INTERVIEW: MAXIM GHILAN
Israel's General Staff:
`A Bunch of Dr. Strangeloves'
Maxim Ghilan, writer, journalist, and poet, is the editor of I&P, the Israel & Palestine Strategic Update, founded in 1971 by Ghilan and Louis Marton. Maxim Ghilan is also founder of the International Jewish Peace Union (IJPU), the first Jewish outfit to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as a partner in dialogue.
Because of his views favoring Palestinian statehood next to Israel, and his active role in the peace process—before Madrid, or Oslo, and although no Israeli government supported the idea of a two-state solution before 1993—Ghilan was forced to live outside of Israel for 23 years (1969-1993), during which time he became a living bridge between the Israeli peace camp and Yasser Arafat's PLO leadership. He returned to his country only after Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin signed the Oslo Accords. Israel and Palestine is the longest-existing publication on the Middle East, and favors a just peace for the two peoples, the Israelis and the Palestinians. He was interviewed in early May from Washington by Michele Steinberg, with Dean Andromidas of EIR in Wiesbaden, Germany. The concluding portion of the interview, on Maxim Ghilan's background—from his arrival in Palestine in 1944 as a refugee from Franco's Spain, where his father had been killed by Francisco Franco's Falangists, to his historic role for Israeli-Arab peace, will appear in the next issue of EIR.
EIR: Welcome to EIR, Maxim Ghilan. Sharon had declared he would unilaterally separate from the Gaza Strip; but around May 13, Israeli tanks and troops entered Gaza, in one of the largest incursions in history, wreaking havoc both in Gaza Town and Rafah. What happened?
Ghilan: Sharon's position inside Israel became untenable because of the Intifada Al Aqsa and his own involvement in corruption scandals. He decided to annex, unilaterally, large parts of the West Bank, and to withdraw tactically from Gaza, where 2,300,000 Palestinians are inflicting a heavy price on the occupation troops and Jewish settlers. However, the imbecile fanatics in his own Likud Party did not understand Sharon's scheme and refused to budge from Gaza. In an internal Likud Party polling, some 60,000 imbecile fanatics foiled their leader's attempt. The army brass, which wants to continue their perpetual wars, then forced Sharon to launch the "Rainbow in a Cloud" operation in Gaza.
EIR: On April 14, there was a meeting and exchange of letters between Ariel Sharon and George W. Bush, where Bush lifted the requirement of Israel returning to UN defined borders. Who was responsible for this policy? And what are the implications, in your view?
Ghilan: There are two elements in Israel responsible for this policy change. One of them is the army general staff; the other, the fanatics, the zealot nationalist Jewish camp, to which Sharon has always belonged (as well as being a pure product of the military mind), and for which he was always willing to do anything necessary, including massacres, such as Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon in '82; or even before that, in the '50s, when Sharon headed incursions into the Gaza Strip, which was then still in Egyptian hands. Sharon then commanded Unit 101, a death squad which went into Arab territories and killed people, and so forth.
So, that's one. Sharon is the most outstanding representative of the fanatics, because he is the best strategist, and holds a long-range view.
The present versions of Sharon's plan, the ones approved in Washington by Vice President Cheney and President Bush, are tailored for Sharon by the high brass of the Israeli Army, the general staff of Israel's army. These elements command, in fact, not only the army, but the whole State of Israel.
Ariel Sharon has never changed, and he never will. He wants a "Greater Israel," or, if you want, a Jewish-superiority state in all parts of historical Israel/Palestine. He is willing to go back and forth, in order to grab the whole land himself, or at worst to prepare the ground for his successors to do so. The grand scheme remains the same: total land takeover, step by step and sometimes back and forth.
At the end of each phase, Israel always expands, and so it did even before its official creation, in the '30s and '40s, when land was bought from absentee feudals and the Arab peasants were thrown out; then in 1948, 1967, and ever since.
In the 1930s and before, Palestinian peasants had lived there for generations, but officially possessed no property, and had no title to the land, particularly in the Saron Valley.
In the wake of the Nov. 29, 1947 UN General Assembly resolution on partition of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state, Israel fought off an invasion of Arab armies and Palestinian militias and profited off its victory to take over much of western Palestine; chased out 650,000 Palestinians, and razed 416 Arab villages; on that land, Jewish settlements were hastily created. In Jaffa town, up to then the cultural capital of the land, only 3,000 out of the original 300,000 remained. Arab homes, even those of Jaffa citizens who stayed, were declared "absentee property" and stolen.
The next stage came with the 1967 War, when still another contingent of tens of thousands of Arabs was terrorized into running away to Jordan, and Lebanon. The Golan Plateau, which was Syrian, was annexed, and eastern Jerusalem as well as huge tracts of land around it were annexed. In the face of international pressure, which was considerable, the West Bank was not officially annexed, but a program of Jewish settlement and land takeover brought to this area fanatic Jewish settlers, 230,000 up to this date.
Sharon, after Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, Menahem Begin and Bibi Netanyahu, Moshe Dayan and Labor politicos Galili and Tabenkin, settled Jews strategically in any and every spot they could, so as to force out Arabs—and not only from the West Bank and the Golan after 1967, but from the Galilee and Central Israel before that. Karmiel and Upper Nazareth were built on confiscated land, first declared "military areas" and then converted into "for Jews only" zones.
In the West Bank, settlement blocs were purposefully set up so as to carve the area into Bantustans, separated from each other by settlements, so that if and when a Palestinian state is forced upon Israel, it should not be viable. The whole thing reminds one of apartheid in white-dominated South Africa.
In later years, the Gaza Strip was isolated by a fortified fence. 40% of the Strip was confiscated for 7,500 Jewish settlers, compared to 2,300,000 Palestinians in the most closely-populated area in the world.
So, Sharon's plan is the cantonization of all Palestinian areas, for the time being, until more of them can be expelled. This phase of Sharon's dream is what has been approved by Bush and Wolfowitz, and is nicknamed "creation of a Palestinian state," or "disengagement."
In fact, there's no disengagement planned, because the Israeli army will remain in Gaza, in the West Bank and on the Egyptian border in the so-called "Philadelphia area." Fighting will go on, because fences cannot keep Katyusha missiles or Kassam mortar shells from being lobbed over from Jordan, Lebanon, or from inside the Gaza Strip.
The Washington Deal
But, back to the April 14 events in Washington. What we have here is a U.S. agreement to completely forget, over 40 United Nations Security Council resolutions, including 242 and 338, which were guarantees, or at least promises by the international community, that Palestinian land should not be grabbed by force.
These United Nations resolutions, and the Geneva Convention, to which Israel has officially adhered, say that land conquered by force cannot be annexed. Which stands in total contradiction to Bush's position and to Sharon's scheme. But this is never-never land, because of international pressure, and because of the popular uprising of the Palestinians—their second uprising, which has been ongoing since September 2000. Nobody can stop such an uprising. Julius Caesar did not in Germany; Napoleon could not in Spain. the only final colonial solution is genocide—such as that of Native Americans at the hands of WASP settlers in North America. This may yet happen to the Palestinians, too.
