Triumphalism Over Talking

Even as Iran expresses new interest in negotiations over its nuclear program, neocons and others eager for a war for “regime change” seem to hope those peace prospects can be dismissed quickly, an issue that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar discusses.

By Paul R. Pillar

The latest words on Iran and its nuclear program would lead one to believe that the Islamic republic is on the ropes and flailing away to keep from being knocked out.

The New York Times front-paged a story about Iran “frantically” respondingto the pressure of sanctions. The State Department’s spokeswoman dismissed as “hype” and nothing new Iran’s latest announced advances in their program. At the same time, the European Union has confirmed receipt of an offer from Iran of renewed talks with the West.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The on-the-ropes image is no more useful or accurate than the opposite image of Iran as a determined juggernaut forging ahead toward a bomb unless forcefully stopped.

If sanctions-related pressure has helped nudge Iran toward the negotiating table, good. If Iran’s progress in its nuclear program isn’t really anything to crow about, fine. But publicly dwelling on such dynamics or making them the foundation for a Western negotiating strategy will only increase the chance that negotiations will fail.

The “cry uncle” objective of pressuring Iran has never been realistic, as we should realize if we think about our own likely reaction if the roles were reversed. This is all about the basic negotiating principle that it takes two to make an agreement.

For an agreement to be made requires that both sides see it in some sense as a win. This means recognizing that the relationship is not zero-sum. The Iranian-U.S. relationship is indeed not zero-sum; there are feasible agreements that would be better for both sides than the absence of an agreement.

The triumphalist urge — encouraged by political discourse in which Iran is viewed as a beast to be bested — is one but only one of the impediments to success in any new round of talks between Iran and the P5+1. Another impediment is Western impatience, amid talk about windows of vulnerability and the like.

Another is an inability or unwillingness to distinguish Iranian bargaining positions from Iranian bottom lines. Iranians are consummate bazaaris, and reaching a bargain with them will take time. Yet another impediment is the ever-intensifying atmosphere of hostility and the prominent part that regime change plays in Western discourse about Iran.

A further problem is the narrowness of the Western agenda. The fixation on Iran’s nuclear program makes it easy to overlook how much a negotiation centered on that program represents a concession by Iran.

The role-reversed equivalent would be if the only thing Iran wanted to negotiate about was the Western nuclear weapons states’ disarmament obligations under Article VI of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.  Successful talks with Iran must address not only the West’s nuclear bugbear but also issues of concern to Tehran.

Then there is the eagerness of some elements in the United States to check off the negotiations box to be able to say that negotiations have “failed” and that recourse to force is necessary. Expect multiple declarations of failure before any new talks have ever had a chance to succeed.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies. (This article first appeared as blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)

 


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7 comments on “Triumphalism Over Talking

  1. Pingback: Triumphalism Over Talking | Consortiumnews | My Marketing File

  2. charles sereno on said:

    I for one do not believe that the Israeli tail wags the the USA dog in foreign policy issues, especially in the Mideast or particularly Iran. As much as it appears so, it is simply that each of the nations have common aims for quite different reasons. The capture of the pro-Israeli American legislature is not as important as it seems. The executive branch is still very dominant and, with its control of vital information, can still manage the media and public opinion.

  3. Hillary on said:

    Iran is judged & sentenced as guilty in Western eyes of a crime that it is fantasized it might do in future.

    Israel with a massive arsenal of nukes NOT Iran is the danger in the Middle East.

    American neocons with a first loyalty to Israel push for yet another war.

    Like Iraq it is based on lies and purposeful distortions to lead the US into another proxy war based on lies for the sole benefit of Israel.

    Iran is a peaceful country that hasn’t started a war in over 100 years.

    • Hillary on said:

      flat5 like most hasbara Zionists are drunk on the kool aid fron the Zionist press via Tel Aviv and continue to post the MSM propaganda.

      The interests of the USA are not and should never be the same as those of Israel and the loyalty of “flat5″ seems to be to Israel.

