By Roger Van Zwanenberg
Can we connect the invasion of refugees into Europe, from across the Middle East and North Africa with Israeli Foreign Policy? It may seem like a long stretch, but I think we can.
Even the most conservative analysts, wring their hands in dismay, when writing on US and EU Western policy on the Middle East. From the US invasion of Iraq, through the NATO invasion of Libya, through to the military support to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States on Syria, experts shake their heads in disbelief as they consider Western countries responsibility.
The overall result of these policies, as is now well known, is the greatest displacement of people both internally and externally, since 1945. There is ongoing a flood of boat people and on foot, into Europe with disastrous domestic politically consequences. So why do the Great Powers continue with these policies.
Hugh Roberts, a scholar and historian of the region, set out to answer these questions in a long review headed ‘Hijackers’ in a recent edition of the London Review of Books. Hugh Roberts, by no stretch of imagination might be considered a radical. He was reviewing books which contained a “powerful critique of Western Policy in Iraq and Syria” After a long examination of the ideas put forward he concluded:
“The most charitable theory available, ‘the eternally recurring colossal cock up theory of history, will do well enough’ and he goes on “US policy being made up by crackpot realists…. American folly and incompetence that is in the dock…. Western policy has been a disgrace, and Britain’s contribution to it should be a matter of national shame….”
Worse still, is the fall out of these policies, the growth and growth of ISIS, a militant millenarian movement supported and guided by the people who used to run Iraq under the Saddam regime. ISIS and its branches are spreading across the entire Middle Eastern countries, through North Africa and down to the Western African countries around Nigeria and finally penetrating European capitals and cities.
My question is whether the cock up theory is really sufficient, to explain the chaos that we are witnessing and whether our foreign policies really are conducted by idiots? I have had many conversations over many years, with people over what appear to be mistakes in Foreign Policy with decent people on the right spectrum of politics, and they consistently excuse their countries of Cock Up; mistakes made in good faith. The Left, usually without sufficient evidence return to conspiracy theory.
In the present case I have had many conversations with people who have expert knowledge of the Middle East. Many feel in their bones that the chaos is intentional. When confronted with these seemingly contradictory issues, I have asked myself, who benefits? Are there any Nation States who benefits from the present chaos? There is only one possibility, and that is Israel.
I turned to an article I had read, from on of my old and sadly dead Israeli author, Israel Shahak. In 1982, he published in English, verbatim, Greater Israel: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East. The article had appeared in in Hebrew in a Journal called Kivunum in Feb 1982. The article was then, the cornerstone of Israeli foreign policy. It reflected policy in accord with Theodore Herzl, the founding father of Zionism, about the real extent of Israel. Israel has always refused to agree National boundaries with the international community.
Israel Shahak, was an Israeli citizen after fleeing the German concentration camps. Shahak was a deep humanitarian, I knew him well, and received his hospitality, when he showed me around Israel 20 years ago. Shahak, translated key documents from Hebrew, so the rest of the world would know what was being said in a language few other people could read. The article I now refer too is on the web. It was originally published by the Association of Arab American University Graduates in Boston Massachusetts.
The article is obviously dated; it is over 35 years old. My question is whether the plan outlined in the article is still operational, and to this question, no one in Israel is going to comment. The plan had two essential premises; that to survive Israel must become a regional imperial power, AND, must create a division of the area into smaller mini States by the dissolution of the existing States. Stated in its chilling simplicity, it may sound far-fetched. The plan details the ethnic and religious divisions in all Israel’s surrounding countries. The plan states clearly that Iraq and Syria needed to be divided into small States based on religious divisions. The goal of the plan was to create States surrounding Israel politically and economically dependent on Israel.
At the time, it was assumed that this process would happen naturally. That part was clearly far-fetched.
Another aspect of the plan, was to disperse the Palestinians away from their homeland on a permanent basis.
The so called Oded Yinon plan, written in 1982, is detailed, unambiguous and is clearly a long term Zionist strategy for the entire region. Seen in this light the invasion of Iraq by the USA could be understood as the opening gambit. The only way to make the argument stick to know for sure that the USA, and its allies, European Union, Britain, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States were acting knowingly as proxy military force for this long term Zionist plan?
The problem I face here is that to make this jump, that the USA and Europe are acting as proxy forces for Israeli long-term plans is that there is a singular lack of evidence. What evidence there could be, is very carefully and knowingly hidden. I refer here to the discussions that Tony Blair had with President Bush before the invasion of Iraq.
There is though a remarkable volume of evidence of the depth of the close alliance between Israel and the USA over very many years. Both countries think of themselves as blessed by God. The US provides financial aid annually for Israel, in volumes per capital, above any other country in the world. The Prime Minister of Israel has sufficient influence to come and address the Politicians of both Houses, when he considers it sufficiently necessary. Sheldon Adelson, perhaps the richest man in the USA, the primary supporter of the Republican Party, is equally the primary supporter of Netanyahu in Israel. I could go on and on illustrating just how close Israel is to the USA. There is no equal to these Nations fraternal relations, across the world. There is no doubt, anywhere, that American Foreign Policy, when it comes to the Middles And Israel’s policy in the region aren’t powerfully coordinated.
Is the Oded Yinon plan still relevant.? All the evidence would indicate that it has been updated. The extraordinary invasions by Israel of the Gaza peoples are an indication that Israel is willing to create conditions of State Terror…. Not dissimilar to the dropping of an atomic bomb, at the end of 1945. Israel remains unwilling as I mentioned earlier, to delimit her boundaries. Israel’s treatment of her Palestinian over nearly 70 years, indicates an unwavering determination to expand into their lands. And the secrecy surrounding Israel atomic arsenal, all indicate that her plan to expand into the entire Middle East, is an ongoing part of the Zionist intentions.
None of this argument proves that the USA is acting as a proxy for Israel that USA tax dollars are not financing Zionist expansionist polices, and at the same time creating greater misery across millions of families in the region. What I am trying to argue is that this connection is a serious possibility, and that for the Hugh Roberts to ignore this argument in favour of American presidential incompetence is too easy an analysis for serious historian.
I believe this connection needs much deeper investigation.
- Roger Van Zwanenberg, founder of Zed Press in 1975, moved to Pluto Books in 1987. He remained the Publisher, at Pluto until 2011. During these 35 years Roger published widely on Palestinian affairs. He found authors from all works of life and across all the boundaries, religious and geographical. Roger has and still considers that that the Palestinian issue is one of the great dilemmas and tragedies of 20and 21st century history. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.