Chas Freeman on “The Passing of the Residual Elements of a Colonial Order”

This is a note from Chas Freeman.

It seems to me that one way to interpret what is happening in the Middle East is that it marks the belated passing of the residual elements of a colonial order that had never really been transcended despite the hard knock it received thirty years ago from the Islamic revolution in Iran.

This order derived its legitimacy from a peculiar mixture of imperial dispensations of territory (the Balfour Declaration was, after all, colonialist in origin, tone, and inspiration) and linkages between local elites and their former colonial masters (the favored position of Lebanese Christians being only one of many examples) or foreign kin (Israel). Cold War maneuvering between the contending superpowers fostered neo-colonial relationships of dependency on one or the other of them by countries like Israel (whose prosperity and hegemony have depended on U.S. and Diaspora subventions and subsidies), Egypt (which switched sides to call off the fight with Israel and go on a better payroll), Syria (which failed to maneuver successfully and was orphaned when the USSR imploded), and Iraq (which mistakenly gambled on its judgment that the end of superpower rivalry meant an end to U.S. interest in the region). The degree of dependence on foreign backing by both Israeli and Arab elites (as well as Iranian elites before 1979) vastly exceeds that in any other region of the world. It’s been a good deal for them, if not for those over whom they rule, but I sense it is now coming to an end.

What may also be ending is the fatalistic passivity and groveling to power that have made the Arab world stand out among the world’s great civilizations as the only one not to have seen a rebirth of intellect, wealth, and power. (Iran’s attempt at achieving this has so far largely failed but at least Iran made the effort.) The contrast with renewed Chinese, Indian, and Turkish vigor and self-confidence (not to mention the Japanese in an earlier era) has been striking. It is too early to say whether the energy of the Tunisian and Egyptian streets heralds a turn toward Arabs similarly taking charge of their own destiny, but I think it is a possibility worth watching — whatever the immediate outcome in terms of quality of governance.

Leon Hadar has made the useful point that, if the relevant analogy to Egypt and its Revolution is Poland and Solidarity, then the United States stands in the position of the Soviet Union and Obama in the role of Gorbachev. That is not encouraging in terms of either choices or outcomes. Whatever happens, the ebb of U.S. power in the Middle East is now at riptide.

* [Chas Freedman worked as the interpreter for Richard Nixon in his 1972 China visit and as the United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1989 to 1992, where he dealt with issues related to the Persian Gulf War. He is a past president of the Middle East Policy Council, co-chair of the U.S. China Policy Foundation, and vice-chair of the Atlantic Council.]

Perry Anderson wrote this more than ten years ago.  h/t Scott McConnell and Jeet Heer

So long as both of the key Arab powers—Egypt with its population, and Saudi Arabia with its petroleum—remain client-states of America, the Middle East and its oil are safely in US hands, and there is no reason to deny Israel anything it wishes. But should that ever change, the fate of the Palestinians would instantly alter. America has invested enormous sums to sustain Mubarak’s moth-eaten dictatorship in Cairo, cordially despised by the Egyptian masses, and spared no effort to protect the feudal plutocracy in Riyadh, perched above a sea of rightless immigrants. If either of these edifices were toppled—in the best of cases, both—the balance of power in the region would be transformed.

From Swoop –  thanks FLC

“…The crisis in Egypt continues to dominate the foreign policy agenda, but no longer threatens to overwhelm it. US officials concede that the Administration got off to a slow start, but they now believe that they have established a productive dialogue with their Egyptian counterparts, both on the government and opposition sides. The prospects for an “orderly transition” have improved measurably, with Secretary of Defense Gates playing a considerable role in this effort.

As one State Department official commented privately to us: “We now have a chance of emerging from this crisis without having to make a one-sided choice between democracy and stability.” Despite this guarded optimism, however, the Administration is well aware that the US posture in the Middle East may be at a turning point. A National Security Council official commented: “Egypt has been the pivot on which our presence in the region has depended. If we now face a less sympathetic government there, the implications are far-reaching.” With the course of the crisis still far from settled, US is quietly stepping up its interactions with Saudi Arabia, passing assurances to the Saudi monarchy that the US unwillingness to support President Mubarak does not imply that the US any hesitation to support the Saudi leadership if confronted by a similar challenge.