      Let us just take the Holocaust in Iraq promoted on WMD lies from the neocons like those below resulting in over a million dead crippled homeless diseased human beings .

      http://nowarforisrael.com/

      • Judah the Lion on said:

        A David Duke Neo Nazi Site endorsed by this fraud Hillary:

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        You are here: Home // General // No War for Israel!
        No War for Israel!

        Administrator Oct 23, 2004 |

        David Duke Online Radio Report 03-05-2003

        No War for Israel!

        by David Duke

        Broadcast Date 03-05-2003

        America under George Bush is rushing headlong toward war. This is a war that has been promoted for years by the most radical Jewish supremacists in Israel and America. Some people who oppose this war have taken up the slogan “no blood for oil,” saying the coming war is being promoted by big American and European corporate oil interests.

        Is oil the real reason for this war? Today, I will discuss the true driving force behind the Iraq War and why this war is actually one that that will be fought against the true interests of the United States of the America. First, let’s deal with the “War for Oil” argument.

        In actual fact, the Iraq war will more likely hurt Western oil companies than help them. After an initial flurry of oil prices, a regime change in Iraq would eventually let the oil flow freely again and oil prices would fall dramatically. That would hurt the Western oil companies by lowering the value of their underlying reserves. Western oil companies have almost all of their oil reserves outside of the Mideast. Their reserves are in places such as Texas, Alaska, Mexico, Venezuela, the North Sea, Siberia and elsewhere.

        And don’t suppose America will just go in and start stealing the oil, for that is not even a remote possibility. Oil will be sold by the new regime just as it always has been. It is true that there will be a division of spoils promised to the occupying powers as an inducement for their support of the war, but those spoils are in the form of contracts to buy oil, as well as to develop and refine oil products and other commercial concerns available in an non-embargoed Iraq.

        In truth, big oil corporate interests will be harmed in a regime change accomplished by war or simply by normalization of relations with Iraq. In either case, the oil would flow freely again and ultimately hurt the big oil interests by increasing the oil supply and lowering the underlying value of their own reserves.

        A war against Iraq threatens regime change not only in Iraq, but across the Mideast. It is likely the new regimes will be violently against European-American interests, and their targets will certainly include the large corporate oil companies. The millions of Americans who live and work overseas and the billions of dollars of American investments would be gravely threatened. The war on Iraq will certainly unleash a torrent of hatred and terrorism against Americans around the world. It will create exactly what bin Laden and other anti-American fanatics desire.

        Bush also claims that the war could bring democracy to many nations in the Mideast. But, the truth is that the vast majority of people of almost every country of the world are far more anti-Israeli and anti-American than are their ruling entities, so more democracy would probably even produce more anti-Israeli and even more anti-American sentiment. Even in Turkey, where the ruling party recently supported bringing in American troops to use against Iraq, the people of that country are over 90 percent opposed to involvement in the Iraq war, and their recently-elected parliament voted against it.

        So, the big oil companies have no interest in this war, but actually face huge long-term risks from the war. So who exactly does have an interest in war?

        There is no credible evidence that Iraq poses any real threat to the United States. Dozens of other nations have weapons of mass destruction. Iraq has had them for decades but never used any of them against the United States, even in the Gulf War. With UN inspectors roaming the country at will, and with the knowledge that the United States would knock Iraq into the stone age if it ever dared to use them, there is probably less risk from Iraq then from any other of a dozen other countries. North Korea, for example, has atomic warheads and the missiles to carry them to American cities. Furthermore, North Korea has openly threatened to use them against us if we move against them. Yet, we refrain even from embargo against North Korea. Iraq poses no real danger to the United States, but an Iraq war poses great dangers to American interests here at home and abroad.

        One way the war will hurt us is by damaging our economy. For instance, American officials have sought to bribe Turkey with upwards of 26 billion American dollars. For what, you might ask? To simply use Turkey as a staging area for Bush’s war against Iraq. That’s six billion in immediate cash and 20 billion in loans, and these loans are almost never repaid. That’s 26 billion dollars! That’s a huge amount of money taken from the American taxpayer, and that incredible amount is only a tiny bit of the overall costs of this war.

