Zionism, - a modem political creed, grew in close association with three interacting major forces which exercised a profound influence on the character and nature of the Zionist movement, resulting in three basic qualities characterizing this movement, namely: settler colonialism, expansionism and racism.
The first of these three major forces was the growth, in the nineteenth century, of European colonialism and imperialism and the expansion of the colonial settler regimes.
The alliance made between Zionism and European colonialism is clearly attested to by both sides, identifying reciprocal benefits in the alliance. Herzl, in his Der Judenstat, expressed clearly both the racist nature of Zionism, as well as its role as a settler colonial outpost:
"We should, there, form a portion of the rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism. We should, as a neutral state, remain in contact with all Europe, which would have to guarantee our existence."1Secondly, Zionism gathered strength as a minority Jewish movement subjected to political and social persecution in Europe. A theopolitical ideology was its cornerstone. The theopolitical aspects of the Zionist ideology have many facets. One of these centred on the Jews being an exclusive people chosen by their God to fulfil a special destiny. This was manifested not only by Zionist opposition to assimilation, thus binding Zionism in alliance with antisemitism, but also by stipulating a privileged existence. Rabbi Elmer Eager states:
"There has never been an organized Zionist effort designed to fight for equal rights for Jews in any nation of the world. The Zionist answer always, everywhere, is privileged national right, for all Jews in their 'homeland'" 2
Ahad Ha'am, a spiritual Zionist spoke of a Jewish 'supernation': "The nation of Israel as a supernation - the modern version of the chosen people - can in this way be expanded into a true system." 4
The second aspect of this theopolitical ideology is that the European Jews of today are the heirs to the divine covenant, including ownership of the Land of Canaan (Palestine).
The third circumstance stemmed from a fact on the soil of Palestine. The Zionist movement soon came to realize the falsehood of its own slogan, as Israel Zangwill put it, "The land without a people for a people without a land."5 It was soon to discover the reality of an overwhelming indigenous Arab majority, deeply rooted in the land. This confrontation with a possible moral and ethical dilemma was evaded. The Zionist leaders, and their earliest Zionist writings, ignored the Arab issue. What reference they made to the Palestinians was generally patronizing and derogatory. Their identity was ignored and their rights were denied. The dehumanized image that the Zionists created for the Palestinians, was their escape mechanism from facing the moral issue and was ultimately instrumental in their manifest racist and discriminatory practices against the Palestinians.
It is the interaction of these three major forces that is responsible for the dominant characteristics of political Zionism namely settler colonialism, expansionism and racism.
It is the expansionist nature of Zionism that I want to deal with here in more detail. In their expansionist drive, the Zionists spoke of a 'historic right' to the land of Israel (Eretz Israel) based on a divine promise affirming an eternal entitlement. The validity of this entitlement to Palestine, on Biblical grounds, is central to the Zionist ideology.
The centrality of the Biblical content of legends, narratives and myths is recognised by all Zionists, whether they are religious, secular or agnostic. This concept formulates the interdependence of religion and nationalism to the Jews, as preached by Moses Hess, one of the fathers of the Zionist movement, who maintained that "Jewish religion was above all Jewish nationalism."6 Ben Gurion says the Bible is the "sacrosanct title-deed to Palestine."7 The relevance and importance of the Bible, in the understanding and assessment of Zionist theory and action, becomes more evident when we realise how the Zionists treat this Biblical "title deed as final and irrevocable. >From this the conclusion is drawn that to deny the "historic right" of the Jews to Palestine is simply blasphemous and a challenge to the scriptures. This argument has been effectively used to gain the support for Zionism from Christians, especially those for whom the Old Testament remains a major reference.
