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dimanche, 30 septembre 2018

Entretien avec Elias Moutran: Le plan Jared Kushner et le national-sionisme pan-arabe

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Le plan Jared Kushner et le national-sionisme pan-arabe

Entretien avec Elias Moutran

 
Analyste et spécialiste de l'histoire politique du Moyen-Orient, Elias Moutran fait le point pour nous sur la situation générale au Moyen-Orient et en Syrie. Il expose ici les grandes lignes du plan Kushner pour la Palestine. Un plan qui prévoit l'établissement d'une série de bantoustans palestiniens en remplacement d'un projet d'Etat palestinien viable voire même du simple droit au retour des populations palestiniennes dans leurs foyers d'origine. Ce plan de redécoupage territorial de grande ampleur s’accompagne aussi de la tentative de faire émerger dans le monde arabe un nationalisme panarabe anti-Iran. Ceci afin de rapprocher les populations arabes des intérêts israéliens et saoudiens dans la région et de les détourner de "l'Axe de la résistance" Russie-Iran-Syrie.
 
Ce pan-arabisme de substitution sera bien entendu hyper libéral et anti-social, à rebours du nationalisme arabe historique. Dans cette perspective, des théories autour d'un complot "séfévide" voire même d'une alliance persane-orthodoxe contre le sunnisme sont des thématiques largement véhiculées par certains mass-médias de langue arabe parmi les plus suivis dans le monde. Un complotisme autorisé qui diffuse aussi l'idée que l'Iran et la Russie aurait comme projet le "grand remplacement" de la population sunnite de Syrie par de nouvelles populations importées. Autant d'éléments de propagande et de "fake news" qu’Élias Moutran dévoile et déconstruit pour nous.
 
Elias Moutran nous rappelle aussi comment l'islamisme politique s'est propagé à partir du Caire dans les années 70 lorsque le président égyptien Anouar el-Sadate décida de contrer l'influence du nationalisme arabe au sein de la jeunesse en appuyant l'islamisme dans les universités. C'est aussi à cette période que l'Egypte se rapprochera d'Israël et tournera le dos à son héritage nassérien. Dans la dernière partie de son intervention, Elias Moutran évoque aussi les similitudes qui existent entre la politique de séduction opérée par Benyamin Netanyahou envers les populistes européens et sa politique de rapprochement avec l'Arabie Saoudite qui vise à contrer l'Iran dans la région. Une stratégie d'influence qui se déploie simultanément en direction des opinions publiques européennes et arabes. Entretien réalisé début septembre 2018.
 
Retrouvez ou contactez les non-alignés pour nous aider ou participer à nos productions : https://www.facebook.com/LesNonAlignes/ contact@les-non-alignes.fr
 

samedi, 03 mars 2018

Time to tell Israel and Saudi Arabia to fight their own wars

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Blundering Into Iran

Time to tell Israel and Saudi Arabia to fight their own wars

The deluge of recent reporting regarding possible conflict with nuclear armed North Korea has somewhat obscured consideration of the much higher probability that Israel or even Saudi Arabia will take steps that will lead to a war with Iran that will inevitably draw the United States in. Israel is particularly inclined to move aggressively, with potentially serious consequences for the U.S., in the wake of the recent incident involving an alleged Iranian drone and the shooting down of an Israeli aircraft. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been repeatedly warning about the alleged threat along his northern border and has pledged that Israel will not be in any way restrained if there are any hostile moves directed against it. The Israeli Transportation Minister Ysrael Katz has warned that Lebanon will be blasted back into the “stone age.”

There is also considerable anti-Iran rhetoric currently coming from sources in the United States, which might well be designed to prepare the American people for a transition from a cold war type situation to a new hot war involving U.S. forces. The growing hostility towards Iran is coming out of both the Donald Trump Administration and from the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is warning that the “time to act is now” to thwart Iran’s allegedly aggressive regional ambitions while U.S. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley sees a “wake-up” call in the recent shooting incident involving Syria and Israel. The hostility emanating from Washington is increasing in spite of the fact that the developments in the region have little or no impact on vital U.S. national interests, nor is Iran anything like an existential threat to the United States that would mandate sustained military action.

Iran’s alleged desire to stitch together a sphere of influence consisting of an arc of allied nations and proxy forces running from its western borders to the Mediterranean Sea has been frequently cited as justification for a more assertive policy against Tehran, but that concern is certainly greatly exaggerated. Iran, with a population of more than 80 million, is, to be sure, a major regional power but militarily, economically and politically it is highly vulnerable. Its economy is struggling and there is a small but growing protest movement regarding the choices being made for government spending.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is well armed and trained, but much of its “boots on the ground” force consists of militiamen of variable quality. Its Air Force is a “shadow”of what existed under the Shah and is significantly outgunned by its rivals in the Persian Gulf, not to mention Israel. Its navy is only “green water” capable in that it consists largely of smaller vessels responsible for coastal defense supplemented by swarms of Revolutionary Guard speedboats.

When Napoleon had conquered much of continental Europe and was contemplating invading Britain in 1804 it was widely believed that England was helpless before him. But Admiral Earl St Vincent was nonplussed. He said at the time: “I do not say the French can’t come, I only say they can’t come by sea.” In a similar fashion, Iran’s apparent threat to its neighbors is in reality decisively limited by its inability to project power across the water or through the air against other states in the region that have marked superiority in both respects.

And the concern over a possibly developing “Shi’ite land bridge,” also referred to as an “arc” or “crescent,” is likewise overstated for political reasons to make the threat more credible. It ignores the reality that Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon all have strong national identities and religiously mixed populations. They are influenced and sometimes more than that by Iran, but they are not puppet states and never will be. Even Lebanon’s Hezbollah, often cited as Iran’s fifth column in that country, is not considered a reliable proxy.

Majority Shi’a Iraq, for example, is generally considered to be very friendly to Iran but it has to deal with considerable Kurdish and Sunni minorities in its governance and in the direction of its foreign policy. It will not do Iran’s bidding on a number of key issues, including its relationship with Washington, and would be unwilling to become a proxy in Tehran’s conflicts with Israel and Saudi Arabia as such a move would be extremely unpopular. Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi, the highest-ranking Sunni in the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi government, has, for example, recently called for the demobilization of the Shi’ite Popular Mobilization Forces or militias that have been fighting ISIS because they “have their own political aspirations, their own [political] agendas. … They are very dangerous to the future of Iraq.”

A seemingly legitimate major concern driving much of the perception of an Iranian threat is the possibility that Tehran will develop a nuclear weapon somewhere down the road. Such a development is quite plausible if only from a defensive point of view as Iran has been repeatedly threatened by nuclear armed Israel and the United States, but the current Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action provides the best response to the possible proliferation problem. The U.N. inspections regime is rigorous and Iran isreported to be in compliance with the agreement. If the plan survives the attacks by the White House, there is every reason to believe that Iran will be unable to take the necessary precursor steps leading to a nuclear weapons program while the inspections continue. And it will be further limited in its options after the agreement expires in nine years because it will not be able to accumulate the necessary highly enriched uranium stocks to proceed if it should ever make the political and economic decisions to go ahead with such a program.

The recent incident involving the shoot-down of a drone alleged to be of Iranian provenance followed by the downing of an Israeli fighter by a Syrian air defense missile resulted in a sharp response from Tel Aviv, though reportedly mitigated by a warning from Russian President Vladimir Putin that anything more provocative might inadvertently involve Russia in the conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accordingly moderated his response but his government is clearly contemplating a more robust intervention to counter what he calls a developing Iranian presence in Syria. It is important to recall that Netanyahu’s prime objective in Syria and Lebanon is to have both nations in turmoil so they cannot threaten Israel. With that in mind, it is wise to be skeptical about Israeli claims regarding Iranian intentions to build bases and construct missiles in Syria. Those claims made by Israel’s Mossad have not been confirmed by any western intelligence service, not even by America’s totally corrupted and subservient CIA.

Netanyahu is also facing a trial on corruption charges and it would not be wildly off target to suggest that he might welcome a small war to change the narrative, just as Bill Clinton did when he launched cruise missiles into Afghanistan and Sudan to deflect congressional and media criticism of his involvement with Monica Lewinsky. Unfortunately, if Netanyahu does wind up being charged and going to prison his successor will likely be even more hardline.

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It must be understood that the mounting Iran hysteria evident in the U.S. media and as reflected in Beltway groupthink has largely been generated by allies in the region, most notably Saudi Arabia and Israel, who nurture their own aspirations for regional political and military supremacy. There are no actual American vital interests at stake and it is past time to pause and take a step backwards to consider what those interests actually are in a region that has seen nothing but U.S. missteps since 2003. Countering an assumed Iranian threat that is no threat at all and triggering a catastrophic war would be a major mistake that would lead to a breakdown in the current political alignment of the entire Middle East. And it would be costly for the United States. Iran is not militarily formidable, but its ability to fight on the defensive against U.S. Naval and air forces is likely to be considerable, producing high casualty levels on both sides. How would the U.S. public respond if an aircraft carrier were to be sunk by a barrage of Iranian shore-to-ship missiles? And Tehran would also be able to unleash terrorist resources throughout the region, particularly endangering U.S. military and diplomats based there as well as American travelers and businesses. The terror threat might easily extend beyond the Middle East, into Europe and also within the United States while the dollar costs of a major new conflict and its aftermath could also break the bank, literally. Promoting a robust U.S. role in “regime change” for Iran as a viable military option to support objectives largely fabricated by allies would be a phony war fought for bad reasons. It is not commensurate with the threat that the Mullahs actually pose, which is minimal, and is just not worth the price either in dollars or lives.

[This article is an edited and expanded version of a memorandum that I prepared for Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity which has been released separately on Consortium News].

Reprinted with permission from The Unz Review.

mardi, 06 février 2018

Liban et Israël. Guerre du pétrole en vue ?

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Liban et Israël. Guerre du pétrole en vue?

par Jean-Paul Baquiast

Ex: http://www;europesolidaire.eu

En décembre 2017, le gouvernement libanais a approuvé un projet de décision visant à donner à un consortium pétrolier international le droit d'explorer deux zones maritimes où se trouvent de très importantes réserves de gaz naturel. Elles sont nommées Block 4 et Block 7.

Le consortium comprend le russe Novatek, le français Total et l'italien ENI, déjà actif en Sibérie. Ces réserves pourraient rapporter jusqu'à 2040 plus de 100 milliards de dollars.

Le problème est qu'Israël affirme que ces blocks relèvent de sa propriété. La ministre israélien de la défense Avigdor Lieberman vient d'affirmer qu'ils sont siens sans ambiguïté.

Il faut rappeler que des réserves de gaz naturel à fort potentiel avaient été ces dernières années découvertes dans ce qui est nommé le bassin de Leviathan. En décembre 2010, un accord de délimitation des zones économiques exclusives (ZEE)  a été signé entre Israël et Chypre en vue de « faciliter et de poursuivre les recherches off-shore d'hydrocarbures » dans la partie orientale de la Méditerranée.

Le Liban a mis en place quant à lui en février 2017 une « Administration pétrolière » chargée de gérer les offres des entreprises qui soumissionnerait pour être autorisées à procéder à de premiers sondages sur les blocs contestés. Le Hezbollah et le Liban agissent de concert dans cette affaire. 

Il n'est pas facile de délimiter précisément les frontières des zones maritimes appartenant à Israël et celles appartenant au Liban. L'un et l'autre revendiquent la propriété du bassin du Léviathan, qui doit probablement s'étendre dans les zones économiques des deux pays.

Aujourd'hui, la Russie et sans doute aussi plus discrètement la France soutiennent la position libanaise. Les Etats Unis, bien qu'ils ne soient pas directement concernés, ont pris sans ambiguïté fait et cause pour leur allié de toujours, Israël. On ne voit pas très bien qui pourrait, à défaut d'accord négocié entre les deux parties, arbitrer entre elles, sauf intervention de l'ONU d'ailleurs demandée par le Liban. Faudra-t-il envisager une nouvelle occasion de conflit au Moyen-Orient ?

samedi, 16 décembre 2017

Donald Trump et le sionisme chrétien

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Donald Trump et le sionisme chrétien

par Jean-Paul Baquiast

Ex: http://www.europesolidaire.eu

Les commentateurs politiques européens se sont étonnés de voir Donald Trump décider de transférer l'ambassadeur américaine à Jérusalem. Trump reconnaissait de fait cette ville comme la capitale d'Israël, Etat s'affirmant juif, alors qu'elle est également revendiquée comme capitale au moins religieuse par les musulmans et par les chrétiens.

Etait-ce une de ses irresponsabilités habituelles, ou une provocation gratuite à l'égard des musulmans de Palestine – lesquels n'ont pas tardé de commencer à réagir?

Ce n'était rien de cela. Il s'agissait de la satisfaction donnée à une partie de son électorat, lequel lui est resté imperturbablement fidèle, et que l'on désigne par les Sionistes Chrétiens ou « Christian Zionist » . Il s'agit d'une croyance religieuse très répandue aux Etats-Unis, parfois qualifiée de christianisme évangélique ou fondamentaliste, dont le vice-Président Mike Pence est le représentant le plus connu. Il en est de même des deux George Bush.

Récemment, devant le sommet annuel des « Christians United for Israel », Mike Pence a rappelé qu'il était temps de voir Donald Trump concrétiser enfin ses promesses électorales de soutien à Israël. Pour les Sionistes Chrétiens, l'actuel Etat d'Israël est la réalisation d'une des prophéties de la Bible et l'avenir des Etats-Unis est lié irrévocablement à celui de cet Etat. Binjamin Netanyahu serait lui aussi un éminent représentant de cette croyance. Disons qu'il n'y a pas fait allusion lors de sa visite à l'Elysée du 10 décembre.

Préparer Armageddon

Pour les Sionistes Chrétiens américains, formant répétons-le une partie importante de l'électorat de Donald Trump, il faut obéir aux injonctions du Messie en se préparant pour la bataille finale d'Armageddon. Selon la Bible, telle qu'ils l'interprètent, Jésus reviendra alors sur la Terre et fera triompher son Royaume. Tous les fidèles d'autres religions, Musulmans, Juifs, Bouddhistes, Hindous Catholiques ou autres, ainsi que les athées, se convertiront à la parole du Seigneur. Sinon ils seront massacrés. Les évangéliques considèrent donc que l'existence même de l'État d'Israël ramènera Jésus sur Terre, le fera définitivement reconnaître comme Messie et assurera le triomphe de Dieu sur les forces du mal.

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Mais pour cela, la terre historique de l'ancien Israël devra être purgée des hérétiques, notamment des musulmans qui l'ont envahie. Ceci ne se fera pas pacifiquement. Comme l'indique le terme d'Armageddon, le retour de Jésus sera précédé d'une série d'évènements catastrophiques, encore imprévisibles. Israël sera détruit pendant l'Apocalypse. Ceux des Juifs que ne regardent pas Jésus comme le Messie seront détruits comme les autres.

Rappelons que pour les Sionistes Chrétiens américains, dont Mike Pence se veut le représentant à la Maison Blanche, sans attendre l'Apocalypse, il faut éliminer d'ores et déjà tous les hérétiques qui pourront l'être, par exemple les médecins qui pratiquent la contraception, ou les homosexuels. Par contre, ils considèrent la force armée américaine, la première au monde, comme devant faire partie des instruments destinés à servir la colère de Dieu contre les hérétiques. Le complexe militaro-industriel américain, même s'il ne partage pas systématiquement cette vision apocalyptique, s'en réjouira. Les crédits ne lui manqueront pas à l'avenir.

On peut espérer que Donald Trump n'est pas aussi convaincu que le sont ses pieux électeurs de la nécessité de préparer l'Armageddon. Mais que ne fera-t-il pas pour conserver et élargir sa base électorale?

mercredi, 13 septembre 2017

Israël face à l'Iran

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Israël face à l'Iran

par Jean-Paul Baquiast

Ex: http://www.europesolidaire.eu

Nous avons indiqué dans un article du 07/09 « Libération de Deir Ezzor. Perspectives pour l'EI » 1) que les forces syriennes soutenues par l'Iran, le Hezbollah et l'aviation russe allaient prochainement être confrontées aux forces de la coalition arabo-kurdes (SDF) soutenues par l'armée américaine à l'est de la province syrienne de Deir Ezzor.

Ces deux coalitions combattent l'Etat islamique EI auquel elles ont infligés de nombreuses pertes, mais elle visent également à contrôler les réserves pétrolifères à l'est de Deir Ezzor, encore aux mains des combattants islamiques.

Depuis la coalition syrienne s'est efforcée d'occuper la route stratégique Deir Ezzor -Damas. Ceci signifie qu'elle n'est plus séparée de la SDF que par une bande large de 15km autour de l'Euphrate.

Les djihadistes tiennent toujours une partie de Deir Ezzor et de sa banlieue, ainsi que des poches de territoires près de Homs et de Hama à l'ouest. De là ils peuvent procéder à de petites contre-offensives. Plus préoccupant est le fait que la SDF n'a pas encore réussi à s'emparer entièrement de Raqqa, dont l'EI avait fait sa capitale. Elle aurait très certainement pu le faire en y concentrant toutes ses forces, plutôt que se disperser vers Deir Ezzor. Pourquoi ne pas l'avoir fait.

La responsabilité des Etats-Unis

La réponse paraît évidente. Les Etats-Unis ont apparemment renoncé à renverser Bashar al Assad ou à en éliminer les bases militaires russes, mais ils refusent toujours de laisser celui-ci dominer l'ensemble de la Syrie. Il faut se demander pourquoi ils continuent à mener une guerre qui pourrait paraître sans espoir à terme.

La raison en est qu'outre l'accès aux territoires pétrolifères, les Américains n'ont pas renoncé à une présence sur la frontière Iraco-Syrienne le long de l'Euphrate et plus au sud dans les régions est et sud-est de la Syrie. Or sur ces territoires, la Syrie pourrait établir un pont terrestre permettant de relier Damas à Téhéran via Bagdad en Syrie. Ce pont serait nécessairement un pont chiite dont la perspective fait très peur aux alliées musulmans sunnites de l'Amérique. Mais surtout ce sera un pont permettant d'augmenter considérablement l'influence de l'Iran au Moyen Orient. Celle-ci est en passe en effet de devenir une puissance régionale dominante. Comme jusqu'à ce jour, malgré quelques tensions, elle est restée l'alliée de la Russie, cette perspective signifierait un nouveau recul, peut-être définitif, de l'influence américaine. Washington fera donc beaucoup d'efforts pour combattre le renforcement de Téhéran.

Un autre facteur, plus important encore, joue. Pour les Kurdes alliés jusqu'à ce jour des Etats-Unis, et surtout pour Israël, une influence accrue de l'Iran, éventuellement capable de devenir une puissance nucléaire, est déjà considérée comme une menace considérable. Israël n'a pas beaucoup de moyens militaires, hors l'arme atomique, pour contrer une éventuelle offensive iranienne de grande ampleur. L'éventualité en parait aujourd'hui très improbable, mais Tel Aviv se fait fort afin de survivre de prévoir à long terme.

Aussi aux Etats-Unis le « lobby juif » dit Aipac exerce de fortes pressions pour que les Etats-Unis ne permettent pas la mise en place de ce pont chiite sous contrôle de l'Iran. Directement, Israël multiplie les pressions sur Washington pour qu'il ne cède rien au front syro-irako-iranien et qu'il le fasse savoir à Moscou.

Il est dommage qu'Israël n'adopte pas de positions diplomatiques plus subtiles que celles consistant à s'abriter exclusivement sous le parapluie militaire américain. Beaucoup de pays non-musulmans considèrent que sa survie face à la montée inexorable, ne fut-ce qu'en termes démographiques, de 300 millions de musulmans tentés par le djihad serait essentielle. C'est le cas des pays européens, de l'Inde et aussi, dans une large mesure, de la Russie. Ces divers pays seraient près à jouer de leur influence auprès de l'Iran pour qu'en aucun cas celle-ci n'essaye, comme un ayatollah l'avait dit il y a quelques années, de « rayer Israël » de la carte.

Mais des opérations militaires telles que le raid israélien, mené il y a quelques jours, contre les usines militaires syriennes à Masyaf, au prétexte que celles-ci continueraient à fabriquer des armes chimiques, ne paraissent pas une bonne façon de dialoguer avec Damas, Bagdad et surtout Moscou.

NB

Sur la question, non abordée dans cet article, concernant les relations complexes entre Kurdes, Américains, Syriens et Russes, on pourra lire un excellent article daté du12/09, signé par Adam Garrie dans The Duran
http://theduran.com/syria-turkey-and-the-kurds-a-devils-t...

1) Voir http://www.europesolidaire.eu/article.php?article_id=2680...

 

mercredi, 08 février 2017

Neturei Karta et autres juifs contre le sionisme

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Neturei Karta et autres juifs contre le sionisme

Par Daniele dal Bosco

(texte tiré de: http://www.centrostudilaruna.it )

« L’antisionisme n’est pas de l’antisémitisme : c’est tout simplement la critique des actions criminelles d’un Etat particulier » (Noam Chomsky).

Beaucoup d’entre nous ont vu à la télévision, dans les journaux ou sur la grande toile des manifestations dans les rues des grandes villes, surtout dans les pays anglo-saxons ou en Israël, organisées par des juifs à longues barbes et à papillotes (payot), brandissant, en guise de protestation, des drapeaux et des fanions palestiniens, des calicots affichant des slogans antisionistes et, au cou, l’effet vestimentaire le plus symbolique des Palestiniens, devenu célèbre dans le monde par Arafat : le keffieh.

Les médias israëliens, et la plupart des médias internationaux, surtout anglo-saxons et européens, les considèrent comme un groupe d’orthodoxes extrémistes qui nient l’évidente connexion qu’il y a entre sionisme et judaïsme. Leur groupe ne compte que quelques milliers de personnes mais, en réalité, ceux qui, tant parmi les juifs que parmi les « gentils »,  semblent s’aligner sur l’essentiel de leurs idées, à la base de leurs protestations, sont bien plus nombreux.  Cependant, la crainte de « blesser » les victimes de l’holocauste, d’être mal jugé ou, pire, d’être taxé de « raciste » est encore profondément ancrée dans le subconscient collectif de l’humanité depuis plus de 70 ans, grâce au colossal travail de la propagande médiatique.

Les membres du mouvement Neturei Karta font partie d’un groupe de juifs orthodoxes, les haredim, qui se composent de plus d’un million de personnes, divisées en plusieurs sous-groupes, plus ou moins extrémistes, lesquels sont majoritairement hostiles au sionisme, hostilité qui se manifeste, par exemple, dans le refus de faire le service militaire imposé par l’Etat israélien. Les Neturei Karta refusent, en plus, toute représentation politique et tout subside économique de la part de l’Etat d’Israël.

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Tout comme le grand intellectuel et linguiste Noam Chomsky et l’historien américain moins connu Norman G. Finkelstein, les Neturei Karta font leurs les expressions les plus fortes de la foi mosaïque et s’opposent au sionisme, idéologie qui, dès les années 40 du siècle passé, était partagée par une majorité de juifs. Un autre groupe de haredim (notamment des hassidiques) était également antisioniste, bien que cet antisionisme ait été diffus. Ce groupe est celui dit de Satmar. Il a été fondé en Roumanie en 1905 par le Rabbin Joel Teitelbaum. Ce dernier a exprimé ses idées antisionistes dans un texte intitulé Vayoel Moshe (paru en 1961). Elles sont à la base des vues du Conseils Orthodoxe de Jérusalem (Edah HaChareidis).

L’antisionisme des Neturei Karta, comme celui des autres groupes orthodoxes juifs, a toujours été pensé comme hostile à l’existence d’un Etat juif en terre palestinienne, sans pour autant nier le caractère sacré que le judaïsme confère à cette terre palestinienne (Eretz Yisrael). Ils se réfèrent aux écritures sacrées des juifs, plus spécifiquement au Talmud, selon lequel il est interdit de créer par la force un Etat juif avant la venue du Messie (Mashiach ben David). De plus, ces textes interdisent explicitement de dominer et d’humilier d’autres peuples. Le Talmud, dans le traité dit Ketubot 111a, affirme clairement que les juifs ne peuvent retourner en masse en terre sainte, ne peuvent se rebeller contre l’épreuve de la diaspora, voulue par Dieu, ni forcer la venue du Mashiach.

Dans la vision sioniste, au contraire, la terre palestinienne, celle de l’antique Israël, est étroitement liée à l’Etat d’Israël, selon la vision du Rabbin Zvi Yehuda Kook, chef de file du sionisme religieux d’après-guerre. Quant au mouvement juif postsioniste, que l’on retrouve principalement dans les milieux universitaires et intellectuels, il propose, dans sa forme la plus courante, un dépassement de l’idéologie sioniste mais sans toucher au lien entre la terre et la souveraineté territoriale de l’Etat d’Israël.

Les Neturei Karta, terme qui signifie, en araméen, les « Gardiens de la Cité », ont leur siège dans le quartier de Mea Shearim à Jérusalem. Le mouvement a été créé en 1938 par les Rabbins Amram Blau et Aharon Katzenelbogen. Ils se référaient tous deux à l’antisionisme de Jacob Israël de Haan, un journaliste juif que les sionistes ont assassiné à Jérusalem en 1924 parce qu’il s’opposait fermement à la création d’un Etat d’Israël.  Le Rabbin Meir Hirsch  -fils de Moshe Hirsch, lui-même gendre de Rabbi Katzenelbogen, chef de file des Neturei Karta et conseiller d’Arafat- soutenait la thèse suivante : « Le sionisme, pour nous, est la continuation de la Haskalah, c’est-à-dire des Lumières juives, qui veulent que le judaïsme ne soit plus observer que dans la vie privée et jamais dans la vie publique. Theodor Herzl, considéré comme le fondateur du sionisme, est un adepte de la Haskalah. Dans ses journaux intimes, il raconte que le sentiment sioniste est né en lui après une querelle avec un passant dans les rues de Paris, passant qui l’avait injurié copieusement, usant de vocalbes antisémites. Herzl a été profondément meurtri par cet incident et s’est mis à penser que l’unique solution, pour les juifs, était de créer un Etat sous le signe de la Haskalah. Le sionisme est donc une idéologie qui a amené tout un peuple à la mécréance, l’arrachant ainsi à sa véritable nature juive » (1).

Herzl, dans son célèbre livre Der Judenstaat (1896), renouait avec les visions proto-sionistes du rabbin sépharade Yehudah Alkalai (1798-1878) (2) qui, en 1838 déjà, dans un pamphlet intitulé Shema Yisrael (« Ecoute, ô Israël »), proposait de commencer à établir des colonies juives sur la terre d’Israël, afin de préparer la venue du Messie. Des idées similaires s’exprimaient également chez l’un de ses contemporains, le rabbin askénaze Tzvi Hirsch Kalischer (1795-1874). A cette époque-là, la majorité des juifs considéraient que de telles idées étaient hérétiques, dans la mesure où ils croyaient, à l’instar des Neturei Karta d’aujourd’hui, que seule l’intervention divine, par l’intermédiaire de l’avènement du Mashiach, allait permettre un retour à la Terre Sainte.  

Pour les Neturei Karta, la diaspora a été une punition divine et, dès lors, les uniques propriétaires de la Palestine sont les Palestiniens. Ils ne vont pas prier au Mur Occidental (Kotel), connu sous le nom de « Mur des Lamentations » parce qu’ils considèrent que toute la ville de Jérusalem-Est est une terre occupée (3). Ils entretiennent des rapports avec le Hamas, le Hizbollah et l’Iran. Ils contestent l’instrumentalisation par les sionistes de l’holocauste. Ils communiquent entre eux en utilisant les pashkvil, des communiqués en forme de manifeste qu’ils collent ou affichent sur les murs dans les rues, mode typique aux communautés juives orthodoxes.

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Il est curieux de noter que les deux partis, antisionistes et sionistes, font référence à la figure d’Amalek, le premier ennemis des Israélites après le passage de la Mer Rouge. Amalek était le petit-fils d’Esaü, le frère jumeau de Jacob (appelé aussi Israël) (4). Esaü avait ordonné à Amalek de poursuivre Jacob pour l’éternité, l’accusant d’ l’avoir privé de son droit d’aînesse et de lui avoir ravi l’amour de leur père, Isaac. Le personnage biblique d’Amalek est instrumentalisé de diverses manières par les sionistes et les antisionistes : certains sionistes considèrent que les Palestiniens sont les descendants d’Amalek, tandis que certains antisionistes, comme les Neturei Karta, associent les sionistes à la descendance d’Amalek. Au-delà de ces associations et références à l’antiquité juive, utilisées à des fins de propagande, on peut admettre que la vision traditionaliste des Neturei Karta est, en milieux juifs, plus proche de l’idée et de la vision traditionnelle et métaphysique. Dans leur vision, le peuple ou la nation d’Israël est une réalité métaphysique, dans la mesure où elle ne peut pas exister sans la Torah et sans la foi ; par voie de conséquence, la forcer à demeurer sur un territoire déterminé, comme on l’a vu ci-dessus, est contraire aux écrits des textes sacrés. En ce sens, ils s’opposent totalement à la vision matérialiste du sionisme, qui déracine le peuple juif, c’est-à-dire l’arrache à ses racines métaphysiques (5).

L’opposition à tout abus dans l’usage du terme « Israël » est, dans cette perspective, une confirmation supplémentaire du caractère traditionnel du mouvement Neturei Karta. Ils déclarent explicitement que « l’Etat qui vient d’être appelé ‘Israël’ devrait cesser d’exister. Si cela n’arrive pas, nous voulons qu’il ne s’appelle plus ‘Israël’ parce que sa nature toute entière est en opposition totale au vrai peuple d’Israël (…). Les chefs sionistes n’ont aucun droit de se poser comme les représentants et les porte-paroles du vrai peuple d’Israël » (6).

Notes:

(1) http://www.tpi.it

(2) Ceci pour démontrer que le sionisme n’est pas une invention purement askénaze, comme on le croit souvent erronément.  

(3) La partie orientale de Jérusalem a été annexée par Israël en 1967, après la guerre des six jours.

(4) « Je ne t’appellerai plus Jacob mais Israël parce que tu as combattu avec Dieu et contre les hommes et tu as vaincu ! » (Genèse, 32, 29).

(5) L’interprétation du peuple d’Israël comme entité métaphysique est typiquement cabbalistique et s’exprime dans la Kabbalah moderne, par exemple chez Michael Laitman, lequel est d’accord avec les Neturei Karta, pour dire que le véritable Israël, c’est-à-dire l’Israël métaphysique, ne pourra se manifester qu’avec l’avènement du Messie. Là où le Messie se manifeste, pour Laitman, est son lignage, non comme celui d’une personne spécifique, mais comme une force de la Lumière divine qui revient vers nous, comme un labeur spirituel qui l’attire vers notre réalité. Toutefois, Laitman et, avec lui, bon nombre de cabbalistes juifs, à la différence des Neturei Karta, ne s’oppose pas au sionisme et à l’Etat d’Israël, les considérant comme un passage nécessaire dans la préparation à la venue du Messie. Cette séparation nette entre métaphysique et « physique » de la réalité, cette vision dualiste, typique de la Kabbalah, est explicitée dans un langage typiquement symbolique, a-logique et interprétable, rendant la vision traditionnelle cabbaliste difficilement confrontable à celle étudiée spécifiquement par les traditionalistes, par les chrétiens, les hindouistes, les musulmans et les taoïstes voire par la Grèce et la Rome antiques. Ce qui est commun, en général, aux diverses visions traditionnelles, sauf dans une certaine vision guénonienne moderne (voir : Sull’origine della visione economica in René Guénon), c’est le manque de séparation entre les parties du réel, entre la métaphysique et la « physique ». La vision islamique, et plus encore soufie, est exemplaire à ce propos.

(6) http://www.nkusa.org

 

lundi, 16 janvier 2017

The bizarre world of Christian Zionism

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F. William Engdahl:
 
‘Soldiers of Christ’
The bizarre world of Christian Zionism
 
(avec l'aimable autorisation de l'auteur)
 
Praying for Armageddon
 
It was impossible to grasp how such a drastic foreign policy shift could occur between the time of Eisenhower in the 1950’s and George W. Bush, without one little-known element: understanding the political power base the Israeli right-wing Likud Zionist lobby built up around the American Christian Born-Again right-wing.
 
The most striking and paradoxical feature of the Likud-US strategic linkup was the fanatical backing for the militant expansion of Israel from the side of various nominally Christian denominations and organizations in the United States. Behind the religious façade, was a well-organized political machine directly tied to Tel Aviv and Washington power centers.
 
The peculiar Christians, who called themselves Christian Zionists, and who formed the core activist voter machine of the Bush Presidency, preached a doctrine quite different from the traditional Christian Gospel of love for fellow men and tolerance. They preached hate and war, a militant brand of belief that had more similarity with the 12thCentury bloody Crusades than with modern Christianity.
 
In 1977, Israeli intelligence services, under the direction of  Dr. Jonah Malachy, quietly began to conduct a detailed profile of all the many different Christian organizations in the United States, and profiled them according to how they regarded the existence of Israel, in terms of their Christian belief.
 
The Israeli researchers found the most fertile soil in the Southern US states, which traditionally had been based on cotton or tobacco slavery, and whose white elites had been shaped over generations on a belief in white superiority over blacks, or other whites such as Catholics or even Jews. These white protestants, whether Southern Baptist, Methodist or one of the growing number of Born Again charismatic sects proliferating in the South after World War II, were ripe for manipulation on the subject of Israel. All it needed was some fine adjustments of their theology.
 
Ironically, many of these Born-Again Christians were anti-semitic, anti-Jewish. Their new Israeli friends knew this well, and cynically proceeded to forge a strategic alliance in which the Israeli or pro-Israeli think-tanks they created in Washington would be supported in their Israel political agenda by the growing army of Born Again Christian voters.
 
Under ordinary conditions, the American Christian Zionists would have remained one of many tiny sects in America calling themselves Christian. The events surrounding the shocking terror attacks of September 11, 2001 and the demagogic manipulation of those events by a nominally Born-Again President George W. Bush, dramatically changed that and made Christian Zionism a far more serious political force within US politics, more so because most of its members were white, upper middle-class Republicans. They had built a highly organized national political machine and had leveraged their influence to an almost decisive factor, often deciding whether a given candidate for national office would win or lose. 
 
BT-BSW0345314277.jpgAs Jewish scholar Barbara Tuchman documented in her famous account of British Zionism, Bible and Sword, the roots of Christian Zionism went back to the British Imperial ideology, in which certain very prominent British establishment figures including Lord Palmerston, Lord Balfour and Shaftesbury saw support for a Jewish home in Palestine as part of a manufactured or synthetic ideology in which they claimed the British people to be the ‘Chosen People’, the ‘Lost Tribe of Israel.’
 
The Roots of Christian Zionism
 
John Nelson Darby, a renegade Irish priest who died in 1881 created the idea of ‘the Rapture” as he founded a new brand of Christian Zionism, in which what he called ‘Born-Again Christians” would be taken up to Heaven before the second coming of Christ—their ‘rapture.’ Darby also put Israel at the heart of his strange new theology, claiming that an actual Jewish state of Israel would become the ‘central instrument for God to fulfil his plans for a final Battle of Armageddon.’
 
Darby travelled widely in the United States and won adherents to his bizarre sect, creating the beginnings of American Christian Zionism, including the famous US Bible interpreters Dwight L. Moody, who founded the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and the 1930’s preacher, Billy Sunday and Cyrus Scofield. In 1909 Scofield published the Scofield Bible with footnotes interpreting Bible passages according to the Darby Christian Zionist world. That Scofield Bible was by the end of the 20th Century the basis for all US Christian Zionist and Born Again teaching in what was the fastest growing sector of the Christian faith in the US.
 
Christian Zionists like Reverend Jerry Falwell and Rev. Pat Robertson could be traced back to a project of British Secret Intelligence services and the British establishment to use the Zion ideology to advance Empire and power in North America. American Christian Zionists in the period of American Empire in the 1950’s and later, merely adopted this ideology and gave it an American name. 
 
These American Christian Zionists, just below the surface, preached a religion quite opposite to the message of love and charity of the Jesus of the New Testament. In fact, it was a religion of hate, intolerance and fanaticism. The soil it bred in was the bitter race hatreds of the post-Civil War US South held by generations of whites against blacks and, ironically, against Catholics and Jews as ‘inferior’ races. Their religion was the religion of a coming Final Battle of Armageddon, of a Rapture in which the elect would be swept up to Heaven while the ‘infidels’ would die in mutual slaughter.
 

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In the months following the US September 11 attacks, Rev. Pat Robertson repeatedly preached the notion that Muslims were “worse than the Nazis.” On his Christian Broadcasting Network in November 2002, Robertson declared, “Adolf Hitler was bad, but what the Muslims want to do to the Jews is worse.” Robertson, claiming to be a man of God, refused to retract the hate speech despite much public outcry. In other comments, he compared the Qu’ran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf as a blueprint for world domination, hardly constructive words to heal the wounds of a nation still in shock after September 11, or to win friends abroad.
 
In an October 2002 CBS ‘Sixty Minutes’ TV broadcast, Robertson’s Christian Zion friend, Rev. Jerry Falwell declared, “I think Muhammed was a terrorist, a violent man, a man of war…” Bush’s War on Terror was being defined by his Christian Zionist base as a holy “Crusade” against Islam, Sir Bernard Lewis’s Clash of Civilization, adapted by Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington in a famous 1993 Foreign Affairs article as the “clash of civilizations.”  It asserted that following the collapse of the Soviet Union the main conflict in the world would be between opposing cultural and religious identities.
 
In his 1993 article, Huntington had argued, “World politics is entering a new phase, in which the great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of international conflict will be cultural. Civilizations-the highest cultural groupings of people-are differentiated from each other by religion, history, language and tradition. These divisions are deep and increasing in importance. From Yugoslavia to the Middle East to Central Asia, the fault lines of civilizations are the battle lines of the future. In this emerging era of cultural conflict the United States must forge alliances with similar cultures and spread its values wherever possible. With alien civilizations the West must be accommodating if possible, but confrontational if necessary.” [1]
 
The new “enemy image” was being defined by the US establishment as early as 1993, only months after the collapse of the Soviet Union, as Islam. It was the prelude to the 2001 War on Terrorism, a thinly-disguised War on Islam.
 
Echoing the anti-Islam fervor of Falwell and Robertson, Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the famous Christian evangelist and Bush family friend, Reverend Billy Graham, declared after September 11 that Islam was “a very evil and wicked religion.” The large US Southern Baptist Convention’s former President, Jerry Vines, called the Prophet Mohammed the most vile names imaginable. It was all about stirring Americans in a time of fear into hate against the Islamic world, in order to rev up Bush’s War on Terror.
 
israelamerica.jpgGraham, who controlled an organization known as the Samaritan Purse, was a close religious adviser to George W. Bush. In 2003 Graham got permission from the US occupation authorities to bring his Evangelical anti-Islam form of Christianity into Iraq to win “converts” to his fanatical brand of Christianity. [2]
 
According to author Grace Halsell, Christian Zionists believed that “every act taken by Israel is orchestrated by God, and should be condoned, supported, and even praised by the rest of us.” [3] It was all beginning to sound far too much like a new Holy Crusade against more than one billion followers of the Islamic faith.
 
The Likud’s Christian Zionists in America
 
After the Likud government of Menachim Begin realized in 1977 that President Carter was intent on human rights for Palestinians, including statehood, Likud and their neo-conservativeservative allies in the US began to look for support outside the liberal Democratic Party of Carter. The Israeli Labour Party had supported land-for-peace, but the Likud backed a Greater Israel, which would include the occupied Palestinian territories of West Bank and Gaza, which they call Judea and Samaria. The pro-Likud neo-conservatives around Irving Kristol, Richard Perle and others left the Democratic Party at that time to found what they later would call ‘Neo-conservativeservativism’ and to build their base inside the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan, a man who was very much influenced by the Christian Right himself.
 
In 1978, Prof. Yona Malachy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, published his major research profile on American evangelical Protestant groups, titled, ‘American Fundamentalism and Israel: The Relation of Fundamentalist Churches to Zionism and the State of Israel.’
 
Malachy discovered numerous American Protestant sects, most in the rural Southern states, who linked their theology to the State of Israel, through a strange, literal interpretation of the Bible. Their ministers were typically trained at the Moody Bible Institute or, often, the ultra-conservative Dallas Theological Seminary of  John Walvoord in Texas. They diligently read the 1909 Scofield Reference Bible, whose footnotes ‘explain’ the Bible texts in their arcane prophecy terms.
 
Leaders of  the Likud and select Israeli religious leaders, went to work after 1977 to bring the most charismatic, and often most corruptible, leaders of these US Christian groups to Israel, where they developed direct links between Likud leaders and the Christian Right in the US.
 
Menachim Begin began to attend Washington ‘prayer breakfasts for Israel’ with fundamentalist ministers including Rev. Jerry Falwell, then head of Moral Majority, and Rev. Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition and the Christian Broadcasting Network. When another Jew pointed out that these Christians were anti-semitic, Begin reportedly snapped back to the effect he did not care so long as they supported Israel in the US.
 
Conservative Christian support for Israel is based largely on various prophecies about the Jewish people during the ‘end-times’ which they believe are found throughout the Bible. They are viewed as playing a major role in ‘TEOTWAWKI’ (the end of the world aswe know it).
 
Representative of some most often-cited Bible passages used by the Christian Zionists to support their end-times prophesy are the following passages taken from the King James Version of the Bible:
* Zechariah 12:3:And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.’ The implication is that the Jewish people would return to Israel; this happened in 1948 with the creation of the State of Israel. Later, all the nations of the earth will gather against her. Some believe that we are near that point today. But God will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. This came to pass when the Camp David peace talks found that the future status of Jerusalem became a major stumbling block.
 
* Zechariah 12:9-10: ‘And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."  Many conservative Christians interpret this as saying that Jews will be humbled, will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and become Christians.
 
* Revelation 4:4: ‘And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold." Conservative Christians view the 24 as being composed of the patriarchs of each of the twelve ancient tribes of Israel, along with the twelve apostles. To emphasize their unity, they are gathered in a circle around the throne of God. All are believed to be Christians at that time.
 
* Revelation 7:3-4: ‘Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.’
 
* Revelation 14:1-4: ‘And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their  foreheads....These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.’
 
The passages seemed to imply that 144,000 Jewish virgins -- their gender was not mentioned -- would convert to Christianity and be ‘sealed.’ They would have God's name written on their forehead, and be followers of the Lamb -- i.e. of Christ. Some Christians interpreted these phrases as implying that 144,000 Jews will convert to Christianity and then attempt to convert the remaining Jews in Israel.[4]
 
The vast majority of American and international Christian churches were highly critical of the theological claims of the Christian Zionists. The Middle East Council of Churches, representing Oriental and Eastern Christian churches in the Middle East, charged that the Christian Zionists, ‘aggressively imposed an aberrant expression of the Christian faith, and an erroneous interpretation of the Bible which is subservient to the political agenda of the modern State of Israel.’ Christian Zionism, they said, ‘rejects the movement of Christian unity and inter-religious understanding.’
 
The Rapture and God's ‘Chosen People’
 
Christian Zionism existed even before Hertzl founded modern Jewish Zionism in the late 1800's. Certain Protestant dissenter sects during the English Civil War in the 1600's believed themselves to be God's Chosen People, the ‘lost tribe of Israel.’ A number of prominent British Imperialists were themselves Christian Zionists, including Lord Palmerston, Lord Shaftesbury, Lloyd George and Lord Balfour, who issued the 1917 Balfour Declaration giving Jews a homeland in British-protected Palestine. For them, the ideology justified British Imperialism as a religious mission.
 
Christian Zionists argued that the Land of Israel has been given to the Jewish people by God, and that in order for the Second Coming of Christ to occur, all Jews must return to Israel, this for a Final Battle of Armageddon, between the Forces of Good and Forces of Evil.
 
They admitted it will destroy the Earth, the so-called End Times, but the ‘good news’ for Christian Zionists, was that they, the true believers, would be suddenly caught up into Heaven in a holy ‘Rapture,’ and be spared the messy aspects of a nuclear holocaust at Armageddon. Their theology was a dangerous brew of Manichean absolute black and white, good versus evil, which sees the alliance of the US (under their direction, of course) and Israel, battling the forces of ‘evil’, especially Islam and Muslims. It was reminiscent of the statements by President Bush in the wake of September 11, 2001 where he declared, ‘either you’re with America or you are against us,’ as he spoke of a ‘new Crusade.’
 

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Ironically, behind their pro-Israel facade, Christian Zionists like Falwell and Robertson cynically used their links to Israeli Jews to push an anti-semitic agenda of their own.
 
Uri Avnery, leader of the Israeli peace group, Gush Shalom, describing the theology of these supposed Christian friends of Israel, stated, ‘According to its theological beliefs, the Jews must congregate in Palestine and establish a Jewish state on all its territory so as to make the Second Coming of Jesus Christ possible...The evangelists don't like to dwell openly on what comes next: before the coming (of the Messiah), the Jews must convert to Christianity. Those who don't will perish in a gigantic holocaust in the battle of Armageddon. This is basically an anti-semitic teaching...,’ namely that Jews who remain true to their Old Testament beliefs will all be killed. [5]
 
This organized lobby of the Christian ‘Born Again’ ultra-conservative voters was credited with securing the re-election of George W. Bush in 2004. A study undertaken of American voting blocs in 2003 found that the Christian Right comprised the largest active social movement in the United States and the largest voting bloc within George Bush’s Republican Party.[6]
 
On October 19, 2004 Dr. Daniel Akin, President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary issued an Open Letter signed by 72 Evangelical leaders urging the American people to ‘use Biblical values in their selection of candidates.’ The letter cited gay marriage, stem-cell research, and Democrats’ alleged defense of ‘terrorists’ as reasons to vote Republican not Democrat. The letter was signed by the most prominent members of the Christian Zion right backing Bush and backing Sharon as, ‘fulfilment of Bible prophesy.’ 
 
