by Prof. James Petras
January 2, 2009
James Petras is the author of
Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power, Clarity Press 2008.
Because of the unconditional support of the entire political class in the
US, from the White House to Congress, including both Parties, incoming and
outgoing elected officials and all the principle print and electronic mass
media, the Israeli Government feels no compunction in publicly proclaiming a
detailed and graphic account of its policy of mass extermination of the
population of Gaza.
Israel’s sustained and comprehensive bombing campaign of every aspect of
governance, civic institutions and society is directed toward destroying
civilized life in Gaza. Israel’s totalitarian vision is driven by the
practice of a permanent purge of Arab Palestine informed by Zionism, an
ethno-racist ideology, promulgated by the Jewish state and justified,
enforced and pursued by its organized backers in the United States.
The facts of Israeli extermination have become known: In the first six days
of round the clock terror bombing of major and minor populations centers,
the Jewish State has murdered and seriously maimed over 2,500 people, mostly
dismembered and burned in the open ovens of missile fire. Scores of children
and women have been slaughtered as well as defenseless civilians and
They have sealed off all access to Gaza and declared it a military, free
fire zone, while expanding their target to include the entire population of
1.5 millions semi-starved prisoners.
According to the Boston Globe (December
30, 2008): Israeli military officials said their target lists have expanded
to include the vast support network on which the Islamist movement relies to
stay in power,
"…we are trying to hit the whole spectrum,
because everything is connected and everything supports terrorism
against Israel (my emphasis)".
A top Israeli in its secret police apparatus is
"Hamas’ civilian infrastructure is a very
sensitive target" (ibid).
What the Israeli Jewish politicians and military
planners designate as "Hamas" is the entire social service network, the
entire government and the vast majority of economic activity, embracing
almost the entire 1.5 million imprisoned residents of Gaza.
Israel’s ‘target’ list thus involves the ‘total population’, using the
totality of its non-nuclear weaponry and for an unlimited time period (until
the ‘bitter end’ according to the Israeli Prime Minister).
Israel’s defense ministry spokesman has
emphatically reiterated the Jewish’s state’s totalitarian war concept
emphasizing the targeting of civilians:
"Hamas has used ostensibly civilian
operations as a cover for military activities. Anything affiliated with
Hamas is a legitimate target."
Like all totalitarians in the past, the Jewish
state boasts of having systematically pre-planned the extermination campaign
– months in advance – up to and including the precise hour and day of the
bombing to coincide with inflicting the maximum murder of civilians: The
rockets and bombs fell as children were leaving school, as graduating police
cadets were receiving their diplomas and as frantic mothers ran out from
their homes to find their sons and daughters.
The mass military extermination campaign was a follow up of its non-stop
total economic embargo and unremitting selective assassination campaign of
the previous two years: Both were designed to purge Palestine of its Arab
population, first via mass hunger, disease, humiliation and violent
intimidation and the proxy power grab by the PLO Quislings under Zionist
When they discovered that mass hunger and
selective Israeli murder only strengthened the population’s links to its
democratically elected government and the resolve of the Hamas government to
resist Israel, the Israeli regimes unleashed its entire arsenal of weapons,
including its new ‘American gifts’ up-to-date 1000 pound ‘bunker buster’
bombs and high tech missiles to incinerate large numbers of human beings
within their deadly radius and to obliterate Palestinian civilization.
Moving directly from its totalitarian vision to its military blueprint to
the savaging of Palestinian population centers, the Jewish state destroyed
the principle university with over 18,000 students (mostly women), mosques,
pharmacies, electrical and water lines, power stations, fishing villages,
fishing boats and the little fishing port that provided a meager supply of
fish for the starving population.
They destroyed roads, transport facilities, food
warehouses, science buildings, small factories, shops and apartments. They
destroyed a women’s dormitory at the university.
In the words of the Israel leader:
"…because everything is connected to
everything…" it is necessary to destroy each and every facet of life,
which allows humans to exist with some dignity and independence.
The Israeli totalitarian leaders knew with
confidence that they could act and they could kill with impunity, locally
and before the entire world, because of the influence of the US Zionist
Power Configuration in and over the US White House and Congress.
They knew they had the full backing of all the
major Israeli political parties (Right, Left and Center), trade unions, mass
media and especially public opinion. Israeli state terror is backed by 81%
of Jewish Israelis according to a poll taken by Israel’s Channel 10
(Financial Times December 30, 2008). Israeli totalitarian violence and
extermination of Palestinians is extremely popular among the Jewish
electorate, especially in raising support for the Labor Party candidate
Minister Ehud Barak.