The adherence to the exclusive historic right of the Jews to "Eretz Israel", as defined in the Bible, is not, by any means, a monopoly of the extremists amongst the Zionists. Even the so-called liberals or doves amongst the Zionists, like Arie Eliav, who speaks of the rights of the Arabs in Israel, remain dedicated to the biblical territorial definition of the Jewish State:
"In stating (that the Arabs also have rights), I do not negate or detract one whit from the full historical rights of the Jews to the undivided land of Israel -that is the land of the Twelve Tribes."8As to the question of land and right of ownership, the territorial element offers little ambiguity in the Zionist ideology, though the question, "who is a Jew?" may be open to argument in biblical terms. It is on this biblical basis, and little else, that the Zionists rest their claim to the land of Palestine. Rabbi Nissim, Chief Rabbi of Israel, stated in 1968:
"The Land of Israel was, with its borders, defined for us by Divine Providence. Thou shalt be, says the Almighty, and there it is; no power on earth can alter that which was created by Him. In this connection it is not a question of law or logic; neither is it a matter of human treatment or that sort of thing." 9As to the geographical extent of the "Promised Land", the Bible offers varying definitions including "from Dan to Beersheba",10 "from the desert to the sea"10 and more frequently "from the Euphrates to the Nile".11 "From Dan to Beersheba" corresponds roughly to the boundaries of Palestine, as we know it. The Promised Land, however, as outlined in Deuteronomy, is more extensive and is clearly prescribed by direct orders from Yahweh:
"The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb and said, 'You have stayed on this mountain long enough; go now, make for the hill country of the Amorites, and pass on to all their neighbors in the Negeb, and on the coast, in short, all Canaan and the Lebanon as far as the great River, the Euphrates. I have laid the land open before you; the land which the Lord swore to give to your forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and to their descendants after them " [Deut. 1:6-8].
Let us now look at how the Zionists have, interpreted this biblical 'deed of title' and proceeded to effect it. Herzl wrote in his diaries: -
"The northern frontier is to be the mountains facing Cappadocia (Asia Minor), the southern, the Suez Canal. Our slogan shall be: 'The Palestine of David and Solomon'."12Though this may seem a liberal interpretation even of the biblical text, it is significant in that it illustrates how expansionist Zionism may, ultimately, explain away the occupation of the entire area of Syria and Lebanon, if not beyond.
The World Zionist Organization submitted, to the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919, its official plan and map for the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine:
"The boundaries of Palestine shall follow the general lines set out below:
In the south a frontier to be agreed upon with the Egyptian Government.
In the west the Mediterranean Sea.
The details of the delimitations, or any necessary adjustments of detail, shall be settled by a special commission on which there shall be Jewish representation"13 These boundaries are of particular interest both in relation to the rationalization that accompanied them and to the created facts since then. Those who understand the real nature of Zionism will have seen easily through the Zionist cynicism in ascribing the occupation of the Golan Heights, in 1967, to Syrian shelling of Israeli settlements around lake Tiberias and the occupation of Southern Lebanon to Palestinian "terrorism" in 1978. Needless to say that neither of these pretexts existed in 1919 when the Zionists were already planning this takeover.
In 1948 Ben Gurion wrote in his diary (21 May 1948):-
"The Achilles heel of the Arab coalition is the Lebanon. Muslim supremacy in this country is artificial and can easily be overthrown. A Christian State ought to be set up there, with its southern frontier on the river Litani. We would sign a treaty of alliance with this state. Thus when we have broken the strength of the Arab Legion and bombed Amman, we could wipe out Transjordan; after that Syria would fall. And if Egypt still dared to make war on us, we would bomb Port Said, Alexandria and Cairo. We should thus end the war and would have put paid to Egypt, Assyria and Chaldea on behalf of our ancestors." 14This too gives us a clear picture of the inherent expansionist nature of Zionism, besides the arrogance and the cynical alleged brotherly love that the Zionists portray today towards the Falangists and their allies in Lebanon.
