Go to home page

This article appears in the May 17, 2024 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Now We Must Stand Up for Truth!

Some Important History of Israel, Palestine and the British ‘Great Game’

[Print version of this article]

We present here the author’s edit of his remarks on May 4 to The LaRouche Organization’s weekly “Manhattan Project” dialogue. Subheads have been added. The full video of the program may be seen here.

View full size
Protests against the hideous, inhuman, genocidal treatment of Palestinians are going strong. This is a protest at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

May 6—The world is watching the struggle of students who are protesting on U.S. campuses, asserting the First Amendment right to constitutionally protected free speech; in this case, free speech and condemnation of the genocide being committed by Israel on the people of Palestine. And this genocide will continue. As Netanyahu just said, it doesn’t matter if there’s a truce or not; the Israelis are still going into Rafah.

Now, free speech is a legacy of the fight of the American Revolution against British colonialism. The battle on America’s university campuses is a continuation of that struggle. The question is, will today’s oligarchy succeed in stifling free speech in order to support the policies of genocide which they are backing? That’s what’s at stake. Don’t get caught up in the left-and-right polarization that’s being created by the media, the politicians, the conspiracy theorists who would have you argue points that are basically irrelevant from the standpoint of the bigger strategic picture. They’re trying to change the subject; but the subject is the fight against the U.S./Western corporate cartels and their neo-colonial policy, whether it’s in Gaza, in Ukraine, in Asia, or in Africa. The oligarchs are defending an imperial unipolar order. The real fight is for peace—against genocide.

Why carry out genocide? What’s the point here? Well, the imperial system is a system of predatory looting, and when there’s opposition to it, as we’re seeing from the Global South and from many nations of the world, the efforts of the oligarchy to suppress it become essential for their survival—because the system that they have perpetuated for the last three, four, five hundred years is collapsing. The imperial system today is based on corporate cartels, central banks, and enforced by the U.S. and NATO military. They do not want these issues discussed; they want people discussing side issues. So, they promote fraudulent narratives to silence their opponents. What’s one of these leading narratives that’s been used to try and silence and terrify and intimidate their opponents? To call them an anti-Semite, or, in the United States, a synonym for that has become in the media, a white nationalist.

The Truth of Anti-Semitism

I’ll demonstrate that the charge of anti-Semitism is not only false, but it’s a coward’s way of avoiding a real, principled discussion; and that’s what is needed—a real, principled discussion. That’s not to say there aren’t anti-Semites; there are. Anti-Semitism is a form of ignorance and racism. But those who are opposing Israel’s post-October 7th response in Gaza, who are being labeled pro-Hamas, pro-terrorist anti-Semites—for the most part that’s false; they’re being called violent, when the violence has been perpetrated by police called in by college administrators, to dismantle the encampments set up by protesters. And Congress has adopted a new bill defining being anti-Israel as the equivalent of anti-Semitic.

This is what we’re hearing from all sides of the political spectrum—Biden and Trump are essentially identical on this. Trump’s a little bit more extreme in his condemnation, but they’re both saying that anti-Semitism is the leading factor behind the protests, and it’s unacceptable. House Speaker Mike Johnson and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the current Republican Speaker and the former Democratic Speaker, have the same line. Texas Senator Ted Cruz and New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the same line. They’re using the argument that the demonstrations must be shut down, students arrested, kicked out of school, because they’re “anti-Semitic.” And now there’s a bill being presented to Congress which would establish monitors, anti-Semite monitors on campuses. It’s called the COLUMBIA Act.

Now, here’s something interesting for you. Long before October 7th, there was concern that something like this would be legislated. In fact, there was a move to set up monitoring. Here is a quote from a March 26, 2006 article titled, “The Israel Lobby,” in the London Review of Books, written by John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt. Many people now know Mearsheimer, because he’s emerged as a prominent critic on the internet of the endless U.S. wars. But here’s what he wrote in March 2006: “Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of all this is the efforts Jewish groups have made to push Congress into establishing mechanisms to monitor what professors say. If they manage to get this passed, universities judged to have an anti-Israel bias would be denied federal funding.” That’s in fact what’s in this new bill. “Their efforts have not yet succeeded, but they are an indication of the importance placed on controlling debate.”

This, as I said, was written long before October 7, 2023. This has been a part of the effort of the so-called Zionist lobby in the United States to control the debate. But it’s not just about Israel. We just saw the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) spy-court re-authorized by a bipartisan majority. The point is, we’re all being monitored; we’re all being spied on. That’s what Ed Snowden warned us was the result of the post-9/11 operation, which increased the power of the “national security state.”