        The administration is also talking about giving Israel an additional 14 billion dollars on top of our normal payout of around 7 billion dollars a year. One must also factor in the military cost of the war and the occupation afterwards. That would certainly cost at least 200 billion dollars and probably a lot more. One must factor in the temporary huge increase in oil costs because of the war and the economic damage done by this war. That cost has already amounted to hundreds of billions of dollars and it climbs every day. Every time you take a drive, every time you pay an increased utility bill or any other bill, you are paying for this insane policy.

        As badly as this war will hurt our economy (far from the stated purpose of protecting America) this war will make us far less secure. Our involvement in Mideastern conflicts and America’s support for the criminal actions of Israel have caused millions of people around the world to hate America. Many of them are even willing to sacrifice their very lives to get at us. America’s support for Israel’s agenda directly led to the 911 attack upon America. America’s Israeli-controlled foreign policy led to the carnage of thousands of lives lost on September 11. It has caused America to live under a constant threat of terrorism and threatens our most precious Constitutional freedoms.

        By any standard, this Iraq war is of no benefit to the United States of America, nor is it of any benefit to the commercial oil industry. So, for whose benefit does America wage this war? The answer is Israel, Israel, Israel! Radical Jewish supremacists in Israel launched this drive for war. Their agents all over the world, both in government and media, have been the real power behind this war.

        Pro-Israeli, Jewish supremacists are found in key government positions all over the world and they also hold powerful positions in the ownership and hierarchy of media. In the political sector, the hawks driving the push to war are called Neocons. Neocon is an abbreviation for neo-conservative. As crazy as it might sound, many of the leaders behind the Neocons are pro-communist Jews who once opposed the Viet Nam War. These Marxists were peaceniks who opposed the Vietnam War but radical hawks for Israel. That’s right; many of them were former Marxists: such as the man behind the Jewish supremacist magazine, Commentary, Norman Podhoretz. Other radical Zionists pushing for this war include the former Marxist Daniel Horowitz, President Bush’s official spokesman Ari Fleischer, his speechwriter David Frum, and close advisors Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams, David Wurmser and Douglas J. Feith.

        Back in 1996, long before the current push for war, a prominent Zionist group led by Richard Perle wrote a report titled: A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm. (http://www.israeleconomy.org/strat1.htm) It called for war on Iraq. It was written not for the United States but for the incoming Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The report basically argues how destruction of Iraq will protect Israel’s monopoly of nuclear weapons and give Israel a free hand to defeat the Palestinians and impose whatever colonial settlement Israel has in store.

        Not only have Jewish agents in the government pushed for this war, but they drive the media push for war. The war could not be possible without the massive support it has gotten from the media. A great deal of the news reporting around the world is biased for the Iraq war and against the Palestinians. In America, there is an unrelenting call for war by thousands of pundits, editorial writers, news editors and pro-war reporters. And, make no mistake about it, there is no shortage of Jewish supremacists among them.

        The fact is that almost all of the major media in America, and much of it in Europe, have been cheerleaders for this war. For instance, most of those in media never challenge any of the basic premises of the war.

        When it is alleged that we must go to war against Iraq because it violated UN Resolution 1441, no major pundits retort by saying that if this is a valid reason to go to war, then we must go to war against Israel, a nation that has violated far more UN resolutions than has Iraq. For instance, for 35 years Israel has violated Resolution 242, a UN resolution that demanded that Israel leave the occupied West Bank, a resolution that was even supported by the United States.

        When it is stated that Iraq must be attacked because it has, quote, “weapons of mass destruction,” why do no television news authorities respond by saying, “If we go to war against Iraq for having weapons of mass destruction then we also must go to war against Israel, which has one of the world’s biggest arsenals of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.”

        When it is said that there must be inspections in Iraq, no newspapers suggest that if we demand inspections of Iraq, the same demand should be made of Israel, a nation that has one of the world’s deadliest arsenals of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. On this score, Iraq cooperates on this vital matter while Israel does not.