They knew they would ‘succeed’ with virtually no
casualties because they bombed, burned and dismembered a defenseless
population totally lacking the minimum means to defend themselves from F16
bombers, helicopter gun ships and missile assaults. The vile depravity of
the assault on the defenseless population is matched by the utter
cowardice of the Israeli military command and its cheering bloodthirsty
public ensconced behind their aerial monopoly.
They suffered no threats of aerial retaliation,
no wounded or dead pilots, helicopter gunners, as wave after wave swept in
and over a defenseless imprisoned population in a crowded and besieged
Hundreds of tanks and armored carriers are prepared to invade once the
cities and towns have been leveled, once the population is too weakened by
starvation to resist, once the leaders and fighters have been murdered and
the normal Palestinian institutions of law and order have been pulverized,
making way for the corrupt thuggish collaborators of the so-called
Then and only then, will the Israeli General staff
risk the skin of a precious Jewish ‘soldier’ and risk the anxiety and worry
of their kin in Israel and the US.
Overseas Allies: The
Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations (PMAJO)
From the moment that the Israeli Government decided it would destroy the
newly elected Hamas government and punish the democratic electorate of Gaza
with starvation and murder, the entire Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC)
in the US, including the PMAJO, pulled all stops in implementing the
The PMAJO encompasses the fifty-two Jewish
organizations with the largest membership, with the greatest financial
clout and the most influential backers. The most prominent lobbyist within
the PMAJO is
AIPAC, which has over 100,000 members and
150 full-time operatives in Washington actively pressuring the US Congress,
the White House and all administrative agencies whose policies may relate to
the interests of the State of Israel. However Israeli political extends far
beyond its non-governmental agencies.
Over two score legislators in the Congress and
over a dozen senators are committed Zionists who automatically back Israel’s
policies and push for US funding and armaments for its military machine. Top
officials in key administrative positions, in Treasury, Commerce and the
National Security Council, senior functionaries in the Pentagon and top
advisers on Middle East affairs are also life-long, fanatically committed
Zionists, who consistently and unreservedly back the policies of the State
Equally important, the majority of the largest film, print and electronic
media are owned or deeply influenced by Jewish-Zionist media moguls who are
committed to slanting the ‘news’ in favor of Israel.
The composition and influence of the ZPC is
central to understanding three main characteristics of Israel’s power:
Israel can commit what leading United
Nations and international human rights experts have defined as
‘crimes against humanity’ with total impunity
Israel can secure an unlimited supply of
the most technologically advanced and destructive weapons and use
them without limit on a civilian population in violation of even US
scores of almost unanimous United
Nations condemnations of the construction of genocidal apartheid
barriers against a native population, starvation embargoes and the
current extermination campaign in Gaza are always vetoed by the US
Many critics of Israel’s genocide in Gaza also
condemn what they call ‘the complicity’ of Washington or ‘the United States’
without clearly identifying the actual socio-political forces influencing
policy-makers or the ‘dual’ political loyalties and identities of the
‘American’ politicians who have long-standing and deep allegiances to
As a consequence, most critics fail to counter,
protest or even identify the ideology and politics of the organized power
configurations which define US complicity with Israel, who intimidate
potential critics, who write and mouth the pro-Israel editorials in the mass
media and who filter out any criticism, any truth… even when Israel engages
in sustained bloody extermination campaigns.
The ZPC and the
Israeli War of Extermination in Gaza
The ZPC played a major role in all stages of Israel’s extermination campaign
against Gaza including a sustained propaganda effort.
The ZPC orchestrated a massive successful
campaign through the extensive network of American mass media, which it
controls and influences. It fabricated an image of the Hamas administration
in Gaza as a terrorist organization, which allegedly seized power through
violence – totally denying its rise to power through internationally
supervised, democratic elections and its defense of its electoral mandate
against a US-Israeli backed PLO military takeover.
The entire Zionist Jewish leadership backed
Israel’s land grabs, its ghetto wall around Palestinians, the hundreds of
road blocks, the Jewish settlers violently taking over Palestinian homes in
the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the criminal, genocidal Israeli
economic embargo on Gaza designed to systematically starve the Palestinians
Throughout the two years of this Israeli
extermination campaign, American Zionists played a major role in
leading the servile US government at home and abroad in backing each
totalitarian measure: The vast majority of local synagogues became
bully-pulpits defending the starvation and degradation of 1.5 million
Palestinian refugees in Gaza caged on all sides by deadly force and the
‘walling off’ into economically and socially devastating cantons of the 4.5
million West Bank Palestinian population under foreign occupation.
