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Virgin Atlantic

William A. Cook

Stories rarely begin above the Atlantic though they happen there. We found that out, didn’t we? Two old men randomly commenting about this or that before the flight took off from LAX to Heathrow. Neither knew or probably cared about the other till chance took hold for the ten hours that intervened. But that’s the beginning of a story isn’t it? A question asked, rhetorical even, no answer anticipated, yet it leads to another and then another. How strange then to meet a man who found ultimate refuge in this 21st century in an abandoned light house on a jut of land that faced the coast of Normandy, across the straits, echoed across the millenniums, in the ebb and flow of human forlornness. What unexpectedness creates a story out of the casual conversation of total strangers who weave meaning out of nothingness.

There were no answers when we began to probe the whys of an abandoned light house nor any expectation that a rationale existed. Yet behind that move, the change in the value of the pound for those retired forced decisions into the unknown of what would be, by virtue of a lottery, and a bid, on property unseen yet within reach, happened. And so the future evolved as unexpectedly as the reality, caught as it turned out between a nuclear plant adjacent to the lighthouse, indeed residing in its back yard, and the unrelenting reality of the churning channel of the Dover Sea that moved ineluctably beyond the front door as it had done for centuries before the building of the lighthouse. How strange that image as it bulged into my mind, those enormous contrasts of cement enormity and human will against the eternal power of the channel that split England from France before they were England and France.

And so our conversation continued as we flew beyond time devouring the miles beneath us unconscious of those below or the irony of this day that told of a tsunami in Japan that devastated a nuclear plant sending untold thousands to their deaths and others to refuge beyond homes lost to the sea. What connections in the mind bring those lives lost this day to mind before the mind knew of them and yoked them now in this conversation that wraps the globe in the never ending sound of the seas ebb and flow of love and loss.

Are our realities an intricately woven fabric of thoughts strung together in time and circumstance and you, Martin, become a person of my own design because you sit next to me by some circumstance of seat allocation arranged by a software designer playing God. What did he know of the tsunami, or the nuclear plant that sat on the shore of Japan North of Tokyo as your home sits on the edge of the channel awaiting perhaps the clash of the plates that slide beneath the land masses we now call England and Normandy.

How many unknowns determine what is awaiting the confluence of facts and figures, frustrations and fears to assemble that we might unravel this mysterious stew to understand or not understand. It was then, Martin, that you explained the purpose of your trip to the United States, a trip that would take you to some unidentified location between Barstow and Las Vegas where a lone gambling casino sat in the street, isolated from all but the landscape of rising and falling hills and valleys of salmon colored sand stretching for endless miles beyond sight and sound until they merged with the light blue sky. That very scene you sought as refuge against the unrelenting wind stirred by the low clouds that hovered above your lighthouse home wind-whipped by the sea.

Stranger still, that as you flew from this refuge of isolation in the barren wastes of America’s desert, ironically transforming Nature’s meadows into a Mecca for thousands seeking fortunes as limitless as the sands that stretched beyond the horizon, you found the most startling revelation of your trip, the throbbing of the northern lights pulsating through the night sky as the plane made its way home to Britain. How rare and marvelous, how exciting and unexpected to witness this marvel of our universe encapsulate the entire globe in a wonder of greenish glow awakening us to the aura of the Almighty as He appears in the glorious aurora borealis. How that magnificence touched you as you craned your neck back to drink in its wonder witnessing it from above as though you were an angel of the Lord enveloped in the manifest glory that is God. What determined this interruption of the sea’s dominance that drove you to the desert with a display of illuminating magnificence that altered forever the expectation of this vacation?

Could it be that we are driven by geography, that our behavior seeks exposure to what we do not know or rarely see? You said, didn’t you, that it had been twenty years since you were in America and last felt the warmth of the intense heat and looked at the flowing desert that flamed out beneath the setting sun. How impossible to grasp purpose and meaning in 6000 miles of travel to seek the silence of a barren landscape where only the wind’s whisper speaks to the ear. Yet I, too, sought silence in coming to Oxford, silence of a different sort, silence broken only by words typed more than half a century ago by men unknown speaking of events long since passed yet conveyed in documents stamped with a forbidding declaration, “Most Secret.” How does one explain purpose where time is devoured scouring papers that describe crimes committed, terror unleashed, and plans unveiled that recount ruthless intent and merciless death for the voiceless victims who lived and were lost in time? Is that but a rhetorical question, Martin, or does it resonate with meaning if linked with all the detritus of lost information buried in the silent bowels of the Rhodes House Archives.

What is it that slides beneath this narrative connecting it to our experience of 70 odd years each, lived in different countries, united by people neither of us know, drenched in thoughts brought to our respective minds by waves of knowledge created by thousands of minds lodged in books that we absorbed over time and made our own, all present to our senses as they respond to the six inches that separates our hearing from each other travelling at speeds beyond 500 miles per hour, 35000 feet above the earth we walk upon  and call our habitat?

Arnold understood something of this problem as he stood looking over Dover Beach; he saw the connection that flowed beyond time in the sounds of the ocean that caught somehow the infinite minds that stood on shores around the globe hearing the cry that bound all to each in suffering and silence and loss. What binds, Martin, is never lost, and you must know that as you stand at your doorway and look at the sea lapping the pebbles that form the earth beneath your home. You, too, must hear that never ending roar and feel the ligaments that bind you to Arnold and Sophocles, and all you’ve never met who listen to the eternal sounds. And in that home you have been restoring these many years now, filled with the ghosts of men that survived the wicked waves lashing the cemented rocks that formed the base of that lighthouse, who heard the wind whipping against the small windows set in the stone casings above the stairs that wound up through the turret as they brought new light to the summit, a beacon of life for the distressed seeking succor from the relentless sea.

I, too, Martin restored a home, oh, not one on a channel’s edge, not one where the echoed voice of humankind rings through the lines of Arnold’s throated cry, but an ancient home nonetheless if ancient is relative to time and place. It was the Bailey’s place from 1750, perched on a rise at the tip of a small valley sliced in more recent years by the main street of a small New England town. Seven fireplaces warmed the house over the centuries, all in desperate need of repair by the time we moved in to reset the flues against the wind and rain. Wrapped around the largest chimney was a wooden staircase that revealed the feet of ages grooved deep in the triangular steps forcing reflection each time we climbed those stairs, a silent communication with the dead. The winter wind roared across that valley pebbling the blown glass windows with ferocity not unlike the grating roar flung upon your Dover shore, a telling link between you and me. How strange these thoughts that create a narrative that bind two strangers in mid flight.

There are others, too, that shared this story unraveling in the night sky above the frozen tundra of the pole before its decent into London, though they knew nothing about the flight or you and me or how their lives became intermingled with ours as the hours passed. But you had seen the book I had brought to read before we fell to talking, a book of great sorrow and remorse where indeed the eternal note of sadness gathers in tremulous cadence slow and leads now as then, in Arnold’s day, to the darkling plain of human plight. Curious how the tales of suffering link the centuries seeking suffrage in faiths that ebb and flow in intensity fighting science with superstition even as science succumbs to barbaric weaponry to stave off that very superstition. If Arnold saw the revolutions in Europe and Napoleon’s siege of Rome as harbingers of human helplessness where neither joy, nor love, nor light, nor certitude, nor peace were possible, how might he perceive the eternal conflict that rages in the Holy Land today where, indeed, superstition and scientific folly unleash, with God’s grace, depleted uranium and white phosphorus on helpless souls as their very bones glow through the seared flesh consumed with fire. And though we grew up in different countries, Martin, we have the same visceral reaction to the revolutions sweeping the Plains of Abraham as Arnold and his wife looking upon the darkling plain where ignorant armies clash by night.

This conflict, Martin, became the substance of our meeting, as we, two old men who had lived through the most devastating years of human history, if it be human determined destruction of their fellow humans that is the hallmark of our existence, attempted to grapple with the minds that ruled this new century where ancient temples and coded laws gave license to a new barbarity. But is it new after all? Is it not like the storied albatross that hangs from Marlow’s neck as he retells yet again how the Thames flows ineluctably from London to the heart of darkness brought there by the Pureza de Sangre that flows in our Eurocentric veins making natural our perceived dominance over our determined inferiors. And that perception, that very perception, does it not, Martin, reflect the insanity of our cultures’ destructive desires to achieve ascendency through beliefs founded on myths that link our faith to the Almighty through Divine Right that demands the rebirth of infidels in Christ? Duty to God becomes the propellant that justifies our divinely ordained mission of insanity to spread absurdity across continents. Such is the flow of destiny century after century as we become but the current viewers of its manifestation. Strange how I had gone to England, to the learned village of Oxford by the Thames, only to meet a former Londoner who now lives by the channel into which that river flows before it makes its way toward Africa.

