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(English:) Dr. Ludwig Watzal is a German politologist and author of books. See his website www.watzal.com. On this page you find some reviews of his.

(Deutsch:) Dr. Ludwig Watzal ist Politologe und Buchautor. Siehe seine Website www.watzal.com. Auf dieser Seite stehen einige seiner Rezensionen.

- Review of: Ghada Karmi, Married To Another Man. Israelīs Dilemma in Palestine (03.11.2007)
- Rezension: John J. Mearsheimer/Stephen M. Walt, Die Israel-Lobby. (PDF 09/2007)
- Review of: Yakov M. Rabkin, A Threat From Within. A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism. (01.06.2007)
- Review of: Khaled Hroub, Hamas. A Beginnerīs Guide (10.12.2006)
- Review of: Arthur Neslen, Occupied Minds (17.09.2006)
- Review of: Jonathan Cook, Blood and Religion (16.09.2006)
Review of: Ghada Karmi, Married To Another Man.
Israelīs Dilemma in Palestine

Ghada Karmi, Married To Another Man. Israelīs Dilemma in Palestine, Pluto Press, London-Ann Arbor, MI/USA 2007, 315 p., € 14.99.

Two Rabbis, visiting Palestine in 1897, observed that the land was like a bride, "beautiful, but married to another man". By which they meant that, if a place was to be found for a Jewish "homeland" in Palestine, the indigenous inhabitants had to leave. Where should the people of Palestine go? Squaring that circle has been the essence of Israelīs dilemma ever since its establishment and the cause of the Palestinian tragedy that it led to. It has remained insolvable. The book shows that the major reason for this failure was the original and unresolved Zionist quandary of how to create and maintain a Jewish state in a land inhabited by another people. Zionism was never able to resolve the problem of "the other man". There are only two ways: either the "other man" had to be eradicated, or the Jewish state project had to be given up. Israel dit not do either. They succeeded in 1948 in expelling and keeping out a large number of Palestinians, but Israel was never able to "cleanse" the land of Palestine entirely. The fundamental mistake of the Zionist project was the belief that "the entire land of Palestine was Jewish and the Arab presence in it a resented foreign intrusion". All in all, the Zionist project was "relatively" successful, but for the indigenous ownerīs of the land it was a catastrophe which has been going on until today. "If Israel remains a colonialist state in its character, it will not survive. In the end the region will be stronger than Israel, in the end the indigenous people will be stronger than Israel." Akiva Eldar quoted the former Mazpen member Haim Hangebi in the Israeli daily Haaretz on August 8th, 2003. The author concludes: "Zionismīs ethos was not about peaceful co-existence but about colonialism and an exclusivist ideology to be imposed and maintained by force."

Ghada Karmi is one of the worldīs most renowned commentators on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a well-known figure on British radio and TV. She was born in Jerusalem and forced to leave as a child in 1948. She grew up in Britain where she became a physician, academic and writer. Currently, Karmi is a research fellow and lecturer at the Insitute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. She has written several books, including "In Search of Fatima", which was widely praised.

The Zionist dilemma was perfectly and bluntly expressed by the so-called post-Zionist and professor Benny Morris which led not only to an uproar in the scientific community, but also to a deep disappointment, because Morris was considered to belong to the "new historians". In this interview with the daily Haaretz and in his article in the Guardian he presented himself as an ardent Zionist. "He encapsulates all Zionismīs major elements, its inherent implausibility as a practical project, its arrogance, racism and self-righteousness, and the insurmountable obstacle to it of Palestineīs original population, which refuses to go away." For his colonialist and racist view he was severely critiziced by Baruch Kimmerling and many others who could not understand his attitude.

Morris said incredible things: "A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700 000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population." According to him the Zionists made a mistake to have allowed some Palestinans to remain. "If the end of the story turns out to be a gloomy one for the Jews, it will because Ben Gurion did not complete the transfer of 1948. (...) In other circumstances, apocalyptic ones, which are liable to be realized in five or ten years, I can see expulsions. If we find ourselves (...) in a situation of warfare (...) acts of expulsion will be entirely reasonable. They may even be essential (...) If the threat to Israel is existential, expulsion will be justified." Morris concludes, the Zionist project is faced with two options: perpetual cruelty and repression of others, or the end of the dream. These alternatives give the whole enterprise an apocalyptic touch. For the time being, the Israeli security establishment has chosen the "iron wall" concept which refers to a wall of bayonets.

Ghada Karmi shows in "The Cost of Israel to the Arabs" that the price they had to pay was horrendous. She holds not only Israel responsible but also the West, especially the United States of America, for the rejectionist attitude of the Israeli political class. They just did never considered any compromise. In this chapter the author describes the damage that Israelīs creation inflicted on the Arabs, how it has retarded their development and provoked a reactive and dangerous radicalisation. She presents a totally different picture of Israelīs role than the West is familar with. The Arabs are always asked to be realistic and recognise the facts on the ground. "The Arabs were expected to make peace with Israel – and to love it as well." Under the surface Israel has made much progress towards a normalisation with the Arab world. The Arab leaders have to conceal that truth from their own populations. Karmi views Western policy in Israelīs case to be strategic rather than ideological. The installation of the Jewish state as the local agent of Western regional self-interest was an effective way of dividing the Arabs, so as to ensure that they remained dependent and subjugated." Egypt and Jordan are the best examples.

In the Chapter "Why do Jews support Israel?" the author asks "Why did a project, which was, on the face of it, implausible in the first place and inevitably destructive of others, succeed so well? Just as importantly, why did it continue to receive support, despite a clear record of aggression and multiple breaches of international law against its neighbours that ensured its survival – not just as a state but as a disruptive force?" A number of disperate factors make up the unconditional support for Israel such as the Holocaust and its associated trauma and guilts, the exigencies of Western regional policy, religious mythology, so-called common values, and Israel as the "only democracy in the Middle East" et cetera. It is difficult to find a similar phenomenon for a state in the 21st Century that gets away with massive human rights violations, colonial subjugation of another people and a disdain of international law. Not only for the American Jewish community but also for many liberal Jews "Israel had taken on a mythic quality, part-identity, part-religion, and its dissolution, as a Jewish state, became psychologically and emotionally unthinkable. The obverse of this coin was of course a paranoid suspicion and hatred of anyone who threatened Israel in the slightest way." Karmi describes the Zionist desperate attempt to prove an unbrocken chain between the Jews of Palestine and those of Europe. "Put like this, the absurditiy of the idea is obvious, but that in fact was the proposition Zionists wanted people to believe in order to justify the Jewish `return` to the īhomeland`." Because the Zionist claim rested on such shaky grounds, Jewish researchers "tried to use genetics as a way of demonstrating a link between European (Ashkenazi) Jews and their supposed Middle Eastern origins by way of finding a common ancestry with Middle Eastern Jews".

