Politics of An Israeli Extermination Campaign
Backers, Apologists and Arms Suppliers
By James Petras
Information Clearinghouse, January 02, 2009
-- 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 officials.
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 quoted saying, "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 puppet Abbas. 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 ghetto.
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 Palestinian Authority 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
Israeli policy. 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 of Israel.
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: (1) Israel can commit what leading United Nations and international human rights experts have defined as 'crimes against humanity' with total impunity; (2) 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 Congressional restrictions and (3) 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 representative.
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 Israel. 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 into submission. 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
The 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 towns.
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 configuration. TDA systematically worked to achieve the following:
1. 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).
2. 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 auxiliary agencies.
3. 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 Israel's brutality.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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 people. 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
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
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 into submission. 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
1. 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.
2. 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 of extermination.
3. 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
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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
8. 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 Israel. 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
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 Joseph Stalin: How many bombers, missiles, fighter planes and powerful lobbies do they (the outraged people of the world) have?
James Petras is the author of Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power, Clarity Press 2008.