        When it is said we should go to war against Iraq because its regime has invaded other countries, killed thousands of civilians and tortured thousands more in their jails, no TV networks suggest that we must also go to war against Israel, a nation led by war criminal Ariel Sharon and guilty of the same crimes.

        When it is said that we should go to war against Iraq for not allowing freedom and self-government, no journalists suggest that we also must go to war against Israel for their brutal military occupation over 3 million Palestinian civilians, people not allowed even elementary freedoms.

        This same news media tells us constantly, quote, “at least Israel is democratic,” but we hear no voices responding by saying “How can Israel be called democratic, when 3 million Palestinians suffer under brutal military occupation for 35 years and are not allowed democratic control of their own society?”

        In truth, Jewish supremacists in the media have even controlled the anti-war debate. They make a number of issues off limits. One is allowed to argue whether or not Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. One can argue whether or not Iraq is in material breach of UN resolutions. One can argue whether inspections should be given more time. But, it is forbidden to mention Israel’s horrendous arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, Israeli’s refusal to allow inspections, or even that Israel violated far more UN resolutions than has Iraq.

        It is also off limits, of course, to suggest that the great weight of Jewish ownership and management of the mass media creates the media bias for war, and that this Jewish influence actually helps to shape the anti-war debate itself. It is verboten to point out the conflict of interest by the many Jewish supremacists who are key advisers to both Bush and Blair. Yes, there are certainly Gentiles who support the war for varying reasons, but how many of them have been influenced by the weight of Jewish power? Gentiles in government and media learn very quickly what they can and cannot say. If they go along with the Jewish hawks, they will prosper handily, but if they dare to expose Jewish supremacism, it is practically an act of self-immolation.

        It is not big oil or capitalism that it leading the pro-Israel, pro-war voice of the media and government. It is Jewish supremacism.

        These same Jewish media powers have decreed that it is quote, “anti-Semitic,” unquote, to suggest that many of these Jews in the media and in critical positions in government could be more loyal to the interests of Israel than to the nations in which they live. In last week’s broadcast, I quoted the words of Stephen Steinlight, the former head of national affairs of the largest and most influential Jewish organization in the United States, the American Jewish Committee. In a Jewish magazine article, Steinlight recently wrote that as a typical Jew of his generation, he was taught from childhood to salute a foreign flag, sing foreign national songs, to view Israel as the true homeland and that Gentiles are inferior to Jews.

        It is true that in spite of the fact that Jews comprise the great bulk of the media and political forces driving it on, there are some Jews who oppose this war. They should be applauded, but even most of them don’t talk about the real issues I discussed earlier. There is too little said about the real reasons we are being driven to war. You see, the pro-Israel media has made it permissible to oppose the war based on the “no war for oil argument.” One can say that without incurring the wrath of the Jewish media.

        If fact, the Israel-Firsters who are busily promoting this war must smile a little bit when they hear the oil argument, first because it is easily refutable, and secondly, because it deflects attention from the real driving force behind the war. War with Iraq, and upcoming wars with Iran, Syria, Lebanon and even Saudi Arabia have been long-standing objectives of Israel and its loyal servants in the United States.

        So one can say, “No War for Oil,” but just don’t say, “No War for Israel,” for if you do, all hell will break loose on you.

        It is similar to the deception the Jewish media used after the attack on the World Trade Center. The kosher word-shapers of the media immediately told Americans that we were attacked, quote, “because the hijackers hated freedom!” In his many interviews before 911, bin Laden never criticized America’s freedom: he criticized the fact that Americans had let themselves be controlled by the Zionists. Bin Laden and the hijackers had no hatred of freedom. Their hatred of America was born from America’s support of Israel’s brutal suppression of the Palestinian people.

        One must respect the cleverness of these Jewish supremacists. If the world was told the truth that we were attacked because of our support of Israel, it might just dawn on millions of Americans to ask the unaskable: if supporting the criminal acts of Israel is really worth it? Is it worth the economic cost estimated by a writer for the Christian Science Monitor: one trillion dollars since the founding of Israel? Is it worth the thousands of lives lost on September 11? Is it worth the terroristic attacks of Israel against the United States such as the attack on the USS Liberty and the terrorism against America in the Lavon Affair? Is it worth the continued threat of terrorism to us and our children, and the loss of our most precious freedoms?