Are we but the newest residents of a world shaped by ideologies forged in the mind from birth by those who command our beings, our drives, our dreams, our reality that thrives on blood made evil deceptively dressed in the cleanliness and purity of the lamb? What after all drove Leopold to the throbbing black heart of Africa but the lie that licensed the endeavor, to save souls for Christ; what brought that same righteousness to the Puritan Divines that saw God’s presence and blessing in their slaughter of the Pequots, Satan’s minions; what malevolent tome of miraculous words from tribal days consumes our Congressmen and Rabbis who determine God’s gift of a homeland to be theirs regardless of the consequences to the innocents who live there, damned by that same God to everlasting Hell. What after all, Martin, do we see and comprehend from this muddle of unknowns that forms our reality; do we bring nascent thought into play or reconfigure all that impinges on our beings into a reality that is but regurgitation of some monolithic power’s will to which we submit.

How, then, does this become a narrative dressed in the expectations of the short story we began? If I am the author and you the protagonist, are you the you in your mind, in your image, in your flesh that sat beside me on the Virgin flight across the Atlantic, the fictional approximation of my mind, or is there a narrative that can be told of another whether conceived in the mind or fastened on by time and circumstance, a reflection that bears no semblance to reality except as a distillation that leaves it out. Certainly, Martin, it must appear strange to you that I would have attempted a short story framed within the ten hours of our chance meeting. But then what is a story but the recounting by a writer who can suggest a great span of the interaction of humans in chance occurrences that “distil(s) a world into a few square inches.” That by the way, Martin, is the understanding of your Today Programme’s James Naughty in his Introduction to The BBC National Short Story Award 2010 collection of award winners. Given that prescription, I would suggest, my friend, that your story is not mine to tell. (March, 2011)


The voyage of Hope: Blessed Are the Merciful Who Confront the State without Mercy

William A. Cook

“Now the opposite of Beatitude is misery … to be afflicted unwillingly with painful sufferings.”

(St. Gregory of Nyssa, 380 AD)

“Hope” was scheduled to sail to Gaza on Thursday, September 25th, but could not because negotiations to buy a boat fell through repeatedly “due to outside pressure.” Regardless, whatever day “Hope” sails, and it will sail, is a day every Christian and every humane person, regardless of religion, should mark on his or her calendar as the words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount live in our day as true believers in the Beatitudes give meaning and life to “Blessed are the merciful for they shall see God and Blessed are the peacemakers for they are the children of God.” Five physicians from 4 countries, Human Rights lawyers and monitors, a member of the Israeli Knesset, the General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, a veritable Ship of Mercy, will confront the Goliath of Mercilessness that has besieged 1.5 million people in Gaza for almost  two years now making their lives not a state of beatitude, but rather a state of misery – “afflicted unwillingly with painful sufferings.”

How reprehensible that the nations of the world sit mute in General Assembly at the United Nations, made silent by the coercive veto of the United States prodded by the Satanic voice of Israel; how pathetic the obsequious behavior of our Congress that protects its wallet rather than respond to the starved and humiliated Palestinians suffering behind steel walls and locked gates; how repulsive to witness silk suited ministers of the cloth raise their collective voices in prophetic proclamations condemning those already condemned to misery for disagreeing with their interpretation of the beatitudes as words of war not peace, of arrogance not humility, of mercilessness not justice, of hate not love; how sad to live these past sixty years and watch the dissembling of Judaism as it abandons its thousands of years of moral, ethical and religious substance to the drive of Zionist fanatics bound by a “secular nationalistic concept completely devoid of ethics and morals” (Rabbi Aharon Cohen of Neturei Karta, 2006).

The voyage of “Hope” to Gaza, like that of the “Free Gaza” and “Liberty” in August, symbolizes for the people of the world, as it does for the people of Gaza that people care even if their governments do not. Governments can be and more often than not are bought and sold, victims of abusive power from within and without; but the conscience of a people churns inside recognizing, indeed feeling passionately what others suffer, what they themselves would not tolerate should it be inflicted on them, and they know in their hearts, ay in their very souls, that all people have a right to life with dignity and no nation has a right to manufacture a pretense that denies “life with dignity.”

Those who inflict such pain claiming they are the victims lie, and in their actions destroy not just sources of energy that make possible tolerable living conditions, jobs, businesses and homes, but the substance of meaning, the purpose of existing, the state of beatitude where nothing is absent that a good desire may want, in the words of St. Gregory, who knew what real Christian civilized people had as rights in 380 AD. Happily he didn’t live in this barbaric age of uncivilized humanity that can encircle its enemy with barbed wire and steel and electric surveillance and bulldozers and F-16 fighter jets and missile carrying helicopters and thousands of highly trained obedient troops made conscienceless by Pavlovian modification. How advanced we’ve become in removing empathy from the heart that the desires of our rulers be met.

“The stranglehold on Gaza’s borders has made … the work of the UN and the other humanitarian agencies … virtually impossible. Only a trickle of medicine, food, fuel and other goods is being allowed in … making people highly dependent on food and aid and it has brought the health system and basic services, such as water and sanitation near to collapse” (Medecins du Monde UK). These are the conditions that Israel inflicts on the hapless people of Gaza. How can a nation be reduced to such barbaric behavior? How can a nation listed as the 16th wealthiest nation on the planet inflict such heinous acts on a neighbor? How can the United States support such cruelty? “40% of Gaza residents have been deprived of clean water. Children are living in the cold and dark. Gaza pumps 40 million litres of untreated sewage into the sea each day, because of a lack of electricity to run the treatment plant, and lack of pipes to replace old ones … where 80% are unemployed and 20% work for the UN and NGO’s, therefore 100% of Gazans rely on the benevolence of the outside world” (Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize winner).

Where are those who would comfort the afflicted, where are those who hunger and thirst for justice, where are the merciful, the peacemakers? They are not in Israel’s government or in the Congress of the United States or in the mega-churches of the Christian Zionists; these are the perpetrators of evil who seek to destroy people they do not know nor care to know. These are people driven by ideologies of hate constructed on pillars of racism, superiority and mythologies interpreted by fools.

How can such conditions exist in a country controlled in every way by the “advanced” state of Israel? Why is it that the Palestinian people are allowed to suffer such physical, emotional, and psychological torture, such absolute humiliation, at the hands of the occupiers while the world looks on oblivious to those who inflict such torment on their victims? How ironic that the victims of Nazi cruelty, the Jews of Israel, those who were brought to the land of Palestine out of sympathy for their suffering, should become in their turn the militaristic state that creates victims to further their own political ends. This horrific irony cuts two ways like a knife blade severing the heart, it destroys the victim even as it makes a murderer of the assailant, for the Jew is no longer the victim but the perpetrator of known evil. That act unveils the myth of the beleaguered Jew that wanders the face of the earth in constant torment and suffering, a constant victim of those who would impose their will on him. It strips naked the lie that fosters the innocence of the Jews that created the state in 1947-48, as Dr. Ilan Pappe attests in his penetrating book on The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, when in fact they, the Jews, orchestrated a systematic erasure of the indigenous people even as they cried to the outside world that they were the victims.

It is that lie, the massacre at Deir Yassin and all the subsequent massacres that killed thousands and forced 700,000 into exile that cannot be admitted, anymore than the slow, calculated massacre taking place in Gaza can be admitted that is destroying Judaism turning it into a cold, secular, fanatical religion devoid of ethics and morals, driven by greed and power as the good Rabbi Cohen states.

The voyage of the “Hope” may be more than a voyage of the merciful to a bleeding land that receives no mercy; it may be a voyage of virtue that teaches, in the words of St. Augustine, “Hope is the greatest of all virtues, even greater than love. For love only teaches what should be, while Hope teaches us what will be.” Should Augustine’s sage remark become prophetic, a day will come in Israel when it will confront its past, indeed, as Professor Pappe so cogently states, “… unless Israel acknowledges the cardinal role it has played, and continues to play, in the dispossession of the Palestinian nation, and accepts the consequences this recognition of the ethnic cleansing implies, all attempts to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict are bound to fail.”

Beneath that statement festers an infectious disease that sucks out the marrow of Judaic morals cleansing it of its life sustaining force as it has cleansed the natives of Palestine from the land that gave them life. “… the Jewish religious  propensity to seek atonement has been replaced by the arrogant disregard for world public opinion and the self-righteousness with which Israel routinely fends off criticism” (Pappe).

How psychologically terrifying to know that the power that provides for the “Jewish State” is the power that destroys the Jewish soul. How spiritually appalling to sense the dissembling of the Jewish moral and ethical cohesiveness that spans the centuries in favor of a nation determined by exclusivity and apartheid separateness. How physically disturbing to contemplate the reality of day to day existence where the Jews walk through opulence indifferent to the suffering, deprivation, and destitution of their neighbors. When will the state of Israel demand of itself what it demanded of those that caused the holocaust in Europe? When will it recognize and acknowledge that in their teaching as in the teaching of the Beatitudes, mercy and justice, reconciliation and retribution pave the road to peace, not checkpoints and barriers and walls and unjust laws that protect the oppressor at the expense of the oppressed? When will the governments of the world rise against the injustice done to the Palestinians and join the ordinary people of their nations as they set sail on the voyage of Hope to Gaza?

To the Loyal Followers of Reuven Ben Shalom
William A. Cook

Loyal followers of Reuven Ben Shalom’s articles in the Post will remember his last one of 01/22/2015, “Good Palestinians, evil Israelis.” In it he refers to a three hour luncheon he had with his father’s teacher at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 56 years ago. I am that teacher.