US officials are also assessing how any forthcoming changes in Egypt might impact Israel’s position in the region. A series of high level meetings has been held with Jewish organizations to provide reassurance about the US “unshakeable” commitment to Israel. Nonetheless, the prospect that Israel may find itself further isolated in the Middle East is troubling US diplomatic planners…”

Israel predicts Egypt regime will survive, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Israel expects that the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will survive pro-democracy protests that have shaken the country over the past three days, government officials and analysts said….

Adam Shatz writes: (Thanks to Paul Woodward)

Mubarak, when he stands down, is not likely to be missed by many people in Egypt, where he has pledged to spend his last days, but he will be missed in Washington and, above all, in Tel Aviv. Mubarak and Omar Suleiman, now the interim vice president, worked closely with Israel on everything from the Gaza blockade to intelligence-gathering; they allowed Israeli warships into the Suez Canal to prevent weapons smuggling into Gaza from Sudan, and did their best to stir up tensions between Fatah and Hamas. The Egyptian public is well aware of this intimate collaboration, and ashamed of it: democratisation could spell its end. A democratic government isn’t likely to abolish the peace treaty with Israel – even some of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood have said they would respect it. But Egyptian foreign policy would be set in Cairo rather than in Washington and Tel Aviv, and the cold peace would grow colder. A democratic government in Cairo would have to take public opinion into account, much as Erdogan’s government does in Turkey: another former US client state but one that, in marked contrast to Egypt, has escaped American tutelage, made the transition to democracy under an Islamist government, and pursued an independent foreign policy that is widely admired in the Muslim world. If Egypt became a democracy, it might work to achieve Palestinian unity, open up the crossing from Gaza and improve relations with Iran and Hizbullah: shifts which would be anathema to Israel.

How Syria dodged an Egypt-style ‘day of rage’ – Christian Science Monitor

Outside opposition groups had called for protests in Syria over the weekend. Why did only security forces and hopeful journalists show up?….

Ex-official: Direct Israel-Syria talks were close
The Associated Press

A high-ranking official in the previous Israeli government says Israel and Syria were close to resuming direct peace talks in late 2008, and that the Syrians signaled readiness to ease past demands for a full Israeli withdrawal from captured lands.

Turkish-mediated talks between the two sides were to have progressed to direct talks in December 2008. But Israel launched a war against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip that month. The ex-official in the government of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says the fighting derailed the planned talks.

He says that if the direct talks had started, a deal could have been reached within a month or two. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the political and diplomatic sensitivities surrounding the talks.

Egyptian army seen as riven by factionalism
By David Blair and Helen Warrell in London
Sunday, February 06, 2011 Financial Times – Saturday, 05 February 2012

Throughout the crisis in Cairo, the Egyptian army has presented itself as a united and professional force, dedicated to protecting the nation’s security.

But official US assessments, contained in diplomatic cables from the Cairo embassy, paint a very different picture.

Far from being a monolithic entity, the notoriously opaque army is described as being riven by factionalism and mistrust, with President Hosni Mubarak acting to contain the power of individual generals.

The cables – part of a trove obtained by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, some of which have not been released publicly until now – portray an army in steady decline in which disdainful mid-ranking officers are reported as privately dubbing Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the defence minister, “Mubarak’s poodle”.

The dispatches also report the armed forces’ “uneasiness” with the potential succession of Gamal Mubarak, Mr Mubarak’s son, to the presidency, largely because the younger Mubarak never finished his military service.

But even as they describe disquiet among junior officers, the cables also delineate Mr Mubarak’s firm hold on the military’s top ranks and how he has sought to minimise the risk of a challenge from his generals by establishing “firewalls”.