The crucial new element in the emergence of the Christian Right in recent years in America was their focus on organized political influence, not merely on religious life-style and church piety.
 
JF-Fond902_400.jpgIn 1979, Reverend Jerry Falwell, a member of the Committee on National Policy and a Christian Zionist leading figure, launched an organisation known as the Moral Majority with the aim ‘to mobilize the Christian church on behalf of moral and social issues and to encourage participation by people of faith in the political process.’
 
The Moral Majority quickly became a household name. Through its charismatic
public leader, Falwell, the organisation mobilised thousands of churches and
millions of registered voters to form a Christian political bloc, and what came to be known as the Christian-Right.
 
Falwell was soon sought out by aspiring politicians hungry for his approval and potential votes. Falwell in turn, rated candidates on their acceptability on issues considered of priority to the Israeli Likud, with whom he had in the meantime become quite close. Falwell flew across the US in a luxurious private jet given him as a gift on a trip to Israel by Likud Prime Minister Menachim Begin.
 
It was also around this same time, in the late 1970’s that the formal Christian-Right was established and certain Israeli organisations began understanding that an alliance with the Christian Zionists in the US could bolster their image and prominence on the international level through a stronger influence in US politics.
 
The fervency of the Christian-Right towards the State of Israel coupled
with its strong American presence, captured the attention of Israeli interest
groups. Though aware of their diametric opposite social and religious views, some Israeli political organisations saw an alliance with the Christian Zionists as a crucial element in promoting a positive image of Israel in US politics and
among the American mainstream.
 
Jewish-American leaders were initially opposed to an alliance with the Christian-Right and perceived the movement as a possible adversary. However, when the formal establishment of the Christian-Right solidified this movement as an influential political bloc in the US, these feelings of trepidation were soon dissipated and various Israeli groups recognised that an alliance with this bloc would be advantageous to their political interests. [7]
 
These US religious spokesmen claimed they had been told by God such things as whether the US should go to war against Iraq. In an article, ‘Should We Go To War With Iraq?’ Roy A. Reinhold on February 5, 2003 wrote of his discussion with his God: ‘Many people wonder whether this coming showdown with Iraq, by the USA and a coalition of nations, is worthwhile and whether it is the right thing to do.
 
‘On Saturday, February 1, 2003, I lifted my hands to begin praying and the Lord spoke to me… I wanted to know whether the God the Father's direction was to go to war or not go to war. ..The Lord said, ‘I am saying to go to war with Iraq’.
 
Reinhold added, ‘I put the above on my message boards and what everyone wanted to know was, ‘what is God's reason(s) for going to war with Iraq?’ That question hadn't occurred to me, because I personally just accepted God's direction.’
 
The raw hate ideology of the US Christian Zionists, claiming personal support from God, represented a dangerous shift in US politics to the extreme right.  Some circles around Bush and his trusted political advisor, Karl Rove, sought to create out of American fears and uncertainty regarding such issues as gay marriage, a core theocratic state, just opposite what most Americans wished. Rove had been the architect of Bush’s relationship with the Christian Zionist fundamentalist Right when Bush was still Texas Governor.
 
Rebuilding the Temple of Salomon
 
The US Christian Zionists and their allies have a long-term agenda which well might trigger a new World War. Some neo-conservatives say that war began on September 11, 2001. They refer to it as World War IV, claiming that the Cold War was actually World War III.
 
These circles wanted to destroy the holy Islamic Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and rebuild the Biblical Temple of Salomon on the site, where they would resume animal sacrifice. A close adviser to the Bush White House, and to Karl Rove, Michael Ledeen, was at the heart of the dangerous lunacy.
 
During the 1970’s the face of Christian practice in the United States was transformed by new ‘television-evangelists’ with names such as Rev. Jerry Falwell with his organization, the Moral Majority or Rev. Pat Robertson with his tax-exempt TV ‘700 Club’ broadcasts, which bring his organization hundreds of millions dollars a year, or author Hal Lindsey, with his ‘Rapture’ series of fiction novels about the end of civilization around a final Battle of Armageddon in what is today’s Israel. These Born Again Christians as they called themselves, began to dominate the US airwaves. It later emerged that many of these, including the anti-Islamic Falwell and Robertson, were intimately linked to the Israeli right-wing. Some also had ties to the CIA. 
 
Grace Halsell, who recently died, grew up on the same Texas soil where the Christian fundamentalism that captured George W. Bush, was dominant. She went on to become a White House speech writer in the 1960’s, and later a courageous journalist who devoted her last years to exposing the dangerous ties of Falwell and other so-called born-again Christians to the Israeli right-wing.
 
During the 1980’s, to understand the Born-Again phenomenon then sweeping across the United States, Halsell went to Israel with a group led by Falwell. As she described it, ‘My inquiry led me to ask why does a Christian such as Jerry Falwell pray for the end of the world? Must we totally destroy this world in order to usher in a ‘new heaven and a new earth?’  Her conclusions were alarming.
 
She found that Falwell had become a close friend of the Israeli right, when she went on their joint Bible tour of Israel and the Holy Land in 1983. Halsell noted the curious fact that, rather than concentrate the tour on Christian sites in the Holy Land, Falwell’s tour was entirely run by Israeli guides and toured only Israeli sites of interest. Moreover, Falwell was given as a gift by the Israeli government his personal Lear private jet to make his US tours.
 
Falwell and other US Christian Born Again fundamentalists said they believed that it was ‘God’s Will’ that Israel move to establish its greater domination in the Mideast, as that will bring the world that much closer to the Biblical ‘Day of Final Judgment,’ when the ‘true-believers’ will be saved in a mystical ‘rapture,’ being swept up to Heaven, as the unsaved perish in the final Battle of Armageddon. That battle, according to Falwell and his friends, will pit Jews against Muslims.
 
Halsell interviewed a number of Americans actively involved in trying to ‘speed up’ the final Armageddon. One was Terry Risenhoover, an Oklahoma oilman and Born Again Christian Zionist, who was close to the Reagan White House. Risenhoover was open about his views. He financed people in Israel and elsewhere who would rebuild the destroyed Temple of Salomon, the so-called Third Temple, on one of Islam’s most holy sites, the Al-Aqsa Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
 

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In 1985 Risenhoover was chairman of the American Forum for Jewish-Christian Cooperation, along with its director, Doug Krieger and American Rabbi David Ben-Ami, a close friend of Israel’s Ariel Sharon. Risenhoover was also, chairman of the Jerusalem Temple Foundation, ‘whose sole purpose is the rebuilding of a temple on the site of the present Muslim shrine.’
 
Risenhoover selected Stanley Goldfoot as his International Secretary of Temple Mount Foundation. Goldfoot was a former member of the terrorist Stern Gang, denounced by Ben-Gurion as Nazis. Goldfoot was the person, according to Israeli newspaper, Davar, who placed the bomb in Jerusalem’s King David Hotel in July 1946 which killed some 100 British citizens.
 
Risenhoover boasted to Halsell in an interview on Goldfoot that, ‘He’s a very solid, legitimate terrorist. He has the qualifications for clearing a site for the Temple.’ A Goldfoot deputy, Yisrael Meida, told Halsell, ‘He who controls the Temple Mount, controls Jerusalem.
 
Who controls Jerusalem, controls the Land of Israel,’ a new twist on the famous dictum of geopolitics of Sir Halford MacKinder: “Who controls Central Europe controls the Heartland; who controls the Heartland (Russia etc) controls the World Island; who controls the World Island controls the world…”
 
In 1998, an Israeli newsletter posted on the Voice of Temple Mount website, announced that its goal is the ‘liberation’ of the Muslim shrines around Al Aqsa, and the building of a Jewish Temple on the site. ‘Now the time is ripe for the Temple to be rebuilt,’ they announced. They then called on the Israeli government to ‘end the pagan (sic) Islamic occupation’ of lands where the mosque stands. ‘The building of the Third Temple is near,’ they proclaimed in 1998.
 
In September 2000, Israel’s Ariel Sharon led a large group of Israeli police onto the Al Aqsa holy site in a deliberate religious provocation, which triggered the renewal of the Intifada. Sharon’s friends had been secretly digging an underground tunnel to the Al Aqsa site which allegedly would be used to dynamite the Islam holy site at the proper moment. The Third Temple project was not fantasy for some, even though it was lunatic.
 
The late Dr. Issa Nakhleh, former Senior Advisor to the UN Palestinian Delegation warned of a ‘criminal conspiracy’ between Christian Evangelists and Zionist terrorists to destroy Al Aqsa Mosque. He confirmed that members of American Christian evangelists and Jewish terrorists had formed The Jerusalem Temple Foundation. Nakhleh added that the contemplated projects of this foundation as they appear in a brochure printed by it, included, ‘Preparations for the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem…’
 
He confirmed that among the Temple Mount conspirators was a man who later became one of George W. Bush’s most important neo-conservatives, Washington insider, Michael Ledeen, who was close to Bush political adviser Karl Rove. Nakhleh stated, ‘Barbara and Michael Ledeen published an article in The New Republic of June 18, 1984, under the title, ‘What do Christian and Jewish fundamentalists have in common? The Temple Mount Plot.’
 
Nakhleh stated, ‘...Goldfoot sees the Christians as logical allies, for he believes that ‘Christian fundamentalists are the real modern day Zionists.’ In Goldfoot's view, it was the Christians above all who realize that ‘we are coming to a crucial period in earth's history, and they want to help fulfil prophecy and thus hasten the coming of the Messiah’ ... As one Jewish leader put it to us last summer in Jerusalem, ‘They believe that once the Temple is built, Jesus will come again. We expect the Messiah to come for the first time. Let's build the Temple, and see what he looks like.’
 
Nakhleh continued, ‘...This ardent messianism appears to have been part of the motivation for the group of twenty-five radical Jewish nationalists arrested recently in Jerusalem on charges that included murder, attempted murder, possession of weapons and explosives stolen from the Israeli Army, and membership in a terrorist organization.’
 
‘...It is also known that one of the arrested men is a reserve pilot in the Israeli Army. The pilot, who had returned to religion, suggested to his co-conspirators that he steal an F-16 the next time he was called up, and that he bombard the two Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount. The group vetoed his plan because the Western Wall might be damaged, and the pilot would be unable to land his plane anywhere in Israel. Instead, the plotters decided to use explosive devices on the Temple Mount.’
 

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Michael Ledeen, who was based at the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute think-tank in Washington with Richard Perle and other leading neo-conservatives, also served as consultant to White House political strategist, Karl Rove. Ledeen was one of the central figures in the Bush agenda of the Project for the New American Century blueprint for world domination.
 
Grace Halsell, joined another trip of the evangelist Jerry Falwell to the Holy Land in 1986. She wrote about the plans to destroy Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. ‘The plan to take over Haram al-Sharif is more institutionalized, and becoming better organized, better financed, gaining more supporters in Jerusalem and in the US,’ she reported.
 
‘They are ‘actively and peacefully buying property in the area nearest the Temple Mount,’ and they deem this task ‘important and monumental. They have an Institute for the Research of the Temple, to ascertain exact plans and measurements of the Temple.’
 
Halsell added, ‘At least seven rabbis, among them the foremost spiritual leaders of the Gush Emunim settlement movement, were consulted, informed and aware of various stages of the activities and plans of the Jewish terror organization. Livni, charged with the preparing of a bomb to be placed in the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa, said Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in particular had spoken approvingly of the idea. Neither of the chief Israeli rabbis condemned the attempts to destroy the mosque.
 
Halsell added, ‘Israeli leaders seem definitely connected with the American Jewish evangelist Mike Evans, who on an hour-long TV Special was photographed underneath the mosque, in Jewish skullcap with an Israeli ‘expert’ on relics and the expert opens a door and proclaims, ‘Right there we keep the Holy of Holies’ [8]
 
The financial support system among US Evangelicals for destruction of the mosque has gone underground since an article in 1984 named specific persons, such as Terry Risenhoover, who was raising big money for the defense of Jewish terrorists who attempted to destroy the Muslim shrine.
 
‘In Jerusalem, guides for Falwell's 850 touring Christians told us at the Western Wall that we are viewing the former site of the Temple as well as the site where a new temple will be built,’ Halsell noted.
 
Halsell interviewed Dr. John Walvoord who headed Dallas Theological Seminary, a speaker during Falwell's 1985 ‘Prophecy Conference’ in Jerusalem. He interprets the Bible as saying God wants Christians to help the Jews build a Jewish temple. He and other Born Again Christians are aware of the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa but as Hal Lindsey puts it, ‘Obstacle or no obstacle, it is certain the temple will be rebuilt, prophecy demands it.’
 
Jerry Falwell and all major US TV evangelists preached that the Jewish temple ‘must’ be built.
 
They accepted that as part of their theology, a theology generally known as dispensationalism, which calls for seven ‘dispensations’ or time periods, beginning with all the ingathering of Jews into Palestine, and including the building of the temple. Hal Lindsey, in The Late Great Planet Earth, wrote that ‘there remains but one more event to completely set the stage for Israel's part in the last great act of her historical drama. This is to rebuild the ancient Temple of worship upon its old site. There is only one place that this Temple can be built, according to the Law of Moses. This is upon Mt. Moriah. It is there that the two previous Temples were built.’ [9]
 
Thus, there was a great support system in the US for whatever action Jewish terrorists might take to destroy Al Aqsa. Should they destroy the shrine, all of the major TV Evangelists would simply call it an ‘act of God.’
 
Grace Halsell added, ‘Fanatics who belong to what the vast majority of Christians and Jews might term a crazy minority - and numbering no more than five percent of the total Israeli population - are nevertheless capable of destroying Islam's most holy shrine in Jerusalem, an act that could easily trigger a worldwide war involving Russia and the United States.’
 
This fanatical Pre-millennial Dispensationalism had come to dominate American Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism, especially through the influence of Dallas Theological Seminary and the Moody Bible Institute. The movement had grown in popularity within evangelical circles, particularly in America and especially since 1967, coinciding with the Arab-Israel Six Day War and a few years later in 1970 with the publication of Hal Lindsey's 'The Late Great Planet Earth.'
 
Crucial to their reading of biblical prophecy, drawn principally from Daniel, Zechariah and the Book of Revelation, was the assertion that the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt on the Temple Mount as a precursor to the Lord returning to restore the Kingdom of Israel centred on Jerusalem. This pivotal event was also seen as the trigger for the start of the War of Armageddon.
 
These beliefs soured relations between Moslem Arabs and Christian Arabs perpetuating fears of a revived Western military adventurism dating back to the Crusades.
 

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The 1967 watershed war
 
The 1967 Six Day War and its aftermath marked a watershed in Evangelical Christian interest in Israel and Zionism. Jerry Falwell did not begin to speak about modern-day Israel until after Israel's 1967 military victory.
 
Falwell then changed completely. He entered into politics and became an avid supporter of the Zionist State. In 1967, the United States was mired in the Vietnam war. Many felt a sense of defeat, helplessness and discouragement. Many Americans, including Falwell, turned worshipful glances toward Israel, which they viewed as militarily strong and invincible.
 
The combination of the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, the capture of Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967, and the defeat on both occasions of the combined Arab armies, increasingly came to be seen as significant fulfilment of biblical prophesy by a new generation of American and European dispensational pre-millennialists.
 
Billy Graham's father-in-law, Nelson Bell, editor of the authoritative mouthpiece of conservative Evangelicalism, Christianity Today, wrote in an editorial in 1967, ‘That for the first time in more than 2,000 years Jerusalem is now completely in the hands of the Jews gives a student of the Bible a thrill and a renewed faith in the accuracy and validity of the Bible.’
 
Christian Zion grabs George W.
 
The bizarre brand of right-wing US Christianity took on an influence as never before when George W. Bush occupied the White House in January 2001. The man who advised George Bush, when Bush was Governor of Texas, on his so-called ‘compassionate conservatism” agenda that confused many voters, was an influential Texas neo-conservative Professor at the University of Texas, Marvin Olasky, editor ofWorld magazine.
 
Marvin Olasky is the domestic equivalent of a Doug Feith or Michael Ledeen. Olasky was a trusted Bush advisor whose book, The Tragedy of American Compassion, was the only text that Bush ever cited as an inspiration for his domestic agenda.
 
To Olasky, the ‘tragedy’ of American compassion was the existence of compassion at all. The trouble began, he argued, not with the Great Society or the New Deal, but with Jane Addams. Before Addams, a deeply religious woman, brought her sentimental ideas about ‘compassion’ to Hull House, religious groups handed out prayer pamphlets, not food, and forced poor people to attend church rather than giving them shelter. Since only God could save the poor, anything other than spiritual salvation causes more harm than good.
 

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Karl Rove, Bush’s election mastermind and political dirty tricks strategist, introduced Olasky to Bush, which led to the ‘compassionate conservatism’ of the 2000 campaign and the Bush ‘faith-based initiative.’
 
In the 1970’s, Olasky was a member of the Communist Party-USA. He also repudiated his Jewish religion and converted to radical Christianity. Referring to himself and Bush, in contrast to Democrat rival John Kerry, Olasky wrote: ‘The other thing both of us can and do say is that we did not save ourselves: God alone saves sinners (and I can surely add, of whom I was the worst). Being born again, we don't have to justify ourselves. Being saved, we don't have to be saviours.’ [10]
 
There was an echo there of a shocking Bush comment to journalist, Bob Woodward: ‘I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president…I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation. ‘
 
Bush, who claimed to have had a personal salvation as an alcoholic and alleged cocaine user in the early 1980’s, surrounded himself with people like Olasky and Rove. Rove built a political machine around Bush which centered on the fanatical active support of Christian Evangelicals and the seven million Christian Zionists who regarded Sharon and Israeli aggressions as Bible prophesy for the Final Battle of Armageddon. This group gave the rationale for Bush’s war on Islam, disguised as a war on ‘terror.’
 
Little-noticed in major US media, Ariel Sharon gave a boost to the Bush re-election. On October 17, two weeks before the 2004 election, Sharon’s personal liaison to the US Christian Evangelicals, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, held the Third Annual Day of Prayer and Solidarity with Israel. He was standing beside Ralph Reed, a Born Again protégé of Pat Robertson. Reed was the Bush Southeastern regional campaign coordinator. Eckstein and Reed summoned 21 of Israel's diplomatic representatives in the US to the pulpits of some of America's leading conservative churches.
 
Evangelical support for Israel has increased dramatically in the last several years, American writer Max Blumenthal reported. To most evangelicals, Israel was ‘covenant land,’ a place granted to the Jews in God's covenant with Abraham; to many, Israel also represented the eventual landing pad for the Second Coming of the Messiah. While this scenario was not exactly friendly to Jews -- according to pre-millennial theology, once biblical Israel is fully resettled and Christ returns, Jews must accept him or perish -- evangelicals' theological interest in Israel rendered them fervently opposed to any territorial concessions to the Palestinians and, thus, the natural allies of Sharon and his rightist Likud Party.
 
reckstein.jpgRabbi Eckstein had built his International Fellowship for Christians and Jews into a philanthropic powerhouse that donated tens of millions of dollars to Israel annually. He forged close relationships with popular right-wing evangelical leaders such as Pat Robertson and Gary Bauer, as well as White House neoconservatives like Elliott Abrams, who was in charge of Middle East policy on the National Security Council of Condi Rice. Eckstein and his allies played an instrumental role in pressuring the Bush administration to abandon the so-called Road Map to peace and defend Sharon's and later Olmert’s brutal handling of the occupation.
 
Eckstein declared, “Since 9/11 and since the Intifada, the Jewish community has become much more pragmatic; they feel Israel's survival is at stake, and they've recognized the one group that stands with us boldly and proudly is this evangelical group.”
 
In 1988, Eckstein was in New York helping Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson ‘mitigate Jewish opposition’ to his campaign -- and cultivating him and his legion of followers as supporters of Israel. In 1986, Robertson had compared non-Christians to termites, deserving of ‘godly fumigation’; he later asserted, in the book ‘The New World Order,’ that communism was ‘the brainchild of German-Jewish intellectuals.’ But while Robertson may not be particularly fond of secular Jewish liberals, he has always been an ardent Christian Zionist who, in his preaching and prophecy books, refers to the Jewish presence in Jerusalem and Israel's victory in the 1967 war as miracles presaging the Second Coming. Strange bed-fellows politics makes.
 
In 1996, Eckstein formed the Center for Christian and Jewish Values in Washington. Co-chaired by Orthodox Jewish Sen. Joe Lieberman, now an Independent Senator from Connecticut, and evangelical Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., his now-defunct Center, according to Eckstein, ‘brought together disparate groups to find common ground on issues of shared concern.’
 
The Center for Christian and Jewish Values was made up almost entirely of right-wing evangelicals like Family Research Council director Bauer, Southern Baptist Convention executive director Richard Land, and the dean of Robertson's Regent University's school of government, Kay James. James is now director of the Office of Personnel Management under Bush. Also involved were neo-conservatives such as Elliott Abrams, William Kristol and William Bennett, Reagan’s education czar. The center was essentially a command post for the neo-conservative Evangelical culture war.
 
Eckstein shifted his focus to finding money for the International Fellowship for Christians and Jews (IFCJ), which he had founded. By 1999, he had settled in Israel and was cruising the Holy Land in a van with his own film crew to produce fundraising videos for US evangelicals.
 
Moderate Israelis were uneasy with the flow of US Evangelical money into Israel. In an interview with the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, one critic accused Eckstein's IFCJ of trying to “create a situation of dependency [of Israel on evangelical funding], so that they can control us. They pour money galore into welfare, absorption, aliyah [Jewish immigration to Israel], and education and find our weak points.”
 
Eckstein's fundraising videos enjoy widespread viewership on Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network and through paid spots on local networks across America's heartland. With nearly 350,000 donors, the IFCJ was able to dole out $20 million to 250 projects in Israel last year, including an armored, mobile dental clinic that provides services to Jewish settlers in the occupied territories. Today, the IFCJ is the second largest nongovernmental donor to Israel, next only to the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency for Israel.
 
When Sharon and Bush both came to power in 2000, they began a cozy relationship. With Eckstein as his advisor, Sharon courted the support of evangelicals more aggressively than most of his predecessors. In the fall of 2002 Sharon told a crowd of 3,000 evangelical tourists in Jerusalem, ‘I tell you now, we love you. We love all of you!’
 
That same year, Sharon invited Bush adviser, Gary Bauer, to Jerusalem for a private meeting with his Cabinet. ‘I was given a great deal of access and a number of briefings on the various issues they're facing,’ Bauer later stated. ‘In my meeting...I attempted to explain that they had a much broader base of support in the US than perhaps they realized, and they should be sensitive to the fact that more Americans than they think regard Israel as a natural ally.’ To help make his point, Bauer gave Sharon a letter of support signed by leading evangelicals like Charles Colson, CNP members Jerry Falwell and Focus on the Family president, James Dobson.
 

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Eckstein and his evangelical allies waged a fierce lobbying blitz to pressure Bush against participating in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that every American president since Jimmy Carter has engaged in.
 
Their campaign gained momentum at the National Rally in Solidarity with Israel in April 2002 on Washington's Mall, which was attended by over 100,000. Author Elie Wiesel and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani issued fiery denunciations of Palestinian terror. Evangelical radio host Janet Parshall, shouted, ‘We will never give up the Golan. We will never divide Jerusalem.’ The rally coincided with the initiation of Reed and Eckstein's Day of Prayer and Solidarity with Israel, which mobilized 17,000 evangelical churches to pray for Israel that October.
 
With a number of close associates now working in the White House, Eckstein  leveraged his grass-roots power. In July 2003, Eckstein brought 20 leading fundamentalist evangelicals to the White House for ‘a quiet meeting’ with National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and her Middle East advisor, neo-conservative Elliott Abrams. They stated their fervent opposition to the Israeli-Palestinian Road Map, while Rice explained the Bush administration's sympathy for their position. Eckstein recalled. ‘She explained, it's Bush's faith that prompts him to take some of his major positions. I think that's what's so attractive about Bush to people,’ Eckstein added.
 
Bush’s faith, however, was a bit alarming to some. The Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz in June 2003 reported the comments of Bush reportedly to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Abu Mazen during a meeting in Aqaba in which Bush tried to enlist Palestinian support for a truce with Israel. Abu Mazen recalled that Bush told him, “God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam [Hussein], which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.” [11]
 
In September 2006, speaking to a friendly group of conservative US journalists during the run up campaign for the November Congressional elections, George Bush declared, referring to the war in Iraq, “A lot of people in America see this as a confrontation between good and evil, including me.” [12] The President of the United States was either an extremely good actor playing to win the crucial votes of the Christian Right or he was demonstrably psychologically unstable. Both possibilities were alarming.
 
Early in March, 2003, National Security Council advisor on the Middle East, Elliott Abrams, met with leaders of a self-identified ‘theocratical’ lobbying group, the Apostolic Congress, to allay their concerns about Bush's pending endorsement of Sharon's Gaza pullout plan. And evangelical leaders like late Religious Roundtable director Ed McAteer have reportedly held numerous off-the-record meetings on policy toward Israel with White House public liaison Tim Goeglein, who was spokesman for Bauer's 2000 presidential campaign.
 
When the Bush administration criticized Israel's botched assassination of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi in June 2003, Gary Bauer e-mailed an alert to 100,000 followers calling for pro-Israel pressure on the White House. ‘We inundated the White House with e-mails and faxes arguing that Israel had the same right to defend itself as we did,” Bauer said. And when Israel did kill Rantisi, the White House issued a statement of support for Israel's ‘right to defend herself.’
 
Bauer's influence earned him the keynote address at the 2003 annual convention of pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), where he was interrupted by standing ovations. Bauer has also played a leading role in lobbying on behalf of Israeli settler groups against both the Road Map and Sharon's Gaza pullout plan.
 
Through his political action committee, the Campaign for Working Families, Bauer was aggressively soliciting donations from conservative Christians for the Bush campaign.
 
Although Eckstein says he's a registered Democrat, he has converted to Bush's side and is urging other Jews to join him. ‘I personally think the Jewish community and America should vote for Bush because I think he will be stronger on terrorism. And anything less than a full confrontation [with terrorists] has the potential, God forbid, to spell the end of Western civilization as we know it,’ Eckstein said.[13] 
 
Bush, Christian Zion and Freemasonry
 
A most difficult area to illuminate regarding American relations to right-wing Israeli Zionists and the ties between Israel and Christian Zionists such as Jerry Falwell, Rev. Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Gary Bauer and other US backers of the Right-wing Israeli Likud policies, was the role of international esoteric freemasonry.
 
Freemasonry has been defined as a secret or occult society which conceals its goals even from most of its own members, members who often are recruited naively as lower level members, unaware they are being steered from behind the curtains. The most powerful Freemasonic Order in the United States is believed to be the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, or the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, with its world headquarters now in Washington, DC.
 
Key Bush family adviser, James Baker III, of the Texas law firm Baker & Botts and of the Carlyle Group, was a Scottish Rite high ranking mason. George Bush was known to be a high ranking mason as was his father, George Herbert Walker Bush.
 
Freemasonry was the secret network which allows manipulation of much behind the scenes. Were people openly known as masons, their power would vanish as others would see through their blatant schemes such as assassinations, wars, blackmail, fraud and above all, what seems to be a project to destroy real religious belief among ordinary people.
 
There was a special role played by one of the two major branches of Anglo-Saxon Freemasonry, that of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Its history goes back far, but in the late 1800’s its leader was a Confederate General, Albert Pike. Pike founded the racist Ku Klux Klan as a secret Scottish Rite project to control the South through race hate and fear, after the American Civil War.[14]
 
The Scottish Rite enjoyed an active branch in Israel, even though it was nominally a Christian society. It spoke of its tradition going back to ‘the early masons who built King Salomon’s Temple.’ The fact that American Christian Zionists typically were concentrated in the South and came from the similar white racist strata as the Scottish Rite, and that they actively backed the Israeli fanatics who seek to rebuild the Third Temple of Salomon at the site of the sacred Al Aqsa Mosque and thereby ignite the Final Battle of Armageddon cannot be coincidence. All evidence suggested that the Jewish advocates of destroying Al Aqsa and rebuilding the Temple of Salomon there were being supported by the Scottish Rite masons in the United States and Britain.
 
Indeed, there was circumstantial evidence that much of the organized American Christian Right that backs Israeli right-wing policies was secretly backed by Scottish Rite masonry. The Southern Baptist Convention recently had a heated debate over allegations that some 500,000 of their members were also masons, reportedly most Scottish Rite. The Southern Baptist organization is well-known for its racial hatred of blacks. Cecil Rhodes, the man who was backed by Rothschild to create the mining empire of South Africa was a Scottish Rite member as was Lord Palmerston, also himself a British Israelite.
 
A ‘Bad Moon Arising’
 
The rise of the Unification Church of the Korean Reverend Sun Jung Moon, a fanatic who calls himself the new Messiah, was tied to a deal between the CIA and the South Korean KCIA organization. George Bush, when he was head of the CIA in the 1970’s, worked to build the role of the Unification Church in the US by the evidence available.
 
Many of the leading figures of the Christian Right today were closely tied to the Moon Unification Church, including Rev. James Dobson, Gary Bauer, former head of the Family Research Council, Ralph Reed, who founded the Christian Coalition and numerous other prominent friends of Likud in the US. This added weight to the suspicion that the alliance of the Christian Right with Israel had very strong taint of Scottish Rite freemason involvement.
 
reed5_400.jpgAnother secretive organization with significant hidden influence with the Bush White House was the Apostolic Congress.
 
In May 2004, at a high-profile appearance aimed at galvanizing support from Jewish voters, President George W. Bush told the more than 4,000 delegates gathered at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel lobbying organization, that ‘By defending the freedom and prosperity and security of Israel, you're also serving the cause of America.’
 
In late March, at a less publicized gathering, the National Security Council's Near East and North African Affairs director, Elliott Abrams, and other Bush administration officials met for two hours with members of  The Apostolic Congress, a politically powerful group of Christian fundamentalists, to reassure them that the administration's support for Israel was unwavering.
 
While AIPAC and The Apostolic Congress may appear to have little in common, one overarching concern binds the two groups -- the safety and security of Israel.
 
According to the Los Angeles Times, Bush's 39-minute AIPAC address ‘was interrupted repeatedly with cheering and applause [and] on two occasions, at least a third of the audience burst into chants of 'Four more years!'
 
While it was no longer news that Bush Administration officials meet regularly with Christian fundamentalists, it was surprising to hear about this particular meeting because it was clearly meant to be kept out of the headlines. It came to light only afterVillage Voice reporter Rick Perlstein received ‘details’ about it from ‘a confidential memo signed by Presbyterian minister Robert G. Upton.’
 
When Perlstein asked Pastor Upton about the email and the meeting, the minister told him that ‘Everything that you're discussing is information you're not supposed to have,’ Not that Pastor Upton, the executive director of The Apostolic Congress, wasn't proud of his easy access to the White House: ‘We're in constant contact with the White House,’ he told Perlstein. ‘I'm briefed at least once a week via telephone briefings... I was there about two weeks ago... At that time we met with the president.’
 
While the conversation between administration officials and the fundamentalists touched on an array of culture war subjects, including the perils of gay marriage, the major issue of concern for the ‘apocalyptic Christians’ was the administration's policy on Israel and Palestine.
 
The Apostolic Congress claimed to be ‘a Spirit-filled, purpose driven movement representing the heartbeat of the Apostolic Community on a national front.’ According to Perlstein, the organization ‘vociferously oppose[s] the idea of a Palestinian state.’
 
He noted, ‘They fear an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza might enable just that, and they object on the grounds that all of Old Testament Israel belongs to the Jews. Until Israel is intact and David's temple rebuilt, they believe, Christ won't come back to earth.’ [15]
 
ted_haggard_advocate.jpgOne of the most influential right-wing American Evangelicals linked intimately to the Bush White House, until a scandal forced his retirement just before the November 2006 US Congressional elections was Pastor Ted Haggard, founder of the 11,000 member New Life Church near Colorado Springs, Colorado, home of the US Air Force Academy.
 
Pastor Ted, as he liked to be known, boasted that he talked to President George W. Bush or his advisers every Monday. A handsome forty-eight-year-old native of  Indiana, Pastor Ted also presided over the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), whose 45,000 churches and 30 million believers made up the nation's most powerful religious lobbying group. Haggard developed his own mix of ‘free market’ economics with his hybrid brand of Born-Again Christianity which apparently the White House found useful.[16]
 
Pastor Ted’s wonderful world of Born Again bliss and political influence came to an abrupt halt in November 2006 just days before the US elections, where Republicans faced disastrous losses over a series of sex and pederasty scandals involving Republican Congressmen. In November 2006, days before the election, Pastor Ted resigned or was removed from all of his leadership positions after allegations of homosexual sex and drug abuse were made by Mike Jones, a former male prostitute. Initially Haggard denied even knowing Jones, but as a media investigation proceeded he acknowledged that some allegations, such as his purchase of methamphetamine, were true. He later added ‘sexual immorality’ to his list of confessions. [17]
 
When this entire spectrum of Evangelical right-wing networks, Israeli Likud and Temple Mount fanatics was viewed as a whole, it became clearer why US policy towards the Middle East, including Iraq regime change, Lebanese regime change, Syria and Iran was such as to treat Israel as an integral part of the United States. Washington was also quietly supporting the admission of Israel into NATO according to Washington reports.
 


[1] Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations?, Foreign Affairs, New York Council on Foreign Relations, Summer 1993.
[2] For background see Grace Halsell, Forcing God’s Hand: Why millions pray for a quick rapture—and destruction of Planet Earth, Crossroads International Publishing, Washington D.C., 1999. Dr. Daniel Akin, , ‘Christian Leaders Urge ‘Biblical’ vote for Bush,’ October 10, 2004. www.annointed.net. Barbara Tuchman,  Bible and Sword, New York, 1956. Prof. Donald Wagner, Christian Zionists, Israel and the ‘Second Coming,The Daily Star, October 9, 2003.   
[3] Grace Halsell, op. Cit. Grace Halsell, herself from a conservative evangelical Christian family, documented the nature of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and the U.S. Christian Zionists in relation to the Likud in her book, "Forcing God's Hand.” She traveled with Rev. Jerry Falwell to Israel to study the movement's leading political figures first hand, and documented such things as the gift to Falwell of a private jet in 1978 by the Begin government to help him build support in the U.S.
[4] Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, CHRISTIAN ZIONISM: CHRISTIAN SUPPORT FOR THE STATE OF ISRAEL: THE POLITICS AND THEOLOGY OF ARMAGEDDON, in www.religioustolerance.org/chr_isra.htm.
[5] Uri Avnery, Two Souls, Ma'ariv, June 8, 2002.
[6] Chip Berlet and Jean Hardisty, Drifting Right and Going Wrong, NCJW Journal, Winter 2002, pp.8-11.
[7] Rammy M. Haija , THE ARMAGEDDON LOBBY: DISPENSATIONALIST CHRISTIAN ZIONISM AND THE SHAPING OF US POLICY TOWARDS ISRAEL-PALESTINE, [HLS 5.1 (2006) 75–95], ISSN 1474-9475, Project MUSE, Doctoral Candidate in Sociology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Dr. Issa Nakhleh . “The Criminal Conspiracy between Christian Evangelists and Zionist Terrorists to Destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque.” In  www.palestine-encyclopedia.com
[10] Mark Schmitt, On Marvin Olasky, The Decembrist, August 28, 2004, in markschmitt.typepad.com.
[11] Al Kamen, Road Map in the Back Seat?, Washington Post, June 27, 2003.
[12] The Buffalo News, September 13, 2006.
[13] Max Blumenthal, Born-Agains for Sharon, October 30, 2004 in www.salon.com.Prophecy and the Millennium, The Dorking Readers, 26 June, 1997.
[14] General Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, 1871, Charleston, South Carolina.
[15] Bill Berkowitz, Christian Zionists, Jews & Bush’s Re-election Strategy, in Working for Change, June 3, 2004.
[16]Jeff Sharlet, Soldiers of Christ: Inside America's most powerful megachurch with Pastor Ted Haggard, Harpers Magazine, May, 2005.
[17] Collen Slevin, Ousted Evangelist Confesses to Followers, ABC News, 2006-11-05, pp. 1.
 

lundi, 14 novembre 2016

"Against Our Better Judgment" The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel,

Zionism-1124.jpg

Review:
"Against Our Better Judgment"
The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel, by Alison Weir
 
Ex: http://www.unz.com
 
weir.jpgAlison Weir's relatively short book covers the history of Zionism in the United States from the last decades of the 19th century until the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. (She is working on a second volume that will carry this history to the present.) Its brevity does not mean, however, that it is in any sense superficial, as it brings out key historical information, all well-documented, that sets the stage for the troubled world in which we now live. While histories of Zionism have usually focused on Europe, Weir shows that American adherents of this ideology have been far more important than generally has been recognized

The basic theses of this book are encapsulated in the title and subtitle. The history of how American Zionists used America to create Israel was “hidden” in two respects. First, it was “hidden” in the sense that American Zionists often worked behind the scenes. More importantly, however, that history is known but has been kept hidden from the general public, who rely on the mainstream media, and exists almost exclusively in works produced by small publishers—often of a scholarly bent—read by only a few. As Weir points out, those who have tried to bring this information to the general public have suffered both venomous verbal attacks and economic threats that quickly silence the message and often destroy the messenger. This treatment obviously serves to prevent others from doing likewise—“Pour encourager les autres.”

America’s support for Israel ran “against our better judgment” in the sense that American foreign policy experts of the era covered by this work recognized that support for Zionist goals would damage American national interest and that this support only came about because of the political power of American Zionism.

While Weir is not a professional historian, she has intensively studied the literature on this subject for years, much of it rather arcane, as well as spending considerable time traveling in the region. Having a Ph.D. in history myself, I would like to point out that the writing of history does not require any specialized talents as are needed in such fields as theoretical physics or medicine, so that intelligent, hardworking laypersons can often produce works of great value. Weir does not purport to have pored over primary sources to discover new information, which is the hallmark of the professional historian’s craft, but rather synthesizes information from existing published studies that are largely unknown to the general public. Moreover, she brings to her work knowledge of the land and the peoples which she has picked up from her travels.

For those who still might find her background insufficient for her task, it should be further added that Israel apologist Alan Dershowitz, who lacks as far as I can tell any college degree in history, manages to produce works on Israel that are picked up by major publishers who would not think of publishing anything done by most academic historians. It might be added that academic historians, who specialize in monographs, would be loath to produce a comparable account of this subject from Weir’s perspective, since it would do little for their careers and might serve as their professional death knell.

While the book’s narrative is very readable and the key points can easily be digested by the average reader, it is nonetheless well-documented. To satisfy the more academic reader, the book has a section of extended endnotes longer than the narrative. I found the endnotes section valuable not only for confirming and expanding upon the content of the narrative but also in serving as a point of departure for additional research. I often switched from my Kindle book to a Web search, coming up with names of related books and articles that I would like to peruse, should I ever have the time to venture to a research library.

The work goes over a large number of little known but very important topics to demonstrate the powerful influence of Zionism over American foreign policy. Space, naturally, precludes me from discussing all the topics in detail so I have focused on those which seem to deal most directly with the major themes of the book.

The early political influence of Zionism is illustrated by the fact that in 1887 a Jewish American was made ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, which then controlled Palestine and was thus considered by Zionists as the key country with which to deal. This set the precedent of a Jewish ambassador to this country that was continued for the next 30 years, by which time the Zionist search for outside support had turned elsewhere.

The book brings up the central importance of Louis Brandeis and his disciple Felix Frankfurter in advancing the interests of Zionism. Brandeis was a noted social and economic reformer who was a Zionist and happened to be very close to President Wilson, who would put him on the Supreme Court in 1916, the first Jew to hold such a position. Even after joining the Supreme Court, Brandeis used this access to Wilson to promote Zionist interests, sometimes acting as a go-between for Wilson and British Zionists.

Brandeis would head the international Zionist Central Office during the teens but, perhaps even more significant, he would be a leading member of a secret society, the Parushim, the Hebrew word for “Pharisees” and “separate,” which covertly advanced the interests of Zionism in the United States and Europe. The Parushim was founded in 1913 by a University of Wisconsin philosophy professor, Horace M. Kallen, who ironically is considered to be the father of cultural pluralism in the United States. Obviously this idea conflicted completely with his support for the creation of a Jewish exclusivist state, but it is a contradiction that is rather commonplace among many Jews and liberal gentiles alike.

kallen.jpgKallen was regarded by some as first promoting the idea for what became the Balfour Declaration, which would set the stage for the modern state of Israel. He promoted this scheme in 1915 when the U.S. was still a neutral. He told a British friend that this would serve to bring the United States into World War I. It should be pointed out that at that time, despite serious diplomatic issues regarding German submarine warfare, the great majority of the American people wanted to avoid war and Wilson would be re-elected president in November 1916 on the slogan “He kept us out of war.” Kallen’s idea for advancing the Zionist goal, however, soon gained traction.

Frustrated in their efforts to achieve a Jewish homeland in Palestine from the Ottoman Empire, the American Zionists turned toward Britain to bring this about. In 1916 as World War I dragged on indecisively, Zionist leaders promised the British that in return for a Jewish homeland in Palestine—which the British could expect to gain from the Ottomans as one of the spoils of a victorious war—American Zionists would work to bring the United States into the war on behalf of Britain and its allies. Many British strategists at the time, such as Winston Churchill, believed that such an event would turn the tide for victory. Weir holds that it “appears” that the Zionists’ activity was one factor in bringing America into the war [1] and cites a number a number of reputable books and leading contemporary figures—such as then-British Prime Minister Lloyd George—that held that Zionists carried out their side of the bargain by pushing the United States into war.

The Balfour Declaration was a letter, dated November 2, 1917 (and coming out in the press one week later), from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Walter Rothschild, a British Zionist leader, officially stating that Britain would use its “best endeavours to facilitate the achievement” of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine.

Now even to give attention to the Balfour Declaration in a history of World War I is somewhat outré; to claim that it caused the United States to enter war is one of those ultra-taboos. Although my Ph.D. was in American history with a focus on diplomacy (and a minor in 20th Century European history), never did I come into contact with anything about the Balfour Declaration in my college studies (which, granted, did not deal with the Middle East). I only knew about it from reading what the mainstream historical profession would regard as disreputable authors.

Reference to the Balfour Declaration and the Zionist role in it was considered one of the daring things done by the iconoclastic Israeli “New Historian” Tom Segev who discussed it in his book, One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate (2000). In a lecture on his book that I heard at the University of Maryland in 2002, Segev, though acknowledging that the British goal was winning over Jews to their side [2], derided the idea of any real Jewish power, attributing that mode of thinking to “anti-Semitism.” In 2010, Segev expressed this view in a review of a new book on the Balfour Declaration: “Obviously there was no ‘Jewish power’ controlling world affairs, but Weizmann [3] successfully pretended that the Jews were in fact turning the wheels of history. For once, the anti-Semitic image of the Jews proved useful — they were believed to be so maliciously dangerous that one would do best to acquire them as allies rather than as enemies.”[4]

segev.jpgAlthough Segev is a daring historian who often rejects the Zionist myths on the creation of Israel, in this case he essentially relies on a classic Zionist-constructed strawman, which involves greatly exaggerating the view that the Zionists (and Jews in general) don’t like. It is highly doubtful that the British foreign office believed that Jews were so powerful as to be “turning the wheels of history.” (If that had been the case, one would think that the British would have offered Jews much more than Palestine from the very start of the war.) Furthermore, as noted earlier, Weir does not subscribe to anything like this Zionist strawman in regard to the Balfour Declaration, or anything else, I should add.

However, what is important is not only whether the American Zionists were able to bring the United States into a war, but that they made a solemn promise to a foreign country that they would try to do so. As a matter of fact, since Zionists such as Brandeis knew much about Wilson’s thinking and undoubtedly were kept abreast on what Germany was likely to do (it being well-known that Germany was suffering from the British “starvation” blockade and that politically powerful voices there wanted to retaliate by pursuing a harsher submarine policy toward neutrals such as the U.S.), they may have realistically thought in 1916 that there was a good chance that the United States would shortly go to war whether they interceded or not, which meant it would be a wise move to make such a deal and be able to get credit for a result that was not of their own making.[5]

It is also of significance that the American Zionists promised to push the U.S. into war not because they believed that it was in their own country’s national interest—as was the case for a number of prominent Americans such as former President Theodore Roosevelt—but solely for what they considered to be in the interests of world Jewry. Ascribing “dual loyalty” to any Jews is regarded as a classic anti-Semitic canard. In this case, however, the American Zionists’ position did not even rise to the level of “dual loyalty,” being purely singular in that it evinced no apparent concern whatsoever for American interests.

Linked to the Balfour Declaration, Weir points out that “American Zionists may also have played a role in preventing an early peace with the Ottoman Empire.”[6] In 1917, the U.S. State Department had heard that the Ottomans were becoming weary of the war, and it decided to send a secret mission to explore the possibility of detaching the Ottoman Empire from its alliance with the other Central Powers. Such a separate peace would likely leave the Ottoman Empire (or Turkey as it would become shortly)[7] in control of its Asian possessions, which would mean that since Britain would not gain Palestine, no home for Jews could emerge there.

This mission was headed by former Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, who, though Jewish, was not a Zionist. However, he was persuaded by Zionists such as Brandeis protégé Felix Frankfurter, who was a member of the mission’s delegation, to abandon the effort. In a meeting with Morgenthau, Chaim Weizmann, a leading British Zionist who was alerted by American Zionists as to the danger posed by Morgenthau’s mission, also played a major role in stopping the potentially-peacemaking mission, as is indicated in Weir’s endnotes.[8]

Other obstacles to the Zionists’ goal in Palestine would also arise soon after the end of the war in November 1918. Important Christian Americans who were intimately involved in the Near East and supported self-determination for the Arabs recognized that this could not take place if the Zionists were able to set up an ethnic Jewish enclave on Arab land. They went to the Paris Peace Conference which, among a number of issues stemming from World War I, would deal with the territorial settlement.