The support of Israel by the West is also manifold. This chapter is very exciting to read. The author discusses the relationship between the US and Israel and the dominant influence of the "Israel lobby", especially AIPAC which adopted a right-wing posture, both in its support for the Likud party in Israel and the political right in the US, including the Christian Zionists. Because of their bizarre and obscure ideology they pose the greatest danger to world peace. Their strange believe system is as follows: they literally adhere to the Old Testament. Fundamental was the return of the Jews to the land of Israel, which was given to them by God through the covenant with Abraham. According to this legacy all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates was denoted to the Jews. The Jewish return to Palestine (Israel) was essential as a prelude to Christīs Second Coming; in that sense, Jews were the instrument by which divine prophecy would be fulfilled. However, they were obliged to convert to Christianity and rebuild the Jewish Temple. Seven years of tribulation would follow, culminating in a holocaust or Armageddon, during which the converted Jews and other godless people would be destroyed. Only then would the Messiah return to redeem mankind and establish the Kingdom of God on earth where he would reign for a thousend years. The converted Jews, restored as Godīs Chosen People, would enjoy a privileged status in the world. At the end of all this, they and all the rightous would ascend to heaven in the final `Rapture`. The Jewish role in all this meant: "Jews restored to Israel and converted, leading to the Second Advent, leading to mankindīs redemption." If this set of strange and weird ideas would not have attracted influential and powerful politicians in the US and Great Britain it would not be worrysome. But these crazy beliefs have a representative in the White House which makes it so deadly dangerous. George W. Bush is a reborn Christian and pretends that he gets his orders from the Almighty! Would such a guy not be better taken care of by a psychiatrist than grant him "responsibility" over thousands of nuclear warheads? Beyond that Karmi discusses the pro-Zionist influence and the media, Israel and the Great Powers, Europe and Israel and what it means for Europe, and what it all means to the Arabs. The Arab ignorance and naivety in the face of the challenge of Zionism "was probably the most important factor that enabled the Israeli project to survive and even thrive in the region".

In chapters four, five and six the author critizices the so-called peace process, Arafatīs role in destroying the Palestinians and Israelīs attempt to revive the Jordanian option. In signing the Oslo agreement, "Arafat hat legitimized Zionism, the very ideology that had created and still perpetuates the Palestinian tragedy". She continues: "Nevertheless, to have the blessing of the victim, especially without having earned it, is like the icing on the cake, an unlooked-for boon to the perpetrator." The Israeli aim to destroy the Palestinans could not have been better described as in the words of the Israeli sociologist professor Baruch Kimmerling who wrote in this book Politicide that the process of gradual military, political and psychological attrition whose aim was to destroy the Palestinians as an independent people with a coherent political and social existence would made them vanish by their fragmentation and irrelevance. "Forty years of Israeli politicide had done its work on the Palestine question as a national cause. The Palestinians, already in an unenviable position of physical fragmentation after 1948, became politically fragmented with the Israeli occupation." In the chapter "Solving the problem" Karmi shows that a two-state solution is out of reach. Consequentely, she calls in chapter seven for a one-state solution. "In a single state, no Jewish settler would have to move and no Palestinian would be under occupation." The author thinks that creating a Jewish state was "crazy" at Herzlīs time and even now, therefore "creating a unitary state of Israel/Palestine, far less implausible than the Zionist project ever was, should be no less successful".

Refering to Hangebiīs statement that Israel as a "colonial state" cannot survive, Karmi proposes an unthinkable idea: "The best solution to this intractable problem is to turn back the clock before there was any Jewish state and return history as from there." But at the end, she turns back to realism: "The clock will not go back and, although the Jewish state cannot be uncreated, it might be, so to speak, unmade. The reunification of Palestineīs shattered remains in a unitary state for all its inhabitants, old and new, is the only realistic, humane and durable route out of the morass. It is also the only way for the Israeli Jewish community (as opposed to the Israeli state) to survive in the Middle East."

The author unfolds the destructive impact of Zionism on the Palestinan people and the Arab world. Pluto Press and its publisher Roger van Zwanenberg can be congratulated for their courage to publish this excellent book, especially in the light of the attack against Joel Kovelīs book Overcoming Zionism by the "Israel Lobby". For the sake of freedom of speech one can hope that the University of Michigan Press will not succumb to this baseless and mean pressure. Anybody who is interested in a plain description ot the conflict should read Karmiīs book. It is a must read.

Ludwig Watzal

Review of: Yakov M. Rabkin, A Threat From Within.
A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism.

Yakov M. Rabkin, A Threat From Within. A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism. Translation from French by Fred A. Reed with Yakov M. Rabkin, Fernwood Publishing/Zed Books, Winnipeg-London 2006, 261 Pages, L 17.95.

This is the most unusual book I have ever read. It is so groundbreaking that one can ask whether it is proper at least for the German public. It is the most courageous undertaking because it challenges Zionism and its ideology head-on. The book shows that Zionism has little to do with Judaism. It stands for a totally different value system. It is even a negation of central Jewish values. According to the sources the author cites Zionist ideology is absolutely opposed to Judaism and misuses its teachings for its political ends. Nevertheles, it seems as if Zionism is on its way to canonization. Anyone who dares to raise these questions will get into deep trouble. John Mearsheimer, Stefan Walt, Tony Judt, John Rose, Jimmy Carter(!), Michael Lerner, Joel Kovel, Uri Avnery, Jacqueline Rose, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, The Jews for Just Peace, Pascal Boniface, Rolf Verleger, Felicia Langer, Rupert Neudeck, Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, the German catholic bishops who toured Israel/Palestine, and many others who were attacked for just speaking out against Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people, can tell their individual stories. The non-Jewish critics are defamed as "anti-Semites", and the Jewish ones are denounced as "self-hating Jews", some are even accused of "anti-Semitism". The author shows why such grotesk assertions are nonsense and serve only one purpose: to silence critizism of Israelīs occupation policy which celebrates its 40th anniversary in June.