So, instead, Sharon is creating a situation, which is not tenable for the Palestinian population, in the hope that he can digest the land, meanwhile, into expanding Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank, and contain the Palestinians as subdued vassals—complete serfs; those who won't submit, will be pressurized to emigrate. Christian Arabs already do. That's what Bush means by a "Palestinian state." Moreover, in the West Bank, the Palestinians will be concentrated to an enormous degree in small enclaves. As for Gaza, it is already become a pressure cooker, with conditions so unbearable, with drugs, prostitution, child labor, and endemic violence. Sharon's dream would only increase this horror.
So, Sharon and the Army hope—that the Palestinian population will ultimately go away. But demography is against this. In Gaza, you have 2.3 million; in the West Bank, 2 million and more; inside the Green Line, in Israel, 1.2 million. And outside the land, another 4 million or so, many of them still in refugee camps.
To believe one can break and then control such a mass is, of course, completely unrealistic thinking. Only a peace agreement with the intervention of the international community can bring about a long-lasting ceasefire, and only a confederation of all Middle East and Central East countries, ethnic and religious blocs, can ensure long-lasting peace and prosperity.
Sharon's so-called "separation plan" leads to total radicalization of Palestinian society, to the growth of Hamas into a truly international power. Moreover, "separation" actually encourages a forced mobilization of large sectors of the Arab world, including Arab businesses, in favor of Hamas, rather than in favor of Arafat's Fatah. In past decades, these Arab sectors outside of Palestine were afraid of the armed might of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and so helped it. They did not do so just out of "Arab brotherhood": They were afraid for their regimes and their lives. Now, they are afraid of Islamic fundamentalism.... Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are part of this vast popular movement, and will obtain any help they need.
What the fanatic Israeli nationalists did when they assassinated Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, two months ago, was create a new Islamic saint. Pictures of the blind sheikh's wheelchair being blown up by an Israeli 'copter have added a powerful icon to Islamist propaganda worldwide. In the Middle East, Israel and the United States are artificially creating a mass movement—and I'm talking about millions and millions of people—mobilized behind the Islamic fundamentalists.
Add to that the fact that the majority of Islamic countries are not Arab: they are Indonesians; they are Chinese; they are Indo-Pakistanis; they are Africans. So, this has the potential for the destruction of the whole structure of Muslim societies throughout the world, especially in the South; and even before it, the destruction of northwestern society.
EIR: Do you think that what Sharon has in mind, involves a larger plan to redraw the map of North Africa, Southwest Asia, and all of the Muslim and Arab world?
Ghilan: I have no doubt of that. In 1982, Sharon already had magalomaniac plans to take over Arab oil countries in the Gulf. Only American intervention forced him to limit his invasion to Lebanon. As I see the situation now, there are, in the United States, inside the capitalist camp, two opposing elements: one, conventional, conservative business society; and another, neo-fascists inside the American army, and [inside] that country's "capitalism." The neo-fascists, unfortunately, presently hold power, or at least, have a deciding influence on the thoughts, or the head of the present administration. They are aided and abetted in that by fanatic Christian fundamentalists, just as the Israeli Army is aided and abetted by fanatic, religious Jewish felons.
EIR: In both countries, these fanatics are a minority; yet, their influence goes far, far beyond. Is it that everyone else is afraid of them?
Ghilan: No, no. It is not that. Not everybody is afraid; some people are afraid, but not everybody! Yet, there is a kind of domino effect. Let's talk in realistic, rather than in abstract terms: In Israel, you have a society in which the Army is the deciding factor in politics, economy—local and foreign-linked, religion, and in international affairs. This is a dog in which the Army "tail" wags the national dog.
I'm not talking about the whole Army; I'm talking about the hawks in the General Staff. Inside the General Staff, you have two elements—two elements or wings, two forces. One, professional army officers, not totally blinded by power, arrogant but thinking in terms of the future. Then you have the fanatics, the war-eaters, nationalist idealists in fear of a second Shoah or Jewish genocide.
Most Dangerous Bunch on Earth
This is perhaps the most dangerous bunch of men on Earth at this moment.
Why? You have other countries which are bigger, more prosperous, stronger militarily, and have instruments of mass destruction: the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation, for instance. And you have other dangerous states where the people at the top are crazier and more fanatic than the Israeli brass. For instance, Saudi Arabia; for instance, North Korea. But also, other more obscure crazies, in Latin America, in Asia, and in Africa.
But, nowhere on the globe, do you have leaders and generals who are both extremely sophisticated, and also possess massive amounts of implements of mass destruction, men who are truly extremist, fanatic nationalists.
If Nigeria, or Angola, or Colombia suddenly wants to go to war against the rest of the so-called civilized world, against the very relatively sane world, it simply could not. Such a country may destroy hundreds of thousands.... It can kill a million people, a million and a half people, which is genocide, but not cause the physical end of the world. Even North Korea is too hungry and too dependent on China.
Not one of the other extremely crazy regimes says "The whole world is against us." In Israel they teach children a song which says exactly that, in these very words. No other country threatens to destroy the world by launching a nuclear conflict, to commit mass-suicide, as the Jewish Masada rebels did, to thumb their noses at the Roman Empire. Or as Samson is said to have done to the Philistines in one last titanic suicidal act, which is taught to kids as an example.
Of course, the root of this madness is Shoah-paranoia, but that does not make this bunch less dangerous.
Yes, the Israelis can destroy the world, or ignite a world war that will. The Israeli military has the necessary means to do so. And Until Bush and Cheney came to power there was no other non-conventional power that considered using tactical nukes.
By the way, let me make clear this point: that I am not a pacifist, and, I am absolutely not against a small country also having defensive non-conventional weapons as the big countries have—as long as it is not ruled by demented leaders with paranoid ideologies. Here we have a bunch of Dr. Strangeloves. Shaul Mofaz and Bogey Ya'alon—or Dick Cheney—are not the proper depositories of world-destroying weapons.
So, we have these people at the eye of the tornado. You also have the regular kind of military people inside the Israeli General Staff. But, the people who make the decisions are the crazies. Again, why? Because a situation has been created, over 50 years, in which Israeli society lived with the crutch of outside aid. At first, it was just Jewish people, rich and poor, who helped the State of Israel consolidate. But, in the last 40 years, aid has mainly and officially come from the United States, extensive military aid, to the extent of about $3.1 billion a year officially, but in fact much, much more, to the extent of $16 or $17 billion a year, in a variety of ways. This creates a symbiotic relationship, in which Israel gets military-offensive aircraft and technology, as well as intelligence and other technology. Israel then uses American money, the U.S. grants and guarantees, to pay American firms.