As a result of the divergent views on the future status of the territory to be given up by the Ottoman Empire, President Wilson decided to send an investigatory commission to the region, which became known as the King-Crane Commission.[9] In line with Wilson’s goal of national self-determination, the commission sought to discover how the region’s inhabitants wanted to be governed, and they overwhelmingly expressed opposition to a Jewish home in Palestine.

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Weir points out that “Zionists through Brandeis dominated the situation, however, and the report was suppressed until after the Peace Accords were enacted.”[10] At the Paris Peace Conference, Weir writes, “[t]he U.S. delegation was forced to follow Zionist directives.”[11]

kingcranebook.jpgOne minor criticism here is that the reader might incorrectly get the impression that the King-Crane Commission dealt solely with Palestine, while it actually involved all the territories severed from, or expected to be severed from, the Ottoman Empire (Turkey).[12] The issue of Palestine made up about half of the report on “Syria,” which also included present day Syria and Lebanon. The other two geographical sections of the report were “Mesopotamia” and “Non-Arabic speaking portions of the Former Ottoman Empire (Asia Minor).”[13] Thus the suppression of the commission’s report was likely due not only to opposition by Zionists, but also to other interested parties disturbed by its findings in areas other than Palestine. These parties would include the British, French and Greeks.

In regard to the report’s description of Palestine, however, Weir’s presentation was completely on the mark. The King-Crane report reflected extreme opposition to Zionism expressed by those Muslims and Christians who lived in Palestine as well as by those who lived in neighboring areas.

Weir points out that during the inter-war period, when Palestine was governed by Britain under a League of Nations mandate, which was intended to prepare the country for eventual independence, the American Zionists moved away from openly pushing for the establishment of an exclusivist Jewish state in Palestine since this ran counter to the temper of the times—which reflected American opposition to militant nationalism and dual loyalty, and respect for majority rule and national self-determination. Instead, Zionists focused on the development of Jewish institutions in Palestine, which would serve as a basis for a Jewish state. Zionist leaders, such as David Ben-Gurion, still viewed American support as key to their establishment of a Jewish state.

With World War II on the horizon, Zionists began to return directly to their goal of a Jewish state. A precursor of the current Israel lobby, the American Zionist Emergency Council (AZEC), began in 1939. In order to pressure the U.S. government to support a Zionist state, AZEC worked to establish more than 400 local committees under 76 state and regional branches to promote this goal. These committees distributed Zionist pamphlets, circulated petitions, and engaged in letter writing campaigns to promote the Zionist cause. AZEC also funded books, articles and academic studies for this same purpose.

By the end of World War II, Zionist efforts gave them considerable power in American politics. In order to appeal to the general American populace, they stressed the needs of the many Jewish European refugees, connecting the refugee problem to Palestine, the latter destination purportedly being the only solution to their existing homelessness. By this humanitarian argument, Zionists could thus appeal to many Americans who did not necessarily believe the Zionists’ contention that Jews had a historical right to control Palestine.

As Britain opted to turn over the troublesome issue of Palestine to the United Nations in 1947, Zionists pushed for a partitioning of Palestine between Jews and the indigenous Palestinian population. The partition plan discriminated in favor of the Zionists, since while the Jewish population comprised about 30 percent of Palestine’s population, the plan would award them with 55 percent of the land. And the Zionists’ real goal was not to be content with that amount but to also grab the remainder.

U.S. State Department officials strenuously opposed the partition plan, looking upon this approach as both contrary to America’s professed principle of national self-determination and its vital interests in the Middle East, where a vast majority of the governments and their people were vehemently opposed to Zionism. A leading State Department official in this opposition was Loy Henderson, Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs. Zionists viciously attacked him, demanding his removal and even threatening his family. The State Department chose to move him elsewhere and in 1948 President Truman named him Ambassador to Nepal, which kept him far away from anything to do with Palestine.

Removing Henderson, however, did not make the State Department favorable toward transforming any part of Palestine into a Jewish state. Among the higher level opponents were the head of the State Department‘s Division of Near Eastern Affairs, Gordon P. Merriam; Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson, who later became Secretary of State; and George F. Kennan, the State Department‘s Director of Policy Planning, noted as the architect of America’s containment policy against Soviet Communism.

The State Department was not the only part of the executive branch of the United States government that opposed the Zionist goal for Palestine. The newly-created CIA reported in 1947 that the Zionists were seeking goals that would be harmful to both Jews and “the strategic interests of the Western powers in the Near and Middle East.”[14] The Joint Chiefs of Staff opposed partition and expressed the prescient fear that the Zionist aim was to involve the U.S. in their conflict with their Middle East enemies.

Despite this opposition from a consensus of foreign policy and national security experts within his own government, Truman opted to support the Zionist partition plan for political reasons, relying heavily on the views of his domestic political advisor, Clark Clifford, who maintained that the Jewish vote and financial backing were necessary to win the presidential election in 1948. Truman‘s Secretary of State George Marshall, noted for the famed Marshall Plan that helped to rebuild devastated Western Europe, and Secretary of Defense James Forrestal remained staunchly opposed to what they regarded as Truman’s willingness to sacrifice vital national security interests on the altar of domestic politics.

Weir points out that a number of wealthy Zionist Jews provided financial support for Truman’s presidential campaign in 1948, which may put us in mind of Zionist mega-donors of today such as Sheldon Adelson. One of these backers was Abraham Feinberg who funded Truman’s epic whistle-stop train campaign. Truman would give Feinberg credit for his victory. As quid pro quo, the Truman administration remained inert when the CIA later reported that Feinberg was involved in illegal gun-running to Zionist groups in Palestine.

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I should add that while Truman has become something of an idol for recent historians, he was looked upon during his time as being driven by what would benefit his own political interest. As the redoubtable journalist H. L. Mencken quipped about Truman’s 1948 campaign: “If there had been any formidable body of cannibals in the country he would have promised them with free missionaries, fattened at the taxpayer’s expense.” In Truman’s defense, however, it should be pointed out that two of his key opponents in the 1948 presidential election, Republican Thomas Dewey and the left-wing Progressive Party candidate Henry Wallace, Franklin Roosevelt’s former Vice-President, were both staunchly pro-Zionist.[15]

Weir describes a number of Zionists who maintained personal contact with Truman and likely played a role in shaping his policies. David K. Niles, Truman’s executive assistant, was regularly briefed by the head of the Washington Office of the Zionist Organization of America and was believed to be passing top-secret information to the Israeli government. Truman’s long-time friend and former business partner, Eddie Jacobson, was a staunch Zionist with close access to Truman who would describe his information to be of “decisive importance.”[16] Sam Rosenman, a political advisor to Truman, screened State Department memos to Truman.

Although the United States had announced its support for the partition of Palestine, it was apparent that the partition plan still lacked the necessary two-thirds vote to pass in the UN General Assembly. Consequently, the Zionists were able to get a delay in the vote and used that time to intimidate or bribe opponents to reverse their positions.

For example, Weir notes that Wall Street financier and perennial presidential adviser Bernard Baruch threatened war-torn France that it would be denied aid from the United States if it voted against partition. David Niles was able to get rubber baron Harvey Firestone to tell the Liberian president that he would terminate his planned expansion in his country if it did not vote in favor of partition. Haiti was promised economic aid if it would change its vote and support the measure. Costa Rica’s President Jose Figueres was said to have received a blank checkbook to get his country’s vote.

As a result of this behind the scenes skullduggery, the UN General Assembly on November 29, 1947, voted in favor of the adoption and implementation of the partition plan as UN General Assembly Resolution 181. Although this resolution is widely believed in the United States to have created Israel,[17] Weir correctly points out that it “was of limited (if any) legal impact” since General Assembly resolutions, as opposed to those of the Security Council, are not binding on member states. Although the resolution recommended that the UN Security Council implement the partition, it never did.[18]

The effect of the General Assembly’s resolution, however, was to increase the fighting in Palestine. While the Zionist myth would have it that the Jews in Palestine were simply a peaceful community set upon by violent Arabs intent on genocide, Weir points out that Zionist military forces had been covertly preparing for war for some time. They had amassed extensive armaments, some of it coming illicitly from the U.S., and their troop numbers exceeded those of their foes even after five Arab governments had joined the fray. The traditional Zionist portrayal of Israel’s war for independence (which, of course, prevented independence for the Palestinians) as a David versus Goliath conflict in which the Jews miraculously overcame overwhelming odds is pure fiction, but it is still believed in many quarters today and continues to generate sympathy for Israel. On May 15, 1948, Zionists announced the establishment of their new state of Israel, for which they did not establish any boundaries.

sniego.jpgA quick aside here: somewhat ironically, in my view, Weir barely touches on the United States decision to recognize Israel. Moreover, what does exist is largely in the endnotes. Although there will be a second volume to Weir’s history, and the cut-off point for this volume has to be somewhere, still the fact that the book does make reference to events in 1948 would seem to have made it appropriate to discuss in some detail the issue of America’s quick recognition of Israel.

A number of interlocking organizations operated in the U.S. to raise money for Zionist paramilitary groups in Palestine, though this goal was kept secret. These organizations were under the direction of the leader of the Irgun Delegation, Hillel Kook, who operated under the name of Peter Bergson. During World War II, these organizations purported to be trying to alert people to the genocide of European Jews and trying to rescue those still alive. By promoting this purpose these organizations were able to attract substantial public support, including from those who would be repulsed by their funding of terrorist activities, which, Weir implies, was their real intent. The latter, she maintains, was made manifest by the organizations’ failure to actually rescue Jews from Europe.

The Irgun group engaged in numerous public activities to raise money, one of the most successful being a pageant entitled “We Will Never Die!” which, woven within the backdrop of the Nazi genocide, celebrated the Jewish contribution to Western civilization. Written by Ben Hecht, an Academy Award-winning screenwriter, the pageant included such Broadway and Hollywood celebrities of the era as Edward G. Robinson, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Leonard Bernstein. Forty thousand attended the extravaganza’s New York performances. It went on to play in a number of other large American cities. The group produced a number of other plays and rallies, one of which featured a young Marlon Brando, and raised $1 million.[19]

Some American Zionists, Weir observes, actually planned terrorist activities outside of Palestine in order to influence developments there. One such terrorist activity conceived by a group of American Zionists headed by an Orthodox Rabbi named Baruch Korff consisted of a plan to drop bombs along with threatening leaflets on the British foreign office in London, or anywhere in London if that were too difficult. The airplane pilot sought for this task, however, went to the Paris Police—he and Korff both being in France at the time—and Korff was arrested. Powerful people rushed to Korff’s defense and the charges were dropped. Korff thus was able return to his former activities in America as if nothing had happened. With this particular event thrown down the Orwellian “memory hole,” Korff resurfaced over two decades later as a public figure close to President Richard Nixon, influencing the latter’s Middle East policies.

The amount of money raised for Zionist groups during in the United States during these years is impossible to calculate accurately, but it would be enormous. Weir writes that between 1939 and May 1948 the Jewish Agency for Israel alone raised the equivalent of $3.5 billion in today’s dollars.

David Ben-Gurion, then de facto leader of the Jewish community in Palestine, realized that the international concern for Jewish refugees could be used to advance the cause of a Jewish state by making it appear that no other safe refuges for Jews existed. Weir illustrates this deception by a discussion of the famous ship Exodus, which carried Holocaust survivors to Palestine when the British were not allowing illegal immigration there.

Weir points out that what is generally unknown to the public is that the French were willing to take in those Exodus refugees but Ben-Gurion rejected that solution, forcing those survivors to remain on board the ship for seven months. Weir quotes historian Baruch Kimmerling on the significance of the Exodus affair: “Ben-Gurion‘s strategy in the Exodus affair paid off. The fate of the refugee ship attracted considerable and sympathetic attention around the world, and served the Zionist cause well. Few observers at the time knew that many of the refugees from the Exodus had applied for immigration visas to the United States, and were hardly anxious to settle in Israel . . . . By dramatizing the fate of the survivors, in whom he had little interest except as future residents of the state he was building . . . Ben-Gurion helped to make Israel the world’s chief power broker over Jewish affairs.”[20]

urisexo.jpgWeir includes a brief reference to Leon Uris’s bestselling 1958 novel on the Exodus ship, and though it falls outside the chronological purview of this volume, I would add that the impact of the already mythologized Exodus event was greatly magnified by Uris’s book, which sold over 7 million copies and was turned into a blockbuster movie in 1960 by Otto Preminger, a leading film director of the era. The film has been identified by many commentators as having greatly enhanced support for Israel in the United States by Jews as well as gentiles and in the view of some scholars this movie has had a lasting effect on how Americans view the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Weir even acknowledges that it had initially shaped her thinking on the subject.[21]

While the pro-Zionist propaganda that inundated the American media played up the existence of Jewish refugees who allegedly sought to come to Israel, there was little popular attention paid toward the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were being driven from their homeland as a result of Zionist massacres and other forcible expulsion measures. A State Department study in March 1949 found the American public was “unaware of the Palestine refugee problem, since it has not been hammered away at by the press or radio.”[22]

To underscore the importance of what Weir presents on this subject, it should be pointed out that until fairly recently, Israel’s denial of ever having expelled the Palestinians dominated the public discourse in the U.S. It was alleged that when Arab armies were about to invade the newly-declared state of Israel, Palestinians left their homes in the new Israel at the behest of their leaders, expecting to return with the victorious Arab armies. Beginning in the 1980s, however, Israel’s so-called “New Historians,” relying on newly released Israeli documents, exploded this myth. They concluded that the major cause of Palestinian flight was Israeli military action, which included terrorist massacres and the fear of them.

Even without the discovery of this Israeli documentary evidence, or any other documentary evidence for that matter, the use of the cui bono test would strongly point to Zionist culpability for the removal of the native Palestinians. For the Zionists planned to create a state that was both democratic and Jewish. This would be impossible if a large number of non-Jewish people, who were largely hostile to Zionism, resided within the country. From this fact, it would seem reasonable to conclude that the emptying of Palestine in 1948 was not a serendipitous development from the perspective of the Zionists, but one that was intentionally brought about by them.

Weir observes that U.S. State Department experts at the time were aware of Israel’s inhumane actions and sought to take action to at least moderate Israel’s effort to achieve a permanent removal of Palestinians. The State Department threatened to withhold $49 million of unallocated funds from an Export-Import Bank loan to Israel if it did not allow at least 200,000 refugees to return to their homes. Although Truman sympathized with the Palestinians’ plight, and in early 1948 even briefly considered backtracking from the partition and supporting a UN trusteeship for the entirety of Palestine, he ultimately prevented the State Department’s move from being implemented.

Weir points out that those in the mainstream media who attempted to alert the American people to the reality of the dispossession of the Palestinian people were effectively prevented from doing so by pro-Zionists. The latter relied on hurling the career-destroying charge of “anti-Semitism” and threatening economic measures to harm any media outlet that would dare to disseminate information they deemed to be too negative toward Israel.

The individual whom the Zionists caused to fall the farthest was Dorothy Thompson. Weir deserves much credit here for pulling this once well-known figure out of the Orwellian memory hole. Thompson happens to have been one of the principal figures in my doctoral dissertation titled, ”The Intellectual Wellsprings of American World War II Interventionism, 1939-1941.”[23] And I have added a few additional points to what Weir has in her book to illustrate the high reputation Thompson had at one time.

Thompson was an early and persistent critic of Nazism. She had an interview with Hitler in 1931 before he had become German Chancellor, which was made into a book. Thompson portrayed Hitler and Nazism in a negative light and in 1934, the now Nazi government of Germany expelled her when she attempted to visit the country. From 1934 onward, the bulk of her writing dealt with the danger posed by Nazism to the Western democracies. After the start of World War II in Europe in September 1939, Thompson was a staunch interventionist who initially advocated greater American aid to the allies but by the latter part of 1941 she was advocating American entrance into the war.

doroth.jpgIn 1939, Time Magazine named Thompson the second most popular and influential woman in America behind Eleanor Roosevelt.[24] She spoke out about anti-Semitism and the plight of the Jews in Europe, and urged a relaxation of immigration restrictions so the U.S. could be a safe haven for Jews under threat in Europe. She also was a strong supporter of Zionism.

In early 1945 she took a trip to Palestine where she saw firsthand Jews oppressing Palestinians. She came to realize that the Zionists sought to create a Jewish exclusivist state, not one that would include all of its current inhabitants. Her criticism of Zionism led to charges against her of “anti-Semitism” and even pro-Nazism, as absurd as that was given her background.[25] As a result of this all-out Zionist attack, newspapers began to drop her columns. Especially harmful was her loss of an outlet in New York City—where she had received a large proportion of her income—when the New York Post dropped her column with no other major New York City daily being willing to pick it up. Her radio program and speaking engagements also disappeared. Despite these problems, Thompson would not back away from her criticism of Zionism. And she continued to do so in the dwindling number of newspapers that still took her column, which did not end until 1958.

It is significant that the black-out of Dorothy Thompson has continued after her death, and perhaps even become worse. In the effort to make the subject of American history more inclusive, recent historians have often added women who were little known in their own eras, whereas Thompson who had been an important figure remains unmentioned. It seems likely that she has remained largely unmentioned both for what she had to say about Zionism and also by the fact that she was blacklisted by pro-Zionists, the power of whom one is not allowed to publicly acknowledge. (This contrasts with those Americans who were blacklisted for being pro-Communist, who are now often praised as martyrs because of this treatment.)

To conclude the review, it should be emphasized that this concise book should be of value to a wide audience. The general reader with little background knowledge should easily pick up a number of key points that serve to dispel the many myths that loom large today in the mainstream media, while even those individuals familiar with the subject are almost guaranteed to profit from little known facts, especially in the notes section, that should augment their knowledge. And it is essential that many more Americans become aware of this knowledge if America’s position is to change regarding Israel and the Middle East in general. Such a change is essential not only to bring about some degree of justice for the Palestinians but in order to extricate the United States from the debilitating regional conflicts that its close connection with Israel has entailed. It will be interesting to see how Weir, in her forthcoming volume, deals with the problems America has faced in more recent years that ineluctably derived from the events described in this work.

References

[1] Alison Weir, Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel, (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014), Kindle Edition, Kindle Location 364. Weir contends that there were a number of factors that caused the United States to enter World War I in April 1917, some of which she lists, and that “Zionism appears to have been one of those factors.”

[2] Some historians have diluted this Jewish factor, attributing motivation to British foreign policy goals in the Near East. A Jewish homeland allegedly could serve as a buffer zone that would protect the Suez Canal.

[3] Chaim Weizmann was a leading figure in the Zionist movement who served as President of the Zionist Organization and later as the first President of Israel.

[4] Tom Segev, “‘View With Favor’, Review of The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Jonathan Schneer, International New York Times, August 20, 2010, accessed December 13, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/books/review/Segev-t.ht...

In other parts of his review, Segev’s analysis is impressive. For example he writes: “The Balfour declaration thus finds its place among a multitude of fruitless schemes and indulgent fantasies, except, of course, that in this case, surprisingly, the British by and large kept their word. For at least two decades they allowed the Zionist movement to bring hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants into Palestine, and these new arrivals set up hundreds of settlements including several towns, as well as the political, economic, military and cultural infrastructure of the future state of Israel. But if Israel’s existence originated with the British, so did the Palestinians’ tragedy.”

[5] The controversial House-Grey memorandum, developed with Britain in February 1916, stated that at an appropriate time Wilson would call for a peace conference. If the Allies accepted the offer and Germany rejected it or acted intransigently at the conference, the United States would go to war against Germany. And if Germany accepted the offer and a peace conference did take place, the settlement would not be unfavorable to the Allies. Wayne S. Cole, An Interpretive History of American Foreign Relations (Homewood, Ill.: Dorsey Press, 1968), 363

[6] Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Location 449.

[7] The Wikipedia entry for “Ottoman Empire,” states that the “’Ottoman Empire’ and ‘Turkey’ were often used interchangeably, with ‘Turkey’ being increasingly favored both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was officially ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name,” accessed December 13, 2015, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Empire .

[8] Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Locations 2668-2669 .

[9] The King-Crane Commission was originally created as the American Section of the Inter-Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey, which was also to include British and French members, and be like a number of other fact finding missions stemming from the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. These two countries failed to participate. Ken Grossi, Maren Milligan, and Ted Waddelow, Restoring Lost Voices of Self-Determination: Background to the Commission, August 2011, Part of the King-Crane Commission Digital Collection, Oberlin College Archives, accessed December 13, 2015, http://www.oberlin.edu/library/digital/king-crane/intro.h... .

[10] Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Locations 502-503.

[11] Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Location 505.

[12] The King-Crane Commission Report, August 28, 1919, http://www.hri.org/docs/king-crane/. The report includes discussions of territory intended to have been taken from Turkey in the Treaty of Sevres, which Turkey never accepted and was not implemented.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Quoted in Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Location 798.

[15] Wallace had no chance of winning the election but Truman’s backers feared that he could syphon off enough liberal votes in large Northern and Midwestern states to enable Dewey to win the election. The issue of Israel did not play a role in Strom Thurmond’s 1948 campaign in the South, which focused on states’ rights and racial issues.

[16] Quoted in Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Location 894.

King-Crane Commission Report, August 28, 1919.

[17] Jeremy R. Hammond, “The Myth of the U.N. Creation of Israel,” Foreign Policy Journal, October 26, 2010, accessed December 13, 2015, http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/10/26/the-myth-o...

[18] More than this, the UN General Assembly, after the vote, created another committee that came to quite different conclusions. Jeremy Hammond writes: “The Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question was established by the General Assembly shortly after the issuance of the UNSCOP report in order to continue to study the problem and make recommendations. A sub-committee was established in turn that was tasked with examining the legal issues pertaining to the situation in Palestine, and it released the report of its findings on November 11. It observed that the UNSCOP report had accepted a basic premise ‘that the claims to Palestine of the Arabs and Jews both possess validity’, which was ‘not supported by any cogent reasons and is demonstrably against the weight of all available evidence.’ With an end to the Mandate and with British withdrawal, ‘there is no further obstacle to the conversion of Palestine into an independent state’, which ‘would be the logical culmination of the objectives of the Mandate’ and the Covenant of the League of Nations. It found that ‘the General Assembly is not competent to recommend, still less to enforce, any solution other than the recognition of the independence of Palestine, and that the settlement of the future government of Palestine is a matter solely for the people of Palestine.’’’ Hammond, “The Myth of the U.N. Creation of Israel.”

[19] Marlon Brando was very close to Jews before he became a movie star and later donated a considerable amount of money to Zionist causes. He expressed more negative views of Jews toward the end of his life. See: Allan M. Jalon, “How Marlon Brando Became Godfather to the Jews,” Forward, September 16, 2015, accessed December 13, 2015, http://forward.com/culture/320671/how-marlon-brando-becam...; Danielle Berrin, “Marlon Brando and the Jews,” Jewish Journal, July 30, 2014, accessed December 13, 2015, http://www.jewishjournal.com/hollywoodjew/item/marlon_bra....

[20] Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Locations 1249-1256.

[21] The movie had an all-star cast (and a very popular, award winning theme song), which included: Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Peter Lawford, Sal Mineo, and Lee J. Cobb.

[22] Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Locations 1370-1371.

[23] Stephen John Sniegoski, “The Intellectual Wellsprings of American World War II Interventionism, 1939-1941,” (PhD diss., University of Maryland-College Park, 1977).

My research on Thompson included a visit to the archival collection of her papers at the George Arents Research Library at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, in 1976, where I perused some material dealing with her break with American Jews, which was outside the scope of my dissertation.

[24] Thompson’s correspondence in her manuscript collection at Syracuse University illustrates her importance. The Overview of the Collection states: “Correspondents include authors (John Gunther, Wallace Irwin, Alfred M. Lilienthal, Edgar A. Mowrer, Vincent Sheehan, Johannes Urzidil), literary figures (Jean Cocteau, Rose Wilder Lane, Thomas Mann, Rebecca West), politicians and statesmen (Bernard M. Baruch, Winston Churchill, Ely Culbertson, Ralph E. Flanders, Felix Frankfurter, Charles de Gaulle, Cordell Hull, Clare Boothe Luce, Jan Masaryk, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman).” Overview of the Collection, Dorothy Thompson Papers, Syracuse University Libraries, accessed December 13, 2015, http://library.syr.edu/digital/guides/t/thompson_d.htm.

[25] Thompson’s relationship with American Jews actually began to sour toward the end of the war before the emergence of the issue of Zionist mistreatment of Palestinians. She differed with the Jewish establishment regarding her opposition to the Anglo-American incendiary bombing of German cities, which involved the killing of tens of thousands of civilians, and also the demand for a Carthaginian peace with Germany that was reflected in the Morgenthau Plan. She viewed these actions as violating the alleged idealistic purpose of the war, whereas many Jews sought punishment of the German people because of what the Nazis had done to their co-religionists.

samedi, 15 octobre 2016

Sufi Brotherhoods in Syria and Israel

sufi1.jpg

Itzchak Weismann:

Sufi Brotherhoods in Syria and Israel

A Contemporary Overview (full text)

Ex: http://elkorg-projects.blogspot.com

In the geographical area of Syria, as in other parts of the Muslim world, Sufism found itself during the twentieth century under increasing attack. Though accustomed to strictures against their theosophical meditations and popular-ecstatic practices, with the advent of modernity Sufis had to contend with challenges of an altogether different magnitude. These derived not only from the direct impact of the West with its rationalist mode of thinking, but, even more so, from the growing intervention of a secularized State and the concomitant antagonism of a rising Islamic fundamentalism. Under such circumstances, many Sufi brotherhoods declined; yet others were able to develop a variety of strategies from within their divergent traditions to survive, adapt, and at times even thrive. Since the 1980s, with the turn of Muslim governments against the radical upsurge, and the general rise of interest in “Oriental” mysticism in the West, there has been a marked revival in Sufi activities. [1]

This paper focuses on the current manifestations of Sufism and Sufi brotherhoods in the states of Syria and Israel, with occasional references to Lebanon and Jordan. Although subjected to increasingly differentiated socioeconomic and political processes since the later part of the Ottoman period, Sufis in three of the four countries share in a basic situation of living under non-Sunni governments. In Syria, the sectarian-based authoritarian Ba‘th regime, in power since 1963, has been generally hostile toward independent Sufi activity, the more so during the Islamic uprising that culminated in Hamah in 1982. The same regime imposed itself on the Christian-Maronite-dominated political system in Lebanon following the outbreak of civil war in 1976. In the Jewish State of Israel such activity had been almost eliminated by the disruption of the War in 1948, but partly revived after the renewal of contacts with the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza in the wake of the 1967 War. Rather than an exhaustive survey, my aim in this paper is to analyze the various ways by which different Sufi brotherhoods in Syria and Israel have responded to the challenges of modernity in general, and to the peculiar political circumstances in which they live in particular.

Among the Syrian brotherhoods that experienced a marked decline or that disappeared during the twentieth century, De Jong includes the major turuq of the Qadiriyya, Khalwatiyya and Mawlawiyya in his mid-1980s survey. [2] The weakening of the Qadiriyya had already become conspicuous by the turn of that century. Essentially an urban brotherhood in Syria, its major branches were led by the notable Kaylani family of Damascus and Hamah, who claimed descent from the founder ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani. In the late Ottoman period leading members of the family became administrators, later turning into influential politicians and entrepreneurs.[3] The last actual shaykh in the family was Muhammad Fariz al-Kaylani, a follower of Ibn ‘Arabi who died in Damascus in 1971 without designating an heir.[4] In Hamah, the Qadiriyya continued to be observed as a family tradition until its open support of the Islamic uprising in 1982 brought upon it the brunt of the regime. Many members of the family were killed by the security forces, while their illustrious lodge (zawiya), and indeed the entire quarter in which they resided, were razed to the ground.[5] In the rural areas local leading Qadiri families, such as the Zu‘bis of the Hawran, have continued to enjoy influence among the peasants even after relinquishing their Sufi identity.[6]

A closer look at this process of decline is provided by Paolo Pinto in a recent anthropological study conducted in Aleppo. One of the focuses of this study is the Hilaliyya brotherhood, which since the eighteenth century has combined the local Qadiri tradition with the then reformist Khalwati import. At present the dhikr is still performed in two lodges in the city, but the brotherhood’s characteristic practice of seclusion (khalwa) is no longer in use because, as its leaders maintain, in modern times people have neither the leisure nor the possibility to set aside their work.[7] Shaykh al-Hilali, a physician, follows his ancestors’ tradition in stressing the primacy of the shari‘a and in combining the religious and secular sciences. Subscribing to the decision of his grandfather to discontinue the path rather than compromise its ideals, he avoids guiding disciples and is content with conducting the dhikr and with providing spiritual advice for the community. In the weekly session (hadra), Pinto reports, around one hundred adherents are assembled, most of them belonging to the old commercial families of Aleppo. Some of the participants are organized into an informal study group in which they discuss their spiritual experiences and read Sufi texts. Among these texts is the Sufi compendium of the local Shadhili-‘Alawi reformist shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Isa, which has appeared in several editions since it was first published in 1961.[8]

The other major brotherhood that De Jong considers as having lost its ground in Syria, the Mawlawiyya, may have done so in its traditional form. In Aleppo, to where the Great Master moved following the ban on Sufi activity in Turkey in 1925, the tariqa died out in the late 1950s. Yet, as elsewhere in the Muslim world, as well as in the West, groups of Mawlawis have exploited the unique ritual resources of their brotherhood – the whirling dance, musical improvisations, and special clothing – to turn the dhikr into a highly impressive, though often touristic, performance. In Damascus, the leader of the new-style whirling dervishes is Shaykh Hamza Shakkur, the choirmaster of singers (munshidin) in the Umayyad mosque and a vocalist who is much in demand for official religious ceremonies. Shakkur also cooperates with the al-Kindi Ensemble from Aleppo, which was founded in 1983 by Julien Jalaleddin Weiss, a converted Frenchman of Swiss extraction who had studied Arab music and specialized on the qanun. The group holds regular concert tours both in the Arab world and in Europe and America.[9]

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As against the general decline of these basically urban-elitist brotherhoods, their rural-popular counterparts have proved more capable of holding to their traditions. Such is the case with the Sa‘diyya, although the spectacular dawsa (the shaykh riding a horse over the backs of his murids) has been long prohibited by the state. Numerous local shaykhs are affiliated with this brotherhood in both the major Syrian cities and in the countryside. Its two centers are the Golan village of Jaba’, the site of the founder’s tomb, and Damascus, where his descendants vie for control over its rich awqaf. The Sa‘diyya in the capital is considerably weakened, but still it is the only brotherhood to take part in the annual procession of laylat al-qadar, in which the first revelation to the Prophet is commemorated by exhibiting one of his hairs in the presence of religious dignitaries and State representatives. In Jaba’ and the neighboring villages, by contrast, hadarat are still regularly conducted with all their traditional vigor, including beating drums, piercing the body with swords and eating burning coal and glass.[10]

Even more popular is the Rifa‘iyya brotherhood, of which the Sa‘diyya is sometimes considered a branch. Rifa‘i zawiyas can be found in most towns of Syria, although, as in the case of the Qadiriyya, the leading families have been incorporated into the local elites; in Damascus rich merchants who are attached to the tariqa are engaged in editing and publishing its basic manuscripts. In Aleppo, however, some of its zawiyas were closed under Shishakli’s military regime in the early 1950s, while in Hamah shaykh Mahmud al-Shaqfa, who was associated with the Muslim Brothers, was killed by Asad’s security forces and his lodge closed in 1979.[11] The mainstay of the Rifa‘iyya has always been in the countryside. The fortunes of the tariqa were enormously enhanced in Syria in the days of the infamous Abu al-Huda al-Sayyadi, who under the patronage of Sultan ‘Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) attracted to the brotherhood a great number of people from the towns, the villages, and the tribes.[12] Considerably reduced during the interwar period, it still persists in many villagers. Thus for instance in Nahjat Brak in the Ghuta the dhikr is held, though only once a year, and is attended by peasants from the adjacent regions.[13] Pinto describes the working of another Rifa‘i lodge in the predominantly Kurdish village of ‘Afrin, north of Aleppo. The head of this zawiya, Shaykh Mahmud, is a descendant of a local family of the brotherhood and has eighteen disciples in various stages of the path. The dhikr of the group includes healing and expulsion of jinns, as well as, like the Sa‘diyya, transpiercing the abdomen with an iron skewer (shish), walking over burning coals and glass eating.[14]

Popular mystical traditions are maintained in contemporary Syria, to some extent or another, also in their non-tariqa forms, particularly around the numerous tombs of prophets and saints which are dispersed throughout the country. The richest locus of sacred sites is naturally Damascus, and it may serve as an illustration of some of the still existing practices. Thus the caves on Mount Qasyun, overlooking the city from the north, are believed to contain the remains of literally hundreds of prophets. Barren women visit Maqam Ibrahim, while wayfarers address themselves to the alleged tomb of al-Khidr, their legendary patron. To this day sixty shaykhs will climb up the mountain in times of drought to perform the traditional prayer for rain. Another important sacred focus is the central Umayyad mosque where, it is claimed, the Prophet Yahya and Imam Husayn’s severed head are interred. At the first, women solicit help in solving problems of motherhood and marriage, and many of them tie a rope to the lattice-work as a symbol of their commitment to fulfill their vow. The second tomb is the starting point of the afore-mentioned solemn procession of laylat al-qadar.[15]

Among the saints (awliya’) buried in Damascus, the most illustrious is Muhyi al-Din ibn ‘Arabi, in whose shrine in the north of the city an impressive hadra is conducted on Friday evenings. Al-Shaykh al-Akbar is visited both by common believers asking for worldly benefits and by mystics who attach themselves to his tomb for spiritual illumination. For the local population, though, even more important is the shrine of Shaykh Arslan, the twelfth-century patron saint and protector of the city. A recent saint is Shaykh Ahmad al-Harun (d. 1962), whose picture adorns many shops and whose miraculous deeds (karamat) are still widely circulated. A stonecutter in Mount Qasyun Harun, who had fiercely fought the French, immersed himself at an advanced age not only in the intricacies of Ibn ‘Arabi’s theosophy but also in the natural sciences, gaining the respect of both ulema and laymen.[16] The “Tales of the Saints” genre is indeed still popular in Syria, as is testified to, for example, by the posthumous publication of a collection of such stories compiled by Muhammad Abu al-Yusr ‘Abidin, the Grand Mufti of the country between 1954 and 1962.[17]

Beyond the unchecked decline of an “elitist”-urban Qadiriyya or the retrograde traditionalism of a “popular”-rural Rifa‘iyya, the Shadhiliyya and Naqshbandiyya Sufi brotherhoods of Syria have tapped into their reformist traditions in an effort to adapt themselves to the modern situation. Such adaptability allows their leaders not only to transcend the urban-rural divide, but – more importantly - to adopt elements from Western culture as well as from Islamic fundamentalist discourse. Moreover, in some cases the Sufi brotherhood appears to have transformed itself into new forms of religious organization in the face of these challenges, notably the educational society and the political movement.

Three Shadhili sub-brotherhoods have had a lasting impact on the Syrian lands in the modern period, all three crossing current political boundaries. The oldest among these branches, and the less effective today, is the Yashrutiyya, which has always stressed its a-political character. Founded in Acre by the Tunisian Shadhili-Madani Shaykh ‘Ali Nur al-Din Yashruti (ca. 1815-1899) in the mid-nineteenth century, the brotherhood spread swiftly throughout the region, from Aleppo in the north to Gaza in the south, attracting both orthodox educated urban elites and disaffected villagers from the countryside with antinomian tendencies.[18] The leadership of the Yashrutiyya has remained within the founder’s family, while its center moved first to Beirut, in the wake of the War of 1948 and then, in 1980, in the midst of the Lebanese civil war, to Amman. In Damascus a regular hadra is still held in the zawiya of Abu al-Shamat, ‘Ali Nur al-Din’s principal deputy (khalifa) in the city, though the once glorious construction is now in a deplorable state. Concentrations of Yashrutis are also found in small towns in the Hawran, in Sirmin near Aleppo, and in the Ghuta villages of Harasta and Daraya. Still a predominantly Palestinian brotherhood, its members are most numerous in the refugee camp of south Damascus, and even more so in the camps near Beirut and Sidon.[19] Another Shadhili sub-brotherhood introduced in Syria in the Second half of the nineteenth century was that of Yashruti’s Madani colleague Muhammad al-Fasi. Brought to Damascus by the celebrated amir ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri, it seems to have remained confined to his elitist circle and died out before the end of the French Mandate.[20]

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The second major modern Shadhili branch to strike roots in Syria was the Dandarawiyya, which had been founded toward the end of the nineteenth century by the Egyptian Muhammad al-Dandarawi (1839-1910), a spiritual grandson of the reformist Sufi scholar Ahmad ibn Idris. Spreading to both Damascus and the surrounding Ghuta in the 1890s, the tariqa still has a small presence in these areas, particularly in the village of Jisrin. Its center of activity in the Syrian lands, however, moved to Beirut, where it underwent a major transformation.[21] A glimpse at the working of this brotherhood is provided by Mark Sedgwick in a study of the worldwide spread and “normalization” of Ibn Idris’ legacy. Its current head is the founder’s grandson, Fadl al-Dandarawi (b. 1934), a Cairo-based wealthy businessman who in the early 1970s launched a new project to remold the tariqa. He was assisted by Su‘ad al-Hakim, a Lebanese professor of Arab and Islamic philosophy and author of a celebrated study on Ibn ‘Arabi’s terminology.[22] On one level, Sedgwick argues, the new “Dandarawi thought” represents an attempt to return to the original reformist Ahmadi path; on another it is designed as an inclusive way which combines Sufism and Salafism and is appropriate for the modern world. This is embodied in the “Dandarawi family”, and the history of the Dandarawiyya is reconstructed as having been a social organization in this “family” mold from the outset, rather than a Sufi tariqa. Fadl insists on being addressed as amir and regards the hadra as an “art” or “folklore”. Hakim, a woman, conducts in Beirut, in accordance with this philosophy, a sober hadra for both men and women, as well as an educated discussion group.[23]

No research is as yet available on the Syrian ‘Alawiyya, the third modern Shadhili branch to operate in the country, although the brotherhood as a whole is well known in the West, having been the inspiration for a remarkable group of mystically-minded intellectuals in Europe and North America.[24] Founded by the Darqawi shaykh Ahmad ibn ‘Aliwa of Mustaghanim, Western Algeria, in the early nineteenth century, the ‘Alawiyya was introduced by him in Damascus in the course of a pilgrimage he undertook shortly before his death in 1934. Combining, not unlike the Idrisi tradition, the theosophy of Ibn ‘Arabi with a call to strictly follow the Qur‘an and the Sunna, the brotherhood under the leadership of Muhammad al-Hashimi soon spread to other parts of the country, from Aleppo in the north to Amman in the south, and was very active both in the field of religious education and in the struggle against the French.[25] Similar to the case of the urban Rifa‘iyya, the leaders of the Damascene ‘Alawiyya have been lately engaged in publishing the writings of their masters, but more significant were the shaykhs from the north, who maintained its original militant zeal in supporting the violent struggle against the Ba‘th. Among them were disciples of the above-mentioned Aleppine ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Isa, who was consequently forced to spend the last years of his life in exile in Jordan, as well as those of ‘Abd al-Ghaffar al-Durubi of Homs, many of whom were killed along with the Muslim Brothers in the notorious massacre in the Tadmur (Palmyra) military prison in June 1980.[26]

The Naqshbandiyya, unquestionably the most active brotherhood in contemporary Syria, has been long characterized by a tradition combining a strong orthodoxy with a sociopolitical orientation. Both traits were reinforced in the early nineteenth century by Shaykh Khalid, the founder of the Khalidi sub-brotherhood whose mausoleum lies in Damascus. Two of his spiritual descendants were responsible for turning the Khalidiyya into the most widespread Sufi organization in Syria in the twentieth century. These were ‘Isa al-Kurdi (1831-1912), an immigrant scholar who ordained a great number of disciples in Damascus and the Ghuta, and Abu al-Nasr Khalaf (1875-1949), who propagated the path in the villages around his hometown Homs, as well as in Aleppo and Hamah.[27] A third center of the Naqshbandiyya-Khalidiyya can be found in the Kurdish areas of the northeast - the Jazira and Dayr al-Zor.[28] These essentially independent local branches adopted different and, in some respects, even opposing attitudes toward the questions of religious renewal, the Salafi challenge and, above all, relations with the Ba‘th regime. Mention should also be made of Nazim al-Qubrusi, founder of the Haqqaniyya branch, who had initially established himself at his master’s shrine in Damascus, but whose brotherhood has now become a truly international organization counting members in many countries around the globe, from Lebanon and Turkey to England and the United States.[29]

The leading Naqshbandi branch in Syria today is that of Ahmad Kuftaro (b. 1915), son of one of ‘Isa al-Kurdi’s principal deputies in Damascus.[30] This is the only Sufi organization in the country to be allowed freedom of action by the regime, with whom it is closely associated. Despite claims for early beginnings, the Kuftariyya seems to have emerged following the Ba‘th takeover in 1963, and the election of Kuftaro a year later to the highest religious position in Syria, that of the Grand Mufti.[31] In 1971, after the rise to power of Hafiz al-Asad who sought to appease the Sunni population, Kuftaro’s mosque in north Damascus was made the basis of the Abu al-Nur Islamic Foundation. The first recognized college within this trust, The College for Islamic Propagation, was inaugurated in 1982, at the height of the Islamic uprising. The Kuftariyya appeals to social strata generally higher than other Sufi brotherhoods in Syria, especially small merchants and junior functionaries. It has a female wing under Kuftaro’s younger daughter, Wafa’, who propagate his message among women in weekly lectures in the Abu al-Nur Foundation, where she also conducts the dhikr, and in various mosques in Damascus.[32] Kuftaro regards himself in addition as the spiritual father of the more independent female Sufi organization of the Qubaysiyya, which directs its attention to women from higher social classes. Members of this organization run highly appreciated private schools in Syria, and it has lately spread to other countries of the Middle East.

Faithful to the reformist tradition of the Naqshbandiyya, Ahmad Kuftaro seeks to adapt its path to the modern situation by propagating a learned and discreet form of Sufism which is based on the Qur’an and the shari‘a. Particularly under the inspiration of the Indian scholar Abu al-Hasan al-Nadwi, he also stresses engagement in social affairs and rejects monastic mysticism (rahbaniyya) as a major cause of the social and cultural weakening of Islam.[33] The focus of Kuftaro’s reformist activity lies in the sphere of education. On the basis of the Abu al-Nur Foundation, where he himself continues to deliver a weekly lesson in front of thousands of people, Kuftaro has founded numerous religious institutions, from private schools for boys and girls to an Islamic center of higher education which since 1992 has provided Ph.D. degrees in Islamic Law. To enhance the prestige of the foundation, he formed connections with various universities in the Muslim world – in Libya, Pakistan and Sudan – as well as in North America, where an Abu al-Nur Institute was opened in 1993 in Baltimore, Maryland. In view of the great importance that Kuftaro attaches to modern technology, the foundation also supports students of high-status professions, while inculcating in them its religious values. Some of his close relatives are themselves engineers trained in the West, and they helped him develop the Abu al-Nur Foundation beyond its strictly religious functions into an effective economic, social and political organization.

