The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs is one of my favorite reads - and I recommend it as a Christmas present to someone you might want to enlighten on a wide range of issues of impact on our lives.
This journal has an address on the Web - http://www.washington-report.org, and subscription is surprisingly inexpensive - $29 for one year and $55 for two.
It runs any number of incisive articles and book reviews, permissible to be copied as long as credit is given. Below, for instance, is a book review by Richard Curtiss, its distinguished and articulate Executive Editor.
"One Nation under Israel" by Andrew Hurley, Truth Press, Scottsdale, AZ. 1999, 307 pp. $20.00, was first printed almost a decade ago and has now been re-issued, apparently unchanged. It is a telling treatise.
My theory on book reviews is that 99% of those who read the review will never read the book, no matter how strongly I recommend it. So it's okay to reprint as many of its salient facts and conclusions as space permits. However, author/historian Andrew Hurley has packed so many facts and such sensible, cogently researched conclusions into this book's 307 pages that it's impossible to just skim off the top. It's quotable from beginning to end.
Readers are best advised to get their own copy and settle in for what will be a rewarding but not entirely easy read. Hurley was a corporate lawyer for 40 years before he retired and brought out the first edition of this book in 1990, just before the Gulf War rearranged the furniture on the deck of America's sinking "Israel, right or wrong" Middle East policy. Accordingly, he has laid out each of his 14 chapters almost like legal briefs. He states the facts of each case as he sees them, the opposing arguments where they exist, the counter-arguments, and then what any sensible judge would conclude - unless that judge happened to be running for elective office in the United States, and therefore was scared to death of the Israel lobby.
There are problems to this approach, but before getting into them, let's make one thing very clear. You should get this book and read it. If you are well informed about the Middle East, you may or may not learn much that is new. But it is certain you fill find in these pages many of those items you remember reading about and later wish you had cut out and saved.
On the other hand, if you are clueless about the Middle East, you may be exactly the kind of person for whom author Hurley wrote the book. If, however, after reading the book, you still feel uncertain about who is willing to compromise and who is visibly delaying a peace settlement until there's nothing left over which a compromise can be reached, well, then, you really are clueless.
You also should get your public library to buy it. And if the head librarian pleads budgetary problems, offer to donate a copy.
Then, if the donated copy is stolen, buy the library another one. You can rest assured that, unless the librarian attaches it to a chain, the book will be stolen because this is a very, very subversive document for those who would like the U.S. to go on paying Israeli bills and using the American veto in the United Nations to frustrate Israel's critics (who, Hurley demonstrates, include every other sovereign nation on earth) for a second half-century while Israel's Likud leaders finish committing national suicide (which, in Hurley's opinion, probably won't take anything like that long).
This second, but unchanged printing has been issued nine years after the first, in the same year that Israeli voters have turned out the Likud for the third time. But otherwise little has changed in Israel, and little of that for the better. Israel has new "moderate" leadership, which is reluctant to carry out the commitments of the previous "extremist" leadership, and again Israel's American apologists, whom Hurley blames for much of its folly, are saying, as they always do, "Give the new man a chance, don't crowd him, or the extremists will come back."
In fact, however, the significant change since Hurley finished his book nine years before the date of this review is that the moderates did come back, for three of those years, from 1992 to 1995, but there is still no peace, and little certainty that new Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is prepared to make the territorial withdrawals that will bring one about with the Palestinians.
Hurley clearly documents the futility of the "peace process," a term he attributes to Israel's first Likud prime minister, Menachem Begin, who, in this reviewer's opinion, seized upon the "process" to postpone the "peace." Begin's successor, Yitzhak Shamir, put it succinctly: "What's to negotiate? They think the land is theirs. We think it's ours." Hurley also cites the prophesy of Israel's prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, in a May 31, 1963 letter to Moshe Sharett: "I have no doubt that Begin's rule will lead to the destruction of the state. In any case, his rule will turn Israel into a monster."
The reader is left to judge whether the return of a Labor coalition government will halt, or at least slow, what Hurley calls "the march of folly." But I can think of few other volumes that would be as helpful to readers for working that out for themselves.
I have to admit that I was presented a copy of the first edition, entitled Holocaust II: Saving Israel from Suicide, nine years ago but was turned off by the title. (Then, as now, I was more worried about saving the U.S. when Israel's seemingly inevitable suicide occurs.) I knew, as Hurley makes abundantly clear, that one thing upon which all Israeli nationalists agree is that if Israel's third brief sway over the Holy Land is to end badly, as did the others in previous millennia, because of internal Jew-versus-Jew dissentions, the Zionist state will not go out "Masada style" (with the principals jumping off a cliff), but rather via the "Samson option," with nuclear-armed Israelis pulling the temple down around themselves and all of their neighbors as well.