Yakov M. Rabkin teaches history at the University of Montreal. He specializes in the history of science and contemporary Jewish history. The Israeli philosopher Joseph Agassi writes in the foreword: "Currently, the Zionists declare that all opposition to Zionism is anti-Semitic, and this declaration has grievous consequences for Jews all over the world, including Jews in Israel. It is scandalous to deny legitimacy to criticism of official Israeli positions, and this book makes this point very clear." Agassi mentions that Rabkin raises questions about the myth that Israel protects the Jews around the world and constitutes their natural homeland. This book "rightly shows that this myth is anti-Jewish". Moreover, "this ideology deems anti-Semitism unavoidable and Israel the only place where a Jew can be safe. This view is essentially anti-democratic." Agassi continues: "Israeli governments behave as if they were community leaders still within the ghetto walls." When Israeli politicians call Israel "the Jewish state" this will create "a real and dangerous confusion between faith and democracy".

Yakov Rabkin leads the readers right into the thinking of anti-Zionist orthodoxes, for whom Zionism is the antithesis of Judaism and therefore a heresy. He shows convincingly the split between Judaism and Zionism. Although the readers might think these people Rabkin writes about are a "lunatic fringe", their arguments are still valid and have been bothering the Zionist leadership. In traditional Judaism the Torah is central. "The Zionist movement and the creation of the State of Israel have caused one of the greatest schisms in Jewish history." The Zionists used major elements of Jewish thinking for their political goals. In the eyes of most Rabbis this is blasphemy. The biggest "sin" for them is the establishment of Israel because only the Messiah can create the Jewish nation. For the orthodox rabbis "Zionism represents a negation of Jewish tradition". Any human attempt to build a Jewish state is seen as a violation of Godīs will and will lead to a disaster. The author explains why a commitment to the Torah forms the common denominator for religious opposition to Zionism. For him the Jews have demonstrated that a people can preserve its identity over the course of more than two millennia without a state of its own. In the prologue Rabkin asks critical questions: "Has the emergence of Zionism and the State of Israel so transformed the Jewish people as to bring its unique history to an end? Could it be that Israel, in the light of Jewish tradition, is not at all Jewish?"

The book draws extensively on the rich tradition of rabbinical thought. Rabkinīs book explains how a commitment to the Torah forms the common denominator for the religious opposition to Zionism. Pious Jews believe that they have an obligation to criticize Zionism publicly, for two reasons: Firstly, to prevent the desecration of the name of God; secondly, to preserve human life. With this kind of criticism they hope to protect Jews from the outrage they believe the State of Israel has generated among the nations of the world. The last two opinion polls by the EU and the BBC show how relevant their concerns are: The State of Israel is seen as the "greatest threat to world peace" followed by Iran and the United States of America. In seven chapters Rabkin unfolds countless unknown sources of serious arguments against the Zionist enterprise as he calls it. What Rabkinīs book also reveals is the fact that most orthodox people do not recognise Israelīs right to exist. Why does the west force the Hamas led government to recognise it and not the large numbers of orthodox Jews in Israel and in the US?

The author states in the first chapter "Orientations" that there has been a permanent Jewish presence in Palestine even after the destruction of the second Temple. The coexistence between all three religious groups – Jewish, Muslim and Christians – who lived peacefully together in the "Old Yishuv" until the Zionists arrived in Palestine. This holds also true for the coexistence between Jews and Muslims in the Arab countries. The "New Yishuv" (Zionist settlements) and the State of Israel were an incarnation of European concepts derived from the realities faced by Jews in the Russian Empire. Secular Jewish culture dominated the entire Zionist enterprise. The oriental Jews who came from the Muslim countries to Israel found these concepts alien to them. There has been a massive opposition against the Zionist movement from the start. Not only from the Jewish orthodox like the Haredim, but also from cultural Zionists, reformists, and the non-Zionist secularists.

In the chapter "New Identity" Rabkin states that Zionism has put forward a new definition of what it means to be Jewish. Longing for the Messiah has been a constant notion in Jewish history. The Zionists turned this transcendental concept into a political program which constituted a break with the tradition. The Jewish tradition traces the origins of the Jews to the shared experience ot the epiphany of the exodus from Egypt and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. As a group, the Jews are defined by the commitment to the Torah, the normative bond with the Torah remains the determining factor. It is exactely this bond which obliges them to follow the commandments of the Torah, which makes Jews the "chosen people", a status that implies no intrinsic superiority, writes Rabkin. It was under Josef Stalin that the birth of the concept of the "secular Jew" was invented. The Jews of Russia had fewer opportunities to assimilate into their sourrounding society unlike the Jews in Germany and France. Under Stalin Jews ceased to be defined by Judaism and got a "Jewish nationality", this was marked in their identity cards. The great Jewish philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz stated that "Our nation exists only in the Torah." He continues: "Zionism is indeed the negation of Judaism." For the critics of Zionism the Hebrew revival had nothing to do with Judaism, it was just "another revolt against tradition". The "New Hebrew Man" did not "trust in God" (bitahon), but in "military security" which has been the dominating concept in Israel until now.

The author shows in chapter three the deep cultural gap which exists between the Zionist concept of the Land of Israel and the Jewish one. Traditional Jewish culture discourages political and military activism of any variety, especially in the Land of Israel. Contrary to orthodoxy the National Religious stressed the importance of "the Jews' return to history" and to take pride in the normalization of the Jews whom Zionism has liberated from their "age-old passivity". Right from the beginning, Zionism has encouraged love of the land, a love which has taken political and ideological forms, writes Rabkin. "For the Zionists, love to the land is possessive: it can tolerate no other claimant. The land cannot truly be home to another people that had long inhabited it." This contradicts the traditional Jewish viewpoint in which "the settlement in the Land of Israel will be brought about by the universal effect of good deeds rather than by military force or diplomacy. It will follow the advent of the Messiah, unlike the biblical conquest of Joshua, which was achieved by the use of power." Rabkin also rejects the interpretation of the Bar Kokhba or the Maccabees revolt against the Romans. "The Zionist moral of the story is also opposed to the Jewish tradition." Salvation of the Jewish people can only come about through messianic intervention rather than military force. According to Leibowitz: "The idea of return to the Land of Israel achieved by political means is alien to the idea of salvation in Jewish tradition." And he continues that the Jews had never been "a people of the land", quite the contrary holds true: am ha-aretz, meaning "ignoramus".