        We must expose the Jewish supremacists as the ones behind this war. We also must expose their moral hypocrisy. On Sunday March 2, I watched a CNN program hosted by the very pro-Zionist, Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer hosts the Showdown Iraq show on that network and appears for hours every day shaping opinions for the war. He had an interview with none other than Elie Wiesel, survivor of Auschwitz and Noble Peace Prize recipient. This so-called, “man of peace,” went on to advocate a massive Iraq war, a war that will kill tens of thousands of Iraqis and cause millions of innocents to suffer, as well as throwing much of the world into turmoil and hatred.

        Blitzer treated Wiesel as though he was talking with a god. Wiesel went on to tell us that we had to attack Iraq because of what Iraq did to Iranians during the Iran-Iraq War. Blitzer, of course, didn’t dare ask fellow Jewish supremacist Wiesel the obvious question of why Mr. Wiesel did not speak out about the Iraqi slaughter of Iranians during the years when the war occurred. Wiesel did not speak out at that time, of course, because he is a Jewish supremacist who could care less about Iranian lives. He cares about Iranians only when he can point to their death in order to inspire us to kill the enemies of the Jews.

        During the time of the Iraq-Iran war, Israel saw Iran as its most dangerous enemy. So Israel through its dutiful servant, the United States, supported the Iraqis as part of their divide-and-conquer strategy. America, at the behest of Israeli agents in the American government, actually gave Iraq the chemical and biological weapons Iraq used in that war. Sworn testimony in the United States Senate proves this fact. As soon as Iran was vanquished, Iraq, with its strong military might and oil reserves, suddenly went from American ally and friend to an enemy of America. Why? It is because after Iran became exhausted, Iraq at that time became Israel’s number one enemy.

        Wiesel and the other Jewish supremacists around the world are touted by the Jewish supremacist press to be moral paragons and men of peace, even when they support the worst sort of murder and hatred. In my book, My Awakening, I quote directly from writings of Elie Wiesel exposing the depth of racial hatred in his heart.

        “Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set apart a zone of hate – healthy, virile hate – for what the German personifies and for what persists in the German. To do otherwise would be a betrayal of the dead.”

        Imagine if any Palestinian leader or spokesman would have said the same thing about Jews after Ariel Sharon’s massacre in Lebanon:

        “Every Palestinian, somewhere in his being, should set apart a zone of hate – healthy, virile hate – for what the Jew personifies and for what persists in the Jew. To do otherwise would be a betrayal of the dead.”

        Can you imagine the outrage that would erupt from such a statement?

        Remember, it was not so long ago that Menachem Begin, a terrorist with the blood of thousands of innocent women and children on his hands, won the Nobel Peace Prize. And recently, President Bush called one of the worst war criminals one earth, Ariel Sharon, a “Man of Peace. ”

        Why is this war being waged against Iraq? It has nothing to do with the interests of the big oil companies and absolutely nothing to do with the real interests of the United States. In fact, this war will be terribly damaging to the safety, freedom and economic well-being of America and Americans. This crazy, insane, unpatriotic war could not go on without for the tremendous power exerted by the disloyal Jewish supremacists in our political process. It also would impossible to pursue this terrible war without the tremendous weight of Jewish supremacists and their agents in the world media.

        When the history of the United States is written fifty years from now, I feel certain that it will be accepted fact that the Iraqi War became a critical turning point in American history.

        The war, for all of the terrible damage it will inflict upon Iraq and ultimately upon America, will cause millions of Americans to finally see the ugly face of Jewish supremacy over our country. Even before the invasion has begun, this unjust war has already caused an awakening among millions people in Europe and around the world.

        I believe that this evil war and all its subsequent damage to the United States — will eventually help lead to our own liberation from the hatred and suppression of Jewish supremacism.

