James Petras: The Lobby and the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon

Their Facts And Ours

Dissident Voice | 29 August 2006

All the national, state and local Jewish organizations have launched a
$300 million fundraising and propaganda campaign in support of the 21
Jewish civilians and 116 soldiers killed during the Israeli invasion of
Lebanon (but not the 18 Israeli Arabs who were excluded from Jews-only
bomb shelters). As adjuncts of the Israeli foreign office not a single
one of the 52 organizations which make up The Presidents of the Major
Jewish Organizations in the US voiced a single public criticism of
Israel’s massive destruction of civilian homes, hospitals, offices,
supermarkets, refugee convoys and churches and mosques, and the
deliberate killing of civilians, UN peacekeepers and rescue workers with
precision bombing. On the contrary the entire Jewish lobby echoed in
precise detail the Israeli lies that the Lebanese deaths were caused by
the Lebanese resistance’s “use of human shields,” despite the total
devastation of the heavily populated southern suburbs of Beirut,
completely out of range of any Hezbollah rockets.

The magnitude of the Jewish Lobby’s cover-up of Israel’s massive
military assault can be measured in great detail.

The Israeli Armed Forces (IDF) launched 5,000 missiles, five-ton
bunker-buster bombs and cluster bombs as well as anti-personnel
phosphorus bombs each day into Lebanon for 27 days — totaling over
135,000 missiles, bombs and artillery shells. During the last seven days
of the war Israel launched 6,000 bombs and shells per day — over 42,000,
for a grand total of 177,000 over a heavily populated territory the size
of the smallest state in the US. In contrast, the Lebanese national
resistance launched 4,000 rockets during the entire 34-day period, an
average of 118 per day. The ratio was 44 to 1 — without mentioning the
size differentials, the long-term killing effects of the thousands of
un-exploded cluster bombs (nearly 50 killed or maimed since the end of
hostilities) and Israel’s scorched earth military incursion.

The Jewish lobbyists publish the number of Israel’s civilian dead as 41,
forgetting to mention that only 23 were Jews, the remaining 18 were
members of Israel’s Arab Muslim and Christian minority who constitute
around 20% of the population. The disproportionate number of Israeli
Arabs killed was a result of the Israeli government policy of providing
shelters and siren warning systems to Jews and ignoring the security
needs of its Arab citizens. The proportion of civilian deaths to
soldiers was 41 to 116 or 26% of the total Israeli dead (but if we only
consider Jewish Israelis and IDF members the proportion 23 to 116 or 16%
of the Jewish dead were civilian.) Clearly the Lebanese resistance was
aiming most of its fire at the invading IDF. In contrast, in Lebanon, of
the 1,181 so far known to have been killed, 1088 were civilians and only
93 were fighters. In other words 92% of the Lebanese dead were civilians
— over three times the rate of civilians killed by the Lebanese
resistance and almost six times the rate of Jewish civilians killed (the
only ones who count in the Lobby’s propaganda machine). To put it more
bluntly: over 47 Lebanese civilians were slaughtered for each Jewish
Israeli civilian death.

<!–[if !vml]–>The Jewish Lobby’s claims of Israeli moral and military
superiority in the Middle East — which is paradoxically combined with
warnings that Israel’s survival is at stake — has been shredded to
tatters as a result of their failure to annihilate Hezbollah.

The Lobby’s echoing Israeli military claims of the invincibility of the
Israeli armed forces is largely based on their ‘fighting’ against rock
throwing Palestinian school kids. Today it is clear that they are quite
vulnerable when faced with well-armed, veteran Lebanese guerrilla
fighters. According to a United Nation Report, from June 26 to August
26, 2006, Israel killed 202 Palestinians, 44 of whom were small
children, while losing one soldier; while in Lebanon, Israel lost 116
soldiers to 93 Lebanese fighters in 34 days (almost half the time
period). In other words, 157 times more Israeli’s were killed as a
result of the Lebanese invasion in one month than died in Palestine in
two months (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs, August 26, 2006). The Jewish Lobby’s propaganda campaign in the
US Congress, throughout the mass media and even in our small communities
in defense of Israel’s “Summer Rain” (raining bombs on civilians)
against the Palestinians has been thoroughly exposed as a murderous
scorched earth policy by the United Nations report and summarized in the
Israeli daily Haaretz (August 27, 2006): “The [campaign] . . . is still
taking a severe toll on 1.4 million Palestinians . . . thousands of
Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes following continuing
IDF incursions into the Strip (Gaza) and heavy shelling . . . the
Israeli Air Force has conducted 247 aerial assaults in Gaza…more than a
million people have been left with no regular supply of water and
electricity.” The Lobby, like skilled totalitarians, reverses the roles
calling the Palestinian victims (all 202 of them) terrorists and the
executioners (the Israeli Defense Force) victims (one dead soldier who
was most likely killed by ‘friendly fire’).