On 14 May 1948, when Ben Gurion declared the creation of the State of Israel, he refused to define its borders and compared this to the refusal of the original 13 American states to define the U.S. borders and its subsequent expansion to 50 states from the Atlantic to the Pacific.15 In 1952 he stated that the state "has been resurrected in the western part of the land of Israel."16 He said more explicitly - "We have set up a dynamic state bent upon expansion."17 Moshe Dayan, as Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, said on the Israeli radio on 12 February 1952,
We have seen clearly how the biblical promises were formulated as a basic unalterable principle in Zionist policy adhered to by all Zionist leaders, regardless of their supposed political differences, whether they be 'hawks' or 'doves', which is another mythical notion. This biblical territoriality becomes so absolute that it makes it obvious how misguided the Arab leaders can be, who expect to negotiate an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, the West Bank or, of all places, Jerusalem. The territoriality also has precedence over political, economic and strategic considerations. This does not mean that these considerations need necessarily be divorced from each other.
The economic factor has to be taken into consideration when one considers that, to the Zionists, the creation of the State of Israel was meant as a solution for "The Jewish Question" and to provide a home for all the "Jewish People", as their terminology specifies. This is, of course, part and parcel of the use of the biblical term Aliya, for a process of immigration and colonization, and the 'Law of Return' providing automatic citizenship to any Jew arriving in Israel. These considerations, if for no other reason but an economic one, make an expansionist policy an inherent component in the Zionist doctrine. Dr. Hisrael Eldad, a Zionist historian writes:-
"Israel belongs to 4 million Russian Jews, despite the fact that they were not born here. It is the land of 9 million other Jews throughout the world, even if they have no present plans to live in it."21Dayan provides the economic answer and the territorial requirement for these millions to whom an open invitation to the Middle East remains outstanding: -
As to the Lebanese dimension of this expansionist objective, we have seen the biblical context, as well as the World Zionist Organization's Plan in 1919, and the statements of Herzl, Ben Gurion and Dayan and finally the occupying forces of Begin and Ezer Weizman all clearly directed at the Litani River. In 1953 the Israeli Government appointed an American consultant, Walter Lowdermilk, to draw plans for the utilization of the Litani waters. The plans which were drawn included a diversion tunnel to be blasted and dug to the nearby Israel border, through the Marj River flowing past the Israeli town of Metullah and bringing the Litani waters into the lake Hula water system.24 With these plans in mind one can understand the significance of Israel Radio statements on March 21, 1978, while the invasion of Southern Lebanon was still going on, that Israelis in Metullah held old title deeds to land in Marjayoun area. We, of course, remember the 1919 Zionist plan for the future Jewish State and its accompanying memorandum which specified that all "water sources on the flank of Mount Hermon should be secured for the Jewish State."13
The water resources of this part of the Arab World have always been eyed greedily by the Zionist leaders. Abba Eban on May 7, 1951, while denying Israeli designs on the Euphrates and the Nile Rivers asserted: "On the other hand, Israel should be concerned with the Jordan and its sources."24 We saw how this 'concern' ultimately led to the 1967 war, to finalize all Arab plans to counter Israeli diversion of the Jordan River headwaters to the Negev, as it led to the 1978 invasion of Southern Lebanon.
Following the 1967 war, Moshe Dayan expressed partial satisfaction at the territorial rewards of the war and complained that the war had given Israel "provisionally satisfying frontiers with the exception of those in Lebanon."24 Frequent writings in Israeli newspapers and technical journals speaking of increasing salinity of the Sea of Galilea and the dropping of the water table in northern Israel must be viewed in a proper light. The 1978 war of invasion on Southern Lebanon was obviously to amend these 'discrepancies' and to provide after the annexation of Southern Lebanon, these "provisionally satisfying frontiers". Particular note should be made of the "provisional" qualification, which is clearly intended here, and obviously refers to the not too-well concealed Zionist expansionist aims across the Jordan River. Israel's continuing control of Southern Lebanon, directly or indirectly, through its separatist clients represented by Major Haddad and his "Free Lebanon State", is merely a fulfilment of this expansionist objective and a satisfaction of the Dayan "exception."