The US Congress shamelessly followed the Zionist
lead, backing every single criminal measure taken by the State of Israel and
approving dozens of resolutions, which in most cases were entirely written
by AIPAC lobbyists acting as unregistered agents of the Israeli government
(contrary to US federal statute, which requires foreign agents and lobbyists
to be registered as such).
Israel’s demands for the most up-to-date US
warplanes, including F-16s, Apache helicopter gun ships, and 1,000 pound
bombs were secured by dint of effort of the AIPAC lobbyists and their
clients in the US Congress.
In other words, the American ZPC created the
ideological cover and military instruments for Israel’s ‘total war’ against
the defenseless Palestinian population. Equally important, prominent Zionist
leaders in the US Congress and members of the foreign policy establishment
blocked or vetoed any international criticism of Israel – securing its
impunity and immunity from any of the Congressional sanctions usually
enacted against criminal states.
In other words, Israeli policy makers operated
with the knowledge that there would be no negative economic, diplomatic and
military repercussions to their launching the planned Gaza extermination
campaign because they knew, in advance, that ‘their people’ were in total
control of US Middle East policy to the extent of actually repeating
verbatim each and every propaganda lie in defense of Israel’s total war
against the entire population of Gaza.
In Defense of Israel’s
War of Extermination
Zionist-controlled US print media, in
particular the New York Times and the Washington Post,
systematically fabricated an account that fit perfectly with Israel’s
official line defending its massive assault on Gaza:
omitting any historical account of the
hundreds of Israeli armed incursions and ‘targeted’ assassinations
of Palestinian leaders and officials (even in their own homes) which
repeatedly violated the ‘cease fire’ agreed by Hamas and provoked
its retaliation in self-defense of its people
omitting the years of an Israeli
enforced starvation embargo of food and essentials that threatened
the lives of 1.5 million Palestinians and led to the desperate
efforts of the elected Hamas leadership to secure supplies for the
people’s survival via tunnels across the Egyptian border and through
missile attacks against Israel to pressure the Jewish state to
negotiate an end of the criminal blockade.
The Conference of President of the Major
American Jewish Organizations, and the vast majority of Jewish communal
groups and congregations, gave enthusiastic and unanimous support to
Israel’s total war, its extermination campaign against the captive
Palestinian population of Gaza.
Even as images and reports of the massive
destruction, killing and wounding of over 2,500 defenseless Palestinians
filtered in the mass media, not a single major Jewish organization broke
ranks; only individuals and small groups protested.
All the ‘Majors’ persisted in the politics of
the Big Lie: the destruction of hospitals, mosques, universities, roads,
apartments, pharmacies and fishing ports were all labeled ‘Hamas targets’.
The systematic all-out assault by uncontested
helicopter gunships against 1.5 millions civilians was erased by tendentious
accounts of Hamas’ homemade missiles falling ineffectively near Israeli
A close reading of the most important propaganda organ of the PMAJO, The
Daily Alert (TDA), during the first 5 days of Israel’s assault,
reveals the propaganda tack taken by the leadership of the pro-Israel power
TDA systematically worked to achieve the
Exaggerate the threats to Israel by the
Palestinian missiles from Gaza, citing 4 Israeli deaths, while
omitting any mention of the 2,500 Palestinian dead and wounded and
the total destruction of their economy and living conditions
(without safe water, electricity, food, cooking fuel, medicine and
heat in the winter).
Promote Israel’s military assault as
‘defensive’, directed at eliminating Hamas rocket attacks while
omitting mention of Israel’s clearly stated purpose of destroying
all civil organizations, social welfare agencies, educational
facilities, medical clinics and public security institutions
connected in any way with the elected Hamas government and any
Cite select statement from Israel’s
allies and clients (Washington, the US media, Germany and the UK)
blaming Hamas for the conflict without mentioning the vast majority
of countries in the United Nations General Assembly condemning
Reproduce Israeli slanders against any
and all international human rights leaders and organizations that
condemn the Jewish state’s policy of genocide against the native
Palestinians. In this regard, TDA is the foremost ‘genocide denier’
in the United States and, perhaps outside of Israel, in the world.