I realize now, however, that Hurley, though sincere in his humanitarian desire to prevent unnecessary harm to the Israelis themselves, is as deeply motivated as most of his potential readers by the desire to end the incredible suffering of the Palestinians under Israeli colonialism, and to end the dangerous consequences for Americans of their ever-increasing estrangement - on Israel's behalf - from the rest of the world.
The second thing that put me off was the contents of the first chapter, entitled "The March of Folly," whose 14 pages are devoted to the history of biblical Israel. I reluctantly grant the validity of the judgment of many Christians, Muslims and Jews that "religion has everything to do with the Israel-Palestine problem." It's been my personal observation, however, that religion has had little to do with finding a solution. But after reading Hurley's book through to the end this time, I realize that his approach is basically secular.
In fact, it's clear that, like a good lawyer, Hurley included that chapter, made up of both biblical references and a factual account of Israel's unhappy history in the ancient world, for a very good reason.
As he points out in the book's final chapters, when rational solutions to the dispute are presented, Israelis of many stripes fall back on selected biblical references to support their case that God has willed otherwise. But not even these fall-back apologetics work if these references are viewed as a whole, as Hurley's book enables even the casual reader to do.
Having progressed beyond my previous annoyances, I was initially surprised at Hurley's insistence on presenting his historical chapters, covering "The Zionist Movement, 1887 - 1948," "the Arab-Israeli Wars" and "The Search for Peace" spanning events prior to and during the Ford, Carter and Reagan years, almost exclusively through the words of Jewish writers.
This has become possible in recent years with the appearance of such Israeli "revisionist historians" as Gen. Yehosephat Harkabi and Simha Flapan, from both of whom he quotes extensively, and relatively objective American Jewish journalists such as David Shipler, from whose book Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land Hurley also quotes at length.
For example, Hurley demolishes an over-used Israeli rationale for violating the boundaries of the 1947 United Nations partition plan by keeping Israel's own 53 percent and seizing, in 1948, more than half of the Arab's 47 percent as well. Afterwards, Israelis said, "We accepted the partition plan. The Arabs didn't." But Hurley supplies this quote from Flapan's The Birth of Israel, Myths and Realities: "Acceptance of the U.N. Partition Resolution was an example of Zionist's pragmatism par excellence. It was a tactical acceptance, a vital step in the right direction - a springboard for expansion when circumstances proved more judicious."
Is it really necessary to limit oneself to quoting Jewish sources? Realistically, the answer is yes, as not only Hurley but anyone who has written and spoken publicly on the problem knows. The greatest triumph of "The Israeli Lobby," the title of Hurley's next chapter, has been to brand any criticsm of Israel, no matter how informed or well-documented, "anti-Semitic," and get away with it. A mere discussion of the problem by non-Jewish sources has become "suspect," not just to the clueless but to anyone concerned with being duped by bigots or being mistaken for one.
So Hurley has dutifully played by the rules successfully imposed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Israel's potent Washington Lobby, which adapts with chameleon-like ease to both "extremist" and "moderate" Israeli governments. AIPAC makes pro-forma changes in its executive directors, while leaving in place the lobbyists who can manipulate comfortable majorities in both Democratic and Republican Congresses, and who can either formulate the Middle East policies to be followed by U.S. presidents, or inhibit them from carrying out Mideast policies of their own.
As Hurley explains: There is a "crucial distinction between the Israel lobby and the typical lobby. If one disagrees with or opposes the Farm Lobby, for example, he is free to say so...No such freedom exists in America so far as opposition to Israeli policy or the Israeli Lobby is concerned. It is simply 'taboo.' To do so automatically exposes one to being branded 'anti-Semitic,' a "Fascist,' a 'Nazi', or part of the lunatic fringe...Since there is absolutely no defense against the charge of 'anti-Semitism', most prudent people have long since preferred silence on sensitive issues to the risk of exposing themselves to the accusation of 'anti-Semitism,' with its inevitable 'Hitler' and 'Holocaust' associations."
Tomorrow: Conclusion of this excellent review of "One Nation under Israel" by Richard Curtiss.
Thought for the Day:
"I have to laugh about the "debate" whether Buchanan is anti-Jewish. As if anyone except the Chosen and their bootlickers cared. The polls are a manipulated joke, but it would be interesting to listen to the music if Buchanan were to come right and say, "Okay you creeps, I am anti-Jewish!"
(Letter to the Zundelsite)
Back to Table of Contents of the Nov. 1999 ZGrams