Sharon is surrounded by a coterie of “advisors”
who step in to develop, perfect and sell plans for
the continued and inexorable dispossession of the
Palestinians. What is surprising is that these advisors,
the intellectual progenitors of continuing mass
crimes, are an outspoken bunch; they don't shy away
from revealing their latest fiendish plans or their
true intent. There is no need for conspiracy theories;
their intent and plans are out in the open. Despite
lame denials by the Israeli government or their
media surrogates, the public pronouncements of these
latter day Dr. Strangeloves reveal the plans they
have in store for the Palestinians, Iraqis, and
for that matter, the United States. It is therefore
instructive to analyze their latest statements.
the past few years, Dov Weisglass has been frequently
in touch with Condoleezza Rice, the next Secretary
of State, and they are even on an affectionate first
name basis. Condi calls him “Dovi”, and it would
be rather quaint were it not for the issues they
must have discussed. Furthermore, Dovi is doing
the thinking for Sharon these days, and so, Dovi’s
public pronouncements assume canonical status.
Oct. 6, 2004, Ari Shavit interviewed Dov Weisglass
for Haaretz . Any article by Shavit, “a loyal mouthpiece
of any leader in power”, should alert one that these were not meant
to be ordinary ruminations by a key political advisor.
In fact, Dovi’s revelations were shocking because
they exposed the pretense that the US still supported
the “road map”, or realize Bush’s “vision” of a
Palestinians state. Dovi’s brutal pronouncements
made it clear that there was no longer any prospect
for a negotiated solution.
significance of our disengagement plan is the freezing
of the peace process. It supplies the formaldehyde
necessary so there is no political process with
– Ha’aretz, Oct. 6, 2004.
apt use of “formaldehyde”, the morticians' essential
fluid, was revelatory. While morticians are concerned
with masking the unpleasant sight of death, Dovi,
a grand mortician, seeks to push a stake through
the heart of the already dead negotiations. He continues:
significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing
of the peace process. And when you freeze that process,
you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state,
and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the
borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package
called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails,
has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And
all this with authority and permission. All with
a presidential blessing and the ratification of
both houses of Congress."
"What I effectively agreed to with the Americans
[in talks leading to Bush’s endorsement of disengagement]
was that part of the settlements would not be dealt
with at all, and the rest will not be dealt with
until the Palestinians turn into Finns."
– Haaretz, Oct. 6, 2004.
in case the previous shocking statement was not
blatant enough, Dovi spells it out clearly for an
American audience – always a bit interpretation-challenged.
With US official connivance, the Israelis are blocking
meaningful negotiations indefinitely.
further context is necessary to understand these
statements. The Haaretz interview was published
about a month before the US elections, a date that
ranks in the Israeli calendar as super Xmas. While
during other election years Israeli politicians
would be busy drawing up wish lists of goodies like
F16s, loan guarantees, loan forgiveness, this year
with the Americans fighting Israel’s war in Iraq,
such demands would be construed as a bit too crass.
This year Dovi had only one item on his list: he
wanted US agreement to terminate negotiations forever
. By making such a radical demand, Dovi was
daring any US politician to object in the middle
of an election campaign, and of course, no US politician
did. Yet again, the failure of the US government
to protest indicated that it would neither confront
Israel nor encourage negotiations. So much for the
self-designated “honest broker” label.
must also remember the April 14, 2004 Washington
meeting where Bush blessed Israel’s so-called disengagement
plan. Prior to his departure to Washington, Sharon
waited on the airport tarmac in Tel Aviv until a
deal could be struck on his terms. Surely during
this unnerving wait Dovi must have been talking
to Condi. Within an hour the US government capitulated
giving Sharon everything on his wish list, i.e.,
anointing the “disengagement plan”. So, what more
would they want? Dovi’s revealing statements provide
the answer: embalming the negotiations with the
Palestinians, implying that annexation of the West
Bank could continue apace, the construction of the
wall would continue, and the creation of two Bantustan-prisons
would be unilaterally imposed. When on May 19, 2004
an AIPAC audience applauded president Bush’s statement
about his vision for a “viable Palestinian state”,
this revealed exactly what is intended: an open
air concentration camp will be imposed .
statements and their implicit endorsement by the
US will create a few public relations complications.