Repeatedly cite Israeli political and
military leaders’ claims of acting ‘with restraint’, ‘safeguarding
civilians’, and ‘targeting military objectives’, even in the face of
reports and images of mass civilian destruction and loss of life
documented in the vast majority of (non-US) Western media.
Defend every Israeli bombing mission,
every day, every hour, of every building, every home, and every
economic, religious and educational institution in Gaza as
‘defensive’ or a ‘reprisal’, all the while quoting some of the most
notorious, unconditional, perennial apologists of Israeli violence
as if they were unbiased intellectuals, including Benny ‘Nuke
Tehran’ Morris, Marty Peretz and Amos Oz.
The Daily Alert quotes US
writers, journalists and editors who praise and defend Israel’s
‘total war’ without identifying their long-standing affiliation and
identification with Zionist organizations, giving the false image of
a wide spectrum of opinion behind the assault. Never has even the
most moderate Jewish or Gentile critic of Israel’s massive
extermination campaign appeared in any issues of The Daily Alert.
The principle American Jewish organizations have
bombarded the US Congress, influencing, intimidating and purchasing the
craven so-called ‘representatives’ of the American people, the media and
public notables with lies in defense of Israel’s total war to exterminate a
Their public, brazen, open complicity in
genocide can be considered crime against humanity: The willful promotion of
acts of a state designed to destroy an entire people.
And yet these willing accomplices, these ‘willing executioners’ of state
mass murder go uncontested within the US political class. One of their
leading mouthpieces in the incoming Obama Administration, Chief Presidential
Adviser David Axelrod, even cites an Obama campaign speech defending
Israeli assaults on the people of Gaza.
Israel arrogantly repudiates all calls to end this mass murder, because
Israel knows that ‘its people’ are still in control of US policy toward the
Middle East and will use their power in the new president’s administration
to block any condemnation of this crime.
To date the entire human rights and anti-war movements have failed to even
mention, let along challenge, the most powerful propaganda and political
organizations, which influence US policy and manipulate the mass media in
favor of Israel’s extermination campaign. They will play no restraining role
on Israel’s totalitarian policies as long as its principle US backers are
free to lie, manipulate and defend each and every crime.
There is little hope for an independent US Congressional policy as long as
Israel’s war of extermination in Gaza can be defended by the Chairman of the
House Foreign Affairs Committee (and Zionist zealot) Congressman Howard
Berman in the following terms:
"Israel has a right, indeed a duty, to
defend itself in response to the hundreds of rockets and mortars fired
from Gaza over the past week. No government in world would sit by and
allow its citizens to be subjected to this kind of indiscriminate
bombardment. The loss of innocent life is a terribly tragedy and the
blame for that tragedy lies with Hamas."
Thus Congressman Berman cynically omits the 2
years of Israel’s embargo, the daily ‘targeted’ assassinations of
Palestinians, the ‘targeted’ missile attacks against civilians, the land,
sea and air blockades and the blatant ‘targeted’ destruction of the
infrastructure of Gaza. No government, indeed a democratically elected
Islamist government, can stand by while its people are starved and murdered
But according to the respected Congressmen Bermans of the world, only the lives of Jews matter, not the growing
thousands of murdered, dismembered and mutilated citizens of Gaza – they do
not count as people!
What is to be Done
Israel’s crimes against humanity demand a public response: social
action, which will force it to cease and desist from its campaign to
exterminate the people of Gaza.
Because the Jewish state has assaulted a vast
array of Palestinian social institutions, which resonate with those in our
own society, we can and should mobilize them to condemn and boycott their
counterparts in Israel:
We should urge the entire academic
community to denounce Israel’s bombardment of the Islamic University
of Gaza and the total destruction of all of its science facilities.
An organized boycott of Israeli universities and all academic
exchanges, especially scientific, should become university policy
throughout the country.
Special attention should be paid to the
450 US university presidents, who in the recent past, denounced a
call by British academics for a boycott and who remain silent and
complicit in the face of Israel’s total physical annihilation of all
ten faculties for 20,000 Palestinian university students.