Jewish tradition over the last two mellennia can only be described as pacifist. The templeīs destruction and the following exile are interpreted as devine punishment for transgressions comitted by the Jews, according to the traditional Jewish argumentation. This was the dominant tradition until the twentieth century when "Zionism restored to military heroism". Zionist ideology transformed the Maccabees into "the patriotic victors of war of national independence. It is a travesty of history", writes Ruth Blau. This secularized image of the Maccabees was the blueprint for several modern Jewish authors, including Zeev Jabotinsky. Rabkin hints at a very interesting trait of Zionism which could deliver an explanation for the aggressive and violent behaviour of the Israeli occupation forces. It is its Russian background. Russian Jews not only made up a majority of the founders of the State of Israel, "they also became the most influential group within its military elite. The man who did more than any other Zionist to introduce terror into Palestine was the Russian Avraham Stern, a member of several paramilitary groupings." Rabkin writes that Moshe Dayan, Ezer Weizmann, Itzhak Rabin, Rehavam Zeevi, Raphael Eitan and Ariel Sharon were all desendents of Russian Jews, "whose propensity for the use of force can only be linked to their estrangement from Jewish tradition". Quoting Martin Gilbert, Rabkin writes that the composition of the Knesset twelve years after the founding of Israel and despite the almost total prohibition of emigration from the Soviet Union for more than four decades, over 70 percent of the members of this political elite were Russian-born, while 13 percent were born in Palestine/Israel of Russian parents. "The American Zionist elites, whose support was crucial for Zionismīs success, were also composed primarily of Jews of Russian origion ... Even in Morocco, Zionist ideas and activities were introduced almost exclusively by Russian Jews." The Israeli right-wing parties, which draw much of their support from voters of Russian background, "bear out the Russian dimension of the Zionist enterprise".

The first who resisted the new Zionist settlers were the Jewish rabbies of the Old Yishuv. They feared that the nationalist ambitions of the new settlers would create tensions with Arabs, with whom the religious communities had always coexisted in peace, writes Rabkin. The leaders of the Old Yishuv saw the Jewish settler, and not the Arab population, as the looming threat. Until now, the "memory of cordial relations between Jews and Arabs continues to motivate the anti-Zionists, who question the strong-arm approach they attribute to the Zionist concept of the state". The Satmar Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum is said to have often prayed for the disappearance of the State of Israel without any Jew suffering as a result. "He looked upon the state as a serious threat to the Jews." The political assassination of Jacob Israel De Haan bore bitter fruit: discord among Jews and Arabs. "The assassination of De Haan was probably the first terrorist act to be committed by the Zionists in Palestine." The opposition to the Zionists portrayed them as "Amalek". Aviezer Ravitzky confirms that the decision to cast the Zionists as a "diabolical force was far from being an improvised one: it drew instead on an entire legal and philosophical tradition".

In chapter five "Collaboration and its limits" the author describes the resistance against the Zionist enterprise by the pious Jews. They viewed the newcomers as "rebels against the Torah and thus as persons both evil and dangerous". Most of them saw in it a rejection of Judaism. Compared with that the Arab reaction to Zionism was slower to gather strength. At first, the local Arab population enjoyed cordial relations with the Zionist leaders. Only when Arab leaders became fully aware of the political ambitions of the Zionist movement did their views come around to those of the pious Jews in taking a rejectionist stance, which has remained dominant in the Arab world ever since.

Opposition against Zionism was particularly strong in Germany at the turn of the twentieth century. German Jews refused to allow the first Zionist congress to be held in their country so that it was transferred to Basel. Rabkin describes the anti-Zionist positions by Agudat Israel, the Haredim, the Hasedim and the reform movement. An exception is the National Religious Party which tried to merge Zionism with Judaism. The difference to the other groups is that they see the Zionist enterprise as an expression of divine will, "the finger of God".

In the chapter "Zionism, the Shoah and the State of Israel" Rabkin presents two very different viewpoints of the tragedy. For the Zionists, the Shoah is the ultimate proof of the threat that hangs over the head of every Jew in the diaspora. After World War II., the Zionist movement presented its political project as a reaction to the Shoah. Consistent with this argument, prevention of another Shoah also justifies the military hegemony the new state acquired early and has steadily reinforced ever since. The Zionist message is: the state of Israel must be militarily strong to prevent another Shoah. A totally different interpretation of the Shoah is given by the pious Jews.

From the Judaic point of view shared by most pious Jews, the tragedy of the Shoah calls out for the closest scrutiny of oneīs own behaviour, for individual and collective atonement, writes Rabkin. For them it is not an occasion for accusing the executioner and even less an attempt to explain his behaviour by political, ideological or social factors. "The executioner – be he Pharaoh, Amalek or Hitler – cannot be anything but an agent of divine punishment, an undoubtedly cruel means of bringing the Jews to repentance." Following the same logic, only divine providence can explain the catastrophes that have afflicted the Jews, affirmed Rabbi Elhanan Wassermann. For him the Nazi persecutions, of which he was soon to become a victim, "were the direct consequences of Zionism". Wassermannīs condemnation of Zionism resulted in the fact that it was a sharp beak with Jewish continuity.

Both the Zionists and their detractors agree that the hostility encountered by the Jews through the centuries exceeds all normal bounds: it is a hostility quite unlike all others. While the Zionist habitually attribute the phenomenon of intense hatred to the political and military powerlessness of the Jews, pious Jews tend to locate its root in the seriousness of the sins committed by the Jews. Rabkin mentions another difference between the Zionists and their pious critics concerning anti-Semitism. The Zionists hoped to solve the problem of anti-Semitism trough the establishment of a Jewish state and defines any critique of Zionism and any attempt to question the State of Israel as anti-Semitism. The first critics, as early as the late nineteenth century, mentioned that the establishment of a Jewish state would not eliminate anti-Semitism, "but would in fact place the Jews in greater peril by intensifying and focusing hatred of the Jews. Jewish tradition considers the concentration of Jews in any one place as hazardous. ...Israelīs assertive policies and their defence in the name of all Jews by the Zionist organisations may thus be seen as an extraordinary source of danger."