Some History of the British Zionism Project

Let’s take a look at some of the history behind this; the whole question of Zionism, anti-Semitism, and make the point that Zionism is not Judaism. Judaism is a religion; Zionism is a political cult, and it has a religious-cultish backing to it. But most importantly, it’s a tool that’s been used by the empire to serve the interests of the empire in Southwest Asia.

Let me give you some insights from Lyndon LaRouche, going back to, in this case, 1981, in an article called “The ‘LaRouche Doctrine’ on Israel and the Holocaust”:

However, it was not chiefly Zionism which caused the migration leading to the establishment of the state of Israel. It was chiefly the combined effect of two forces. First, Jews driven from the horrid memories of Nazi-occupied Europe, and perceiving themselves wanted by no nation, had no visible prospect of relief from their profound fears of new outrages of anti-Semitism but the prospect of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine.

Second, the continuing commitment by elements of British intelligence to exploit Jewish settlement in the Middle East as part of a continuation of the “Great Game” the British had been conducting in that region since the beginning of the 19th Century. The British intended the Jews to be an added factor of destabilization in the region, and British forces played Jews against British intelligence’s Arab Bureau networks in the region, to orchestrate the conditions of conflict which have become institutionalized in that region as the Israeli-Arab conflict of today. The object of the proper foreign policy of the United States and its allies is to bring to an end both the British “Great Game” in that region and the bloody irrationalities which have become institutionalized in consequence of that “Great Game.”

Now, the “Great Game” is the reference to the confrontation among the empires, with the British taking on during the 19th Century, the Russian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. There were the British Opium Wars against China, there was the Crimean War, and there was a conflict constantly in Afghanistan between the British and the Russians. This was the basis for the acceptance or endorsement of a doctrine called geopolitics, which was presented in 1904 at the Royal Geographical Society in a presentation by Halford Mackinder, but which was, in effect, the British Empire’s policy throughout the 19th Century. The Opium Wars in China, the Crimean War, and so on; war after war, which were about control of trade, currency, and which nation would be the dominant nation in setting the terms of international relations.

View full size
Unknown photographer
Alexander Helphand, known as Parvus, was a British agent.
View full size
Public domain
Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the founder of the “revisionism” current among Zionists, was also connected to Parvus.

The ‘Parvus Doctrine’

Now, I want to give you a deeper picture of this, looking at an editorial in the Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) featuring LaRouche’s analysis of the extension of the Great Game into the 20th Century. It was published in an EIR editorial on November 13, 2009 called, “For Mideast Peace: Defeat the Parvus Doctrine.” Parvus was quite an operator. He was an operative of the British, though some suspect also of the Germans. He was a revolutionary who knew Lenin, Trotsky, all of these people. From this editorial about Parvus:

Lyndon LaRouche this week warned that there is no prospect whatsoever for a genuine Arab-Israeli peace agreement until such time that the British Sykes-Picot “Great Game” factor is eradicated from the region. “The British,” LaRouche explained, “have been running the greater Southwest, South, and Central Asian region for more than a century, on the basis of the ‘permanent war/permanent revolution’ doctrine of their Fabian Society agent, Alexander Helphand (1867–1924) [who was also known as Parvus]. Until the factor of British manipulation of both sides in this conflict is defeated, no breakthrough is possible.”

Thus, the only productive path for international diplomacy at this time is to pursue a Four Power agreement among Russia, India, China, and the United States—in order to amass the political force to crush the British imperial forces, once and for all.

The editorial continues, first quoting LaRouche:

“You can not make any meaningful headway, because none of the regional players, and scarcely any of the would-be peacemakers, realize that the British policy is that of Alexander Helphand, otherwise known as ‘Parvus’ ”—the British agent, ally of Vladimir Jabotinsky, and one-time controller of Leon Trotsky.

Now, Parvus was not only connected to Jabotinsky, who was the founder of the “revisionism” current among Zionists, which is the basis of the Greater Israel doctrine and the Likud Party today of Netanyahu. Jabotinsky headed the revisionist movement internationally. His American secretary was Netanyahu’s father. Jabotinsky took the Parvus idea that there should be a Greater Israel; that that would be the basis of stability for the British Empire in the region.

Let me go on with LaRouche on who Parvus was:

“Through the course of his career as a British imperial agent, Helphand played a central role in the betrayal of the German Social Democracy; teamed up with another British agent, the Zionist revisionist Jabotinsky, in promoting the Young Turk revolution against the dying Ottoman Empire…. An arms trafficker, in league with the British firm Vickers [which was one of the major arms manufacturers], Helphand/Parvus amassed a personal fortune, while stoking the fires of permanent war and permanent revolution throughout Eurasia.”

By the way, this idea of permanent revolution was picked up by Trotsky, who was another protégé of Parvus. Trotsky credited Parvus with the idea.