How strange, indeed how unusual that a young student and a slightly older teacher would reconnect 49 years later through the magic of internet, reconnect on different continents in circumstances uniquely different both physically, intellectually, and psychologically yet retain memories from another time and another place that created a bond between them. Now put yourself across the lunch table from that man’s son, a veteran of 25 years in the IDF and now a writer for the Jerusalem Post. His life is uniquely different from his father’s and certainly different from the father’s teacher.

When his father was a student, the United States was in the midst of a citizens’ revolution in Civil Rights, a revolution attempting to right the wrongs of a discriminated population, and that revolution expanded in time to ensure the rights of women and to disobedience against their government for a wrongful war in Vietnam. I mention this because my understanding of the American Jewish population was informed by the active participation of Jews in that movement on behalf of human rights, and some gave their lives for that commitment.

In 2001 George Bush and his Cheney led administration took America to war in the mid-east using lies as a pretext and in the process destroyed the principles upon which the American nation existed. And he did this in collusion with Ariel Sharon. I began my excursion into the “conflict” between the Israelis and the Palestinians as an anti-Bush Administration American. The American taxpayer was paying for Sharon’s settlements and the wall, not to seek peace with the indigenous population, but to isolate them while they stole land under the guise of “security.”

Truth is evasive; it is constructed with the mortar of words, and words are well used or abused depending on the temperament and principles of the user. There are many ways not to tell the truth: omission, deceit, lying, intentional deception, coercion, and absolute power among them. The ultimate truth is one: each and every life is sacred. Jews understand this as their engagement in the US revolution attests and as the True Torah Jews and the Jews for Peace in Palestine attests to day. Your own commandments, handed down by Moses, state this simple and everlasting truth and commands that all act in accordance with it, “Thou shalt not kill.” How then explain what is taking place in Palestine?

The Plight of the Palestinians: a Long History of Destruction, (Macmillan publishers in 2010,) contains 32 chapters by world known authors detailing the continuation in the 21st century of “slow motion genocide” against the people of Palestine by the Zionist forces that rule in Israel. Interestingly, Reuven quotes from the English Department’s biography of me as a professor at the university: (He) “refers to Israel as the 51st state of the US, and calls it ‘an apartheid state determined to destroy the Palestinian people.’” What he does not include is the phrase that comes before that quoted piece, a sin of omission perhaps: “…the Zionist forces that have turned Israel into an apartheid state determined to destroy the Palestinian people.” That is an intentional distinction and its truth rests on the research that is referred to in the Introduction to that edited volume where the actions of the Zionists controlling the Jewish Agency in the 1930s and 1940s as they worked to undo the British Mandate in Palestine are revealed in their own words through documents seized by the Mandate Police and preserved in the archives of the Rhodes House collection in Oxford. The reason I was in Israel to meet with Reuven and his father was to research the Haganah Archives that hold a substantial number of Mandate Police records not available in the British Archives that I have also used.

My work depends on verification wherever I can find it. When generalizations are made about my work without references to where the data comes from or what rationale exists to substantiate it, truth vanishes: truth becomes a detractor’s opinion colored by his background and allegiances and indoctrination. Let me illustrate.

1. Reuven states: “He even believes that the kingdoms of David and Solomon ‘were and are but myths.’” But he fails to say that I referred to the works of Finkelstein and Silberman, two Israeli researchers, who describe the mythological reality in their works:
As Finkelstein and Silberman cite, the figure of David (shepherd, warrior, and divinely protected king) and of his son, Solomon (a great builder, wise judge, and serene ruler of a vast empire) have become timeless models of righteous leadership and God’s sanction. They contend that the archaeological discoveries of recent decades have shown “how far from the glamorous scriptural portraits the actual world of David and Solomon was.” They also posit that many of the famous episodes in the biblical story are highly exaggerated. Although it seems possible that David and Solomon were actual historical characters, they were very different from their scriptural portraits. Finkelstein and Silberman offer evidence that it is unlikely that David ever conquered land more than two days’ march from the heartland of Judah and that Solomon’s Jerusalem was “neither extensive nor impressive.” Their point is to show how the legends of David and Solomon developed and how they came to guide Western thinking and shape Western religious and political traditions in important ways. George Cohen

(David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible’s Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition– April 3, 2007. Israel Finkelstein and, Neil Asher Silberman). May I also note that these same authors, in The Bible Unearthed, disclose that the Exodus is not true but a tale used by the writers of the Exodus that comes from other civilizations. “The Bible is essentially a work of propaganda weaving, historical fragments, and myths of various Canaanite peoples into a powerful justification for Josiah’s rule and expansionist policies…

I personally draw a positive conclusion from this research. As an American-Jew, I have long struggled with the contradictions and problems of Zionism and the unjust policies of the State of Israel towards Palestinians. For those brave enough to seize this research in the right spirit, there is a solution in it for the problems of the Middle East. Simply stated, European Jews, Middle Eastern Jews, and Palestinians are brothers and sisters and share a common Canaanite ancestry. There were a small number of voices amongst the early Zionists who were against the creation of a separate Jewish state in the region. They lost out to the bigger faction lead David Ben-Gurion, who suffered from the disease of European colonialism” (Larry Saltzman review).
As you can see, I am not alone in understanding the evidence that research offers. Why hide from it?

2. “The allegation of a massacre having taken place during the battle of Jenin in 2002 has long since been refuted by international organizations. But Bill Cook still talks of ‘the Jenin massacre’ as if it were a fact.” Reuven questions my use of the term “massacre.”

Yet a general definition of the word states: “the unnecessary, indiscriminate killing of a large number of human beings.” (Merriam Webster Dictionary). What is a large number? Are the numbers the only criteria? In my book, The Rape of Palestine, I explain how that term has evolved with the inclusion in the UN Charter of the meaning of “genocide” as it was adapted after the Holocaust as a means of preventing future actions of like kind by nations; it was the Jews experience that gave Raphael Lemkin his definition.

“The International Convention of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide on December 9, 1948 set the United Nations definition of genocide:
General Assembly Resolution 260A (III) Article 2.

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

Numbers are not mentioned even when “Genocide” is defined. Massacre is either used as a noun or a verb to depict actions against people. Every life is sacred; all 194 nations of the UN signed this definition and accepted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights when they joined that organization.

I wrote a one act morality play titled, The Agony of Colin Powell in 2004. If you go to my web log (Billcook’s web log) you can click on the “Study Guide” for the play. It contains references to the Jenin massacre because Powell was deeply involved in doing nothing about it. Read Robert Fisk’s article, a man who knows something about massacres since he reported on the Sabra and Shatila massacres as he stumbled on the partly buried bodies slaughtered by the Phalanges with the approval of Ariel Sharon as the Israeli Kahan Commission ruled. I might also point out that your own Simon Peres serving as Foreign Minister then worried about the “expected international reaction as soon as the world learns the details of the tough battle in the Jenin refugee camps where more than 100 Palestinians have already been killed…” Peres called this a massacre. (Aluf Benn and Amos Harel, Haaretz, 4/9/2).

3. I trust the above demonstrates that if one took the trouble to check they would find that my references to actions and events are constructed on solid evidence, not that they are, as Reuven suggests, “factually baseless or warped” …”or “a multitude of false allegations, misunderstandings and things taken out of context or blown way out of proportion.” Even my literary works, The Unreasoning Mask, like The Agony of Colin Powell and The Chronicles of Nefaria, are built on factual matters and events. Should one care to they can find a Master’s thesis from a Moroccan graduate student that details the people, places and events in Nefaria as they depict real people or places or events. Nefaria is an allegory that was inspired by an article I wrote, “Life inside the Entombment Wall.” It is available in Arabic translation as well. It depicts a Prime Minister in a coma as he relives his life of wickedness, for he is the Prime Minister of Wickedness.

4. Let me end with this observation Reuven made: “It was an incredible lesson for me to see how someone can make something his life’s work, and end up with a completely distorted understanding of it. Bill came here searching for historic archives to prove Israel’s immorality, yet refused to accept my own living-history testimony as to our ethics and values.”

As a searcher for truth about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, I cannot expect to understand it listening to a person who speaks virtuously about his position and expects that he speaks for the nation of Israel. The people of the world have seen and been appalled by the 51 days of devastation inflicted on the people of Gaza by the Zionist power willingly using every advanced military device known to humans against a caged people who cannot run or fly or hide from that devastation, a treatment that goes beyond the pale of proportionate retaliation. How does the world know this? Evidence is everywhere : to those caught in the maelstrom of fire and brimstone in the streets of Gaza, to those opening the pages of their local papers everywhere but in America and witness the photographs that catch the horror, and to the evidence from B’tselem and Amnesty International and even the Palestinian Human Rights Council that publishes the names and ages of the dead. We certainly do not get it from the Zionist Prime Minister when he tried valiantly to transfer the blame to Hamas in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN:

“…the pictures out of Gaza are heart wrenching and painful, the painful pictures of children dying… and the thousands of refugees. What goes through your mind when you see that?” Bibi’s answer is not the “banality of evil” that Hanna Arendt saw as she witnessed Eichmann’s answers at his trial, an evil of “stupidity” that excluded rational thought.