“Mubarak has no single confidante or adviser who can truly speak for him and he has prevented any of his main advisers from operating outside their strictly circumscribed spheres of power,” reads a May 2009 “scene setter” for the Egyptian’s first visit to Washington since the arrival of the Obama administration.

One cable records an appraisal given by Major General Michael Collings, head of the Office of Military Co-operation at the US embassy. “The military is as effective as President Mubarak wants it to be, and the leadership has created intentional firewalls in command and control so that only the senior command can control operational readiness,” he told a US official in February 2008.

After Mr Mubarak, Field Marshal Tantawi sits at the apex of the military command structure, with Lieutenant General Sami Enan, the army’s chief of staff, immediately under him.

Below them, however, responsibility is carefully divided between five regional commands, ensuring that no other figure has operational authority over the whole country.

Maj Gen Collings added that Egypt’s defence ministry had a “culture” of “maintaining tight control over internal and external communications from the very top of the ministry”.

Mr Mubarak’s strategy is a common one among authoritarian regimes, according to Brigadier Ben Barry, senior fellow for land warfare at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “The aim is to make sure that no state organ has a sufficient predominance of armed force that it could mount a coup without armed opposition.”

In the same cable, the US embassy recommends trying to “bring younger Egyptian military and civilian officials into a new way of thinking through trips to the US and increased engagement”.

The picture of a divided military that has fallen from the height of its power is most vividly expressed in a September 2008 cable, in which academics consulted by the US embassy describe a “disgruntled mid-level officer corps harshly critical of a defence minister they perceive as incompetent”.

These officers call Field Marshal Tantawi “Mubarak’s poodle”, and claim that he is “running the military into the ground”, according to one academic quoted in the cable. The fact that the ministry of defence “does not hesitate to fire officers it perceives as ‘too competent’ and therefore a threat to the regime” is given as further evidence of questionable leadership.

One of the bluntest indications of decline is from a retired general, who points out that because salaries have fallen “far below” what is offered in the private sector, “a military career is no longer an attractive option for ambitious young people who aspire to join the new business elite instead”.

The cable’s conclusion is that the military still remains a “potent political and economic force” largely because of the prevalence of military-owned companies in the water, construction and gas industries, and the army’s land ownership along the Red Sea coast.

But the idea the institution would act as a source of stability in a succession – in which senior officers would be expected to back Gamal Mubarak, despite their reservations about his military credentials – is presciently tempered by the acknowledgement that in a “messier” succession scenario, the army’s actions would be harder to predict.

“The military’s built-in firewalls and communication breaks make it unlikely that these officers could independently install a new leader,” the cable reads.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2011.

Mubarak’s new deputy linked to CIA rendition program…
By Agence France-Presse, Monday, January 31st, 2011 — 9:20 pm

WASHINGTON — The man named by President Hosni Mubarak as his first ever deputy, Egyptian spy chief Omar Suleiman, reportedly orchestrated the brutal interrogation of terror suspects abducted by the CIA in a secret program condemned by rights groups.

His role in the controversial “war on terror” illustrates the ties that bind the United States and the Egyptian regime, as an unprecedented wave of protests against Mubarak’s rule presents Washington with a difficult dilemma.

With Mubarak in jeopardy, Suleiman was anointed vice president last week and is now offering wide ranging talks with the opposition in a bid to defuse the crisis.

Suleiman is a sophisticated operator who carried out sensitive truce negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians as well as talks among rival Palestinian factions, winning the praise of American diplomats.

For US intelligence officials, he has been a trusted partner willing to go after Islamist militants without hesitation, targeting homegrown radical groups Gamaa Islamiya and Jihad after they carried out a string of attacks on foreigners. A product of the US-Egyptian relationship, Suleiman underwent training in the 1980s at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School and Center at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

As spy chief, Suleiman reportedly embraced the CIA’s controversial “extraordinary rendition” program, in which terror suspects snatched by the Americans were taken to Egypt and other countries without legal proceedings and subjected to interrogations. He “was the CIA’s point man in Egypt for rendition,” Jane Mayer, author of “The Dark Side,” wrote on the New Yorker’s website.

