by Alan Hart
In a recent speech at an ADL (Anti-Defamation League) dinner, Rupert Murdoch, arguably the most influential mainstream media chief on Planet Earth, made some extraordinary statements which must be challenged. But first it’s necessary for us all to be clear about what ADL’s role is.
Its proclaimed objective is to “fight anti-Semitism”. In reality its main purpose under the leadership of Abe Foxman is to smear, harass, silence and preferably destroy those of all faiths and none who are critical of Zionism in action – critical of Israel’s policies in general and its contempt for international law in particular; and critical of the awesome power of the Zionist lobby, in America especially.
In his speech Murdoch said his own perspective on the evil of anti-Semitism was “simple”. He put it this way (my emphasis added):
“We live in a world where there is an ongoing war against the Jews. For the first decades after Israel’s founding, this war was conventional in nature. The goal was straightforward – to use military force to overrun Israel.”
That was Murdoch’s carefully understated way of endorsing Zionism’s assertion that for the first decades of its life Israel lived in danger of annihilation, the “driving into the sea” of its Jews. As I document in detail through the three volumes of the American edition of my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, Israel’s existence was never, ever, in danger from any combination of Arab force. Zionism’s assertion to the contrary was the cover that allowed Israel to get away where it mattered most (in America and Western Europe) with presenting its aggression as self-defense and itself as the victim when, actually, it was and is the oppressor.
The main event during the period in which Murdoch asserted that the Arabs were trying to “overrun” Israel was the 1967 war. Zionism’s story of it, which the mainstream media still peddles to this day, is that Israel went to war either because the Arabs attacked first or were intending to attack. Both, the either and the or, are Zionist propaganda nonsense. It was a war of Israeli aggression.
I don’t expect Murdoch to pay any attention to what the Gentile me has to say on the subject, but if he is not an agent of Zionist deception (i.e. if he is merely ignorant), he ought to consider what various Israeli leaders have said. I quote them in America Takes Sides, War With Nasser Act II and the Creation of Greater Israel, Chapter 1 of Volume Three the American edition of my book, which is sub-titled Conflict Without End?
I preface the quotes of Israeli leaders with this observation.
“If the statement that the Arabs were not intending to attack Israel and that the existence of the Jewish state was not in danger was only that of a goy, it could be dismissed by Zionists as anti-Semitic conjecture. In fact the truth the statement represents was admitted by some of the key Israeli players – after the war, of course. Before we look at what actually happened in 1967 and why, here is a short summary of some pertinent, post-war Israeli confessions.”
In an interview published in Le Monde on 28 February 1968, Israeli Chief of Staff Rabin said this: “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on 14 May would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”
On 14 April 1971, a report in the Israeli newspaper Al-Hamishmar contained the following statement by Mordecai Bentov, a member of the wartime national government. “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.”
On 4 April 1972, General Haim Bar-Lev, Rabin’s predecessor as chief of staff, was quoted in Ma’ariv as follows: “We were not threatened with genocide on the eve of the Six-Days war, and we had never thought of such a possibility.”
In the same Israeli newspaper on the same day, General Ezer Weizman, Chief of Operations during the war and a nephew of Chaim Weizman, was quoted as saying: “There was never any danger of annihilation. This hypothesis has never been considered in any serious meeting.”
In the spring of 1972, General Matetiyahu Peled, Chief of Logistical Command during the war and one of 12 members of Israel’s General Staff, addressed a political literary club in Tel Aviv. He said: “The thesis according to which the danger of genocide hung over us in June 1967, and according to which Israel was fighting for her very physical survival, was nothing but a bluff which was born and bred after the war.” In a radio debate Peled said: “Israel was never in real danger and there was no evidence that Egypt had any intention of attacking Israel.” He added that “Israeli intelligence knew that Egypt was not prepared for war.”
In the same program Chaim Herzog (former DMI, future Israeli Ambassador to the UN and President of his state) said: “There was no danger of annihilation. Neither Israeli headquarters nor the Pentagon – as the memoirs of President Johnson proved – believed in this danger.”
On 3 June 1972 Peled was even more explicit in an article of his own for Le Monde. He wrote: “All those stories about the huge danger we were facing because of our small territorial size, an argument expounded once the war was over, have never been considered in our calculations. While we proceeded towards the full mobilisation of our forces, no person in his right mind could believe that all this force was necessary to our ‘defense’ against the Egyptian threat. This force was to crush once and for all the Egyptians at the military level and their Soviet masters at the political level. To pretend that the Egyptian forces concentrated on our borders were capable of threatening Israel’s existence does not only insult the intelligence of any person capable of analyzing this kind of situation, but is primarily an insult to the Israeli army.”
The preference of some generals for truth-telling after the event provoked something of a debate in Israel, but it was short-lived. If some Israeli journalists had had their way, the generals would have kept their mouths shut. Weizman was one of those approached with the suggestion that he and others who wanted to speak out should “not exercise their inalienable right to free speech lest they prejudice world opinion and the Jewish diaspora against Israel.”
It is not surprising that debate in Israel was shut down before it led to some serious soul-searching about the nature of the state and whether it should continue to live by the lie as well as the sword; but it is more than remarkable, I think, that the mainstream Western media continues to prefer the convenience of the Zionist myth to the reality of what happened in 1967 and why. When reporters and commentators have need today to make reference to the Six Days War, they still tell it like the Zionists said it was in 1967 rather than how it really was. Obviously there are still limits to how far the mainstream media is prepared to go in challenging the Zionist account of history, but it could also be that lazy journalism is a factor in the equation.