“Hamas targets civilians, we don’t… They want to pile up as many dead as they can…the more dead the better”
How explain this mindset? How controlled is this man by his own self-devoted professional promotion to believe he can convince the people of the world that his use of flechette bombs that explode above the ground spreading their steel needles into anything within striking distance, bombs designed to kill and mutilate living beings, mock his pretend weeping before Blitzer when asked “what goes through your mind?” and he says “Very sad,, we’re sad for every civilian casualty, they’re not intended…Hamas targets civilians…” But there he stands contradicted by the weaponry employed, yet he shows no signs of remorse, no acceptance of his own guilt, no shame at the amorality of his actions, no mercy. (see “Transference of Evil,” William A. Cook, August 24, 2914).

My research in the archives, including the Haganah archives named after a terrorist entity that blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem killing 91 innocent civilians in a false flag attack that put the blame on Arabs, testifies to the blind commitment of men, by oath to the death, to bring the state of Israel into existence. The Judaic faith does not condone murder of innocents; it rather strives for equity for all and for the rights of all. Zionism by contrast uses Judaism and its religious beliefs to lay claim to land given to them by the God of Abraham, but that abuse of religious faith has destroyed a people with impunity. The International Laws that govern the intent of the United Nations is defied by Israel and the US as the more than 100 resolutions passed by the UNGA testifies. Neither the people of Israel nor the people of the United States have the power to control their governments. We become hapless victims of silence to the evil wrought by those who have taken power in our respective nations.

My luncheon with Reuven touched me deeply. I had never expected or even thought about the possibility of having lunch with a former student, especially one I taught 56 years ago. Across from me sat a life renewed in the son, a blessing that endures generations. But for every Reuven that thrives there are sons who do not, and there are fathers in Gaza who have no sons to greet in the morning sun, no Mothers to embrace the returning son, no sister to grab his hand and sing. That luncheon made real for me the sacredness of life, each and every one.

Yet even as I write these words I can hear the guttural throat of the naysayer tell me “Get over it!” Life’s a hell. Save yourself. But if it is that voice I must hear because they take control, and since they offer nothing to this world but unending war, I must reject their council which is a rejection of life. And indeed, if the council of Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, offered in the same issue of the Jerusalem Post that carried Reuven’s column about our lunch, is to be heeded, the Jewish people would agree with me for the “role of the Jewish nation…is to be a ‘light unto nations,’ to lead all of humanity to faith and values of charity, justice and good deeds which we learn from the Torah, its stories, and its commandments.’”

For silence is complicity in that evil and it is the responsibility of the people, as Herman Melville cries in Moby Dick, to “speak truth to the face of falsehood.”

The Dementedness Destroying Israel

The Dementedness Destroying Israel

William A. Cook

“They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force nothing to boast of, when you have it, since your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others. They grabbed what they could get for the sake of what was to be got. It was just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind as it is very proper for those who tackle the darkness. The conquest of the earth, which mostly means taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look at it too much…” (Joseph Conrad. “Heart of Darkness”).

A noticeable change has occurred in Israel since its bombardment of Gaza in 2008/9, what I have termed the Christmas bombing of imprisoned civilians caught in a steel net surrounding their sliver of land, a change that offers perspective on the altering mindset that guides this benumbed state. Then Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Saturday the 27th “…instructed the Foreign ministry to take emergency measures to adapt Israel’s international public relations to the ongoing escalation in the Gaza strip” (Haaretz, 12/28/08). Her intent as she ordered the military to continue its devastation of the Gazan people resulting in over 1400 dead, many children, was “to explain the rationale for the expanded IDF operations in the Gaza strip.” An all out call to PR personnel to mobilize was issued, including those with language proficiency in Arabic, Italian, Spanish and German, the better to muffle the voices of those finding fault with the invasion. She noted at the time that Israel expects foreign media and diplomatic figures to support Israel.

Today as the current spring rain of missiles pours down on Gaza, the intent arises from a totally different cause, a manufactured cause created by Netanyahu’s government directed at the Israeli people to elicit unconditional support to destroy Gaza. Max Blumenthal, recently returned from Israel, describes the maneuver in this way:

The entire crisis occurred against the backdrop of a peace process that Netanyahu was blamed for destroying and in the wake of the Hamas-Fatah unity deal, which the US recognized and which Netanyahu was determined to destroy as well. The kidnapping of the three Israeli teens by what appears to be a rogue Hamas cell apparently seeking to generate some kind of prisoner exchange was too good of an opportunity for him to waste.

And so, as I’ve documented with on-the-record sources, Israeli investigators, Netanyahu and the honchos of the military-intelligence apparatus knew by the sound of gunshots on a recorded call by the teens to the police that the teens were killed right away. And they chose to lie, not only to the teens’ parents, whom they sought to deploy as props in their global PR campaign, but to the Israeli public. Through a military gag order, the Israeli media was not allowed to report on the investigation or the details of the recorded phone call. With the Israeli public and the world convinced that the teens were alive, Israeli troops ransacked the West Bank under the guise of a rescue mission, and embarked on a global propaganda campaign centering around the hashtag #BringBackOurBoys. The Israeli public was not emotionally prepared for the discovery of the teens’ bodies because they thought they would be returned home as Gilad Shalit was. So Netanyahu and his inner circle set the public up for a truly dangerous reaction (Blumenthal, 7/16/14).

This is not a new tactic for Israeli governments to use, even against their own people; it has been a tactic from the inception of the state when such manipulation of the Jewish immigrants arriving in Palestine began, as the papers in the Rhodes House Archives of Sir Richard C. Catling attest.  The uniqueness in this instance comes with its expectation that the kidnapping would release an as yet unseen racism against the government’s target, Hamas, and link it to the Gazan population  as complicit in its desire to destroy Israel.

As these next few weeks unravel, it will become ever more apparent to the nations of the world that there is a different Israel in the making, one formed by the admission into the state of rabid and demented minds twisted by beliefs forced into their heads by psychotic teachers. Blumenthal makes reference to this mindset and its source:

“In Goliath, I detailed the rise of anti-Arab mobs comprised of soccer thugs and of the burgeoning anti-miscegenation movement in Israel. Netanyahu’s manipulation of the kidnapping and his response to the discovery of the dead teens—he said, “Vengeance for the blood of a small child, Satan has not yet created”—validated these elements and emboldened them as they set out for revenge.”

Demented minds thrive on demeaning the economically less fortunate, those of a different complexion, those who speak a different language, and those not of the tribe and its beliefs. They revel in small groups actively engaged in damning others, confronting individuals who have strayed into their lairs and become baubles of delight as they humiliate an innocent. Conversely they in turn find fewer and fewer people to associate with resulting in isolation from the main stream except as members of their packs, left out of activities because they do not speak as the normal teen or young adult speaks, do not enjoy the same entertainments and find themselves alone among their peers. Here is Blumenthal’s rendering of what happened: “Those young men who abducted the Palestinian teen Mohamed Abu Khdeir met at one of the revenge rallies in Jerusalem; they were fans of the soccer club Beitar Jerusalem, which I wrote about in Goliath and whose racist history is absolutely legion. The killers forced Abu Khdeir to drink gasoline and burned him alive. In a place where an eliminationist strain of racism has been so thoroughly mainstreamed, it might actually be a misnomer to call them “extremists.”

Let me return now to the quote that heads this piece. Conrad’s quote offers an opportunity to speculate on its deeper meaning: “…strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others ….” As the world views the Israeli slaughter of the fenced in people in Gaza, where missiles sent silently from a ship off Gaza’s coast slice through the flesh of four boys on the beach as they run for safety from a fisherman’s shack, as 18 members of a family are killed in a mass slaughter, as the number of children and women mount despite Israel’s protestation that they are warning people to leave their homes and the military use only precision weapons, are they witnessing as well the “weakness” of Israel?

“Strength” in Conrad’s quote is allied with “accident” and they are coupled, in turn, with “weakness.” Consider the meaning of Israel’s “superior force” if it causes the people of the world to react viscerally time and again to acts determined by miscalculation, technology error or chance, or are, in fact, deliberate, and the voices of the world communities turn against the people of Israel and its government in anger, frustration and even hatred. And if that reaction is fed further by the conscious awareness that this spring’s invasion is only the latest in a repetitive series—Lebanon in 1982 with the massacre at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, the massacres at Rafah and Jenin camps, the fall 2006 invasion of Lebanon, the Christmas invasion of Gaza, the 2012 invasion of Gaza—all executed with impunity to international law and consequent destruction of life and property, then is it not probable that the people of the world might react with visible and understandable demands that the UN and the US cease all such inhumane actions and force justice through the International Court of Justice? In short, the Israeli government is its own weakness caused by its own conscienceless behavior against the people of Palestine.

Weakness need not be caused by external forces alone; weakness can be inherent in the state oblivious to the horror of its own acts. Conscienceless acts by the government, as we have just seen, are the first of the inherent weaknesses that plague Israel. But then there is the other, perhaps even more pitiable than the first. That weakness can be mental, a madness arising from inculcated indoctrination into beliefs that give identity to a tribe and hence to an individual of the tribe solidifying personal exceptionalism, hence uniqueness, rights, control and the arrogance to impose their will on those perceived inferior.