Yet in face of the fierce Salafi critique of Sufism, Ahmad Kuftaro has proved ready to go beyond the traditional reformism of the Naqshbandiyya and eventually adopt much of the discourse and argumentation of his rivals. In this endeavor, he downplays his relation to the great Naqshbandi masters of the past, including Shaykh Khalid,[34] while stressing his good relations with most moderate Islamists.[35] Moreover, once again in the footsteps of Nadwi,[36] Kuftaro suggests to do away with the Sufi terminology in favor of a strictly Qur’anic vocabulary. In this scheme of “spiritual education” (tarbiya ruhiyya) the terms tasawwuf and tariqa themselves are to be substituted by the less controversial ihsan and tazkiyat al-nafs.[37] Kufatro explicitly follows the Salafis in denouncing legal school partisanship and the practice of imitation (taqlid) in favor of individual reasoning (ijtihad). He likewise stresses the need to interpret Islam in relation to the present, and of being guided by reason, often declaring that religion is nothing but “mature reason”. On the other hand, Kuftaro and his associates are keen to demonstrate to the Salafis that the Sufis’ inner search of God has not diverted them from active participation in jihad.[38] Muhammad Sa‘id Ramadan al-Buti, a highly popular doctor of Islamic Law from the University of Damascus who is also affiliated to the Naqshbandiyya,[39] fully supports Kuftaro’s approach. In a book dedicated to the refutation of extreme Salafi positions, Buti approves of the shaykh’s terminology while showing, by way of ijtihad, that the dhikr and other Sufi practices are fully compatible with the Qur’an and the Sunna.[40]

Another aspect in which Ahmad Kuftaro departs from the traditional way of the Naqshbandiyya, in this case even beyond the reformism of the Salafis, concerns his propagation of the religion. As already mentioned, the Abu al-Nur Foundation has an active da‘wa department, which uses modern devices - from videotapes and audio cassettes to the Internet - to spread the shaykh’s message among both Muslim and non-Muslim audiences. For the latter, a collection of lectures translated into English was published in 1993 under the title “The Way of Truth”, and was expanded in a second edition in 1997. Kuftaro himself has exploited his extensive travels in an official capacity to present Islam and Sufism, his earliest visit being as early as 1966 to the United States.[41] His da‘wa is nevertheless characterized by an intentional ambiguity. On the one hand, Kuftaro adheres to the orthodox position, held by Naqshbandis and Salafis alike, that Islam is the final and most perfect religion; on the other hand, however, he points out that the three monotheistic religions stem from a common source, and further maintains that all denominations are different traditions of the one universal religion. In harmony with the latter position, also indicated in the title of his official website – Abrahamic religions - Kuftaro has been long engaged in interfaith dialogue, taking part in various conferences around the world and hosting delegations of clergymen, particularly Christian, in the Abu al-Nur mosque. In recent years his interests have expanded to include other issues of international concern, notably those of human rights and the environment.[42]

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Students of the Syrian religious scene assess differently the special relations between Ahmad Kuftaro and the Asad regime. Thus the more affirmative Geoffroy counts the shaykh among those resilient men of religion, mostly from Damascus, who have sought to assuage the hostility of the Ba‘th and avoid complete rupture. The accusations against his compromising stands are, according to this interpretation, nothing but the age-old claim about the corruption of ulema in the service of rulers.[43] Stenberg, on his part, stresses the fact that although Kuftaro may be allied with – or even controlled by – the Syrian regime, he also can influence the political leadership through his position as the highest religious authority at the head of a large religious movement.[44] He however concurs with Böttcher’s view of Kuftaro as a tool in the Islamic policy of the regime,[45] and with De Jong’s assertion that the cultivation of the Kuftariyya seems to have been designed to weaken the position of the politically unreliable Naqshbandi shaykhs of the north and northeast.[46] In my view, its cultivation was more specifically aimed at offsetting the influence of Sa‘id Hawwa, the foremost ideologue of the Islamic opposition in Syria, who was deeply attached to Sufism in general, and to the northern branch of the Naqshbandiyya in particular.[47]

The affinity between the ideas and discourse of the Naqshbandi brotherhood of Syria and its Salafis-Islamists, which has been noted even in the case of the state-backed Kuftaro, was much more pronounced in the north, where disciples of Abu al-Nasr Khalaf were instrumental in founding local branches of the Muslim Brothers in the 1930s and 1940s. Outstanding among these Naqshbandi-oriented Brothers were Muhammad al-Hamid (1910-1969) in Hamah and ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu-Ghudda (1917-1997) in Aleppo.[48] Under the rule of the Ba‘th, Abu-Ghudda emerged as the leader of the Islamists’ northern faction, while Sa‘id Hawwa (1935-1989) perpetuated Hamid’s work on the national level. Sufism permeates Hawwa’s entire oeuvre, one of the expressed aims of which was to familiarize the Islamic movement with the reformist Sufi tradition and thus provide it with a spiritual “depth”. In a series of books he dedicated to the subject, notably Tarbiyatuna al-ruhiyya and al-Mustakhlas fi tazkiyat al-anfus, Hawwa in all probability preceded Kuftaro in deemphasizing the Sufi vocabulary.[49] Indignant, though, at the Damascene shaykh’s complicity with the un-Islamic Ba‘th, he went beyond the latter’s rejection of rahbaniyya to elaborate upon Nadwi’s complementary concept of rabbaniyya, making it the basis for a sociopolitical alternative. Through this concept, Hawwa conceived of a grass-roots organization, a popular supra-brotherhood as it were, that would unite all the Islamic forces in the country and lead them in the struggle for religious revival in general, and against the secular tendencies of the Ba‘th in particular.[50] The Hamah uprising of 1982, and its brutal suppression by Asad’s regime, left Kufatro’s accommodating collaboration the only alternative open before the Syrian Naqshbandiyya.

Sufi manifestations in contemporary Israel differ considerably from those in Syria in both their scope and the identity of the brotherhoods involved. The differences go back to Ottoman Palestine, in which the Sufi brotherhoods were less organized and of a more limited social significance. The Naqshbandiyya has never struck roots here, its presence being generally restricted to a zawiya run by Uzbeks in Jerusalem, while the Mawlawiyya and Rifa‘iyya had practically disappeared, the first already by the beginning of the twentieth century, the other in 1948.[51] Three brotherhoods - The Qadiriyya, Yashrutiyya and Khalwatiyya-Rahmaniyya were able to adapt themselves to the Israeli realities, in ascending order of success. Various local groups of the Qadiriyya were active in Palestine during Ottoman times, in both towns and villages. These groups disintegrated in 1948, but in recent years new ones appeared, in the same fragmented manner, under leaders who received the path from different shaykhs in the West Bank and Gaza. They include Sa‘id Abu-Laban, a descendant from the leading Qadiri family of Ottoman Ramla which was responsible for the ziyara at Nabi Salih’s tomb; ‘Abd al-Salam Manasara, an ex-Communist from Nazareth who adheres to a more sober type of Sufism; and the charismatic though controversial Abu Filastin from Sahnin in the Lower Galilee. In some cases, to fortify their standing, the shaykhs combine with the Qadiriyya other affiliations such as the Rifa‘iyya and ‘Alawiyya.[52]

The Yashrutiyya, whom we met in the refugee camps of Syria and Lebanon, introduced into Palestine a more organized type of Sufism during the last decades of Ottoman rule. Retaining its essentially centralized structure, the brotherhood was able to attract a wide membership throughout the country well into the British Mandate. Its fortunes were severely affected, however, by the events of 1948, when Muhammad al-Hadi, the founder’s grandson, moved with many of his followers to Beirut. Several zawiyas were lost during the battles, and in 1952 the economic basis of the mother lodge in Acre was further undermined as most of its awqaf were confiscated. After 1967, the Yashrutis in Israel regained some of their former strength as they were allowed to establish contacts with adherents in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as in other parts of the Muslim world. The main figure in this renewed activity was Ibrahim Abu al-Hashish of Umm al-Fahm, where the largest concentration of Yashrutis is found today. With contributions from abroad the zawiya in Acre was also renovated, al-Hadi being buried there beside his fathers in 1981 with Israel’s permission.[53] His son Ahmad occasionally visits the lodge and conducts a celebrated dhikr, but otherwise activity is limited to the religious festivals, notably the Prophet’s mawlid.[54]

Much more successful in its accommodation to the Israeli realities is the Rahmani branch of the Khalwatiyya, a brotherhood that eventually disappeared in other parts of the Syrian lands. This branch was founded immediately after World War I by ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sharif, a former deputy (muqaddam) of the Yashrutiyya in Hebron who switched to the Khalwati silsila returning to the great reviver of the brotherhood in the eighteenth century, Mustafa al-Bakri. In his footsteps, the Rahmaniyya has propagated, possibly as a counterbalance to the antinomian tendencies among the rural Yashrutiyya, a reformist type of Sufism combining strictly following the Qur’an and the Sunna with the pursuit of worldly concerns.[55] Splitting after the founder’s death in 1925, his most outstanding khalifa, Husni al-Din al-Qasimi, established himself in the village of Zayta, and further spread the path to the villages that now form the Triangle area in Israel.[56] Most important among these is the lodge in Baqa al-Gharbiyya, which four successive sons of Husni al-Din, the last being the present shaykh ‘Abd al-Rauf al-Qasimi, managed by keeping cordial relations with Israeli authorities to develop after 1967 into an impressive religious-educational complex. It includes both a large mosque-zawiya where a regular dhikr is held for both men and women in separate rooms, and a rapidly expanding Islamic College, which was opened in 1989 and is served by a modern academic library. Enjoying the official recognition of the Ministry of Education, the college has currently more than five hundred students.[57]

sufi-5.jpg

Finally attention should be drawn to an Israeli version of the tariqa Ibrahimiyya. Although, as in Syria, this way aims at enhancing an interfaith dialogue, in Israel it was founded by a Jewish group, including a conservative Rabbi and academic scholars, who relate themselves to the Jewish Sufi tradition inaugurated by Rabbi Abraham son of Maimonides in the thirteenth century. The members used to meet to read Sufi texts and perform the dhikr under the guidance of Muslim Sufi shaykhs. These activities were interrupted following the break of the last Intifada in 2000, but recently they have been renewed.[58]

Although clearly losing ground in the face of the multi-faceted challenge mounted against it through the twentieth century, Sufism is still conspicuously present in many countries of the contemporary Muslim world. As the cases of Syria and Israel show, among the diverse Sufi traditions, it was primarily the reformist brotherhoods of the pre-modern era, particularly the Naqshbandiyya but also the Shadhiliyya and the Khalwatiyya, which proved most capable of adjusting to the modern circumstances. Adopting a seemingly paradoxical strategy of accommodating one agent of modernity or another - western rationalism, Islamic fundamentalism or, most importantly, the all-powerful State – by the close of the century branches from these brotherhoods have managed not merely to preserve their mystical traditions, but also at times to expand into new enterprises in the educational, socioeconomic and political realms.

-------------------

[1] For a general discussion of the debate on Sufism in the twentieth century, see Carl W. Ernst, Sufism: An Essential Introduction to the Philosophy and Practice of

the Mystical Tradition of Islam (Boston: Shambhala, 1997), 199-228; Elizabeth Sirriyeh, Sufis and Anti-Sufis: The Defence, Rethinking and Rejection of Sufism in the Modern World (Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 1999), chs. 4-6.

[2] Fred de Jong, “Les confréries mystiques musulmanes au Machreq arabe,” in Alexandre Popovic and Gilles Veinstein (eds.), Les Ordres mystiques dans l’Islam: Cheminements et situation actuelle (Paris: Editions de l’EHESS, 1986), 214.

[3] Linda Schatkowski Schilcher, Families in Politics: Damascene Factions and Estates of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag, 1985), 194-196; Zaim Khenchelaoui and Thierry Zarcone, “La Famille Jilânî de Hama – Syrie (Bayt al- Jilânî),” Journal of the History of Sufism, 1-2 (2000), 61-71.

[4] On Fariz al-Kaylani, see Muhammad Muti‘ al-Hafiz and Nizar Abaza, Tarikh ‘ulama’ Dimashq fi al-qarn al-rabi‘ ‘ashar al-hijri, (3 vols. Damascus: Dar al-fikr, 1986-1991), 3: 363-365.

[5] Eric Geoffroy, “Sufism, réformisme et pouvoir en Syrie contemporaine,” Égypte/Monde arabe 29 (1997), 17.

[6] Hanna Batatu, Syria’s Peasantry, the Descendants of its Lesser Rural Notables, and their Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), 107-108.

[7] On the Hilaliyya, see Julia Gonnella, Islamischer Heiligenverherung im urbanen Kontext am Beispiel von Aleppo (Syrien) (Berlin: Klaus Schwartz Verlag, 1995), 248-250, 261-263. Similar reasons are given for the actual disappearance of the Khalwatiyya from its once thriving center of Tripoli, see Daphne Habibis, “Change and Continuity: A Sufi Order in Contemporary Lebanon,” Social Analysis 31 (1992), 49-50.

[8] Paolo Pinto, “Proof and Experience: the Construction of Religious Identity in the Sufi Zawiyas of Aleppo, Syria,” a paper read at the 16th Middle East History and Theory Conference, University of Chicago, May 11-12, 2001, 3-8; ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Isa, Haqa‘iq ‘an al-tasawwuf (5th ed. Damascus: Mu’assasat al-Sham lil-tiba‘a wal-tajlid, 1993).

[9] www.turath.org/Events/Dervishes.htm. See also the discussion in Ernst, 191-194.

[10] De Jong, “Machreq arabe,” 212-214; Pierre-Jean Luizard, “Le Moyen-Orient arabe,” in Alexandre Popovic and Gilles Veinstein (eds.), Les voies d’Allah (Paris: Fayard, 1996), 361-362.

[11] De Jong, ibid., 215-216; Gonnella, 118-119, 263-268. For Mahmud al-Shaqfa, see Johannes Reissner, Ideologie und politik der Muslimbrüder Syriens von den Wahlen 1947 bis zum Verbot unter Adīb aš-Šišaklī 1952 (Freiburg: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 1980), 427-428.

[12] Butrus Abu-Manneh, “Sultan Abdulhamid II and Shaikh Abulhuda al-Sayyadi,” Middle Eastern Studies, 15 (1979), 131-153; Batatu, 107-108.

[13] Ibid., 105-108.

[14] Pinto, 8-14. For the practice of piercing the body with a shish, see also Gonnella, 74-76.

[15] Eric Geoffroy, “L’empreinte de la sainteté,” in Anne-Marie Bianquis (ed.), Damas: Miroir brise d’un Orient arabe (Paris: Éditions Autrement, 1993), 166-169.

[16] Ibid, 169-174. On Ahmad al-Harun see also Hafiz and Abaza, 753-762.

[17] Muhammad Abu al-Yusr ‘Abidin, Hakaya al-Sufiyya (Damascus: Dar al-basha’ir, 1993).

[18] On the history of the brotherhood see Josef Van Ess, “Libanesische Miszellen, 6: Die YašruÔīya,” Die Welt des Islams, 16 (1975), 1-103; Itzchak Weismann, Taste of Modernity: Sufism, Salafiyya, and Arabism in Late Ottoman Damascus (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 219-224, 252-255.

sufi-6.jpg[19] De Jong, “Machreq arabe,” 217-218.

[20] Weismann, Taste of Modernity, 197-198.

[21] Ibid., 255-256; De Jong, ibid., 216.

[22] Su‘ad al-Hakim, al-Mu‘jam al-sufi: al-hikma fi hudud al-kalima (Beirut: Dandara lil-tiba‘a wal-nashr, 1981).

[23] Mark J.R. Sedgwick, “The Heirs of Ahmad Ibn Idris: The Spread and Normalization of a Sufi Order, 1799-1996,” (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Bergen, 1998), 235-247, 266-277.

[24] See Martin Lings, A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century - Shaykh Ahmad al-‘Alawi: His Spiritual Heritage and Legacy (2nd ed. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1971); Mark Sedgwick, “Traditional Sufism”, Aries 22 (1999), 3-24.

[25] See the entries on Muhammad al-Hashimi and Muhammad Sa‘id al-Burhani in Hafiz and Abaza, 747-751, 794-804; as well as ‘Isa, 618-631, and Muhammad Riyad al-Malih, al-‘Allama Muhammad Sa‘id al-Burhani: Arba‘un ‘amm fi mihrab al-tawba (Damascus: n.p., 1387 A.H.).

[26] Geoffroy, “Sufism, réformisme et pouvoir,” 17-18.

[27] See my two articles, “The Forgotten Shaykh: ‘Isa al-Kurdi and the Transformation of the Naqshbandi-Khalidi Order in Twentieth Century Syria,” Die Welt des Islams 43 (2003), 273-293; and “Sa‘id Hawwa: The Making of a Radical Muslim Thinker in Modern Syria,” Middle Eastern Studies 29 (1993), 607-611.

[28] De Jong, “Machreq arabe,” 214-215; Gonnella, 224, 269-270.

[29] On Nazim al-Qubrusi and his international activity, see Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, The Naqshbandi Sufi Way: History and Guidebook of the Saints of the Golden Chain (Chicago: Kazi Publications, 1995), 375-408; Habibis, 44-78; Annabelle Böttcher, “The Naqshbandiyya in the United States”, www. naqshbandi.net/haqqani/features/ Naqshbandiyya_in_us.htm.

[30] For biographical details, see Muhammad Habash, al-Shaykh Amin Kuftaru fi dhikra khamsin ‘am ‘ala wafatihi (Damascus: Dar al-ma‘rifa, 1989); idem, al-Shaykh Ahmad Kuftaru wa-minhajuhu fi al-tajdid wal-islah (Damascus: Dar al-nur, 1996).

[31] My description of the Kuftariyya and its working is mainly based on the following sources: Annabelle Böttcher, Syrische Religionspolitik unter Asad (Freiburg, 1998), 147-223; Leif Stenberg, “Naqshbandiyya in Damascus: Strategies to Establish and Strengthen the Order in a Changing Society,” in Elisabeth Özdalga (ed.), Naqshbandis in Western and Central Asia (Istanbul: Swedish Research Institute, 1999), 101-116; Geoffroy, “Sufism, réformisme et pouvoir,” 11-18.

[32] See also Annabelle Böttcher, “L’élite féminine kurde de la Kaftariyya: une confrérie Naqshbandi Damascène,” in Martin van Bruinessen (ed.), Islam des Kurdes (Paris: ERISM, 1998), 125-139.

[33] See Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali al-Hasani al-Nadwi, Rabbaniyya la rahbaniyya (4th ed. Beirut: Mu’assasat al-risala, 1986). On his acquaintance with Kuftaro see idem, Mudhakkirat sa’ih fi al-sharq al-‘arabi (2nd ed. Beirut: Mu’assasat al-risala, 1975), 224-225, 236-238.

[34] Stenberg, 109.

[35] ‘Imad ‘Abd al-Latif Naddaf, Al-Shaykh Ahmad Kuftaru yatahaddath (Beirut: Dar al-rashid, 1997), 150-192. Stenberg reports that among Kuftaro’s young adherents the ideas of Hasan al-Banna are well-known and widely discussed.

[36] Nadwi, 7-11.

[37] For an exposition of this doctrine in the context of the anti-Salafi debate, see Muhammad al-Shaykhani, al-Tarbiya al-ruhiyya bayn al-Sufiyyin wal-Salafiyyin (Damascus: Dar Qutayba, 1990), esp. 191-195, 287-297.

[38] Ibid., 299-303. For a widely acclaimed historical exposition of the Sufi’s contribution to jihad struggles, see As‘ad al-Khatib, al-Butula wal-fida’ ‘inda al-Sufiyya (Damascus: Maktab al-Ghazali, 1995).

[39] See Andreas Christmann, “Islamic Scholar and Religious Leader: a Portrait of Shaykh Muhammad Sa‘id Ramadan al-Buti,” Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 9 (1998), 149-169.

[40] Muhammad Sa‘id Ramadan al-Buti, Al-Salafiyya: marhala zamaniyya mubaraka, la madhhab Islami (Damascus: Dar al-fikr, 1988), 189-209.

[41] On Kuftaro’s philosophy of da‘wa, see Wahid Taja, al-Khitab al-Islami al-mu‘asir: muhawarat fikriyya (Aleppo: Fussilat lil-dirasat wal-tarjama wal-nashr, 2000), 21-34.

[42] See Naddaf, 120-149; www.abrahamicreligions.com/kuftaro/Interfaith.htm and www.abrahamicreligions.com/kuftaro/Environment.htm. For meetings with German and Swiss delegations see Naddaf, 295-309, and with an American delegation, see Syria Times, 18 December 1999, www.islamic-study.org/new

[43] Geoffroy, “Sufism, réformisme et pouvoir,” 17.

[44] Stenberg, 106-107.

[45] Böttcher, 149.

sufi-7.jpg[46] Frederick De Jong, “The Naqshbandiyya in Egypt and Syria. Aspects of its History, and Observations Concerning its Present-Day Condition,” in Marc Gaborieau, Alexandre Popovic and Thierry Zarcone (eds.), Naqshbandis: cheminements et situation actuelle d’un ordre mystique musulman (Istanbul and Paris: ISIS, 1990), 600.

[47] For his biography, see Itzchak Weismann, “Radical Muslim Thinker”, 601-623.

[48] For Abu-Ghudda, who was a disciple of Khalaf’s deputy ‘Isa al-Bayanuni, see Hanna Batatu, “Syria’s Muslim Brethren,” Merip Reports 110 (1982), 14; Muhammad ibn ‘Abdallah Al Rashid, Imdad al-fattah bi-asanid wa-muruyyat al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattah (Riyadh: Maktabat al-Imam al-Shafi‘i, 1999), esp. 149-150, 152; and www.aboghodda.com. For Hamid see my, “Religious Strife on the Periphery: Sufi Populists, Salafi Ideologues, and Muslim Brothers in Twentieth-Century Hamah,” forthcoming in International Journal of Middle East Studies.

[49] Sa‘id Hawwa, Tarbiyyatuna al-ruhiyya (2nd ed. Amman: Maktabat al-risala al-haditha, 1981), 6-8. See also the discussion in Geoffroy, “Sufism, Réformisme et Pouvoir,” 12-13.

[50] Itzchak Weismann, “Sa‘id Hawwa and Islamic Revivalism in Ba‘thist Syria,” Studia Islamica 85 (1997), 131-154.

[51] F. De Jong, “The Sufi Orders in Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Palestine,” Studia Islamica 58 (1983), 149-158, 167-174.

[52] De Jong, “Machreq arabe,” 221-223; Luizard, 364-365; Arnon Dancho, “Ha-techiya shel ha-Sufim (The Revival of the Sufis),” Eretz ve-Teva 53 (1999), 45-53.

[53] De Jong, “Palestine,” 179-180.

[54] Interview with Ibrahim Satal, attendant at the Shadhiliyya-Yashrutiyya complex in Acre, 7 August, 2002.

[55] ‘Afif ibn Husni al-Din al-Qasimi, Adwa’ ‘ala al-tariqa al-Khalwatiyya al-Jami‘a al-Rahmaniyya (n.p., 1997).

[56] De Jong, “Palestine,” 175; idem, “Machreq arabe,” 220. For the Rahmani silsila see Qasimi, 4-7. For the activities of its successive shaykhs, ibid., 59-63.

[57] Interview with ‘Adil Badran, chief librarian of the Islamic College, Baqa al-Gharbiyya, 28 October, 2002.

[58] Zohara Ron, “Be-Darko shel Avraham (In the Path of Abraham),” Masa Akher 111 (2000), 83-88.

14:22 Publié dans Islam, Traditions | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : soufis, soufisme, islam, tradition, traditionalisme, israël, syrie | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

dimanche, 10 juillet 2016

President Hillary – Be Afraid, Very Afraid

By examining Hillary Clinton's foreign policy record, Pat Harrington concludes that she is a warmonger who favours more US intervention across the globe.

We know quite a bit about Clinton and her foreign policy. What we know indicates that she is a warmonger and interventionist – as bad as any Republican ‘hawk’. I believe that her record on foreign policy should concern not just Americans but the world. A Clinton presidency is likely to lead to confrontations around the globe.

During her period in the Senate (2001-2008), she sat on the Armed Services Committee. The Village Voice dubbed her ‘Mama Warbucks’ in 2005. Clinton voted for war against Iraq and peddled the same lies as Tony Blair and his dodgy dossier. In a speech to the Senate in 2002 she said:

In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members…

It was not until December 2006, as she began her first presidential campaign, that she changed her position by blaming her original viewpoint on bad intelligence during a spot on NBC’s Today programme. ‘If we knew then what we know now, I certainly wouldn’t have voted that way’, she said in reference to her initial support for the Iraq War.

When Clinton was US Secretary of State between 2009 and 2013, she showed the same eagerness for threatening or for the actual use of force. Anne-Marie Slaughter, Clinton’s Director of Policy Planning at the State Department, said of her, ‘When the choice is between action and inaction, and you’ve got risks in either direction, which you often do, she’d rather be caught trying.’  She is therefore an interventionist by nature.

To give you an understanding of what this interventionist instinct brings about, I want to look at some of the countries she has directed it toward and its consequences.

Honduras

In 2009, the State Department supported the CIA-backed coup against Honduras’ democratically elected President, Manuel Zelaya.

E-mails subsequently released from Clinton’s time as Secretary of State show that some of her top aides urged her to dub the putsch a military coup and to cut off US aid. She refused to do so. Instead, the US pushed for the world to recognise the coup’s new government.

In her memoir, Hard Choices, she described the events in Honduras as a ‘victory for democracy’.

The coup was followed by a wave of political violence which targeted a range of activists. Statistics from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) show that the murder rate increased from 60.8 per 100,000 in 2008 to 81.8 in 2010 following the coup, continuing to increase to 91.4 in 2011 and remaining high at 90.4 in 2012. Honduras is now a corrupt narco-state.

Kosovo

During the 1999 Kosovo War, in which Bill Clinton called in NATO to bomb Belgrade (resulting in 500 civilian deaths), Hillary, whilst traveling in Africa, telephoned her husband to offer him some advice. ‘I urged him to bomb’, she told reporter Lucinda Frank. As First Lady from January 1993, she encouraged her husband, and later also his Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, to attack Serbian forces in the disintegrating Yugoslavia – not just in Bosnia in 1994 but also in Serbia in 1999.

When Hillary Clinton visited Pristina as Secretary of State, her support for Kosovo was clear: “For me, my family and my fellow Americans this is more than a foreign policy issue,” she affirmed. “It is personal.”

Whilst the case for some form of intervention in Kosovo is more hotly debated than those in other areas, the events which led to the recognition of the state by President George W Bush had unintended consequences. At the time, Russian President Putin said:

The precedent of Kosovo is a terrible precedent, which will de facto blow apart the whole system of international relations, developed not over decades, but over centuries. They have not thought through the results of what they are doing. At the end of the day it is a two-ended stick and the second end will come back and hit them in the face.

The Republic of Crimea proclaimed its independence from Ukraine on 11 March 2014, citing the Kosovo precedent.

Afghanistan

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton supported the ‘surge’ in Afghanistan: she supported sending a further 40,000 US troops there (on top of the 70,000 which were already present).

drone-firing-400x300.jpgDespite the high level of civilian casualties, Clinton has long been a strong supporter of drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In an interview with The Guardian in July 2014, Clinton said:

Clearly, the efforts that were made by the United States, in cooperation with our allies in Afghanistan and certainly the Afghan government, to prevent the threat that was in Pakistan from crossing the border, killing Afghans, killing Americans, Brits and others, was aimed at targets that had been identified and were considered to be threats. The numbers about potential civilian casualties I take with a somewhat big grain of salt because there has been other studies which have proven there not to have been the number of civilian casualties. But also in comparison to what? The Pakistani armed services were always saying, ‘Well, let us bomb these places.’ That would have been far more devastating in terms of casualties. But of course anyone who is an innocent bystander, especially a child, who’s caught up in any operation against terrorists, that is a cause of great concern and it is a cause of real disappointment and regret on our part.

Armed conflict in Afghanistan continues. Afghanistan now produces around 90 per cent of the world’s heroin. The Taliban had banned the production of opium in 2000.

Syria

In 2011, as Arab regimes were overthrown in the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, Hillary’s State Department decided to withdraw diplomatic recognition of Syria. The US began to help the armed opposition, secretly at first. Although there was much talk of assisting a ‘moderate opposition’, it soon became clear that the ‘allies’ Clinton wanted to use to topple the secular Syrian regime were radical Islamists aligned with the al-Nusra Front, a branch of al-Qaeda. Yet, even now, Clinton defends US intervention in Syria, speaking of a ‘failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad – there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle – the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.’ Clinton expresses no regret over the civil war she helped start in Syria. Her only regret is that more arms and ammunition were not supplied to her favoured side. In recent debates, Clinton has advocated a no-fly zone over Syria: ‘ I am advocating the no-fly zone both because I think it would help us on the ground to protect Syrians; I’m also advocating it because it gives us some leverage in our conversations with Russia.’ The potential for conflict with Russia and Iran, both of whom are supporting the Syrian government, is both obvious and frightening.

The result of her policies toward Syria is that millions of Syrians have been displaced, and that refugees are drowning in the Mediterranean or else threatening the stability and identity of Greece, Turkey, and the European Union itself. Not to mention the fact that ISIS has a base in Syria from which to launch terrorist attacks across the world.

Libya

Clinton was an enthusiastic player in the destruction of the Libyan state by the US and NATO during 2011. Robert M Gates, the Secretary of Defense at the time, described President Obama’s decision to intervene as a ’51-49′ proposition, adding, ‘I’ve always thought that Hillary’s support for the broader mission in Libya put the president on the 51 side of the line for a more aggressive approach.’ It started with a ‘no-fly zone’, allegedly to protect civilians and dressed-up in all kinds of humanitarian language, and ended with a US-led bombing campaign which killed over 1,100 civilians. Her humanitarianism was absent in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer. She was asked about the brutal murder of Col. Gadaffi by jihadists (after being sodomised with a knife on camera). Paraphrasing Julius Caesar, she said, ‘We came, we saw, he died!’ amidst much laughter and chuckling.

hillkadhenImKBXEejxNn4ZJNZ2ss5Ku7Cxt.jpg

The result of her policies in Libya is that the country descended into civil war. Unsecured arms stashes in Libya soon spread west across the African Sahel and east to Syria. The Libyan catastrophe has led to war in Mali, made more weapons available to Boko Haram in Nigeria, and assisted ISIS in Syria and Iraq. One could also reference the persecution of Black Africans and Tuaregs within Libya and the emergence of Benghazi as a jihadist stronghold.

Clinton has continued to defend US intervention in Libya, claiming that the situation would have been worse without it: ‘We would be looking at something much more resembling Syria now.’

NATO

As Senator in 2008, Hillary co-sponsored 2008-SR439, which called to integrate Ukraine and Georgia into NATO. Whilst Clinton was Secretary of State, two more countries, Albania and Croatia, joined the US-dominated alliance. Many Russians believe they are now surrounded by an anti-Russian military alliance along their borders, stretching from the Baltic states in the north to Romania and Bulgaria. Clinton favours even further expansion.

Israel

As Secretary of State, Clinton oversaw the Obama Administration’s first attempt to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. She took a stance against Jewish settlements on land claimed by the Palestinians. However, in her memoir she noted that ‘[o]ur early hard line on settlements didn’t work.’

During her last year as Secretary of State, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz characterised her as ‘Israel’s new lawyer’ in response to her sympathetic view toward Binyamin Netanyahu’s 2014 bombardment of Gaza and his desire to maintain ‘security’ throughout the occupied West Bank.

More recently, Clinton drew applause for a speech to lobbyists for Israel when she declared,

The United States and Israel must be closer than ever, stronger than ever, and more determined than ever to overcome our common adversaries and advance our shared values. […] We will never allow Israel’s adversaries to think a wedge can be driven between us,” she said, explaining that when the U.S. and Israel have differences, she would work quickly to resolve them.

Clinton further added that America and Israel ‘must take our alliance to the next level’ through reaching a new 10-year memorandum of understanding on defence ‘as soon as possible’.

Iran

Clinton still publicly favours the Iran nuclear deal. In fact, she has claimed that it was her work to impose ‘crippling sanctions’ that forced Iran to the negotiating table. She said that the deal ‘put a lid’ on the Iranian nuclear programme by increasing Iran’s potential breakout time and creating new  verification measures. Nevertheless, she said that the approach to Iran should be ‘distrust and verify’.

Her language toward Iran is bellicose:

This deal must come with vigorous enforcement…and a broader strategy to confront Iran’s aggression across the region,” said Clinton. “We cannot forget that Tehran’s fingerprints are on almost every conflict across the Middle East….There’s a big difference between talking about holding Tehran accountable and actually doing it…. The United States will act to stop [Iranian violations of the nuclear deal] and we will do so with force if necessary.

China

A Clinton presidency is a concern to China.

The State Department’s traditional stance  was that ‘we take no position’ on the Sino-Japanese dispute concerning sovereignty over the Senkaku/Daioyutai islands in the East China Sea, which had been seized by Japan in 1895. As Secretary of State, Clinton departed from this by emphasising that the islands fall within the defence perimeter of the US-Japanese alliance.

In a 2011 interview, Clinton attacked China’s ‘deplorable’ human rights record, calling the government’s efforts to crack down on dissent ‘a fool’s errand’. China is wary of the way in which human rights issues are used tactically by the United States to sow dissent abroad and soften domestic public opinion for confrontation. No fools, those Chinese!

In 2010, she intervened in the South China Sea disputes at the ASEAN Regional Forum. Beginning by stating that Washington had no stake in the territorial disputes, she then laid out US interests in the South China Sea: ‘[A] national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons, and respect for international law in the South China Sea.’  Clinton further said that ‘legitimate claims to maritime space in the South China Sea should be derived solely from legitimate claims to land features’. China took this to mean that the US views the nine-dash line, which encircles almost all of the South China Sea, as not a ‘legitimate claim’.

China’s then-Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi, walked out of the meeting. When he returned, he told the ASEAN members, ‘China is a big country and other countries are small countries, and that’s just a fact.’

China is deeply suspicious of Clinton and her views on rebalance which were set out in her 2011 Foreign Policy article, ‘America’s Pacific Century’. China views this as part of a strategy of containment.

The state-run China Daily commented regarding her departure as Secretary of State, ‘Clinton always spoke with a unipolar voice and never appeared interested in the answers she got.’

Conclusion

A brief look at the record and statements of Hillary Clinton shows how frightening the prospect of her becoming the American President is. Her confrontational instinct has led only to misery and death. We should all be very concerned about this woman gaining one of the most powerful positions in the world. My next article will explore whether Donald Trump is a better choice.

samedi, 25 juin 2016

Israël-Palestine: la guerre de l'eau

paleau2.jpg

Bob Woodward
Ex: http://www.decryptnewsonline.com

Le Proche-Orient est une zone géographique qui connaît ce que les experts appellent, une situation dite de « stress hydrique », c’est-à-dire un déséquilibre structurel entre son capital en eau limité et sa consommation, en très forte croissance compte tenu de son rythme démographique et de son développement économique.

L’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’agriculture et l’alimentation a développé une échelle permettant d’évaluer la situation hydrique de différents Etats. Une situation hydrique suffisante a été fixée à 1 700 mètres cubes d’eau par personne par année. Entre ces deux extrêmes on considère que les Etats sont en situation de stress hydrique, c’est-à-dire que la situation est préoccupante.

On ne peut valablement aborder la bataille de l’eau dans le conflit israélo-palestinien, et plus largement dans la cadre de la crise au Proche-Orient, sans tenir compte de l’effet inducteur d’un ensemble d’épiphénomènes vecteurs d’accélération d’une issue, que celle-ci soit la paix ou l’enlisement de la guerre. L’eau, tout comme la violence qui règne dans ces territoires, est chargée d’une force perturbatrice dans un contexte où l’hégémonie est validée et radicalisée par une sémantique de nature idéologique, celle de l’Etat d’Israël.

La question de l’eau a pris un caractère géopolitique évident dans les relations entre Israël et les Palestiniens de Cisjordanie et de Gaza, où les tensions prennent leur origine dans une disparité flagrante de consommation entre ces deux communautés qui partagent les même sources d’approvisionnement en eau.

Dans cette région au climat semi désertique, où les pluies sont inexistantes d’Avril à Septembre, avec des températures oscillant durant cette période entre 30°C et 50°C, la question de l’eau prend une dimension cruciale dans le processus de paix israélo-palestinien.

Le contrôle de l’eau c’est ce qui permet la viabilité et la puissance économique de l’Etat Hébreu. Elle est très vite devenue la clé de voûte de la stratégie sioniste dès le début du XXème siècle.

On peut se demander alors quelle place occupe l’eau, dans la culture et dans la religion de l’Etat d’Israël. Comment et dans quelle mesure, cet élément naturel, devient un symbole culturel et religieux important dans le politique ?

paleau.gifComment l’Etat Hébreux pourrait-il accepter de partager de manière plus équitable cette ressource si rare et risquer de se mettre en péril ?

Il en va de la viabilité, de la puissance de l’Etat Hébreux mais aussi des promesses que Dieu a fait à ce peuple.

Comment le peuple élu de Dieu, dont les valeurs doivent s’étendre dans le monde entier, pourrait-il vivre dans une terre promise qui serait trop pauvre en eau pour maintenir son niveau de développement ? Autrement dit, comment accepter de ne pas être à la hauteur des promesses que Dieu a fait à Moïse, et avant lui, à Abraham ?

C’est un fait que depuis 65 ans, l’Etat Hébreu utilise une grande partie des eaux souterraines qui s’écoulent aussi, en suivant une courbe naturelle, dans son territoire. Les deux tiers des besoins hydrauliques d’Israël sont assurés par les eaux souterraines de Cisjordanie, qui sont de plus en plus exposées à la pollution et à l’exploitation excessive. L’épuisement des réserves, combiné à l’arrivée de nouveaux migrants, ne fait qu’accentuer le problème. Le potentiel en eau de la Cisjordanie est constitué de l’eau de surface du Jourdain et de petits cours d’eau, plus de l’eau souterraine de trois nappes phréatiques régulièrement générées grâce aux pluies.

Les disponibilités en eau sont très préoccupantes pour Israël et les Territoires occupés, car il se situe bien en-deçà du seuil de 500 mètres cubes par an et par habitant. Les prélèvements dépassent les ressources et il y a surexploitation des nappes souterraines.

En effet les nappes phréatiques, d’un accès facile et peu coûteux, sont trop souvent surexploitées et elles peuvent connaître des rabattements importants. Cela entraîne une salinisation des eaux. Quand elles sont en position littorale il y a appel au vide et intrusion de l’eau de mer : c’est le phénomène du biseau salé des hydrogéologues. Les exploitants pompent alors dans les puits les moins profonds de l’eau salée ou saumâtre.

Ce phénomène est connu à Gaza, en Palestine, où l’eau de la nappe devient peu à peu impropre à la consommation humaine.

Dans ce contexte alarmant, Israël exploite la majeure partie des ressources en eau laissant les Palestiniens se contenter de la portion congrue.

Rajoutons que la plus grande partie de ses ressources ont été obtenues après la création de l’Etat d’Israël en 1948, grâce à l’occupation de territoires s’appropriant ainsi toutes les sources d’approvisionnement de la région. Cette occupation des différents territoires dits « occupés » nous permet de qualifier cette action de la part d’Israël, d’hydro-stratégique, puisqu’elle visait, certes, une extension territoriale, mais pas n’importe laquelle, celle qui permettait d’accroître son contrôle sur les ressources en eau de la région.

L’hydro-stratégie peut se définir comme l’art de manœuvrer des forces pour accomplir les fins de la politique selon des considérations hydrauliques.

I. Historique du contrôle de l’eau par Israël : un enjeu de conflit

Il faut remonter au début du XXème siècle pour saisir la complexité et la sensibilité du problème des frontières et celui de l’eau, au moment où commence la colonisation juive, lancée par Théodore Herzl, le théoricien du sionisme.

Simultanément, alors que le sionisme politique n’affichait, hors ses prétentions territoriales, que des aspirations culturelles, un parti religieux, le Mizrahi, se forme en 1902 pour revendiquer la "terre promise" afin de ré-ancrer les juifs dans le territoire biblique que Dieu leur a concédé et qui leur a été retiré parce qu’ils ont refusé l’Alliance. Il s’agit donc d’un mouvement de re-judéisation morale et religieuse qui risque de faire capoter le sionisme. En 1904 cependant, le sionisme politique reçoit l’appui de Chaïm Weizmann, d’origine russe, qui sera plus tard président de l’Etat d’Israël et qui s’installe en Angleterre.

Rappelons les grandes dates de l’histoire de la création de l’Etat d’Israël, ses extensions territoriales et sa mainmise sur les ressources hydrauliques de la région :

• 1917. Par la Déclaration Balfour, la Grande-Bretagne promet la « création d’un foyer national juif en Palestine » . Les premiers sionistes rachètent alors les terres en Palestine pour les cultiver afin d’y forger un nouveau peuple juif, comme ce fut déjà le cas, précédemment dans l’histoire.

Ce retour à la terre s’est immédiatement heurté à un obstacle majeur : le manque d’eau. La Palestine du mandat britannique est une terre aride où la seule réserve d’eau douce importante est le Lac de Tibériade qui fait frontière avec la Syrie et la Transjordanie.

• 1919. Le Président de l’Organisation Mondiale sioniste, Chaïm Weizmann adresse une lettre au Premier Ministre britannique, Lloyd George, lui demandant d’étendre la frontière nord de la Palestine de manière à englober toutes les sources d’eau tenant ainsi compte au-delà des considérations historiques ou religieuses, des considérations hydrauliques.

Il y soulignait déjà que « Tout l’avenir de la Palestine dépend de son approvisionnement en eau pour l’irrigation et pour la production d’électricité ; et l’alimentation en eau doit essentiellement provenir des pentes du Mont Hermon, des sources du Jourdain et du Fleuve Litanie » . Les frontières ainsi proposées englobent Israël, mais aussi Gaza, la Cisjordanie, les hauteurs du Golan, des portions du Liban, de la Syrie et de la Jordanie.

paleau3.jpgC’est dans ce contexte qu’un hydrologue américain, Elwood Mead, sera invité par les sionistes à venir en Palestine, c’est chose faite en 1923 et en 1927.

Lors de ces deux voyages, il ne visitera que les colonies juives et établira un Etat des lieux de la situation de l’eau et des futurs projets hydrauliques à prévoir par les sionistes. Il donnera ensuite, des indications pour irriguer le Néguev, aride, en prélevant l’eau du Jourdain.

Ses travaux inspirent le Plan Hayes du nom d’un ingénieur américain qui préconise « l’irrigation des terres de la vallée du Jourdain, la dérivation des eaux du Jourdain et du Yarmouk pour la création d’énergie hydraulique, le détournement des eaux du nord de la Palestine vers le désert du Néguev au sud et l’utilisation de l’eau du Litani au sud du Liban » .

Ceci confirme l’importance que revêt l’eau dans la construction et la viabilité de l’Etat d’Israël sur le plan humain, économique et sécuritaire.

A la suite du génocide juif, l’ONU vote un plan de partage créant deux Etats et un statut International pour Jérusalem. Les juifs acceptent mais les Palestiniens le rejètent prétextant que leur population est plus nombreuse que la population juive.
• 15 mai 1948. L’Etat d’Israël est proclamé, et la même année le nouvel Etat se fixe quatre objectifs :
o contrôler le Lac de Tibériade ;
o le Jourdain ;
o la zone côtière et ses villes ;
o ainsi que le désert du Néguev dans le but de le faire fleurir pour absorber les flux migratoires et rassembler la diaspora juive.

• 1953. Israël va mettre en pratique notamment les directives du plan Hayes et commencer à détourner les eaux du Jourdain. Elle entreprend la construction du « National Water Carrier », colonne vertébrale à partir du nord du Lac de Tibériade qui lui permet de détourner vers elle la majeure partie du cours d’eau.
La Syrie et la Jordanie se plaignent et les Nations Unis critiquent ces actions israéliennes. Le Président Eisenhower décide d’envoyer en « médiateur » ou plutôt en conciliateur, Eric Johnston pour proposer un plan de répartition des ressources hydrauliques.
Après plusieurs négociations, en 1955 il fait une proposition favorable aux Israéliens.
Israël va donc poursuivre ses projets.

• 1964. Israël a fini de réaliser à partir du lac de Tibériade, l’interconnexion des eaux sur l’ensemble du territoire jusqu’au désert du Néguev, mis en valeur par l’irrigation, réussissant ainsi à réaliser l’idéal sioniste qui consiste à « faire fleurir le désert ». Les Arabes ripostent à plusieurs reprises, mais sans succès.

• 1967. La « guerre des six jours » est d’une certaine manière une guerre pour l’eau puisque les territoires désormais dits « occupés » par Israël lui permettent de contrôler la totalité des ressources, c’est-à-dire :
o le Golan, véritable château d’eau ;
o plus une partie du cours du Yarmouk ;
o ainsi que les trois grandes nappes aquifères de Cisjordanie, ce qui lui permet donc le contrôle de tout le cours du Jourdain.

Cette guerre lui permet d’achever la mise en œuvre de ses plans hydrauliques et son emprise territoriale sur toute la Cisjordanie, Gaza et les hauteurs du Golan.
Elle accapare le désert du Sinaï, non pour les ressources mais pour forcer l’Egypte à la laisser passer par le canal de Suez, ce qui donnera lieu à l’accord de Paix dit les "Accords de Camp David" et lui permettra en 1982 de rendre le Sinaï.

Cette guerre des six jours sera suivie d’une politique de colonisation c’est-à-dire d’implantations de juifs dans ces territoires conquis par la force. Cette colonisation permet de contrôler directement sur le terrain le niveau d’utilisation de l’eau par les populations locales (interdiction pour l’agriculture, pour le forage de puits...), mais également de développer la politique du fait accompli c’est-à-dire faire en sorte qu’il devienne impossible de rendre ces territoires par la présence de villes entières juives.

• 1978. Elle occupe le sud Liban pour achever en quelque sorte cet approvisionnement - avec notamment l’usage et le détournement d’une partie du Fleuve Litani par un système de pompage - sud Liban qu’elle ne libérera qu’en 2000, suite à une résistance acharnée du Hezbollah installé dans cette région.

II. Une répartition inégale de cette eau rare dans cette région

Israël contrôle tout le système de l’eau des territoires occupés de Palestine. Il organise un partage inégal et délibéré des ressources en eau : Israël détourne 75 % des ressources en eau des territoires occupés, ne laissant que 25 % aux Palestiniens.

La consommation moyenne en eau par habitant d’un Israélien est 5 fois plus importante que celle d’un Palestinien. Outre le rationnement en eau, les Palestiniens sont victimes de destruction de puits, de canalisation d’eau et d’assainissement, par l’armée israélienne.

Israël n’a cessé d’implanter des colonies juives (voir carte en annexe) dans les territoires occupés, au plus près des réserves en eau, voire en les détournant à leur profit. La surexploitation des puits de Gaza rend l’eau impropre à la consommation domestique. Le contingentement de l’eau imposé par Israël rend tout développement impossible dans les territoires occupés, met en cause la survie des Palestiniens et engendre de graves problèmes sanitaires.

La 26ème mission de protection du peuple palestinien, en juillet 2002 a relevé :
• La destruction des puits dans la bande de Gaza et dans la région de Rafah, du système d’assainissement et des canalisations en eau.
• La destruction des citernes sur les toits, mitraillés par l’armée (à Ramallah, Jénine et Rafah)
• Les vertes collines des colonies juives dans la vallée du Jourdain et leur arrosage incessant parfois inutile, à côté des espaces caillouteux et secs occupés par les Palestiniens.
Aujourd’hui, les 2/3 des besoins d’Israël sont assurés par les ressources provenant de l’extérieur des frontières de 1948 :
• environ 1/3 provient de Cisjordanie et de la nappe de la bande de Gaza ;
• et 1/3 provenant du lac de Tibériade et du Yarmouk.
Cette utilisation des eaux ne peut se faire que par un contrôle draconien et inégalitaire de la consommation palestinienne dans les Territoires :
• limitation des cultures ;
• interdiction de forer ;
o prix prohibitif de l’eau, etc.
75 % de l’eau des Territoires occupés est consommé par Israël et ses colonies. Le rapport de population entre Israël et les Territoires est de 2 à 1 et celui de la consommation d’eau de 11 à 1 !

Les discussions à venir avec les Palestiniens s’averrent difficiles : ils réclament 80 % des ressources de la Cisjordanie ce qui signifierait pour Israël une diminution de 20 % des ressources actuellement disponibles! Le dossier de l’eau est donc de toute première importance dans un éventuel règlement de paix.