After taking over as spy director, Suleiman oversaw an agreement with the United States in 1995 that allowed for suspected militants to be secretly transferred to Egypt for questioning, according to the book “Ghost Plane” by journalist Stephen Grey. Human rights groups charge the detainees have often faced torture and mistreatment in Egypt and elsewhere, accusing the US government of violating its own legal obligations by handing over suspects to regimes known for abuse.

In the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the CIA relied on Suleiman to accept the transfer of a detainee known as Ibn Sheikh al-Libi, who US officials hoped could prove a link between Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda. The suspect was bound and blindfolded and flown to Cairo, where the CIA believed their longtime ally Suleiman would ensure a successful interrogation, according to “The One Percent Doctrine” by author Ron Suskind.

A US Senate report in 2006 describes how the detainee was locked in a cage for hours and beaten, with Egyptian authorities pushing him to confirm alleged connections between Al-Qaeda and Saddam. Libi eventually told his interrogators that the then Iraqi regime was moving to provide Al-Qaeda with biological and chemical weapons.

When the then US secretary of state Colin Powell made the case for war before the United Nations, he referred to details of Libi’s confession. The detainee eventually recanted his account.


Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel is “rock solid, …. I assume Egypt will continue to respect it,” ElBaradei said when asked about the current treaty. He also said “everyone in Egypt, everyone in the Arab world wants to see an independent Palestinian state.”

Robert Dreyfuss sent this:

From David Letterman, via today’s New York Times Week in Review: “The good news is Hosni Mubarak may step down. The bad news is he’s going to be replaced by his idiot son, Hosni W. Mubarak.”

Comments (22)

majedkhaldoon said:

The interview between Amanpour and Omar Suleiman, is strange ,it is short,superficial,and the begining was not the usual begining.Was Mubarak there really? Amanpour must have more news and she is not telling.
Mubarak had bad news lately,he has cancer,underwent major operation, some report he is in the fourth,Final stage of cancer, recently , he lost his only grandson,and this revolution.bad lock come in three.

February 6th, 2011, 5:45 pm


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February 6th, 2011, 8:01 pm


Norman said:

Shai, Yossi,

This is for you,

Damascus Jews Restore Synagogues as Syria Seeks Secular Image

February 06, 2011, 7:34 PM EST
e-mail this story print this story 0diggsdiggadd to Business Exchange By Massoud A. Derhally

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) — Albert Cameo, leader of what remains of the Jewish community in Syria, says he’s trying to fulfill an obligation to his religious heritage.

The 70-year-old is organizing the restoration of a synagogue called Al-Raqi in the old Jewish quarter of Damascus, the Syrian capital, built during the Ottoman Empire some 400 years ago. The project, which began in December, will be completed this month as part of a plan to restore 10 synagogues with the backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and funding from Syrian Jews.

“Assad sees the rebuilding of Jewish Damascus in the context of preserving the secularism of Syria,” said Josh Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. “This is an effort by the regime to show its seriousness and an olive branch to the Jewish community in America, which they have been wooing.”

While Syria is still officially at war with Israel, the country is trying to portray itself as a more tolerant state to help burnish its image internationally. Syria’s 200 Jews are mirroring the actions of their co-religionists in Lebanon, where restoration work began on Beirut’s Maghen Abraham Synagogue in July 2009.

Indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria, mediated by Turkey, broke down in December 2008 when Israel began a military offensive in the Gaza Strip that it said was aimed at stopping Islamic militants from firing rockets into southern Israel. The previous round had collapsed in 2000, when the two nations failed to agree on the return of the Golan Heights, which Israel occupied in 1967.

Community in U.S.

The largest Syrian-Jewish community, estimated at 75,000, is centered in Brooklyn, New York and New Jersey. Emigration dates back to the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, “when Jews feared their sons would be drafted into the Ottoman Turkish army,” according to Sara Reguer, author of “The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in Modern Times.”

