your backyard, and sequestered you in your own utility shed, would you be guilty of fighting back? If the police were called but refused to come, would you be guilty of taking justice into your own hands?  I know I would. Guilty as sin.



One Response

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  1. peoplesgeography said, on 1/25/07 at 3:45 am

    The mad Likudniks have recruited Newt Gingrich to broadcast their amplified war-drum beating against Iran. Does this Lobby not know the language of peaceful coexistence and diplomacy? Apparently not — I just hope a critical mass of the voting population aren’t neoconned again. The mid-terms were encouraging and clipped the bellicose war-wings of BushCo somewhat — let’s just hope sufficiently.

    On more encouraging news, a 16 y. o. from Alabama, Ava Lowery, has created some great peace/ antiwar videos.

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