De l’autre côté, Israël ne semble donc pas vouloir concéder une partie des ressources et applique bon nombre de règlements malgré leur contestation.

Ignorant les conventions de Genève, le gouvernement israélien applique aux Territoires occupés une loi datant de 1959 faisant de l’eau « une propriété publique soumise au contrôle de l’Etat ».

En effet, juste après l’occupation, le contrôle de l’eau fut confié à l’autorité militaire qui fit interdire toute nouvelle construction d’infrastructures liées à l’eau, puis elle s’empara de toutes les ressources en eau de Palestine, les déclarant propriété de l’Etat. En 1982, la compagnie d’eau israélienne, Mekorot, prend le contrôle de la ressource palestinienne en eau.

Des puits palestiniens sont ainsi détruits et les ressources en eau sont asséchées par des forages à grande échelle et des prélèvements à partir de puits très profonds pour le seul usage des Israéliens.

La législation militaire est introduite et la colonisation signifie le maintien stratégique sur les ressources hydrauliques de la Cisjordanie et de la bande de Gaza, sans quoi Israël ne peut ni se développer, ni survivre.

Dès lors on comprend comment, le contrôle de l’eau et de la terre, couple indissociable, dirige la stratégie sioniste.

La politique agricole israélienne est l’expression même de l’idéal sioniste de « faire fleurir » le désert. Ainsi porter atteinte à l’agriculture est synonyme de s’attaquer à l’âme du pays.

Les exportations sont aussi une manière de montrer au reste du monde qu’en Israël rien ne manque sur le plan de la qualité de vie, qu’elle est vouée à être un grand pays, et que l’immigration des juifs vers Israël, considérer comme un « havre de paix », peut continuer à se poursuivre.

paleau4.jpgC’est pourquoi, aucun responsable politique israélien ne peut renoncer à « l’or bleu » des Territoires occupés. Israël considère comme un casus belli toute tentative d’appropriation de ses ressources en eau par les pays voisins. C’est le cas par exemple pour la Syrie, qui convoite une partie du Jourdain. Aujourd’hui le territoire de Gaza restitué aux Palestiniens, est un territoire qui a connu des pompages tellement excessifs que ce qu’il reste d’eau est impropre à la consommation (pollution, salinisation…), sachant que les nappes phréatiques mettent des décennies à se reconstituer.

Les perspectives à long terme sont alarmantes, car la région manque d’eau et en manquera de plus en plus car les ressources sont limitées et la demande ne fera qu’augmenter, compte tenu du rythme démographique élevé des deux côtés !

La Banque Mondiale prévoit que la demande vers 2040 pour Israël, les Territoires occupés et la Jordanie pourrait s’élever à 7 milliards de mètres cubes !

De toute évidence les ressources du bassin du Jourdain sont insuffisantes.

De ce fait la solution pourrait être régionale par des transferts d’eau, d’où l’intérêt porté au Litanie libanais, ou par le recours coûteux à des ressources non conventionnelles : dessalement de l’eau de mer, recyclage des eaux usées (...), mais là aussi les ressources financières sont inégales et les Palestiniens ne pourront se permettre d’endosser ces coûts. Ainsi, la perspective d’une coopération régionale pourrait s’avérer être une solution difficile à mettre en place, mais réalisable car cette eau si rare et si précieuse va aussi terriblement manquer pour Israël, si les surexploitations sont maintenues à ce rythme.

La question du partage de l’eau est un point clé d’un éventuel processus de paix israélo-palestinien et d’un apaisement des relations interétatiques au sein « d’une région du monde où le problème de la pénurie en eau avec ses répercussions politiques, se pose avec le plus de gravité ». Car, exception faite du Liban et de la Turquie dotés d’un potentiel hydraulique conséquent, les climats arides ou semi désertiques des autres pays du Proche-Orient, aggravés par des phénomènes de surexploitation et de surconsommation chroniques, font de l’eau une ressource rare et convoitée, donc polémogène. Des alternatives permettent cependant d’espérer une issue positive aux problèmes de la rareté et de la gestion de l’eau sur le plus ou moins long terme.

En 1995, Ismail Serageldin, vice-président de la Banque mondiale pour les questions de développement durable, déclarait : « les guerres du prochain siècle auront l’eau pour objet ». Un géographe de l’Université de l’Oregon, Aaron Wolf, s’est intéressé aux discordes entre États liées à l’eau de 1950 à 2000: sur 1831 litiges - soit en moyenne 30 par an -, deux tiers ont été réglés par des accords de coopération, 507 sont apparus véritablement dangereux et 21 seulement ont débouché sur des opérations militaires. Sur ces 21, 18 ont été le fait d’Israël. On peut identifier trois conflits importants au Moyen-Orient liés au contrôle de la ressource hydrique : celui opposant l’Irak, la Syrie et la Turquie à propos des fleuves de l’Euphrate et du Tigre ; celui entre la Syrie, Israël, les Territoires palestiniens et la Jordanie sur le partage des eaux du Jourdain ; le problème de l’utilisation des nappes aquifères entre Israël et l’Autorité palestinienne. Ce sont ces deux derniers cas qui nous intéressent ici.

Il peut être intéressant de croiser l’étude d’Aaron Wolf avec un rapport de la FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) qui signale que dans le bassin du Jourdain, partagé entre quatre Etats (Liban, Syrie, Territoires palestiniens - donc Israël - et Jordanie), la ration d’eau individuelle est des plus réduites. En considérant qu’une situation de « stress hydrique » advient à partir du moment où un pays dispose de moins de 500 m3 d’eau par habitant et par an, presque tous les pays du Proche-Orient en sont victimes. La FAO estime que la quantité d’eau potable de bonne qualité disponible par personne et par an est de 250m3 en Israël, 85m3 dans les Territoires palestiniens et 200m3 en Jordanie. La ressource est rare, mais aussi très inégalement répartie puisque le nord d’Israël dispose de 500m3/pers/an, et le Liban et la Syrie, soit les deux pays en amont du Jourdain, disposent de 3000m3 pour le premier et 1200m3 pour le second.

Israël, qui développe dès sa création en 1948 l’utilisation agricole, met très tôt en œuvre une stratégie de conquête hydrique. Car son eau vient de l’extérieur de son territoire national. Le Jourdain constitue sa principale source d’eau. Né au Liban, le fleuve se dirige du Nord au Sud et reçoit trois affluents majeurs. Il traverse le lac de Tibériade, grande réserve d’eau douce d’Israël, avant de se jeter dans la mer Morte. Le bassin du Jourdain intègre aussi des aquifères souterrains localisés notamment sous les collines de Cisjordanie, et entre Haïfa et Gaza (plaine littorale).

Les rapports de force actuels autour de la ressource en eau remontent ainsi à la fondation d’Israël et surtout à la guerre des Six Jours, parfois perçue comme la première guerre de l’eau. Selon Ariel Sharon : « Les gens considèrent généralement que la guerre des Six-Jours a débuté le 5 Juin 1967. C’est la date officielle, mais en réalité, elle avait débuté deux ans et demi plus tôt, le jour où Israël avait décidé d’intervenir contre le détournement des eaux du Jourdain. A partir de là, une tension sourde et permanente s’installa le long de la frontière israélo-syrienne ». En 1953, Tel-Aviv entreprend le creusement du canal du National Water Carrier, destiné à détourner l’eau du bassin du Jourdain depuis le lac de Tibériade, soit le nord de la mer de Galilée, vers le désert du Néguev. Cette initiative provoque la colère des Etats arabes voisins, qui lancent à leur tour des projets de détournement des eaux du Jourdain en établissant des barrages sur ses affluents du Yarmouk et du Litani. Israël bombarde à plusieurs reprises les travaux, entrainant une grave détérioration de ses relations avec le Liban, la Syrie et la Jordanie. Lors de la Guerre des Six Jours, les Israéliens conquièrent le plateau du Golan et la Cisjordanie, contrôlant de facto les ressources hydrauliques. A partir de là, il est tentant de voir dans la question de la sécurité de l’approvisionnement en eau d’Israël un motif majeur du déclenchement de l’attaque de 1967. Mais, comme le rappelle le géographe Frédéric Lasserre, l’eau n’est qu’un facteur parmi d’autres, la stratégie militaire d’Israël visant d’abord en 1967 à réduire la menace égyptienne et à contrer les entrées en guerre de la Jordanie et de la Syrie. Néanmoins, il n’en reste que contrôler la vallée du Jourdain répond à des considérations de sécurité – créer une zone tampon contre d’éventuelles incursions ennemies – mais aussi d’approvisionnement en eau. Car en ayant la mainmise sur les territoires palestiniens, Israël contrôle les ressources aquifères de Gaza et de la Cisjordanie. L’occupation du Sud Liban lui permet aussi de contrôler le plateau du Golan et de détourner, jusqu’à son retrait en 2000, les eaux du Litani. De pays en aval, Israël passe ainsi à la position très enviée de pays en amont du Jourdain.

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L’eau est donc un paramètre à prendre en compte dans le conflit israélo-palestinien. Car, alors que les ressources se situent principalement chez les Palestiniens, Israël en dispose et les gère seul pour pourvoir aux besoins des deux populations. Dans l’ensemble, 40 % de son eau provient des Territoires palestiniens.

Pour combler ses besoins croissants, l’Etat juif a élaboré une législation rigoureuse sur l’eau. Une loi de 1959 stipule qu’elle est une propriété publique soumise au contrôle de l’Etat. En 1967, elle est étendue aux Territoires occupés dont les eaux sont déclarées « ressource stratégique sous contrôle militaire », permettant à Israël d’exercer un monopole. D’après un rapport de l’UNICEF de 2005, s’appuyant sur une étude de la Banque Mondiale, Israël puise ainsi dans le seul aquifère de Cisjordanie 86% de ses ressources en eau (soit le quart de sa consommation nationale), les colons 4% et les Palestiniens 10%. Dans l’ensemble, un tiers des ressources d’Israël provient des eaux de surface, notamment du Jourdain, le reste provient des eaux souterraines (sa nappe littorale, celle de Cisjordanie, et de la bande de Gaza). S’ajoutent d’importantes restrictions à l’accès à l’eau pour la population palestinienne qui est soumise à des quotas, qui doit obtenir une autorisation spéciale des autorités militaires israéliennes pour creuser tout nouveau puits et qui doit payer son eau agricole au prix de l’eau potable, soit un prix quatre fois supérieur à ce que payent les colons israéliens profitant d’un système de subventions. Le mur de sécurité séparant Israël et la Cisjordanie vient en outre désorganiser les systèmes d’irrigation palestiniens.

Et le problème, à première vue, semble s’aggraver. Déjà en situation de stress hydrique, les besoins en eau tendent à augmenter avec la forte pression démographique, l’existence de projets de développement agricole basés sur une forte irrigation et la dégradation des ressources existantes. Car la surexploitation des ressources se traduit par une baisse significative de la quantité disponible et par une importante salinisation de la nappe phréatique, provoquant à Gaza une situation de quasi pénurie. « La nappe phréatique a été tellement exploitée que c’est de l’eau salée qui coule aujourd’hui au robinet […] ‘’95% de l’eau ne correspond pas aux standards de l’eau potable et, en 2016, ce sera 100%’’ assure Monther Shoblak, directeur général du service des eaux de Gaza ».

C’est ainsi qu’en 2005, toujours d’après l’UNICEF, Israël consommait environ 2 000 millions de m3 d’eau par an alors que ses ressources oscillaient entre 1 400 et 1 600 millions de m3. Jusque-là, il semblait ainsi qu’un accord de paix avec les Palestiniens poserait à Israël de graves problèmes d’approvisionnement en eau, car l’Autorité palestinienne demande trois choses :

Les droits sur la presque totalité de la nappe de montagne, en bonne partie centrée sur la Cisjordanie

Le droit au partage des eaux du Jourdain

Le droit au partage des eaux de la Mer morte, lac salé bordé par la Jordanie, la Cisjordanie et Israël

Malgré un conflit qui semble, au premier abord, insoluble, il faut éviter de tirer des conclusions hâtives. Frédéric Lasserre montre bien que la gestion de l’eau ressort bien plus de choix politiques et sociaux que de spéculations sur la réduction des quantités disponibles. C’est le concept d’adaptation sociale et son corollaire, la gestion des tensions internes par les pouvoirs publics, qui constitue pour lui la pierre angulaire de toute étude sur les conflits de l’eau. Au Proche-Orient, comme partout ailleurs, les recours sont nombreux pour tenter de combler les besoins des uns et des autres.

1) La coopération internationale

Le droit international relatif à l’eau est encore flou et peu homogène. On peut distinguer trois doctrines juridiques concurrentes : les pays d’amont privilégient celle de « la souveraineté territoriale absolue » sur les eaux présentes sur le territoire national ; les pays d’aval celle de « l’intégrité territoriale absolue », chaque Etat devant permettre aux cours d’eau de poursuivre leur cours ; celle enfin de « la première appropriation » consistant à donner la priorité à ceux étant les premiers à avoir mis l’eau en valeur. En d’autres termes, les Palestiniens disent la géographie est pour nous, les Israéliens l’histoire est pour nous. Le droit international ne tranche pas entre ces deux positions. La convention de New York de 1997 sur le droit relatif aux utilisations des cours d’eau internationaux à des fins autres que la navigation comprend ainsi des contradictions implicites. L’article 5 mentionne le principe de « la souveraineté territoriale absolue » alors que l’article 7 mentionne celui de la « première appropriation ».

Les accords régionaux et bilatéraux ont quant à eux donné des résultats mitigés. En 1953, le plan Johnson prévoit la conclusion d’un accord à l’échelle du bassin du Jourdain, pour tenter de favoriser la coordination entre les usages respectifs. Mais Israël refuse de signer l’accord, tandis que la Ligue arabe décide de rejeter tout accord sur le partage de l’eau dans le bassin du Jourdain tant qu’un accord politique n’aura pas réglé la question palestinienne.

Une entente n’est pas pour autant impossible. Le traité de paix signé entre la Jordanie et Israël en 1994 ouvrent ainsi les bases d’un règlement de répartition équitable entre les deux pays.

2) L’amélioration du système d’irrigation

Près de 70% des ponctions en eau sont destinées à l’agriculture. On constate d’ailleurs que le niveau du Jourdain est sept fois plus bas aujourd’hui qu’il y a 50 ans en raison des nombreux détournements pour les projets d’irrigation. Par ailleurs, plus le pays est pauvre, plus il consomme d’eau pour irriguer : les pays dits « du tiers-monde » utilisent ainsi deux fois plus d’eau par hectare que les pays industrialisés, pour une production agricole en moyenne trois fois inférieure en valeur. Dans les Territoires palestiniens, réduire les besoins en eau agricole consisterait à améliorer le système d’irrigation en modernisant un réseau vieux et défectueux dont le taux de fuite est estimé à 40%. Israël dispose de toute la technologie nécessaire pour les y aider (taux de fuite de moins de 10%).

Faire revivre la Mer Morte

mermorte.jpgDe plus en plus d’espoir sont placés dans le projet fou consistant à faire revivre la mer Morte, qui était à terme condamnée si aucune action politique n’était entreprise. Comme la mer d’Aral, ce lac salé a perdu en un demi-siècle près du tiers de sa superficie, si bien qu’il est aujourd’hui divisé en deux bassins distincts. En cause, les prélèvements excessifs du Jourdain qui l’alimente et l’évaporation importante de l’eau due aux usines de production de sel qui le bordent.

Jusque-là, la principale solution mise en avant pour contrer la menace d’assèchement total du lac consistait à creuser un canal depuis la mer Rouge jusqu’à la mer Morte pour l’alimenter. Une étude de faisabilité a même été réalisée en 2006, estimant le projet à 3 ou 4 milliards de dollars. Le « canal de la paix » porte bien son nom puisqu’il pourrait bénéficier à terme à l’ensemble des protagonistes. Cependant, certaines organisations environnementales ne manquent pas de pointer le risque écologique d’un tel projet.

Une autre alternative se dessine aujourd’hui. Selon Gilbert Benhayoun, professeur d’économie et président du groupe d’Aix, Israël arrive à faire en sorte d’extraire moins d’eau du lac de Tibériade, permettant un débit plus rapide des eaux du Jourdain. A terme, si cette politique se poursuit, on peut penser que le Jourdain pourra à nouveau alimenter, ou réalimenter, le mer Morte.

4) Les eaux non conventionnelles

Toujours d’après G. Benhayoun, la situation a changé avec les avancées technologiques et la crise de l’eau en Israël est en passe d’être définitivement terminée. Les Israéliens pourraient ainsi produire bientôt suffisamment d’eau pour pourvoir à leurs besoins dont près de la moitié serait déjà couverte par de l’eau dite « non conventionnelle », c’est-à-dire issue du traitement des eaux usées et de la désalinisation. Israël est d’ailleurs le premier pays au monde pour le traitement des eaux usées, à hauteur de 90%, ressource qui est ensuite réutilisée dans l’agriculture. A noter cependant que les colons ne recyclent que 60% des leurs.

Alors qu’aujourd’hui près d’1% seulement de l’eau potable est produite par dessalement dans le monde, Israël dispose déjà de quatre usines de désalinisation, une à Ashkelon, une à Hadera, une à Palmachim et la dernière en date à Ashdod. Et le gouvernement israélien a approuvé récemment la construction d’une cinquième usine à Sorek, au sud de Tel-Aviv, qui permettra de combler encore un peu plus l’écart entre les besoins et les ressources en eau propres d’Israël. D’après certains experts qui se sont exprimés lors du Symposium « énergie-eau » qui s’est tenu cette année au sein de CleanTech pour son 17e Sommet annuel, Israël pourrait bientôt produire environ 600 millions de mètres cubes d’eau dessalée par an, couvrant près de 80 % de l’eau potable en milieu urbain.

L’eau de mer pourrait ainsi devenir l’une des principales ressources alternatives à la rareté de l’eau douce au Proche-Orient comme en témoigne les projets en cours pour construire une usine de dessalement à Gaza dont la population a essentiellement accès à de l’eau souterraine polluée, ou encore à Aqaba (projet israélo-jordanien). Mais les freins sont encore nombreux. Ces installations nécessitent en effet des besoins énergétiques lourds et coûtent extrêmement chères.

Ainsi, même si la crise de l’eau est encore bel et bien une réalité au Proche-Orient, elle change progressivement de nature. Au fil du temps, il s’agira plus d’une crise de répartition, de distribution, plutôt qu’une question de rareté réelle. Cela rejoint les conclusions de Frédéric Lasserre affirmant que le problème de l’eau est moins géographique que politique. Et le principal problème entre Israël et les Territoires palestiniens est que les accords d’Oslo II de 1995, qui devaient régler la question de l’eau pour cinq ans en attendant un accord final, n’ont toujours pas été mis à jour alors que le cadre n’est plus du tout adapté. Ses besoins en eau douce étant en passe d’être pourvus, Gilbert Benhayoun souligne que ce serait un beau geste politique de la part de l’Etat hébreu que d’accéder aux demandes de l’Autorité palestinienne qui souhaite récupérer la souveraineté sur ses ressources hydriques.

lundi, 14 décembre 2015

Toenadering Putin tot Israël; Turkije vormt anti-Russisch blok met Oekraïne

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Toenadering Putin tot Israël; Turkije vormt anti-Russisch blok met Oekraïne
 
Ex: http://xandernieuws.punt.nl

Putin: ‘Alles wat onze troepen in Syrië bedreigt zal onmiddellijk worden vernietigd’ 

Turks-Oekraïens blok tegen Rusland 

Tijdens een toespraak roemde de Russische president Vladimir Putin de samenwerking van zijn luchtmacht met de Israëlische (1). Internationale analisten stellen dat Putin Israël nooit kwaad zal doen vanwege de ruim 1 miljoen Russisch sprekende inwoners van de Joodse staat. In Israël steken velen hun bewondering voor Putin niet onder stoelen of banken, vooral omdat hij –in tegenstelling tot hun eigen premier Netanyahu- vastbesloten tegen Turkije durft op te treden. Tegelijkertijd gaan de potentiële toekomstige EU-lidstaten Turkije en Oekraïne militair samenwerken om een vuist tegen Rusland te kunnen maken. De NAVO zal deze ontwikkeling met instemming begroeten, overduidelijk niet beseffende dat Putin het meende toen hij zei dat ‘als oorlog onvermijdelijk is, ik geleerd heb dat je dan als eerste moet toeslaan.’

Sinds eind jaren ’90 emigreerden ruim een miljoen Russen naar Israël, wat van grote invloed op de Joodse staat is geweest. Veel Russische politicologen vragen zich zelfs hardop af of het feit dat 18% van de Israëlische bevolking inmiddels Russisch spreekt betekent dat het land nu ‘feitelijk een deel van Rusland is geworden’. Ook als deze vraag niet met ‘ja’ kan worden beantwoord, dan nog is Israël een proces van ‘Russificatie’ ondergaan, ongeveer zoals Europa door miljoenen moslims wordt geïslamiseerd.

‘Putin zal Israël nooit kwaad doen vanwege 1 miljoen Russen’

Op veel sociale media en populaire blogs werd dan ook met grote instemming gereageerd op de harde reactie van Putin op het neerschieten van een van zijn bommenwerpers boven Syrië door Turkse F-16’s. Ondanks het feit dat de Russen in Syrië ook Iran en Hezbollah –verklaarde vijanden van Israël- steunt in hun strijd tegen de moslimrebellen die Assad willen afzetten, zijn ook analisten de mening toegedaan dat Putin zelf nooit ruim 1 miljoen Russisch sprekenden leden van ‘zijn volk’ in Israël zal bedreigen, mede omdat die een belangrijke rol in de Israëlische politiek zijn gaan spelen.

Goed voorbeeld is Avigdor Lieberman, voormalig minister van Buitenlandse Zaken en leider van de Russisch-Israëlische partij Yisrael Beytenu. Lieberman staat bekend vanwege zijn vriendschap met Putin, en verklaarde laatst dat de crisis tussen Turkije en Rusland niet moet worden gebruikt om de slechte verhouding met Erdogan te verbeteren, zoals sommige politieke partijen voorstelden. ‘Dat is een dom idee, want het is nog steeds hetzelfde Turkije.’ (2)

Militaire samenwerking Turkije - Oekraïne

Datzelfde Turkije gaat militair samenwerken met het illegale anti-Russische regime van Oekraïne, dat na een door het Westen veroorzaakte staatsgreep aan de macht kwam. De Turkse wapenfabrikant ASELSAN gaat in samenwerking met het staatsbedrijf Ukroboronprom Oekraïense tanks moderniseren. De afspraken tussen beide landen komen kort nadat Moskou na het neerschieten van de Su-24 door Turkije alle militaire samenwerking met Ankara opzegde. (3)

Erdogan zoekt al sinds het begin van de burgeroorlog in Oekraïne toenadering tot Kiev, omdat er op de Krim, dat zich na een referendum bij Rusland aansloot, een grote groep etnische Turken, de zogenaamde ‘Krim-Tartaren’, woont. De Russen vochten in het verleden tal van oorlogen uit met het toenmalige Turks-Ottomaanse Rijk, dat Erdogan met behulp van de NAVO en de EU uit alle macht probeert te herstellen.

Putin: Alle bedreigingen worden vernietigd

In een TV-toespraak zei Putin gisteren dat hij ‘extreem harde actie’ heeft bevolen ‘tegen iedere bedreiging van onze troepen in Syrië. Zulke doelen moeten onmiddellijk worden vernietigd.’ Dit was overduidelijk gericht aan het adres van NAVO-lid Turkije. Tegelijkertijd onthulde de Russische president dat hij met zijn Amerikaanse collega Obama is overeengekomen samen het Free Syrian Army te ondersteunen. Daarmee zou een oplossing voor het Syrische conflict mogelijk dichterbij zijn gekomen. (4)

Onafhankelijkheidsoorlog gewonnen met Russische wapens

De toenadering tussen Rusland en Israël hoeft niet als een volslagen verrassing te komen als naar de geschiedenis wordt gekeken. De pas geboren Joodse staat had de onafhankelijkheidsoorlog tegen de Arabieren in 1948-1949 vermoedelijk nooit kunnen winnen als Sovjetleider Joseph Stalin de Joden geen wapens had gegeven om tegen het door Britse (!) generaals aangevoerde Arabische invasieleger te kunnen vechten.

Stalin stond weliswaar bekend als een felle antisemiet, maar besloot toch om Israël te steunen, vermoedelijk omdat hij hoopte de Joodse staat tot Russische vazalstaat tegen het Britse Rijk te maken, dat toen nog over grote delen van het Midden Oosten heerste. Na het verdwijnen van Stalin koos de Sovjet Unie tientallen jaren lang juist partij voor Israëls Arabische vijanden –zo werd PLO-terrorist Yasser Arafat door de KGB getraind-, maar na de val van het communistische imperium begon een periode van hernieuwde toenadering, die versnelde nadat Israël ruim een miljoen Russen tot het land toeliet. (5)

Gog = Turkse leider, geen Russische

Westerse Bijbel- en profetie uitleggers, die altijd beweerd hebben dat Rusland de grote vijand ‘Gog uit Magog’ is die in de eindtijd Israël zal binnenvallen, zouden nu toch eindelijk eens onder ogen moeten durven zien dat hun theorieën misschien wel helemaal verkeerd zijn. Sowieso hebben zij altijd de historische feiten tegen zich gehad, omdat ‘Gog’ in Ezechiël 38 tevens de prins van ‘Meschech en Tubal’ wordt genoemd. En die plaatsen lagen in het huidige Turkije, niet in Rusland.

Het foutieve ‘Gog = Rusland’ scenario is onder andere gebaseerd op de tekst waarin staat dat deze –ook wel ‘antichrist’ genoemde- leider uit het ‘verre noorden’ komt. Bekende uitleggers beweerden altijd dat er maar één grote macht in het ‘verre’ of ‘uiterste’ noorden ligt: Rusland. Deze theorie heeft nog een paar andere grote gaten:

* Deze ‘experts’ trekken op een platte wereldkaart een rechte lijn naar het noorden, en komen dan in Moskou uit. Echter, de wereld is rond. Op een ronde bol gaat een rechte lijn naar het noorden vanuit Jeruzalem niet door Rusland, maar dwars door... Ankara, de hoofdstad van Turkije (en overigens ook door Oekraïne):

 

* ‘Gog’ komt volgens de Bijbel plotseling aan zijn eind als hij met zijn legermacht Israël is binnengevallen. Kort hiervoor wordt hij opgeschrikt door ‘geruchten uit het noorden’ (en oosten). Hoe kan Gog Rusland zijn, als er noordelijk van Rusland enkel nog de noordpool is te vinden? Als Gog inderdaad Turkije is, dan wordt het gezien de toenemende spanningen tussen beide landen alleen maar logischer dat juist de Russen de oorzaak zijn van de ‘geruchten uit het noorden’. Bovendien staat er ook uit ‘het oosten’, wat heel goed kan duiden op China.

Westen aan de verkeerde kant, namelijk van de islam?

* In dit scenario staat het Westen als het niet oppast aan de verkeerde kant – en ook daar zijn alle tekenen van aanwezig. Turkije is NAVO-lid, en de gevestigde orde in de EU en VS hebben overduidelijk de Soennitische islam tot partner gekozen.

Dit uit zich niet alleen in het bondgenootschap met Saudi Arabië en de Arabische Golfstaten en het steunen van islamitische terreurgroepen (eerst in Libië, daarna in Syrië, maar ook de Moslim Broederschap in Egypte, en bovendien is bewezen dat ISIS een creatie is van de CIA, de Turken en de Saudi’s), maar ook door het islamiseren van Europa door het binnenhalen van miljoenen moslim migranten. Daarnaast stelt met name de EU zich onder de snel groeiende invloed van al die moslims steeds vijandiger tegen Israël op.

Xander

(1) DEBKA
(2) Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten
(3) Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten
(4) DEBKA
(5) Ynet News

lundi, 05 octobre 2015

Shlomo Sand : «Israël se diabolise lui-même chaque jour»

Shlomo Sand : «Israël se diabolise lui-même chaque jour»

ShlomoSand.jpgL’historien israélien Shlomo Sand a répondu à une tribune de Pierre-André Taguieff publiée dans Le Monde, à propos de l’antisémitisme en France.  « De mon point de vue, la principale caractéristique de la judéophobie parmi les groupes marginaux de banlieues est l’identification dangereusement erronée entre : sionisme, Israël et juifs. Or, c’est précisément ce que font, sans relâche et sans distinction, les dirigeants d’Israël, le CRIF…. et toi.»

Je viens de lire ton article publié dans Le Monde, en date du 23 septembre: « L’intelligentsia française sous-estime l’antisémitisme », et, une fois de plus, je suis stupéfait !

Lorsque nous nous sommes connus, dans les années 80 au siècle dernier, j’avais la plus grande estime pour tes travaux investiguant les fondements du racisme théorique, dans la France de la deuxième partie du 19ème siècle.

J’avais beaucoup apprécié tes apports dans l’analyse et la déconstruction de la judéophobie qui a, effectivement, joué un rôle de tout premier ordre, dans la constitution d’une partie des identités de l’Hexagone, et ce jusque vers le milieu du 20ème siècle. Toutefois, depuis quelques années, à la lecture de tes publications, j’ai de plus en plus de mal à comprendre la logique qui t’anime : affirmer que la judéophobie demeure hégémonique en Occident, considérer l’islamophobie comme un phénomène plutôt marginal, dont les intellectuels exagèrent l’importance, et se faire, en en même temps, le défenseur inconditionnel du sionisme et d’Israël me laisse très perplexe !

En vérité, tu as notablement baissé dans mon estime lorsque tu as soutenu, avec enthousiasme, la guerre de George Bush contre l’Irak, et lorsque tu as exprimé une sympathie manifeste pour  « La rage et l’orgueil  », le livre islamophobe d’Oriana Fallaci (dans lequel, il est écrit, notamment, que les musulmans « se multiplient comme des rats »).

Tes prises de positions passées me paraissent, cependant, moins préoccupantes que celles que tu développes, ces temps-ci, alors que se profile, dans la société française, un dangereux terrain miné, lourd de menaces pour « l’autre ».

Tu sais bien que la haine envers celui qui est un peu différent, et que l’imaginaire apeuré face à celui qui affiche une singularité, ne se limitent pas aux émotions stupides de gens incultes, situés au bas de l’échelle sociale. Tu sais bien que cela n’épargne pas les classes sociales bien éduquées. Durant la période tragique pour les juifs et leurs descendants (1850-1950), le langage judéophobe ne se donnait pas uniquement libre cours dans les faubourgs populaires, mais il s’exprimait aussi dans la haute littérature, dans la philosophie raffinée, et dans la grande presse.

shlomo9782081307872.jpgLa haine et la peur des juifs faisaient partie intégrale des codes culturels, dans toutes les couches de la société européenne. Cet état de fait s’est, fort heureusement, modifié dans les années qui ont suivi la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale. Et si, bien sûr, il subsiste encore des préjugés à l’encontre des descendants imaginaires des meurtriers de Jésus Christ, il n’en demeure pas moins que, dans le monde occidental : de Los Angeles à Berlin, de Naples à Stockholm, de Buenos-Aires à Toronto, quelqu’un d’ouvertement judéophobe ne peut plus être journaliste ou présentateur à la télévision, ni occuper une place dirigeante dans la grande presse, ou encore détenir une chaire de professeur à l’université.

En bref, la judéophobie a perdu toute légitimité dans l’espace public. L’antisémitisme de Barrès, de Huysmans ou de Céline n’est plus admis dans les cénacles littéraires, ni dans les maisons d’éditions respectables du Paris d’aujourd’hui. Le prix à payer pour la disparition de cette « belle haine », ( pour user d’un qualificatif de l’antisémitisme en vogue , il y a un siècle), fut, comme l’on sait, très élevé. De nos jours, la « belle haine » est effectivement tournée vers d’autres gens, et nous ne savons pas encore quel en sera le prix.

Cela ne veut pas dire qu’une hostilité à l’encontre des juifs n’existe pas aux confins de la société, parmi des marginaux issus de l’immigration venant du monde musulman. Dans des cités-ghettos, certains jeunes, qui n’ont pas ingurgité la judéophobie chrétienne multiséculaire, sont, malheureusement, à l’écoute de quelques imams délirants ou de gens comme Alain Soral ou Dieudonné. Comment combattre cet inquiétant phénomène marginal ? Faut-il, comme tu ne cesses de le faire, justifier la politique menée par Israël ? Faut-il, comme tu t’y emploies également, nier que l’islamophobie a, effectivement, remplacé la judéophobie, et jouit d’une légitimité croissante dans tous les secteurs culturels français ?

T’es-tu demandé quels livres ont été des « best sellers », ces derniers temps : des pamphlets ou des romans contre les juifs, comme à la fin du 19ème siècle, ou bien des écrits qui ciblent les immigrés musulmans, (et cela ne se limite pas à Houellebecq, Finkielkraut et Zemmour ) ? Quels partis politiques ont le vent en poupe : ceux qui s’en prennent aux anciens « sémites » d’hier, ou ceux qui affichent leur rejet des nouveaux « sémites » d’aujourd’hui, et au passage, ne tarissent pas d’éloges sur la façon dont Israël traite les arabes (Marine Le Pen n’est pas la seule concernée !).

Et cela m’amène au dernier point, qui m’a le plus indisposé, dans ton article. De mon point de vue, la principale caractéristique de la judéophobie parmi les groupes marginaux de banlieues est l’identification dangereusement erronée entre sionisme, Israël et juifs.

Or, c’est précisément ce que font, sans relâche et sans distinction, les dirigeants d’Israël, le CRIF… et toi.

Les voyous de quartier ne sont pas devenus judéophobes uniquement sous l’effet de prêches venimeux prononcés par des démagogues. Il y a à cela bien d’autres causes : et notamment, l’identification constante des institutions juives officielles avec la politique israélienne. Pas une seule fois, le CRIF n’a émis la moindre protestation face à l’oppression subie par la population palestinienne. Et qu’on ne vienne pas nous parler de « diabolisation d’Israël »; Israël se diabolise lui-même chaque jour !

Comment un État considéré comme une démocratie occidentale peut-il, depuis bientôt cinquante ans, dominer un autre peuple, et lui dénier tout droit politique, civique, syndical , et autres ? Comment dans une ville–capitale démocratique, où des intellectuels français ont fondé un institut Emmanuel Levinas, de philosophie et d’éthique juives, un tiers de la population, qui y a été annexée de force en 1967, se trouve-t-elle encore privée de tout droit politique, et exclue de toute participation à la souveraineté ?

Et par delà tout ceci : que signifie être sioniste, aujourd’hui ? Simple est la réponse : soutenir Israël comme État des juifs. Comment un État à prétention démocratique, peut-il se définir, non pas comme la République légitime de tous ses citoyens israéliens, mais comme un État juif, alors même qu’un quart de ses citoyens ne sont pas juifs ? Es-tu capable de comprendre que l’Etat « juif », qui t’est si cher, appartient plus, en principe à ceux qui en France se disent juifs, qu’aux étudiants palestino-israéliens à qui j’enseigne l’Histoire à l’université de Tel-Aviv ?

Est-ce la raison pour laquelle tu te considères comme sioniste et fervent sympathisant d’Israël ? Si l’on suivait ton raisonnement sur cette question, la France ne devrait-elle pas cesser de se définir comme la République de tous ses citoyens, pour devenir « l’État gallo-catholique » ? Non ! Bien évidemment non, après Vichy et le génocide nazi.

Peut-être serait-il plus facile de définir un État français ressemblant à Israël, en recourant à un terme qui fait aujourd’hui florès parmi l’intelligentsia parisienne : « République judéo-chrétienne » ?

Shlomo Sand

Cette réplique à Pierre-André Taguieff a été publiée sur le blog « Les invités de Médiapart », sous le titre : « Lettre ouvert à un ex-ami ». Traduit de l’hébreu par Michel Bilis.

Shlomo Sand est historien, spécialiste de l’histoire contemporaine. Il est professeur à l’université de Tel Aviv depuis 1985.
Il est l’auteur de nombreux ouvrages, dont plusieurs ont été publiés en français, tels que: Comment le peuple juif fut inventé (Fayard – 2008) – « Comment j’ai cessé d’être juif » (Flammarion – 2013), Les mots et la terre – Les intellectuels en Israël (Flammarion – 2010), Comment la Terre sainte fut inventée – De la Terre sainte à la mère patrie (Flammarion – 2014)

Source: http://www.pourlapalestine.be/shlomo-sand-israel-se-diabolise-lui-meme-chaque-jour/

dimanche, 10 mai 2015

Les juifs éthiopiens ne veulent plus être les «nègres» d’Israël

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LES FALACHAS ET LE RACISME A L’ISRAÉLIENNE

Les juifs éthiopiens ne veulent plus être les «nègres» d’Israël

Jean Bonnevey
Ex: http://metamag.fr
Israël s’est retrouvé aux prises avec une «  intifada «  noire. Tout a commencé il y a une dizaine de jours, lorsqu’une chaîne de télévision israélienne a diffusé une vidéo montrant deux policiers passant à tabac, sans raison, un soldat de peau noire. Le lendemain, un autre Israélien d’origine éthiopienne a également été battu dans la rue, mais par trois inspecteurs municipaux cette fois.
 
Ce qui s’est passé a déclenché un mouvement de protestation contre les violences policières vis à vis des noirs, similaire à celui des USA.

Arrivés massivement en Israël dans le courant des années 1980, les juifs d’Ethiopie représentent aujourd’hui 2% de la population de l’Etat hébreu mais 30% de sa population carcérale et 40% de sa jeunesse délinquante.

Sans doute parce qu’ils étaient pauvres et illettrés, les olim (nouveaux immigrants) ont immédiatement souffert du racisme. Depuis lors et contrairement aux autres communautés de la diaspora, les ex-Ethiopiens sont les seuls juifs à ne pas pouvoir émigrer comme ils le veulent en Israël. Ils sont soumis à un quota et lorsqu’ils veulent acquérir un logement, l’Etat ne leur accordera une aide que s’ils installent dans des zones excentrées bien définies où les infrastructures sociales sont aussi défaillantes que le système scolaire.

Les manifestations violentes en Israël de juifs éthiopiens rappellent étrangement les manifestations des originaires d’Afrique du Nord dans les années 1970. Les mêmes causes produisent les mêmes effets. La cohabitation de communautés de différentes contrées ne se fait pas sans heurts, même si elles ont en commun la même religion. Hier, les juifs d’Afrique du Nord souffraient de discrimination et aujourd’hui c’est au tour des juifs éthiopiens, victimes en plus de racisme.

En Israël, dans les années 1970, les Blacks Panthers, par similitude avec les Afro-Américains, conduits par le leader marocain Charlie Biton, avaient créé un mouvement de protestation et de soutien des immigrants d’origine marocaine. En communauté de destin avec les Arabes israéliens, ils avaient constitué la première organisation qui s’était donnée pour mission d’œuvrer pour la justice sociale et pour la défense des défavorisés orientaux, victimes de discrimination dans le pays.

En mars 1971, les Blacks Panthers avaient manifesté pour protester contre la pauvreté de leur communauté, contre l’écart entre riches et pauvres et contre les tensions ethniques dans la société juive. Le 18 mai 1971, entre 5.000 et 7.000 manifestants s’étaient réunis à la place Sion à Jérusalem alors que la manifestation avait été interdite par la police. Les forces de l’ordre s’étaient violemment opposées à une foule en colère faisant une vingtaine de blessés hospitalisés et 74 arrestations. Le Premier ministre de l’époque, Golda Meir, avait refusé de reconnaître ce mouvement social. Mais la manifestation du 18 mai avait contraint le gouvernement israélien à prendre en compte les revendications des Orientaux en créant une commission dont les conclusions avaient confirmé que la discrimination existait à de nombreux niveaux de la société.

Les Falachas ou Falashas étaient des habitants de l'Éthiopie, maintenant qualifiés en Israël de « juifs éthiopiens ». Le terme Falasha est rarement utilisé par les juifs éthiopiens qui emploient plutôt Beta Israël (la « maison d’Israël », au sens de la « famille d’Israël »). Il signifie en amharique « exilé » ou « immigrés » et est généralement considéré comme péjoratif. Les Beta Israël ont une origine mal définie. Ils ont vécu pendant des siècles dans le Nord de l’Éthiopie, en particulier les provinces du Gondar et du Tigré. Après avoir bénéficié de petits États indépendants jusqu’au XVIIe siècle, ils ont été conquis par l'empire d'Éthiopie, et sont devenus une minorité marginalisée, à laquelle il était interdit de posséder des terres et qui était accusée d’avoir le « mauvais œil ».
 

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Ils rentrent en contact avec le judaïsme occidental à la fin du XIXe siècle. À compter du début du XXe siècle, une redéfinition en profondeur de l'identité de la communauté se fait jour et l'amène à se considérer désormais comme juive, et plus seulement comme Beta Israël. Cette évolution réduit progressivement les forts particularismes religieux originels et rapproche la religion des Beta Israël du judaïsme orthodoxe.

En 1975, le gouvernement israélien reconnaît la judaïté des Beta Israël. Ceux-ci vont alors mener une difficile émigration vers Israël dans les années 1980 et 1990. En 2009, ils sont environ 110 0002 en Israël.

Les Beta Israël eux-mêmes ont deux principaux récits concernant leurs origines. Selon le premier, « la plus répandue dans la tradition orale », les Beta Israël descendraient des Israélites ayant accompagné le prince Ménélik, fils du roi Salomon et de la reine de Saba lorsqu’il apporta l’arche d’alliance en Éthiopie, au Xe siècle av. J.-C. On peut noter que ce récit est étroitement connecté à la légende des chrétiens d’Éthiopie concernant l’Arche d’alliance. Elle en est peut-être une adaptation.

racisme,israël,anthropologie,ethnologie,éthiopie,afrique,affaires africaines,falachasLe second récit présente les Beta Israël comme les descendants de la tribu de Dan, une des « Dix tribus perdues » (déportées par les Assyriens en 722 avant Jésus-Christ). En Israël, ce récit tend à devenir dominant, sans doute car il est officiellement accepté par le grand rabbinat israélien en 1973.

On trouve aussi des récits moins répandus et qui tendent à disparaître de la tradition orale Beta Israël :
  • les Falashas descendraient d’un groupe d’Hébreux ayant refusé de suivre Moïse lors de la sortie d’Égypte.
  • selon un récit du XIXe siècle, qui semble aujourd’hui disparu, les Falashas seraient des Éthiopiens convertis par Moïse lors d’une ancienne visite dans le pays.
  • les Falashas seraient venus en Éthiopie à la suite de la fuite d’Israélites après la prise de Jérusalem en 587 avant Jésus-Christ par les Babyloniens.
  • les Beta Israël se considèrent comme les descendants des Hébreux .

Les Falashas n’ont pas une perception claire et unique du lien entre eux-mêmes et leurs ancêtres supposés. Mais la réciproque est encore plus vraie.
 

jeudi, 23 avril 2015

Le fanatisme religieux est un élément essentiel du soutien étasunien à Israël

Le fanatisme religieux est un élément essentiel du soutien étasunien à Israël

Auteur : Glenn Greenwald
Traduction Dominique Muselet
Ex: http://zejournal.mobi

Un nouveau sondage de Bloomberg Politics parvient à des résultats qui, quand on y pense, sont pour le moins étonnants.

En ce qui concerne les relations entre Israël et les Etats-Unis, à laquelle de ces propositions adhérez-vous :

- Israël est un allié mais nous devrions poursuivre nos intérêts quand ils divergent de ceux d’Israël : 47%

- Israël est un important allié, la seule démocratie de la région, et nous devrions le soutenir même si nos intérêts divergent : 45%

- Je ne sais pas : 8%

Près de la moitié de tous les Américains veulent soutenir Israël, même si les intérêts de ce pays divergent des intérêts de leur propre pays. Seule une minorité d’Américains (47 %) disent que leur pays doit poursuivre ses propres intérêts plutôt que de soutenir Israël quand il faut faire un choix entre les deux. C’est le reniement complet du Discours d’adieu de George Washington de 1796 dans lequel il soulignait qu’"il était absolument capital de ne pas se laisser aller à la haine invétérée et irréductible contre certaines nations et à la passion amoureuse pour d’autres ... La nation qui s’habitue à détester ou à aimer une autre nation en devient forcément plus ou moins l’esclave".

Il est inimaginable qu’une grande partie des Etasuniens veuille soutenir un pays étranger, quel qu’il soit, même lorsque cela est contraire aux intérêts étasuniens. Seul Israël suscite ce degré de ferveur et d’abnégation chez les Etasuniens. Cela vaut donc la peine de se demander d’où vient cette bizarrerie de l’opinion publique étasunienne.

La réponse devrait nous mettre tous mal à l’aise : c’est le fanatisme religieux. Les médias étasuniens adorent se moquer du fait que des nations ennemies, surtout les nations musulmanes, soient menées par des forces religieuses extrémistes, mais c’est précisément ce facteur qui explique en grande partie le fervent soutien de la population américaine à Israël. En donnant les résultats de son sondage, Bloomberg a fait la remarque suivante :

La religion semble jouer un rôle important dans ces chiffres. Les chrétiens sont plus nombreux que l’ensemble des sondés, 58% contre 35%, à soutenir Israël même contre l’intérêt des Etats-Unis. Les Etasuniens sans appartenance religieuse ont été les moins prêts à le faire, à 26%.