Throughout the past decades, the Zionists have continued to talk effusively about peace with the Arabs, while continuing un-haltingly their expansionist drive. Many, in the West and in the Arab World as well, have misguidedly mistaken this talk of peace to mean more than a deceptive mirage. Some highly intelligent and sincere Arabs have naively spoken of: "had we accepted the 1947 Partition Scheme or this or that compromise we would have had this or the other.. ." They are, through lack of understanding of the true nature of Zionism, simply falling in the trap of forgetting the provisional qualification that the Zionists intend for that scheme, or a variety of other proposals that they have accepted, since the Balfour Declaration, as merely "provisional" and only as steps in the right direction. Even the extraordinary steps taken by President Sadat, including his incredible visit to Jerusalem, his recognition of the Zionist state and Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital, the acceptance of the Camp David Accords and the signing of the Peace Treaty have not modified or slowed the Zionist expansionist drive in the continuing creation of settlements on expropriated Arab land in the West Bank and Gaza. On the very day of Sadat's arrival in Jerusalem, the Zionists were fencing off land in Nebi Saleh village, near Ramallah. On the 3rd of June 1979, while Dayan was arriving in Cairo to negotiate the normalization of Egypt's relations with Israel and the negotiation of the so-called autonomy for the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza, on that very day the Israeli cabinet approved the creation of a new settlement, on Arab land, near Nablus.
The question of the negotiations of this so-called autonomy, in accordance with the Camp David Agreement, is of interest in relation to the unmistakable expansionist objective, carefully planned and achieved in the Camp David Agreement. Extraordinarily, these negotiations are to take place between Israel and Egypt (Jordan, not previously consulted, rejects this devious manoeuvre) and exclude the Palestinians, the very people whose fate these negotiations are supposed to determine. The very authority and responsibilities of this Authority are to be defined by those negotiators, each of whom has full veto-power. Inasmuch as Israel is the party in control of the West Bank and Gaza such a veto-power simply means that Israel alone has the decisive veto over the outcome of the negotiations. For lack of agreement, on any proposal, will simply mean the perpetuation of the status quo.
This is precisely how the Israeli leaders perceived the implications of the Camp David Framework and why they agreed to it. In an exclusive interview with Time Magazine, Begin declared:
(If) there is agreement between the parties negotiating - then everybody will rejoice that there is an agreement. And if there is no agreement, the (present) arrangement...will continue. So in either case nothing wrong can happen. Therefore I am optimistic about the future. 25Dayan spoke in a similar vein, in a statement on Israel's television service on 20 September 1978:
"Let us say that Jordan demands that we remove the settlement or that we split up Jerusalem or that we hand over East Jerusalem to its sovereignty, and if Israel does not want to, then it will not do so...Then, one of two things: either Jordan will agree to give up this demand, or we will not sign a peace agreement with it. If we do not sign a peace agreement with it, the situation now prevailing will continue...
Begin's insistent reference to the West Bank as "Judea and Samaria" is clearly understood by all in its expansionist objective. However, another equally perfidious reference has escaped attention. He spoke arrogantly, as he had done many times before, on Canadian television (November 11, 1978) of his willingness to invite King Hussein to Jerusalem, to negotiate peace, or his readiness to visit himself Rabbath Ammon, meaning Amman, this the very capital of Jordan.28 The expansionist significance of this offensive usage should not escape us.
We have looked clearly at the theory and practice of unmistakable Zionist territorial expansionism in the Arab world, but there is another aspect to Zionist expansionism and that is a socioeconomic one. Zionist planners demand, besides the territory, a "reasonable and normal peace" and not merely an end of the state of belligerency. Golda Meir's definition of the peace she wanted was when she could get into her car in Tel Aviv and drive to Cairo to do her shopping Her colleagues are now doing just that. However, the more articulate Abba Eban spoke of "a regional partnership". This will be based on a dynamic Israeli expanding industrial economy producing for and investing in Arab markets. This will provide an outlet for the tens of thousands of Israel's skilled professionals and top managerials, of European origin, collecting them from Europe and America to 'manage' the Middle East, as it will provide cheap unskilled Arab labour, for Israel's factories and the cleaning of her streets, as alluded to by Herzl when he prescribed the Arabs' role as:
"The hewers of wood and drawers of water."Sadly, King Hassan of Morocco saw an identical view of the future Middle East, as the Zionists did, when he told a French journalist, in November 1917, that he was looking forward to see the day when "Jewish genius and Arab resources could work together for the benefit of mankind."