Joey Allaham, 35, a Syrian Jew living in New York, still considers Syria his homeland.

In December, he helped set up a meeting between Assad and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella organization of Jewish groups in an effort to foster ties between Syria and the American Jewish community.

Hoenlein Visit

During their visit, Allaham and Hoenlein toured the Franji synagogue across from the Talisman Hotel in Bab Touma, in the old city of the Syrian capital. The synagogue, also known as Ilfrange, gets its name from the Jews who came from Spain and dates back 400 years, according to Cameo.

“President Assad was kind enough to support us,” Allaham said in an interview. “We are going to bring support financially.”

Syrian Jews, a group dating back to the Roman Empire, numbered as many as 30,000 in 1947 and were indigenous Arabs or Sephardim who fled to Syria after their expulsion from Spain in 1492, according to Reguer.

The community resided in the cities of Aleppo, Damascus and Qamishli, dwindling in size because of emigration to the U.S., western Europe and South America from the early 1900s.

The “big flight” of Syrian Jews came after the creation of Israel in 1948 when riots erupted in Aleppo, resulting in Syria prohibiting Jews from leaving the country because they were going to Israel, said Landis.

Dwindling Population

The remaining Jews were allowed to leave Syria in 1990 as relations with the U.S. thawed because Washington sought the country’s support to oust former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, Landis said.

“Syrian Jews living in Israel, Turkey, Western Europe, and the United States feel a positive affinity toward their homeland,” said Tom Dine, who used to head the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said by e-mail. “Reconciliation is long overdue.”

Unlike his three brothers who live in Mexico, Cameo says he has no desire to leave Syria.

“Morally I can’t leave my country and the religious places of worship here,” Cameo said from his home in Damascus. “I have a duty to preserve our heritage.”

–Editors: Rodney Jefferson, Riad Hamade, Dick Schumacher

To contact the reporter on this story: Massoud A. Derhally in Beirut at

February 6th, 2011, 11:12 pm


Yossi said:


Thanks for sharing. It’s a nice gesture from the Syrian side.

February 7th, 2011, 1:48 am


Alex said:

Yossi, Shai

Where will Prime minister Netanyahu go from here? … I am not sure but I thought I read yesterday that he said Israel (after Egypt) is now the United States’ only reliable/dependable ally in the region?

Sounds disappointing (no surprises there) … if his new strategy is more PR ….


I almost got it right 😉 When President Assad met with Malcolm Hoenlein

February 7th, 2011, 4:48 am


Shai said:


I doubt Netanyahu said “… is now the ONLY reliable ally…”, because that would hurt Israel’s relationship with Egypt.

However, I almost WISH he did say it, verbatim, because that would stress for the United States that they desperately need to invest in “new allies”, and I can think of at least one that is more than ready – Syria! 🙂 And that, too, would be good for Israel.

February 7th, 2011, 6:20 am


why-discuss said:

I would hate the idea that Syria becomes an “ally” to the US. We have seen what happens to US allies in the world, except for Israel: They become tougher dictatorships, they ignore human rights, they develop an oligarchy on power and ultimately they are dumped. No thank you!
I trust Bashar will keep his intelligent and cautious foreign policies and will not allow Syria to become another Egypt, nor another Lebanon!

February 7th, 2011, 7:05 am


Akbar Palace said:


It’s so heartwarming to know that synagogues are being rebuilt in Syria. It’s always nice to see countries support Jews after their own Jewish population leaves in fear or is killed off…

It would be even better if Syria recognized a jewish state, and jewish independence, but, I guess, that’s asking too much. Maybe one day…


Syria/Israel peace talks were “close”…,7340,L-4024835,00.html

February 7th, 2011, 8:14 am


norman said:

We know that you are connected,

Shai, Yossi,
Israel should take the Arab peace plan and run with it .secure Israel future and settlement for the Palestinian problem ,

February 7th, 2011, 8:14 am


Dragoman said:

“What may also be ending is the fatalistic passivity and groveling to power that have made the Arab world stand out among the world’s great civilizations as the only one not to have seen a rebirth of intellect, wealth, and power.” this reinforces an opinion I’ve always held, that Arab peoples’ passivity to democracy is due in part to their Islamic identity, be they Muslim, Christian, or even Jewish. Fatalism in the Islamic faith is quite a strong notion, and makes the Arab layman quite unwilling to stand up for his human rights. Is what’s taking place in Tunisia and Egypt really a signal of an increasingly secularising thought?