The difference in outlook is also shown in the chapter "Prophecies of Destruction and Strategies for survival". While the National Religious believe the destruction came to an end in 1945, seeing the Shoah as a point of departure for redemption, the rabbinical anti-Zionists insist that both the Shoah and the very existence of Israel are part of the same process of destruction. In their view, all the accomplishments of the Zionist enterprise will be eradicated before the Messiah arrives, who will find the Holy Land in a state of total devastation. From this perspective the State of Israel can be nothing but an obstacle on the path of redemption. The emphasis is placed on the exclusive role of God in redemption, writes Rabkin. This view is categorically rejected by Zionist messianism.

For the author the civic religion of Israel remains a fragile construction. The Haredim have never accepted it, because it has been introduced to replace Judaism. While criticism of Israeli policies may sometimes be tolerated, all Judaic critiques of Zionism are de-legitimized. Left-wing Jews can easily be discredited by Zionists as "non-Jewish", "self-hating" or even "anti-Semitic" while it would not be convincing to describe the Lubavitch or the Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Wassermann or Hakham Alfandari, as anti-Semitic, states the author. The anti-Zionist literature regularly evokes the apocalyptic danger that Israel represents for the whole world. "They are convinced that the creation of Israel, which they see as an arrogant revolt against God, may well touch off a catastrophe of worldwide proportions." They believe that the Zionist structure of the state has perpetuated the conflict.

Rabkinīs book shows that Zionism has never been monolithic, and anti-Zionism has reflected this complexity. Despite defamation Judaic opposition to Zionism has shown remarkable perseverance. It seems as if this opposition will persist as long as the Zionist enterprise continues in the Holy Land. They all insist on the primacy of the Torah and its values like peace and dealing justly with the neighbors. Such ideas are subsitituted in Zionism by militarism and conquest. This exceptional book is an outcry for universal justice and a must read. It should find many readers.

Ludwig Watzal

Review of: Arthur Neslen, Occupied Minds
by Ludwig Watzal, (www.watzal.com), 17.09.2006

Arthur Neslen, Occupied Minds. A Journey through the Israeli Psyche.
Pluto, London-Ann Arbor 2006, 291 pp, € 25.

The founding-fathers and founding-mother (Golda Meir) of Israel wanted to create a nation of "new Jews" which was never to be led to the "slaughter-house" again. Therefore, Israel had to be strong. A more than understandable attitude in view of the Nazi horrors which came upon the Jewish people in Europe. In the course of time this strength turned to a synomym for 40 years of occupation and oppression. The journalist Arthur Neslen, who worked for Al Jazeera, rightly asked how it could happen that the former "victims" turned into "perpetrators", but still see themselves as "victims".

The author grew up in Great Britain, in a family which clinged to the traditions of the Bund, a secular and anti-Zionist Jewish Socialist party that once had been the mainstream of East European Jewish life. According to Neslen, it was still possible in the 1970s and 1980s to stick to this views in some Jewish communities. Today, Israel has come to dominate diaspora existence and everybody has to define themselves and their brands of thinking. The interviews the author conducted are about Israeli Jewish identity. The impression he got was "more complex and sad". "The Zionist 'counter-identity' is something I still find ugly, but Israelis themselves are rarely monsters - and never two-dimensional." Neslenīs book "is an exploration of the world through the Israeli mindīs eye".

Theodor Herzl, "father of modern Zionism" and author of the book "Der Judenstaat" wanted Israel to become "a nation like others". From the establishment of a Jewish state he expected the solution of the rampant anti-Semitism in Europe. This idea was a false conclusion. "To Herzl, becoming 'a nation like others' involved the dissolution of traditional Jewish identities on a nationalist cauldron." It is the notion of equality in other nations and peoples which the so-called friends of Israel do not want to materialise. They argue that Israel is something special and different from all the other nations. In 1948, Zionism was still a heresy to the majority of the worldīs religious Jews, because it rejected holy scriptures that prophesied the stateīs founding only after the Messiahīs arrival.

The Israeli society is dominated by Ashkenazim who ethnically are European Jews. They intended to build a modern, secular European-style Jewish national identity in which the Mizrahim, who are Eastern or Oriental Jews, were only numbers. The Ashkenazim hold the most important centres of political and economic power. By contrast, almost half of the population consists of Mizrahim who had lived well-integrated in their countries of origin. The majority of them see themselves as Arab Jews. "In Iraq, for example, Jewish social and religious institutions flourished and Jews served as government ministers, as Communist party leaders and they practically invented the countryīs financial and monetary system in 1932." But after political actions by the Israeli Mossad they left for Israel, a decision which many regretted. Before the creation of Israel, 80 000 Jews lived in Iraq. Ezra Levy, the last Rabbi of Baghdadīs last synagogue, Mer Taweig, came to Israel in 2003 and was totally disappointed: "The Muslims were more than a family to me. I donīt know why I left them to come here. Itīs better to have good friends than Jewish friends." Ezra saw himself as an "Iraqi Jew, not a Jewish Iraqi". Upon arrival in Israel, the same Baghdad Jews, who had led Iraqīs cultural renaissance, were sprayed with DDT and sent to tin shack transit camps, reports Neslen. The discrimination against the Mizrahim and the immigrants from Ethiopia by the ruling Ashkenasi elite has not yet been adequately discussed in Israel.

Until June 1967, large sectors of the religious establishment resisted the secular Zionist concept. The military success in the June War was interpreted by many religious Jews as a sign that the Messiah had returned. The religious believed that "Israelīs destiny was to become 'a light unto the nations' rather than a nation like any other". Their Jewish identity is rooted in "bītochen", which means "faith", and not in "bitachon", which means "security". Both concepts may bring together 80 per cent of Israel that is Jewish, but it also tears them apart, the author claims.