La principale raison pour laquelle les chrétiens évangéliques des États-Unis sont si dévoués à Israël est simple : leur doctrine religieuse radicale leur enseigne que c’est Dieu qui l’exige. En 2004, Pat Robertson a prononcé un discours intitulé "Pourquoi les chrétiens évangélistes soutiennent-ils Israël ?" dans lequel il a dit : "Les chrétiens évangélistes soutiennent Israël parce que nous croyons que les paroles de Moïse et des anciens prophètes d’Israël ont été inspirées par Dieu," et "nous pensons que la création d’un état juif sur la terre promise par Dieu à Abraham, Isaac et Jacob a été ordonnée par Dieu." Il a ajouté que "le peuple élu de Dieu" – les Juifs - avaient un devoir envers Dieu, celui de lutter contre les "vandales musulmans", afin qu’Israël reste uni entre leurs mains :

Si le peuple élu de Dieu laissait ses sites les plus sacrés, tomber aux mains d’Allah – si les vandales musulmans se rendaient maîtres des tombeaux de Rachel, de Joseph, des patriarches, des anciens prophètes – s’ils croyaient que leur droit à la Terre Sainte vient uniquement de Lord Balfour d’Angleterre et de la volage ONU plutôt que des promesses du Dieu tout-puissant alors dans ce cas, l’Islam aura gagné la partie. Dans le monde musulman se répandrait le message qu’"Allah est plus grand que l’Eternel" et que les promesses de l’Eternel aux Juifs n’ont aucune valeur.

C’est cet épouvantable discours extrémiste religieux au sujet d’Israël qu’on entend encore et encore dans les plus grandes églises évangélistes d’Amérique. La très populaire secte "dispensationaliste"* repose sur la croyance dogmatique qu’un Israël unifié aux mains des Juifs est la condition préalable à l’Armageddon ou à l’Enlèvement et à la Seconde venue de Jésus : une croyance partagée non par des milliers, mais par des millions d’Américains. Comme l’évangéliste Robert Nicholson le dit dans un essai nuancé et réfléchi de 2013 portant sur les différences doctrinales qu’on trouve dans ce groupe : "Les évangélistes croient que Dieu a choisi le peuple bibliques d’Israël comme instrument de la rédemption de l’humanité, un agent terrestre à travers lequel il accomplirait son grand plan pour l’histoire." Comme, le célèbre et influent, John Hagee, l’a dit en termes simples : "Nous soutenons Israël parce que toutes les autres nations ont été créées par l’action des hommes, mais Israël a été créé par un acte de Dieu !".

Il va sans dire que la croyance religieuse joue également un rôle dans le soutien à Israël des juifs américains. En effet, les néocons font fréquemment le lien entre la judéité américaine et le soutien à Israël en faisant valoir qu’un bon Juif Américain ne devrait pas être Démocrate parce que ce parti ne soutient pas suffisamment Israël (ce qui ne les empêche pas d’accuser "d’antisémitisme" les critiques d’Israël qui font état du même lien que celui qu’ils exploitent eux-mêmes). Comme le montre un sondage Pew de 2013 :

La plupart des Juifs américains ressentent au moins un certain attachement affectif pour Israël, et beaucoup se sont rendus dans l’état juif. Quatre sur dix croient qu’Israël a été donné au peuple juif par Dieu, une croyance que partagent environ huit sur dix juifs orthodoxes.

L’extrémisme religieux juif est directement lié au soutien à Israël, comme l’a noté The Forward : "De tous les Juifs, ce sont les Juifs orthodoxes qui soutiennent le plus l’AIPAC". Le New York Times a récemment parlé du lien entre l’activisme juif et le soutien à Israël : "Les Républicains ... sont plus inconditionnellement pro-israélien que jamais" en partie à cause "d’une forte augmentation des dons en leur faveur" de la part de ce que J. Street appelle un "petit groupe de très riches juifs américains", comme Sheldon Adelson.

Mais les Juifs ne forment que 1,4% de la population américaine, ce qui limite encore ce phénomène. (En revanche, 82% des Américains se disent chrétiens et "37 % de tous les chrétiens se disent nés de l’Esprit-Saint ou évangélistes"). De plus, les Juifs américains ont longtemps été divisés sur le poids à donner à Israël dans leur vision politique et il y a une érosion de ce soutien chez les jeunes Juifs américains, en particulier. De fait, les chrétiens évangéliques sont beaucoup plus fermes dans leur soutien à Israël que les Juifs américains, comme le dit Bloomberg : "Pour de nombreux Démocrates, même ceux qui sont juifs, la question n’a pas la même importance." Le soutien d’origine religieuse des évangélistes - et l’alliance cynique entre les deux factions religieuses - est crucial pour le maintien de ce soutien.

Il est important de ne pas trop simplifier le rôle joué par le fanatisme religieux. Il y a, bien sûr, d’autres facteurs qui expliquent ce bizarre soutien américain à Israël même au détriment de leur propre pays. Le profond rejet des musulmans qui a suivi le 11 septembre a été habilement exploité pour générer ce soutien. On répète aux Etasuniens depuis des dizaines d’années qu’Israël est une “démocratie” - une affirmation de plus en plus difficile à soutenir - et donc un allié politique naturel. Les Américains ont tendance à ne pas remettre en question ni même à débattre des raisons politiques qui sous-tendent le soutien bipartite, et le dévouement sans faille à Israël est depuis des années,la prise de position bipartite par excellence. Et, comme David Mizner l’a récemment expliqué dans Jacobin, Israël est depuis longtemps un "état-client" qui permet au gouvernement américain de déployer par procuration sa volonté de puissance au Moyen-Orient.

Mais on ne peut nier que l’extrémisme religieux joue un rôle très important dans l’attitude des Américains envers Israël. Compte tenu de son importance, c’est un phénomène remarquablement peu discuté pour la bonne raison que les personnalités médiatiques étasuniennes trouvent très agréable d’accuser calomnieusement d’autres pays d’être animés par le fanatisme religieux, tout en ignorant le fait que leur propre pays l’est tout autant. Le fait que le journaliste politique de NPR, Domenico Montanaro, soit choqué de ce que le soutien à Israël ait engendré le soutien passionné de la foule lorsque Ted Cruz a annoncé sa candidature à la présidentielle à Liberty University donne la mesure du peu de place que cette question occupe dans le débat public.

Comme Dave Weigel se l’est demandé, après avoir vu ce tweet, comment quelqu’un dont le métier est de couvrir la politique peut-il trouver cela surprenant ? C’est parce que ce phénomène est très rarement discuté. C’est amusant, facile et auto-satisfaisant de croire que les pays que nous n’aimons pas sont la proie d’un fanatisme religieux qui dicte leur politique étrangère. C’est beaucoup moins amusant et moins réconfortant de penser à nous-mêmes de cette façon. Mais il ne fait aucun doute que l’extrémisme religieux prévaut en Amérique, et que le soutien général et bizarrement inconditionnel à Israël a pour origine principale une doctrine religieuse extrémiste sur la volonté de Dieu.


- Source : Glenn Greenwald-Traduction Dominique Muselet

mardi, 31 mars 2015

Israel’s Future Vision of the Middle East

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Israel’s Future Vision of the Middle East

Wayne MADSEN 

Ex: http://www.strategic-culture.org

 
Beginning in 1982 with the «Yinon Plan», a proposed Israeli future for a Middle East based on a series of failed Arab states divided into warring smaller fiefdoms, and maturing in the 1990s with Binyamin Netanyahu’s commissioned policy paper called «A Clean Break,» which foresaw scrapping the entire peace process with the Palestinians, Netanyahu enters his fourth term as prime minister in command of an Israel that has scrapped a Palestinian state and which has provided assistance to the Salafist/Saudi axis in support of the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, and other radical jihadist groups. Today, as a result of Israeli right-wing/Saudi/Gulf Wahhabist collusion, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen are failed states and the Middle East is becoming increasingly «balkanized».

In December 2014, a Shin Bet intelligence report revealed that during the first few months of 2015 the disintegration of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya into warring factions would accelerate. That prediction has materialized. The Israeli report also saw Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey becoming more autocratic states. That, also, has come about, especially in Saudi Arabia where the new king, Salman, has started to reverse some of the minor reforms instituted by his late predecessor, Abdullah.

remapped300_khavare_miane_new.jpgThe Israelis predicted that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad would rule over what the Israelis called "Little Syria," withy effective control of only 20 to 30 percent of the country. The Israelis saw the remainder of Syria in the hands of jihadist groups like the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, with smaller cantons in the hands of Syrian Kurds and non-jihadist Sunni tribes, all of which would be fighting each other, as well as against the Assad government. The report supported Israel enhancing its position in the Golan Heights. In fact, Israel has done much more than that. The Jewish state has actively supported logistically and with weapons and intelligence Syrian and foreign jihadists, including Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State forces that have militarily engaged Assad’s forces and Lebanese Hezbollah near the Golan Heights, which remains in Israeli hands without any threat to Israel’s interests in the region from the Islamic State.

The Islamic State/Jabhat al-Nusra unholy alliance with Israel comes as a bitter pill for the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza who have never been able to count on the support of the duplicitous Saudis and Gulf Arabs when it comes to the overall strategic and sectarian interests of the Saudis and Persian Gulf sheikhdoms. Riyadh, Doha, and Abu Dhabi place greater value on their unsigned pact with Israel against Shi’a Iran, Alawite Syria, and Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon than in any commitment to the Palestinian cause of self-determination. This abandonment of the Palestinians by the Wahhabist Muslims was always a foregone conclusion since the pampered Saudis and their Gulf friends have historically harbored a deep-seated jealousy of the better-educated and more resourceful people of Palestine.

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The Shin Bet report also saw Libya being divided into three states – Cyrenaica in the east, Tripolitania in the west, and Fezzan in the Saharan south. Cyrenaica is dominated by local jihadists who have pledged their loyalty to the Islamic State and showed their commitment to the Islamic State’s self-declared caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, by beheading 21 Egyptian Coptic oil workers who were taken prisoner.

Yemen and Iraq are the scenes of bloody civil wars between proxy forces loyal to the Saudis and the Iranians. In Iraq, the Islamic State swept into control of large portions of the north and west of the country, committing genocide against Kurds, Yazidis, Shi’as, resistant Sunnis, Christian Assyrians and Chaldeans, and Turkmen while destroying their religious and historical shrines. The United States has, under Central Intelligence Agency pro-Saudi director John O. Brennan, never displayed a more inconsistent policy in the Middle East. Washington’s role is duplicitous in Iraq and Syria, where it, like Israel, supports groups allied with the Islamic State with weapons while, very much in opposition to Israeli and Saudi goals, militarily supports Iranian counter-offensives near Tikrit and Syrian operations against the jihadists in eastern Syria.

It is also noteworthy that the Islamic State, which is now active near Jordan’s Ma’an region and in the Sinai Peninsula, where the Ansar Bait al-Maqdis group, a group allied with the Islamic State, has targeted Egyptian security personnel, has not made any moves against Israel, which has a significant presence in both Jordan and Sinai.

Israel is more interested in supporting any group, including Sunni jihadists who have beheaded Americans, Britons, Japanese, and others, against Shi’a Iran, Syria, Lebanese Hezbollah, and the Houthis in Yemen. Hamas in Gaza, like the Fatah government of the Palestininian Authority in Ramallah in the West Bank, feels betrayed by the Saudis, Qataris, and other Wahhabist nations. For that reason, Iran began providing covert military aid to Hamas in the West Bank. It is clear that the Islamic State would take the beheading swords to both Hamas and Fatah Palestinians if they were ever to take over in Gaza or Palestinian sectors of the West Bank. Covertly, the Israelis relish in such a prospect.

The Saudis claim nine other nations, including Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, the Gulf states, and Sudan, have joined its military campaign in Yemen against the Shi’a Houthis. The Saudis have called their assault in Yemen Operation DECISIVE STORM, which sounds much like America’s Operation DESERT STORM against Saddam Hussein in 1991. The Houthis, backed by Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah, succeeded in driving out the pro-Saudi and pro-U.S. Yemeni government from Sana’a, Taiz, and Aden. Behind Saudi Arabia’s DECISIVE STORM is the hidden hand of Israel, which has made no secret of its military and intelligence alliance with the Saudis against Iranian influence in the Middle East. One country that has rejected any role in Saudi aggression in the region is Oman, which has served as a diplomatic bridge between the West and Iran and between Sunnis and Shi’as. Oman also has an interest in countering Saudi jihadist expansion in the former independent nation of South Yemen, which has always adhered to a secular profile against Saudi-financed radicalization in the Hadhramaut, the South Yemeni region that borders Oman.

 

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Houthi leaders said their interest in driving into South Yemen was to root out Islamic State and Al Qaeda elements and that they had no desire to remain in control. Indeed, there is some indication that the Houthis agreed to allow South Yemen to have its independence restored. But that was not in the interest of the Saudis, who worked behind the scenes with Zionists in the U.S. State Department to create a six-region federation of Yemen, one that saw the rights of the Houthis diminished. It was this Feierstein Plan, named after Gerald Feierstein, the former Jewish-American ambassador to Yemen, which triggered the Houthi rebellion in the first place. Feierstein wanted to diminish the role of the Houthis and the Southern Yemeni independence Hirak movement in his plan for a federal Yemen because he saw both groups as proxies for Iran. Yemen’s disintegration is a direct result of the actions of a dupe for Israel who also happened to control the U.S. embassy in Sana’a. The Omanis know this is the case and so do the Iranians. In fact, Houthi leaders have correctly ascertained that the Islamic State and Al Qaeda were formed as the result of a conspiracy hatched by Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Brennan’s CIA. 

Brennan recently told Fox News that the Islamic State was on the run in Syria and Iraq. Not only is Brennan’s contention patently false – and Brennan knows it is because he tacitly supports Saudi, Israeli, and Qatari assistance to Sunni jihadists in both countries – but the Islamic State has expanded its operations into Tunisia from Libya, as witnessed by the recent attack on tourists in Tunis, and Nigeria, as shown by the fealty sworn to the Islamic State by the Boko Haram jihadists. Boko Haram’s operations have also spread into Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. Brennan has every reason to soft peddle the Saudi/Israeli/Gulf Arab alliance that supports the most radical elements of Sunni Wahhabist Islam. Brennan’s support for the Yinon Plan, Clean Break, and Saudi Arabia’s DECISIVE STORM stems from his taking his marching orders from Jerusalem, Riyadh, and Doha.

lundi, 30 mars 2015

Yemen: le coup de poignard d'Israël

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YEMEN : LE COUP DE POIGNARD D'ISRAEL
 
Comment on piège les États-Unis

Michel Lhomme
Ex: http://metamag.fr
 
Cela va beaucoup plus vite qu'on ne le pense. On n'attendra pas Hillary Clinton. De toute façon, à Jérusalem, nous sommes dans l'agenda 2015. Le problème iranien doit être résolu avant la fin de l'année. On a compté et recompté les centrifugeuses. Téhéran devrait avoir la bombe à la fin de l'année. 

En fait, on l'attendait en Syrie, en Irak ou en Iran mais il est fort probable que la grande bataille du Moyen-Orient ait commencé cette semaine au Yémen. Cette grande bataille aura lieu. En quittant Aden, le président Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi a ouvert le scénario du pire. La fuite du chef de l’état confirme que sa garde rapprochée et l’armée nationale ne sont plus en mesure de faire le poids face aux rebelles chiites Houthis, dont l’avancée est fulgurante. C'est le nouveau grand échec d'Obama puisqu'il y a encore quelques mois, ce dernier présentait médiatiquement le Yémen comme le modèle d’une lutte efficace contre les réseaux islamistes, en particulier le groupe Al-Qaeda très présent dans le pays ainsi que la région ( Coulibaly le terroriste français de l'hypercasher de Vincennes s'en réclamait ). Ce qui se joue au Yémen est plus grave que la crise syrienne car il peut amener très vite un affrontement entre toutes les puissances régionales aujourd'hui déchirées sur le front syrien ou la question iranienne. Un choc frontal entre les monarchies du golfe, l'Arabie Saoudite et leur rival régional, l’Iran semble inévitable mais pourrait aussi entraîner très vite et de facto leurs alliés dans l'intervention. La Russie fait route militairement vers le Yémen. Elle avait pourtant mis en garde les Etats-Unis et son principal allié, l'Arabie Saoudite contre le déclenchement de toute invasion du Yémen, appelant à l'arrêt immédiat des attaques. La Russie débarquera ses forces sur le territoire yéménite si l'Arabie Saoudite ne se retire pas. Hier, selon l'agence Reuters, les navires russes se dirigeaient vers le détroit de Bab el-Mandeb.
 
Car c'est avec 100 avions, 150 000 soldats que l'Arabie saoudite a envahi le Yémen pour contrer l’Iran. Pendant que les médias étaient occupés par un crash européen suicidaire dans les Alpes, l’Arabie Saoudite réussissait à mobiliser en un temps record une coalition régionale pour mener des frappes contre des positions Houthis autour de la ville d’Aden. Avec succès puisque l’aéroport aurait déjà été repris aux rebelles. Or, derrière l’Arabie Saoudite, se trouve le Qatar, le Koweït, le Bahreïn et les Émirats arabes unis. Quatre navires de guerre égyptiens seraient aussi en route vers le golfe d'Aden. La Ligue arabe dans son ensemble soutient cette intervention saoudienne, par ailleurs défendue par les Etats-Unis et... la France ! Le feu vert a d'ailleurs forcément été donné par Washington, sapant de fait les efforts réels d'un rapprochement avec l'Iran.

Un accord désormais difficile avec l'Iran
 
Mais soyons attentif : on  remarquera très judicieusement que ces interventions arrivent juste après la victoire écrasante de Benjamin Netanyahu aux élections législatives israéliennes. Or s'il est bien un pays qui dans cette affaire et surtout ces derniers jours, n'a pas cessé de jeter de de l'huile sur le feu yéménite, c'est bien Israël qui s'est efforcé de transformer un simple conflit régional et tribal en un véritable conflit international. Derrière les frappes saoudiennes, il y a donc les USA mais surtout Israël. C'est Jérusalem qui n'a pas cessé ces derniers jours de dénoncer médiatiquement les slogans antisionistes des Houthis, pointant d'un doigt vengeur l'Iran et ce alors que les Etats-Unis tentaient justement de parvenir à un accord avec la République islamique pour le 30 mars. L'accord est désormais impossible. La manipulation israélienne a été totale. En pleines négociations sur le nucléaire iranien, les Etats-Unis ont été contraints d'apporter leur soutien à l'intervention saoudienne. Pire, le secrétaire d'Etat américain John Kerry s'est senti obligé de « saluer le travail de la coalition qui agit militairement » contre les rebelles chiites. L'Arabie saoudite a mobilisé 150.000 militaires et 10 avions de combat, tandis que les Emirats arabes unis ont engagé 30 avions de combat, Bahreïn et Koweït 15 appareils chacun et le Qatar 10. En plus de ces pays du Golfe, l'opération « saoudienne » mobilise d'autres pays alliés de l'Arabie saoudite comme l'Egypte, la Jordanie, le Soudan, le Pakistan et le Maroc. Quatre navires de guerre égyptiens sont ainsi entrés dans le canal de Suez afin de sécuriser le Golfe d'Aden, au large du Yémen.
 
Pour l'instant ce qui est certain, c'est que le Yémen est entré en guerre civile mais c'est bien évidemment plus que cela, c'est en fait une guerre par procuration entre les deux poids lourds de la région, l'Iran chiite et le royaume saoudien sunnite avec derrière, le jeu des grandes alliances ( Israël, Etats-Unis, Arabie Saoudite, Egypte, France d'un côté et Russie, Syrie, Iran de l'autre ). Ce conflit conduira inéluctablement à la désintégration du pays, à la création sur place d'une sorte de Somalie, un nouveau état-chaos, un état failli. Mais combien de temps durera cette guerre « locale » ? Si la Russie envahit le Yémen, les Etats-Unis peuvent-ils rester les bras croisés ?  Semble donc bien se profiler un nouveau champ de bataille, ce champ de bataille millénaire des Perses et des Arabes, des Chiites et des Sunnites, un champ de bataille fomenté de toutes pièces par les sionistes. Il s'agit donc bien d'une guerre « mondiale régionale  » aux conséquences imprévisibles.

Il faut reprendre les vidéos et les discours de ces dernières semaines pour comprendre attentivement comment on en est arrivé là. Il faut  réécouter, par exemple, le très controversé discours de Benjamin Netanyahu devant le Congrès américain. Qu'avait-il fait là-bas si ce n'est en effet préparé habilement le terrain psycho-guerrier en accusant et en dramatisant à outrance la crise yéménite ? Nous le répétons : il y a eu une opération de détournement calculé et prémédité du passage d'un conflit tribal en conflit « mondial régional » au Yémen sous l'égide d'Israël.
 

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Tous les renseignements satellitaires dont a bénéficié l'armée saoudienne durant son invasion sont de source américaine. Les forces américaines, sans participer directement aux opérations, ont bien établi « une Cellule de planification conjointe avec l’Arabie saoudite pour coordonner le soutien américain ». C'est ce qu'a précisé Bernadette Meehan, porte-parole du Conseil national de sécurité (NSC) de la Maison Blanche, tout en réitérant malgré tout la nécessité de privilégier le dialogue politique, sous égide des Nations unies. Par ailleurs, l’intervention de l’Arabie saoudite et de ses alliés est parfaitement illégale en droit international et constitue de facto une agression internationale, un casus belli. Militairement, l’intervention de l’Arabie saoudite n’a guère de sens si elle ne se poursuit pas au sol. Du coup, en débarquant ses troupes, la Russie répondrait légitimement au casus belli. Elle obligerait l'Arabie saoudite ou ses alliés à intervenir au sol dans un face à face et une confrontation militaire. Alors les États-Unis auraient-ils sous-estimé une fois de plus la détermination russe ? Seront-ils une fois de plus les dindons de la farce israélienne ? 

Les Etats-Unis avaient pourtant tout fait jusqu’ici pour se tenir à l’écart du conflit, pensant et pariant sur la dislocation du Yémen, avec l'idée que le pays se scinderait en deux comme la Corée durant la fin de la Guerre froide. Ils ont une fois de plus mal évolué le pouvoir de nuisance d'Israël et de son allié contre-nature, Ryad. Pour l'instant, l’Iran s’en est tenu à condamner une « démarche dangereuse (…) violant les responsabilités internationales et la souveraineté nationale ». L’action militaire va « encore plus compliquer la situation, étendre la crise et faire perdre les chances d’un règlement pacifique des divergences internes au Yéme  », a simplement déclaré la porte-parole du ministère des affaires étrangères, Marzieh Afkham.

lundi, 16 mars 2015

Israel, Gaza, and Energy Wars in the Middle East

Tomgram: Michael Schwartz, Israel, Gaza, and Energy Wars in the Middle East
 
Ex: http://www.tomdispatch.com

oil-in-gaza.jpgTalk of an oil glut and a potential further price drop seems to be growing. The cost of a barrel of crude now sits at just under $60, only a little more than half what it was at its most recent peak in June 2014. Meanwhile, under a barrel of woes, economies like China's have slowed and in the process demand for oil has sagged globally. And yet, despite the cancellation of some future plans for exploration and drilling for extreme (and so extremely expensive) forms of fossil fuels, startling numbers of barrels of crude are still pouring onto troubled waters.  For this, a thanks should go to the prodigious efforts of "Saudi America" (all that energetic hydraulic fracking, among other things), while the actual Saudis, the original ones, are still pumping away.  We could, in other words, have arrived not at "peak oil" but at "peak oil demand" for at least a significant period of time to come.  At Bloomberg View, columnist A. Gary Shilling has even suggested that the price of crude could ultimately simply collapse under the weight of all that production and a global economic slowdown, settling in at $10-$20 a barrel (a level last seen in the 1990s).

And here's the saddest part of this story: no matter what happens, the great game over energy and the resource conflicts and wars that go with it show little sign of slowing down.  One thing is guaranteed: no matter how low the price falls, the scramble for sources of oil and the demand for yet more of them won't stop.  Even in this country, as the price of oil has dropped, the push for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring expensive-to-extract and especially carbon-dirty Canadian "tar sands" to market on the U.S. Gulf Coast has only grown more fervent, while the Obama administration has just opened the country's southern Atlantic coastal waters to future exploration and drilling.  In the oil heartlands of the planet, Iraq and Kurdistan typically continue to fight over who will get the (reduced) revenues from the oil fields around the city of Kirkuk to stanch various financial crises.  In the meantime, other oil disputes only heat up.

Among them is one that has gotten remarkably little attention even as it has grown more intense and swept up ever more countries.  This is the quarter-century-old struggle over natural gas deposits off the coast of Gaza as well as elsewhere in the eastern Mediterranean.  That never-ending conflict provides a remarkable and grim lens through which to view so many recent aspects of Israeli-Palestinian relations, and long-time TomDispatch regular Michael Schwartz offers a panoramic look at it here for the first time.

By the way, following the news that 2014 set a global heat record, those of us freezing on the East Coast of the U.S. this winter might be surprised to learn that the first month of 2015 proved to be the second hottest January on record.  And when you're on such a record-setting pace, why stop struggling to extract yet more fossil fuels? Tom

The Great Game in the Holy Land
How Gazan Natural Gas Became the Epicenter of An International Power Struggle

By Michael Schwartz

Guess what? Almost all the current wars, uprisings, and other conflicts in the Middle East are connected by a single thread, which is also a threat: these conflicts are part of an increasingly frenzied competition to find, extract, and market fossil fuels whose future consumption is guaranteed to lead to a set of cataclysmic environmental crises.

Amid the many fossil-fueled conflicts in the region, one of them, packed with threats, large and small, has been largely overlooked, and Israel is at its epicenter. Its origins can be traced back to the early 1990s when Israeli and Palestinian leaders began sparring over rumored natural gas deposits in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Gaza. In the ensuing decades, it has grown into a many-fronted conflict involving several armies and three navies. In the process, it has already inflicted mindboggling misery on tens of thousands of Palestinians, and it threatens to add future layers of misery to the lives of people in Syria, Lebanon, and Cyprus. Eventually, it might even immiserate Israelis.

Resource wars are, of course, nothing new. Virtually the entire history of Western colonialism and post-World War II globalization has been animated by the effort to find and market the raw materials needed to build or maintain industrial capitalism. This includes Israel's expansion into, and appropriation of, Palestinian lands. But fossil fuels only moved to center stage in the Israeli-Palestinian relationship in the 1990s, and that initially circumscribed conflict only spread to include Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Turkey, and Russia after 2010.

The Poisonous History of Gazan Natural Gas

Back in 1993, when Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) signed the Oslo Accords that were supposed to end the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank and create a sovereign state, nobody was thinking much about Gaza's coastline. As a result, Israel agreed that the newly created PA would fully control its territorial waters, even though the Israeli navy was still patrolling the area. Rumored natural gas deposits there mattered little to anyone, because prices were then so low and supplies so plentiful. No wonder that the Palestinians took their time recruiting British Gas (BG) -- a major player in the global natural gas sweepstakes -- to find out what was actually there. Only in 2000 did the two parties even sign a modest contract to develop those by-then confirmed fields.

BG promised to finance and manage their development, bear all the costs, and operate the resulting facilities in exchange for 90% of the revenues, an exploitative but typical "profit-sharing" agreement. With an already functioning natural gas industry, Egypt agreed to be the on-shore hub and transit point for the gas. The Palestinians were to receive 10% of the revenues (estimated at about a billion dollars in total) and were guaranteed access to enough gas to meet their needs.

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Had this process moved a little faster, the contract might have been implemented as written. In 2000, however, with a rapidly expanding economy, meager fossil fuels, and terrible relations with its oil-rich neighbors, Israel found itself facing a chronic energy shortage. Instead of attempting to answer its problem with an aggressive but feasible effort to develop renewable sources of energy, Prime Minister Ehud Barak initiated the era of Eastern Mediterranean fossil fuel conflicts. He brought Israel's naval control of Gazan coastal waters to bear and nixed the deal with BG. Instead, he demanded that Israel, not Egypt, receive the Gaza gas and that it also control all the revenues destined for the Palestinians -- to prevent the money from being used to "fund terror."

With this, the Oslo Accords were officially doomed. By declaring Palestinian control over gas revenues unacceptable, the Israeli government committed itself to not accepting even the most limited kind of Palestinian budgetary autonomy, let alone full sovereignty. Since no Palestinian government or organization would agree to this, a future filled with armed conflict was assured.

The Israeli veto led to the intervention of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who sought to broker an agreement that would satisfy both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority. The result: a 2007 proposal that would have delivered the gas to Israel, not Egypt, at below-market prices, with the same 10% cut of the revenues eventually reaching the PA. However, those funds were first to be delivered to the Federal Reserve Bank in New York for future distribution, which was meant to guarantee that they would not be used for attacks on Israel.

This arrangement still did not satisfy the Israelis, who pointed to the recent victory of the militant Hamas party in Gaza elections as a deal-breaker. Though Hamas had agreed to let the Federal Reserve supervise all spending, the Israeli government, now led by Ehud Olmert, insisted that no "royalties be paid to the Palestinians." Instead, the Israelis would deliver the equivalent of those funds "in goods and services."

This offer the Palestinian government refused. Soon after, Olmert imposed a draconian blockade on Gaza, which Israel's defense minister termed a form of "'economic warfare' that would generate a political crisis, leading to a popular uprising against Hamas." With Egyptian cooperation, Israel then seized control of all commerce in and out of Gaza, severely limiting even food imports and eliminating its fishing industry. As Olmert advisor Dov Weisglass summed up this agenda, the Israeli government was putting the Palestinians "on a diet" (which, according to the Red Cross, soon produced "chronic malnutrition," especially among Gazan children).

When the Palestinians still refused to accept Israel's terms, the Olmert government decided to unilaterally extract the gas, something that, they believed, could only occur once Hamas had been displaced or disarmed. As former Israel Defense Forces commander and current Foreign Minister Moshe Ya'alon explained, "Hamas... hasconfirmed its capability to bomb Israel's strategic gas and electricity installations... It is clear that, without an overall military operation to uproot Hamas control of Gaza, no drilling work can take place without the consent of the radical Islamic movement."

Following this logic, Operation Cast Lead was launched in the winter of 2008. According to Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, it was intended to subject Gaza to a "shoah" (the Hebrew word for holocaust or disaster). Yoav Galant, the commanding general of the Operation, said that it was designed to "send Gaza decades into the past." As Israeli parliamentarian Tzachi Hanegbi explained, the specific military goal was "to topple the Hamas terror regime and take over all the areas from which rockets are fired on Israel."

Operation Cast Lead did indeed "send Gaza decades into the past." Amnesty International reported that the 22-day offensive killed 1,400 Palestinians, "including some 300 children and hundreds of other unarmed civilians, and large areas of Gaza had been razed to the ground, leaving many thousands homeless and the already dire economy in ruins." The only problem: Operation Cast Lead did not achieve its goal of "transferring the sovereignty of the gas fields to Israel."

More Sources of Gas Equal More Resource Wars

In 2009, the newly elected government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inherited the stalemate around Gaza's gas deposits and an Israeli energy crisis that only grew more severe when the Arab Spring in Egypt interrupted and then obliterated 40% of the country's gas supplies. Rising energy prices soon contributed to the largest protests involving Jewish Israelis in decades.

As it happened, however, the Netanyahu regime also inherited a potentially permanent solution to the problem. An immense field of recoverable natural gas was discovered in the Levantine Basin, a mainly offshore formation under the eastern Mediterranean. Israeli officials immediately asserted that "most" of the newly confirmed gas reserves lay "within Israeli territory." In doing so, they ignored contrary claims by Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, and the Palestinians.

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In some other world, this immense gas field might have been effectively exploited by the five claimants jointly, and a production plan might even have been put in place to ameliorate the environmental impact of releasing a future 130 trillion cubic feet of gas into the planet's atmosphere. However, as Pierre Terzian, editor of the oil industry journal Petrostrategies, observed, "All the elements of danger are there... This is a region where resorting to violent action is not something unusual."

In the three years that followed the discovery, Terzian's warning seemed ever more prescient. Lebanon became the first hot spot. In early 2011, the Israeli government announced the unilateral development of two fields, about 10% of that Levantine Basin gas, which lay in disputed offshore waters near the Israeli-Lebanese border. Lebanese Energy Minister Gebran Bassil immediately threatened a military confrontation, asserting that his country would "not allow Israel or any company working for Israeli interests to take any amount of our gas that is falling in our zone." Hezbollah, the most aggressive political faction in Lebanon, promised rocket attacks if "a single meter" of natural gas was extracted from the disputed fields.

Israel's Resource Minister accepted the challenge, asserting that "[t]hese areas are within the economic waters of Israel... We will not hesitate to use our force and strength to protect not only the rule of law but the international maritime law."

Oil industry journalist Terzian offered this analysis of the realities of the confrontation:

"In practical terms... nobody is going to invest with Lebanon in disputed waters. There are no Lebanese companies there capable of carrying out the drilling, and there is no military force that could protect them. But on the other side, things are different. You have Israeli companies that have the ability to operate in offshore areas, and they could take the risk under the protection of the Israeli military."

Sure enough, Israel continued its exploration and drilling in the two disputed fields, deploying drones to guard the facilities. Meanwhile, the Netanyahu government invested major resources in preparing for possible future military confrontations in the area. For one thing, with lavish U.S. funding, it developed the "Iron Dome" anti-missile defense system designed in part to intercept Hezbollah and Hamas rockets aimed at Israeli energy facilities. It also expanded the Israeli navy, focusing on its ability to deter or repel threats to offshore energy facilities. Finally, starting in 2011 it launched airstrikes in Syria designed, according to U.S. officials, "to prevent any transfer of advanced... antiaircraft, surface-to-surface and shore-to-ship missiles" to Hezbollah.

Nonetheless, Hezbollah continued to stockpile rockets capable of demolishing Israeli facilities. And in 2013, Lebanon made a move of its own. It began negotiating with Russia. The goal was to get that country's gas firms to develop Lebanese offshore claims, while the formidable Russian navy would lend a hand with the "long-running territorial dispute with Israel."

By the beginning of 2015, a state of mutual deterrence appeared to be setting in. Although Israel had succeeded in bringing online the smaller of the two fields it set out to develop, drilling in the larger one was indefinitely stalled "in light of the security situation." U.S. contractor Noble Energy, hired by the Israelis, was unwilling to invest the necessary $6 billion in facilities that would be vulnerable to Hezbollah attack, and potentially in the gun sights of the Russian navy. On the Lebanese side, despite an increased Russian naval presence in the region, no work had begun.

Meanwhile, in Syria, where violence was rife and the country in a state of armed collapse, another kind of stalemate went into effect. The regime of Bashar al-Assad, facing a ferocious threat from various groups of jihadists, survived in part by negotiating massive military support from Russia in exchange for a 25-year contract to develop Syria's claims to that Levantine gas field. Included in the deal was a major expansion of the Russian naval base at the port city of Tartus, ensuring a far larger Russian naval presence in the Levantine Basin.

While the presence of the Russians apparently deterred the Israelis from attempting to develop any Syrian-claimed gas deposits, there was no Russian presence in Syria proper. So Israel contracted with the U.S.-based Genie Energy Corporation to locate and develop oil fields in the Golan Heights, Syrian territory occupied by the Israelis since 1967. Facing a potential violation of international law, the Netanyahu government invoked, as the basis for its acts, an Israeli court ruling that the exploitation of natural resources in occupied territories was legal. At the same time, to prepare for the inevitable battle with whichever faction or factions emerged triumphant from the Syrian civil war, it began shoring up the Israeli military presence in the Golan Heights.

And then there was Cyprus, the only Levantine claimant not at war with Israel. Greek Cypriots had long been in chronic conflict with Turkish Cypriots, so it was hardly surprising that the Levantine natural gas discovery triggered three years of deadlocked negotiations on the island over what to do. In 2014, the Greek Cypriots signed an exploration contract with Noble Energy, Israel's chief contractor. The Turkish Cypriots trumped this move by signing a contract with Turkey to explore all Cypriot claims "as far as Egyptian waters." Emulating Israel and Russia, the Turkish government promptly moved three navy vessels into the area to physically block any intervention by other claimants.

As a result, four years of maneuvering around the newly discovered Levantine Basin deposits have produced little energy, but brought new and powerful claimants into the mix, launched a significant military build-up in the region, and heightened tensions immeasurably.

Gaza Again -- and Again

Remember the Iron Dome system, developed in part to stop Hezbollah rockets aimed at Israel's northern gas fields? Over time, it was put in place near the border with Gaza to stop Hamas rockets, and was tested during Operation Returning Echo, the fourth Israeli military attempt to bring Hamas to heel and eliminate any Palestinian "capability to bomb Israel's strategic gas and electricity installations."

Launched in March 2012, it replicated on a reduced scale the devastation of Operation Cast Lead, while the Iron Dome achieved a 90% "kill rate" against Hamas rockets. Even this, however, while a useful adjunct to the vast shelter system built to protect Israeli civilians, was not enough to ensure the protection of the country's exposed oil facilities. Even one direct hit there could damage or demolish such fragile and flammable structures.

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The failure of Operation Returning Echo to settle anything triggered another round of negotiations, which once again stalled over the Palestinian rejection of Israel's demand to control all fuel and revenues destined for Gaza and the West Bank. The new Palestinian Unity government then followed the lead of the Lebanese, Syrians, and Turkish Cypriots, and in late 2013 signed an "exploration concession" with Gazprom, the huge Russian natural gas company. As with Lebanon and Syria, the Russian Navy loomed as a potential deterrent to Israeli interference.

Meanwhile, in 2013, a new round of energy blackouts caused "chaos" across Israel, triggering a draconian 47% increase in electricity prices. In response, the Netanyahu government considered a proposal to begin extracting domestic shale oil, but the potential contamination of water resources caused a backlash movement that frustrated this effort. In a country filled with start-up high-tech firms, the exploitation of renewable energy sources was still not being given serious attention. Instead, the government once again turned to Gaza.

With Gazprom's move to develop the Palestinian-claimed gas deposits on the horizon, the Israelis launched their fifth military effort to force Palestinian acquiescence, Operation Protective Edge. It had two major hydrocarbon-related goals: to deter Palestinian-Russian plans and to finally eliminate the Gazan rocket systems. The first goal was apparently met when Gazprom postponed (perhaps permanently) its development deal. The second, however, failed when the two-pronged land and air attack -- despite unprecedented devastation in Gaza -- failed to destroy Hamas's rocket stockpiles or its tunnel-based assembly system; nor did the Iron Dome achieve the sort of near-perfect interception rate needed to protect proposed energy installations.

There Is No Denouement

After 25 years and five failed Israeli military efforts, Gaza's natural gas is still underwater and, after four years, the same can be said for almost all of the Levantine gas. But things are not the same. In energy terms, Israel is ever more desperate, even as it has been building up its military, including its navy, in significant ways. The other claimants have, in turn, found larger and more powerful partners to help reinforce their economic and military claims. All of this undoubtedly means that the first quarter-century of crisis over eastern Mediterranean natural gas has been nothing but prelude. Ahead lies the possibility of bigger gas wars with the devastation they are likely to bring.

Michael Schwartz, an emeritus distinguished teaching professor of sociology at Stony Brook University, is a TomDispatch regular and the author of the award-winning books Radical Protest and Social Structure andThe Power Structure of American Business (with Beth Mintz). His TomDispatch book, War Without End, focused on how the militarized geopolitics of oil led the U.S. to invade and occupy Iraq. His email address is Michael.Schwartz@stonybrook.edu.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me, and Tom Engelhardt's latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

Copyright 2015 Michael Schwartz

mercredi, 11 mars 2015

Nieuwe Saudische koning probeert moslimcoalitie tegen Iran te vormen

iran_me1.jpg

Nieuwe Saudische koning probeert moslimcoalitie tegen Iran te vormen

Al 10.000 door Iran gecommandeerde troepen op 10 kilometer van grens Israël

Arabische media kiezen kant van Netanyahu tegen Obama

Breuk tussen Israël en VS brengt aanval op Iran dichterbij dan ooit

De sterk in opkomst zijnde Shia-islamitische halve maan zal zich tegen haar natuurlijke ‘berijder’ keren: Saudi Arabië, met in de ster op de kaart het centrum van de islam: Mekka.

De Saudische koning Salman, opvolger van de in januari overleden koning Abdullah, heeft de afgelopen 10 dagen gesprekken gevoerd met de leiders van alle vijf Arabische oliestaten, Jordanië, Egypte en Turkije, over de vorming van een Soenitische moslimcoalitie tegen het Shi’itische Iran. De Saudi’s hebben Iraanse bondgenoten de macht zien overnemen in Irak en Jemen, en weten dat zij zelf het uiteindelijke hoofddoel van de mullahs in Teheran zijn.

Grootste struikelblok voor de gewenste coalitie is de Moslim Broederschap, die gesteund wordt door Turkije en Qatar, maar in Egypte, Jordanië en Saudi Arabië juist als een terreurorganisatie wordt bestempeld. Koning Salman is dermate bevreesd voor een nucleair bewapend Iran, dat hij inmiddels bereid lijkt om ten aanzien van de Broederschap concessies te doen.

Saudi Arabië zal worden vernietigd

In zo’n 2500 jaar oude Bijbelse profetieën wordt voorzegd dat de Perzen (Elam = Iran) uiteindelijke (Saudi) Arabië zullen aanvallen (Jesaja 21). Jordanië (Edom en Moab) zal hoogstwaarschijnlijk ten prooi vallen aan Turkije (Daniël 11:41), dat eveneens Egypte zal aanvallen. Saudi Arabië komt dan alleen te staan en zal totaal worden vernietigd (Jeremia 49:21).

Het land waarin de islam is ontstaan voelt de bui al enige tijd hangen en probeert nu bijna wanhopig ‘het beest’ waar ze eeuwen op gereden heeft, gunstig te stemmen. Turkije zal echter nooit de alliantie met de Moslim Broederschap opgeven, net zoals Egypte nooit de Broederschap zal steunen.

Het beest dat de hoer haat

Enkele jaren geleden schreven we dat Turkije een geheim samenwerkingspact gesloten heeft met Iran. Beide landen hebben historische vendetta’s met de Saudi’s, die de Ottomaanse Turken verrieden met Lawrence van Arabië. Ook de vijandschap tussen het Wahabitische huis van Saud en de Iraanse Shi’iten bestaat al eeuwen.

Bizar: ISIS is oorspronkelijk een ‘uitvinding’ van de Wahabieten en niet de Shi’iten, maar streeft desondanks toch naar het einde van het Saudische koninkrijk. Hetzelfde geldt voor de Moslim Broederschap, Hezbollah en andere islamitische terreurgroepen. Dit is exact zoals de Bijbel het voorzegd heeft: de volken en landen van ‘het beest’ zullen ‘de hoer van Babylon’ haten, zich omkeren en haar verscheuren / met vuur verbranden.

Arabische media kiezen kant van Netanyahu tegen Obama

De Arabieren vallen zelf Israël echter (nog) niet aan omdat de Joodse staat een onverklaarde bondgenoot is tegen Iran. Onlangs zouden de Saudi’s zelfs hun luchtruim hebben opengesteld voor de Israëlische luchtmacht, nadat bekend werd dat de Amerikaanse president Obama vorig jaar dreigde Israëlische vliegtuigen boven Irak neer te schieten toen de regering Netanyahu op het punt stond Iran aan te vallen.

Diverse toonaangevende Arabische media kozen afgelopen week openlijk de kant van de Israëlische premier, nadat hij in diens toespraak voor het Amerikaanse Congres de toenadering van Obama tot Iran impliciet fel bekritiseerd had. Netanyahu’s woorden onderstreepten dat er de facto een breuk tussen Amerika en Israël is ontstaan, die zolang Obama president is niet meer zal worden geheeld. Dit brengt een Israëlische aanval op Iran dichterbij dan ooit tevoren (4).

Het is al jaren bekend dat Obama Netanyahu haat, en andersom is er eveneens sprake van groot wantrouwen en minachting. Net als in Jeruzalem ziet men ook in bijna alle Arabische Golfstaten, maar vooral in Saudi Arabië, Obama liever vandaag dan morgen verdwijnen.

In Iran wordt nog steeds ‘dood aan Amerika’ geschreeuwd

Wrang genoeg voor Washington geldt dat ook voor Iran. ‘Allahu Akbar! Khamenei is de leider. Dood aan de vijanden van de leider. Dood aan Amerika. Dood aan Engeland. Dood aan de hypocrieten. Dood aan Israël!’ schreeuwden Iraanse officieren begin februari toen Khamenei vol trots verklaarde dat Iran uranium tot 20% verrijkt had, terwijl hij Obama uitdrukkelijk had beloofd dit niet te doen.

Deze oorlogskreet wordt al sinds 1979 dagelijks gebezigd in Iran. In dat jaar liet de Amerikaanse president Jimmy Carter toe dat de hervormingsgezinde Shah van Iran werd afgezet door de extremistische Ayatollah Khomeini. Het onmiddellijke gevolg was een bloederige oorlog met Irak, waarbij meer dan één miljoen doden vielen.

Al 10.000 Iraanse troepen bij grens Israël

Zodra het door Turkije en Iran geleide rijk van ‘het beest’ Israël aanvalt, zullen Sheba en Dedan, de Saudi’s en de Golfstaten, enkel toekijken (Ezechiël 38:13). Dat we snel deze laatste fase van de eindtijd naderen blijkt uit het feit dat er op dit moment in Syrië al zo’n 10.000 door Iran gecommandeerde troepen – ‘vrijwilligers’ uit Iran, Irak en Afghanistan- op slechts 10 kilometer van de Israëlische grens staan. Dat zouden er in de toekomst 100.000 of zelfs meer kunnen worden (2)(3).

Het Vaticaan ‘de hoer’ en vervolger van christenen?

Terwijl de Bijbelse eindtijdprofetieën overduidelijk voor onze eigen ogen in vervulling gaan zijn veel Westerse christenen hier nog steeds blind voor, omdat hen geleerd is dat ‘de hoer’ het Vaticaan is, en de ‘valse profeet’ een toekomstige paus is die de grote wereldreligies met elkaar zal verenigen, daar het evangelie voor zal opofferen en katholieken en andere christenen (!) zal laten onthoofden omdat ze dit zullen weigeren.