February 7th, 2011, 8:23 am


norman said:

When Israel recognize the rights of the Palestinians and move to implement them and return the Golan , i would the first to recognize the rights of the Jews to return and live as equal in peace.actually i do that now,

February 7th, 2011, 8:30 am


Shai said:

Why Discuss,

I understand what you mean, and you’re right. Perhaps “normalization” is the better word, not “ally”.


I agree with you.

February 7th, 2011, 9:16 am


Ghat Albird said:

Its becoming rather obvious that the Egyptian ” opposition ” is negotiating with the US rather than with either Mubarak or his associates. But then that may be one man’s opinion.

In the long run given the evolving shift in real and perceived power [china, us et al] oil is THE WINNER and the sole ally of the US.

February 7th, 2011, 9:56 am


5 dancing shlomos said:

some ideas for syria to copy to have a strong economy:

Gilad Atzmon: Israeli Economy For Beginners
February 7, 2011

We learn from the press and political analysts that, against all odds and in spite of the global financial turmoil, Israel’s economy is booming. Some even suggest that Israel is one of the strongest economies around.

‘How come?’ you may ask; besides maybe avocado, oranges, and some Dead Sea beauty products, none of us has actually ever seen an Israeli product on the shelves. They don’t make cars; nor do they make electric or electronic appliances, and they hardly manufacture any consumer goods. Israel claims to be advanced in high-tech technologies but somehow, the only Israeli advanced software ever to settle within our computers have been their Sabra Trojan Horses. In the land they grabbed by force from the indigenous Palestinians, they are yet to find any lucrative minerals or oil.

So what is it? How is it that Israel is impervious to the global financial disaster? How can Israel be so rich?

Israel may be rich because, according to the Guardian, “out of the seven oligarchs who controlled 50% of Russia’s economy during the 1990s, six were Jewish.” During the last two decades, many Russian oligarchs have acquired Israeli citizenship. They also secured their dirty money by investing in the kosher financial haven; Wikileaks has revealed lately that “sources in the (Israeli) police estimate that Russian organised crime (Russian Mafia) has laundered as much as US $10 billion through Israeli holdings.”[1]

Israel’s economy is booming because mega swindlers such as Bernie Madoff have been channeling their money via Zionists and Israeli institutions for decades.[2]

Israel is ‘doing well’ because it is the leading trader in blood diamonds. Far from being surprising, Israel is also the fourth biggest weapon dealer on this planet. Clearly, blood diamonds and guns are proving to be a great match.

As if this is not enough, Israel is also prosperous because, every so often, it is caught engaged in organ trafficking and organ harvesting.

In short, Israel is doing better than other countries because it runs one of the dirtiest- non -ethical economies in the world. In spite of the Zionists’ initial promise to bring about a civilised ethical Jew, Israel has, instead, managed to develop an outstanding level of institutional dismissal of international law and universal values. It operates as a safe haven for money made in some horrendous global criminal activities. And it employs one of the world’s strongest army to defend the wealth of just a few of the wealthiest Jews around.

Increasingly, Israel seems to be nothing more than a humongous money laundering haven for Jewish oligarchs, swindlers, weapons dealers, organ traffickers, organised crime and blood diamond traders.

Such a realization can certainly explain why Israel is totally impervious to social equality within its borders.