George Orwell would have written a scathing essay on the Lobby’s version
of Israel’s Animal Farm where one Israeli death is worth more than 202
Palestinians.

In surveying the Daily Alert, the propaganda sheet prepared by the
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (a semi-official propaganda arm of
the Israeli regime) for the Conference of Presidents of Major America
Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO), there is not a single mention of the fact
that the Jewish state was killing almost 10 Lebanese civilians for each
fighter, while the Hezbollah resistance was killing four times as many
Israeli soldiers as Israeli civilians (Jews and Gentiles). Not a single
opinion article, editorial or commentary reproduced by the Daily Alert,
from the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The National Telegraph,
the New York Sun, USA Today, Boston Globe, New York Times, Haaretz, The
Jerusalem Post or The Times (UK) mentions the fact that Israel’s much
ballyhooed “precision” bombing succeeded in targeting civilians, while
the Lebanese defenders’ far less sophisticated weaponry mainly hit IDF
invaders.

These omissions by the Jewish Lobby and its members and supporters in
the Anglo-American-Israeli respectable and yellow press and electronic
media were absolutely necessary to perpetuate the myth the Israel was
waging a “defensive”, “existential” (sic) war for “survival” against
Islamic “terrorists” embodied in Hezbollah and the Lebanese National
Resistance.

Was Israel’s destruction of 15,000 homes up to Beirut and beyond to
Northern Lebanon defensive actions as the CPMAJO claims? Do these very
smart, very wealthy, highly educated Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Hopkins
and Chicago-educated apologists for the Israeli invasion really believe
that bombing hospitals, supermarkets, water treatments plants, churches
and mosques in Southern Lebanon, oil refineries and milk, food and
pharmaceutical factories in Beirut, transport, highways and bridges in
Northern Lebanon were “existential” acts essential for the survival of
the “Jewish State”? Can’t they understand the simple math presented
above? The math of genocide? Do the investment bankers, professors,
dentists and armies of rabbis of all Talmudic readings believe that
Israel is the innocent victim of aggression — justifying the slaughter
of over 90% Lebanese civilians among those it killed? Such well-educated
professionals must know that from January 1996 to August 2006, there
were weekly incidents all along the Israeli-Lebanese border, involving
Israeli raids, killings and kidnapping of Lebanese civilians, as well as
rocket firing in both directions. Didn’t the Hollywood moguls who gave
so generously to the Israeli war machine know that Elliott Abrams,
President Bush’s chief adviser on the Middle East (stern defender of
Jewish purity and intimate collaborator with the Israeli high command)
gave full support in early summer to an Israeli plan to destroy
Hezbollah, at least one month before the border incident (see Seymour
Hersh, “Watching Lebanon,” The New Yorker, August 21, 2006)?

Of course the educated elites know all about the Israeli lust for power
and dominance –unlike the good Germans in the 1940s, who claimed they
didn’t see the smoking chimneys or the grim trains — as today images of
devastated apartments and slaughtered children were visible, easily
accessible and followed by well-publicized reports by all the human
rights groups on Israel’s crimes against humanity. They knew and
supported Israel’s crimes before and after the ceasefire — and they
proudly chose to endorse the war, the policies and the state as true
accomplices after the fact.

Yet the Jewish Lobby tells us that Hezbollah’s kidnapping of two
soldiers across the Israeli border was the detonator for a full-scale
invasion. Numerous sources around the world even dispute the Israeli
account of a Hezbollah cross-border attack. According to the big
business US magazine Forbes (July 12, 2006), the French news service AFP
(July 12, 2006), the respectable Asia Times (July 15, 2006) and the
Lebanese police, the Israeli soldiers were captured within Lebanon in
the area of Ai’tu Al-Chaarb, a Lebanese village a few kilometers from
the Israeli border.