Als ‘de hoer’ het Vaticaan is, dan zou dat echter betekenen dat de katholieke/ christelijke landen waar zij op ‘zit’ haar zullen aanvallen en verbranden. Denken mensen nog steeds serieus dat andere landen in Europa Rome zullen aanvallen, terwijl moslim terreurgroepen zoals ISIS regelmatig openlijk dreigen om in de nabije toekomst Italië binnen te vallen en het Vaticaan te vernietigen? Terwijl christenen in Irak, Egypte, Syrië, Nigeria en andere moslimlanden nu al worden vermoord en onthoofd vanwege hun geloof en omdat weigeren zich te bekeren tot de islam (= het beest te aanbidden)?

Moderne ‘Torens van Babel’ in Mekka

In eerdere artikelenstudies (zie hyperlinks onderaan) voerden we uitgebreid Bijbels bewijs aan –en geen giswerk theorieën- dat ‘de hoer van Babylon’, ‘dronken van het bloed der heiligen en van het bloed der getuigen van Jezus’ zich precies daar bevindt waar Johannes haar zag: in ‘de woestijn’ (Openbaring 17:3). Alleen al hierom kan het nooit om Rome, New York of Brussel gaan. De 7 gigantische torens bij het Ka’aba complex in Mekka –het grootste ter wereld- worden plaatselijk zelfs letterlijk ‘De berg Babel’ genoemd.

Eindtijd: Niet Europa of Amerika, maar Israël centraal

Niet Europa, niet Amerika en ook niet Rusland staan centraal in de Bijbelse eindtijdprofetieën van zowel het Oude als het Nieuwe Testament –al spelen zij natuurlijk wel een rol-, maar het Midden Oosten, Israël en de omringende moslimwereld. Pas als de coalitie van het (moslim)beest Israël aanvalt –bedenk dat de islam zichzelf omschrijft als ‘het beest uit de afgrond’!- met de bedoeling de Joodse staat weg te vagen en de laatste resten van het christendom in het Midden Oosten uit te roeien, zal de Messias, Jezus Christus, in eigen persoon neerdalen, tussenbeide komen en alle vijanden vernietigend verslaan.

Xander

(1) Reuters via Shoebat
(2) American Thinker
(3) The Christian Monitor
(4) KOPP

lundi, 09 mars 2015

Die unheimliche Allianz

Die unheimliche Allianz hinter 9/11

vendredi, 06 mars 2015

Book Reviews from http://www.atimes.com

   

livres, pacifisme, bellicisme, bellicisme américain, bellicisme pakistanais, postsionisme, sionisme, ilan pappe, israël, puritanisme, politique internationale, géopolitique, califat, islam, islamisme, palestine, monde arabe, monde arabo-musulman, états-unis, pakistan, asie, affaires asiatiques,

Book Reviews from http://www.atimes.com

To read full review, click on title

  Pakistan's proclivity for war
The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World
by T V Paul

Author T V Paul adds to the numerous unflattering descriptions of Pakistan with his depiction of a "warrior state" whose security forces have outgrown all other institutions and activities and where radical Islamization and its attendant obscurantism have been the consequences of state policy. His explanation for why this continues is elaborate and thought-provoking. - Ehsan Ahrari (Jul 28, '14)

 

  The US-Pakistan ties that bind
No Exit from Pakistan: America's Tortured Relationship with Islamabad by Daniel S Markey

The author argues that even as Pakistanis grow increasingly hostile to the United States', America's interests in South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East mean that Washington can ill-afford to disengage from Pakistan. Maneuvers by the Obama administration such as managing anti-Americanism sentiment by keeping a lower profile ring true with the policy prescriptions presented, yet the book suffers in places from simplistic reasoning. - Majid Mahmood (Jun 20, '14)

 

  US stuck between dispensability and decline
Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat
by Vali Nasr


While offering a harsh critique of the President Barack Obama's policies in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and across the Arab World, the author argues that the United States is not declining. This ignores that while the United States became an "indispensable nation" by implementing its stimulating post-World War II vision, it has failed since to develop a comparable vision for the future that is both realistic and doable.
- Ehsan M Ahrari (Jun 13, '14)

 

  A struggle against Israeli soft power
The Battle for Justice in Palestine by Ali Abunimah

The author believes the Palestinian struggle will benefit from a growing awareness of Israeli actions brought about by a "boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement" similar to that which increased international isolation of apartheid-era South Africa. One of the more interesting parts of the work is its exploration of how neoliberal economic patterns have been imposed on Palestine. - Jim Miles (Jun 6, '14)

 

  Re-imagining the caliphate
The Inevitable Caliphate? A History of the Struggle for Global Islamic Union, 1924 to the Present by Reza Pankhurst

A forceful and authoritative attempt at elevating debate over the Islamic caliphate beyond Western elitist perceptions of extremism and radicalization, this book offers a clear-sighted analysis of the movements that have placed the caliphate at center of their revivalist discourse. The book's biggest flaw is arguably the author's reductionist approach toward the potential constituency of the caliphate.
- Mahan Abedin (May 23, '14)

 

  Keeping peace with total war
To Make and Keep Peace Among Ourselves and With All Nations by Angelo M Codevilla

White Anglo-Saxon Protestant interpretations of history are central to the argument this book propounds: that the US needs constant, decisive warfare to ensure its own interests and security. While the thesis suffers because the author fails to recognize that a Washington focused on maintaining control doesn't share his populist values, it offers useful insights into the thinking of the American conservative right. - Jim Miles (May 16, '14)

 

  Shaking the pillars of Israel's history
The Idea of Israel - A History of Power and Knowledge by Ilan Pappe

This exploration of how Israel shaped a historic narrative to create a sense of nationhood and political direction recounts the attacks on historians in the 1990s who challenged the traditional Zionist discourse. The takeaway from this complex book is that issues surrounding the manipulation of victimhood have the potential to erode the foundations that the modern state is built on. - Jim Miles (May 2, '14)

 
 
 

mercredi, 04 mars 2015

Today's news on http://www.atimes.com

news2.jpg

Today's news on http://www.atimes.com

To read full article, click on title


Tackling Tehran: Netanyahu vs Obama
As negotiations over Iran's nuclear program continued in Europe, Israeli Premier Netanyahu told US Congress he feared the White House was close to striking a "very bad" deal. The absence of dozens of Democrats and the cheers that greeted his warnings of a "nuclear tinderbox" demonstrated the divisive nature of the issue in Washington. - James Reinl (Mar 4, '15)

Obama's nuclear squeeze
Netanyahu's address to the US Congress will have no effect on the future modalities of US-Iran nuclear negotiations. But if he can nudge Congress not to relax sanctions on Iran, even after a nuclear deal, then Tehran might retaliate by reversing some agreed upon issues of those intricate negotiations. - Ehsan Ahrari (Mar 4, '15)

Iran squashes IS, US seeks cover
An operation by Iraqi government forces to recapture Tikrit, north of Baghdad, from Islamic State militants, has resulted in fierce fighting around the town, seen as the spiritual heartland of Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime. This hugely important development has three dimensions. - M K Bhadrakumar (Mar 4,'15)

Israeli ex-generals condemn Netanyahu
In an unprecedented move, 200 veterans of the Israeli security services have accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of being a “danger” to Israel, their protest coming on the even of his visit to address a joint meeting of the US Congress against the wishes of the White House. - Jonathan Cook (Mar 2, '15)


The Middle East and perpetual war
There is a popular idea in Washington, DC, that the United States ought to be doing more to quash the Islamic State: if we don't, they will send terrorists to plague our lives. Previously, the canard was that we had to intervene in the Middle East to protect the flow of oil to the West. So why in fact are we there? The only answer is: "Israel". - Leon Anderson (Mar 2, '15)



A Chechen role in Nemtsov murder?
For many in Russia and the West, the Kremlin is inevitably the prime suspect in the assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. But the possibility of a Chechen connection should not be dismissed out of hand, given Nemtsov's repeated criticism of Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov. (Mar 4, '15)

Obama, Shell, and the Arctic Ocean's fate
Despite the glut of new American oil on the market (and falling oil prices), not to mention a recent bow to preservation of the Arctic, the Obama administration stands at the edge of once again green-lighting a foray by oil giant Shell into Arctic waters. - Subhankar Banerjee (Mar 4, '15)


Germany's future lies East
Germany, sooner or later, must answer a categorical imperative - how to keep running massive trade surpluses while dumping its euro trade partners. The only possible answer is more trade with Russia, China and East Asia. It will take quite a while, but a Berlin-Moscow-Beijing commercial axis is all but inevitable. - Pepe Escobar (Mar 3, '15)

 

mardi, 10 février 2015

Du Golan au Sinaï, les takfiristes sont des alliés d’Israël

groupesarmes.jpg

Du Golan au Sinaï, les takfiristes sont des alliés d’Israël

 
Par Samer R. Zoughaib
Ex: http://lesmoutonsenrages.fr

Dans son discours charnière du vendredi 30 janvier, le secrétaire général du Hezbollah, sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, a démontré, par un raisonnement logique, la collusion entre Israël et les takfiristes actifs sur le terrain en Syrie, notamment le Front al-Nosra, la branche syrienne d’Al-Qaïda. Ainsi, explique-t-il, l’entité sioniste s’est-elle sentie menacée par six membres de la Résistance, en tournée d’inspection dans la province de Quneitra, mais ne semble nullement préoccupée par la présence, le long du Golan occupé, de plusieurs milliers de combattants d’al-Nosra, armés jusqu’aux dents.

«Le Front al-Nosra a déployé près du Golan des milliers de combattants dotés de chars, de roquettes, de missiles antichars, de casernes, de positions et de fortifications militaires», a déclaré sayyed Nasrallah, en rappelant que cette organisation est inscrite sur les listes internationales des organisations terroristes.

Malgré cela, souligne-t-il, «Israël» ne semble pas inquiet ou inquiété le moins du monde par cette présence massive d’hommes armés prétendant combattre sous un étendard islamique.
Depuis plus de deux ans, nous publions sur ce même site un grand nombre d’articles, basés sur des informations sûres et fiables, faisant la lumière sur les relations étroites qui existent entre «Tel-Aviv» et les groupes les plus extrémistes en Syrie. C’est ainsi que plus d’un millier de combattants extrémistes ont été soignés dans les hôpitaux de Safad, Haïfa et Tibériade, après avoir été transférés des champs de bataille du sud syrien avec l’aide directe des «Israéliens». Mais le soutien va au-delà de ce qui est présenté par la propagande israélienne comme un «geste humanitaire». La couverture aérienne et les barrages d’artillerie fournis par l’armée «israélienne» ont joué un rôle crucial dans l’avancée -toute relative- des groupes extrémistes dans le Golan, dans le but d’instaurer une ceinture de sécurité large de 5 à 7 kilomètres, le long du Golan occupé.


Pour éloigner les témoins gênants, les groupes terroristes ont enlevé, l’été dernier, 45 Casques bleus de la force internationale d’interposition déployée depuis 1974, la Fnuod, qui a décidé, après cet incident, d’évacuer de nombreuses positions, laissant le terrain libre à Al-Qaïda.

Transfert de matériel et 59 réunions

Aujourd’hui, même les médias occidentaux ne peuvent plus passer sous silence le soutien multiforme apporté par «Israël» aux extrémistes. Dans un article publié le 7 décembre 2014, le quotidien français «Libération», pourtant proche d’«Israël», fait état d’un grand nombre de rapports des Nations unies évoquant «un dialogue et des transferts de matériel aux rebelles syriens». Ces documents, basés sur des observations directes faites par des Casques bleus présents dans le Golan révèlent des «contacts suivis» entre des officiers sionistes et «certains groupes rebelles (…) parmi lesquels des islamistes du Front al-Nosra, la branche syrienne d’Al-Qaïda».


«Libération» ajoute que les rapports de la Fnuod adressés aux quinze membres du Conseil de sécurité révèlent que les rencontres entre militaires israéliens et rebelles syriens sont quasi-quotidiennes depuis au moins dix-huit mois. Ces notes d’observation démontrent qu’un dialogue s’est instauré entre les deux parties le long de la ligne de séparation entre la Syrie et la partie du Golan occupée par «Israël». Du 1er mars au 31 mai 2014, les Casques bleus ont ainsi comptabilisé 59 réunions, précise le journal français.


Et ce n’est pas tout. Les observateurs de la Fnuod ont constaté qu’en certaines occasions, l’armée israélienne transfère des caisses aux rebelles, comme ce fut le cas le 10 juin. «A deux occasions la Fnuod a aussi observé que des officiers israéliens faisaient pénétrer des rebelles en bon état de santé sur le territoire de l’Etat hébreu. Où se rendaient-ils? Pour discuter avec qui? Dans ce cas également, il n’y a pas de réponse», poursuit «Libération», qui ajoute que la majorité des contacts observés se sont déroulés à proximité d’un poste de la Fnuod surnommé «Point 85», qui a depuis été évacué après l’enlèvement des 45 Casques bleus.
La date de ces transferts de caisses et de ces contacts suivis coïncident avec la vaste offensive lancée par les extrémistes et qui leur a permis d’occuper un certain nombre de positions de l’armée syrienne dans la province de Quneitra. A cette même époque, le ministre «israélien» de la Guerre, Moshé Yaalon, qualifiait le Front al-Nosra de «branche la plus modérée d’Al-Qaïda» tandis que le ministre Français des Affaires étrangères, Laurent Fabius, estimait qu’«Al-Nosra fait du bon boulot en Syrie».

Dans le Sinaï aussi

La collusion entre l’entité sioniste et les extrémistes prétendant se battre sous l’étendard de l’islam ne se limite pas au Golan mais englobe également le Sinaï, où «Ansar Beit al-Maqdess», qui a prêté allégeance à l’organisation terroriste de «Daech» a mené un série d’attaques meurtrières sans précédent contre l’armée égyptienne, qui ont fait, la semaine dernière, des dizaines de morts.


Quel meilleur service peut-on rendre à «Israël» sinon d’attaquer et d’affaiblir les armées syrienne, égyptienne et libanaise, les forces armées des pays dit de «l’étau». Il est intéressant de noter, dans ce cadre, la réaction iranienne aux attaques du Sinaï. Le chef d’état-major interarmes iranien, le général Hassan Feyrouz, a estimé que «ceux qui attaquent l’armée égyptienne servent les intérêts d’Israël». La même position a été exprimée par la porte-parole du ministère iranien des Affaires étrangères, Marzieh Afkham, qui a affirmé que «l’objectif des attaques du Sinaï est d’éloigner le monde musulman de son but qui est de défendre le peuple palestinien».

 

Source : French.alahednews

samedi, 07 février 2015

El sionismo cristiano: La nueva herejía que domina Estados Unidos

Por Stephen Sizer*

Ex: http://www.elespiadigital.com

El sionismo cristiano es una teología que apoya un régimen político basado en el apartheid y la discriminación – sin embargo, millones de personas en los EE.UU. expresan su apoyo al mismo. ¿Cuán peligroso es, dado el papel de EE.UU. en el Medio Oriente?

1. Introducción

“Sólo una nación, Israel, se encuentra entre… la agresión terrorista y la disminución total de los Estados Unidos como potencia mundial democrática … Si Israel cae, los Estados Unidos ya no pueden seguir siendo una democracia. … El dinero árabe se utiliza para el control y la influencia de las principales corporaciones de EE.UU., por lo que es económicamente más y más difícil para los Estados Unidos hacer algo en contra del terrorismo mundial “. [1]

Mientras que muchos de ellos no necesariamente van tan lejos como Mike Evans, sin embargo es asumido por una gran parte de los cristianos en Gran Bretaña y Estados Unidos que es su responsabilidad bíblica apoyar al Estado de Israel y que la bendición de Dios sobre ellos está condicionada a la bendición de Israel. Dale Crowley, en una emisora ​​religiosa de Washington, describe este movimiento como el “de más rápido crecimiento en Estados Unidos“:

“No esta compuesto de locos” sino por estadounidenses de clase media-alta. Que dan millones de dólares cada semana a los evangelistas de la televisión que exponen los fundamentos de la secta. Ellos leen a Hal Lindsey y Tim LaHaye, quienes difunden un objetivo:. “Ayudar a la mano de Dios para flotar hasta el cielo libre de todos los problemas, desde donde verán el Armagedón y la destrucción del planeta Tierra” [2]

Definición del sionismo cristiano

El sionismo cristiano es esencialmente el apoyo cristiano al sionismo. El sionismo es un sistema político basado en la exclusividad étnica judía dándoles derechos políticos preferenciales que se les niegan a los palestinos. Las Naciones Unidas han definido al sionismo como una forma de racismo y de apartheid. Sin embargo, en palabras de Grace Halsell el mensaje esencial de los sionistas cristianos es el siguiente: “todo acto adoptado por Israel está orquestado por Dios y debe ser tolerado, apoyado, e incluso ensalzado por el resto de nosotros“. [3]

La importancia del movimiento cristiano sionista

Las estimaciones sobre el tamaño del movimiento en su conjunto varían considerablemente. Mientras que críticos como Crowley afirman: “Por lo menos uno de cada 10 estadounidenses es un devoto ‘, es decir, entre ‘25 a 30 millones“, los sionistas cristianos por su parte, como Pat Robertson y Jerry Falwell, afirman tener acceso semanal a 100 millones de estadounidenses simpatizantes [4 ]. Cualquiera que sea la cifra real, todos están de acuerdo en que el número está creciendo en tamaño e influencia [5]. Ellos son guiados por 80.000 pastores fundamentalistas y sus puntos de vista difundidos por 1.000 emisoras locales de radio, así como 100 canales de televisión cristiana [6]. Doug Krieger dio una lista de más de 250 organizaciones pro-israelí fundadas solamente en la década de 1980 [7].

Por ejemplo, Unity Coalition for Israel, que es la más grande, reúne a 200 diferentes organizaciones sionistas judías y cristianas, incluyendo la International Christian Embassy, Christian Friends of Israel y Bridges for Peace . Ellos reclaman tener una base de apoyo de 40 millones de miembros activos [8]. Estas organizaciones conforman una amplia coalición que no sólo ayuda a mantener al gobierno racista de Sharon en el poder, sino también, como veremos más adelante, ayudan a dar forma a la postura agresiva de la política exterior de EE.UU. en el Medio Oriente.

El aumento del sionismo cristiano contemporáneo se remonta a la fundación del Estado de Israel en 1948, que llegó a ser vista como la realización más importante de la profecías bíblicas [9], de hecho, para muchos, “la mayor noticia profética que hemos tenido en el siglo XX ” [10]. Después de la Guerra de los Seis Días en 1967, Billy Graham, suegro de Nelson Bell, editor de Christianity Today, expresó los sentimientos de muchos evangélicos estadounidenses, cuando en una editorial de la revista, escribió: “por primera vez en más de 2.000 años Jerusalén está completamente en manos de los Judíos, lo que produce a un estudiante de la Biblia una emoción y una renovada fe en la exactitud y validez de la Biblia” [11].

christian-zionism38.jpgEn 1976, una serie de acontecimientos llevaron al sionismo cristiano a la vanguardia de la política dominante de EE.UU.. Jimmy Carter fue elegido como el “renacido” presidente que marcaría el apoyo de la derecha evangélica. En Israel, Menachem Begin y el ala derecha del partido Likud llegaron al poder al año siguiente. Una coalición tripartita emergió lentamente entre la derecha política, los evangélicos y el lobby judío. En 1978, Jimmy Carter reconoció cómo sus propias creencias pro-sionistas habían influido en su política en Oriente Medio [12]. En un discurso, describió el estado de Israel como “un retorno al pasado, a la tierra bíblica de la cual los Judíos fueron expulsados tantos cientos de años atrás… El establecimiento de la nación de Israel es el cumplimiento de la profecía bíblica y la esencia misma de su cumplimiento ” [13]. Sin embargo, cuando Carter vaciló sobre el agresivo programa del Likud y propuso la creación de un estado palestino, se distanció de la coalición de judíos pro- israelí, lo que condujo a que los evangélicos cambiaran su apoyo a Ronald Reagan en las elecciones de 1980. La elección de Reagan como presidente dio un impulso considerable a la causa sionista cristiana. Don Wagner explica: “La elección de Ronald Reagan marcó el comienzo no sólo de una tendencia aun más pro-Israel en la historia de la administración, sino que además dio importantes puestos en el gobierno a varios prominentes cristianos sionistas. Además del Presidente, quiene se suscribe a una teología premilenarista futurista y al sionismo cristiano, podemos mencionar al Procurador General Ed Meese, al Secretario de Defensa Casper Weinberger, y al secretario del Interior James Watt” [14].

Los White House Seminars se convirtieron en una característica regular de la administración Reagan, por los cuales se trajeron a sionistas cristianos como Jerry Falwell, Mike Evans y Hal Lindsey para tener acceso directo y personal con los dirigentes nacionales y el Congreso. En 1982, por ejemplo, Reagan invitó a Falwell para dar un informe al Consejo de Seguridad Nacional sobre la posibilidad de una guerra nuclear con Rusia [15]. Hal Lindsey también afirma que Reagan lo invitó a hablar sobre el tema de la guerra con Rusia para los funcionarios del Pentágono [16]. En una conversación personal publicada por el Washington Post dos años después, en abril de 1984, Reagan elaboró ​​sus propias convicciones personales con Tom Dine, uno de los principales lobbistas israelí que trabajó para la American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC): ‘Como saben, me dirijo de nuevo a los antiguos profetas en el Antiguo Testamento y a las señales anunciadas del Armagedón, y me pregunto si – si somos la generación que va a ver que esto se acerca. No sé si usted ha observado alguna de estas profecías últimamente, pero créanme, ciertamente describen los tiempos que estamos viviendo ” [17].

Mientras que George Bush padre, Bill Clinton y George W. Bush no parecen haber compartido los mismos presupuestos acerca de estos designios que Jimmy Carter y Ronald Reagan, sin embargo han mantenido, aunque sea a regañadientes, la fuerte posición pro-sionista de sus predecesores [ 18]. Esto se debe principalmente a la influencia del lobby sionista considerado por muchos como el más poderoso de los Estados Unidos [19]. Aluf Ben, un portavoz de Shimon Peres, fue citado por el diario de mayor circulación en Tel Aviv, Ha´aretz: “el 60 por ciento de toda la ayuda económica a los demócratas provenía de fuentes judías” [20]. Según el Informe de Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, “la mayoría de los recaudadores de fondos pro-Israel estiman que al menos del 60 al 90 por ciento de la campaña demócrata es financiada por fuentes judías, también suministran quizá el 40 por ciento del financiamiento republicano” [21]. Tal vez por eso es difícil encontrar a un solo político electo estadounidense dispuesto a criticar a Israel en público.

Tres líderes cristianos en particular, cada uno de ellos instalado en la Casa Blanca por Reagan, probablemente han logrado más que cualquier otro en los últimos treinta años en lo que respectaa a asegurar que la política exterior estadounidense sigue siendo pro-sionista. Son Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson y Hal Lindsey, quienes se convirtieron en fervientes partidarios del Estado sionista. Grace Halsell describe la conversión de Falwell:

“La victoria israelí fue un hecho impresionante de gran impacto no sólo en Falwell, sino… para muchos de los estadounidenses. Recuerden que en el año 1967, los Estados Unidos estaban sumidos en la guerra de Vietnam. Muchos sintieron una sensación de derrota, impotencia y desánimo. Como estadounidenses, nos hicieron muy conscientes de nuestra disminuida autoridad, de no ser capaces de ser la policía del mundo o incluso de nuestros propios vecindarios… Muchos estadounidenses, incluyendo a Falwell, volvieron su mirada de adoración hacia Israel, viéndolo militarmente fuerte e invencible. Ellos dieron su aprobación sin límites a la toma de posesión de Israel de tierras árabes debido a que percibieron esta conquista como de poder y de justicia… Cristianos machos y musculosos como Falwell atribuyen al general israelí Moshe Dayan un “aura de héroe” por esta victoria sobre las fuerzas árabes y le llama el hombre de los milagros de la era, siendo invitado por el Pentágono a visitar Vietnam y decirnos cómo ganar esta guerra “. [22]

En 1979, el mismo año en el que Falwell fundó Moral Majority, el gobierno israelí le dio un avión Lear para que le ayudase en su defensa de Israel. Un año más tarde, en 1980, Falwell también se convirtió en el primer gentil en recibir la medalla Vladimir Ze’ev Jabotinsky por su excelencia sionista, de manos del Primer Ministro de Israel, Menachem Begin. Jabotinsky fue el fundador del sionismo revisionista y sostuvo que los judíos tenía un mandato divino para ocupar y colonizar “a ambos lados del río Jordán” y que no debían dar cuentas al derecho internacional [23]. Cuando Israel bombardeó la planta nuclear de Irak en 1981, llamaron por teléfono a Falwell antes de llamar a Reagan. Llamó a Falwell para preguntarle cómo “explicar al público cristiano las razones del atentado” [24]. Durante la invasión de Líbano en 1982, Falwell igualmente defendió las acciones de Israel:

“Cuando las masacres ocurrieron en los campos de refugiados palestinos, Falwell sólo imitó la línea israelí: “Los israelíes no están involucrados”. Y aun cuando el New York Times estaba dando testimonios de bengalas israelíes enviadas para ayudar a los falangistas a entrar en los campos, Falwell decía: “Eso es sólo propaganda” [25].

En marzo de 1985, Falwell habló ante la conservadora Asamblea Rabínica en Miami y se comprometió a “movilizar a 70 millones de cristianos conservadores por Israel” [26]. En enero de 1998, cuando el primer ministro israelí Benjamin Netanyahu visitó Washington, su primera reunión fue con Jerry Falwell y con The National Unity Coalition for Israel, en una gran reunión de más de 500 líderes cristianos fundamentalistas, en vez de con el presidente Clinton. De acuerdo con Donald Wagner, la multitud aclamó a Netanyahu como “el Ronald Reagan de Israel.” Esta vez Falwell prometió ponerse en contacto con 200.000 pastores y líderes de iglesias que reciben su National Liberty Journal [27], y pedirles que “digan al presidente Clinton que se abstengan de presionar a Israel para cumplir con los acuerdos de Oslo” [28]. En una entrevista con The Washington Post en 1999, Falwell describe a la ribera occidental [Cisjordania] como “una parte integral de Israel“. Ante la idea de presionar a Israel a retirarse, añadió, “sería como pedirle a Estados Unidos dejarle Texas a México, para lograr una buena relación. Es ridículo” [29]. En el 2000, Falwell reanima Moral Majority bajo el nombre de People of Faith 2000, “como un movimiento para recuperar América como una nación bajo Dios“, el cual también tiene una fuerte posición pro-israelí [30]. Falwell ha tenido éxito, probablemente mejor que cualquier otro líder cristiano estadounidense, en convencer a sus seguidores a reconocer que su deber cristiano consiste en proporcionar un apoyo incondicional al Estado de Israel.

Mientras que Jerry Falwell podría ser uno de los cristianos sionistas más influyentes, también es un mascarón de proa, junto con Pat Robertson, de una alianza mucho más amplia de más de 150 influyentes líderes fundamentalistas cristianos, que incluyen a Oral Roberts, Mike Evans, Tim LaHaye, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch, Ed McAteer, Jim Bakker, Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Chuck Missler y Jimmy Swaggart, que han adoptado una postura pro-sionista en sus escritos o emisiones [31]. Estos líderes cristianos y sus organizaciones tienen acceso regular a más de 100 millones de cristianos, más de 100.000 pastores y a unos presupuestos conjuntos que alcanan cifras por encima de los 300 millones de dólares anuales. Ellos forman una coalición amplia e inmensamente poderosa que influye en la formación y la conducción de la política exterior de EE.UU. en el Oriente Medio, así como en el apoyo cristiano a Israel hoy en día.

El desarrollo histórico del sionismo cristiano

Si se desea explorar con más detalle las raíces históricas o la base teológica del movimiento, se debe echar un vistazo a la librerías, en las cuales hay algunos recursos útiles.

En su lugar, voy a centrarme ahora en seis aspectos de la agenda política del movimiento cristiano sionista, y a demostrar por qué los cristianos sionistas se oponen implacablemente al proceso de paz en Oriente Medio. De hecho quiero mostrar cómo pueden estar contribuyendo al holocausto que ellos predicen en el Medio Oriente .

La agenda política del sionismo cristiano

Vamos a examinar las seis formas en que la teología cristiana sionista ha sido traducida en acción política: Este esquema ilustra la correlación entre los movimientos de las doctrinas características y su agenda política.

Vamos a considerar cada uno de ellos:

1. El pueblo elegido: Apoyar el colonialismo israelí

La convicción de que el pueblo judío permanecerá como el “pueblo elegido” de Dios de alguna manera separado de la Iglesia, está profundamente arraigado en el sionismo cristiano. Una encuesta reciente de la revista Christianity Today sobre la opinión evangélica sobre Israel da una indicación de la fuerza del sionismo cristiano en Estados Unidos. La encuesta reveló que el 24% cree que “el mandato bíblico para los cristianos es apoyar el Estado de Israel” [32]. Esto se expresa en una variedad de maneras:

1.1 En pie con Israel

Después de la Guerra de los Seis Días en 1967, además del apoyo brindado por el gobierno de Estados Unidos, Israel ha estado en gran parte aislado de la comunidad internacional. Hal Lindsey se lamenta: “Hasta el momento de la Conferencia de Madrid de 1991, a los árabes se les llamaba “a” cumplir “,” desistir “,” abstenerse “, etc cuatro veces; en cambio a Israel se le “exigía”, “ordenaba”, etc, a cumplir la voluntad de la Asamblea General en trescientas cinco oportunidades. La ONU votó seiscientas cinco resoluciones entre su creación y la Guerra del Golfo. Cuatrocientas veinte y nueve de esas resoluciones, o el sesenta y dos por ciento del total de las resoluciones de la ONU fueron contra Israel o contra sus intereses ” [33].

Citando a Isaías 40, los cristianos sionistas consideran que su papel es “aliviar a Israel.” Así, por ejemplo, en octubre de 2000, pocos días después de la visita de Ariel Sharon al Haram Al-Sharif, que se programó deliberadamente para socavar al gobierno de Barak con miras a negociar con Arafat sobre una Jerusalén compartida [34], lo que provocó la segunda Intifada, se público un anuncio en el New York Times titulado “Open Letter to Evangelical Christians from Jews for Jesus.” En ella se hizo un llamamiento a los evangélicos para mostrar su solidaridad con el Estado de Israel en dicho momento crítico: “Ahora es el momento de apoyar a Israel. Queridos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo, nuestros corazones están tristes, mientras vemos las imágenes de violencia y derramamiento de sangre en el Medio Oriente … Amigos cristianos, “Los dones y el llamamiento de Dios son irrevocables” (Romanos 11:29). Por lo tanto nuestro apoyo a la supervivencia de Israel en esta hora oscura es irrevocable. Ahora es el momento para que los cristianos apoyen a Israel ” [35].

1.2 El lobby israelí en el Capitolio

Hasta la década de 1980, para EE.UU., Oriente Próximo fue en gran parte una instancia periférica de la amenaza global más amplia que planteaba el comunismo soviético. La protección de la Europa Occidental a través de la OTAN era una prioridad más importante. El colapso del comunismo, sin embargo, creó un vacío de poder en el Oriente Medio, que los EE.UU. han llenado. Después de la Guerra del Golfo para “liberar Kuwait” y luego, más recientemente, Afganistán de los talibanes y, a continuación, Irak del partido Baath de Saddam Hussein, los EE.UU. han aumentado considerablemente su influencia en el Medio Oriente. Muchos sostienen que la política exterior de EE.UU. se ha desviado por la influencia desproporcionada del lobby sionista. Michael Lind – analista político – resume la forma en que el lobby israelí ha distorsionado la política exterior de EE.UU.: “la ocupación israelí de Cisjordania y Gaza, habilitado por las armas y el dinero de EE.UU, inflama las actitudes anti-estadounidenses en los países árabes y musulmanes. La expansión de los asentamientos israelíes en territorio palestino es una burla del compromiso de EE.UU. a la autodeterminación de Kosovo, Timor Oriental y el Tíbet. Más allá de la región, la política de EE.UU. sobre la proliferación de armas nucleares es socavada por la doble moral que le ha llevado a ignorar el programa nuclear de Israel mientras condena los de India y Pakistán ” [36].

La derecha cristiana llegó a conformar la política exterior de EE.UU. en gran parte a través de la elección de Ronald Reagan en 1980. Su victoria sobre Jimmy Carter dio un impulso considerable a la causa sionista cristiana. Su elección, “marcó el comienzo no sólo de una tendencia más pro-Israel en la historia de la administración, otorgando varios importantes puestos políticos a sionistas cristianos. Los seminarios de la Casa Blanca se convirtieron en una característica regular de la administración Reagan, a través de la cual se instalaron líderes sionistas cristianos como Jerry Falwell, Mike Evans y Hal Lindsey, permitiéndoles contacto personal con los líderes nacionales y con el Congreso. En el mismo año, la International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem, fue fundada con el propósito de coordinar directamente las actividades del lobby político en cooperación con el gobierno de Israel” [37]. Junto con otras organizaciones que integran la Unity Coalition for Israel, tienen como principal estrategia presionar a los medios de EE.UU. y a la clase política, cuestionar lo que ellos llaman “la desinformación y la propaganda “, y expresar “la verdad acerca de Israel. “

Real.Americans.Defend.Israel.jpgEl poder del lobby pro-israelí asegura que Israel siga recibiendo entre 3 a 8 millones de dólares anuales de los EE.UU. en subvenciones, préstamos y subsidios, y ayuda militar. Este poder se puede medir por el hecho de que George Bush padre fue el último Presidente de los EE.UU. en criticar a Israel en público. Durante la Guerra del Golfo, causó disgusto en el lobby israelí que presionara a Israel para no tomar represalias contra los ataques de Irak, y prometió a los socios de la coalición árabe que él se ocuparía de la cuestión palestina. En septiembre de 1991, se quejó de que “hay 1.000 lobbystas en la colina del Congreso, presionando por las garantías de los préstamos para Israel, y soy un tipo un poco solitario aquí pidiendo al Congreso retrasar el examen de las garantías de préstamos por 120 días” [ 38]. Lind señala que el lobby pro-israelí también fue responsable de fomentar, “el mayor abuso del poder de indulto presidencial en la historia estadounidense“, cuando Bill Clinton, en su último día en el cargo, dio un polémico indulto a Mark Rich, el multimillonario fugitivo que en la lista del FBI figuraba como el “más buscado“. En un artículo del New York Times en febrero de 2001, Clinton explicó que lo había hecho por Israel:

“Muchos antiguos y actuales funcionarios de alto rango de Israel de los dos principales partidos políticos y los líderes de las comunidades judías en América y Europa me pidieron el perdón del señor Rich por sus aportaciones y servicios a los israelíes a través de causas benéficas” [39].

El lobby pro-israelí es también acusado de participar en la selección, nombramiento y despido de funcionarios del gobierno de EE.UU. [40]. En 1980, el ex embajador de EE.UU. en Qatar, Andrew Killgore, escribió en el Informe a Washington sobre Asuntos del Medio Oriente, críticas sobre el lobby israelí: “Es erróneo y perverso por parte de elementos fanáticos dentro del dos y medio por ciento de nuestra población que son de origen judío, mantener como rehén al Congreso … Estados Unidos debe considerar la evolución y penetración de la influencia de Israel en la dirección de la política exterior de EE.UU., como el trabajo de un maestro criminal ” [41].

Los cristianos sionistas también han influido en la creación de una relación más estrecha con Israel, facilitando visitas de solidaridad a Tierra Santa.

1.3 Viajes de Solidaridad a Israel

Desde 1967, tras la captura de la mayoría de los sitios importantes relacionados con las peregrinaciones bíblicas de Jordania y Siria, Israel ha explotado sistemáticamente lo que ha sido descrito como un lucrativo negocio, una “mina de oro” [42], siendo este turismo también una herramienta de propaganda [43 ]. Sin embargo, el mayor de los éxitos de Israel ha sido el contar con líderes evangélicos estadounidenses, tales como Pat Boone y Jerry Falwell, como aliados en la promoción de sus tours de solidaridad pro-israelíes. Por ejemplo, los Friendship Tours de Falwell incluyen no sólo reuniones con el gobierno de Israel (a alto nivel) y con oficiales militares, sino también … incluyen “paseos” a lugares y campos de batalla de Israel… Visita oficial a una instalación de defensa de Israel… a posiciones militares estratégicas, además de experimentar de primera mano la batalla que enfrenta Israel como nación [44].

Los sionistas cristianos no se contentan sólo con apoyar al Estado de Israel, política y financieramente. También son activos en convencer a judíos a emigrar a Israel y cumplir su destino.

2. Restauracionismo: Facilitar la Aliyah desde Rusia y desde Europa del Este

Los sionistas cristianos están convencidos de que es la voluntad de Dios que el pueblo judío regrese a Israel desde que éste fue dado a perpetuidad a los descendientes de Abraham. Con la caída del comunismo en la ex Unión Soviética (URSS) y Europa del Este, los cristianos sionistas han sido cada vez más activos en facilitar emigrantes judíos para hacer la aliyah [45].

Desde 1980, una coalición de agencias cristianas sionistas ha tomado la iniciativa para alentar a los judíos a emigrar a Israel, viendo esto como el cumplimiento de la profecía. Exobus probablemente fue la primera agencia sionista cristiana sionista en implantar la doctrina del Restauracionismo como una realidad y ayudar a los judíos en la antigua Unión Soviética (URSS) para hacer la aliyah. Fundada en 1984, han ayudado a más de 56.000 judíos a emigrar a Israel, en estrecha colaboración con la Agencia Judía. Exobus es también, probablemente, la mayor agencia cristiana en facilitar la aliyah, comprende 80 grupos procedentes de 13 países, y trabajan con 40 vehículos que transportan aproximadamente 1.200 judíos por tierra desde 16 bases diferentes en la antigua Unión Soviética, cada mes [46].

Desde 1991, la ICEJ [International Christian Embassy Jerusalem] también ha pagado por el transporte de otros 40.000 inmigrantes, 15.000 de los cuales fueron llevados a Israel en 51 vuelos patrocinados por la ICEJ [47]. Los miembros rusos de la ICEJ son especialmente activos en las regiones más remotas de la antigua Unión Soviética. Localizan a judíos, los persuaden a emigrar, y les ayudan a obtener los documentos para probar su origen judío, distribuyen paquetes humanitarios y pagan los permisos de salida, pasaportes, pago de deudas de transporte y alojamiento [48]. Una vez en Israel, la ICEJ ayuda a los emigrantes con los costos de reasentamiento, el suministro de alimentos, ropa, mantas, cocina y útiles escolares, así como equipos médicos [49]. Creyendo los judíos que siguen siendo el pueblo elegido de Dios y que Dios los está trayendo de vuelta a la tierra, es imperativo que sepan que retornan a la tierra que Dios prometió a sus antepasados.

3. Eretz Israel: Mantenimiento de los asentamientos en Cisjordania


usjews1.jpgPara el sionismo religioso, judío y cristiano, las fronteras legítimas de Israel son considerablemente mayores que las que actualmente se disputa con Siria, Jordania y la Autoridad Palestina. La participación cristiana en la realización de la Tierra de Israel incluye la justificación militar de la ampliación de estas fronteras, la adopción de políticas del programa de asentamientos, y el apoyo económico para el movimiento de los colonos. Por ejemplo, David Allen Lewis, presidente de Christians United for Israel, sitúa las reivindicaciones territoriales de Israel en el contexto más amplio del Oriente Medio. Observa que “Los árabes ya tienen el 99,5 por ciento de la tierra… esto no puede ser tolerado” [50]. En respuesta a los llamamientos internacionales para que Israel devuelva la Ribera Occidental, Bridges for Peace hace la siguiente pregunta retórica: “¿Qué es tan sagrado con respecto a la línea establecida el 04 de junio 1967?” Nada, dice, ya que históricamente esto era parte del Israel bíblico y “justamente ganado en batallas defensivas en 1967 y 1973” [51]. Esta convicción de que toda la Ribera Occidental es parte integral de Israel ha llevado a muchos cristianos sionistas a “adoptar” los asentamientos judíos para reforzar su derecho a la tierra.


La adopción de los asentamientos


Desde 1967, con diversos incentivos económicos y fiscales, así como apelando a la retórica bíblica, Israel ha animado a más de 400.000 judíos a colonizar Jerusalén Oriental, Cisjordania, Gaza y los Altos del Golán, a través de 190 asentamientos ilegales [52]. Varias organizaciones cristianas han dado su pleno apoyo a esta judaización de los territorios ocupados. The Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC), fundada por Ted Beckett en 1995, trabaja en colaboración con Christian Friends of Israel (CFI) definiendo los asentamientos como: “Un pedazo de tierra donde los valientes pioneros judíos han establecido su residencia. En la mayoría de los casos es una colina rocosa estéril creada para establecer una comunidad judía que no había existido desde hace miles de años ” [53].Hasta ahora, el CFOIC afirma que 39 asentamientos israelíes ilegales han sido adoptados por 50 iglesias en los EE.UU., Sudáfrica, Alemania, Holanda y Filipinas. Por ejemplo, Ariel ha sido adoptado por Faith Bible Chapel, Arvada, Colorado; Hevron por Greater Harvest, Tallahassee, Florida; Alei Zahav por Calvary Chapel, Nashville. Para fortalecer la demanda de los colonos de la tierra, CFOIC publica mapas en su página web que muestran las pocas áreas de Cisjordania devueltas a la Autoridad Palestina. Lamentablemente, el CFOIC describe la “partición” de la tierra como “la realidad del “proceso de paz” para los que viven en la tierra que Dios prometió a los descendientes de Abraham, Isaac y Jacob para siempre!” [54]. La realidad es que Palestina ya no existe más. El muro de separación ha arrojado en forma de hormigón la realidad de que todos los palestinos sólo pueden esperar unos bantustanes aislados y empobrecidos, similares a las reservas indígenas de América del Norte, aunque en la Ribera Occidental también se les niega la libertad de movimiento entre ellos.

Los sionistas cristianos no sólo han mantenido una posición clara de justificación de los asentamientos ilegales de Israel en Cisjordania. Su programa de “adopción” también pretende ser un medio por el cual se entrega ayuda financiera así como apoyo práctico a los colonos.Financiación a los colonosAdemás de facilitar la emigración de los judíos a Israel, algunos cristianos sionistas son los organizadores activos del financiamiento ilegal de los asentamientos judíos en Cisjordania. Por ejemplo, durante la fiesta de celebración del Tabernáculo de 1991, representantes del ICEJ de 12 países dieron cheques al primer ministro israelí, Yitzhak Shamir, para ayudar a financiar los asentamientos [55]. A través del “Programa de Asistencia Social” del ICEJ “también se ofrece apoyo financiero a proyectos en los asentamientos judíos, incluyendo chalecos antibalas para fortalecer la resolución de los colonos, que viven entre lo que describen como ‘3 millones de palestinos hostiles ” [56]. El ICEJ, a través de su programa “Bulletproof Bus for Efrat”, ha recaudado 150,000 dólares para comprar un autobús blindado para el transporte de poblaciones dentro y fuera de la Ribera Occidental desde los asentamientos de Efrat [57]. Bridges for Peace (BFP) tiene un plan similar llamado “Operation Ezras”, que financia más de 50 proyectos de otra manera no sostenibles, como el establecimiento de granjas, Sde Bar, cerca de Beit Jala y de Herodes [58]. Parte integral de esta estrategia es la judaización de Jerusalén y la progresiva ocupación y asentamientos de Jerusalén Este y de la Ciudad Vieja. Para el sionismo no puede haber ningún compromiso, ya que el control de Jerusalén ha sido siempre un barómetro de su existencia como nación.


4. Jerusalén: Lobby para el Reconocimiento Internacional


En el corazón de los cristianos sionistas, con respecto al apoyo para el establecimiento de Israel en los territorios ocupados, se encuentra la convicción de que Jerusalén es y debe seguir siendo la capital judía exclusiva e indivisible. Los intentos de llegar a un acuerdo en el más amplio conflicto árabe-israelí hasta el momento se han estancado o se han tambaleado acerca del estatuto definitivo de Jerusalén. Los cristianos sionistas se oponen firmemente a cualquier propuesta de soberanía conjunta o a la creación de una capital palestina en Jerusalén Este.


Ya en febrero de 1984, el ICEJ envió a un representante, Richard Hellman, para dar testimonio ante el Comité del Senado de EE.UU. de Relaciones Exteriores en Washington, para instar a los EE.UU. a trasladar su embajada de Tel Aviv a Jerusalén y reconocer la ciudad como capital de Israel [59]. Jerry Falwell y el lobby de la AIPAC también hablaron a favor de esa medida. El senador Bob Dole, más tarde, introdujo en el Senado estadounidense la ley que busca que la Embajada de los EE.UU. sea reconstruida en Jerusalén el 31 de mayo de 1999, y autorizó 100 millones de dólares para gastos “preliminares” [60]. En octubre de 1995 declaró, “la capital de Israel no está en la mesa en el proceso de paz, y trasladar la embajada de Estados Unidos a Jerusalén no hace nada por alterar el resultado de cualquier negociación futura” [61]. Lamentando el hecho de que el Presidente de EE.UU. ratificara la decisión del Senado, Dole comentó: “Jerusalén es hoy como lo ha sido durante tres milenios, el corazón y el alma del pueblo judío. También es, y debe seguir siendo siempre, la capital eterna e indivisible del Estado de Israel… Ha llegado el momento… de ir más allá de las letras, de las expresiones de apoyo, y el sentido de las resoluciones del Congreso. Ha llegado el momento de promulgar la legislación que conseguirá que el trabajo sea hecho” [62].


En 1997, el ICEJ también dio apoyo a un anuncio de página completa en el New York Times titulado: “Christians Call for a United Jerusalem”. Fue firmado por 10 líderes evangélicos como Pat Robertson, presidente de la Christian Broadcasting Network y presidente de la Christian Coalition, Oral Roberts, fundador y rector de la Oral Roberts University, Jerry Falwell, fundador de la Moral Majority; Ed McAteer, Presidente de la Religious Roundtable, y David Allen Lewis, Presidente de Christians United for Israel: “Nosotros, los abajo firmantes, líderes espirituales cristianos, comunicamos que semanalmente más de 100 millones de cristianos americanos se sienten orgullosos de unirse en el apoyo a la soberanía continuada del Estado de Israel sobre la santa ciudad de Jerusalén… creemos que Jerusalén, o cualquier porción de ella, no será negociable en el proceso de paz. Jerusalén debe permanecer unida como la capital eterna del pueblo judío ” [63].