Abba Eban suggests the following perspective:
"If you imagine railway communications running from Haifa to Beirut, Damascus and Istanbul in the north, to Amman and beyond in the east and traffic resumed on the Haifa-Cairo line, you can see at once that trade and commerce of the area, as well as its cultural interchange, would be strengthened beyond measure. Similarly, resumption and expansion of road communications between Cairo, Jerusalem and Beirut and between Haifa and Baghdad would stimulate the life and commerce of the Middle East above any level so far attained.
This is in a nutshell, the realization of the Israeli empire. The Americans see this in a similar light. Eugene Rostow observed in 1968: - The Arabs "could have no better partners than the Israelis, their ancient cousins. This state of affairs is referred to by U.S. policy makers as "Regional Stability," which fundamentally means the preservation of dominant American interests in the exploitation of Arab oil and resources and the preservation of those regimes that acquiesce to this mode of operation. Kissinger was the major architect in laying the foundation of this structure and President Carter, in his erratic way, is adding on the bricks.
What appears extraordinarily peculiar, to the observer of the Middle East scene, is that most Arab leaders appear unaware of this carefully manipulated scheme. The Arab leaders and elite cannot, or will not, comprehend that a Zionist presence in their midst is the greatest threat that has ever faced the area in its entire history, exceeding by far that of the Crusaders.
The Arab states, and this includes some of those who call themselves "radical", speak of realism and describe themselves as realists. By this they mean they are unwilling to mobilize their population and resources for the sacrifices that a determined and protracted struggle against Zionism calls for, for fear that this may threaten their own privileges or rule. This reluctance makes them inevitable partners and allies to a U.S.-structured and manoeuvred "solution", in favour of what is called "regional stability" and the preservation of Zionism on this land.
Until recently it was pride, and not acumen or sound judgment, that has spared Arab leadership and their peoples the humiliation of an Israeli-imposed peace. Even that pride has vanished, since the so-called Victorious October war of 1978 and its crowning by the incredible, if not preposterous, 'sacred visit' of Sadat to the Knesset in Jerusalem on 19 November 1977. Since 1978 Arab leaders and spokesmen have increasingly practiced a bizarre form of double talk. "Israel must withdraw from all occupied Arab territory," we are told, as if Acre and Jaffa are either not Arab or not occupied. "The legitimate rights of the Palestinian people must be guaranteed," it is often repeated parrot-like, as if the Palestinian people have some "legitimate" and other "illegitimate" rights. As to speaking of "just peace" with the Zionist state, this is the highest form of duplicity and fraudulence. What justice and what peace is this between the robber and the robbed?!
The Sadat Knesset visit and the Camp David Agreements are the outcome of the effective brainwashing operation that our people have been deliberately subjected to. The operation dates back, at least, to the acceptance of the U.N. 242 Resolution in 1967, the 1970 Rogers' Plan, the Kissinger Disengagement Agreements, the First and Second Sinai Pacts in 1974 and 1975, and the acceptance of the Geneva Conference. Every step on this slippery path led to more concessions and ultimate capitulation, to convince our people that Israel is a "reality" and is "here to stay" and that our people have no power to change this reality. This is a LIE. Our people HAVE the power, if they only have the FAITH, to obliterate this so-called reality, remove this alien ideology from our land and free our holy city, Bait Al-Maqdis.
The Arab elite today desperately
craves a settlement, in any form, because they lack the confidence in themselves
and their peoples and have no comprehension of a historical depth to conceive
a viable alternative solution, other than capitulation to this highly sophisticated
racist and expansionist Zionist movement. This alien ideology is presenting
the Arab and Muslim people with a menacing threat challenging our faith
and values and creating a foreign intrusive wedge in the heart of our land.
The challenge MUST be met or we shall go down in history books as a forgotten