For those journalists, lazy or not, who might still have doubts about who started the Six Days War, here’s a quote from what Prime Minister Begin said in an unguarded, public moment in 1982. “In June 1967 we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us, We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”
My own favourite Israeli quote is the one I use to draw the Prologue to Volume One of my book to a conclusion. In 1980 I had a number of conversations with the best and the brightest of Israel’s Directors of Military Intelligence, Major General (then retired) Shlomo Gazit. Over coffee one morning I said to him: “I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all a myth. Israel’s existence has never, ever, been in danger.” He replied: “The trouble with us Israelis is that we’ve become the victims of our own propaganda.”
In his speech to the ADL dinner, Murdoch said that phase two of the “ongoing war against the Jews” (after the failure to “overrun” Israel by force) was “terrorism” He seems to have no idea of reality on this front either.
One of a number of summary truths about terrorism is this. In Palestine that became Israel, it was the Zionists who turned to terrorism first – to drive out the occupying British and then the indigenous Arabs.
Murdoch spoke of the terrorists targeting Israelis at home and broad – “from the massacre of Israeli athletes at Munich to the second intifada.” Fact: All but two of the Israeli athletes in Munich were killed by German security forces after Israeli Defense Minister Dayan insisted, against Prime Minister Golda Meir’s own best judgement, on a shoot-out to prevent a negotiated end to the hostage drama. Fact: The second intifada, which PLO Chairman Arafat was doing his best to prevent, was provoked by Ariel Sharon to improve his prospects of becoming prime minister by seeing off a challenge from Netanyahu.
A second summary truth about Palestinian terrorism is this. The Palestinians were not and are not “at war with the Jews”. Black September’s Munich operation, for example, was terrorism for a public relations purpose – to draw the attention of the world to the fact that the Palestinians existed, were occupied and oppressed and in need of some justice.
A summary truth about general Arab and wider Muslim terrorism is this. It is primarily a response of the weak and oppressed to Israel’s arrogance of power and insufferable self-righteousness; to the impotence, corruption and repression of Arab and other Muslim regimes which are correctly regarded by their masses as little more than puppets of America-and-Zionism; and to the deadly double-standard of Western foreign policy – in particular its unconditional support for Israel right or wrong. (In at least one respect the Arab and other Muslim masses have much more wisdom than Western leaders. They, Arab and Muslims masses, know that unconditional support for Israel right or wrong is not in anybody’s best interests, not even those of Israel’s Jews).
According to Murdoch “the war against the Jews” has now entered a new phase. “This,” he said, “is the soft war that seeks to isolate Israel by delegitimizing it. The battleground is everywhere – the media… multinational organizations … NGOs. In this war, the aim is to make Israel a pariah.”
It is true that in the eyes of many if not most peoples of the world (and probably many of their governments behind closed doors) Israel is increasingly being seen as a pariah state. But that’s a consequence of Israel’s policies and actions, war crimes and all.
What Murdoch sees as the rise of anti-Semitism is, in fact, the rise of anti-Israelism. The danger for the Jews of the world is that it will be transformed into violent anti-Semitism at a foreseeable point in the future if the Zionist state is not called and held to account for its past crimes and is allowed by the major powers to go on committing new ones.
It is a fact that prior to the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust, most Jews were opposed to Zionism’s colonial enterprise. One of their fears was that Zionism would one day provoke anti-Semitism if it was allowed by the big powers to have its way. As I never tire of writing and saying, this fear was given a fresh airing by Yehoshafat Harkabi, Israel’s longest serving Director of Military Intelligence. In 1986 he published a remarkable book, Israel’s Fateful Hour. It contains this warning (my emphasis added):
Israel is the criterion according to which all Jews will tend to be judged. Israel as a Jewish state is an example of the Jewish character, which finds free and concentrated expression within it. Anti-Semitism has deep and historical roots. Nevertheless, any flaw in Israeli conduct, which initially is cited as anti-Israelism, is likely to be transformed into empirical proof of the validity of anti-Semitism. It would be a tragic irony if the Jewish state, which was intended to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, was to become a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism. Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world.
Nearly a quarter of a century on I think it can and should be said that Israel’s “misconduct” has become the prime factor in the equation that could transform anti-Israelism into anti-Semitism.
If I had the opportunity to address Mr. Murdoch directly, I would say to him the following. If you really care about the Jews (I mean the Jews as people as opposed to their money), you would put your media empire at the service of the truth of history.
I would also tell him that when I joined ITN (Independent Television News) as a very young reporter many years ago, its great editor-in-chief, Geoffrey Cox, gave me the mission statement in one short sentence. “Our job is to help keep democracy alive.”
I would then say to Murdoch that my charge today is (generally speaking) that the mainstream media has betrayed democracy. And I would add, “You, sir, are the greatest betrayer, traitor, of them all.”
Alan Hart is a former ITN and BBC Panorama foreign correspondent who covered wars and conflicts wherever they were taking place in the world and specialized in the Middle East. His Latest book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, is a three-volume epic in its American edition. He blogs on www.alanhart.net and tweets on www.twitter.com/alanauthor.