Consider the Knesset members who add to the cacophony of hatred that prowls the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Here is the voice of Ayelet Shaked the day before Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khudair was kidnapped and burned alive. Six Israeli Jewish youths have confessed to the murder. Israeli lawmaker Ayelet, whose youthful face masks her inhumanity, placed a call for genocide of the Palestinians on Facebook. “…the entire Palestinian people is the enemy…including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.” These words not only trumpet savagery against Palestinians they laud those who would undertake such a mission. Perhaps in time, if her voice today becomes a clarion call beyond the minds of Israeli youth and squatters and reaches to the compassion resident in the hearts of all nations beyond Israel and the United States, she will live to see the demise of the state she calls to slaughter. And perhaps in time as she shows the world a face of age with its wrinkles and experience, she will reveal a repentant soul weeping for those she has destroyed.

Netanyahu has not had to resort to a publicity campaign as Livni did because he is encrusted in his own deception; Israel obeys only Israel because it controls the American veto and walks with impunity across the world’s stage fearful of none as it cries victim of all. That is an unbeatable combination that buries the weakness behind curtains of arrogance oblivious to the visceral response from the world community that sees in Israel a horror loose both in the UN and in the world.

The thugs Blumenthal describes in his interview do not dress as Livni’s Ambassador to the UN  Daniel Gillerman dressed as he adorned himself in righteous rhetoric defending his state against those who would malign Israel’s efforts to “defend itself” against Palestinians out to “wipe Israel off of the map.” The nonsense of his comments speak for themselves; a wealthy state unleashes the fourth most state of the art military against a people surrounded by walls and an ocean and a sky controlled by Israel, invade a land packed with 1.6 million people who have no military to defend them and he asks the world to sympathize with this state that must defend itself though it has no borders, no constitution, and no acceptance of international law. But he sits there at the UN resplendent in gleaming suit and tie, lapel pin in place, tone appropriate to the anguish he claims to feel for those hurt in this need Israel must assert—how tender, how gratifying, how hypocritical. Yet that is what the world witnessed then. Now with the unveiling of “social media” the world is witness to something else.

The PR campaign Livni had to resort to cannot cover the reality of the demented that have voices in the Knesset, in the rants of right wing Rabbis, or in the gangs that control the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Nor can the New York Times reporters carry on as they have and here described by Blumenthal:

Jodi Rudoren and Isabel Kershner and the rest of the reporters at the New York Times Jerusalem bureau actually have to devote endless stores of energy to avoid reporting on all of the outrages unfolding all around them. Instead of reporting on the Prawer Plan to ethnically cleanse Bedouin citizens of Israel, for example, or the anti-African race riots in Tel Aviv—pivotal events in the history of the state of Israel—Rudoren covers a beauty contest for Holocaust survivors or takes to Facebook to complain about how she missed her spinning class but made up for it by scaling the steps of a building in Gaza destroyed by Israeli bombing. And when Kershner covers the national campaign to expel non-Jewish Africans, she focuses the story on the liberal Israelis and their anguished souls, rather than on the Africans who are being rounded up and placed in camps for the crime of not being Jewish. Just imagine if they went out and covered what was actually happening on the ground and clinically detailed the logic and planning behind it.

Even more ironic of course is the recent need for the Washington Post to run a story from Tel Aviv by William Booth, Jerusalem bureau chief, about the killing of four young boys playing on the beach, killed by missile fire from a ship off the coast. Reporters in the sea side beach hotel witnessed the carnage and grasped its implications as destructive to the Israeli contention of controlled intervention. How could the paper not report this incident?

We could smell the charge. I wondered: Did Hamas just fire a rocket? But it was the sound of an incoming round. We saw a small fisherman’s shack on the quay, churning with gray smoke.

Then we saw a gang of kids running from the shack, down the breakwater and onto the sand, hurtling toward al-Deira. A couple of waiters, the cook and a few journalists started waving at them. Run here! Then a second strike landed right behind them.

The staff were yelling, “They’re hurt!”

A half-dozen kids made it to the hotel. A young man also reached safety and fainted. He was bleeding from the abdomen. He was scooped up and carried to a taxi by a big, friendly bear of a bellman, room cleaner and night watchman named Mahmoud Abu Zbaidah.

Israel as a state embodies the weaknesses of all states over the centuries as it contains within it the infection of its own demise. Confidence nourishes it for a time, arrogance becomes its mantra, expectation of immortality feeds its greed and its lust for on-going power, and in its glory it forgets that others witness and others suffer the bloated ferociousness of its beliefs in its own “exceptionalism,” its ordained purpose in its G-d’s anointment of His chosen. But that G-d is their invention, a G-d of war according to their own book of Exodus, designed for another century when competing tribes roamed the middle east each with its own god, and they in time defeated the G-d of war forcing His chosen to roam the earth.

And thus will history repeat itself and the arrogant will become the agonized and the defeated will become the destroyer. Unless…unless the Jewish state and the people of the 193 nations that constitute the United Nations sit together in council to agree that all signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all must abide by them. There is no God of exceptionalism; there is only a people that inhabit the earth given to them from time immemorial by the forces that enabled it to be. It alone is the means for all, born in this or a century yet to come, to live, and thrive, and endure by sharing the gifts that are the world and make possible a heaven for all.

A History Lesson: What ISIS Learned from IRGUN

William A. Cook

“When the history of the first half of this (20th) century comes to be written—properly written—it will be acknowledged the most stupid and brutal in the history of civilization.” (Sir Thomas Beecham).

Imbedded in Sir Thomas Beecham’s observation is an assumption, if you will, that civilizations advance, that humankind progresses in time to higher levels of intelligence as we shed ancient superstitions that locked our ancestors into barbaric acts, that our creativeness in application of scientific knowledge improves the human condition, perhaps even, that as time passes, we grasp the one underlying reality of human advancement that will truly fulfill that assumption, all are one in a shared universe or we all are doomed. We have been witness in this new century to ancient superstitions committing barbaric acts as hooded hangmen of old decapitate a fellow human, fulfilling in the act a vengeful retaliation against their perceived enemy. We like to think that this is a retrograde act retreating to an inferior state of centuries past making it easy to condemn as both barbaric and uncivilized. But it is not so.

There is an unstated corollary imbedded in Beecham’s quote that explains his note—“properly written”–; unless the historian accounts for the hidden truth, that omitted from the “accepted” lists of contemporary civilizations, the omitted truth, the controlled truth, the truth allowed by those in power, then the citizen’s perception will be guided by ignorance determined by forces beyond her or his control. The appearance of the advanced civilized society is often just that, an appearance dressed to fashion intellectual advancement wrapped in the perceived splendor of modern progress: business class in international travel, Vogue fashion in business suits for the businessman and the businesswomen, the estate homes attainable because of this perceived advanced excellence–the dress of advancement not the reality of its being.

Why then in our advanced intellectual state do we shrink from the ISIS marketer who inflames the Western mind by recreating the vengeful retaliation of centuries past? What the marketer knows is the power behind the message—the horrifying image executed by an unknown assailant immune to justice. It is an act perpetrated by unconstrained aggression defying the “advanced” civilizations political and legalistic systems that are the perception of our accomplishments and achievements. It is as well the expression, the arrogant, blatant expression that knows it can act in full defiance of the West and its imposed control over the states of the mid-East. Finally, and most horribly, it is learned, learned imitation of terrorist acts used by the ruthless “gangs” that forced the British Mandate to leave Palestine because they realized that no reasoning, no logic, no appeal to civilized behavior, no expression of concern for the plight of the Jews destroyed by Nazi Germany would deter the Irgun, the Stern and the Haganah “rebel” terrorist forces from killing at will British Mandate Police and Soldiers.

Terrorism with a Vengeance:

Sixty four years ago in the middle of the 20th century, ten years short of the Biblical age granted to each of us, “civilized” men cemented their clandestine bands of hundreds and thousands to bring Israel into existence regardless of the consequences to those in authority or those resident in Palestine. Both the Haganah and the Irgun imposed such oaths that in an intellectual liposuction removed the individual’s conscience and made that person a robot of the “gang” (see Marton, Kati. A Death in Jerusalem. for Irgun oath, 44; and for the Haganah oath see Cook. The Plight of the Palestinians. Catling, Appendix XVIA.157. 19).

These gangs struck when they determined to strike, at times they determined, by methods they designed. No policeman, no soldier, no Arab, no resident in Palestine knew who might be a target or where their execution might take place; fear rode rampant across the land. The British authorities had no such freedom of movement or of execution of desired ends. They were helpless against the utter and savage ruthlessness of these terrorists. Daily, news clips carried stories of policemen and soldiers assassinated, bridges bombed, roads destroyed, trains derailed and robbed, infrastructures made inoperable. The list is endless; but descriptions of things destroyed does not do justice to the mercilessness of their acts. It is in the details that we see what ISIS learned.