In ten chapters, immigrants and Sabras, Israelis born in the country, speak about their feelings, longings, sorrows, and disappointments. Since the establishment of Israel the country has followed a "melting pot" strategy, initially called "Kur Hitukh" (melting reactor) for newly arrived Diaspora Jews. Their old identities would be dissolved and fused into a nation rising from the ashes of the Holocaust. For the Mizrahim the concept has brought about only moderate success like Rabbi Ezra Levy mentioned. But there are other immigrants who are exited about living in Israel like David Weizman, a 37-year-old French PR executive, who made the Aliyah after anti-Semitic incidents in France in 2003. For Weizmann, "Israel is a miracle", and he wants to be "part of it". He believes in the countryīs values. "Israel is the solution for Jewish security and I wanted to raise my three kids here." By comparison, Olga und Dimitri are totally disappionted. They do not feel like Israelis but as Russians. "Russia is still my homeland, my culture, my language. We brought Russia to Israel." Both want to emigrate to Canada, because the Israelis are biased towards Russians. "I think the government realised that we had the potential to change this society. They were afraid and so they tried to stop us, by denying us opportunities. īZionism` is an empty phrase. Itīs like a soup balloon." Most of the Russian immigrants are heavyly baised towards Palestinians. They "only understand the language of force and power. I believe the army should show them no mercy. They should take radical measures. Itīs like Chechnya. We donīt have a negotiating partner. They should use all means to fight the terror."

Other underdogs like the Mizrahi Jew Rafi Shubeli do not want to leave Israel. He is on the board of the Keshet Democratic Mizrahi Rainbow, a civil rights group. He considers himself a non-Zionist, because "Zionism is racism directed at me, and the Arab world". The situation of the Jews in Yemen "had become impossible because of Zionists here". "We were victims of Zionism." On the question whether the Mizrahim have suffered a īcultural holocaust` Shabuli answers: "Yes, we are suffering it still. I see kids poisoned in schools and I can do nothing. My nephew told me īI donīt like studying Arabic because Arabs are bad people`."

Completely different from all the others in this row is Hanan Porat, the most famous religious Zionist in Israel. He was a former leader of the far-right National Religious Party. Porat studied together with Moshe Levinger and Menachem Froman at Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kookīs Merkaz Ha Rav yeshiva. They founded the Gush Emunim (block of the faithful) settlerīs movement. His views are extreme and bizarre: "Undoubtedly, itīs not just Sharon, itīs the general attitude in the western world that you should understand and compromise with terror. Arab terror is a whole philosophy which wants to control the world. In that context, Sharonīs plan is a criminal act because it cuts people off from their land for political - not security - reasons. Thatīs why I objected to the peace-time transfer of Arabs." The evacuation of Israelis from the Gaza strip was "immoral, unJewish and violates human rights". In contrast to Porat, Menachem Froman was a close friend of Yassir Arafat's. Despite his support for the Palestinians he provided a strange definition of the occupation: "The Palestinans are under Israelīs control for the same reason that the tigers in London Zoo are not free."

Arthur Neslen also shows that there is a movement beyond Zion. Some Israelis are searching for a new identity for their country. "The diaspora clock, which Zionism tried to turn back to year zero, is ticking again." Whether or not Yaron Peīer represents other Israelis except himself may be doubtful. From Greek discent, he lives as a musician in Ras-as-Satan in the Sinai peninsula; he has a very interesting personality. For him, God does not belong to the people. He "is not Jewish". One loses oneīs richness, if "you talk about the Jewish God because itīs also the Muslim God and the Christian God. Through the one you can see the many." "In a certain way I feel more secure outside Israel. I think a big desaster is coming which will take Israel to the bottom of the bottom, a place where the father will finally understand that the one child he lost was also lost on the other side, and the one child that is left is very precious." An colorful mosaic of Israeli identity and a fascinating book on Israelīs multiplicity.

Review of: Khaled Hroub, Hamas. A Beginnerīs Guide
by Ludwig Watzal, 10.12.06

Khaled Hroub, Hamas. A Beginnerīs Guide, Pluto, London-Ann Arbor 2006, 170 pp, € 24.

Israel, the United States and the European Union call Hamas a "terrorist organisation". Yet Hamas swept to victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections and stunned the world. It is now a democratically elected political party. All the election observers agreed that the elections were free, fair, and democratic. The Palestinian people showed their ability to establish a second democratic state next to Israel. But two democracies and the EU did not like this idea of a democratic Palestinian state and the outcome of a democratic election. According to their opinion, the Palestinian people voted democratically, but for the wrong party. Perhaps the West should look for another people in Palestine who will vote according to their wishes, to paraphrase Bertolt Brecht. The Palestinians did not confirm the PLO elite which had always been accused by the US and Israel and some European states of being corrupt and irresponsible, and consequently they voted them out of office. An unprecedented and unique incident in the Arab world. It was an example of a peaceful "regime change", but not according to the neo-conservative model. The West should have been glad, but they decided to boycott a democratically elected government, because Hamas did not want to recognize Israel, renounce terror, and stick to the Road map. Along with it, the West has been violating its own values, convictions, and rhetoric. Western credibility suffered a great blow not only in the Arab and Islamic world. In the future, nobody in the Arab world will care for Western democratic rhetorics, especially when it comes from the US. The Bush administration has lost its credibility in this part of the world and the EU does its best to follow this disastrous path.

After the election of Hamas the book market boomed. The German political scientist Helga Baumgarten published a book on Hamas in German which is the only and the best publication in German. A totally different persepctive is presented by Matthew Levitt who works for an American think tank. He describes the Israeli scenarios of Hamas which the US government should follow. The foreword by Dennis Ross, the US envoy to the Middle East from 1988 to 2000, praises his view. Now one can understand that the US went so much astray in its approach not only towards Israel's occupation policy but also in respect to the raid of Iraq. Rossīs advice is that "policy makers would be well advised to shape their strategy with (the authorīs) prescriptions in mind." After this biased suggestion one can understand why the US totally failed in Iraq and the Middle East.

Khaled Hroub works as a director of the Arab Media Project at Cambridge University. He hosts a weekly book review programme for Al-Jazeera TV. In 2000 he already published a book on the political thought and practice of Hamas. Hroub is the best expert on this Islamic Movement and has deep insights in the organisation. He tells the story of the "real Hamas" and the "misperceived and distorted one". By "real Hamas" he means the reality of Hamas as it has been on the ground in all its aspects - debunking any reductionist approach. The book is structured chronologically and thematically starting with the origin of Hamas and closing with Hamas after the elections, the so-called new Hamas. The book follows a question and answer structure which makes it a good read with steps that can easily be comprehended. All realists of international relations in the West, who show some understanding of Hamas policy, usually are branded "terrorist sympathizers". Knowing that, Hroub makes his position clear: "My own perception of Hamas goes beyond the mere question of being with or against the movement. As a secular person myself, my aspiration is for Palestine, and all other Arab countries for that matter, to be governed by human-made laws. However, I see Hamas as a natural outcome of unnatural, brutal occupational conditions. The radicalism of Hamas should be seen as a completely predictable result of the ongoing Israeli colonial project in Palestine. Palestinian support whichever movement holds the banner of resistance against the occupation and promises to defend the Palestinian rights of freedom and self-determination. At this juncture of history, they see in Hamas the defender of those rights."