        It is my hope that for the sake of our brave, young fighting men, and indeed, for the people of our nation, that by a miracle we can avoid this Jewish war. Our voice must now be raised in America and around the world:

        No War for Israel!

        Sincerely,
        David Duke

  4. Hossein on said:

    Thats your proof, a youtube video. You looser.

  5. Judah the Lion on said:

    Plain and Simple: Anti-Zionism Is Anti-Semitism
    There’s no daylight between the anti-Zionist and the anti-Semite

    By David Solway, PJMedia.com, January 6, 2012

    It is easy to see that many critics of Israel are unquestionably anti-Semitic in outlook and feeling and are merely using a political argument to camouflage a religious, racist, or ethnophobic sentiment. Under cover of “legitimate criticism of Israel” and the condemnation of Zionism as an invasive colonial movement, anti-Semitism has now become safe. Plainly, the distinction these new anti-Semites like to draw between anti-Semitism as such and anti-Zionism is intended only to cloak the fundamental issue and to provide camouflage for vulgar ideas and beliefs.

    This is a very shrewd tactic and is most disconcerting not only in its vindictiveness but in its frequency. Jewish philosopher and theologian Emil Fackenheim has outlined three stages of anti-Semitism: “You cannot live among us as Jews,” leading to forced conversions; “You cannot live among us,” leading to mass deportations; and “You cannot live,” leading to genocide. Amnon Rubinstein, patron of the Israeli Shinui party and author of “From Herzl to Rabin: The Changing Image of Zionism,” has added a fourth stage: “You cannot live in a state of your own,” which leads to boycott, divestment, sanctions, biased reporting, pro forma support of the Palestinians, and calls for the delegitimation, territorial reduction, and in some cases even the disappearance of Israel as we know it.

    If this is not unqualified anti-Semitism, then nothing is. As Martin Luther King Jr. observed at a Harvard book fair during which Zionism came under assault: “It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the Globe. It is discrimination against Jews, my friend, because they are Jews. In short, it is anti-Semitism. … Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews — make no mistake about it.” King understood, as so many have not, that there is really no daylight between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. To deprive Jews of their national haven or to submerge them in a so-called “binational state” with an Arab majority is to render them vulnerable to prejudicial fury, scapegoating, pogroms, and, ultimately, even to Holocaust.

    King’s homespun analysis has been confirmed in a report released in the August 2006 issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution by the Yale School of Management in collaboration with its Institute for Social and Policy Studies. The report concludes that the statistical link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism can no longer be denied — a correlation that should have been obvious years ago despite the disclaimers regularly circulated by covert Jew-haters and Jewish revisionists.

    In “Why The Jews?” Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin similarly point out that:

    The contention that anti-Zionists are not enemies of Jews, despite the advocacy of policies that would lead to the mass murder of Jews, is, to put it as generously as possible, disingenuous. … Given, then, that if anti-Zionism realized its goal, another Jewish holocaust would take place, attempts to draw distinctions between anti-Zionism and antisemitism are simply meant to fool the naïve.

    All that has happened, according to these authors, is “only a change in rhetoric.” Anti-Zionism, they claim, “is unique in only one way: it is the first form of Jew-hatred to deny that it hates the Jews.”

    When we turn to the Jewish community itself, we find an analogous dynamic at work among many of its more fractious and insensible members. The issue is only exacerbated by the large number of generally left-wing Jews who have spoken out against Israel, levelling an endless barrage of cavils, reproofs, and aspersions against social and political conditions in the Jewish state or its negotiation tactics vis à vis the Palestinians. The verbal Kassams and textual Katyushas they continually launch are as damaging to Israel’s international standing as Hamas rockets and Hezbollah missiles are to its physical security. Some go so far as to deplore its very existence, regarding the country as a burden on their assimilationist lifestyle, as an unwelcome reminder of their indelible and resented Jewishness, or as a particularist violation of their utopian notions of universal justice.