While the Jewish lobby raises funds exclusively for Israeli-Jewish
soldiers and civilians, Hezbollah is engaged in a non-sectarian
reconstruction program that embraces all Lebanese communities and
households, regardless of religious or ethnic preferences. The reason is
found in the fact that the Lebanese resistance was a national movement.
Contrary to the Lobby’s propaganda, the Lebanese resistance was not
exclusively Shia or even Muslim in make-up. Israel’s invasion managed to
united Lebanon’s factions in defense of their homeland. Of the 93
Lebanese fighters killed, 20% were from organizations other than
Hezbollah, a point ignored by the Lobby’s ideologues, who pursue
Israel’s policy of pushing the US to attack Iran, Syria and other Middle
East states known to be hostile to Israel’s hegemonic ambitions.

Consequences of Israeli War
In both Israel and throughout the pro-Israel Jewish networks, the
Israeli military’s failure to achieve its goal of defeating and
eliminating the Lebanese resistance, particularly Hezbollah, has had a
major impact. In Israel, the major criticism of the Olmert-Perez regime
and General Halutz from both soldiers and civilians is that the
government was too weak — there was insufficient bombing, lack of
sufficient ground troops and too much concern for Lebanese civilians.
The cease-fire, they complained, was premature; the territory occupied
was too limited. Likud and other parties in the Knesset called for the
bombing of Syria and Iran.

While many US and Israeli progressives cited the “turmoil”, “dissent”
and harsh polemics in the aftermath of the war as typical of the “rough
and tumble” of Israel’s democracy, they ignored the savage militarist
substance and ultra-rightwing direction of Israeli public opinion. The
“who lost the war” polemics in Israel is basically anchored in
preparations for a new, more violent attack on Lebanon and other
adversaries of Israel.

This militaristic rage is manifested in the brutal daily assaults on the
Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank where Israeli warplanes bomb
homes and ground forces assassinate and injure dozens of civilians –
“existential” murders against stone-throwing schoolboys. Israel’s rage
has affected Jewish religious notables. The Rabbinical Council of
America called for the Israeli military to re-evaluate its military
rules of war in light of Hezbollah’s “unconscionable use of civilians,
hospitals, ambulances, mosques and the like as human shields,” according
to the Jerusalem Post (August 21, 2006). The RCA and the modern Orthodox
women’s organization, Eminah, represent over one million US Jews. Their
call to maximize civilian deaths in order to lessen the “risk” to “our”
(Israeli Jewish) soldiers is in the finest spirit of Nazi chaplains
egging on the Wehrmacht’s scorched earth policy during World War II.
Their Israeli counterparts, Rabbis Eliyahu and Drori, echoed the RCA’s
“delicate criticisms” in more colorful and uninhibited terms: “Our
corrupt military, which tells us that our soldiers must endanger their
lives to protect enemy civilians, is the reason we lost the war,”
according to the gentle Rabbi Eliyahu, who sees all non-Jewish civilians
opposing Israeli policy as enemies worthy of incineration. Not to be
outdone, the good Rabbi Drori accused the rest of Western humanity of
being “anti-Semites” for being horrified at Israel’s savage destruction.
“Anti-Semites demand that we use Christian morality while our enemies
act like barbarians.” (Jerusalem Post, August 21, 2006) Apparently the
killing and maiming of over a thousand Lebanese civilians, mostly women
and children, does not satisfy this raging bull Rabbi.

Lest one think that these US and Israeli Rabbis are simply loose cannons
or isolated psychopaths, three weeks earlier one Rabbi Dov Lior, in the
name of the Yesh Council of Rabbis (with hundreds of thousands of
Israeli followers), announced that “when our enemies hold a baby in one
hand and shoot us with the other, or when missiles are purposely aimed
at civilian populations in the Land of Israel in blatant disregard for
moral criteria, we are obligated to act according to Jewish morality,
which dictates that ‘he who gets up to kill you, get up yourself and
kill him first.’” (Jerusalem Post, August 25, 2006) The holy men of the
Holy Land are providing a post-factum religious blessing for the more
than three hundred Lebanese children killed and urging the future
killing of even more children. All this, we are told, is according to
“Jewish morality.” Surely many US Jews, especially liberals and even
conservatives, object to rabbinical fiats for the slaughter of children,
but we are deafened by their polite silence. The Lobby conveniently
ignores the Jewish morality spiel, even as it defends the “moderate”
secular line of Israeli civilian deaths resulting from Hezbollah using
Lebanese babies and old grannies as shields to commit their crimes. So
we have a raging debate among US and Israeli rabbis, and secular and
religious apologists over whether killing Lebanese civilians and
children is based on tactical military or religious-ethical considerations.

The Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, David A.
Harris, puts to the lie the nasty bit of propaganda by US “Left”
Zionists who downplay the role of the Jewish Lobby in securing
whole-hearted US White House and Congressional support for Israel’s
destruction of Lebanon. In discussing US subservience to Israel, Harris
stated, “No other nation has been prepared to define such an intimate
relationship with Israel in all bilateral spheres — from arms sales,
foreign aid and intelligence-sharing to a free-trade zone, scientific
co-operation and diplomatic support. No other nation has the capacity,
by dint of its size and stature, to help ensure Israel’s quest for a
secure and lasting peace ]sic] . . . In the recent conflict with
Hezbollah, once again the United States demonstrated its willingness to
stand by Israel, provide vital support and withstand the pressure of
many US allies who would have wished for an earlier end to the fighting
even if it meant keeping Hezbollah largely intact and in place . . .
Whatever the primary factor, there can be no doubt that American Jewry
is an essential element of the equation (yoking the US to Israel). This
is all the more reason why American Jewry need to work day in and day
out to ensure that the mutually beneficial link [sic] goes from strength
to strength.” (Jerusalem Post, August 25, 2006)

In plain English, the Jewish networks and lobbies were able to secure 98
percent support from Congress for a resolution supporting Israel’s
invasion of Lebanon, even as 54 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of
Republicans favor a policy of neutrality as opposed to alignment with
Israel. (Times-Bloomberg Poll, July 25-August 1, 2006, published in the
Jewish Telegraph Agency – August 15, 2006) The Lobby convinced,
pressured and threatened the White House to prolong the Israeli terror
bombing as Harris so proudly announced. The Jewish Lobby does work “day
in and day out” to make sure that Israel can ethnically cleanse
Palestine, drop five-ton bombs on Lebanese apartment buildings, bulldoze
villages and isolate the US from even its closest allies at the expense
of the US taxpayers, our democratic ideals and our sovereignty. And the
American Jewish Committee has the chutzpah (arrogance) to say that it is
“our mutually beneficial link.” Now that is a bit of political dishonesty!

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University,
New York, owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser
to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co-author of
jpetras@binghamton.edu.

http://peoplesgeography.wordpress.com/2006/08/30/james-petras-the-lobby-and-the-israeli-invasion-of-lebanon/

Owen Powell: Israeli Apartheid
Posted by peoplesgeography on August 30th, 2006

ICH 29 August 2006

Segregation, Control and the Creation of Bantustans in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories (OPT).

The question of Israel as an apartheid state has received increasing
attention over the last years as Israel has continued colonial expansion
in the West Bank while simultaneously attempting to diverge itself from
the Palestinians. The purpose of this article is to highlight the
growing systemization of apartheid in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories (OPT) with particular reference to Israel’s policy of
unilateral disengagement. The need for this debate is highlighted by the
effective outcomes of disengagement which has already resulted in the
segregation of Palestinian communities and delineation of exclusive
Jewish space by means of the segregation barrier. Furthermore the
creation of Palestinian enclaves or ghettos in the OPT bears a striking
resemblance to the South African policies during the apartheid era which
sought the establishment Bantustans as a means to facilitate segregation
and to secure privileges for an ethnic minority.

The term “Bantustan” refers to an apartheid regime policy which set
about the creation of “independent” homelands for black South Africans.
“,1] ); //–>Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). His latest book is, The Power of
Israel in the United States (Clarity Press, 2006). He can be reached at:
jpetras@binghamton.edu.

http://peoplesgeography.wordpress.com/2006/08/30/james-petras-the-lobby-and-the-israeli-invasion-of-lebanon/

more on the lobby

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