All American health workers, doctors,
nurses, technicians, should organize and denounce Israel’s medical
embargo against the 1.5 million Palestinians crowded into the Gaza
Strip. They must condemn Israel’s bombardment of Gaza’s Children’s
Hospital, the neighborhood pharmacies and the attacks on any
transport of those critically wounded Palestinian victims of its
aerial and missile attacks. Medical personnel should raise the
fundamental ethical issues regarding the collaboration of US medical
personnel and programs with the Jewish State’s ‘total war’ policies
All citizens should demand the end of
all US military aid to Israel, especially F-16 fighter planes,
Apache attack helicopters, missiles, 1000 pound ‘bunker buster’
bombs used by the Israeli armed forces on the civilian
infrastructure of Gaza and the murder and maiming of over 2,500
Palestinians, civilians, civil servants, police and national
militia. In pursuit of a cutoff of US military aid to Israel, every
effort should be made to target and denounce the most forceful,
aggressive and successful Zionist advocates and lobbyists who
influence the elected members of the US Congress and White House on
foreign military aid budgets.
No progress in ending US military aid
for Israel’s ethnic cleansing will succeed unless the peace movement
and others appalled by Israel’s mass murder tackles the Zionist
lobby head on. This includes boycotts, rebuttals and demonstrations
against the AIPAC, the Jewish Anti-Defamation League and the other
50 leading American Jewish organizations, which initiate and secure
US governmental endorsement of Israel’s extermination policies.
US religious institutions should
forcefully denounce Israel’s crimes against humanity, including its
demolition of 5 mosques, uniting all faiths (Christian, Moslem,
Buddhist) and especially reaching out to the tiny minority of rabbis
and observant Jews willing to forthrightly denounce the totalitarian
practices of the Israeli state.
Port and long shore workers, sailors and
other maritime workers and officials should boycott the handling of
all trade with Israel and denounce its Navy’s violent illegal
assault, in international waters, of civilian fishing boats and
vessels carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. No ships carrying Israeli
products should be loaded or unloaded as long as Israel maintains
its criminal military blockade of the port facilities of Gaza.
Tens of millions of US citizens subject
to the one-sided pro-Israel bias of the electronic and print media,
the lop-sided presentations of Zionist ‘op-ed’ writers, ‘news’
reports and the self-styled Middle East experts, should demand equal
time, coverage and reportage for non-Zionist specialists, analysts
and commentators. We should demand the end of euphemisms and
fabrications, which convert victims into aggressors and
exterminators into victims.
We should wage a battle of ideas
everywhere (in every public forum) against the efforts by the
Zionist Power Configuration to monopolize discussion over the
Israeli policy of genocide, to censor, intimidate and slander
critics of Israeli apartheid – as UN General Assembly President
Manuel d’Escoto so aptly calls Israel’s Ghetto Wall
surrounding Palestinian villages.
The outpouring of public protest over
Israel’s war of extermination is an enormous step forward in
countering the Zionist monopoly of the mass media and encouraging
the tens of millions of Americans who clearly recognize and
privately despise Israel’s crimes against humanity and resent the
local Zionist elite’s thuggery against those who speak out.
Mass pressure on elected representative
may sway some to reconsider their abject servility to their Zionist
‘contributors’ and their ‘Israel First’ Congressional colleagues.
A patriotic nationwide campaign should
demand that the Israel lobby, especially AIPAC, come clean and
register as a foreign agent of the State of Israel. This might
undermine the Lobby’s appeal to American Jews, reduce its influence
over Congress and open up judicial processes and investigations over
its abuse of tax-exemptions, money-laundering and lead to
revelations over its treasonous procurement of confidential US state
documents for a foreign power.
There is a powerful political and legal
basis for such a denial of the ‘Lobby’s’ tax-exempt status and
legality, apart from the transparent and overwhelming evidence that
all Zionist organizations act as transmission belts for Israeli
state policies: In the early 1950’s up to 1963, the forerunner of
AIPAC was obligated to register as a foreign agent of the State of
More recently, an Israeli prosecutor
presented evidence that the Israeli-Jewish Agency and its US
counterparts were laundering billions of dollars especially for the
funding of Israeli colonial settlements on occupied Palestinian
land, condemned as illegal under international law.
Congressional hearings, law suits and
further published research would reveal the role of the Lobby as a
Fifth Column for the State of Israel against the interest of the
people of the United States.
Until we neutralize the pervasive power of the
Zionist Power Configuration in all of its manifestations – in
American public and civic life – and its deep penetration of American
legislative and executive offices, we will fall short of preventing Israel
from receiving the arms, funding and political backing to sustain its wars
of ethnic extermination.
When told that the great majority of the world’s people are sickened and
incensed by Israel’s mass murder of the citizens of Gaza, we can easily
imagine the contemptuous dismissal by Israel’s top leaders, paraphrasing
How many bombers, missiles, fighter planes
and powerful lobbies do they (the outraged people of the world) have?