The brutality of the Israeli occupation really started with the outbreak of the first Intifada in December 1987. Before that, Israel pretended to exercise a "benign occupation" (Moshe Dayan). Nowadays, seeing the degree of the Israeli oppression, everybody can understand why Hamas exists and became the strongest party in Palestine. From the beginning of the Oslo process, which was called "peace process" by the West, Hamas never participated in the Oslo structure and opposed the agreements with the argument it would only serve Israeli interest. During this interim period "Israel did everything possible to worsen the life of Palestinians and enhance its colonial occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip." During this time the number of the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories doubled. A new infrastructure was created which partially is "for Jews only". Critics call these streets "Apartheid roads".

There has never been any sign that Hamas has engaged in "gobalized Jihad", writes Hroub. Hamas has remained "nationstate based, limiting its struggle to one for and within Palestine, and fighting not a local regime but a foreign occupier. This differentiation is important as it exposes the shallowness of the widespread (mostly Western) trivilizing conflation of all Islamist movements into one single īterrorist` category." Hamas has a political and a military wing. From the start there has been a discussion about which wing will predominate. The movement suppresses any implicit or explicit tension between the two. Only time will tell which wing will prevail. From a military perspective, Hamas adopted a controversial tactic of "suicide bombing". The first terrorist attack happened in 1994, in retaliation for a massacre of Palestians praying in Ibrahimi Mosque in the city of Hebron. The Israeli extremist Baruch Goldstein killed 29 worshippers. "Since then all and each Hamasīs vicious attacks against Israeli civilians have been directly linked to specific Israeli atrocities against Palestinians civilians." These suicide attacks have not only caused great damage to the reputation of both Hamas and the Palestinians worldwide, but also to Israeli citizens. These attacks are irresponsible, immoral, and unjustifiable. Hamas is an Islamic organisation, but it can hardly be said "that the Palestinian people voted for Hamas primarily on religious grounds". Hamas supported Christian candidates who won seats in the parliament and the organisation never exerted any pressure on other believers. Why is Hroub so uncritical concerning the terrorist attacks by Hamas, Al-Aqsa Brigade or the Islamic Jihad?

What Hroub writes about the significance of the Hamas charta does not fit into the Western perception of Hamas. He confirms that the charta from 1988 contains many "anti-Jewish" statements. But it is also true that years later "these statements are irrelevant to the present Hamas party, the Charta itself has become largely obsolete". The rhetorics of the charta and the language of the election programme "almost appear to discribe two completely different movements". Radical Western critics argue that Hamas is "anti-Semitic". One should bear in mind that "anti-Jewishness", which one comes accross in Palestinan and Arab societies, is not "based on religious, racial or cultural hatred, as in the western rubric īanti-Semitismī, writes Hroub. "The roots of any anti-Jewishness in the Arab society are entirely political, in response to aggression, and any other form of anti-Jewishness would be completely refuted from the perspective of Islamic theology. Military actions taken against īJewish` targets are taken against them as representatives of an illegal, aggressive occupier, and have nothing whatsoever to do with their creed, race or non-Islamic culture." The phrase "the destruction of Israel", which is often used by Western media when referring to Hamas's īultimate goal`, is in fact never used by Hamas, writes Hroub. Even in its most radical statements Hamas speaks of the "liberation of Palestine". In the obsolete charta there are statements that could be interpreted as referring to the destruction of Israel, the author reports. If that is true why does Hamas not get rid of the charta? Did not Arafat change the PLO charta when it was political opportune? Hroub should have been more critical here.

The book has ten chapters, starting with Hamasīs history, the movementīs ideology, strategy and objectives, Israel and Judaism, the resistance and military strategy, international Islamism, leadership and structure, the stance towards the West, the new Hamas et cetera. In question and answer sequences all the relevant questions are posed. The answers, which Hroub gives, will not be appreciated by the West, because they do not fit into the "terror image". The book presents such a differentiated picture of the organisation that it does not go along with the Western image of Hamas. For policy makers the book would be an asset if it was taken into consideration. Hroubīs book can be an eye-opener for all those with an open mind. It gives a sober analysis of Hamas and can only be adequately judged in the light of the Israeli occupation. The book is a must read for all policy makers who want to understand Hamas as a Middle Eastern player. Like Helga Baumgarten in her book on Hamas, Khaled Hroub hardly speaks about Hamas terror. Why? This would have made his views more authentic and the book more acceptable to his Western audience.

Review of: Jonathan Cook, Blood and Religion
by Ludwig Watzal (www.watzal.com) (16.09.2006)

Jonathan Cook, Blood and Religion. The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State, Pluto Press, London-Ann Arbor 2006, 222 Pages, € 22,50.

Writing about Israel is a most challenging task, because reporting the reality can get you into deep trouble. That is why Jonathan Cook, who lives as the only foreign correspondent in Nazareth, is very careful about the language he uses, for simple words show "where you stand in a debate". One wrong stammering and he will be accused of "anti-Semitism". "I have largely neglected non-Israeli and Arab sources, not because I doubt their credibility, but because they will be less convincing to those who seek to reject my argument." He exemplifies the absurdity and Orwellian talk about Israeli politics in respect to the "barrier" which is being built around the Palestinian people. If he used the word "wall", he would have been labelled pro-Palestinian. He could merely call it "fence", which is the Israeli word, or he could have used the anaemic concept "barrier". Perhaps German political visitors in cities like East-Jerusalem, Qualqilia, Tulkarem and Bethlehem do see a "fence" where there is an eight meter high wall with twelve meter high watchtowers. Or, if they indeed see a wall, they may still talk about a "fence".