Los lectores fueron invitados a “Únanse a nosotros en nuestra misión santa“. “La batalla por Jerusalén ha comenzado, y es hora de que los creyentes en Cristo apoyen a nuestros hermanos judíos y al Estado de Israel. Es ahora el momento de la unidad con el pueblo judío” [64].


En 2002, Falwell ligó polémicamente los ataques terroristas contra el World Trade Center con el derecho exclusivo de Israel sobre Jerusalén. Hizo un llamamiento a sus partidarios a acatar la petición del Presidente de los EE.UU. para “mantener a Jerusalén libre” [65]. Los cristianos sionistas están resueltos en sus esfuerzos para lograr que la comunidad internacional reconozca a Jerusalén como la capital de facto de Israel. Sin embargo, más criticable todavía es la lectura cristiana sionista de la profecía de la necesidad de reconstruir el Templo judío.


5. El Templo: La identificación con el sionismo religioso [Ver vídeo: Reconstrucción del Tercer Templo, la Vaca Roja y el Arca de la Alianza]


Los cristianos sionistas, en particular, están convencidos de que el Templo judío debe ser reconstruido, ya que, en base a su escatología futurista basada en Daniel, el anticristo debe profanarlo justo antes de la venida de Cristo. David Brickner afirma que los preparativos para la reconstrucción del templo comenzaron en 1967 con la captura de la ciudad vieja de Jerusalén [66]. Lindsey está igualmente seguro de que, “ahora mismo, mientras usted lee esto, se están haciendo preparativos para la reconstrucción del Tercer Templo” [67]. Actualmente, cristianos sionistas están trabajando para lograr este objetivo.


La promoción del movimiento del Monte del Templo


Randall Price es el principal experto sobre los planes inminentes para reconstruir el Templo judío. En las 735 páginas de su libro The Coming Last Days Temple, ofrece detalles completos de todas las organizaciones judías implicadas en los intentos por apoderarse del Monte del Templo, destruir la mezquita de Al Aqsa y la Cúpula de la Roca, reconstruir el Templo judío y volver a instituir el culto del Templo, el sacerdocio y los sacrificios. Estas incluyen el Temple Institute y Temple Mount Faithful [68]. Gershon Salomon es la figura controvertida del movimiento y fundador de The Temple Faithful. Zhava Glase,r de Jews for Jesus, alaba a G. Salomon por su valentía al hablar sobre “el tema más importante en la religión judía“. Hablando como invitado de la ICEJ, en el congreso cristiano sionista en 1998, Salomon insistió:
“La misión de la generación actual es liberar el Monte del Templo y quitar – repito, eliminar – la abominación y profanación efectuada allí… el pueblo judío no se detendrá ante las puertas de acceso al Monte del Templo… Vamos a hacer flamear la bandera de Israel sobre el Monte del Templo, nos encargaremos de la Cúpula de la Roca y sus mezquitas, y sólo estará la bandera de Israel y nuestro Templo. Esto es lo que nuestra generación debe llevar a cabo” [69].


Entrevistado por el Times de Londres, Salomon insistió en que el santuario islámico debe ser destruido: “El Gobierno israelí debe hacerlo. Debemos tener una guerra. Habrá muchas naciones en contra de nosotros, pero Dios será nuestro general. Estoy seguro de que esto es una prueba que Dios espera de nosotros, que movamos el domo sin temor de otras naciones. El Mesías no vendrá por sí mismo, habrá que llamarlo por la lucha” [70]. Desde 1967 ha habido más de 100 asaltos a mano armada en el Haram Al-Sharif por parte de militantes judíos, a menudo dirigidos por rabinos. “En ningún caso el primer ministro israelí o el gran rabino han criticado estos ataques” [71].

 

israelmap.jpg


Facilitar el Programa de Desarrollo del Templo


A fin de mantener el Templo en pleno funcionamiento, también es necesario identificar, capacitar y consagrar a los sacerdotes que van a servir en el mismo. De acuerdo con el Libro de los Números, las cenizas de una vaquilla roja pura sin mancha, debe ser previamente ofrecida por un sacerdote ritualmente puro, deben ser mezcladas con agua y rociadas sobre ellos y sobre el mobiliario del Templo. Con la destrucción del Templo en el año 70 las cenizas usadas en la ceremonia se perdieron y los judíos de la diáspora han permanecido por lo tanto ritualmente impuros desde entonces.


En 1998, sin embargo, Clyde Lott, un ganadero Pentecostal de Mississippi, formó Canaan Land Restoration of Israel, Inc. con el propósito de criar de ganado apto para el sacrificio en el Templo [72]. Según la revista Newsweek, en 1997, la primera vaca roja desde hace 2000 años nació en el Kfar Hassidim kibbutz cerca de Haifa y fue llamada ‘Melody’ [73]. Por desgracia, con el tiempo le crecieron pelos blancos en la cola y las ubres. Sin desanimarse, Chaim Richman, un rabino ortodoxo, y Clyde Lott, el ganadero pentecostal, se han unido para inseminar a las vaquillas rojas en el Valle del Jordán, con la esperanza de producir un espécimen perfecto para el sacrificio [74].


El trabajo de diseño y construcción, mobiliario y utensilios, la formación de sacerdotes y la cría de los animales para los sacrificios requiere de fondos y en gran medida, al igual que la vaca roja, éstos están siendo proporcionados por los sionistas cristianos. De acuerdo con Grace Halsell, Stanley Goldfoot elevo a 100 millones de dólares al año las aportaciones para la Jerusalem Temple Foundation a través de la American Christian TV, las estaciones de radio y las iglesias evangélicas [75]. “El anhelo judío del templo, las esperanzas cristianas acerca del Rapto y la paranoia musulmana sobre la destrucción de las mezquitas [es lo que] agita una ebullición apocalíptica” [76].


6. El futuro: la oposición a la paz y el aceleramiento del Armagedon
La Alianza de Estados Unidos e Israel


Jerry Falwell ofrece una explicación simple de la estrecha relación entre Estados Unidos e Israel. Dios ha sido bueno con Estados Unidos porque “Estados Unidos había sido amable con los Judíos” [77]. Gary Bauer, presidente de American Values, se expresó de esta manera. “Los terroristas no entienden por qué Israel y Estados Unidos se unen en el corazón” [78]. Mike Evans, fundador y presidente de los Lovers of Israel Inc. describe la relación especial entre Israel y Estados Unidos: “Sólo una nación, Israel, se encuentra entre… la agresión terrorista y la disminución total de los Estados Unidos como potencia mundial democrática… Sin duda, la presión demoníaca se esforzará en alentar a traicionar a su Israel… Israel es la clave para la supervivencia de Estados Unidos… Ahora que nos encontramos con Israel, creo que veremos a Dios realizar una obra poderosa en nuestros días. Dios va a bendecir a los Estados Unidos e Israel, así… Si Israel cae, los Estados Unidos ya no puede seguir siendo una democracia ” [79].


Para los cristianos sionistas como Falwell y Evans, Estados Unidos es visto como el gran redentor, el papel de la superpotencia en el mundo anunciada en las Escrituras [80] y providencialmente ordenada [81]. Las dos naciones – América e Israel – son percibidas como hermanos siameses que se enfrentan contra un mundo dominado por el mal del comunismo y del Islam, la antítesis de los valores democráticos judeo-cristianos de Estados Unidos e Israel [82].


La antipatía hacia los árabes


Ramon Bennett ilustra cómo estos prejuicios siguen siendo comunes en la actualidad al describir a las naciones árabes modernas como “bárbaros” [83]. “Las costumbres de hospitalidad y generosidad han cambiado poco en 4.000 años“, afirma, “ni tener la costumbre de asaltar (el robo, el robo de ganado), guardar las apariencias o el salvajismo” [84]. Bennett sostiene que el árabe “es, ni un vicioso, ni, por lo general, un mentiroso calculador, sino natural” [85].


Franklin Graham, presidente de Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, hizo comentarios similares pero imprudentes en una entrevista para el diario Charlotte Observer en 2000: “Los árabes no serán felices hasta que cada judío este muerto. Ellos odian al Estado de Israel. Todos odian a los judíos. Dios dio la tierra a los judíos. Los árabes nunca aceptarán eso ” [86].
El odio hacia los árabes se personifica en las actitudes con respecto a Yasser Arafat. En febrero de 1999, por ejemplo, Arafat fue invitado a asistir al 47 ª Congreso anual patrocinado por National Prayer Breakfast en Washington. Al desayuno suelen asistir cada año más de 3.000 líderes políticos y religiosos, pero en esta ocasión la invitación de Arafat generó una considerable controversia. La Traditional Values Coalition, fundada por Pat Robertson y que representa a 40.000 iglesias, instó a los congresistas a boicotear el desayuno [87]. El ICEJ dijo que la asistencia al desayuno con Arafat sería “como orar con el mismo Satanás” [88]. A pesar de una considerable presión de los grupos pro-israelíes la invitación no fue retirada. La Casa Blanca a través del secretario prensa, Joe Lockhart, defendió la invitación. Se lamentó, “se hace cada año con espíritu de reconciliación. Y lo lamentable es que hay algunos que no entienden completamente el espíritu de reconciliación e inclusión “. [89] Pero me temo que esto se pone todavía peor…


Justificando la limpieza étnica de Palestina


Frecuentemente, la defensa de los cristianos sionistas de Israel lleva a negar a los palestinos los mismos derechos humanos básicos de los israelíes. Algunos incluso son reacios a reconocer la existencia de los palestinos como un pueblo distinto. Dave Hunt es el ejemplo típico de aquellos que equiparan a los palestinos con los filisteos antiguos, y el uso de la palabra Palestina es utilizado en un sentido totalmente peyorativo.


“El conflicto central en el Oriente Medio es hoy el problema del llamado pueblo palestino… ¿Palestinos? Nunca hubo un pueblo palestino, nación, lengua, cultura o religión. ¡La reivindicación de descendencia de un pueblo palestino que vivió hace miles de años en una tierra llamada Palestina es una broma! [90].


Basándose en la lógica de Hunt, presumiblemente los mismos argumentos podrían ser utilizados contra el derecho a la libre determinación de los ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos o incluso de varias docenas de naciones fundadas en el siglo XX. La historia de la persecución de los judíos ilustra la facilidad de denigrar un grupo “inferior” de personas o la negación de su existencia como pueblo diferenciado, pudiendo dar lugar a la racionalización de su erradicación.


En mayo del 2002, Dick Armey, el ex líder de la mayoría republicana, fue noticia al justificar la limpieza étnica de palestinos de los Territorios Ocupados. En una entrevista con Chris Matthews en la CNBC el 1 de mayo de 2002, Armey declaró que: “La mayoría de las personas que ahora pueblan Israel fueron trasladadas desde todas partes del mundo para que esa tierra se convirtiera en su hogar. Los palestinos pueden hacer lo mismo y estaremos contentos de trabajar con los palestinos en ello. No estamos dispuestos a sacrificar a Israel por la noción de un estado palestino… me conformo con que Israel tome toda la Ribera Occidental… Hay muchos países árabes que tienen cientos de miles de acres de tierra; la tierra, la propiedad y la oportunidad para crear un Estado palestino ” [91].a


Matthews dio Armey varias oportunidades para aclarar que él no estaba defendiendo la limpieza étnica de los palestinos de Cisjordania, pero Armey no estaba arrepentido. Cuando se le preguntó “¿Alguna vez le dijo a George Bush, el Presidente de su estado natal de Texas, que cree que los palestinos deben irse y abandonar Palestina y que esa era la solución? “, Armey respondió: “Probablemente estoy diciéndoselo en este momento… me conformo con que Israel ocupe esa tierra que ahora ocupan ellos, y que esas personas que han sido agresores de Israel se retiren a otra tierra” [92].


El punto de vista de Armey sobre que los palestinos deben ser “erradicados” es sólo el último de una serie de llamadas, en la corriente principal de EE.UU. y en los medios de comunicación del Reino Unido ,a la limpieza étnica de los palestinos de los Territorios Ocupados [93]. Mientras que tales actitudes racistas entre los cristianos sionistas hacia los árabes son comunes, como lo es la imagen de los palestinos como terroristas, más especialmente demonizados son los musulmanes.


Demonizar el Islam


Los sentimientos anti-árabes y la islamofobia se han convertido en lgo aún más ampliamente tolerado desde el 11 de septiembre de 2001. Estos puntos de vista han sido recientemente descritos como una forma de nuevo “Mc’Cartismo” [94]. En febrero del 2002, por ejemplo, Pat Robertson causó considerable controversia cuando describió al Islam como una religión violenta inclinada a dominar el mundo. También afirmó que entre los musulmanes estadounidenses se estaban formando células terroristas con el fin de destruir el país. Robertson hizo estas acusaciones en su club cristiano Broadcasting Network ‘700 ‘. Después de mostrar clips que mostraban a los musulmanes en Estados Unidos, el locutor, Lee Webb le preguntó a Robertson, “En cuanto a los inmigrantes musulmanes Pat, deja que te pregunte, si tienen tal desprecio por nuestra política exterior, ¿por que querrían vivir aquí? Robertson dijo: “Bueno, como misioneros, posiblemente, para difundir la doctrina del Islam… He discrepado con nuestro Presidente con respecto a su postura de decir que el Islam es una religión pacífica. Puesto que no lo es. Y el Corán lo deja muy claro, si usted ve a un infiel, usted debe matarlo… el hecho es que nuestras políticas de inmigración son tan sesgadas hacia el Medio Oriente y alejadas de Europa que han introducido estas personas entre nosotros y, sin duda, hoy hay células terroristas por todos lados” [95].


En el 2002 en la Convención Bautista del Sur [96] , celebrada en Florida, el ex líder de la convención nacional, el reverendo Jerry Viñes, pastor de 25.000 miembros de la First Baptist Church de Jacksonville, se llevó aplausos de varios miles de participantes de la conferencia de los pastores cuando describió a Muhammad como “un pedófilo poseído por el demonio” [97], tal inquina hacia los árabes, la denigración de los palestinos y el odio hacia el Islam, conduce invariablemente a los cristianos sionistas a oponerse también a cualquier solución pacífica del conflicto árabe-israelí que podría requerir u obligar a Israel a ceder territorio o a comprometer su seguridad.


Oponerse al Proceso de Paz


Mientras que los cristianos sionistas aprueban la reclamación unilateral de Israel de los territorios ocupados, se oponen a las aspiraciones de los palestinos a la autodeterminación, ya que creen que los dos son intrínsecamente incompatibles. Los sionistas cristianos han sido los más vociferantes en su oposición a la Hoja de Ruta para la Paz, iniciativa del gobierno de EE.UU., de las Naciones Unidas, de la Comunidad Europea y de Rusia. Hal Lindsey, por ejemplo, se lamentaba de “Yo tengo el corazón roto por la última etapa de la” hoja de ruta para la paz “, y lo describió como un lugar “odisea hacia el Holocausto ” [98]. Luego pasó a reprender al presidente de los EE.UU..


“Yo me sentía enfermo al ver a un bien intencionado presidente de Estados Unidos cristiano hablar incesantemente sobre su visión de un Estado Palestino y de un Estado Judío viviendo juntos en paz” [99]. En la Cumbre Interfaith Zionist Leadership, celebrada en Washington, en mayo del 2003, judíos y líderes sionistas cristianos se reunieron para estudiar la forma de convertir la “hoja de ruta” en una barricada. Gary Bauer llamó a la iniciativa del presidente “un plan satánico” [100]. Para muchos cristianos sionistas, las conversaciones de paz no son sólo una pérdida de tiempo, demuestran ser un desafío rebelde ante los designios de Dios. Tales certezas infalibles llevan a algunos cristianos sionistas a anatemizar a aquellos que no comparten sus premisas.


Forzar la mano de Dios


Los sionistas cristianos a menudo tratan de silenciar a los críticos con la amenaza de un castigo divino. Por ejemplo, recientemente Hal Lindsey dijo: “Mi gran temor es que el presidente Bush por ignorancia, conduzca a los Estados Unidos ante el juicio de Dios. Dios nos ha advertido que ha de juzgar a todas las naciones que han contribuido a separar a Israel de vivir en la tierra sobre la cual les dio su soberanía” [101].


Los cristianos no dejan ninguna duda sobre de qué lado hay que estar. En la edición del 1 de enero del 2002 del CBN 700 Club, Pat Robertson advirtió que si los EE.UU: “Quieren interferir con la profecía bíblica y quieren entrar y arrebatar Jerusalén Este a los Judios y dársela a Yasser Arafat… que el cielo ayude a nuestra nación… Si Estados Unidos toma Jerusalén Este y la convierte en la capital del Estado Palestino, entonces estamos pidiendo que la ira de Dios caiga sobre esta nación ” [102].


Robertson sugiere que incluso el asesinato de Rabin fue un acto de Dios, un juicio por su traición a su propio pueblo: “Esto es la tierra de Dios y Dios tiene palabras fuertes acerca de quien separe y divida su tierra. Los rabinos enviaron una maldición sobre Yitzhak Rabin cuando comenzó a dividir la tierra ” [103].


Tales pronunciamientos provenientes de los líderes cristianos de gran influencia parecen poco diferentes de los de los fundamentalistas musulmanes que piden una “guerra santa” contra Occidente. Karen Armstrong señala que el sionismo cristiano occidental evidencia el legado de las cruzadas. Fundamentalistas, según ella, “estamos volviendo a una cruzada religiosa clásica y extrema” [104].


7. Conclusiones: Las implicaciones políticas del sionismo cristiano


Hemos visto cómo el sionismo cristiano es un movimiento que tiene consecuencias políticas profundas y destructivas. El sionismo cristiano ha mostrado diferentes grados en su entusiasmo por la aplicación de seis convicciones teológicas que surgen de su lectura literal y futurista de la Biblia:


1. La creencia de que los judíos siguen siendo el pueblo elegido de Dios lleva a los cristianos sionistas a justificar la ocupación militar israelí de Palestina.
2. Como el pueblo escogido de Dios, la restauración final de los judíos en Israel es por lo tanto, fomentada y facilitada activamente a través de alianzas entre las organizaciones cristianas y la Agencia Judía.
3. Eretz Israel, como se expone en las Escrituras, pertenece exclusivamente al pueblo judío, por lo tanto, la tierra debe ser anexada, los asentamientos adoptados y reforzados.
4. Jerusalén es considerada como la capital eterna y exclusiva de los judíos, y no se puede compartir con los palestinos. Por lo tanto, estratégicamente, los gobiernos occidentales se deben de colocar bajo la presión de los cristianos sionistas para trasladar sus embajadas a Jerusalén y por lo tanto reconocer el hecho.
5. El Tercer Templo aún no se ha construido, el sacerdocio no se ha consagrado y los sacrificios no han sido restituidos. Los cristianos sionistas, en particular, creen que esto está profetizado, por lo cual, ofrecen distintos grados de apoyo a las organizaciones del Monte del Templo judío comprometidas a lograrlo.
6. Puesto que los sionistas cristianos están convencidos de que habrá una guerra apocalíptica entre el bien y el mal en un futuro cercano, no hay perspectivas de una paz duradera entre los judíos y los árabes. De hecho, defender el compromiso de Israel con el Islam o la coexistencia con los palestinos es identificarse con aquellos destinados a oponerse a Dios y a Israel en la inminente batalla del Armagedón.
Evidentemente, no todos los cristianos sionistas aceptan estos puntos de vista con el mismo grado de convicción o participación. Sin embargo, las consecuencias generales del apoyo incondicional al Estado de Israel, especialmente entre los evangélicos, es inherentemente patológica y destructiva.
En la primera gran conferencia internacional y ecuménica para examinar esta cuestión, celebrada en Jerusalén en abril de este año, bajo los auspicios de Sabeel, más de 600 delegados afirmaron una declaración que incluía lo siguiente:.
“Rechazamos las enseñanzas heréticas del sionismo cristiano que facilita y ayudan… una forma de exclusividad racial y la guerra perpetua en lugar del evangelio del amor universal, redención y reconciliación enseñado por Jesucristo“.
En lugar de condenar al mundo a la destrucción del Armagedón hacemos un llamamiento a todos a liberarse de las ideologías del militarismo y la ocupación, y en su lugar, seguir la curación del mundo…

Vamos a defender la justicia. ¿Podemos hacer otra cosa?. Sólo la justicia garantiza una paz que conduzca a la reconciliación y a una vida de seguridad y prosperidad para todos los pueblos de nuestra tierra. Al estar en el lado de la justicia, nos abrimos a la obra de la paz – y el trabajar por la paz nos hace hijos de Dios “.


Garth Hewitt ha escrito muchas canciones sobre la situación de la comunidad cristiana en Israel y Palestina. Uno de ellas, sobre la base de algunos versículos del Talmud judío, se llama “Ten measures of beauty God gave to the world“. Me gustaría terminar con una parte de esta oración.


“Que la justicia de Dios caiga como el fuego
y traiga un hogar para los palestinos.

Que la misericordia de Dios se derrame como lluvia
y protega al pueblo judío.

Y que los bellos ojos de un Dios Santo
que llora por sus hijos

Traiga la esperanza de curación para sus heridas
para los judíos y los palestinos.


Notas


1.- Mike Evans, Israel, America’s Key to Survival, (Plainfield, NJ: Haven Books), la última página, p. xv.
2.- Dale Crowley, ‘Errors and Deceptions of Dispensational Teachings.’ Capital Hill Voice, (1996-1997), citado en Halsell, op.cit., P5. Grace Halsell define al sionismo cristiano como una secta. Ver Halsell, op.cit., P. 31.
3.- Grace Halsell, ‘Israeli Extremists and Christian Fundamentalists: The Alliance’, Washington Report, December (1988), p31.
4.- Christians Call for a United Jerusalem’ New York Times, 18 April (1997)
5.- Halsell, Forcing, op.cit., p50.
6.- Halsell, Forcing, op.cit., p50.
7.- Grace Halsell, Prophecy and Politics, (Westport, Connecticut, Lawrence Hill, 1986), p 178.
8.- www.israelunitycoalition.com
9.- Stanley J. Grenz, The Millennial Maze, (Downers Grove, Illinois, InterVarsity, 1992), p92; Hal Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth, (London, Lakeland, 1970), pp43, 53-58; Hannah Hurnard, Watchman on the Walls, (London, Olive Press, 1950), pp11-12.
10.- Louis T. Talbot & William W. Orr, The Nation of Israel and the Word of God!, (Los Angeles, Bible Institute of Los Angeles, 1948), p8.
11.- Donald Wagner, ‘Evangelicals and Israel: Theological Roots of a Political Alliance’ The Christian Century, Noviembre 4, (1998), pp1020-1026.
12.- Jimmy Carter, The Blood of Abraham, (London, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1985).
13.- Speech by President Jimmy Carter on 1 May 1978, Department of State Bulletin, vol. 78, No. 2015, (1978), p4, cited in Sharif, op.cit., p136.
14.- Donald Wagner, ‘Beyond Armageddon’, The Link, New York: Americans for Middle East Understanding; Octubre-Noviembre, (1992), p5.
15.- Halsell, Prophecy., op.cit., p47
16.- Ibid.
17.- Ronnie Dugger, ‘Does Reagan Expect a Nuclear Armageddon?’ Washington Post, 18 Abril (1984).
18.- George Bush, Speech to the American Jewish Committee, Mayo 3, (2001)
19.- Michael Lind, ‘The Israel Lobby and American Power’ Prospect, Abril (2002), pp22-29; Halsell, Prophecy., op.cit.
20.- Israel Shahak, “Ability of U.S. Jewish Groups to set Clinton Agenda Depends on Media.” Washington Report, Junio 1995, pp. 10, 94.
21.- Publisher’s Page, Washington Report, Junio 1995, pp. 122.
22.- Ibid.
23.- Allan C. Brownfeld, ‘Fundamentalists and the Millennium: A Potential Threat to Middle Eastern Peace’ The Washington Report, Junio (1999), pp82-84.
24.- Donald Wagner, ‘Evangelicals and Israel: Theological Roots of a Political Alliance.’ The Christian Century, Noviembre 4, (1998), pp1020-1026.
25.- Brownfeld, op.cit., pp82-84.
26.- Wagner, ‘Evangelicals’, op.cit., pp1020-1026.
27.- www.nljonline.com
28.- Wagner, ‘Evangelicals’, op.cit., pp1020-1026.
29.- Brownfeld, op.cit., pp82-84.
30.- Jerry Falwell
31.- Las reuniones regulares entre los líderes cristianos sionistas y los funcionarios israelíes tienen lugar en Harvard Business School. En algún lugar a principios de 2002, los participantes incluyeron a Avigdor Itzchaki, el Director General del Gabinete Israeli, James Watt, ex-Secretario del Interior, Mike Evans y Richard Hellman de CIPAC. Entre los invitados también estaban Tony Campolo, James Dobson, Kenneth Copeland, Robert Schuller, Chuck Smith, Joyce Meyers, E.V. Hill y Marlin Maddoux.
32.- Citado en Prior, op.cit., p143.
33.- Hal Lindsey, ‘The UN & Israel’ International Intelligence Briefing, 29th Octubre (1998): Énfasis en el original.
34.- En Julio del 2001 el Consejo Rabínico de Judea, Samaria y Gaza, pidió a todos los rabinos a llevar a sus comunidades a visitar el Monte del Templo. Esta fue la primera vez que un grupo de rabinos que representan una proporción significativa de la comunidad religiosa judía había decidido que era permisible para los judíos ascender al Monte del Templo. Anteriormente esto había sido prohibido por los judíos ortodoxos. Los rabinos también pidieron al Consejo Yesha de asentamientos judíos de organizar visitas masivas al Monte del Templo de los judíos de la derecha más religiosa de los asentamientos . . Ver N. Shragai, ‘Rabbis call for mass visits to Temple Mount,’ Ha’aretz, 19 July (2001).
35.- ‘Open Letter to Evangelical Christians from Jews for Jesus: Now is the Time to Stand with Israel.’ The New York Times, 23 Octubre (2000).
36.- Michael Lind, ‘The Israel Lobby’, Prospect, April (2002).
37.- Wagner, Anxious., op.cit., p107.
38.- Lind, op.cit.
39.- Ibid.
40.- Ibid.
41.- Ibid.
42.- Shirley Eber, ‘Getting Stoned on Holiday: Tourism on the Front Line’. In Focus: Tourism Concern. 2, Otoño (1991), pp4-5.
43.- Glen Owen ‘Tourists warned to avoid flashpoints.’ The Times, 14 Agosto (1997), p2.
44.- Don Wagner, ‘Beyond Armageddon’. The Link (Americans for Middle East Understanding) Vol. 25 No. 4 Octubre/Noviembre (1992) p. 3.
45.- ‘Aliyah’ significa ‘subir’ y se utiliza para describir la peregrinación a Jerusalén. El gobierno de Israel resta importancia a la participación de los cristianos en llevar judíos desde la antigua Unión Soviética. Brearley afirma que sólo el 2% del presupuesto de la Agencia Judía de ‘puente aéreo’ para los inmigrantes soviéticos ha sido aportados por los sionistas cristianos. Esto sólo incluye las donaciones hechas directamente a la Agencia Judía. Margaret Brearley, ‘Jerusalem for Christian Zionists’ in Jerusalem, Past an d Present in the Purposes of God, edited by P.W.L. Walker (Croydon, Deo Gloria Trust, 1992), p112. Ver www.christiansforisrael.org
46.- www.christiansforisrael.org
47.- Patricia Golan, ‘On Wings of Faith’ Jerusalem Post, 20 Diciembre 2001.
48.- Ibid.
49.- Wagner, op.cit., p108; Golan, op.cit.
50.- David Allen Lewis, ‘Christian Zionist Theses’, Christians and Israel, (Jerusalem, International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem, 1996), p9.
51.- Bridges for Peace ‘The Golan Heights Déjà vu’, Despatch from Jerusalem, Septiembre (1999), pp10-11.
52.- ‘Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories’ Foundation for Middle East Peace, Marzo (2002). FMEP da una lista de 190 asentamientos con una población total de 213.672 en Cisjordania y Gaza; 170.400 en Jerusalén Este, y 17.000 en los Altos del Golán, lo que hace un total de 401.072 colonos basado en cifras de 2001.
53.- www.cfoic.com
54.- Ibid.
55.- Wagner, Anxious, op.cit., p108.
56.- International Christian Embassy; ‘Life in the Settlements’, Word from Jerusalem, Mayo (2002), p7.
57.- International Christian Embassy, ‘Bulletproof Bus for Efrat’ appeal, Word from Jerusalem, Mayo (2002).
58.- Bridges for Peace, ‘New Life on the Farm’ Despatch from Jerusalem, Enero (2000), p5.
59.- Donald Wagner, Anxious, op.cit., p108.
60.- ‘Bill to re-locate the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem’
61.- Middle East Realities ‘Lie of the Week’ MiddleEast@aol.com , 01/11/95
62.- Donald Neff, ‘Congress has been irresponsible on the issue of Jerusalem’, Washington Report, Enero (1998), pp90-91.
63.- ‘Christians Call for a United Jerusalem’ New York Times, 18 Abril (1997)
64.- Ibid.
65.- Jerry Falwell Ministries, ‘Keep Jerusalem Free Petition,’
66.- Brickner, Future, op.cit., p137.
67.- Lindsey, Planet, op.cit., p156; Final, op.cit., p103.
68.- Rich Robinson, ‘Israeli Groups Involved in Third Temple Activities’ Jews for Jesus Newsletter 10, (1993).
69.- Nadav Shragai, ‘Dreaming of a Third Temple’, Ha’aretz, 17 Septiembre (1998), p3, citado en Price, Coming, op.cit., p417.
70.- Sam Kiley, ‘The righteous will survive and the rest will perish’ The Times, 13 Diciembre (1999), p39.
71.- Grace Halsell, ‘The Hidden Hand of the Temple Mount Faithful’ The Washington Report, Enero (1991), p8.
72.- Randall Price incorrectamente atribuyó la historia al Time cuando realmente apareció en Newsweek. Él también escribe mal uno de los nombres del contribuyente. Price, Coming, op.cit., p375. ‘Red Heifers’ New York Times, 27 Diciembre (1998), citado en Halsell, Forcing, p65.
‘Poco después de esto, el Rev. Lott (que también es un ganadero de profesión) llegó a poseer una vaca roja que cumplió con todos los requisitos bíblicos del capítulo 19 de Números. Desde ese momento histórico, 11 de noviembre de 1994, Dios milagrosamente dio a conocer su plan divino para la restauración de Israel, a la Iglesia. El Espíritu Santo ha trabajado durante este tiempo para revelar a los ministros apostólicos y laicos la necesidad de unificar sus esfuerzos con el fin de ver este movimiento hacia adelante, tanto en Espíritu como en lo material. El 11 de agosto de 1998 Israel estaba a la espera de recibir de Canaan Land Restoration, 500 cabezas de novillas registrados por Red Angus Heifers.’ Joe Atkins, ‘Biblical mystery of the red heifer affects farmer in Mississippi’ The Daily Mississippian, 23 de julio (1998), Ethan Bronner, ‘Portent in a Pasture? Appearance of Rare Heifer in Israel Spurs Hopes, Fears’, The Boston Globe, Sunday, Abril 6, (1997), pp1, 22.
73.- Kendall Hamilton, Joseph Contreras & Mark Dennis, ‘The Strange Case of Israel’s Red Heifer,’ Newsweek, Mayo 19, (1997).
74.- Jeremy Shere, ‘A Very Holy Cow’ Jerusalem Post, Mayo 25, (1997).
75.- Halsell, Prophecy, op.cit., p106.
76.- Lawrence Wright, ‘Forcing the End’, Frontline.
77.- Cited in Halsell, Forcing, op.cit., p100.
78.- Julia Duin, “Zionists meeting brands ‘road map a heresy’ The Washington Times,.
79.- Mike Evans, Israel, America’s Key to Survival, (Plainfield, New Jersey, Haven Books, 1980), back page, xv.
80.- Noah Hutchings, U.S. in Prophecy, (Oklahoma City, Hearthstone Publishing, 2000); Arno Froese, Terror in America, Understanding the Tragedy, (West Columbia, Olive Press, 2001); Mark Hitchcock, Is America in Prophecy? (Portland, Oregon, Multnomah, 2002); Hal Lindsey, Where is America in Prophecy? video (Murrieta, California, Hal Lindsey Ministries, 2001).
81.- Michael Lienesch, Redeeming America: Piety and Politics in the New Christian Right, (Chapel Hill, North Carolina, University of North Carolina, 1993), p197.
82.- Simon, op.cit., pp71-72.
83.- Bennett, op.cit., p23.
84.- Ibid., p21.
85.- Ibid., p23; John Laffin, The Arab Mind, (London, Cassell, 1975), p70.
86.- Charlotte Observer, 16 Octubre (2000).
87.-Christian Daily News, 4 Febrero, (1999)
88.- Ibid.
89.- Ibid.
90.- Dave Hunt, ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem.’ TBC, Septiembre 2000.
91.- Dick Armey, ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews’, CNBC, 1 Mayo (2002), citado en ‘Republican Party Leader calls for Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians on Prime Time Talk Show’ The Electronic Intifada.
También ver ‘Rep. Dick Armey calls for Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians’ Counterpunch editado por Alexander Cockburn y Jeffrey St. Clair. Dick Armey and his family are members of Lewisville Bible Church, Lewisville, Texas.
92.- Ibid.
93.- Charles Krauthammer, ‘Mideast Violence: The Only Way Out’, Washington Post, 15 Mayo (2001); Emmanuel A. Winston writing in USA Today called for the ‘resettling the Palestinians in Jordan’ USA Today, 22 Febrero (2002); John Derbyshire, ‘Why don’t I care about the Palestinians?’, National Review, 9 Mayo (2002); Clarence Wagner, ‘Apples for Apples, Osama Bin Laden and Yasser Arafat’, Dispatch from Jerusalem, Mayo (2002), p1, 6, 17.
94.- Un término acuñado por William Safire, un ex redactor de discursos de Nixon y republicano conservador que pensaba George Bush padre no era lo suficientemente pro-Israel. Citado Lind, op.cit.
95.- Alan Cooperman, ‘Robertson Calls Islam a Religion of Violence, Mayhem.’ Washington Post. 22 Febrero (2002), pAO2.
96.- The Southern Baptist Convention es una coalición de 42,000 iglesias con 16 millones de miembros. Desde 1980 se han ido convertido cada vez en más fundamentalista. Ver www.sbcannualmeeting.org
97.- Richard Vara, ‘Texas secession rumor, attacks on Islam mark Baptist meeting’, Houston Chronicle, 10 Junio (2002); Alan Cooperman, ‘Anti-Muslim Remarks Stir Tempest’, Washington Post 19 Junio (2002). De acuerdo con Cooperman, el recién elegido presidente de Southern Baptists, el Rev. Jack Graham defendió discurso Vine como “exacto’.
98.- Hal Lindsey, ‘If the blind lead the blind.’ WorldNetDaily.com 5 Junio 2003.
99.- Ibid.
100.- Duin, op.cit.
101.- Lindsey “Blind” op.cit.
102.- Howard Mortman, ‘Don’t ignore Pat Robertson’, The Frontline, 7 Enero (2002).
103.- Pat Robertson, ‘Pat answers your questions on Israel,’ 700 Club, Christian Broadcasting Network.
104.- Karen Armstrong, Holy War, The Crusades and Their Impact on Today’s World, (London, Macmillan, 1988), p377.
*Stephen Sizer es pastor anglicano, autor, productor de tv y reportero gráfico.

jeudi, 05 février 2015

Comment Washington, Tel-Aviv et Riyad travaillent à la création d’un Etat Islamique docilisé

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Comment Washington, Tel-Aviv et Riyad travaillent à la création d’un Etat Islamique docilisé

Auteur : ef 
Ex: http://zejournal.mobi

Le fameux croissant chiite qui va de Téhéran au Sud-Liban, en passant par Bagdad et Damas, reste plus que jamais la bête noire des Etats-Unis, d’Israël et des pays du Golfe. Aujourd’hui, ce triumvirat et leurs laquais travaillent d’arrache-pied à la création de facto de cet Etat islamique qu’ils prétendent combattre. En réalité, la campagne de bombardements en cours ne sert qu’à en fixer les futures limites géographiques. Ensuite, la zone ainsi créée sera «docilisée» par un océan de pétrodollars et l’extermination des récalcitrants. But final de l’opération: créer un ventre mou régional sunnite qui permette enfin de casser physiquement ce diable d’axe chiite et affaiblir ainsi à la fois l’Iran, le Hezbollah et par ricochet le Hamas palestinien.

Le triumvirat des peuples élus autoproclamés…

Avant d’entrer dans le vif du sujet, un petit détour par notre fameux triumvirat, histoire de présenter les acteurs du dernier jeu de massacre géopolitique en cours.

On connaît par cœur l’alliance indéfectible qui unit les Etats-Unis à son 51ème Etat israélien, et qui permet à l’entité sioniste d’accumuler en Palestine et au Liban les pires boucheries et crimes de guerre depuis 60 ans sans aucun souci du lendemain.

On connaît aussi la révérence humide (1) de Washington et des pays du Bloc atlantiste pour la monarchie saoudienne, même si cette dernière est l’une des plus brutales théocraties du monde arabo-musulman; même si son wahhabisme rétrograde est la matrice idéologique des terroristes d’al-Qaïda, Daech, al-Nosra et Cie.

On connait moins en revanche l’axe Riyad-Tel-Aviv puisque, instinctivement, on aurait plutôt tendance à classer la Grande Mosquée saoudienne dans le rang des ennemis «naturels» d’Israël. Sauf que, comme on dit, les ennemis de mes ennemis sont mes amis. Or dans sa course effrénée pour conserver le leadership du monde musulman, Riyad n’a qu’un seul véritable ennemi: l’Iran chiite et ses alliés (2). Et il se trouve que pour des raisons sécuritaires cette fois, c’est exactement le cas pour Tel-Aviv qui craint par-dessus tout l’Iran et l’arsenal du Hezbollah.

Avec l’axe Washington–Tel-Aviv–Riyad, qui regroupe l’«exceptionnalisme» américain, l’Etat-juif militarisé et la Mecque du salafisme: c’est un peu le triumvirat des peuples élus autoproclamés réunis dans la plus improbable et effrayante des coalitions.

Alimenter mais circonscrire l’incendie

Au plan opérationnel, l’idée est donc simple et complexe à la fois. Simple car il s’agit d’un côté d’alimenter l’incendie(argent, armes, combattants) des djihadistes de Daech, al-Nosra et consorts mais aussi, de l’autre, de circonscrire ses contours pour qu’il ne ravage que la zone voulue (>>voir la carte).

Au nord, pas question ainsi de s’approcher de la zone kurde et d’Erbil, chasse-gardée à la fois des Américains et des Israéliens pour lesquels le clan Barzani roule à tombeau ouvert si l’on ose dire.
Pas question non plus d’exercer une trop forte pression sur la frontière turque, pays membre de l’OTAN par où nombre de djihadistes étrangers passent. Les frappes US se concentrent d’ailleurs majoritairement sur ces deux zones pour fixer de facto la limite nord de l’EI en Syrie, et sa limite Est en Irak.

En Irak toujours, la limite Sud de l’EI se dessinera naturellement en venant buter contre la partie chiite du pays où il n’a aucune chance de s’implanter.
Pour la limite Ouest irakienne, elle devra nécessairement être fixée assez loin des frontières du grand allié des Etats-Unis qu’est la Jordanie, où nombre de mercenaires font escale en ce moment pour y être formés par des instructeurs américains avant de partir semer la terreur en Syrie.

Hezbollah-armée: le binôme gagnant

Enfin, reste le problème de la frontière Ouest de l’Etat islamique en Syrie, frontière qui longe les zones particulièrement sensibles que sont le Liban et Israël.
S’agissant du Liban, il est évident que c’est grâce à l’engagement du Hezbollah, puis de celui de l’armée libanaise, que le Pays du Cèdre a pu éviter d’être aspiré dans la spirale de la guerre. Notons aussi à ce stade que c’est l’entente entre le Courant Patriotique Libre du général chrétien Michel Aoun et le Hezbollah qui a permis actuellement la stabilité du pays dans son versant politique. Mais la pression reste très forte et des attaques sanglantes occasionnent de nombreuses pertes dans l’anti-Liban par exemple.

A l’heure où nous écrivons ces lignes, plusieurs milliers de terroristes de EI et al-Nosra sont coincés dans un chaudron dans le Jurd, entre le Liban et la Syrie, pris sous les feux croisés de l’armée loyaliste de Bachar el-Assad, de l’armée libanaise et des forces du Hezbollah.
Inutile de dire que l’hiver aidant, l’espérance de survie des djihadistes pris dans la nasse fond comme neige au soleil…

Quand Israël parie sur al-Nosra

Plus au sud, Israël a engagé une partie particulièrement perverse en soutenant clairement les bouchers d’al-Nosra.«Nous savons qu’Israël accueille des blessés d’al-Nosra dans ses hôpitaux pour les renvoyer ensuite au combat», nous confiait hier une source libanaise très bien informée.
Pour l’Etat hébreu, l’objectif est en effet de tisser des liens étroits avec le groupe salafiste dont il entend se servir ensuite comme d’une force supplétive pour tenir une zone tampon qui courre le long du Golan. Un peu comme il l’avait fait en son temps avec l’Armée du Liban Sud (ALS).
«Lorsque vous avez aidé des combattants, précise notre source, négocié avec ses chefs et fait en sorte qu’ils vous doivent finalement beaucoup de leur succès et de leur survie, il est facile ensuite de traiter l’après-guerre avec eux en bonne intelligence.»

Ainsi, pour Israël, une chute de Bachar el-Assad – qui ferait voler en éclat le croissant chiite et casserait les lignes d’approvisionnement en armes du Hezbollah et du Hamas – représente ainsi un bénéfice bien supérieur au risque encouru par la présence de djihadistes aisément manipulables.
Et puis, souvenons-nous que l’éclatement de l’Irak et de la Syrie figure au programme de l’Etat-major israélien depuis les années ’80.

Iran et Russie en embuscade

En résumé, l’Etat islamique ainsi créé avec les garde-fous adéquats – dont pourquoi pas des casques bleus pour faire tampon –, pourrait même devenir à terme un partenaire officieux tout à fait convenable pour le Bloc atlantiste et Israël, une fois la poussière de la bataille retombée; les tribus sunnites achetées et les cadres djihadistes récalcitrants exterminés lors d’une opération de nettoyage inspirée de celles conduites au Vietnam (Phoenix) ou en Amérique latine (Condor).
Reste qu’évidemment tout cela est très joli sur le papier, mais l’affaire est loin d’être pliée.
Car hormis le risque de perte de contrôle de l’incendie par le Bloc atlantiste, l’Iran, la Russie, la Syrie légaliste et la résistance libanaise sont également à la manœuvre et sont loin, très loin, d’avoir dit leur dernier mot.

PS : Une attaque du Hezbollah dans la zone des Fermes de Chebaa occupée par Israël a fait deux morts et des blessés dans les rangs de l’armée sioniste mercredi.
Il s’agissait d’une riposte attendue à l’attaque perpétrée par Israël en Syrie il y a une dizaine de jours, et qui avait provoqué la mort de six combattants du Hezbollah et d’un général iranien. Mais le Hezbollah a aussi clairement voulu dire à l’entité sioniste qu’elle n’avait pas les mains libres dans la région du Golan. Israël a riposté à son tour, tuant… un soldat espagnol de la Finul.
Il est peu probable qu’Israël prenne le risque de déclencher aujourd’hui une nouvelle guerre contre le Hezbollah qui lui avait déjà infligé l’humiliant revers que l’on sait en 2006, alors qu’à l’époque, la résistance libanaise disposait d’un arsenal bien moindre que celui qu’elle détient aujourd’hui (env. 100’000 roquettes).

Notes

1 Cette révérence est bien évidemment liée au ciment nauséabond du pétrole, mais pas seulement. Les USA se sont en effet toujours appuyés sur les sunnites pour conduire leur conquête du Moyen-Orient. Le sunnisme est en effet un pouvoir de marchands. Il préconise d’obéir au prince, fusse-t-il corrompu, puisque l’on ne saurait présumer du jugement final de dieu sur le bonhomme. A l’inverse, le chiisme ne fait pas de compromis avec le prince si celui-ci est perverti et préconise dès lors son renversement. Comme le souligne François Thual dans sa Géopolitique du chiisme: «Vivre dans l’attente du retour de l’Imam en luttant contre l’injustice sur cette terre est, très globalement, le programme de cette religion dans son aspect profane.» La pire des hérésies pour l’Occident qui, comme la Sunna, est un pouvoir de marchands qui veut bien traiter avec n’importe quel prince, tortionnaire, dictateur ou despote on s’en fout, pourvu qu’il ait le même dieu que lui, la Grande Calculette donc.

2 Depuis la première guerre du Golfe, jamais les pétromonarchies n’ont été plus éloignées de leurs références islamiques et leur soumission aux intérêts américains, voire israéliens, est très mal perçue par la rue arabe. Avec des positions (anti-israéliennes, anti-américaines) aux antipodes de ses voisins du Golfe, Téhéran s’affirment donc de plus en plus comme une référence religieuse plus convaincante malgré le fossé qui sépare les branches sunnites et chiites de l’Islam. Au demeurant, on constatera aussi que les pays du Golfe sont en proie à des troubles souvent liés à leurs très fortes minorités chiites, sans parler de Bahrein dont la population est à 70% chiite. Pour les puissances du Golfe, la priorité absolue est donc la chute de l’Iran chiite, dont la déstabilisation du régime chiite alaouite de Bachar al-Assad est un préalable.


- Source : ef