“It was Parvus’s scheme to manipulate all sides in the greater Middle East conflict, as if they were gladiators in the Roman arena. [In other words, divide and conquer, the geopolitical strategy.] By the end of the British-engineered World War I, the British and their French rivals had established, with Sykes-Picot, [which was a French-British secret agreement to carve up the region] a permanent colonial division of the region. That division did not end with the defeat of Hitler and Mussolini in World War II; that just slightly changed the contours of the Sykes-Picot arrangements, particularly with the partitioning of Palestine, which created the circumstances in which London and its agents in both the Arab and Israeli camps, could trigger conflict on a moment’s notice.”

“Until and unless you eliminate this British ‘permanent war/permanent revolution’ factor, by kicking the British—typified by the so-called Quartet peace negotiator Tony Blair [at that time]—out of the region, and defeating the power of this British imperial apparatus, no meaningful breakthrough towards peace is remotely possible. So, until that reality is acknowledged, don’t expect any real progress…. It just won’t happen without facing, head-on, this British menace. Without an understanding that Alexander Helphand was a key British agent, who personally played a central role, on behalf of the British Fabian crowd, in setting up a permanent conflict in this extended part of the world, no clear solution can ever materialize.”

How the British Manipulate U.S. Foreign Policy

Now, interestingly, the discussion of the British role is something that LaRouche is very famous for, and for which he was constantly attacked. There was a reason he was attacked; it’s because it’s true. It’s because the networks that run U.S. intelligence and politics, the people who write the directions for Blinken and Sullivan, the Madeleine Albrights, go back to the Brzezinski-Kissinger networks that are directly run out of British intelligence. Brzezinski from Bernard Lewis; Kissinger, a protégé of the Chatham House crowd of British intelligence, of Professor William Yandell Elliott of Harvard. Very few people talk about that today. The British Mandate ended with the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, but the basis for that creation in 1948 was carried out by the British from 1921–1948, and the British manipulation of both sides is what we’re seeing still to this day in terms of the question of what is Palestine, why is there no Palestinian state.

View full size
Public domain
Theodor Herzl, at the Fifth Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland in 1901, proposed that Jews return to Palestine.

Let me give you an example from probably the best contemporary historian on the issue of Palestine, Rashid Khalidi, who is at Columbia University. He wrote a book called The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood, and another book, The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017. In The Iron Cage, he says the following about the British role:

When the Zionist movement was not yet representative of mainstream Jewish opinion, Britain and the League of Nations were broadly faithful to the Zionist movement. This is due to the utility of Zionism to British imperial purposes, the sympathy of a major sector of the British elite for Zionism, and the skill of the Zionist leadership in cultivating those who might be of use to them.

Now, that is, I would say, an indisputable comment by him about the role of the British and how they controlled it. It was the British who came up with the idea of establishing such a Zionist state. There was the book by Theodor Herzl published in 1895, Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State), which was credited with proposing a return of Jews to their historic homeland in Palestine. Herzl later presided over the First Zionist Congress in 1897 in Basel, Switzerland. But the question at that time, including among European Jews, was why should there be a Jewish state in the Middle East?

The Balfour Declaration

View full size
Public domain
Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour conveyed to the Zionist Federation the British cabinet’s decision, Nov. 2, 1917, to establish a Jewish state in Palestine.

But I can give you something more on the background of the Balfour Declaration, which is on the screen now. This was a letter written by Arthur James Balfour, the Foreign Secretary, who was reporting to Lord Rothschild on the decision of the British Cabinet on November 2, 1917, to establish a Jewish state in the region of Palestine. Balfour wrote:

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours, Arthur James Balfour

It was sent to Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild. Now, who is Balfour? He had been the Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905; his mother was a descendant of the Cecil family, one of the older aristocratic families of the British Empire. This support for the idea of a Jewish state, which is clearly a product of what are called the British Israelites, was not a cause of the broader Jewish community, but among cultists, including in leading oligarchic families.

Here is the claim that became the slogan behind the idea of a Jewish state: “We have a land without a people,” referring to Palestine, “for a people without a land,” referring to the Jews. This was a statement from 1843 by a Christian restorationist preacher—that is, a Christian Zionist—named Rev. Alexander Keith, who went to Palestine in 1839 and wrote a book called The Land of Israel that was published in 1843. In that book, he said this: “Therefore are they wanderers,” referring to the Jews, “throughout the world, who have nowhere found a place on which the sole of their foot could rest. A people without a country; even as their own land is in great measure, a country without a people.”