    Many Jews tend to see Israel as a threat to their convenience, a nuisance at best, a peril at worst. They have failed to comprehend the justice of George Steiner’s lambent remark in “Language and Silence”: “If Israel were to be destroyed, no Jew would escape unscathed. The shock of failure, the need and harrying of those seeking refuge, would reach out to implicate even the most indifferent, the most anti-Zionist.” According to Saul Bellow in “To Jerusalem and Back,” the great Israeli historian Jacob Leib Talmon was of the same mind. In a conversation with the author, Talmon feared that the destruction of Israel would bring with it the end of “corporate Jewish existence all over the world, and a catastrophe that might overtake U.S. Jewry.”

    These Jews who are vexed by the existence of their fallback country are living in a fantasy of personal immunity to the bubonics of Jew-hatred, something that has never ceased to infect the world. In reviling the one nation on earth that serves as a last asylum should they ever find themselves in extremis, they have not only risked their — or their children’s — possible future survival. They have also effectively expunged their own historical identity, aligning themselves with the foul theories and convictions of their persecutors. Victim and victimizer are in agreement. This is nothing less than a form of self-loathing, a rejection of essence, that paradoxically corresponds to the contempt and hatred of the non-Jewish anti-Semite. It is, in short, nothing less than reflexive anti-Semitism.

    As Daniel Greenfield asks in an article exposing the campus betrayals of the Berkeley Hillel chapter that endorses patently anti-Zionist organizations, “why shouldn’t there be a consensus that Jewish identity is incompatible with the rejection of the Jewish state?” Following the same line of thought, Phil Orenstein, a member of the National Conference on Jewish Affairs, writes:

    For two millennium [sic], the Jewish people have been rejected from countries throughout the world. Now at long last we have the Jewish State, a safe haven that can welcome our people home. We need to teach our youth what the blessing of Israel means to the Jewish people.

    In fact, it is not only Jewish youth who have strayed from the recognition of who they are and who the world regards them as being, as if they could find sanctuary in ostensibly exalted ideals or in collaboration with their diehard adversaries. It is every Jew who has embraced the anti-Zionist canard and by so doing negated his own integrity and selfhood. In denouncing or repudiating Israel, the state founded to ensure his perseverance and preserve his identity in the world, he has renounced that same identity. He has disavowed and thus erased himself — precisely as the typical anti-Zionist, laboring to obliterate Israel from the map, has sought to render the Jew defenseless and susceptible to repression or, even worse, extermination.

    Updating the Hannukah story, Steven Plaut accurately describes these anti-Zionist Jews as modern Hellenists “ashamed of their Jewishness,” siding with the Seleucid empire against the Hasmoneans who fought for the restoration and survival of the Jewish people. But the upshot is that anyone who objects to the existence of the state of Israel, who would like to have it vanish from the international stage, who wishes it had never been established, who considers it a geopolitical blunder, or who insists on treating it as an embarrassment or a nettle to one’s equanimity, is an anti-Semite, for he would despoil the Jewish people of its last line of defense in an always problematic world. In “What Is Judaism?,” Fackenheim laments that “all anti-Zionism, Jewish and Gentile, should have come to a total end with the gas chambers and smoke-stacks of Auschwitz.” Regrettably, this was not to be.

    Certainly, one can be critical of Israel, but given its beleaguered condition, surrounded by enemies and constantly under attack, such criticism must be tempered by respect and circumspection. Nor should criticism function as a stalking horse behind which an inimical or incendiary project moves forward. It is when legitimate criticism morphs into anti-Zionism that we know a malign agenda is at work.

    King was right. “When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews — make no mistake about it.” It amounts to the same thing. Whoever — Jew or non-Jew — advances a campaign against the wellbeing or the existence of the Jewish state is, quite simply, an anti-Semite. It makes no difference if the hater is a Muslim like Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Christian like Jostein Gaarder, an American Jew like Thomas Friedman, or an Israeli Jew like Neve Gordon, he is an enemy of the so-called “Zionist entity” and therefore an anti-Semite. Make no mistake about it.

    David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. He is the author of The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity, and is currently working on a sequel, Living in the Valley of Shmoon. His new book on Jewish and Israeli themes, Hear, O Israel!, was released by Mantua Books.