For years, Israel refused to enter into negotiations
because supposedly there was “no one to negotiate
with”. Now, after Dovi’s revelations we know that
no matter who represents the Palestinians, the Israelis
will sabotage negotiations. In the past, they played
along with the “road map” charade, especially if
such a gambit would force the Palestine “Authority”
to repress its own people, but now even this pretense
will be dispensed with. Arafat could now be dispensed
with too; and he proved to have had a timely death.
All the appearances and US assurances that the Quartet
“road map” negotiations would culminate in a Palestinian
state were clearly undermined. The US will once
again bear some consequences for this, but never
Soffer, a professor of geography/demography at Haifa
University, is another of Sharon’s advisors, advisor
to the army’s top brass, and is reputed to be the
“intellectual father of the disengagement plan”.
In addition, Soffer is also known as a demographic
prophet and someone who considers that the “Palestinian
womb is a biological weapon”. Taking as much land
with as few Palestinians has been a key preoccupation
of demographers in Israel and those drawing the
path of the wall. This means that a recent Jerusalem
Post interview with Soffer is of particular
importance. Soffer provided some brutal and revealing
Blum: How will the region look the day after unilateral
Arnon Soffer: The Palestinians will bombard
us with artillery fire – and we will have to retaliate.
But at least the war will be at the fence – not
in kindergartens in Tel Aviv and Haifa.
RB: Will Israel be prepared to fight this war?
AS: First of all, the fence is not built
like the Berlin Wall. It’s a fence that we will
be guarding on either side. Instead of entering
Gaza, the way we did last week, we will tell the
Palestinians that if a single missile is fired over
the fence, we will fire 10 in response. And women
and children will be killed, and houses will be
destroyed. After the fifth such incident, Palestinian
mothers won't allow their husbands to shoot Kassams,
because they will know what’s waiting for them.
Second of all, when 2.5 million people live in a
closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe.
Those people will become even bigger animals than
they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist
Islam. The pressure at the border will be awful.
It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want
to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and
kill. All day, every day.
RB: While CNN has its cameras at the wall?
AS: If we don't kill, we will cease to exist.
The only thing that concerns me is how to ensure
that the boys and men who are going to have to do
the killing will be able to return home to their
families and be normal human beings.
RB: What will the end result of all this killing
AS: The Palestinians will be forced to realize
that demography is no longer significant, because
we're here and they're there. And then they will
begin to ask for “conflict management” talks – not
that dirty word “peace.” Peace is a word for believers,
and I have no tolerance for believers – neither
those who wear yarmulkes nor those who pray to the
God of peace. […] Both are dangerous.
Unilateral separation doesn't guarantee “peace”
– it guarantees a Zionist-Jewish state with an overwhelming
majority of Jews; it guarantees the kind of safety
that will return tourists to the country; and it
guarantees one other important thing. Between 1948
and 1967, the fence was a fence, and 400,000 people
left the West Bank voluntarily. This is what will
happen after separation. If a Palestinian cannot
come into Tel Aviv for work, he will look in Iraq,
or Kuwait, or London. I believe that there will
be movement out of the area.
would be difficult to find a clearer exposition
of what the Palestinians can expect, and what type
of society Israel will become. It also becomes clear
why Dovi was so determined to remove any prospect
of negotiations, i.e., he sought to forestall any
externally imposed solution. He knew that any intervention
by a World Court or any assertion of the Palestinian
right not to be expelled would interfere with Soffer’s
plans. Besides, “peace” is for the moist-eyed liberals,
and not for hard-nosed realists.
nach East 
plans are not confined within the borders of Israel
and the occupied territories, but they extend broadly
into the region. Strong Arab nations operating with
a unified voice would be able to stand up to Israel.
In the Zionist calculus, to avoid the possibility
of resistance, the countries in the region have
to be brought to their knees, and included in an
Israeli controlled sphere of influence. In this
scenario, countries with large armies and with a
potential to interfere have to be demolished. Arab
nationalists who seek to forge unity or to develop
the area have to be undermined, and in their place,
atavistic Islamic religious forces have to be fostered.
Weaken, divide and rule. Does this sound far-fetched?
One only has to read Oded Yinon’s ruminations :
rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn
on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s
targets. Its dissolution is even more important
for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than
Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which
constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian
war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall
at home even before it is able to organize a struggle
on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab
confrontation will assist us in the short run and
will shorten the way to the more important aim of
breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria
and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces
along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during
Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states
will exist around the three major cities: Basra,
Baghdad and Mosul, and Shiite areas in the south
will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north.