Poor Israelis

Since Israel defines itself as the Jewish state, one may expect the Jewish people to be the first to benefit from their country’s booming economy. This seems to be not at all the case. In spite of the economy’s strength, Israel’s record on social justice is appalling. In the Jewish state 18 families control 60% of the equity value of all companies in the land. The Jewish State is shockingly cruel to its poor. As far as the gap between rich and poor is concerned, Israel is listed right at the top of the scale.

The meaning of all of that is pretty devastating; though Israel operates as an ethno-centric racially orientated, tribal setting, it is proving to be totally careless of the members of its own tribe — In fact, in the Jewish state, a few million Jews are serving the darkest possible interests, the fruits of which, are to be enjoyed by just a very few rich villains.

Smoke Screen

But there is a deeper and far more devastating meaning implicit within it all. If my reading of the Israeli economy is correct, and Israel is indeed a monstrous cash haven for the dirtiest money around, then the Israeli Palestinian conflict is , at least, from the Israeli-elite’s perspective , nothing but a smoke screen.
I hope that my readers and friends will forgive me for saying it — I hope that I will forgive myself for saying it — But it seems to me that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Israel’s horrendous crimes against the Palestinian people, actually serves to divert attention away from Israel’s complicity in some colossal and global crimes against vast populations around the world. Instead of addressing the above relentless greed-driven attempt to grab wealth on the expense of the rest of humanity, we are all focusing on a single territorial conflict, that actually brings to light just one devastating criminal side of the Jewish national project.

It is more than likely that the vast majority of Israelis also fail to detect the deceitful role of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. The Israelis are indoctrinated to look at every possible issue from a national security perspective. They have failed to realise that along the intensive militarization of their society, their Jewish state has become a money laundering haven and a refuge for villains from all over the world.

But here is some bad news for Israel and its corrupted elite. It is just a question of time before the Russians, Americans, Africans, Europeans, all of humanity, begin to grasp it all — We are all Palestinians and we all share one enemy.

I would even take it further, and argue that it is possible that, not before too long — some deprived Jews and Israelis will also begin to realise how deceptive and sinister Israel and Zionism truly are.

[1] For more information about global organized crime connections with Likud or other major Israeli political parties. Please follow this link

[2] Also, it is rumoured that, prior to its collapse, Lehman Brothers transferred 400 billion dollars to Israeli banks. I am not in a position to substantiate any of these theories — but I would strongly suggest that it is of some urgency to find out how truthful these accusations are.

and the tens of billions each year of welfare money.

February 7th, 2011, 11:33 am


Akbar Palace said:

Gilad’s Empty “Shelves”

Dear 5 Dancing Ahmads,

Thank you for cutting the Gilad Atzmon article. As you can see from the much shorter, and “scroll friendly” link, Gilad Atzmon is another in a long series of Israeli anti-Zionists.

We are very familiar with this “mind-set” here on Syria Comment. It makes us feel “warm & fuzzy” as we say here, state-side.

But to answer Mr. Atzmon’s rather stupid question:

‘How come?’ you may ask; besides maybe avocado, oranges, and some Dead Sea beauty products, none of us has actually ever seen an Israeli product on the shelves.

Maybe because you don’t see $30k of annual, per capita military equipment, medical equipment, diamonds, and high-tech software on “shelves” along with the fruits, vegetables, and Golan wine?

Just MHO.

February 7th, 2011, 11:51 am


Ghat Albird said:

Turmoil is good for business and other things.

February 7th, 2011, 12:10 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

time for u.s. to have a day of rage and executions.

mubarak’s stolen billions chicken feed compared to america’s wall st and k st thieves and manipulators.

2 other means of income for israel/jewry: kosher taxes, some $200billion/yr u.s. alone, and billions from illegal drugs, eg, ecstasy, heroin.

and trillions from the pentagon just happened to be missing and nowhere to be found … in the usa that is.

February 7th, 2011, 12:31 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

from angry arab(apparently DS sold by nyt). i’ve always considered DS to be a rag not worth trash can lining.