Two examples should suffice. In 1947 the Stern gang attacked and wrecked a train carrying civilians and troops “near Rehovoth and then calmly machine gunned the survivors” (A Job Well Done 309). This was followed by an attack by the Irgun terrorists on the Acre prison in May, a prison that housed 460 Arabs and 163 Jews, all convicted of crimes of violence. 41 Jews escaped and were given arms as they fled the prison. The gang had mined roads leading out of Acre and mortared the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment to deter capture. Most of the Jews in the prison were members of the Irgun and Stern gangs some under sentence of the courts.

The brazenness of these acts graphically illustrates the ruthlessness of the Stern forces, a total disregard for innocent life and a disregard for law in a refusal to let the legal system operate. The calm machine gunning of the survivors, unable to protect themselves in the wreckage of the train, defines the warped mind of those obedient to Stern’s irrational mindless behavior if judgment of sanity is based on awareness of one’s fellow humans. Remember, these men had no right to commit themselves to such destruction and deny and defy the structures others had put in place but the arrogance of belief in their righteous cause that erased the rights of all whether child, mother, wife, daughter, husband, father or son.

Several of the attackers were killed by the British and three arrested: Yaakov Weiss, Meir Nakar, and Haviv Avshalom. Following their day in court, they were sentenced to death; they were hanged.

“As soon as the sentences were proclaimed, the Irgun seized two British army sergeants, named (Marvin) Paice and (Clifford) Martin, whom they held captive with threats of execution if the judicial sentences were carried out. The three terrorists were hanged on 29th July and the following day the bodies of Paice and Martin were discovered hanging from a eucalyptus tree in a government owned grove near Nathanya. When Captain D. H. Galatti of the Royal Engineers went to cut down one of the bodies, a mine exploded on the ground from which the officer was wounded in the face and shoulder. The body was blown to pieces. It was then that the whole area was found to be booby trapped. It was later discovered that both bodies had been hanging for two days prior to the discovery and may have been murdered before the judicial hangings were carried out” (Horne, A Job Well Done 311).

Once again the brutality of the Stern and Irgun forces reveals itself as they arbitrarily kidnap two innocent men in khaki casual dress visiting a café, but known to them as soldiers willing to talk to Jews about British activities, yet two that had nothing to do with the events described above. They were expendable humans to wreak Irgun vengeful retaliation on the Mandate government for daring to kill a Jew, guilty or not. They alone should determine guilt not their proclaimed enemy, the British government. But the barbaric action goes deeper; not only grab two innocents but booby trap their bodies so that those sent to the scene might be blown up or those who, in mercy and sorrow, help bring their hanged and mutilated bodies down from this place of silent fruit die as well in their very act of mercy. No compassion here, no concern for the weeping of the living or the dignity of the dead, no love for their fellow man, nothing but selfish pride and destructive ego to salve their soul if soul they have. Who led these terrorists? Menachem Begin, a future Israeli Prime Minister and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize together with Egypt’s Anwar Sadat. Begin confessed in an interview that his decision to hang the two sergeants was a “cruel revenge” against the British authorities; two words to bury beside Paice and Martin to salve the sorrow of their parents and family (Ofer Aderet, Aug. 7, 2012. Haaretz).

Rule of Law or Defiance:

The Mandate Police in Palestine originally served as Constables for the Palestine Government’s High Commissioner in the towns and villages of the Mandate as designated by His Majesty’s Government under authorization of the League of Nations and later the United Nations. As events evolved during the 1940s the Police took on a para-military role necessitated by the terrorism engulfing them. His Majesty’s Government established a Military Court System to ensure justice in Palestine, an equitable system that applied to Arabs, Jews and the British citizen resident in Palestine. It is a system we expect to exist in a civilized state: an individual is charged with a crime, evidence is gathered and shared with the defense, a trial is held, a judgment made, and punishment imposed or freedom from punishment established. It is recognition of a person’s inherent rights; in England such rights were granted to the people of England by King John in 1215.

The above two paragraphs establish the dilemma of the “western civilized” society against the ancient tribal society that ruled by fiat. Here is the oath the Irgun “gang” member took when he cemented his allegiance to the Irgun Zvat Leumi (fighters for the freedom of Israel): “I do solemnly swear full allegiance to the Irgun Zvat Leumi, and to its commander, to its goal, and its aims, and I am ready to make every sacrifice even of my life, giving first preference at all times to the Irgun, above my parents, my brothers, my sisters, my family…until we achieve a sovereign Israel. So help me, God” (see Morton 44). This is a commitment of life to an idea embodied in a commander right or wrong without regard for any other living being’s rights. Perhaps it’s appropriate to quote here from the leader of the Stern ‘Gang,” Avraham Stern, whose beliefs determined the actions of those who obeyed his strange conception of the place of Israel in the affairs of the world: “We are struck with the madness for kingdom (not democracy I would note)…the Jewish people are unlike any other people…Their country is the Land of Israel, with its frontiers as promised Abraham in the Bible—stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates” (as quoted by Morton 57). Stern, when caught by the British Police and soldiers in February 1942, was shot as he tried to escape. Ironically in light of today’s condemnation of Islamic martyrdom, he became a martyr for the Zionist cause, Olei Hagardom, and celebrated as such (Ofer Aderet. “The ‘cruel revenge’ that helped drive the British out of Palestine.” Haaretz 8/7/2012).

Considered in light of today’s “advancement” in civilization to recognition of individual rights, the significance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the blind obedience of the Irgun terrorists to their idea of Israel’s “freedom” as the only right, determined by them as the only right, and to the Stern gangs’ commitment to his “kingdom” determined by his God as written by Moses (perhaps) of land given to the “seed” of the Jews, and to the absoluteness of the Haganah oath on all its followers, the British acceptance of a state ruled by law is anathema, an impediment to be destroyed at all costs by whatever means necessary to carry it out. There is no law but their law, no rights but their rights, no obligation to any but their own. Theirs is the Jewish State of Eretz Israel, the forerunner of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Now consider the dominant issues incased in this confrontation: to the terrorists, Britain’s control of Palestine is control by a foreign power on its rightful owners the Jews (strangely they did not consider themselves foreigners). The confrontation is one of ideologies: rule of law as determined by the League of Nations and subsequently by the United Nations with the UN Conventions, Declarations and Accords as accepted by that organization’s members versus a tribal kingdom or in the case of ISIS a Caliphate, rules imposed by fiat from above. In either case the progress of civilized society as determined by the West is not seen as progress by these two opposing forces; rather they find rule by the west to be weak lacking assertiveness, absoluteness in determining obedience to behavior, an absence of beliefs since all are tolerated and none imposed on all. They also see the system of laws and the establishment of the jury system as curtailing the power of the state to aggressively pursue its ends when its right to rule should be and must be unquestioned.

What ISIS Learned:

ISIS knows now how to act. Each and every recruit must commit himself to the cause of the Caliphate or face the threat of death. Because their crusade is one of absolute belief, there are no exceptions to the rule of the Commanders who determine the enemy, the behavior, and the means to accomplish their end. They also determine how to present the power they assume to their enemy through graphic visuals that create shock and awe, not unlike Donald Rumsfeld’s use of that phrase in the American attacks on the innocent people of Baghdad. Consider that America’s occupation and oppression of the Iraqi people, its devastation of Afghanistan and its cooperative destruction with the Israelis of Palestinians have made it a contemporary image of the British Mandate Government’s occupation of Palestine, the land that belongs to the Jews as Begin, Stern and Ben Gurion believed absolutely. There are no democratic concerns here for the rights of individuals any more than there was for the rights of Paice and Martin or the civilians or troops on the train. This is a land into which one is born regardless of individual beliefs; it is a place of unquestioned faith and allegiance. It is not a place of tolerance, yet to achieve its ends it will testify the opposite.

Today the reality that created the state of Israel from the intellectual loins of fanatics offers us an opportunity to understand a critical political issue confronting the nations of the mid-East and indeed the nations that comprise the United Nations. The existence of ISIS appears on the surface to be a new phenomenon; it is not. It arises from smoldering emotions resident in thousands of Arabic people who have endured decades of Western colonialism and humiliation as the West found in the natural resources of Arab lands the oil needed to fuel their economic machine. That was a right the West accepted as a right of might. At first it was done by physical presence of forces in the countries colonized; then it was done by controlling the Princes or dictators that governed the areas. Always it was done on the backs of the people.

To confront this oppression requires something other than military force. That force is visible in the years following 1939 in Palestine and it is rising from the ashes of the countries devastated by the United States and its “state” in the mid-East, Israel. Prior to 1948 and the “Declaration of Independence” of a new Nation in Palestine, the United States did not appear in the Arab countries as a Colonizer, a nation that threatened their existence or way of life. Once Israel was established, once its aggression began to glow on the sand dunes of Palestine, then the Sinai, then in Lebanon, and in Syria, once it became obvious that Israel is a different place with a different agenda, or as Ariel Sharon famously stated, “We don’t worry about America, we run America and America knows it,” then the people realized they were under the control of the greatest military machine ever devised run by a mentality totally different from their own.

