An empire in its death throes is not a pretty sight. The more desperately its rulers cling to power in the face of impending defeat, the more they hasten its demise. The more its rulers fight to preserve their rule, the more the empire is sacrificed to serve selfish, repressive wants.
By the time Odoacer entered Rome and became the first Germanic king of Italy in 476, the Roman Empire had long since self-destructed. It had become exhausted and consumed by repression, bigotry, murder, and class warfare. When “barbarians” invaded the people had neither the strength nor the inclination to defend Rome.
One of the worst consequences of imperial desperation was the renewal of the state’s “war on heresy” in 407. Dissent was declared to be a public crime, for pagans as well as Christians, because any hint of religious or intellectual freedom was a threat to the authority and power base of the Church and emperor. Thus the empire descended into terrorism, the price for which was social cohesion and loyalty to the empire.
As Michael Grant wrote in The Fall of The Roman Empire: “This active systematic intolerance was something hitherto unknown in the Mediterranean world. It reflected the growth of dogma, which in turn reflected a decline in rational intellectual activity.”
Such systematic intolerance is evident again in the Mediterranean world as the zionist empire goes through its own death throes. The virtuous, sympathetic illusions that have traditionally sustained Israel in the Western mind are no longer defensible. Despite the servility of North America’s press and governments, the truth of Israeli atrocities is gaining a wider and wider audience.
Logically, the idea of an Jewish supremacist state must be abandoned in favour of a democratic Palestinian state, but so much Arab blood has been spilled, so many atrocities committed, and so many political careers compromised for the sake of the zionist empire, that The Lobby is resorting to increasingly brazen acts of terrorism and slander to vilify anyone who advocates political reform, even for Israel’s own good! This modern “war on heresy” applies to Jews and non-Jews alike.
On Oct. 4, 2006, New York University historian Tony Judt, who is Jewish, was due to give a talk at the Polish consulate on the stifling effect of the Israel Lobby, yet the American Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League –”Arab Defamation League would be more accurate–”forced the consulate to rescind the invitation.
This censoring of Judtwas gratuitous because the substance of his talk, the previously published essay “The Israel Lobby” by American academics Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, was already in the public domain. Not satisfied with sabotaging the event, though, The Lobby’s David Frum felt the need to smear Judt for pursuing “genocide liberalism”–”like “anti-Semitism,” a nonsense term of abuse.
A similar fate befell Baroness Jennifer Tonge, a Liberal Democrat in Great Britain’s House of Lords. Speaking at Edinburgh University, she remarked: “The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they’ve probably got a grip on our party.”
Like Judt, she deemed her remarks unremarkable because they had already been made by Walt and Mearsheimer.
The intelligent thing for The Lobby to do would have been to ignore her comments, but no. An all-party group of Lords accused Tonge of “evok[ing] a classic anti-Jewish conspiracy theory” that was symptomatic of the rise of anti-Semitism in the U.K.
The knee-jerk recklessness of this charge is obvious, and served only prove Tonge’s thesis that The Lobby manipulates British politics. As Tonge rightly said in her defence: “[My comments] were about the Israeli lobby in politics. They were a big distance from being about Jewishness or anti-Semitism.”
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour also paid the price for speaking honestly about the cause of suffering in Palestine. On Nov. 29, 2006, she visited the Gaza Strip in the wake of Israel’s massacre of Beit Hanoun and charged Israel with committing massive human rights violations: Agence France-Presse:
“The human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory is grave and worsening, within a general climate of impunity. Overall I was struck throughout my visit by the sense of vulnerability and abandonment that was expressed to me by virtually all the civilians that I met, both in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories.”*
It’s hard to argue with first-hand evidence, but that didn’t stop B’nai Brith Canada’s Vice President Frank Dimant from shooting his mouth off, and shooting The Lobby in the foot:”[This was] yet another attempt by the UN body to delegitimize the Jewish state.”
Note the implication in this statement. Dimant has directly equated Israel’s legitimacy with the commission of atrocities!
However self-destructive the Lobby’s tactics have been in these three cases, they cannot match the hysterical depravity that has greeted Jimmy Carter because of his new book Palestine–”Peace not Apartheid.
First, here’s how Carter describes his book: “The ultimate purpose of my book is to present facts about the Middle East that are largely unknown in the U.S., to precipitate discussion and to help restart peace talks that can lead to permanent peace for Israel and its neighbours. Another hope is that Jews and other Americans who share this goal might be motivated to express their views, even publicly, and perhaps in concert….”
He goes on to say: “The book describes the abominable oppression and persecution in the occupied Palestinian territories with a rigid system of required passes and strict segregation between Palestine’s citizens and Jewish settlers in the West Bank…. In many ways, this is more oppressive than what blacks lived under in South Africa during apartheid. I have made it clear that the motivation is not racism but the desire of a minority of Israelis to confiscate and colonize choice sites in Palestine, and then to forcefully suppress any objections from the displaced citizens.
Carter’s compassion is genuine and the facts of Israeli apartheid are beyond doubt. Even neo-Nazi Avigdor Lieberman said Arabs and Jews cannot live together and that all Palestinians have to be removed. Yet The Lobby has seen to it that Carter has been marginalized and his views rubbished:
"I have seen few news stories in major newspapers about what I have written. Book reviews in the mainstream media have been written mostly by representatives of Jewish organizations who would be unlikely to visit the occupied territories, and their primary criticism is that the book is anti-Israel.”
The most ignorant and incompetent of these came from David Horowitz, who writes for a right-wing website. He saw fit to libel Carter as a Jew-hater, genocide enabler and a liar. Throughout his tirade, Horowitz collectively libeled Palestinians as racists and Jew haters, but saw nothing wrong with condemning Carter for having committed a “blood libel” on Jews.
Horowitz’s screed defies analysis because it is devoid of intellect. It is so brazenly, even proudly, dishonest that it destroys his own credibility and ennobles Carter. Horowitz actually said: “[It] is a preposterous lie to say that the Palestinians had their own land and that it was occupied by the Jews,” as if he thought nobody had read Moshe Dayan’s infamous remark!:
“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist, not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushu’a in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”
Despite the libels and misrepresentations, Carter has reported brisk sales of his book, selling 1,000 copies at each of five appearances, which means that The Lobby has screeched itself into absurdity trying to prop up an empire that has no legitimacy and no future.
I can understand The Lobby wanting to censor uncomfortable truths–”the Church has been doing it for centuries–”but to sink to abject dishonesty and character assassination, in the absence of anything else, cannot possibly help it manufacture consent for Israel. Intellectual bankruptcy and panic have overtaken The Lobby, and the zionist empire is not long for this world. It is not worth saving.
* Mitch Potter, “UN envoy gets close to conflict,” Toronto Star, Nov. 22, 2006.