This then was taken up by the British aristocracy, including Lord Shaftesbury, who presented this idea in 1875 to an operation called the “Palestine Exploration Fund” which had been set up by the Consort Prince Albert for his and Queen Victoria’s son—later King Edward VII—to basically scout the territory of Palestine. Shaftsbury said to that meeting in 1875, “There is a country without a people, while scattered over the world, a people without a country.”

Just examine these two parallel statements. In 1917, when the Balfour Declaration was announced, there were approximately 600,000 Arabs living in Palestine, and 60,000 Jews. 600,000 Palestinian Arabs, both Muslims and Christians; that’s “no people”? That’s the way the British saw it. There continued to be a great imbalance. If you look at the numbers, you can see that the founding fathers of Israel understood this was a problem. The problem is a fairly deep one, because the question then was, how do you create a Jewish state when there aren’t very many Jews? And what do you do with the non-Jewish majority? I’ll give you just a few statistics: Between 1880 and 1914—that is, after Herzl’s book and after the Zionist Organization was created—there was a large-scale Jewish emigration from Eastern Europe, estimated at more than 2.4 million people. Where did they go?

More than 2.2 million of them went to the United States; about 100,000 went to the United Kingdom, others went to European countries, and a very small number went to Palestine. The majority of the Jews of Eastern Europe, who were fleeing real persecution in this period—the anti-Semitic pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe were real. That was anti-Semitism. But where did they go for relief? They wanted to go to the United States; they wanted to go to the United Kingdom. They didn’t really want to go to Palestine—there was no Israel at the time.

Zionism: A Movement Without a People

The reality here is that Zionism as a movement did not have a people at that time. It was only after the Holocaust, when large emigration to Palestine occurred. That was allowed, but if you look at what happened in the United States as a result of the two-plus million Eastern European Jews relocating to America, there was a reaction to that. The Immigration Restriction League was set up. The Emergency Quota Act of 1921 was to greatly reduce the number of Jews who were allowed to come in. The Immigration Act of 1924 dramatically restricted Jewish immigration further. As a result, the emigration to Palestine increased somewhat in the 1920s, because of the cut-off of immigration into the United States of oppressed Eastern European Jews. So, the question of the Zionist movement, that this was a profound desire for the Jewish people is a myth; it’s a story made up for the purposes of the British Empire.

I want to give you another example of that before I stop. In February 1920, Winston Churchill wrote an op-ed for the London Sunday Illustrated Herald, titled, “Zionism versus Bolshevism: A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People.” Churchill, as people should know, was a racist. He was anti-Black. He later on claimed to have full sympathy for Zionism, but he didn’t really like Jews very much. What’s clear in this op-ed are his real sentiments. He said that the Jewish people are industrious, but too many of them are “cosmopolitan” and “internationalists,” which makes them susceptible to becoming Bolsheviks and revolutionaries. Therefore, he said that a better option would be to ship them off to Palestine, because the international Jews are “a sinister confederacy.”

So, the very people who were working with Balfour to create a so-called Jewish state had this anti-Semitism. And now we’re told that the people who are opposing the policies of the settler-colonial regime in Israel, that the people who are opposing those policies of denying an independent state to Palestinians, starving the people of Gaza, mass-murdering them with 2,000-lb. bombs—that opposing that makes you an anti-Semite.

Let me conclude with a statement that shows that even the founding fathers of Israel understood the paradox that I presented about Zionism and the right to the land of Israel. This is a comment by David Ben-Gurion, one of the key founding fathers, to Nahum Goldmann, who was the head of the World Jewish Congress. Ben-Gurion said:

If I were an Arab leader, I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural; we have taken their country…. We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: We have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?

The Oasis Plan: In the Interest of All

View full size
EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
Lyndon LaRouche’s Oasis Plan is the solution to turmoil and suffering in Southwest Asia.

Now that’s where you see from an “insider” what caused the tension between the people of Israel and the people of Palestine, which led to the departure of more than 700,000 Palestinians in the Nakba in 1948, fleeing from territory legally intended for them by the League of Nations mandate and later resolutions of the United Nations. This will not be resolved by a kumbaya moment. That’s why it’s essential to have incentives that serve the interests of the people of both nations, as well as the people of the region and the world.

That’s what the Oasis Plan represents; an economic plan that will serve the interests of Israelis, Palestinians, as well as their immediate neighbors. That’s the way you escape the idiocy of this gang-countergang strategy which was set up by the British Empire and has been taken over by the American empire, which is now serving the interests of the City of London and Wall Street as a neo-colonial power. The rest of the world is waking up and saying, “We’re not going to take it.” And now students in the United States are beginning to see that. What’s necessary is to give them this bigger picture so they don’t get trapped in the kind of phony battles that have been set up by the British Empire for the last 100 years.

Back to top    Go to home page