ISIS is a threat to JSEI precisely because it is driven by the same deep rooted beliefs that drove   the moderates of Zionism to accept the absolutism of their god given right to another’s land after thousands of years of absence. In the process they forced the British Government to abandon its attempt to control the absolute power that resides in personal commitment to a force that has chosen them to do His will.  Before the British Government issued a “White Paper” with restrictions on the importation of Jewish immigrants into Palestine in 1939, there were Zionists who accepted a slow and steady importation of Jews to live beside those who already lived there. Indeed the Jewish Agency initially acted in such a way, cooperating with the Mandate Government in the importation and settlement of new immigrants from European countries. From 1939, the fanatical forces of the Irgun and Stern and Haganah, impatient to create their own rightful state, issued in a reign of terror that by 1946 made Palestine uncontrollable because rule by law must give way to rule by unrestrained belief. Consequently, the Jewish Agency was forced to accept the “reality on the ground,” the existence of terroristic acts against the British government or condemn and betray their fellow Jews who were “fighting for the freedom of Israel.” They chose to “condemn” but never betray.

Deceit as Strategy:

In a Telegram from the British Secretary of State on May 11, 1946 to the High Commissioner for Palestine, marked “No. 2131, Secret. Important,” the following appears:

“…Following is text of statement to be made by Colonial Secretary in the House of Commons. BEGINS:

The government recently had conversations with the representatives of the Jewish Agency on serious state of affairs in Palestine and the possibility of reducing the present tension. These conversations were reported by the Agency representatives to the Inner Zionist Council meeting in Palestine on October 29th. One of the resolutions subsequently issued by that body was in the following terms:

‘The Inner Zionist Council declares that the Zionist Movement has always rejected and continues to reject terrorist bloodshed as an instrument of political struggle. The banner of Zionism must be pure and enbesmirched (sic). The Inner Zionist Council denounces without reservation bloodshed by groups of terrorists who defy national discipline and thereby place themselves outside the ranks of the organized community. These deeds defile the struggle of the Jewish people and distort its character; they strengthen the hands of the opponents of Zionism and the enemies of the Jewish people. Council calls upon the Yishuv to isolate these groups and to deny them all endorsement support and assistance.’

…In view of the condemnation of terrorism embodied in the resolution announced at the meeting on October 29th by the Inner Zionist Council which is accepted  as an earnest intention of the Jewish Agency and of the representatives of the Jewish institutions in attempting to dissociate themselves entirely from the campaign of violence and to do their utmost to root out this evil His Majesty’s Government have concurred in the release by Palestine authorities of the detained Jewish leaders. (from documents copied by this writer from the files of High Commissioner Alan Cunningham at St. Antony’s Middle East Center archives in October 2014).

The release of the Jewish leaders changed nothing on the ground. Terrorism continued yet the Agency did nothing to quell it. Indeed it could not since it was the organizing force of the Jewish resistance against the Mandate. The evidence for this rests in files in the Rhodes House archives and corroborated by recent evidence gained from the British Archives and the Middle East Center at Oxford. The point we are emphasizing here is the total commitment of the Jewish Agency to the cause of creating the state of Israel regardless of the political and moral consequences of that goal. Knowing this is effective strategy against standard Western states provides ISIS an historical reality that worked. The ensuing paragraphs are taken from the Introduction of The Plight of the Palestinians and establishes the facts that brought about the demise of the mandate and the rise of the Jewish State of Eretz Israel.

Deceive the Benefactor:

Nothing makes more obvious the reality and meaning of the “Zionist Juggernaut” than Sir Richard C.  Catling’s TOP SECRET “Memorandum of the Criminal Investigation Division” of July 31, 1947, a three inch thick file filled with seized Jewish organization documents collated to provide evidence on each of the sections detailed in the cover report of 43 pages.

The purpose of this memorandum is to furnish documentary evidence of the extent to which the supreme Jewish national institutions in Palestine and their principal officials have been parties to acts of sedition, violence, incitement and other offences against the laws of Palestine….The bulk of the memorandum concerns the war and post war years….The trends which thenceforth led up to serious outbreaks of active resistance towards the end of 1945 and early 1946 are well known and the memorandum will therefore concern itself solely with an attempt to establish the links between the supreme Jewish bodies and illegal activity…(Memorandum 1-2)

Catling’s memorandum begins with an understanding of the “intricate Jewish political, social and economic structure in Palestine.” A series of appendices chart these structures marking in passing that “…the Palestine Royal Commission Report of 1937 understood ‘The Agency is obviously not a ‘governing body’; it can only advise and cooperate in a certain wide field.’ But allied as it is with the Vaad Leumi, and commanding the allegiance of the great majority of the Jews in Palestine, it unquestionably exercises, both in Jerusalem and in London, a considerable influence on the conduct of government.” Catling’s frustration with the actual control of the Jews over British policy in Palestine glares through this document. “This powerful and efficient organization amounts, in fact, to a government existing side by side with the Mandatory Government…” (2-3) [emphasis mine].

What Catling doesn’t state in that sentence, but what he demonstrates in the memorandum, is that the Jewish Agency and its affiliated organizations are at war with the UN authority in Palestine, the British Mandate Palestine Government. The appendices include detailed information on the personnel in interlocking Jewish organizations and the function of each noting specifically the presence of leading Jewish personalities. Special emphasis is given to the power of the Mapai (Palestine Labor Party) as it controls key executive positions so that it in effect controls the Yishuv and directs its policies. “Ben Gurion stated, ‘In a Jewish Community of some 600,000 there are more than 170,000 organized workers, men and women…’ Evidence will show how these organized workers are penalized if they dare to oppose the arbitrary commands of the national institutions” (4) [emphasis mine]. The British Mandate Government had long suspected that the subversive activities against the Palestine Government were not the sole responsibility of the “gangs,” like the resistance groups, the National Military Organization and the Stern Group. With the evidence provided in this memorandum it became obvious that the “Jewish national institutions, or (by) groups of their officials (who) have placed the legally constituted framework and organs of these bodies at the discreet disposal of the para-military organization, ‘Irgun Haganna’.”

The memorandum goes further. It notes that the activities of the Jewish Agency through its controlled organizations send emissaries and instructors abroad “to stir up Zionist sentiments among the Jewish communities and displaced persons, to bring pressure to bear upon the Palestine problem, to organize illegal immigration and engage in espionage.” As a result of its investigations, the Division itemizes six areas of subversive activities undertaken by the Jewish Agency against the British Mandate Government:

  1. Maintenance of a secret army and espionage system;
  2. Smuggling, theft and manufacture of arms;
  3. Illegal immigration;
  4. Violence and civil disobedience;
  5. Seditious and hostile propaganda;
  6. Encroachment upon the civil rights of Jewish citizens (5).

In short, the Zionist controlled Jewish Agency, the Yishuv, actively undermined the legal authority in Palestine even as it operated to undermine support for that government in Britain, placing UK forces in harms way as they attempted to fulfill their authorized responsibilities in Palestine. It also demonstrates the determination of the Agency’s leadership in undermining the very nation that gave it a means of establishing a “homeland” in Palestine through the Balfour Declaration. Needless to say, Catling and his CID forces recognized the impossible position this defiance placed them in and understood the deception and violent means used by the Zionists to ensure that their will and theirs alone would be fulfilled at any cost. On page 74 of the appendices, this assertion by the unnamed Head of Command, The Jewish Resistance Movement, March 25, 1946, establishes the reality of this point:

But if the solution (i.e. that Britain would not repeal the White Paper) is anti-Zionist, our resistance will continue, spread and increase in vigour. …There are precepts in Jewish ethics which oblige a man to be killed rather than trespass. The precept of defence of our national existence is at the head of these. We shall not trespass. …Our resistance is liable to result in the creation of a new problem in this country – the British problem, the problem of British security in Palestine, and this problem will be resolved only by the Zionist solution. It would be better if the Zionist solution were proclaimed in recognition of the world Jewish problem and the justice of our work in Palestine. We do not threaten. We only wish you to know our intentions clearly.

The chutzpah represented by this statement, that in effect declares open war against the Mandate Government, receives confirmation in the following words from page 75:

We shall not accept the status of a minority in our own land, whether the minority is 33% or 49%. …We shall not accept a symbolic independence in a dwarflike token state which will not give us the chance of developing all the resources of the country and creating here a safe asylum for all Jews who are compelled or wish to come (75). … In all the crises of the past and until today, the Arabs have always acquiesced in the facts we have created here and have expressed their opposition only to the creation of a new state of affairs. If they were to be faced now with the fait accompli of the Jewish State, they will at length acquiesce in that too (76).

Recognize the absoluteness of these comments: “resistance will continue,” “result in the creation of a new problem – the British problem,” “the problem of British security in Palestine,” “this problem will only be resolved by the Zionist solution,”  “our land,” “developing all the resources of the country, “Arabs have always acquiesced in the facts we have created,” and “they will … acquiesce in that too.” There is no alternative but the total takeover of the land of Palestine regardless of the existence of an indigenous people or an existing government.