Yinon was formerly a senior Israeli Foreign Affairs
Ministry official. Although not currently one of
Sharon’s advisors, his comments made in 1982 have
a prescient ring to them. One can find recent expositions
of the same plan, and all indicate that the United
States is currently fighting Israel’s wars. Creating
an Israeli sphere of influence in the area is emerging
as a key motive behind the latest US-Iraq war .
of the carnivores
year a conference in Herzliya attracts Israeli state
planners, think-tankers, and cheerleaders. It is
a jamboree for the carnivores; Zionists of a vegetarian
stripe need not apply. Here, plans are made on how
Palestinians can be further dispossessed, how to
handle the propaganda, or reveal the latest sadistic
fantasy. Plans for the entire region are also proposed
and discussed. Out in the open one can hear what
the likes of Soffer, Dovi and Yinon are currently
proposing. Of course, these plans are not presented
in “Western” media; here one will continue hearing
about Israel’s peaceful intent, and the “only democracy
in the Middle East”.
present in Herzliya are wannabe advisors, and the
only way for them to be noticed is to present ever
more extreme plans. There is a dynamic among these
operators to propose plans that veer ever more to
the right. Whereas the likes of Soffer would have
seemed extreme twenty years ago, now his position
is centrist. Today’s extremists may become the common
ground in a few years time.
Ivy League Apologist
of the attendees at the 2003 Herzliya conference
was Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard Law School professor
and legal contortionist extraordinaire. He has a
bit of a misplaced liberal reputation since he is
keen to justify torture, compulsory ID cards, and
overturning international law. Dershowitz is always
eager to dispense advice, and it is of interest
to listen to his ruminations at the conference.
have a joint project between Israel and the US,
which lawyers must lead. Our project is to propose
new rules of international law. Israelis are obliged
to follow the rules of law in the democracy called
Israel, as I am within the US. Your moral obligation
to comply with international law is voluntary. You
are not represented in the making or implementing
of those laws. International law lives or dies by
its credibility, not by the democracy by which it
has been constructed. I am suggesting the change
of the rule of law. Democracy should not have to
justify its actions and show how the rule of human
rights has become a weapon in promoting human wrongs…
You are the lab for that process. You are contributing
greatly. Do not allow the world to bully you into
believing that you are the human rights violators…"
– Alan Dershowitz, Dec. 2003. 
implement plans like those advocated by Soffer requires
perpetrating crimes against humanity, and this obviously
clashes with international law. The legal profession
in Israel has long justified Israel’s actions by
contorted arguments as those made by Dershowitz
. Israeli lawyers have always been selective
on which laws apply to it, and of course, the core
humanitarian law has been excluded. Furthermore,
it will use bits of law that are useful for its
purposes, e.g., British Mandate period military
law, or Jordanian law, and if all else fails specific
military orders are passed . The veneer of legality is kept, but, as
the recent International Court of Justice ruling
pertaining to the wall indicates, it is increasingly
difficult for them to cover up the mass crimes that
the Zionist project requires. Dershowitz recommendation:
don't worry about it and ignore international law.
The same argument will be made for US actions in
the war in Iraq, the torture of Guantanamo and Abu
Ghraib prisoners, the US military deaths squads,
the use of depleted uranium munitions, etc.
consequences of the Zionist project are stark and
they are clear for all involved. The Palestinians
are at the receiving end of a genocidal plan. Of
course, any act of resistance will elicit hollers
about “terrorism”, and they can expect to be blamed
for the cruelty dispensed to them by the Israelis.
Negotiations will amount to “conflict management”
between military rulers and Palestinian collaborators.
must decide if they want to become a nation of prison
wardens, a fate that awaits them, their children,
and their grandchildren. A permanent state of simmering
war is very costly, and is only tenable thanks to
America’s largesse and diplomatic cover. The Zionist
project also entails interfering in all the countries
in the area. This project raises further questions
about what type of society it wants to become, and
whether the US will continue supporting them. Israel
cannot escape the consequences of a fundamentally
unjust system; while this persists there will be
continued strife, and all aspects of its society
will be grotesquely distorted .