Cook wrote a solid and a fair analysis of the situation of the Israeli Palestinians who are called "Arabs" in Israel. A broad spectrum of political initiatives by the Israeli government against its Arab citizens is unfolded in front of the readers, initiatives which are purely disciminatory or even racist to say the least.

"My general argument ... is that Israel is beginning a long, slow process of ethnic cleansing both of Palestinian non-citizens from parts of the occupied territories, which it has long coveted for its expanded Jewish state, and of Palestinian citizens from inside its internationally recognised border." Cook thinks that the Israelis are building their "Jewish fortress". Sharonīs famous disengagement plan was not originally his idea, its foundation was laid by his predecessors Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak, both members of the labour party.

The author presents an interesting idea: Israel is not only building an "iron wall" made of concrete, but also a "glass wall". This type of wall "is designed to intimidate and silence its capitve Palestinian population". Unlike the "iron wall" it "conceals the nature of the subjugation in such a way that it is seen as necessary, even benevolent". The "iron wall" is a metaphor: the phrase was coined by Zeev Jabotinsky, the revisionist Zionist who thought that the Arabs could only be controlled by military force, which meant by an "iron wall". Jabotinsky and other Zionist leaders like David Ben-Gurion never thought that the Arabs would ever make a compromise with the Zionists who took their land.

The Israeli Palestinians suffered from severe discrimination against them, from the foundation of Israel in 1948 on until May 1967. They could not move from village to village without a permit of the Israeli military. After the siege was lifted, the discriminatory policies continued until today. 1.3 Million Palestinians are second or even third class citizens. During a demonstration in October 2001 in Nazareth, 13 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli police. Twelve of these victims were citizens of Israel, the thirteenth a Gazan. This demonstration, which was held in solidarity with the brutally oppressed Palestinians in the occupied territories, was, in fact, the result of a silent discrimination against the Palestinian Israelis for decades. A commission of inquiry was introduced which was led by former supreme court judge Theodor Or. This commission shed some light on the foundation of the Jewish state.

The "glass wall" is not only a metaphor for the unseen discrimination against the Israeli Palestinians, it also served as a means to deceive the public. Judge Or "demanded that a glass partition be built between the public gallery, where the Palestinian families sat, and the rest of the courtroom. ... On the TV news and on newspaper photographs, however, it looked as if all the participants to the inquiry were sitting in the same room. The inquiry appeared to be treating all the parties equally when in reality its Arab participants were outsiders, excluded and largely ignored." This "very Israeli solution" provides Cook with an image for the plight of Palestinian Israelis (amazingly, he consistently uses the unpopular term "Israeli Arabs"), and this in a self-proclaimed "democratic and Jewish state". The glass wall is "an even greater obstacle to a Middle East peace than its walls of concrete and steel". The author analyses the political basis for probable future consequences of this discimination. According to Cook, most Israelis feel uncomfortable with the idea that Israel only is a "Jewish" state; it sounds a little too much like an Afrikaner state or a Catholic state. Thus, "democratic" was added as a kind of public denial that Israel is an ethnic or religious state. The Jewish and democratic idea is crucially important to Israelis, says Cook.

With a lengthy introduction, four chapters, and a very interesting conclusion, the author devotes about a third of his book to recounting Israel's short and horrible history as a sustained struggle against "the demographic demon". Cook conveys the impression that the Israeli political elite is obsessed with the demographic issue. Even the so-called new historian Benny Morris turned into an ardent Zionist again in the light of the second Intifada and the demographic "threat". In the minds of the ruling class the given discrepancy in the birth-rates of Jews and Arabs in the long run bears the danger that the growing number of Israeli Palestinians could become so powerful that they could overthrow the anti-democratic Law of Return from 1950, or force a re-definition of Israel as "a state of all its citizens" - a condition that goes without saying in a normal democracy. In Israel, however, this phrase was coined by Azmi Bishara, a member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. Transforming this demand into political reality means that Israel with its current system would be terminated. "Israeli Jews, aware that a detailed explanation of their reasons for rejecting a state of all its citizens might hint at a racist logic at the heart of the `Jewish and democratic` project, have ramained coy about engaging directely in such dabates. A state of all its citizens is dismissed, mystifyingly to outsiders, as a 'threat to Israelīs existence', 'incitement' or even as part of the 'ideology of terror'. One must read between the lines, decoding what is meant when Israelis deploy these terms." The Israeli Palestinians are seen as the "Fifth column".

Israel's defenders worldwide have tied themselves up in explaining how an "ethnic democracy" can still "operate within the parameters of democratic behaviour". The shame is that so many supporters of Israel have been satisfied with such a contortion. How can it be explained that the Israeli political geographer Oren Yiftachel from Ben-Gurion University defined Israel as an "ethnocracy", being "neither authoritarian nor democratic... Ethnocracies, despite exhibiting several democratic features, lack a democratic structure"? Cook stresses the consensus between secular and religious Jews in Israel: "It will be around the principle that the Other, the enemy, is the Arab". The Palestinian Israeli is the "unwelcome guest, the intruder, the saboteur, the terrorist. And therefore he must be the one to leave, or made to leave." On September 11th, 2006, the Israeli daily Haīaretz reported that Knesset member Effi Eitam, a former "tourist minister" under Ariel Sharon, asked for the expulsion of the great majority of Palestinains in the West Bank, "and that Arabs should be ousted from Israeli politics as a fifth column and 'a league of traitors'". These remarks were broadcast on the same day when the army radio transmitted a speach which Eitam made on a Sunday at a memorial service for a soldier killed in Lebanon. "We will have to expel the great majority of the Arabs of Judea and Samaria", said Eitam. And about the Israeli Palestinians he stated: "We will have to make another decision, and that is to sweep the Israeli Arabs from the political system. Here, too, the issue is clear and simple. We have raised a fifth column, a league of traitors of the first rank. Therefore, we cannot continue to enable so large and so hostile a presence within the political system of Israel."

Jonathan Cook wrote a well-documented book on the democratically institutionalised injustice of Israel that the West permanently ignores. The image of the "beautiful Israel" which so many Western liberals are trying to sell to the public in the United States and Western Europe, is a fata morgana, and for the Israeli Palestinians it is a nightmare. The outcome will be gloomy: A "pure state. Their Jewish fortress." The findings are very impressive and yet not surprising. It is a must read.

Jonathan Cook's Website: www.jonathan-cook.net

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