Hariri-owned Daily Star really admires Mubarak

“As president, he has maintained Egypt’s stability and cemented relations with the international community. He has improved infrastructure, cultivated a climate for foreign investment and presided over a growing economy. That’s why I was disgusted to see Egyptians hanging effigies of their president and waving shoes at his image. Mubarak, for all his faults, is a patriot and wants to die on the soil of Egypt. Moreover, he immediately responded to protesters’ demands by sacking his Cabinet and promising that neither he nor his son will stand during upcoming presidential elections. For the first time, he has appointed a vice president and instructed his new government to overhaul elements of the Constitution, talk to opposition figures and ensure that university leavers can find employment. At the same time, the former interior minister, responsible for police brutality, along with the of tourism and housing ministers, believed to be corrupt, have been barred from travelling and their bank accounts

February 7th, 2011, 12:46 pm


Akbar Palace said:

5 Dancing Ahmads,

You didn’t say anything about Assad’s stolen billions. Why not?

February 7th, 2011, 10:31 pm


Norman said:

Dr Landis,

You , i believe, mentioned that the reason the day of rage did not materialize in Syria was because of the brutal security services and regime oppression, If that is the case then how would you explain that the day of rage that they called for did not materialize out side Syria in other capitals as was called for by the organizers and that only can be explained by the approval of the Syrians of their president,and his policies,

February 7th, 2011, 11:02 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Ghat’s weird reading material

Turmoil is good for business and other things.


The article/author you linked to contained the following statement:

Such gamesmanship by Israel is part of a philosophy known as “catastrophic Zionism,” a term used almost exclusively by Israeli and Jewish writers.

Here is my reply to his statement:

1.) How are spontaneous demonstrations by the Egyptians “gamesmanship by Israel”? Did the government of Israel or “Zionists” start these demonstrations?

2.) Which “Israeli and Jewish writers” write about a “philosophy known as ‘catastrophic Zionism'”?

I think it is clear to all sane people that Israel would have preferred no Egyptian demonstrations and continued “leadership” with Mubarak.

OTOH, I agree that, long term, real democracy is best for all countries.

From the leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. In his own words….

February 8th, 2011, 7:03 am


Jj 2011 said:

Holocaust historian says massacre of Egyptian protestors is desirable
Thu, 10 Feb 2011 CST Michael Hoffman

A “Holocaust” historian and former Israeli kibbutznik, “Professor David Cesarani, floated the idea of there being a Tiananmen Square-style massacre in Egypt as a way of quelling potential post-Mubarak anarchy.

“And there has been no outrage. No Twitterstorm, no blog-based apoplexy, no heated radio phone-ins. Perhaps talking about the massacre of Egyptians is normal these days.

“Professor Cesarani was asked by Michael Portillo about the ‘moral dilemma’ of how to deal with what comes after Mubarak. What if it’s worse than Mubarak? Should it be crushed?

“Professor Cesarani said that if one takes the ‘wholly pragmatic view,’ then ‘the outcome of a Tiananmen Square-style crackdown is desirable and is predictable.’ Because, he said, ‘if you allow this popular democratic movement to run on unchecked, you cannot predict what’s going to happen. But you can predict probably that after a short, sharp, massive clampdown at huge human cost, there will be a sullen stability.’

“Portillo was startled. ‘Quite a lot of people would be quite shocked to hear what you said – that a Tiananmen-style outcome would be desirable.’

“Cesarani responded that, ‘The West is no longer weeping that much over Tiananmen Square because we’re doing a lot of business with China. So, many business interests would say, quietly, that, perhaps, well the way in which the Chinese managed their transition was preferable.’

“Another panellist, Matthew Taylor, former adviser to Tony Blair and now chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, later described Cesarani’s comments on Tiananmen Square as ‘incredibly brave’ and said: ‘In a way, I can see his argument.”

– Brendan O’Neill

David Cesarani is professor of history at Royal Holloway, University of London, England. He advised the British government office responsible for “Holocaust” memorial day and was a member of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office delegation to the Intergovernmental Taskforce for “International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research.”

February 10th, 2011, 2:02 am


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