Of course American and Israeli middlemen get their cut amounting to many millions. In this circular business arrangement, two elements earn a lot of money: One is the American military-industrial establishment, like Lockheed, Boeing, Caterpillar (armored tractors) and so on, who recruit for that purpose people who work in the Pentagon. They get their cut and later work with the big commercial ones.
Weapons Cry Out For Wars
The Israeli middlemen are Defense Ministry or Army officials and also private entrepreneurs, who are all, without exception, people who worked or work at the highest [levels of the] Israeli army, at hush—hush levels. They directly profit from circular deals and become millionaires, if not billionaires.
But, you also have the productive industrial sectors, here and there, who have no interest in stopping this symbiotic relationship, centered and based, essentially, on everlasting, ongoing war: on weaponry, and military technology. Because prosperity, such as it is, brings financial growth not only to the biggies but also to the peripheral industries. And to the trade-unions, including workers in the local military industries. So everybody is for this deal going on indefinitely.
Weapons and military high-technology cry out for wars. A high-tech relationship usually brings profit to both sides. But this one does not! It's a military relationship—a military hardware and software relationship that diminishes peace-oriented sectors, which means that the people involved, indeed, the army General Staff or the Israeli Air Force staff, have a professional, personal interest in the continuation of a war situation in the Middle East. If a peaceful situation is found, their power disappears: No wonder it has lasted over 50 years.
When an officer is released from the army and joins the reserve forces at the ripe age of 45 or so, he gets not only a pension, but it's a foregone conclusion that he will get to be one of the heads of a big industrial enterprise, or of the electricity company, or become a cabinet director of some ministry—or, in the most advanced cases, prime minister. And, there has been no Israeli Prime Minister who was not somehow connected with the so-called defense establishment. And that includes Shimon Peres, who is one of the few Prime Ministers of Israel, who was never a general or a chief of staff, but he was Ben-Gurion's official defense advisor, who created the Israeli nuclear technology with the aid of Guy Mollet, the social democrat Prime Minister of France in the early 1950s.
EIR: Who are these generals, in the nationalist fanatical camp today? Can they be named?
Ghilan: Well, you have, first of all, the man who became prime minister, Ariel Sharon; and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, who was before that chief of staff. Second, you have the present chief of military intelligence, Aharaon Zeevi-Farkash, who was handpicked by Ariel Sharon. And then you have Amos Yaron, Director-General of the Defense Ministry, a hawk among hawks. And people like the former deputy head of the Mossad, Gideon Ezra, who is now a cabinet member; Then, you have Mossad head Meir Dagan. Also the present Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon. But "Bogey" Ya'alon is also a pragmatist, whose fanaticism is subordinated to his personal ambitions. My guess is that Ya'alon will align on whatever party he thinks has a chance to win the next Knesset elections, or the one after, be it Labor or the Likud. Bogey wants to eventually become prime minister, and will possibly play the hard-liner wherever he lands, not just because he is one, but also to win public sympathy.
One more name, and I'm done with them: Major General Dan Halutz, the former head of the Israeli Air Force, one of the most fanatically nationalist generals and one of the most aggressive. He was responsible for the helicopter attacks on Palestinian activists, and ordered a one-ton bomb dropped on a civilian building because Hamas leader Mash'al had been there. He then stated he does sleep very well when he thinks of having given the order that killed so many civilians.
Dan Halutz has just been named deputy head of the General Staff, which means he is going to become the next Chief of Staff after Moshe Ya'alon leaves. During the internal Likud census Halutz sat at Sharon's right, against army regulations prohibiting political involvement.
EIR: You use the term neo-fascist; are you thinking in those terms of what they call themselves here, the "neo-conservatives"?
Ghilan: Yes, but not only the neo-cons. I'm talking about the more extreme elements in the fundamentalist Christian camp, both Protestant and Catholic. I'm talking of undercover and special services people, inside the Pentagon, amongst whom we find some Christian fundamentalist fanatics in uniform, hoping to see the war between Gog and Magog and therefore keen for the renewal of America's "gung-ho" policy, as it was applied in the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, people who then wanted to drop an atomic bomb on the Kremlin, and today talk of "tactical nukes" to be deployed in the Middle East and who see the influence of any non-American power or state in the world, Israel excluded, as an insult to American hegemony. They have no concept of what the world is like, really, outside of the borders of the United States, and perhaps of Latin America.
EIR: Definitely. And, Sharon and Cheney have something very much in common: They are both facing half a dozen or more investigations, and it seems like Sharon, in particular, is very threatened by this. If Sharon is indicted—and that's a very big "if"—how would that change the situation?
Ghilan: First of all, I don't believe Sharon will be indicted—I may be wrong, of course. You see, Sharon put a new Prosecutor General into place—Menachem Mazuz; he got rid of the old prosecutor general, Edna Arbel, who was pushed upward into the High Court of Justice—Arbel being the one who recommended that Sharon be indicted in the case of the shady businessman, David Appel. I don't believe that with this new legal government advisor, and with the present situation, Sharon will be indicted.
If he is, this will encourage the extreme nationalist idiots, who don't understand what Sharon is doing, and believe that he is selling out to the peace camp. In fact, Sharon is using the Gaza pretext to try and annex large areas in the Palestinian West Bank, and indeed, cut it in two.
But, they don't think of this. The extreme nationalists of the National Alliance, and the Likud rank and file—including the Kahanists who have a faction in Likud, Moshe Feiglin's people—they don't want to understand. They say, "Hey gevalt! You are selling out," and they won, by some 53%, an internal Likud Party referendum—against Sharon.
This week the cabinet is going to vote—again—whether there is going to be a very partial disengagement or withdrawal, they are speaking of three settlements in the Gaza Strip, and eight out of hundreds [of settlements] in the West Bank. And the Israeli army is supposed to stay on the Gaza Strip-Egyptian border.
Next week the truncated withdrawal project will be put to a Knesset vote.
Sharon Lies Even To His Crazies
EIR: What is Sharon's real policy, in your view?
Ghilan: For 50-odd years, one and the same overall nationalist current has brainwashed the nation into even greater nationalism, into ever greater militarization! This includes both the Likud's and Labor's propaganda.
So, at the top, you have the sophisticated political and military Zionist apparatus, men and women who today are infinitely more dangerous than the rest; but you also have the "idiot" fanatics! And they are the majority of the Likud, of the nationalist camp and perhaps of the nation, whose grand majority seems to be evenly divided into docile sheep and idiot fanatics. And the fanatical idiots don't want to give up one inch of occupied territory.
Sharon must be cursing them for the idiots his followers are, but he cannot tell them what he's really doing! At least not openly, because that would spoil his beautiful relationship with Bush. If he says what he really is doing, then Washington doesn't have a leg to stand on in the Middle East.
EIR: Going back to what happened in Washington, at the last Sharon-Bush meeting, April 14. One of the figures who is notorious here, almost legendary, is Dov Wiesglass. How important is he?
Ghilan: Dov Weisglass is part of this thing I described—this monster, which grew up, instead of a healthy defensive and politically sane military establishment, which existed at the beginning of the state. And he's also one of the people who, undoubtedly, will become head of the right-wing camp after Sharon goes. He will survive Sharon.
Weisglass is at present, Sharon's official mouthpiece in talks with Washington, but also one of the people whom I described before: he is like Dagan, or Farkash, and Defense Ministry head Amos Yaron, or like Shaul Mofaz, part of, and executor for, the hawkish wing of the army general staff.
Of course, he did not reach such pinnacles of power in the Army as he reached as Sharon's axe-man. He always has been a groupie, or soldier, of Sharon, and he is, and was, one of the fanatic Army zealots. He is also a very good politician. Or, if you want, a military diplomat.
How The U.S.-Israel Deal Works
Dov Weisglass is head of staff of Sharon's Prime Minister's Office; and has been, for a very long time, in touch with the Pentagon, in military matters, which, of course, gives him an "in" to those circles who are part and parcel of the symbiotic Israeli-American relationship of the military-industrial clan in the U.S.
Through his Army contacts and those in military oriented industry, he became close to Vice President Cheney and to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a Jewish-American neo-con. Later on, also to Condoleezza Rice. He knows the ins and outs of the American power establishment, much better than most Americans, not to mention in the Likud. Indeed, better than Sharon himself. Proof of that: his first talks, his most important talks, long before the last Bush-Sharon Washington meeting, were with—Cheney!
Dov Weisglass is Sharon's and the General Staff's "counselor" to use Mafia parlance. That is systemic, not just a personal post, comparable to Henry Kissinger's in Nixon's administration. Weisglass shows us how Israeli power is structured: the Army tells the Prime Minister what it wants him to do, who sends his counselor to Washington to talk to Cheney and Wolfowitz, who—with the aid of Condoleezza Rice and often against Colin Powell's better judgment—convince their President, who invites Sharon to come to Washington and formalize the deal. And then Bush utters another bit of his doctrine—until he has to change that too.
Strategy of the Big Lie
Sharon has postponed for two months another visit to the U.S. This shows the Army brass is not happy.
Remember, Weisglass talks in the name of the Israeli military, talks to the American military and war industry, the most greedy and ruthless wing of American capitalism, which uses its base, the fanatic U.S. fundamentalists to cement the deal publicly.
In all, this is an alliance of two fanatic and greedy leaderships backed by two camps of relatively insane fanatics who are carefully kept ignorant through religion, media mind-washing, and a basically dishonest political system wrongly termed "Western democracy." By the way, the Christian fundamentalists are not really pro-Israeli. But, as somebody in the Likud once said, at a military war tactics session, "Let them believe whatever they will, about the coming of their Messiah and a war between Gog and Magog—as long as they fund us and back us."
EIR: How do you think both Israeli parties maneuvered to trick the whole world with the disengagement plan? Here in the United States, our Congress is going along with a plan and they refuse to see what you are telling us as fact—that this plan is not what it seems.
Ghilan: Well, I have proof, contrary to Sharon. Whatever I say can be documented by established facts, and above all, results. Not to speak of the biographies of the people I have mentioned. I do not guess. I say only things which happened, or are being done, by Sharon's government and by the General Staff: facts on the ground, which are now being implemented.
This touches another aspect, another facet, the strategy of the Big Lie: in George Orwell's 1984, lying is truth, you say one thing and mean the opposite when the time is right.
It started with Ben-Gurion; it started even before Ben-Gurion, with the Zionist movement, the Labor Directorate, which said it did not want a state, and then, of course, they made one; they said they wanted to evacuate the Jews from Europe, who were under Nazi control. But when the then-British Empire granted to the Zionist establishment in Mandatory Palestine, the right to create a military division, the Jewish Brigade, inside the forces fighting the Fascist Axis, Ben Gurion and Moshe Saret actually did their best to cooperate with Britain, so that 1 million Hungarian Jews went to Auschwitz, instead of being exchanged for 100 military trucks, and allowed to go to Palestine.
Cordell Hull, Roosevelt's Secretary of State, told his President at that time, we don't want in the Middle East, another million Jews, who will destabilize the British hold in Egypt and in Palestine.
So, the Auschwitz crematories worked at full speed, the Jewish Brigade was created inside the British Army—giving Ben Gurion's troops useful military experience—and the allies never bombed the annihilation camps nor the railway tracks which carried the death trains from France, Holland, Belgium, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and so on.
There are plenty of documents, some Israeli and some American, to back what I am saying.
So, it went on as far back as that. In '48, they said they would accept the UN Partition Plan. Then they went on, to conquer as much territory as possible, and to raze the Arab villages inside the territory they grabbed, 416 of them, went on to throw out Arabs from towns such as Jaffa and Haifa. That was the beginning of the refugees problem, which is haunting Israel to this day.
In 1949, a ceasefire was signed and it held for a while—these territorial arrangements lasted till 1967. From '49 to '67 they claimed they want peace, but they were not willing to give up one inch for real peace, or to agree to United Nations resolutions, or to give in to American pressure.
Using the Jewish Superiority State
We're talking about the '50s, before the American government put an end to the Suez operation, and took over the role of protector of Israel, from Britain and France, who used the Jewish Superiority State up to 1956, to perpetuate their control of the Middle East Arabs and their oil resources.
After that, they did nothing to present any peace-oriented scheme. In '67 they grabbed more territory: they took the whole area of Jerusalem, they took the Golan Heights. They took the West Bank, and all of Western mandatory Palestine, up to the Jordan River, fell under Israeli military rule.
At that stage, they said they want to come to an agreement, an understanding, that they will give back territories in the West Bank, and in Gaza—and you know that nothing like that has happened. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, then, told a delegation of conquered Palestinian notables: You have nothing to give me, I talk to the King of Jordan only. And now, they are saying, of course, that they will not return to the '67 borders, as Moshe Dayan said his government would.
So, this is the policy of the Big Lie. All the while, the government of Israel, and before it, the Zionist movement's leadership, applied a policy of deliberately lying. However, the policy of the big deliberate lie goes together, with deliberate, newly created facts, goes together with another expansion of the state base on more conquests, of throwing out more Arabs.
You talk about a "Jewish Democratic" state but you apply orthodox and fundamentalist Jewish Halakha, i.e., precepts based on zealot, and racist precepts, rather than on the Magna Carta, Britain's legal basis, which was the legal base for the system, together with the Ottoman Empire's legal precepts.
The Foreign Propaganda Machines
They say "disengagement" but mean Israeli-controlled "apartheid."
They talk about "targeted preventive measures," and mean the premeditated murder of people who have not been proved guilty in a court of law, and in the course of so doing, the murder and maiming of innocent by-standers, including women and children.
They say: "granting them autonomy" but they mean the creation of helpless Bantustans under Israeli control, which will supply Israel with cheap labor and produce, and so on and so on.
Sharon's propaganda machine has now set up a special department at the Israeli Foreign Office for linguistic, semantic disinformation, which works mostly in Western countries, and in the United Nations, using precisely the terms people want to hear when grisly pictures of the occupation appear on TV screens. It operates in France, and in the United States, in the United Kingdom and so on. Later on, quite often, such language is adopted by the media in many countries.
EIR: What other propaganda outfits exist?
Ghilan: Well, there are really several. There seems to be a disinformation intelligence department, according to foreign reports, and there is a special department in the office of the prime minister, which presumably controls all the rest. You also have a department of the Jewish Agency, a section of the world Zionist movement, which develops propaganda, including scare reports on the Arabs and anti-Semitism. Money and help is distributed to Jewish community activists and media in Europe and the United States. Claims have been made that all of the aid to Israel gathered by the United Jewish Appeal in the U.S. is used for such propaganda and for "encouragement" to non-Jewish politicians.
Finally you have the press attachés at Israeli embassies abroad, who translate Israeli and Arab texts that may help convince news editors in favor of Israeli arguments.
EIR: Well, the Israeli machine very much parallels the office of propaganda, lying, and misuse of terms that was used to secure the Iraq War, here in the United States.
Ghilan: Yes, except that this Israeli propaganda network existed before the one created in the United States before the invasion of Iraq. I would say, somebody in the United States took a leaf out of Sharon's book! Maybe Wolfowitz?
EIR: The Jewish-American community used to be, I believe, on the side of the Democrats. The masses of Jewish people and many other ethnic people would go to the Democrats to have a voice. But that has changed in the sense that Bush's election chief, Karl Rove, is very close to these Christian fundamentalist fanatics; his election strategy is that his deal with Sharon will get him the Jewish vote in the United States. How do you see that aspect?
Ghilan: It has been a long, long time since the Jewish community has had any voice in American politics. This statement may surprise you, so let me explain.
The Jewish-American community is—how many millions now? Five million or so? The Jewish organizations are no more than 600,000 people altogether, including everything: civil organizations, B'nai B'rith, religious community organizations, the federations, which are the local synagogue, schools, and so on; universities, the ADL and everything else. These 600,000 people are mostly controlled —and I exclude the Reform and Conservative communities—but even among them, many leaders are totally controlled by Jewish business interests, which are very, very few, a handful of people, really—I would say no more than 10,000 people altogether; 5,000 is probably closer to the truth. I'm talking about the major, big financiers.
Now, these people have allied themselves with the most reactionary forces inside the United States. They speak in the name of the Jewish community, which is silent or indifferent. The Jewish community shuts up because (A) they are not really interested in politicking; and (B) because they are very, very much in solidarity with the State of Israel, which they see as a solution for those Jews who were threatened in Europe and possibly even an escape hatch if anti-Semitism becomes a real threat in America.
Anything that Israel does, is either accepted, or at least not criticized by the Jews in the U.S., which brings about still another symbiotic arrangement: the State of Israel's leadership and the Jewish financial leadership, which controls nowadays such organizations a B'nai Brith, the American Jewish Congress, or even the World Jewish Congress—which once used to be democratic, philanthropical and very sane when it was headed by the late Dr. Nahum Goldmann, and under its Vice President Arthur Hertzberg.
Anyway, American-Jewish organizations are, in 2004, no more democratic than the Communist Party was in the late Soviet Union, as its leadership can maneuver and use 5 million Jews without consulting them.
As corruption and decadence breed despair and fanaticism, that part of the community that does not wish to leave Judaism—I'm talking about Jewish culture and ethnic bonding, not Jewish religion—that part which wants to remain Jewish, to keep a sub-identity inside the great American magma, is ever more tempted by Orthodoxy, and by Israeli patriotism—from afar.
Youths, who in the past were liberal or left-wing, because their first generation parents came as workers from Eastern Europe, or were the incarnated Jewish Mom's dream of "My son, the doctor, my son, the dentist," now have affluent or middle class parents and seek idealism in their twice-removed roots. The most frustrated adopt Meir Kahane's ideology, and go to settle in Kiryat Arba, in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
Clearly, the Jewish community has been neutralized by its right wing and by the Israeli establishment, just as many lower- and middle-class non-Jewish Americans have been neutralized by their own right-wing and religious Christian extremists.
And why should it be otherwise? American Jews are after all, part and parcel of American society.
As for Bush's administration, under these conditions, it is not worried about the Jewish vote; on the contrary, it counts on the financial and organizational leaders to bring in the Republican Jewish vote because, they pretend, Bush is good for Israel, which is nonsense. Bush helps prepare the destruction of Israel through continued warfare.
EIR: After the Bush-Sharon deal and particularly after the assassination of Rantisi, both President Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan have made observations that they have never seen such widespread hatred of the United States in the Middle East, because of the failure to make peace, failure to help the peace progress, and because of the Iraq War. Is that your estimation, also?
Ghilan: Part of my estimation. I think they don't go far enough, particularly after the massive destruction of civilian homes in Rafah, on Gaza's border with Egypt. I think we are seeing a rapid deterioration of stability—of reactionary stability in the Middle East—but still, stability that existed since the United States made a deal with Saudi Arabia for exportation of oil at the end of World War II, almost 60 years ago.
Now, what is happening in the Middle East, is, that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, all those elements who believed society in the conservative Arab states would eventually change, became desperate.
The Only God That Did Not Fail
As a Palestinian once put it to me: "First, we Palestinians believed in Arab pan-nationalism. Then, in the two brands of Ba'athism, Syrian and Iraqi. Then, we believe in Gamal Abdel Nasser. And some of us believed in Marxism-Leninism. But, all these gods failed us, so what have we left? We Arabs have Allah left. So we trust in God and follow Islam."
Do you know that half the leadership of the "Organisation D'Action Communiste Libanaise", mostly Christian Maronites and Greek Orthodox former-believers, converted to the Shia brand of Islam and joined Hezballah's leadership?
This evolution defines precisely what is happening: many are turning to Islamic fundamentalism, because they've no other hope for real change. But, obviously, also, because Bush has made Islamic fundamentalism the bogeyman of the Western world, and has declared what the Arab world now sees as a crusade, a reactionary Christian crusade, against the poor of the world, and most especially against the Muslim poor of the world.
I think we are very close to a global explosion of this movement. I think the next two areas to host Islamist expansion are going to be large areas in Asia and in Africa. I'm talking about Angola; I'm talking about South Africa, and I'm also talking about Indonesia and Malaysia, which have the largest Muslim populations in the world—not to speak about Pakistan and Southwest China, even Southern Thailand and India.
This thing is going to blow up. It's already blowing up to a small extent, thanks to Bush-Cheney and to Tony Blair. As yet, the al-Qaeda thing is a small development compared to what still may happen, thanks to Western stupidity. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the Anglo-Americans have compounded the Soviet mistakes in the area.
Western Deals with Fundamentalism
You must keep in mind that leaders in the Arab world, including President Mubarak and King Abdullah of Jordan—but also the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and the Emirates—are not particularly worried about the needs of their populations. Nor are they worried about the fact the U.S. government supports Israel. What they are really worried about, is their own possessions, which they believe include their countries. And they have now come to the conclusion, based on very, very good home intelligence, that their regimes are not going to last; and that even the U.S. might make a deal with the fundamentalist movements in the Middle East against the monarchies, because the fundamentalists might give them control of some Middle Eastern countries to keep control of the oil and other Arab world natural resources. And in Africa, and in Central Asia.
The Arab leaders are afraid for their own personal sake. Therefore, they are finally at a stage in which, in spite of U.S. and British military and development aid, to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt, for instance, they are finally speaking out. In fact, they are frankly crying out, "Help! Help us!" And they are talking—in my opinion—they are talking as much to the fundamentalists as to American and European politicos of all kinds. If the U.S. can, why not they? Thus, the Anglo-Americans are unwillingly and willingly helping the Islamists.
Don't forget that Cheney was one of the most trusted allies of the Arab potentates—and became the main mover of the anti-Arab crusade.
EIR: Because of the oil?
Ghilan: Because of the oil—not only Arab oil. Because of an Anglo-American decision to control directly the whole oil production and oil industry, even at the price of direct military occupation, as we have seen in Iraq. This is a war for control of, simply, all the oil in the world.
Paranoid dreams? Megalomania? Sure, but that is what they suffer from. Beside being politically stupid and ignorant.
EIR: Do you see that terror, after what Sharon has done in Gaza in these last few weeks, and the Bush-Sharon deal—that terrorism is going to get worse in the immediate period?
Ghilan: On the global scene in general, and the Middle East in particular. I'm not talking here just about Israel—Israel is a different matter, and needs a different explanation.
EIR: Could you touch on both aspects? For example, will Hamas become a mass organization?
Ghilan: It already is. But, it will grow from 40 to 70% soon. It has now 40% support from the Palestinian population, in Gaza, and maybe less, maybe 32%, 35% in the West Bank.
Now to international terrorism in Jordan, where they have just discovered a plot for a mega-chemical attack on major government activities, and had to suffer from revenge-attacks in the southern end of the kingdom.
But, there is a difference. You see, I have considered the idea that secular or ethnic popular movements might join forces with fundamentalist uprisings in other areas of the world, but certainly in the Middle East.
About the Israeli-Palestinian situation: since Sharon is interested in creating terrorists to perpetuate fighting and annexation, to keep the Bantustans under forcible control, until he can throw out or push out as many as possible, both the civil and popular uprising and terrorism against civilians will continue, perhaps even increase.
We have two kinds of armed struggle in both Palestine and Israel: an armed uprising; and blind terrorism against civilians. Terror, in my mind, is any act of violence directed against civilians either by organizations or by governments. Popular armed uprisings include anything directed against military forces or targets, intelligence outfits, or the armed settlers including Palestinian collaborators with occupation.
Civilian uprisings of course, include unarmed demonstrations, sit-ins, marching and so on.
So, as long as occupation and annexation continue, these things will grow, and will be put down ever more forcefully, which will create ever greater hatred for the occupier, more extremism, more fundamentalism in Palestine.
The Secret West-Islamic Deal
While this happens, you are going to have the rest of the Muslim and Arab world increase their support for the Palestinians, openly or in hidden ways, and we are going to have such things as a very strong growth of the anti-reformist movement in Iran. This is part of a process which was already started from the beginning of 2002, when funds started coming into Palestine from private sources and organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom, in support of fundamentalist circles. The same thing happened in support of the Iranian conservatives and, together with anti-American outrage, helped destroy the reformist opposition.
One of the things that encouraged this reactionary development was a hidden agreement by Britain, France, and certain circles in the U.S. to encourage the Iranian conservatives "to keep them at the West's side." This resulted in the partial elimination of the Marxist-Islamist fanatics of the Iranian Mujahideen-e Khalq—many of whom were expelled from France. But pro-Iranian power operations stopped there, because the U.S., France and the United Kingdom came to the conclusion that if the opposition in Iran comes to power, the country will become much less stable, and the danger of more Islamic fanatic antics will increase.
The Westerners are now caught between a rock and a hard place because of Iraq's occupation. After consolidating their power, the Iranian conservatives are worried about their Shiite brethren in Iraq and would not mind the neighboring country becoming another religious dictatorship. Even now, the west prefers fanatics in situ, to secular dictatorships, or even democracies which remain independent. The West believes it is able to make better deals with the clerics, behind the scenes, because it worked in the past.
Israel sold goods and arms to Khomeini's men and the funds were illegally used by Washington in the fabled Irangate affair, to fight the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and nobody got the wiser for a while. Only, when former CIA head, Bush, Sr., became President, it was pushed under the carpet. Somebody assassinated all the people involved in the Irangate affair, all the intermediaries. Secret Israeli agent Amiram Nir, a former journalist, died in a mysterious plane accident in Mexico, for instance.
Nowadays, conditions have changed as they always do. It's difficult to formulate an effective imperialist policy in the 21st Century.
The only consistent American foreign policy, that remains consistent, is support of Israel, even when the worst exactions occur here, exactions which create terror no less consistently. And when one thinks of what the U.S. supported in Latin America in the Irangate era, one must conclude that stupidity is a family affair. I mean, we now have the same kind of logic. When you see who are the supposed Iraqi rulers, the members of the Governing Council, under the military occupation, officials such as gung-ho Sanchez, and the Marine forces' stalwarts—I mean you must be suicidal to put the lives of U.S. GI's in the hands of these guys.
The U.S. had the sympathy of the Iraqi Shia community which Saddam Hussein persecuted. Now, the Shia are both the fiercest opposition to the occupiers and the greatest danger to a united and democratic Iraq in the future. The Iraqi Shia community in Iraq has blown up in the West's faces. Everything in the Middle East is blowing up in the West's faces.
And nobody has a clue what to do, though the solution is easy to see: have the Anglo-American coalition leave Iraq at once, give up both military and oil control to a United Nations force with heavy participation by the Arab countries, and hand over reconstruction to the new Iraqi government whilst paying the bills.
Anything less will lead to the continuation of the present disaster. Even the relatively stable situation in Kurdish Iraq will blow up in the West's faces, later on, because sooner or later the United States will have to choose between a free Kurdistan, and Turkey, a strategic U.S. ally. And, if they choose Kurdistan, which means the dismembering of Iraq into three areas, oil-rich Kurdistan will be controlled at any price—through the Kurds. Which will mean America losing Turkey as an ally, Turkey blowing up, and Middle East fundamentalists joining forces with the Turkish ones, and with the Turkish army, which is the real ruler, and which will have to forge a de facto alliance with the Islamists in spite of its secular, Kemalist ideology. Power makes strange bedfellows.
The Kurd-Turk Quandary
And if by chance the U.S. chooses Turkey, then the Kurds will blow up once again. And they will blow up, not only in Iraq: they will blow up also in Turkey. Now there is a lid on the more extreme Kurdish freedom fighters, because they are extremists and because the rest of the Kurds want at least their own state, in Iraq and maybe in Iran too, just as the Armenians got an Armenian state, next to the Russian federation. Only in a state of their own can the Kurds grow and develop. For the time being, both the Iraqi Kurds and the Armenians are taking a leaf out of the Zionist book and talking autonomy in Iraq rather than independence. But, if the Americans prefer Turkey, this goes down the drain.
In Kurdistan, you have two allies of the United States—who have totally opposed interests. And then, you have the oil. And, the U.S. would like a Kurdistan rump state, instead of in Iraq, but it would not like them to control the oil. And who says that after they take over, the Kurds won't take over the oil? And ally with other Kurds, in Iran, and in Syria? And then in Turkey itself?
One thing is for sure: The U.S.—the neo-fascists in the U.S. in particular—have no real strategic outlook. They have no analysis that allows them to plan. They have no ability to sustain a long-term occupation of Iraq, and their plan for domination of the whole area through a "Greater Middle East" scheme is a hashish dream, an Orientalist Western joke.
Nor have the Americans a short-range strategy: only greed and propaganda efforts, electoral ploys. They are now forced to find foreign mercenaries—who are starting to desert the ship. Spain and Honduras did, and if Italy and Japan are destabilized by terror, they will follow suit. Or else, their governments will not survive. The new Anglo-American proposal at the UN Security Council is nothing but a propaganda effort. The Americans and the British want to put blue helmets on their existing forces in Iraq and get more mercenaries under U.S. command. This is an effort to legitimize the takeover of Iraqi oil, and to go on controlling Iraq.
It may be adopted at the UN but it will fail on the ground. It will not stop either the popular Iraqi insurrection against the occupation, nor, even worse, the ideological fundamentalist-Islamist revolution.
EIR: You know, Mr. LaRouche has said, and this has become really popular with the American people, the ordinary people: George W. Bush is the dumbest man who has ever been President of the United States.
Ghilan: But I don't know if that's right. There's been a few very dumb Presidents in the early stage of American history.
EIR: Well, we've been looking into it, and it seems to be pretty close.
Ghilan: But, he's certainly a very stupid man. And, Cheney—you see, when you have at the very top, a person who is stupid, and under him, people who are fanatics, then you have a very explosive combination.
Ghilan: Because the fanatic isn't accountable; the idiot is accountable. But when the fanatics define policy—Wow! Even when the fanatics are not that intelligent, because they are ruled by their emotions and hormonal drives rather than their heads.
America As Othello, Britain As Iago
Moreover, the American fanatics are taking their lessons from British imperialism, they are playing Othello to Britain's Iago.
But British imperialism evolved in a completely different environment, in one in which the navy was the main weapon of control of any imperial power, and in which armies had a different local approach, cultural approach, to the various indigenous populations.
Today, this is not the case, cannot be the case. But the neo-cons and the army brass still believe in direct occupation, and in punitive military policies, such as bumping out leaders, and killing wide sectors of the population. The point is, in the modern world, with modern technology, guerrilla warfare has become as potentially powerful against empires, imperial occupants in particular, as frontline armies and navies in past ages. The strategic situation has changed, the local situations have changed. And if you don't see that, if you want to impose American imperialism, using the patterns of British 19th-Century imperialism, then you are on your way to disaster: which is precisely what's happening in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and soon in Africa, and in Pakistan.
EIR: On Iraq. Lyndon LaRouche is very concerned that there be an exit strategy, and he has laid out one, which begins with the United States saying, very clearly, "We are leaving." And Iraq has to go to the Iraqi people. The U.S. must end the occupation. The longer the U.S. stays there, the worse it's going to be. And he has called upon the countries around Iraq to play a major role, specifically: Iran, Turkey, Syria, Egypt. These will all be affected by the disaster there.
Ghilan: You're forgetting one: Yemen.
EIR: Should they also play a major role in Iraq?
Ghilan: Absolutely. Otherwise they will become a base for the fundamentalist revolution. And, you forget one more: Jordan, which is at Iraq's borders, and the most delicate border, at that, because of the rivalry between Syria and Jordan, with Egypt, Egypt should be brought in, too.
In fact, you cannot have a democratic conflict resolution in the Middle East after the American invasion of Iraq, a solution to the Iraqi problem, if the whole of the Arab world is not brought in; which brings us to the Middle East-defining Israeli-Arab conflict, the Palestinian conflict; which means such Arab inclusion into a peace deal must necessarily involve a prompt solution, or at least considerable progress on the way to impose from the outside an Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire and an Israeli evacuation from Palestine. If that does not happen, the abcess will simply move from one Mideastern organ to another and then in fact, to other geo-political bodies. EIR: How do you see a solution being reached after this policy disaster?
Ghilan: Well, first of all, the solution now goes through at least three different stages, which should be very close to each other, a matter of months. None of them should be longer than a year.
The first stage is, the establishment of a United Nations trusteeship, for a length of no longer than three years, but no less than one year. And such a United Nations trusteeship, would create a trusteeship UN section, just as there was one for South Africa during apartheid, with its own army, which should be different and separate from NATO, or other UN forces. It should not include NATO member-forces.
During the next stage, the UN, NATO states excepted, should control all of Iraq, with the aid of Iraqi forces, then gradually hand over military and political control of all areas to the Iraqis.
Before this is completed, at a stage which seems stable, direct elections should be held, under international observation, the principle being: half the national assembly or parliament on an overall Iraqi principle of one person, one vote, the other half being reserved for representation of the four existing sectors: Sunnites, Shia, Kurds and secular parties, each sector getting a number of seats in accordance with its numerical strength and the approximate amount of territory it lives on. This calculation may be the biggest obstacle to a truly democratic transition.
So, the UN should fund a referendum in Iraq, region-by-region and inside the ethnic and religious communities—I'm thinking of the Kurds, of the Shiites, of the Sunnis, of the secular nationalist Iraqis, both pro-Baath-Saddam and anti-Saddam, but who are in favor of a non-religious republic in which women have full rights. Seats should be reserved for other groups, such as the Assyrians, to mention but one.
All of them should be brought in as advisors to the UN Trusteeship Council and later on, as commissioners of the United Nations Trusteeship council, this international Iraq commission. Then, and only then, should a final and definitive constitution be drawn up to be approved according to a one person-one vote principle. This should happen in the third year, giving the country a sufficient cooling off period.
After one year, you gradually take out the foreign military forces, and set up local military forces, ideally people who were already in Saddam's Iraqi Army or police, but these forces must be composed of local people in each area, and remain for a while under the control of the United Nations non-NATO commissioners, and after that, of the Iraqi Provisional Commissioners, until elections are held.
Stability can only be reached if the various communities feel that they are represented in such a trusteeship. Otherwise, the Islamic revolution will continue and win over the country.
Thus, all sectors will have rights, and then control, at each state, but not the ability to sow chaos for their own sectarian reasons. They will be part of the machine from the very beginning, but will only get access to the control levers according to their sector, under trusteeship, and final joint overall control of government when internal conflicts are manageable.
This is the best of all bad solutions, since the present chaos prevents the immediate creation of an Iraqi Federal Republic, or a confederated one.
Iraq's Oil As An Obstacle
There is of course one big obstacle to such a scheme—oil. Who will control Iraq's oil? After all, this is what the invasion was all about, besides the Bush dynasty's wish for vengeance.
I don't see Western oil multinationals giving up control of oil production and exploitation in the immediate future. Which is, of course, short-sighted of them, because the Anglo-American companies—plus the French, the Germans, and the Russians—are the only ones capable of developing Iraq's oil facilities in an advanced, industrialized manner, as only they possess the means to develop properly the third-largest oil reserves in the world. The multinationals should opt for profit, not control, but greed is always stronger than logic.
So there is probably not going to be a UN trusteeship. And the neo-fascists in the Bush Administration, who are servants to the oil companies false gods, are certainly not going to give up direct U.S. control of Iraq and its oil, in one way or another.
So I don't think that a democratic mechanism shall be worked out and chaos, or just fighting, will continue, followed by economic destabilization, worldwide.
I think nobody, neither in Europe nor in the United States, has proposed such a step-by-step trusteeship plan, which could be offered to such people as the U.S. Democratic candidate (who is not my own choice for a brilliant leader but has the virtue of not being Bush or Cheney.
Eventually, after much blood-letting, if such a trusteeship arrangement is worked out, it can only work if the world community, including a saner United States, reassures the Arab world and, indeed, the whole Islamic cultural community world-wide, saying, "Now, this is going to happen. But only with your democratic participation in day-to-day and overall decisions. We are going to allow the UN to bring in, if necessary, forces but keep both eyes open to prevent an imperialist, religious or totalitarian take over."
Moreover, the Arab-Islamic community must see—not be promised, but see—the Israeli-Palestinian conflict being ended. Again with the help of international armed separation forces on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian green line. Without a relatively just peace solution you can forget peace in Iraq or anywhere else in the Third World.
Let's put a stop to this conflict which poisons international relations. This is really a first-class geopolitical priority.
EIR: So, you think that these two plans must be done simultaneously: If you do something in Iraq, you must also match it with something to stabilize the Israel-Palestine situation?
Ghilan: Yes. But remember that the way to an Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire is enforced separations with international armed forces at both sides of the Green Line, of the internationally accepted pre-67 borders. I mean, Israel and the Palestinian authority are not going to shoot at the United Nations, right?
When two madmen fight, you must bring in a doctor and restrain them, if necessary.
At the same time, the United Nations should unilaterally decide, backed by a Security Council resolution, to sponsor and direct open negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. The Security Council should establish a mechanism for a permanent planning commission that would deal with cooperation plans in the future—economy, development, construction of homes for the masses in Gaza and elsewhere, even cultural and religious cooperation. And about the means of funding permanent peace in the now Unholy Land.
Pressure should be applied, economic sanctions pressure, if one or both sides drag their feet. Inducements in the form of reconstruction and development aid should also be offered by the world community. Finally, although the right of return of all Palestinian refugees should be assured, handsome offers for compensation and resettlement in a number of developed countries should also be proposed to those who so wish.
If you do these things, three things will happen: 1) the United Nations will grow and develop, from a trust of a few strong nationals ruling over many small ones, to a real international and legal forum. 2) Middle Eastern and Central Asian oil resources will finally become the motor of economic and political development. 3) A basis will be laid for a mashrek or Middle Eastern economic community leading to a Federated or Confederated Mashrek on European Community lines, but with a heightened social content.
As for Israeli-Palestinian strife in the future—nobody in the area will allow two small states to go on fighting, thus spoiling the economic growth of the area. The way to Jewish-Arab peace leads first to trade and economic development, which alone will ensure continued peace.
EIR: As a veteran of the peace camp in Israel—a founder of it, for many decades: How can the peace camp regain power in Israel?
Ghilan: Look, you have in Israel, two sides, two peace camps. You have one, which is another silent minority, which is the non-Zionist peace camp; in other words, those who say, "we don't want to control anybody. We want a free Palestinian state, based on economic prosperity, beside Israel, and maybe in the later future, a Middle East Confederation or Community." They are a minority among the peaceniks everywhere.
Then, you have a majority, which is the Zionist peace camp, and I mean people such as Yossi Beilin's new Yahad Party, including Meretz; the left wing of the Labor Party (which is not very left wing, but—); even some people inside the Likud; some people inside the Shinui, who are economically reactionary, but pro-peace for the Palestinians; and the poorer rank-and-file of the Shas, the orthodox oriental party who are against the Palestinians, but for social justice. Most of this peace camp, Shas and Shinui excepted, is middle-of-the-road in economic matters, and sometimes even right wing, but left of center in Palestinian affairs.
They don't want real Palestinian independence. They want a Palestine "state" controlled by the Israelis and by the United States, because they believe that's the only way to ensure real security and peace for Israel. The Zionist peace camp seems to believe that such a controlled peace will bring about economic affluence for all Israelis, or the real liberation of the Arab masses in the Mashrek; with Sharon, it [the Zionist peace camp—ed] believes that [only] (anything but—MG) an Israeli-controlled peace will [not lead to] (bring anything but—MG) the abolition of the Israeli state. So, their social or economic aspirations stand in abeyance till peace arrives, and this hold for both the Zionist peace camps' right wing (Shinui) and populist wing (Shas).
Most of these people are against Sharon, but for some of them, like "Fouad" Ben-Eliezer or Shimon Peres, a "National Unity Coalition" including Labor, the Likud and Shinui, is a desired goal, provided Sharon evacuates some Jewish settlements, including all settlements in the Gaza strip.
This creates a problem for those, such as myself, who understand there's not going to be peace without social justice, nor social redress without a just peace with the Palestinians.
To Be Ethical and Still Succeed
The equation is the following: if one supports the Zionist peace camp majority at some of its happenings, such as the massive demo that was held in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, on May 15th, with 200,000 participants, one really helps Shimon Peres, who launched with his speech there, a campaign for a new united national government with Sharon and Tommy Lapid at the top. If you don't go to such events, if you remain pure and honest, you are confined to the rather small ghetto of the peace-and-justice camp.
I decided to participate, and as one of my friends told me: "We got there, and when Peres starts speechifying, we hold our noses and avoid the stench."
In any case and unfortunately, a real just peace, a really lasting solution, may only be reached after much more blood is spilt, maybe 25,000 more Israeli dead and about three times as many Palestinians. In the meantime, one must evolve and disseminate a non-Zionist Israeli ethos for the future, an alternative code of beliefs and behavior that is both humanist and practical.
And continue fighting for Justice and human rights wherever they are violated.