costs for the United States are also high and the
implications stark. The US is expected to continue
funding Israel in ever increasing amounts, without
a peep of gratitude from the recipient. The US also
has to tarnish its international reputation by having
to cover for Israel. And now the US has to pay a
cost in blood; the war in Iraq is another contribution
to Israel. Are Iran, Syria, <fill in the blank>
US’s relation with Israel is also having distorting
effects on American society. The fact that AIPAC
is the most powerful lobby (aka, “the Lobby”)
in Washington and that most politicians genuflect
when the word Israel is mentioned indicates that
the US political system may not represent the interests
of the American people. Certainly, US foreign policy
is not open to democratic debate, and currently
it is the exclusive preserve of an unaccountable
and reactionary elite. The debate about the US’s
place in the world and hence what type of society
it wants to become must urgently be brought out
into the open. A simple issue must be addressed:
whose interests is US foreign policy supposed to
foster, and is it in the US’s interests to support
a malevolent apartheid state in the Middle East?
state and ideology
the 1990s, the United Nations attempted to condemn
Zionism as a racist ideology. Alas, with US connivance
and massive manipulation, this mild UN rebuke was
not adopted. However, the manifest sadism to which
Palestinians have been subjected indicates that
there is a much deeper and serious objection to
this ideology, i.e., the Zionist project, is inherently
genocidal, and the plans of Sharon’s advisors and
Israel’s history of ethnic cleansing make this abundantly
clear. Zionism has to be considered a pariah ideology.
Furthermore, the combination of pernicious ideologues
with a dangerous war criminal requires that we treat
Israel as a pariah state.
Shavit, Top PM aide: Gaza plan aims to freeze
the peace process, Haaretz, Oct. 6, 2004.
HaCohen Mid-Eastern Terms, DissidentVoice,
June 19, 2003.
reality, Israel received quite a few more goodies
this year. First, an increase in aid and forgiven
loans. Second, it also received thousands of J-Dam
bombs, the type that could demolish Iran’s nuclear
power plants. NB: This comes after the delivery
of more than 100 special F16s capable of flying
all the way to Iran.
policy speech in front of AIPAC in 2004 was frequently
interrupted by applause. It is curious that the
word “viable” elicited applause. Key words and
phrases are used that have a special meaning for
US officials and this crowd. Analyzing where the
AIPAC audience applauded will reveal the true
meaning of many such terms.
Blum, “ONE on ONE: It’s the demography, stupid”,
Jerusalem Post, May 10, 2004.
ideologues referred to the national imperative
for expansion towards the Eastern Europe as “drang
Yinon, ”Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”
Feb. 1982. Available online here: [http://www.corkpsc.org/db.php?aid=5345]
This essay originally appeared in Hebrew in Kivunim
(Directions), A Journal for Judaism and Zionism;
February 1982. The Department of Publicity/The
World Zionist Organization in Jerusalem publishes
the journal. Yinon’s article was translated by
Dr. Israel Shahak and appeared in his Translations
of the Hebrew press. Invariably statements
about plans are more elaborate and open when written
in Hebrew; it is also rare to see them translated
in their entirety into English.
NB: One could easily imagine the hysterics and
indignation if any Arab ideologue were to publish
designs for the region that would include an emasculated
Israel. However, when Israeli ideologues discuss
subjugating the region to its interests, then
this is considered par for the course.
is wrong to suggest that there is a single motive
for wars. It is when there is a confluence of
interests in fostering wars that opinion can be
mobilized in favor of a war. Control of oil, armaments,
post-war slices of the cake, all have constituencies
who favored the war. The centrality of the Israeli
motivation is made clear by the statements by
the main actors pushing the war. See also Kathleen
and Bill Christison’s “Too Many Smoking Guns to
Ignore: Israel, American Jews, and the War on
Iraq”, CounterPunch, January 25, 2003.
in Azmi Bishara, “Chutzpah: an avoidance strategy”,
Al Ahram, Dec. 25, 2003, Issue 670. [http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/print/2003/670/op41.htm],
Bishara observes that Dershowitz isn't stating
anything new. What is reassuring to the Israeli
legal profession is that even a Harvard professor
is telling them to go on doing what they do at
present, i.e., flout international law.
good account of the legal sophistry can be found
in Raja Shehadeh’s Occupier’s Law, IPS,
1985. Alternatively, Lisa Hajjar’s Courting
Conflict: The Israeli Military Court System in
the West Bank and Gaza, University of California
one example: the construction of the wall is Israel’s
largest infrastructure project. It will cost billions.
Are they spending all this money and effort to
imprison another people? The wall is compounding
the unjust situation, and thus making matters
de Rooij is a writer living in London. He can be
reached at email@example.com (NB: all emails with
attachments will be automatically deleted.)
de Rooij © 2004