It is not the purpose of this paper to provide all the particulars of the CID Memorandum, but it is important to provide an understanding of what these papers reveal about the conditions that existed from 1941- 1948 as the mandate Government had to contend with the terrorism of the Jews in Palestine. What they reveal is a Zionist mindset that has a pre-determined intent of full acquisition of the land of Palestine regardless of the Balfour Declaration intent, the British Mandate Government’s responsibilities as the authorized government until May of 1948, Resolution 181 as it set borders by partitioning Palestine for two peoples, or the rights of the indigenous population to their homes and villages. These papers also provide insight into the processes used by the Zionists to gain their ends including violence, civil disobedience, seditious acts, deception, and encroachment on civil and human rights of Jews and Palestinians.


There is an irony growing out of this conundrum: ISIS in Syria borders the Israeli state; the Islamic State as envisioned by ISIS includes areas designated for Eretz Israel. A battle of beliefs looms in the mid-East with both sides committed to their respective god given lands, both driven by fanatical believers in the righteousness of their cause, both determined to prevent the other from succeeding. Sir Thomas Beecham’s woeful observation condemning the twentieth century to the doldrums of stupidity and barbarity might well be trumped by the stupidity and barbarity of the 21st century as predicted in the superstitious books of the old and new testaments with the forces of Satan in the guise of Jehovah, the god of war, battling it out with Saklas, the god of mindlessness, Jehovah’s other self, in the Valley of Migeddo.

Link:   Revised Script for the Production at the University of La Verne including line referenced footnotes.

Link to article “Jenin, War Crimes, and the Necessity of a Palestinian State by Maryam Nazie:

Link to article “Powell: No signs of Jenin massacre as yet”:

Link to article “Mr Powell must see for himself what Israel inflicted on Jenin,” by Robert Fisk:

Robert Fisk: Mr Powell must see for himself what Israel inflicted on Jenin…p?story=284647

Robert Fisk: Mr Powell must see for himself what Israel inflicted on Jenin
The credibility of US policy on the conflict has been shattered
14 April 2002
Why doesn’t Colin Powell go to Jenin? What has happened to the world’s moral compass – indeed to the United States – when America’s most famous ex-general, the Secretary of State of the most powerful country on earth, on a supposedly desperate mission to stop the bloodshed in the Middle East, fails to grasp what is taking place in front of his nose? The stench of decaying corpses is wafting out of the Palestinian city. The Israeli army is still keeping the Red Cross and journalists from seeing the evidence of the mass killings that have taken place there. “Hundreds” – on Israel’s own admission – have died, including civilians. Why, for God’s sake, can’t Mr Powell do the decent thing and demand an explanation for the extraordinary, sinister events that have taken place in Jenin?

Instead, after joshing with Ariel Sharon after his arrival in Jerusalem on Friday, Mr Powell is playing games, demanding that Yasser Arafat condemn Friday’s bloody suicide bombing in Jerusalem (total, six dead and 65 wounded) while failing to utter more than a word of “concern” for the infinitely more terrible death toll in Jenin. Is Mr Powell frightened of the Israelis? Does he really have to debase himself in this way? Does he think that meeting Arafat, or refusing to do so, takes precedence over the enormous humanitarian tragedy and slaughter that has overwhelmed the Palestinians? Is President Bush – whose demand that Ariel Sharon withdraw his troops from the West Bank has been blandly ignored – so gutless, so cynical, as to allow this charade to continue? For this is the endgame, the very final proof that the United States is no longer morally worthy of being a Middle East peacemaker.

Even for one who has witnessed so much duplicity in the Middle East, it is a shock to reflect on the events of the past nine days. Let’s just remember, as the Americans would say, “the facts”. Almost two weeks ago, the United Nations Security Council, with the active participation and support of the United States, demanded an immediate end to Israel’s reoccupation of the West Bank and Gaza. President Bush insisted that Mr Sharon should follow the advice of “Israel’s American friends” and – because our own Mr Blair was with the President at the time – of “Israel’s British friends”, and withdraw. “When I say withdraw, I mean it,” Mr Bush snapped three days later. But of course, it’s now clear that he meant nothing of the kind.

Instead, he sent Mr Powell off on his “urgent” mission of peace, a journey to Israel and the West Bank that would take the Secretary of State an incredible eight days – just enough time, Mr Bush presumably thought, to allow his “good friend” Mr Sharon to finish his latest bloody adventure in the West Bank. Supposedly unaware that Israel’s chief of staff, Shoal Mofaz, had told Mr Sharon that he needed at least eight weeks to “finish the job” of crushing the Palestinians, Mr Powell wandered off around the Mediterranean, dawdling in Morocco, Spain, Egypt and Jordan before finally washing up in Israel on Friday morning. If Washington firefighters took that long to reach a blaze, the American capital would long ago have turned to ashes. But of course, the purpose of Mr Powell’s idleness was to allow enough time for Jenin to be turned to ashes. Mission, I suppose, accomplished.

As Israel’s indisciplined soldiery yesterday continued to hide their deeds from the outside world by preventing the Red Cross, aid workers, ambulances and journalists from entering the rubble of Jenin, Mr Powell was sitting idly by in Israel, calling for the “utmost restraint” from an army that has not yet finished filling the mass graves of Jenin. That he should see a visit to Yasser Arafat – the grotesque, corrupt old man of Ramallah – as the make-or-break issue of his “peacemaking” shows just how skewed Mr Powell’s morality has become. Mr Arafat’s advisers (let’s not give any credit to the would-be “martyr-chairman” of the Palestinian Authority for this) shrewdly announced that it is for Mr Powell to condemn the killings in Jenin, for Mr Arafat could be expected to condemn the vicious suicide bombing in Jerusalem on Friday. And even though Mr Arafat mouthed the relevant words of contrition and condemnation yesterday afternoon, it makes little difference.

All last week, while Mr Sharon’s soldiers were running amok in Jenin, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer was playing the role of Mr Sharon’s point man in Washington. When Israel announced that its army was pulling out of three tiny West Bank villages – so tiny that no one had ever heard of them before – Mr Fleischer announced that this was “a step in the right direction”. Then by Friday morning, when even the most dimwitted observer had grasped that something was terribly wrong in Jenin, Mr Fleischer was telling us that Sharon was “a man of peace”. How much longer, one wonders, could this nonsense continue?

Of course, the Palestinians – or whoever directs the sepulchral, nightmarish campaign of suicide bombing, for it surely cannot be the preposterous Mr Arafat – are going for the jugular. The Al Aqsa Brigades or Hamas or Islamic Jihad clearly intend to ensure that Mr Sharon’s ruthless operation fails (the Israeli reoccupation, after all, was supposed to be preventing these wicked Palestinian crimes) and to ensure that Mr Powell is made to look impotent. They seem certain to accomplish both goals. The Palestinian Authority, to all intents and purposes, has for now ceased to exist. That was surely one of Mr Sharon’s intentions. And Mr Powell’s weakness, his failure of nerve, his cowardice, are now likely to set off an Israeli-Palestinian war even more terrible than what we have witnessed so far.

But let’s pause for a quick journey down memory lane; to September 1982, when Ariel Sharon was “rooting out the network of terror” in the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Beirut. Before sending Israel’s murderous Phalangist militia allies into the camps, Mr Sharon told the world that the Palestinians had assassinated the Phalangist leader, Bashir Gemayel. This was totally untrue, but the Phalange believed him. And evidence is now emerging in Beirut that, long after the Americans had called for Israel to withdraw the killers from the camp, the Israeli army, commanded by then Defence Minister Sharon, handed more than 1,000 survivors over to those same murderers to be slaughtered over the following two weeks. This, primarily, is why Mr Sharon is so worried by the attempts to indict him for war crimes in Brussels.

Hasn’t Mr Powell glanced through the State Department archives for 1982? Hasn’t he read what Mr Sharon said back then, the same ranting about “terror networks” and “rooting out terror” that he employs today? A lexicon which Mr Powell himself is now enthusiastically using? Has he forgotten that the Israeli Kahan commission held Mr Sharon “personally responsible” for the massacre of those 1,700 civilians? Does Mr Powell really think that Jenin, albeit on a smaller scale, is much different? Even if we dismiss all the Palestinian claims of civilian butchery, extrajudicial executions and the wholesale destruction of thousands of homes, what on earth does he think the Israelis are hiding in Jenin? Why doesn’t he go and look?

Yes, the Palestinians’ suicide campaign is immoral, unforgivable, insupportable. One day, the Arabs – never ones to look in the mirror when it comes to their own crimes – will have to acknowledge the sheer cruelty of their tactics. They have not done this so far. But since the Israelis never attempted to confront the immorality of shooting to death child stone-throwers in the early days of the intifada or the evil of their reckless death squads who went around murdering Palestinians on their wanted list, along with the usual clutch of women and kids who got in the way, is this any wonder?

In the annals of war, the conflict in the Middle East has reached a new apogee, but the story of the United States’ involvement in the Middle East will never be the same again. Thanks to Mr Powell, President Bush and Mr Sharon, America’s credibility has been shattered. Israel, it turns out, does indeed run US policy in the region. The Secretary of State sings from the Israeli songbook. So when, oh when, will the Europeans screw their courage to the sticking-place and become the peacemakers of the Middle East?

Link to “Colin Powell: Conned or Con-Man?” by Ray McGovern:

Link to “Colin Powell Biography”: