1. For books critiquing the media, see for example, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, New York: Pantheon, 1988; Ben H. Bagdikian, The Media Monopoly, Boston: Beacon, Fifth Edition, 1997 (original 1983); Michael Parenti, Inventing Reality: The Politics of the Mass Media, New York: St. Martin's, 1986 (updated edition 1993); Mark Hertsgaard, On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency, New York: Schocken Books, 1989; Martin A. Lee and Norman Solomon, Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media, New York: Lyle Stuart, 1990; Edward S. Herman, Beyond Hypocrisy: Decoding the News in an Age of Propaganda, Montreal: Black Rose, 1992. See also, John C. Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, Toxic Sludge Is Good For You!: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry, Monroe, ME: Common Courage, 1995, especially ch. 11.
2. Chomsky's article discussing the U.S. reaction to the 1990 election in Nicaragua is reprinted in Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy, New York: Hill and Wang, 1991 (expanded edition 1992), ch. 10.
3. For an example of the "liberal" reaction to the 1990 Nicaraguan elections, see Anthony Lewis, "Out of this Nettle," New York Times, March 2, 1990, p. A33 (at the dissident extreme within the mainstream media, Lewis noted that the U.S. policies produced "misery, death and shame," and that "the economic distress that no doubt moved some Nicaraguans to vote for Mrs. Chamorro was caused in part, after all, by U.S. sanctions" -- then stated that the result of Washington's "experiment in peace and democracy" gave "fresh testimony to the power of Jefferson's idea: government with the consent of the governed. . . . To say so seems romantic, but then we live in a romantic age").
For another example, see Michael Kinsley, "Taking Responsibility: Effect of 80's U.S. Nicaragua Policy on Chamorro Victory," New Republic, March 19, 1990, p. 4 (noting that "the contra war managed to kill more than 30,000 Nicaraguans," that "Impoverishing the people of Nicaragua was precisely the point of the contra war and the parallel policy of economic boycott and veto of international development loans," and that "the economic disaster was probably the victorious opposition's best election issue" -- then hailing the "free election" as a "triumph of democracy" that "turned out to be pleasanter than anyone would have dared to predict").
For a third example, see Tom Wicker, "Bush and Managua," New York Times, March 1, 1990, p. A27 (noting that the Sandinistas lost the election "because the Nicaraguan people were tired of war and sick of economic deprivation" -- but nonetheless calling the elections "free and fair").
For another typical reaction by a U.S. commentator, see Johanna McGreary, "But Will It Work?," Time, March 12, 1990, p. 12. This article acknowledges that U.S. policy was to:
wreck the economy and prosecute a long and deadly proxy war until the exhausted natives overthrow the unwanted government themselves. . . . Since 1985 Washington has strangled Nicaraguan trade with an embargo. It has cut off Nicaragua's credit at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The contra war cost Managua tens of millions and left the country with wrecked bridges, sabotaged power stations and ruined farms. The impoverishment of the people of Nicaragua was a harrowing way to give the National Opposition Union (U.N.O.) a winning issue. . . . Nicaragua had been devastated by a 40% drop in G.N.P., an inflation rate running at 1,700% a year and constant shortages of food and basic necessities. At least 30,000 people had been killed in the war, and 500,000 more had fled.
Nevertheless, McGreary states that, with the victory of U.N.O.,
democracy burst forth where everyone least expected it. Given the chance to vote in an honest and secret election, Nicaraguans decisively repudiated the Sandinista government, which the U.S. had been struggling to overthrow for a decade.
4. For the New York Times article, see David Shipler, "Victory for U.S. Fair Play," Op-Ed, New York Times, March 1, 1990, p. A27. An excerpt:
It is true that partly because of the confrontation with the U.S., Nicaragua's economy suffered terribly, setting the stage for the widespread public discontent with the Sandinistas reflected in Sunday's balloting. But few governments become moderate during a war; the contra war strengthened Sandinista hard-liners and probably contributed to their oppressive policies. The way to resolution opened only when Congress suspended the war, in effect, to give the Sandinistas a chance to proceed democratically. . . . Thus, Nicaragua's election has vindicated Washington's fledgling program of providing public, above-board funding to help democratic procedures take root in countries with authoritarian regimes.
5. For the Boston Globe's article, see Editorial, "Rallying to Chamorro," Boston Globe, February 27, 1990, p. 12. An excerpt:
[H]aving supported the election of Chamorro, the U.S. must, to shore up the Chamorro regime, match the millions it spent trying to overthrow Ortega. Ortega's defenders in the U.S., if they love Nicaraguans and not just Sandinistas, must now rally to Chamorro. . . . The Sandinista revolution, still potent as an opposition force, is now, like so many Marxist-Leninist phenomena, consigned to the dustbin of history. Another blessing of democracy is that outside theories mean little. At long last, Nicaragua itself has spoken.
6. For Sciolino's article, see Elaine Sciolino, New York Times, February 27, 1990, p. A14 (the headline "Americans United In Joy, But Divided over Policy" appeared in the "News Summary" section on p. A2).
7. For Cranston's statement, see U.S. Senate, Hearings Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Policy Toward Nicaragua: Aid to Nicaraguan Resistance Proposal, 99th Congress, 2nd Session, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, February 27 and March 4, 1986 (C.I.S. #S381-20), p. 5 (Cranston stated: "So how do we deal with a government which we deplore, like the government of Nicaragua? I believe we should isolate it, leave it to fester in its own juices"). On the methods used in El Salvador and Guatemala, see chapter 1 of U.P. and its footnote 13; and chapter 2 of U.P. and its footnote 15.
8. For Cockburn's and Ryan's articles, see Alexander Cockburn, "U.S.-Backed Terrorism Won in Nicaragua, Not Democracy," Wall Street Journal, March 1, 1990, p. A17; Randolph Ryan, "In Nicaragua, a win but not a victory," Boston Globe, February 28, 1990, p. 11.
For a chilling review of Nicaragua's fate since the elections, see for example, Noam Chomsky, World Orders Old and New, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994, pp. 131-135; Kevin Baxter, "Under the Volcano: Neoliberalism Finds Nicaragua," Nation, April 6, 1998, p. 21; Hugh O'Shaughnessy, "Nicaragua vies with Haiti as West's nightmare," Observer (London), September 12, 1993, p. 15. An excerpt:
Nicaragua is now challenging Haiti for the unwanted distinction of being the most destitute country in the Western Hemisphere. . . . Retinues of tiny, hungry children wait at every set of traffic lights [in Managua], eager to wipe your car or simply begging. Infant mortality is the highest in the continent and, according to the U.N., a quarter of Nicaraguan children are malnourished. Diseases such as cholera and dengue fever are rampant. Only four in 10 people have jobs. Begging, theft, robbery and prostitution are on the increase.
People will do anything for a meal. There are soup kitchens on virtually every street corner. Women boil up fish heads in large cauldrons or cook bitter-tasting but nutritious soya biscuits in order to save tens of thousands of youngsters from starvation. . . . The country's leaders seem to care little. Finance Minister Emilio Pereira boasts that Nicaragua has the lowest inflation in the western hemisphere -- never mind that its four million people are starving. Most Nicaraguans say life was much better under the Sandinistas, who ruled in the Eighties. Their health, nutrition, literacy and agrarian programmes have been scrapped by a government pressed by the International Monetary Fund and Washington to privatise and cut public spending.
9. On U.S. propaganda in rural Nicaragua, see for example, Howard Frederick, "Electronic Penetration," in Thomas Walker, ed., Reagan versus the Sandinistas: the Undeclared War on Nicaragua, Boulder, CO: Westview, 1987, pp. 123-142. For comparison of media conditions in Sandinista Nicaragua and those in the United States during wartime -- as well as in the leading U.S. client-state, Israel -- see Noam Chomsky, "U.S. Polity and Society: The Lessons of Nicaragua," in Thomas Walker, ed., Reagan versus the Sandinistas: the Undeclared War on Nicaragua, Boulder, CO: Westview, 1987, pp. 285-310. See also, John Spicer Nichols, "The Media," in Thomas Walker, ed., Nicaragua: The First Five Years, New York: Praeger, 1985, pp. 183-199; Michael Linfied, Freedom Under Fire: U.S. Civil Liberties in Times of War, Boston: South End, 1990 (reviewing censorship and other civil liberties violations in the United States during wartime). And see chapter 8 of U.P. and its footnotes 4, 6 and 7.
10. On the contras' mission to attack "soft targets," see for example, Fred Kaplan, "U.S. general says contra chances improving," Boston Globe, May 20, 1987, p. 9. An excerpt:
Gen. John Galvin, leader of the U.S. southern command, told a House subcommittee yesterday that the contra rebels fighting to overthrow the Nicaraguan government have a better chance of winning than they did just a few months ago and attributed his growing optimism to the contras' new strategy of attacking civilian targets instead of soldiers.
Testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Western Hemisphere subcommittee, Galvin said, "The contras have a fighting chance if we sustain them" with continued military aid. "It's getting better. In the past few months, I'm more hopeful than I was before." Asked after the hearing what the contras have achieved the past few months, Galvin replied, "Lots of victories. They're going after soft targets. They're not trying to duke it out with the Sandinistas directly."
Julia Preston, "Rebels Still Seeking a Win," Washington Post, September 8, 1987, p. A1 (quoting a U.S. military analyst that the contras are "'still going after small, soft targets,' like farmers' cooperatives"); Editorial, "America's Guilt -- Or Default," New York Times, July 1, 1986, p. A22 (noting that the World Court ruled unanimously "that the C.I.A.'s manual encouraging 'contra' attacks on civilians breached humanitarian principles"); Julia Preston, "Contras Burn Clinic During Raid on Village," Washington Post, March 7, 1987, p. A25 (reporting that the contras, "reportedly in high spirits and outfitted by the C.I.A.," among other things "burned down a church-sponsored health clinic that had been the pride of the community" in the isolated Nicaraguan village of Tapasle); Ellen V.P. Wells, "Letter," New York Times, December 31, 1988, section 1, p. 22 (describing a contra attack on a coffee-harvesting cooperative, in which two people were killed, the coffee equipment was ruined, and ten houses and a health clinic were destroyed).
For additional accounts of contra atrocities, see Reed Brody [Assistant Attorney General of New York State], Contra Terror in Nicaragua -- Report of a Fact-finding Mission: September 1984-January 1985, Boston: South End, 1985. This book reprints 150 affidavits and 140 pages of testimony gathered in a fact-finding mission conducted in the early 1980s, the results of which were independently corroborated by the Washington Office on Latin America, a private church-supported human rights organization, and other human rights organizations. In the affidavits, a mother of two from the Nicaraguan village of Esteli reports (p. 120):
[F]ive of them [i.e. contras] raped me at about five in the evening . . . they had gang-raped me every day. When my vagina couldn't take it anymore, they raped me through my rectum. I calculate that in 5 days they raped me 60 times.
A man describes a contra attack on his cooperative in April 1984 (p. 71):
They had already destroyed all that was the cooperative; a coffee drying machine, the two dormitories for the coffee cutters, the electricity generators, 7 cows, the plant, the food warehouse. There was one boy, about 15 years old, who was retarded and suffered from epilepsy. We had left him in a bomb shelter. When we returned . . . we saw . . . that they had cut his throat, then they cut open his stomach and left his intestines hanging out on the ground like a string. They did the same to Juan Corrales who had already died from a bullet in the fighting. They opened him up and took out his intestines and cut off his testicles.
See also, Thomas Carothers, "The Reagan Years: The 1980s," in Abraham F. Lowenthal, ed., Exporting Democracy: The United States and Latin America, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991, pp. 90-122 at p. 104 ("Over thirty thousand Nicaraguans were killed in the contra war and tens of thousands wounded, which in per capita terms was significantly higher than the number of U.S. persons killed in the U.S. Civil War and all the wars of the twentieth century combined"). And see footnote 12 of chapter 1 of U.P.
11. On U.S. economic warfare against Nicaragua, see for example, Michael Conroy, "Economic Aggression as an Instrument of Low-Intensity Warfare," in Thomas Walker, ed., Reagan versus the Sandinistas: the Undeclared War on Nicaragua, Boulder, CO: Westview, 1987, pp. 57-79, especially pp. 67f.
12. On Nicaragua's economic devastation by the late 1980s, see for example, Richard Boudreaux, "Poor Pay, Inflation Spur Exodus; Nicaraguans Leaving in Droves as Economy Sinks," Los Angeles Times, November 20, 1988, part 1, p. 1 (quoting economic advisor Francisco Mayorga that: "We are watching Nicaragua become a land of peasants, a place so poor that it resembles Haiti or the northeast of Brazil. The country is disintegrating"); Mark Uhlig, "A Sandinista Promise Gone Sour Alienates Nicaragua's Working Class," New York Times, November 7, 1989, p. A10. An excerpt:
Battered by galloping inflation, Nicaraguan workers have seen their real wages fall by more than 90 percent since 1981. . . . Over the last two years, the Sandinista government has taken tough measures to halt the economy's rapid deterioration, which Government officials ascribe to the heavy burden of the eight-year war against American-backed rebels. . . . Economists [point out that] it was compounded by an American embargo on trade with Nicaragua, poor Government management and uncontrolled inflation caused by high military expenditures. . . . [O]fficial figures show that per capita private consumption has fallen by at least 70 percent under Sandinista rule.
The article also notes the connection drawn by Nicaraguans between the election result and ending the embargo:
Several [Managua workers] said that if relations with the United States were the answer to the economic crisis the opposition was better suited for the job. Well-publicized foreign donations to the opposition parties here have been interpreted by many Nicaraguans as proof that the opposition, not the Sandinistas, has better access to the foreign money necessary to relieve Nicaragua's crisis.
13. On the White House's announcement that the embargo against Nicaragua would continue unless Chamorro won, see for example, A.P., "Bush Vows To End Embargo If Chamorro Wins," Washington Post, November 9, 1989, p. A56. The opening paragraphs:
President Bush promised Wednesday to lift the trade embargo against Nicaragua if the U.S.-backed presidential candidate, Violeta Chamorro, defeats leftist President Daniel Ortega in the February election. The statement came after a meeting in which Chamorro asked Bush for aid to help with economic reconstruction after the election. . . .
[Bush] supports Chamorro's candidacy and signed a $9 million election aid package that will in large part boost her campaign. A statement issued by White House spokesman Roman Popadiuk said Chamorro had stressed in a letter to Bush that her administration "would be committed to reconciliation . . . and reconstruction of the economy in peace and democracy." "Should this occur, the president said the United States would be ready to lift the trade embargo and assist in Nicaragua's reconstruction," the statement said. The embargo was imposed in May 1985, banning imports from or exports to Nicaragua.
See also footnote 12 of this chapter.
The "election aid package" mentioned in the above article would be equivalent to a flow of $2 billion into a U.S. election campaign. The United States spent more than $10 per Nicaraguan voter, in a country where the average wage is $20 per month. The U.S. -- as distinct from totalitarian Nicaragua -- does not permit any monetary contributions from abroad for such purposes. See C. Scott Littlehale, "U.S. ignores most candidates in Nicaragua," C.O.H.A.'s [Council On Hemispheric Affairs] Washington Report on the Hemisphere, November 8, 1989, p. 5.
14. For Orwell's introduction, see the fiftieth anniversary edition of Animal Farm, New York: Harcourt Brace, 1995 (the introduction also is reprinted in Guardian (U.K.), Features Page, August 26, 1995). An excerpt (pp. 162-163 of the Harcourt Brace edition):
The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary. Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban.
Anyone who has lived long in a foreign country will know of instances of sensational items of news -- things which on their own merits would get the big headlines -- being kept right out of the British press, not because the government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that "it wouldn't do" to mention that particular fact. So far as the daily newspapers go, this is easy to understand. The British press is extremely centralised, and most of it is owned by wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics. But the same kind of veiled censorship also operates in books and periodicals, as well as in plays, films and radio. At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is "not done" to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was "not done" to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.
15. There is a more detailed discussion of the educational system in chapter 7 of U.P.
16. On exposure to media in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, see for example, James R. Miller and Peter Donhowe, "The Classless Society Has a Wide Gap Between Rich and Poor; But poll finds most satisfied with living conditions," Washington Post National Weekly Edition, February 17, 1986, p. 16 (studies of Soviet society based on interviews with former Soviet citizens now living in the United States found that 96 percent of the middle elite and 77 percent of blue-collar workers in the Soviet Union listened to foreign radio broadcasts, while the alternative press reached 45 percent of high-level professionals, 41 percent of political leaders, 27 percent of managers, and 14 percent of blue-collar workers).
17. On Danchev's broadcasts, see for example, "Moscow Radio (Oops!) Calls Soviets 'Invaders,'" New York Times, May 24, 1983, p. A5; Serge Schmemann, "Moscow's Facade on War and Peace Cracks a Bit," New York Times, May 29, 1983, section 1, p. 6.
18. On the U.S. media and the "invasion" of Vietnam, see footnote 10 of chapter 2 of U.P.
19. For LeMoyne's story, see James LeMoyne, "As Salvadoran Vote Nears, Political Killings Increase," New York Times, February 29, 1988, p. A12. The relevant passage:
In addition, there have been rebel killings aimed directly at stopping the elections next month. Villagers say guerrillas publicly executed two peasants in the town of Guatajiagua in Morazan department three weeks ago because they had applied for and received new voter registration cards.
According to the villagers, the guerrillas placed the voting cards of Juan Martin Portillo and Ismael Portillo in their mouths after executing them as a warning to others not to take part in the elections. Rebel units in the area have told all villages not to vote and not to propose candidates for mayor.
20. For Norton's story, see Mark Cooper, L.A. Weekly, May 27-June 2, 1988; Chris Norton, "U.S. Media Promotes Salvadoran Army Disinformation," Extra! [F.A.I.R. journal], Vol. 12, No. 1, July/August 1988, p. 1; Alexander Cockburn, "The Natural History of LeMoyne, Continued," Nation, August 27, 1988, p. 155.
21. For the New York Times's correction, see "Editors' Note," New York Times, September 15, 1988, p. A3. An excerpt:
The article fell short of the Times's reporting and editing standards. It should not have left the impression that it was based on firsthand interviewing, and it should have explained why firsthand confirmation was not available.
LeMoyne later conceded that he was not even in El Salvador at the time. See D.D. Guttenplan, "Perestroika at the Times?," Newsday (Long Island, NY), September 21, 1988, part II, p. 2.
22. On the contras' technological sophistication and support, see for example, James LeMoyne, "In Nicaragua, Forebodings of Warfare Without End," New York Times, June 28, 1987, section 4, p. 3. An excerpt:
The Central Intelligence Agency has equipped the rebels with a computer center that intercepts and decodes hundreds of Sandinista radio messages a day. The intelligence is then sent via portable computers with special encoders to rebel units in the field. The C.I.A. also makes weekly air drops to the units, a highly effective tactic that has allowed the contras to remain inside Nicaragua rather than to have to return to Honduras as they did in the past. "The air operation is the key to the war," said a Western diplomat in Managua who monitors the rebels. "Without it, the contras couldn't make it."
Marjorie Miller, "Lagging C.I.A.-Run Resupply Called Factor in Slow Progress of Contras," Los Angeles Times, March 1, 1987, part 1, p. 6 (reporting the contras' complaints that they need more pilots and aircraft, and discussing their reliance on U.S. air supply); Peter Grier, "Contras, Awash in U.S. Funds, Buy Weapons," Christian Science Monitor, June 23, 1987, p. 1 (on contra leaders' requests for "more light planes, and small boats for river patrol"); Julia Preston, "Civilians Still Caught in the Cross Fire of Contra War," Washington Post, February 4, 1988, p. A25 (noting that the contras had equipment so modern that all U.S. military units did not yet have it).
23. On the State Department's allegations about an arms flow from Nicaragua to the F.M.L.N. in El Salvador, see for example, Morris Morley and James Petras, The Reagan Administration and Nicaragua: How Washington Constructs Its Case for Counterrevolution in Central America, New York: Institute for Media Analysis, 1987, pp. 40-45 (reviewing the major State Department claims).
24. For David MacMichael's testimony before the International Court of Justice (the World Court) on September 16, 1985, see U.N. General Assembly Record, U.N. A/40/907, S/17639, November 19, 1985, pp. 24-66, especially pp. 29-39.
For the World Court's decision, see International Court of Justice, Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders: 1986, "Case Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and Against Nicaragua" (Nicaragua v. United States of America), Judgment of June 27, 1986. An excerpt (paragraph 153):
[E]vidence of military aid from or through Nicaragua remains very weak. This is so despite the deployment by the United States in the region of extensive technical resources for tracking, monitoring and intercepting air, sea and land traffic . . . and its use of a range of intelligence and information sources in a political context where, moreover, the [U.S.] Government had declared and recognized surveillance of Nicaragua as a "high priority." The Court cannot of course conclude from this that no transborder traffic in arms existed, although it does not seem particularly unreasonable to believe that traffic of this kind, had it been persistent and on a significant scale, must inevitably have been discovered, in view of the magnitude of the resources used for that purpose. The Court merely takes note that the allegations of arms-trafficking are not solidly established; it has not, in any event, been able to satisfy itself that any continuing flow on a significant scale took place after the early months of 1981.
The Court also ruled (pp. 126-128, especially paragraphs 249 and 252) that, as a matter of law, even if such an arms supply existed, it would not constitute "armed attack" justifying a U.S. response, as the U.S. government had claimed. See also chapter 3 of U.P. and its footnotes 43, 44 and 45.
25. For a foreign report of Nicaraguans' ability to locate contra arms-supply flights, see for example, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, "Who Helped Oliver North?," Spectator (U.K.), May 16, 1987, p. 13 ("Captain Ricardo Wheelock, the head of the Sandinista military intelligence, was even able to give us fairly precise details of these flights, but nobody bothered to chase the story until Eugene Hasenfus [a C.I.A. pilot] was shot down and captured last October"). See also footnote 27 of this chapter.
26. For LeMoyne's story on arms supplies to El Salvador, see James LeMoyne, "Latin Pact Seen as Helpful to Duarte," New York Times, August 13, 1987, p. A10 ("The rebels deny receiving such support from Nicaragua, but ample evidence shows it exists, and it is questionable how long they could survive without it").
27. On escalating U.S. supply flights after the peace accords, see for example, U.N. General Assembly [Plenary Meetings], A/42/P.V.67, November 16, 1987, p. 7 (report of 275 supply and surveillance flights detected from August 7, 1987 to November 3, 1987). Chomsky clarifies his point about the United States's actions (Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies, Boston: South End, 1989, p. 92):
The United States was of course not a signatory, so technically speaking it could not "violate" the accords. An honest accounting, however, would have noted -- indeed, emphasized -- that the United States acted at once to render the accords nugatory. Nothing of the sort is to be found.
28. On Lelyveld's letter, see Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, "LIE: The Sandinistas seek to export their revolution by arming Salvadoran guerrillas," Extra!, October/November 1987, p. 5 (Lelyveld stated that LeMoyne's terminology was "imprecise," but "even our best correspondents -- and James LeMoyne is one of our best -- are not perfect").
29. For repetitions of the arms flow falsehood in the New York Times, see for example, statements and assumptions in George Volsky, "Contras Agree to Attend Truce Talks," New York Times, January 18, 1988, p. A6; Stephen Engelberg, "Salvador Rebel Arms: Noriega Link?," New York Times, December 18, 1987, p. A8; Bernard Trainor, "Contras' Future: Crippled as Warriors," New York Times, April 3, 1988, section 1, p. 16.
30. For the interchange of letters with Lelyveld, see Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, "The New York Times Recants," Extra!, Vol. 2, No. 2, September/October 1988, p. 2.
31. For LeMoyne's final story on the topic, see James LeMoyne, "Salvador Rebels: Where Do They Get the Arms?," New York Times, November 24, 1988, p. A14. An excerpt:
The charges are extremely difficult to prove. Evidence of Sandinista support for the rebels is largely circumstantial and is open to differing interpretations. It includes accounts of deserters who could lie or exaggerate.
32. For discussion of the media as a propaganda organ, see chapter 1 of U.P.
33. For the Congressional report on COINTELPRO, see U.S. Senate, Final Report of the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations, Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans, 94th Congress, 2nd Session, Report No. 94-755, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1976, Books II and III, especially Book III, p. 223. This report extensively reviews the F.B.I.'s COINTELPRO program; provides reprints of F.B.I. memoranda and fake letters sent to disrupt and promote violence within activist groups; and also documents the Bureau's role in the killing of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton on December 4, 1969.
The extensive literature on COINTELPRO includes the following studies: James Kirkpatrick Davis, Spying On America: The F.B.I.'s Domestic Counterintelligence Program, New York: Praeger, 1992; Ross Gelbspan, Break-ins, Death Threats, and the F.B.I.: The Covert War Against the Central America Movement, Boston: South End, 1991; Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall, The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the F.B.I.'s Secret Wars Against Dissent in the United States, Boston: South End, 1990 (includes dozens of photographically-reproduced COINTELPRO documents, mostly stolen from top secret F.B.I. files); Brian Glick, War at Home: Covert Action Against U.S. Activists and What We Can Do About It, Boston: South End, 1989; Ward Churchill and James Vander Wall, Agents of Repression: The F.B.I.'s Secret Wars on the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement, Boston: South End, 1988; Robert J. Goldstein, Political Repression in Modern America, From 1870 to the Present, Cambridge: Schenkman, 1978; Morton H. Halpern et al., The Lawless State: The Crimes of U.S. Intelligence Agencies, New York: Penguin, 1976; Nelson Blackstock, ed., COINTELPRO: The F.B.I.'s Secret War on Political Freedom, New York: Random House, 1976 (includes dozens of reproduced documents). See also, John C. Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, Toxic Sludge Is Good For You!: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry, Monroe, ME: Common Courage, 1995, especially ch. 5 (on COINTELPRO-style tactics that are being carried out by corporations, with the assistance of P.R. firms).
On the scale of the COINTELPRO program, see for example, Frank J. Donner, The Age of Surveillance: The Aims and Methods of America's Political Intelligence System, New York: Knopf, 1980. An excerpt (pp. 127, 131, 137):
Despite widespread criticism of over-targeting, as late as 1975 the [F.B.I.] was conducting surveillance of 1100 organizations and their subdivisions. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Thousands of individuals fall under intelligence scrutiny, either as primary targets or as the subject of an "investigative matter" as a result of their suspected or confirmed involvement in group activities. Thus, the G.A.O. [Congress's General Accounting Office] . . . concludes that in 1974, out of a sample of some 19,659 domestic intelligence case files, about 90 percent (17,528) involved individual targets investigated because of a suspected relationship (membership, support) to a target group or, in a relatively small number of cases, because of a suspected personal involvement in an activity, such as a demonstration. This concentration on individuals accounts for the enormous number, 930,000 in all, of investigations conducted by the Bureau from 1955 to 1978. In a single year, 1972, the Bureau opened some 65,000 domestic files with an internal or national security classification. . . .
While Do Not File procedures for destroying records of burglaries as well as cover-ups of field data preclude an accurate compilation, a more realistic estimate of burglaries to steal information and forcible entries to install microphones from the early forties until the early seventies against domestic targets is close to 7500. . . . [T]he relative prominence of informers as a surveillance tool [is] corroborated by subsequent government submissions in the course of litigation: from 1940 until April 1978, the F.B.I. deployed some 37,000 informers -- 29,166 in classification 134 (security) and 7893 in 170 (racial and extremist). . . . Even as late as 1976, in the face of mounting criticism, the F.B.I. fiscal year budget allocated $7,401,000 for its political informer programs, more than twice the budget for organized crime informers.
See also, William M. Kunstler, "Writers of the Purple Page," Nation, December 30, 1978, pp. 721f (presenting stories of F.B.I. anonymous mailings to employers, loved ones, and organizations to help destroy activists' lives and thereby help neutralize them, and to fragment and divert activist groups); John Kifner, "F.B.I., Before Raid, Gave Police Plan of Chicago Panther's Flat," New York Times, May 25, 1974, p. A14 (on the Fred Hampton assassination).
34. On the bombing of Cambodia being "secret" due to the U.S. media's failure to report what they knew, see for example, U.S. Senate, Hearings Before the Committee on Armed Services, Bombing in Cambodia, 93rd Congress, 2nd Session, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, July/August 1974, pp. 158-160. These hearings confirm that information about the U.S. bombings of Cambodia was publicly available as early as nine days after they began, with a March 27, 1969, Press Release from the Royal Government of Cambodia, distributed through the Foreign Broadcast Information Service. This Press Release stated that "the Cambodian population living in the border regions has been bombed and strafed almost daily by U.S. aircraft, and the number of people killed, as well as material destruction, continues to grow." On April 2, 1969, the same source then distributed excerpts from a press conference held by the reigning monarch of Cambodia, Prince Sihanouk, in which he stated:
[The media] pretend that I would not oppose U.S. bombings of communist targets within my frontiers. But I have never said that I would not oppose this. Nobody, no chief of state in the world placed in the same same [sic] situation as I am, would agree to let foreign aircraft bomb his own country. . . . It is not only the communists who receive U.S. bombs on their heads. Unarmed and innocent people have been victims of U.S. bombs. You know very well that in Cambodia . . . we were very bitter and angry [at] news about the latest bombing, the victims of which were Khmer peasants, women and children in particular. I wish to reaffirm that I have always been opposed to the bombings.
Prince Sihanouk then appealed to the Western press "to publicize abroad this very clear stand of Cambodia -- that is, I will in any case oppose all bombings on Cambodian territory under whatever pretext. I will oppose them under whatever pretext for the simple reason, I repeat, that the victims of U.S. bombings are never the communists but only the peasants and children." Sihanouk's opposition to the American bombing has since been erased from history. See for example, Seth Mydans, "Death of Pol Pot," New York Times, April 17, 1998, p. A14 (claiming that Sihanouk did not oppose the U.S. bombing).
See also, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, New York: Pantheon, 1988, pp. 274-280 (reviewing the dispatches from Cambodia which actually appeared in the U.S. press); Noam Chomsky, At War With Asia: Essays on Indochina, New York: Pantheon, 1970, pp. 122-125 (referring to numerous publicly available sources on the U.S. bombing of Cambodia, including a Cambodian Government White Paper of January 3, 1970, years before there was coverage of it by the U.S. press); Noam Chomsky, "Nixon's defenders do have a case," More, December 1975, pp. 28-29.
36. On the popularity of the daily labor press in England and its audience's involvement, but its fatal inability to attract capital, see for example, James Curran, "Advertising and the Press," in James Curran, ed., The British Press: a Manifesto, London: MacMillan, 1978, pp. 229-267. An excerpt (pp. 251-253):
The Daily Herald's central problem was not that it appealed to fewer people but that it appealed to the wrong people. . . . [The Daily Herald appealed] overwhelmingly to working-class rather than to middle-class readers. These characteristics had correlates in terms of purchasing behaviour that made the Daily Herald a highly marginal advertising medium. . . . But if the Daily Herald was lacking in appeal to advertisers it did not lack in appeal to a section of the general public. . . . The Daily Herald "idea" may be regarded as misguided, its readers can be dismissed as being of no social consequence. But there were, as it happens, a lot of them -- in fact over five times as many readers as those of The [London] Times. . . . With 4.7 million readers in the last year, the Daily Herald actually had almost double the readership of The Times, the Financial Times and the Guardian combined. Indeed, when it was forced to close, the Daily Herald was probably amongst the twenty largest circulation dailies in the world. It died, not from lack of readers, but because its readers did not constitute a valuable advertising market. Regular Daily Herald readers were also exceptionally devoted to their paper. Unpublished survey research shows that Daily Herald readers thought more highly of [and read more in] their paper than the regular readers of any other popular newspaper. . . .
[T]he Daily Herald was only one of a number of casualties of the advertising licensing system. The News Chronicle, a legatee of the dissenting radical, liberal tradition, was forced to close in 1960 with a circulation six times that of the Guardian, and over double that of The Times and the Guardian combined. It paid a heavy price for appealing to an inferior quality of reader (even though its readers were almost as devoted as Herald readers). . . . The radical Sunday Citizen . . . also finally succumbed in 1967, after being progressively strangulated by lack of advertising support.
Similarly, the study describes how the mainstream London Times lost money in the late 1960s and early 1970s by seeking a wider readership. Although its circulation rose by fully 69 percent through "an aggressive promotion campaign that recruited large numbers of lower-middle and even working-class readers," that change did not create a corresponding increase in advertising to offset the costs, and the paper "was forced to set about shedding part of its new readership as a conscious act of management policy" (p. 258).
See also, Martin A. Lee and Norman Solomon, Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media, New York: Lyle Stuart, 1990, p. 59 ("T.V. and radio get nearly 100 percent of their income from advertisers, newspapers 75 percent, and magazines about 50 percent. . . . Between 60 and 70 percent of newspaper space is reserved for ads, while 22 percent of T.V. time is filled with commercials"); Erik Barnouw, The Sponsor: Notes on a Modern Potentate, New York: Oxford University Press, 1978 (on the constraining influences of advertising on the media); Ben H. Bagdikian, The Media Monopoly, Boston: Beacon, Fifth Edition, 1997 (original 1983), especially chs. 6 to 9; James Curran and Jean Seaton, Power Without Responsibility: The Press and Broadcasting in Britain, London: Routledge, 1981, pp. 118-132; Alfred McClung Lee, The Daily Newspaper in America: The Evolution of a Social Instrument, New York: Macmillan, 1937. And see chapter 1 of U.P. and its footnote 54.
37. For the "breed, and bleed, and advertise their misery" statement, see Ruth Wisse [then a Professor at McGill University in Montreal, now a Professor at Harvard and Director of its Center for Jewish Studies], "Israel and the Intellectuals: A Failure of Nerve?," Commentary, May 1988, p. 20. The quotation in the text is exact.
38. For commentary in Israel on Palestinians "raising their heads" and similar degradation, see for example, Gad Lior, Yediot Ahronot (Israel), January 24, 1988; Shulamith Hareven, Yediot Ahronot (Israel), March 25, 1988; Avigdor Feldman, Hadashot (Israel), January 1, 1988; Amnon Denkner, Ha'aretz (Israel), January 9, 1994; Olek Netzer, Davar (Israel), January 20, 1993; Zvi Barel, Ha'aretz (Israel), April 20, 1982; Yedidia Segal, Nekudah (Israel), September 3, 1982.
On the conditions under which the Palestinians have lived since the 1967 Israeli occupation, see for example, Raymonda Hawa Tawil, My Home, My Prison, New York: Holt, Rienhart, 1980; Rafik Halabi, The West Bank Story, New York: Harcourt Brace, 1981; Raja Shehadeh, The Third Way: A Journal of Life in the West Bank, London: Quartet, 1982; Norman G. Finkelstein, The Rise and Fall of Palestine: A Personal Account of the Intifada Years, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.
In a stirring early account -- unfortunately now out of print -- Chomsky described some of these conditions in more detail (Towards A New Cold War: Essays on the Current Crisis and How We Got There, New York: Pantheon, 1982, pp. 275-278):
Occasional reports in the U.S. press of the more sensational incidents (e.g. the terrorist bombings in which two West Bank mayors were severely injured, or the practice of firing on demonstrators) do not give an adequate picture of the real story of systematic degradation, humiliation, and suppression of even the most minimal form of national self-expression. The character of the occupation is revealed more clearly by these regular practices. A few examples will serve to illustrate the general picture.
In a Jerusalem suburb, the army forced hundreds of inhabitants from their homes at midnight, then "concentrating" them outdoors a kilometer away for a two-hour lecture warning against "rioting." A man of sixty-five who was ill was compelled to go by force. Inhabitants of the Daheisha refugee camp south of Bethlehem complain that on the night of December 25, 1979, the camp was surrounded by soldiers and all inhabitants between the ages of fourteen and sixty-five were compelled to stand outside in a driving rain from midnight to noon the next day while soldiers searched the houses; the governor warned of similar punishments if children continued to throw stones at Israeli cars. A man who asked why he was being arrested was beaten up while soldiers broke furniture in his house. On January 29, four hundred males from ages ten to seventy were again dragged from their houses at eight P.M. and made to stand outside in a cold winter rain for thirteen hours. The same thing happened at the refugee camp of Jalazoun, where inhabitants were compelled to spend an entire night out of doors in a snowstorm: "Children had probably thrown stones at Israeli cars after the chemistry laboratory of the school was destroyed by settlers, who did this in retaliation for stones being thrown, probably following cars being sabotaged in the camp by settlers, after children threw stones, etc., etc., etc." Refugees report that "the new method, actually not so new, but much more sophisticated, is humiliation. The soldiers and the settlers want first of all to humiliate us. But they don't understand that we have lost everything and the only thing we have left is our honor and that they will never be able to take that away from us." Shortly after, thousands of dunams of cultivated land were sprayed by planes with herbicides in villages near Hebron, partly within the Green Line and partly within the occupied West Bank; several weeks earlier the same punishment had been meted out by the Green patrol, under the command of Minister of Agriculture (now Minister of Defense) Ariel Sharon, in the area of Kafr Kassem.
"Residents of Silwad village, north of Ramallah, complain that during a curfew that was imposed last weekend on the village by the military government, soldiers broke into their homes, and that some of them beat up youths, humiliated adults and old people, stole vast sums of Israeli and foreign currency, and destroyed large quantities of food." The reporter, Yehuda Litani, writes that "at first I could not believe what I heard, but the details (which were also told to other reporters) were repeated again and again in all versions by different people in the village. Only one woman lodged a complaint, the others felt that it was useless to complain." Soldiers terrorized the village, beating old people and children with their hands and rifle butts. An eleven-month-old baby was taken out of a cradle and thrown on the floor. Schoolbooks and children's notebooks were destroyed. "Their whole aim was to take revenge on us and to humiliate us," one villager reported. Brutal treatment continued when some were taken away for questioning. It was later announced that investigators "had verified some of the villagers' complaints."
There are many similar reports. Dani Rubinstein writes in Davar (May 9, 1980) that he witnessed a search in a West Bank refugee camp after two children had thrown stones at a military vehicle, during which all men and children from the camp were forced to sit out of doors for two whole days for intense questioning: "One of the officers who had conducted the questioning told me that he doesn't know whether he will find the two children, but he is sure that during the long hours of questioning under the hot sun many other children will decide to throw stones at us at the first opportunity." Amnon Kapeliouk reports that his daughter saw five soldiers "beating an Arab merchant who shut down his shop" in the Old City of Jerusalem; he reports also that all telephones in Bethlehem had been cut off for the past month and a half (Al Hamishmar, June 13, 1980). Knesset member Uri Avneri read in the Knesset a letter by soldiers reporting instructions concerning curfew violations given to them by a senior officer: "Anybody you catch outside his home -- first thing you beat him with a truncheon all over his body, except for his head. Don't have pity on anyone. Don't explain anything. Beat first, then, after you have finished, explain why. . . . If you catch a small child, get out the whole family, line them up and beat the father before all his children. Don't consider the beating a right; it is your duty -- they do not understand any other way."
It is standard practice in East Jerusalem and elsewhere for the military units to compel merchants at gunpoint to open their shops, sometimes after dragging them from their homes, to break business strikes. The army also arrested fifty-two members of the general committee of teachers who struck in violation of the governor's orders. Teachers report that they are beginning to think "that the military authorities and the Israeli government intend to starve the teachers in the West Bank so that in the end they shall all want to emigrate to the oil countries." The purpose of the collective punishments, Amnon Kapeliouk writes, is "to make the inhabitants want to leave . . . to make life unbearable and then the inhabitants will either rebel, and be expelled by means that are prepared for this event (as General Yariv has revealed, while condemning these horrifying plans) or they will prefer to leave voluntarily." The reference to General Yariv is in connection with his comment on "widely held opinions" in favor of exploiting any future war situation in order to expel seven to eight hundred thousand Arabs. Yariv stated that such opinions were circulating freely, and that he had received information that such a plan existed and that the means for its execution had been prepared. Yehuda Litani writes that a retired army officer told him that in 1969-70 there was an Israeli operation sponsored not by the army but by a "governmental body" (presumably, the secret police), with the full cooperation of the military administration, aimed at getting twenty thousand people from the refugee camps to leave the country (only ten thousand left).
Palestinian educational institutions have been the target of particular brutality. To cite only one example, in March 1978 Israeli troops surrounded a school in Beit Jala south of Jerusalem, "ordered the pupils, all in their early teens, to close their windows, then hurled beer-can-size canisters of U.S.-made antiriot gas into the packed classrooms. . . . The students in second-floor classes were so frightened that they leaped 18 ft. to the rocky ground below. Ten . . . were hospitalized with fractures; several, according to the head of the local hospital, will have lifelong limps. Though military authorities at first denied the incident, it was confirmed to Time Jerusalem Bureau Chief Donald Neff by a score of local residents" (Time, April 3, 1978). There have been many similar cases.
Constraints on political expression have reached such a ludicrous extreme that even symbolic expression is banned. Painters are forbidden to exhibit their work because the military authorities claim that they have "political themes" -- e.g., a dove breaking out of prison. Or because they use the colors that appear on the Palestinian flag, whatever the theme. Under new laws, the curriculum of Palestinian educational institutions such as Bir Zeit College is controlled by the authorities; the college, in fact, barely functions because of regular military harassment. A Palestinian who owns a gallery from which paintings were confiscated comments that soon "they'll pass the 'Dream Law' (security) 1980 and throw us in prison for daring to dream about liberty and independence and prisons shall be filled with Palestinians." In fact, some two hundred thousand security prisoners and detainees have passed through Israeli jails, about 20 percent of the inhabitants of the territories; "this has led to horrendous overcrowding inside the jails, and to appalling human suffering and corruption." Reports of beatings and torture under interrogation, random arrests, endless harassment, and, in general, a pogrom-like atmosphere created both by settlers (who have a paramilitary status) and the military forces have become so common that it is almost superfluous to cite specific examples.
On torture of Palestinians during the Israeli occupation, see for example, "Israel and Torture," Sunday Times (London), June 19, 1977, pp. 1, 16-21 (careful and detailed study by the London Sunday Times Insight Team, which was offered to both the New York Times and Washington Post but rejected for publication). An excerpt:
[T]orture [of Palestinians] takes place in at least six centres. . . . All of Israel's security services are implicated. . . . Torture is organised so methodically that it cannot be dismissed as a handful of "rogue cops" exceeding orders. It is systematic. It appears to be sanctioned at some level as deliberate policy.
Torture seems to be used for three purposes. The first is, of course, to extract information. The second motive, which seems at least as common, is to induce people to confess to "security" offenses, of which they may, or may not, be guilty. The extracted confession is then used as the principal evidence in court: Israel makes something of the fact that it has few political prisoners in its jails, only those duly convicted according to law. The third purpose appears to be to persuade Arabs in the occupied territories that it is least painful to behave passively.
See also, U.N. General Assembly Special Political Committee, document A/SPC/32/L.12, November 11, 1977 (60 pages of testimony before the U.N. Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories, by two members of the Sunday Times Insight Team, Paul Eddy and Peter Gillman); Amnesty International, Five Years after the Oslo Agreement, September 1998 (estimating that 1600 Palestinians are routinely arrested by Israeli military forces every year, half "systematically tortured"); Amnesty International, Human Rights and U.S. Security Assistance 1995, 1996 ("Palestinians under interrogation continue to be systematically tortured or ill-treated"; thousands of Palestinians were detained on such charges as opposing "the peace process," while some have "been detained for nine years without trial"); Human Rights Watch, Torture and Ill-Treatment: Israel's Interrogation of Palestinians from the Occupied Territories, 1994 (condemning Israel's "systematic torture and ill-treatment of Palestinians under interrogation"); Nicholas Guyatt, The Absence of Peace: Understanding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, London: Zed, 1998, especially ch. 4.
Several forms of systematic and routine torture of Palestinian detainees finally were formally outlawed by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1999, pending their potential reinstitution by the Israeli legislature. See for example, Deborah Sontag, "Israel Court Bans Most Use Of Force In Interrogations," New York Times, September 7, 1999, p. A1 ("the Israeli Supreme Court today unexpectedly outlawed the security service's routine practice of using physically coercive interrogation methods, which critics have long denounced as torture," although the Court "suggested that Parliament draft legislation if it wanted to override the ruling").
39. On the pre-Gulf War international consensus on a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, see chapter 5 of U.P. and its footnote 104.
40. It might be noted that, despite misrepresentations sometimes leveled against him to the contrary, Chomsky's stance on a preferred settlement in the Middle East has remained consistent since his first publications on the topic. See for example, Noam Chomsky, Peace in the Middle East? Reflections on Justice and Nationhood, New York: Pantheon, 1974, especially ch. 3, pt. II. An excerpt (pp. 132, 138):
A fifth approach [to a settlement] is the federal model . . . with federated republics, each dominated by one national group, and efforts, one would hope, to achieve social, economic, and political parity. With all of its problems, this approach has possibilities. The inevitable discrimination in a multinational society in which one group dominates might be relieved through the federal structure. . . . A federal approach would imply that in the short run, at least, Palestinian Arabs who wish to return to their former homes within the Jewish-dominated region would have to abandon their hopes; and, correspondingly, that Jews who wish to settle in the Arab-dominated region would be unable to do so. Personally, I feel that among those policies that are at all realistic, given present circumstances, some kind of federal solution is the most desirable. . . .
Surely it is obvious that a critical analysis of Israeli institutions and practices does not in itself imply antagonism to the people of Israel, denial of the national rights of the Jews of Israel, or lack of concern for their just aspirations and needs. The demand for equal rights for Palestinians does not imply a demand for Arab dominance in the former Palestine, or a denial of Jewish national rights. The same is true of critical analysis that questions the existence of the state institutions in their present form.
Noam Chomsky, Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, Boston: South End, 1983. An excerpt (p. 39):
I will adopt [certain assumptions] as a framework for discussion. The first of these is the principle that Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs are human beings with human rights, equal rights; more specifically, they have essentially equal rights within the territory of the former Palestine. Each group has a valid right to national self-determination in this territory. Furthermore, I will assume that the State of Israel within its pre-June 1967 borders had, and retains, whatever one regards as the valid rights of any state within the existing international system.
For Chomsky's view of the P.L.O., see chapter 8 of U.P. and its footnote 87.
41. On Kissinger's goal of producing a "stalemate," see Henry Kissinger, White House Years, Boston: Little, Brown, 1979. An excerpt (pp. 1279, 1291):
In late February , [U.N. Mediator] Jarring's explorations foundered on the Israeli refusal to accept the principle of return to the 1967 borders and the Egyptian insistence on such a principle. Jarring had made some progress, however; Egypt had agreed to a peace agreement, rather than a mere declaration of non-belligerency, if Israel returned to the 1967 borders. But since that was adamantly refused, the Jarring mission was in effect over. There was some sentiment in the U.S. government for imposing the Rogers Plan on the Israelis. But the President had no stomach for it in the middle of the Laotian crisis. And it made no strategic sense. As long as Egypt was in effect a Soviet military base, we could have no incentive to turn on an ally on behalf of a Soviet client. This is why I was always opposed to comprehensive solutions that would be rejected by both parties and that could only serve Soviet ends by either demonstrating our impotence or being turned into a showcase of what could be exacted by Moscow's pressure. My aim was to produce a stalemate until Moscow urged compromise or until, even better, some moderate Arab regime decided that the route to progress was through Washington. . . .
During March , [Soviet Ambassador to the U.S.] Dobrynin was pressing me to formulate a more comprehensive peace program of our own. . . . My strategy had not changed. Until some Arab state showed a willingness to separate from the Soviets, or the Soviets were prepared to dissociate from the maximum Arab program, we had no reason to modify our policy.
Chomsky remarks about this passage (World Orders Old and New, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994, p. 209):
These comments are remarkable. Of the two major Arab states, Egypt was plainly showing "a willingness to separate from the Soviets," and the question doesn't arise for Saudi Arabia, which did not even have diplomatic relations with the hated Russians -- who had, furthermore, never associated themselves with the "maximum Arab program" but kept well within the international consensus. As Senate Foreign Relations Committee Middle East specialist Seth Tillman pointed out, "the official Soviet position has been consistent since 1948 in support of Israel's right to exist and consistent since 1967 in support of Israel's right to a secure national existence, as called for in Security Council Resolution 242, within its 1967 borders" [see Seth Tillman, The United States in the Middle East, Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1982, p. 246].
42. The reference to using Israel as a counterweight to "radical Arab nationalism" is in a declassified policy paper prepared by the National Security Council Planning Board commenting on the Memorandum. See "Issues Arising Out of the Situation in the Near East," July 29, 1958, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958-1960, Vol. XII ("Near East Region; Iraq; Iran; Arabian Peninsula"), Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993, pp. 114-124 at p. 119 (the exact words are: "if we choose to combat radical Arab nationalism and to hold Persian Gulf oil by force if necessary, a logical corollary would be to support Israel as the only strong pro-West power left in the Near East").
The Memorandum identifying Arab nationalism as "inimical to Western interests" is N.S.C. [National Security Council Memorandum] 5801/1, "Statement By The National Security Council Of Long-Range U.S. Policy Toward The Near East," January 24, 1958, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958-1960, Vol. XII ("Near East Region; Iraq; Iran; Arabian Peninsula"), Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993, pp. 17-32. An excerpt (pp. 18, 20-22, 31):
The Near East is of great strategic, political, and economic importance to the Free World. The area contains the greatest petroleum resources in the world and essential facilities for the transit of military forces and Free World commerce. . . . The strategic resources are of such importance to the Free World, particularly Western Europe, that it is in the security interest of the United States to make every effort to insure that these resources will be available and will be used for strengthening the Free World. . . .
Current conditions of and political trends in the Near East are inimical to Western interests. In the eyes of the majority of Arabs the United States appears to be opposed to the realization of the goals of Arab nationalism. They believe that the United States is seeking to protect its interest in Near East oil by supporting the status quo and opposing political or economic progress. . . . [T]he mystique of Arab unity has become a basic element of Arab political thought. Our economic and cultural interests in the area have led not unnaturally to close U.S. relations with elements in the Arab world whose primary interest lies in the maintenance of relations with the West and the status quo in their countries. . . . These relations have contributed to a widespread belief in the area that the United States desires to keep the Arab world disunited and is committed to work with "reactionary" elements to that end. The U.S.S.R., on the other hand, is not inhibited in proclaiming all-out support for Arab unity and for the most extreme Arab nationalist aspirations, because it has no stake in the economic or political status quo in the area. . . .
The area's indigenous institutions and religions lack vigor (partly as a result of the impact of nearly 200 years of Western culture), and native resistance to Communism per se has, therefore, been disappointing. Furthermore, Communist police-state methods seem no worse than similar methods employed by Near East regimes, including some of those supported by the United States. . . .
Where the United States and its friends seek a level of stability in the area to permit peaceful economic and social progress, nationalist Arabs and the Soviets need continuing chaos in order to pursue their separate aims. Many Arabs remain unconvinced of their stake in the future of the Free World. They believe that our concern over Near East petroleum as essential to the Western alliance, our desires to create indigenous strength to resist Communist subversion or domination, our efforts to maintain existing military transit and base rights and deny them to the U.S.S.R., are a mere cover for a desire to divide and dominate the area. . . . Of the countries covered by this paper . . . [o]nly Israel would be capable of effective delaying action against a military power. . . .
[The United States should] be prepared, when required, to come forward, as was done in Iran [i.e. in a C.I.A. coup in 1953], with formulas designed to reconcile vital Free World interests in the area's petroleum resources with the rising tide of nationalism in the area.
See also, "Petroleum Policy of the United States," Memorandum of U.S. Department of State, April 11, 1944, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1944, Vol. V ("The Near East, South Asia, Africa, The Far East"), Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1965, pp. 27-33. An excerpt (p. 30):
Furthermore, and of greater importance, United States policy should, in general, aim to assure to this country, in the interest of security, a substantial and geographically diversified holding of foreign petroleum resources in the hands of United States nationals. This would involve the preservation of the absolute position presently obtaining, and therefore vigilant protection of existing concessions in United States hands coupled with insistence upon the Open Door principle of equal opportunity for United States companies in new areas.
For commentary about the Third World in general in declassified U.S. government documents, see chapter 2 of U.P. and its footnote 52; and chapter 5 of U.P. and its footnote 32. See also chapter 1 of U.P. and its footnote 14.
43. On U.S. planners' recognition of a tripartite system in the Middle East, see for example, Senator Henry Jackson [the Senate's ranking oil expert], Congressional Record, May 21, 1973. An excerpt (pp. 16264-16265):
Mr. President, such stability as now obtains in the Middle East is, in my view, largely the result of the strength and Western orientation of Israel on the Mediterranean and Iran on the Persian Gulf. These two countries, reliable friends of the United States, together with Saudi Arabia, have served to inhibit and contain those irresponsible and radical elements in certain Arab States -- such as Syria, Libya, Lebanon, and Iraq -- who, were they free to do so, would pose a grave threat indeed to our principal sources of petroleum in the Persian Gulf. Among the many anomalies of the Middle East must surely be counted the extent to which Saudi Arabia and the sheikhdoms -- from which, along with Iran, most of our imported oil will flow in the years ahead [i.e. until 1968 the Western Hemisphere was the major global oil producer] -- will depend for regional stability on the ability of Israel to help provide an environment in which moderate regimes in Lebanon and Jordan can survive and in which Syria can be contained. Iran, without whose protective weight Kuwait would almost certainly fall to Iraq, plays a similar and even more direct role in the gulf itself. . . .
The fact is, of course, that the principal threat to the oil producing countries of the Middle East and Persian Gulf is not Israel, but, rather, the have-not Arab States: Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Yemen. These Arab States, impoverished as they are and plagued by the most severe developmental problems, view the great riches of the oil producing states as a potential solution to their economic development problems.
Report of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (Henry M. Jackson, Chairman), Access to Oil -- The United States Relationships with Saudi Arabia and Iran, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1977 (Publication No. 95-70).
See also, Israel Shahak, "How Israel's strategy favours Iraq over Iran," Middle East International, March 19, 1993, p. 19. An excerpt:
In a remarkably forthright article in Yediot Aharonot in April 1992, [former commander of Israeli military intelligence General (reserve) Shlomo] Gazit lays bare the more decisive and lasting aspects of Israel's traditional role as a strategic asset for the West, especially after the demise of the U.S.S.R.[:]
"Israel's main task has not changed at all, and it remains of crucial importance. Its location at the center of the Arab-Muslim Middle East predestines Israel to be a devoted guardian of stability in all the countries surrounding it. Its [role] is to protect the existing regimes: to prevent or halt the processes of radicalization and to block the expansion of fundamentalist religious zealotry. . . ."
In Gazit's view, Israel thus performs a vital service in guaranteeing regional stability. Without Israel, the West would have to perform this role by itself.
On Israel and Iran being tacit allies, see for example, Uri Lubrani [Israeli Ambassador to Iran from 1973 to 1978], "Allon in the Palace of the Shah," Davar (Israel), April 20, 1980 (Independence Day Supplement)(reporting that "the entire upper echelon of the Israeli political leadership" visited Iran, including David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Abba Eban, Yitzhak Rabin, Yigal Allon, Moshe Dayan, and Menahem Begin)(title and quotation are Chomsky's own translations); Richard T. Sale, "S.A.V.A.K.: A Feared and Pervasive Force," Washington Post, May 9, 1977, p. A1 ("Innumerable Iranians, including many in a position to know, told me that the Israelis oversee SAVAK's [Iranian secret police] techniques"). See also footnote 16 of chapter 1 of U.P.
45. On U.S. aid to Israel, see for example, Donald Neff, "Massive aid to Israel," Middle East International, July 21, 1995, p. 8. An excerpt:
For the past decade, Israel has been receiving annually, as non-repayable grants, $3bn and, for keeping its peace with Israel, Egypt has been getting $2.2bn. Through special deals, grants from other programmes and loan guarantees, Israel's total contribution from the U.S. came to $6,321,000,000 in fiscal 1993. . . . Israel's aid includes $1.2bn in economic assistance (the rest goes to military transfers). The economic aid goes directly into Israel's budget without any pretense of being targeted for specific projects, as in other countries. In other words, Israel gets a direct boost to its treasury of $1.2bn every year as though its own taxpayers had paid it. Yet Israel's economy is in its best shape ever . . . and Israelis are enjoying a lifestyle far beyond that of most people of the world. . . . Congress has never bothered asking why a country this prosperous needs continued economic assistance, whose purpose is to help develop struggling economies, not augment ones already well developed. . . .
The magnitude of aid to Israel becomes starker when it is realised that Israel's population of around 5 million is only a thousandth of the world total of 5.5 billion people. This small number is getting about a quarter of all the money the U.S. is spending worldwide on foreign aid -- not counting the additional $3.3bn Israel receives by other means from the U.S. or the $2.2bn the U.S. pays annually to Egypt for keeping peace with Israel.
See also, Robert Gibson, "'Unique Situation'; Israel: An Economic Ward of U.S.," Los Angeles Times, July 20, 1987, part 1, p. 1 ("No parallel exists in the history of international capital flow").
On total U.S. foreign aid, see footnote 28 of chapter 10 of U.P.
46. On U.S. moves to block a political settlement in the Middle East before 1994, see footnotes 41, 47, 48, 49 and 56 of this chapter. On the Oslo Agreements as an outright imposition of U.S. and Israeli will, see chapter 5 of U.P. and its footnote 111; and the text of chapter 8 of U.P.
47. On Sadat's 1971 offer and its rejection, see for example, John Norton Moore, ed., The Arab-Israeli Conflict, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974, Vol. 3, pp. 1106-1125, especially pp. 1107, 1110 (reproducing the documents). Offered through U.N. mediator Gunnar Jarring, the text of the 1971 plan accepted by Sadat included "respect for and acknowledgment of . . . [Israel's] sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence," and Israelis' "right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries"; there was no mention of a Palestinian state. The Israeli government welcomed the plan as a genuine offer of "a peace agreement," but stated that "Israel will not withdraw to the pre-June 5, 1967 lines" -- thus rejecting it, and effectively terminating the initiative.
For acknowledgments in Israel of the offer, see for example, Editorial, Ha'aretz (Israel), October 8, 1981 ("Sadat was the first Arab leader who, a year after coming to power, declared his willingness to make peace with Israel in his famous reply to Dr. Jarring's memorandum")(quotation is Chomsky's own translation); Mordechai Gur, Ma'ariv (Israel), October 11, 1981 ("In February 1971 [Sadat] said that he was prepared to make peace with Israel")(quotation is Chomsky's own translation); Yitzhak Rabin, The Rabin Memoirs, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996 (expanded edition; original 1979), p. 192. In these memoirs, Rabin describes Sadat's acceptance of the "famous" Jarring proposal as a "milestone" on the path to peace, the proposal having been a "bombshell." In contrast, in the U.S., the facts have disappeared -- see footnote 49 of this chapter. For an acknowledgment by Kissinger of Egyptian willingness to enter a peace agreement, see footnote 41 of this chapter.
48. On the 1976 offer at the U.N. Security Council and its rejection, see for example, Kathleen Teltsch, "U.S. Casts Veto On Mideast Plan In U.N.'s Council," New York Times, January 27, 1976, pp. 1, 4 (reproducing the text of the 1976 Security Council Resolution, which incorporated the wording of U.N. Resolution 242, but added a provision for a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; this proposal also was supported by the P.L.O.); "Palestine Guerrillas Seek to Close Ranks for War," New York Times, March 1, 1976, p. 4 (describing the U.S. veto of the 1976 U.N. peace initiative as a serious blow to Palestinian hopes for a negotiated settlement).
49. For examples of how rejected Arab peace offers have been eliminated from history in the U.S., see Thomas L. Friedman, "Seeking Peace in Mideast," New York Times, March 17, 1985, section 1, p. 1 (chronologically listing U.S. and U.N. Security Council proposals, but ignoring all of the Arab proposals prior to those that led to the Camp David Accords of 1978); Eric Pace, "Anwar el-Sadat, the Daring Arab Pioneer of Peace With Israel," New York Times, October 7, 1981, p. A10 (explicitly denying the facts, and referring to Sadat's trip to Jerusalem in 1977 as follows: "Reversing Egypt's longstanding policy, [Sadat] proclaimed his willingness to accept Israel's existence as a sovereign state"). See also, Edward Said and Christopher Hitchens, eds., Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question, London: Verso, 1988.
For contemporaneous reports of other rejected peace offers by Arab states, see for example, Bernard Gwertzman, "3 Key Arab Countries Link Signing Of Israel Treaty to Overall Accord," New York Times, August 21, 1977, p. 1. An excerpt:
Egypt, Syria and Jordan have informed the United States that they would sign peace treaties with Israel as part of an overall Middle East settlement. In addition Egypt and Jordan said they would consider a further American proposal that they also take up diplomatic relations with Israel. . . .
If the P.L.O. accepts United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967, which has been the basis for the negotiations, the United States -- but not Israel -- will talk with the group. . . . On the issue of the nature of peace the United States said that a settlement should go beyond a mere end of the state of war to include a peace treaty and normal ties between Israel and its Arab neighbors, including diplomatic relations. On the question of the final borders, the United States said Israel should withdraw in phases to secure and recognized borders -- as called for in Resolution 242 -- on the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian fronts, giving up the land captured in the 1967 war with minor modifications. On the Palestinian question, the United States said there should be a Palestinian "entity" the form of which should eventually be decided by self-determination of the Palestinians.
Peter Grose, "Only U.S. and Israel Are Opposed As U.N. Approves Geneva Talks," New York Times, December 10, 1976, p. A4 (reporting that the U.S. and Israel alone voted against an Egyptian proposal to convene a conference on the Middle East by March 1, 1977); Anna Safadi, "Fahmy names terms for M.E. settlement," Jerusalem Post, November 15, 1976, p. 1 (outlining Egyptian Prime Minister Ismail Fahmy's November 1976 peace offer, with its four conditions for a Middle East peace settlement: "Israel's withdrawal to the pre-1967 war frontiers; the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; the ban of nuclear weapons in the region; and the inspection of nuclear installations in the area -- specifically Israel's reactor in Dimona"). See also, Donald Neff, "The differing interpretations of Resolution 242," Middle East International, September 13, 1991, pp. 16-17 (noting that the secret State Department study of the negotiations leading to U.N. 242, leaked to the U.S. journalist and Middle East historian Neff, showed that the U.S. always shared the full Arab understanding of U.N. 242 requiring Israel to withdraw from the Occupied Territories seized in 1967). And see footnote 66 of this chapter.
For a list of U.S. vetoes of United Nations Security Council resolutions involving Israel from 1967 to February 1986 (20 in 20 years), see "Documentation," American-Arab Affairs, No. 32, Winter 1987-1988, pp. 144-145.
On the position of the Palestine Liberation Organization, see for example, Seth Tillman, The United States in the Middle East: Interests and Obstacles, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982. An excerpt (pp. 217-218):
The present leadership of the P.L.O. had been ready for five years, and remained ready, said [Palestine National Council chairman Khalid] Fahoum, to open a dialogue with the United States, and it accepted the West-Bank-Gaza state. . . . In fact, said Fahoum, the P.L.O. accepted all United Nations resolutions pertaining to the Middle East adopted since 1947 and did so "without any reservations." "With open mind," Arafat added. . . .
Arafat spelled out the P.L.O.'s willingness to give de facto recognition to Israel and to renounce violence against it even more explicitly in an interview with Congressman Paul Findley of Illinois, the senior Republican on the House Middle East Subcommittee, on November 25, 1978. . . . Arafat issued the following statement: "The P.L.O. will accept an independent Palestinian state consisting of the West Bank and Gaza, with connecting corridor, and in that circumstance will renounce any and all violent means to enlarge the territory of that state. . . ." Arafat promised too, "We will give de facto recognition to the State of Israel," and gave assurance as well that "we would live at peace with all our neighbors. . . ." Findley concluded that Arafat's pledges to him met the conditions for American negotiations with the P.L.O. under the commitment made to Israel in September 1975 and that this justified "immediate talks with the P.L.O."
"Palestinians Back Peace Parley Role," New York Times, March 21, 1977, pp. 1, 5 (reporting that on March 20, 1977, the Palestinian National Council, the governing body of the P.L.O., issued a declaration calling for the establishment of "an independent national state" in Palestine, rather than a secular democratic state of Palestine, and authorizing Palestinian attendance at an Arab-Israeli peace conference; Prime Minister Rabin of Israel responded "that the only place the Israelis could meet the Palestinian guerrillas was on the field of battle." The Rabin statement appeared under heading "Rabin Comments on Decisions"); David Hirst, "P.L.O. reaches limit of moderation," Manchester Guardian Weekly (U.K.), August 7, 1977, p. 6 (reporting that the P.L.O. leaked a "peace plan" in Beirut which stated that the famous Palestinian National Covenant would not serve as the basis for relations between Israel and a Palestinian state -- just as the founding principles of the World Zionist Organization were not understood as the basis for interstate relations -- and that any evolution beyond a two-state settlement "would be achieved by peaceful means"). In April and May of 1984, Arafat then made a series of statements in Europe and Asia calling for negotiations with Israel leading to mutual recognition; a United Press International article on these proposals was the featured front-page story in the San Francisco Examiner, and the facts were reported without prominence in the local quality American press -- but the U.S. national media suppressed the story outright, apart from a bare mention in the Washington Post some weeks later; the New York Times did not publish a word. See U.P.I., "Arafat wants Israel talks," San Francisco Examiner, May 5, 1984, p. 1. See also, Editorial, "A welcome move by the P.L.O.," Christian Science Monitor, November 16, 1988, p. 15. An excerpt:
By accepting United Nations Resolution 242 as a basis for Mideast peace, the Palestine Liberation Organization has taken a welcome step toward moderation. Its legislative arm, the Palestine National Council, now endorses a "two state" solution to the Arab-Israeli impasse.
The P.N.C., meeting in Algiers, has eased what had been a rock-bound determination not to recognize Israel. The U.N. resolution specifies the right of every state in the region, including (by implication) Israel, to live within secure boundaries. . . . Under the Palestinian proposal, U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338 (which implements 242) are to serve as a basis for an international peace conference, at which such thorny issues as the borders of a new Palestinian state would be resolved.
Chomsky remarked about the P.L.O. long before the Oslo Agreements of 1994 (Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, Boston: South End, 1983, updated edition 1999, p. 164):
Quite generally, the P.L.O. has the same sort of legitimacy that the Zionist movement had in the pre-state period, a fact that is undoubtedly recognized at some level within Israel and, I think, accounts for the bitter hatred of the P.L.O.
50. For Will's article, see George Will, "MidEast Truth and Falsehood," Newsweek, August 2, 1982, p. 68 ("Sadat, remembered as a peacemaker, first made war. . . . Having failed to get to Jerusalem with Soviet tanks, Sadat went by Boeing 707"). On Sadat's earlier rejected peace offer, see footnote 47 of this chapter.
51. For Newsweek's article, see "Middle East: Small Blessings," Newsweek, February 8, 1971, p. 36. An excerpt:
In part, the Egyptian position [in a memorandum to U.N. special Mideast mediator Gunnar Jarring] echoed the U.N. resolution of November 1967, which called on Israel to withdraw from territories occupied during the six-day war. In exchange, Cairo promised to call an end to the state of war against Israel, respect Israel's territorial integrity and agree that Israel should have free access to all international waterways. . . . Security in the area could be guaranteed, the Egyptians added, by establishing demilitarized zones on both the Arab and Israeli sides of the frontier, zones that could be policed by a U.N. peace-keeping force made up, at least in part, of American, Soviet, British and French troops. ("On no account," responded Mrs. Meir [the Israeli Prime Minister], "will a force of that kind come in place of secure, recognized and agreed borders.") . . .
[T]he Egyptian text specifically did not call for a Security Council meeting on the Middle East, a move that Cairo had been threatening and Jerusalem had warned would upset the Jarring applecart. Commented [Egyptian] Ambassador el-Zayyat: "We want Jarring's mission to succeed."
52. On the ambassadors' warnings to Kissinger, see for example, Charles William Maynes [Foreign Policy editor], "Military success breeds danger for Israel," Boston Globe, June 15, 1982, p. 15. An excerpt:
In the early 1970s, a similar act of neglect resulted in historic damage to U.S. interests. The Nixon administration sent a special envoy to a conference of U.S. ambassadors in the Mideast to announce . . . its belief that the region was not ripe for progress in the peace process. Consequently, Washington was going to suspend its efforts for awhile. To a man, the U.S. ambassadors replied that if the countries in the Mideast concluded that the process itself had ended, there would be a disastrous war. Several months later, Anwar Sadat moved Egyptian troops across the Suez Canal to begin the Yom Kippur War.
See also, Matti Golan, The Secret Conversations of Henry Kissinger: Step-by-Step Diplomacy in the Middle East, New York: Quadrangle/New York Times, 1976, p. 145 (Kissinger recalled: "[Hafez] Ismail told me several times that the present situation could not continue. He asked me whether the United States did not understand that if there weren't some agreement then there would be war").
53. On the oil companies' warnings, see for example, U.S. Senate, Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations by the Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations, Multinational Oil Corporations and U.S. Foreign Policy, 93rd Congress, 2nd Session, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, January 2, 1975, Part III, Section VII, pp. 141-142.
54. On the intelligence view of the Arab armies, see for example, Norman G. Finkelstein, Image And Reality Of The Israel-Palestine Conflict, London: Verso, 1995. Some expressions of the general attitude (pp. 167-169):
Typically, General Ezer Weizman sneered "War, that's not for the Arabs." General and Professor Yehoshafat Harkabi "diagnosed" that Arabs were congenitally incapable of battle solidarity. . . . Two months before the October war, [Moshe] Dayan lectured the Israeli army's general staff that "the weakness of the Arabs arises from factors so deeply rooted that they cannot, in my view, be easily overcome: the moral, technical and educational backwardness of their soldiers," and that "the balance of forces is so much in our favor that it neutralizes the Arab considerations and motives for the immediate renewal of hostilities. . . ."
[Abba] Eban derisively recalls the "official doctrine . . . that an Egyptian assault would be drowned in a sea of blood, that the Arabs had no military option." He quotes from an article by [Yitzhak] Rabin in July 1973 that "reads like an anthology of all the misconceptions that were destined to explode a few weeks later": "Our present defense lines give us a decisive advantage in the Arab-Israel balance of strength. There is no need to mobilize our forces whenever we hear Arab threats. . . . The Arabs have little capacity for coordinating their military and political action. . . . Israel's military strength is sufficient to prevent the other side from gaining any military objective." "An atmosphere of 'manifest destiny,' regarding the neighboring people as 'lesser breeds without the law,'" Eban adds, "began to spread in the national discourse. [Ze'ev] Schiff casually mentions that the Israeli soldier's "nickname" for his opposite number in the Egyptian army was "monkey. . . ."
Crucially, Kissinger -- who effectively dictated U.S. policy, and thereby held a veto over Israeli policy, in the Middle East -- shared the belief that "war was not an Arab game." In a conversation with [Golda] Meir shortly after the war, Kissinger reportedly recalled: "Do you remember what we all thought before the war? -- that we never had it better, and therefore there was no hurry? We and you were both convinced that the Arabs had no military option which required serious diplomatic action. Instead of doing something we joked about the shoes the Egyptians left behind in 1967." Told by an Egyptian diplomat that "if there weren't some agreement then there would be war," Kissinger further rued, "in my heart I laughed and laughed. A war? Egypt? I regarded it as empty talk, a boast empty of content."
Matti Golan, The Secret Conversations of Henry Kissinger: Step-by-Step Diplomacy in the Middle East, New York: Quadrangle/New York Times, 1976, pp. 144-147 (on Kissinger's attitude).
55. For strategic analysts' recognitions about Camp David, see for example, Avner Yaniv, Dilemmas of Security: Politics, Strategy, and the Israeli Experience in Lebanon, New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. An excerpt (p. 70):
The Egyptian volte-face in 1977 was as momentous as the Egyptian decision in 1948 to join an Arab coalition in a military campaign against Israel. . . . [T]he Egyptian defection was bound to have a critical effect. Israel would be freed of the need to attend to an Egyptian front. Syria would become the mainstay of any future Arab campaign. Syria could not be expected to rally the same broad coalition that Egypt had so far led. The P.L.O. itself would lose much of its hard-won freedom of action and become as uncomfortably dependent on Syria's good will as it had been in the 1960s. Israel would be free to sustain military operations against the P.L.O. in Lebanon as well as settlement activity on the West Bank.
Harold H. Saunders, "Reconstituting the Arab-Israeli Peace Process," in William B. Quandt, ed., The Middle East: Ten Years after Camp David, Washington: Brookings Institution, 1988. An excerpt (p. 420):
[A]lthough the Camp David Accords gave lip service to Palestinian interests, they actually freed the Likud government in Israel to consolidate its hold on the West Bank and Gaza. Evidence shows a major Israeli push to enlarge the program of settlements in the West Bank from the period immediately after Camp David. . . . In the same vein, the Egyptian-Israeli peace freed Israel to invade Lebanon in 1982 to destroy or drive out the P.L.O.
Hillel Schenker, "Interview -- David Shipler [New York Times Israel correspondent]: a certain positive evolution," New Outlook: Middle East Monthly (Tel Aviv, Israel), May 1984, pp. 21-24. An excerpt (p. 23):
On the Israeli side, it seems to me that the peace treaty [agreed on at Camp David] set up the situation for the war in Lebanon. With Egypt no longer a confrontation state, Israel felt free to initiate a war in Lebanon, something it probably would not have dared to do before the peace treaty. . . . It is an irony that the war in Lebanon could not have taken place without the peace treaty, and yet I think there would not have been such tremendous opposition to the war among Israelis had it not been for this same peace treaty.
Chomsky comments that Shipler wrote nothing of the sort in the Times during his five years as its correspondent in Israel ending in June 1984, or since.
56. For Chomsky's recognition in 1977 -- before the Camp David Accords were signed in 1978 -- of their obvious implications, see for example, "American Foreign Policy in the Middle East," in Noam Chomsky, Towards A New Cold War: Essays on the Current Crisis and How We Got There, New York: Pantheon, 1982, ch. 11 (essay written in 1977). An excerpt (pp. 309-310):
Under Kissinger's initiative, the United States by late 1970 abandoned even a rhetorical commitment to a political settlement and was clearly supporting a very different program, namely, the Israeli program of developing and ultimately annexing substantial parts of the occupied territories, a policy that led directly to the October 1973 war. . . . The October 1973 war led to . . . [the U.S.] effectively removing Egypt from the military conflict, for the short term at least. . . . Previously, Sadat's efforts in this direction had been rebuffed, but unexpected Arab successes in the October war with their consequences within the Arab world led to a revision of American policy in this regard. U.S. military assistance, far surpassing previous levels, reinforced Israel's position as the dominant military power in the region. The Kissinger settlement [removing Egypt from the military conflict] thus made it possible for Israel to continue active pursuit of the policies just described, with tacit American support. It is evident that these policies entail a continued state of military confrontation, and quite probably, another major war.
57. For Beilin's book, see Yossi Beilin, Mechiro shel Ihud, Tel Aviv: Revivim, 1985.
58. For use of the phrase "demographic problem," see for example, Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, "Expelling Palestinians: It Isn't a New Idea, and It Isn't Just Kahane's," Washington Post, February 7, 1988, p. C1. An excerpt:
Two weeks after the end of the Six-Day War in June 1967, the Israeli cabinet convened for a secret meeting to consider a thorny issue: what to do about the demographic problems created by the capture of the West Bank and Gaza, which had added nearly a million Arabs to Israeli jurisdiction. One of the options discussed at the 1967 cabinet meeting was resettlement of Arabs living in refugee camps, according to the private diaries kept by Yaacov Herzog, who was at the time director-general of the prime minister's office. . . .
The 1967 cabinet meeting didn't reach a decision on the resettlement issue. But sentiment seemed to favor Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon's proposal that Palestinian refugees be transported to the Sinai Desert and that Palestinians should be persuaded to move abroad. According to Herzog's notes, Allon said: "We do not do enough among the Arabs to encourage emigration."
Editorial, "The real demographic problem," Jerusalem Post, January 22, 1995, p. 6. An excerpt:
[O]nce Judea and Samaria [i.e. the West Bank] come under the exclusive control of the Palestinian Authority there will be no way of preventing massive infiltration into Israel. This raises again the specter of the demographic problem.
Those who advocate Israeli withdrawal from Judea, Samaria and Gaza have always used the demographic demon as one of their main arguments. It is one thing, they would say, to rule over 800,000 Arabs in Israel. It is quite another to have another 1.5 million Arabs or more under Israeli rule. If they become Israeli citizens, the country would soon have an Arab majority. . . . To ignore what the influx of hundreds of thousands of Arab "refugees" will do to both the Jewish character and the democratic nature of Israel is to invite a nightmare.
Elliott Abrams, "A Place Among the Nations," National Review, July 19, 1993, p. 58. An excerpt:
Israel requires the return of millions of diaspora Jews from all over the world, [Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu] argues, to double its current population of about five million. Ten million citizens, he believes, will provide a better economic and military base and will prevent Arab numerical hegemony even if Israel keeps the West Bank. "The key to Israel's future, the solution to its demographic problem, is the continuing influx of Jews to Israel."
59. On the role of water in the conflict over the Occupied Territories, see for example, Jehoshua Schwarz, "Water Resources in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip," in Daniel J. Elazar, ed., Judea, Samaria, and Gaza: Views on the Present and Future, Washington: American Enterprise Institute, 1982, pp. 81-100 (detailed analysis of the technical aspects of the problem, including hydrogeology and salinity maps); David R. Francis, "Economic Issues Are Key to Mideast Peace," Christian Science Monitor, September 17, 1993, p. 9. An excerpt:
About 40 percent of all water consumed in Israel is tied to the territory taken in the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict. That amounts to more than 600 million cubic meters a year.
The largest part is diverted from the upper Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee. Control of the Golan Heights and of southeast Lebanon, [Washington economic analyst Thomas] Stauffer says, enables Israel to protect the system of canals, pumps and pipelines which move Jordan River water through Israel as far as the northern Negev desert. A second element is the acquifer underlying the West Bank. The use of that water by Arabs is currently limited by Israel so the water can be tapped by Israelis when it flows under the coastal plain of Israel itself, Stauffer says. Israeli economists, he adds, estimate it would cost $1 billion or more each year to replace with desalinated water those diverted water supplies if peace meant Israel had to relinquish that water to residents upstream in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and the West Bank.
Julian Ozanne and David Gardner, "Middle East peace would be a mirage without water deal," Financial Times (London), August 8, 1995, p. 3. An excerpt:
Like many Palestinians, the villagers of Artas in the Israeli-occupied West Bank have running water one day every two to three weeks. The spring water is polluted by sewage and the men of the hillside village have to drive regularly to the fire station in Bethlehem to fill up containers with water. . . .
Water has become one of the most sensitive and intractable problems in the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations on extending Palestinian self-rule to the West Bank and the division of the scarce resource between Arab and Jew throughout the region evokes strong emotions. For decades Israel has drawn 80 per cent of the 670m cu. m. of water provided every year by the mountain aquifer, an underground water basin located mainly under the West Bank. Israeli military occupation orders in force since 1967, including a prohibition on drilling new wells, have prevented Palestinians getting better access to the aquifer. The aquifer provides a third of Israel's water consumption, 40 per cent of its drinking water and 50 per cent of its agricultural water. . . .
Nothing symbolises the inequality of water consumption more than the fresh green lawns, irrigated flower beds, blooming gardens and swimming pools of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Experts say the 120,000 settlers there consume at least 60m cu. m. of water a year from the mountain aquifer, compared with the 137m cu. m. allocated to the 1.5m West Bank Arabs. Some 69 per cent of the land cultivated by settlers is irrigated compared with only 6 per cent of Palestinian land. . . .
Israel also faces a battle over water rights in stalled negotiations with Syria, aimed at a land-for-peace deal restoring the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to Syria. Water from the Golan provides 30 per cent of Israel's drinking water.
Anthony Coon, Town Planning Under Military Occupation: An examination of the law and practice of town planning in the occupied West Bank, Ramallah: Al-Haq, 1992. An excerpt (pp. 32-33):
Under Israeli occupation new deep wells have been bored and extensive irrigated areas have been opened up [in the West Bank] but these are for exclusively Jewish use. Four fifths of the underground water abstracted from the West Bank is used not by Palestinians but by Jewish settlements or pumped into Israel. New Arab wells have (with very few exceptions) not been allowed since the occupation, nor may rates of extraction be increased, and many Arab wells especially in the Jordan Valley have been confiscated.
Miriam R. Lowi, Water and Power: The Politics of a Scarce Resource in the Jordan River Basin, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1993; Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, September 28, 1995, Jerusalem: State of Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Annex III, Appendix I, Article 40 and Schedule 10 (the Interim Oslo Agreement provided the first official Israeli data on the allocation of the crucial water resources of the West Bank, in general confirming the analyses already cited).
For another case of Israel taking the resources of territory it allegedly occupies for "security," see "The great terrain robbery," Economist (London), November 14, 1998, p. 46. An excerpt:
A new interpretation of the land-for-peace principle has emerged from Israel. In the self-declared "security zone" that it occupies in southern Lebanon, Israel seems to have decided that if it cannot have peace, it will at least make sure that it has the land. Since September, Israeli lorries have been scooping up truckload after truckload of Lebanon's fertile topsoil and carting it off to Israel. The land has lain fallow for years, cut off from its Lebanese owners by an Israeli security fence. So it will make rich fertiliser for the Israeli terraces where it is now being spread, just across the border.
So far, estimate the United Nations peacekeepers stationed nearby, the Israeli lorries have made off with 75,000 cubic metres of soil. The Lebanese are left with an ugly open-cast mine. . . . At first, the Israelis denied everything. . . . But after the U.N. confirmed the story, first the Israeli army and then the government admitted the theft.
On the more general system of institutions that have been established to ensure that land use and development funds are reserved for only Jewish citizens and not Arabs -- to which U.S. citizens may make tax-deductible contributions -- see for example, Walter Lehn with Uri Davis, The Jewish National Fund, London: Kegan Paul, 1988; Ian Lustick, Arabs in the Jewish State: Israel's Control of a National Minority, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980; Ori Shohet, "No One Shall Grow Tomatoes . . .," Ha'aretz Supplement (Israel), September 25/27, 1985 [translated in News From Within (Jerusalem), June 23, 1986](discussing the devices that ensure discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel and Arabs in the Occupied Territories, and comparing Israeli laws and South African apartheid; the title of the article refers to military regulations that require West Bank Arabs to obtain a license to plant a fruit tree or vegetables, one of the devices used to enable Israel to take over the lands there on grounds of inadequate title); Eyal Ehrlich, Ha'aretz (Israel), November 13, 1987 (noting that Arabs in the West Bank are "facing a serious water crisis," resulting from a division of water resources favoring Jewish settlers by 12 to 1; "the Arab inhabitants, naturally, are forbidden to dig new wells")(quotations are Chomsky's own translation). See also, Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, London: Pluto, 1994, chs. 5 and 6. And see chapter 8 of U.P. and its footnotes 77 and 78.
60. For the November 1947 U.N. recommendation on the partition of Palestine, see General Assembly Resolution 181 (II), Concerning the Future Government of Palestine, of November 29, 1947, in John Norton Moore, ed., The Arab-Israeli Conflict, Vol. III, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974, pp. 313-342. Chomsky remarks (Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, Boston: South End, 1983, updated edition 1999, pp. 92-93):
In later years, the indigenous Arab population rejected the idea, accepted as natural in the West, that they had a moral obligation to sacrifice their land to compensate for the crimes committed by Europeans against Jews. They perhaps wondered why a more appropriate response would not have been to remove the population of Bavaria [in Germany] and turn it into a Jewish state -- or given the self-righteous moralizing they hear from the United States, why the project could not have been carried out in Massachusetts or New York. . . . If someone were to take over your home, then offer you a few rooms in a "fair compromise," you might not be overwhelmed by his generosity, even if he were homeless, destitute, and persecuted. As for the wretched survivors of Hitler's Holocaust themselves, it is likely that many -- perhaps most -- would have chosen to come to the United States had the opportunity been offered, but the Zionist movement, including American Zionists, preferred that they settle in a Jewish state.
There is by now an ample literature on the shameful topic of U.S. responses to the plight of Jews fleeing the Holocaust. See for example, Alfred M. Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection: What Price Israel?, New York: Dodd, Mead, 1978 (on the unwillingness of American Zionists to support plans for bringing European Jews to the United States in 1942); Saul S. Friedman, No Haven for the Oppressed: United States Policy toward Jewish Refugees, 1938-1945, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1973; David S. Wyman, Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis, 1938-1941, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1973; Arthur D. Morse, While Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy, New York: Random House, 1967.
61. For the December 1948 U.N. recommendation on refugees and the resolution admitting Israel into the U.N. upon its agreement to accept that recommendation, see General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) of December 11, 1948 (on the right of return of Palestinian refugees), and General Assembly Resolution 273 (III) of May 11, 1949 (admitting Israel into the United Nations, and noting Israel's stated agreement to comply with Resolution 194 (III)), both in John Norton Moore, ed., The Arab-Israeli Conflict, Vol. III, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974, pp. 373-376, 418-419. See also, Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, New York: Pantheon, 1987, pp. 214-215, 223-224.
62. On the extent of the Zionist-controlled territory and the number of Palestinian refugees through May 1948, see for example, David Hirst, The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East, London: Faber and Faber, 1977, pp. 123-143. An excerpt (pp. 136, 138-139, 142):
The rise of the State of Israel -- in frontiers larger than those assigned to it under the Partition Plan -- and the flight of the native population was a cataclysm so deeply distressing to the Arabs that to this day they call it, quite simply, al-nakba, the Catastrophe. . . . Deir Yassin was, as Begin rightly claims, the most spectacular single contribution to the Catastrophe. [Deir Yassin, an Arab town that had in fact refused to be used as a base for operations against the Jewish Agency by the foreign Arab volunteer force, was the site of a massacre of 250 innocent Arabs by the Jewish terrorist groups Irgun and the Stern Gang in April 1948.] In time, place and method it demonstrates the absurdity of the subsequently constructed myth [that Arab leaders had called on the Palestinian refugees to flee]. The British insisted on retaining juridical control of the country until the termination of their Mandate on 15 May; it was not until they left that the regular Arab armies contemplated coming in. But not only did Deir Yassin take place more than five weeks before that critical date, it also took place outside the area assigned to the Jewish State. It was in no sense a retaliatory action. . . .
In reality, Deir Yassin was an integral part of Plan Dalet, the master-plan for the seizure of most or all of Palestine. . . . Nothing was officially disclosed about Plan Dalet . . . although Bengurion was certainly alluding to it in an address [on April 7, 1948] to the Zionist Executive: "Let us resolve not to be content with merely defensive tactics, but at the right moment to attack all along the line and not just within the confines of the Jewish State and the borders of Palestine, but to seek out and crush the enemy where-ever he may be. . . ." According to Qurvot (Battles) of 1948, a detailed history of the Haganah and the Palmach [the Zionist fighting forces], the aim of Plan Dalet was "control of the area given to us by the U.N. in addition to areas occupied by us which were outside these borders and the setting up of forces to counter the possible invasion of Arab armies." It was also designed to "cleanse" such areas of their Arab inhabitants. . . .
When the war ended, in early 1949, the Zionists, allotted 57 per cent of Palestine under the Partition Plan, had occupied 77 per cent of the country. Of the 1,300,000 Arab inhabitants, they had displaced nearly 900,000.
Benny Morris, "The Causes and Character of the Arab Exodus from Palestine: the Israel Defence Forces Intelligence Branch Analysis of June 1948," Middle Eastern Studies (London), January 1986, pp. 5-19. An excerpt (pp. 5, 6-7, 9-10, 14, 18):
A great deal of fresh light is shed on the multiple and variegated causation of the Arab exodus in a document which has recently surfaced, entitled "The Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine in the Period 1/12/1947-1/6/1948. . . ." Dated 30 June 1948, it was produced by the Israel Defence Forces Intelligence Branch during the first weeks of the First Truce (11 June-9 July) of the 1948 war. . . . Rather than suggesting Israeli blamelessness in the creation of the refugee problem, the Intelligence Branch assessment is written in blunt factual and analytical terms and, if anything, contains more than a hint of "advice" as to how to precipitate further Palestinian flight by indirect methods, without having recourse to direct politically and morally embarrassing expulsion orders. . . .
On the eve of the U.N. Partition Plan Resolution of 29 November 1947, according to the report, there were 219 Arab villages and four Arab, or partly Arab, towns in the areas earmarked for Jewish statehood -- with a total Arab population of 342,000. By 1 June, 180 of these villages and towns had been evacuated, with 239,000 Arabs fleeing the areas of the Jewish state. A further 152,000 Arabs, from 70 villages and three towns (Jaffa, Jenin and Acre), had fled their homes in the areas earmarked for Palestinian Arab statehood in the Partition Resolution, and from the Jerusalem area. By 1 June, therefore, according to the report, the refugee total was 391,000, give or take about 10-15 per cent. Another 103,000 Arabs (60,000 of them Negev beduin and 5,000 Haifa residents) had remained in their homes in the areas originally earmarked for Jewish statehood. (This figure excludes the Arabs who stayed on in Jaffa and Acre, towns occupied by Jewish forces but lying outside the 1947 partition boundaries of the Jewish state.) . . . [The report] stress[es] that "without doubt, hostile [Haganah/Israel Defense Force] operations were the main cause of the movement of population. . . ."
Altogether, the report states, Jewish -- meaning Haganah/I.D.F., I.Z.L. and L.H.I. -- military operations . . . accounted for 70 per cent of the Arab exodus from Palestine. . . . [T]here is no reason to cast doubt on the integrity of I.D.F. Intelligence Branch in the production of this analysis. The analysis was produced almost certainly only for internal, I.D.F. top brass consumption. . . . One must again emphasize that the report and its significance pertain only up to 1 June 1948, by which time some 300,000-400,000 Palestinians had left their homes. A similar number was to leave the Jewish-held areas in the remaining months of the war.
The article also explains how this Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Branch report "thoroughly undermines the traditional official Israeli 'explanation' of a mass flight ordered or 'invited' by the Arab leadership for political-strategic reasons" (p. 17). See also, Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1987; Benny Morris, 1948 And After: Israel and the Palestinians, New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Since Morris's early publications, he has noted that later declassified documents have strengthened his conclusions. See Benny Morris, "Revisiting the Palestinian exodus of 1948," in Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim, eds., The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 37-59. An excerpt (pp. 49, 38):
[T]he documentation that has come to light or been declassified during the past ten years offers a great deal of additional information about the expulsions of 1948. The departure of Arab communities from some sites, departures that were described in The Birth as due to fear or I.D.F. [Israel Defense Force] military attack or were simply unexplained, now appear to have been tinged if not characterized by Haganah or I.D.F. expulsion orders and actions. . . . This means that the proportion of the 700,000 Arabs who took to the roads as a result of expulsions rather than as a result of straightforward military attack or fear of attack, etc. is greater than indicated in The Birth. Similarly, the new documentation has revealed atrocities that I had not been aware of while writing The Birth. . . . These atrocities are important in understanding the precipitation of various phases of the Arab exodus. . . .
Above all, let me reiterate, the refugee problem was caused by attacks by Jewish forces on Arab villages and towns and by the inhabitants' fear of such attacks, compounded by expulsions, atrocities, and rumors of atrocities -- and by the crucial Israeli Cabinet decision in June 1948 to bar a refugee return.
See also, Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World, New York: Norton, 2000. An excerpt (p. 31):
Plan D, prepared by the Haganah chiefs in early March, was a major landmark in the development of this offensive strategy. During the preceding month the Palestinian irregulars, under the inspired leadership of Abdel Qader al-Husseini, cut the main road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and started to gain the upper hand in the fighting with the Haganah. After suffering several defeats at the hands of Palestinian irregulars, the Haganah chiefs decided to seize the initiative and go on the offensive. The aim of Plan D was to secure all the areas allocated to the Jewish state under the U.N. partition resolution as well as Jewish settlements outside these areas and corridors leading to them, so as to provide a solid and continuous basis for Jewish sovereignty. The novelty and audacity of the plan lay in the orders to capture Arab villages and cities, something the Haganah had never attempted before. Although the wording of Plan D was vague, its objective was to clear the interior of the country of hostile and potentially hostile Arab elements, and in this sense it provided a warrant for expelling civilians. By implementing Plan D in April and May, the Haganah thus directly and decisively contributed to the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem. . . .
Plan D was not a political blueprint for the expulsion of Palestinian Arabs: it was a military plan with military and territorial objectives. However, by ordering the capture of Arab cities and the destruction of villages, it both permitted and justified the forcible expulsion of Arab civilians. By the end of 1948 the number of Palestinian refugees had swollen to around 700,000. But the first and largest wave of refugees occurred before the official outbreak of hostilities on 15 May.
Ilan Pappé, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947-51, London: I.B. Tauris, 1992, chs. 2 and 3, especially pp. 76-99. An excerpt (pp. 85, 96):
The Jews moved from defense to an offensive, once Plan D was adopted. The plan, inter alia, aimed at extending Jewish rule in Palestine. . . . [F]rom 1 April 1948 to the end of the war, Jewish operations were guided by the desire to occupy the greatest possible portion of Palestine. . . . By 15 May 1948, about 380,000 Palestinians had become refugees. By the end of the war the number was doubled and the U.N. report spoke of 750,000 refugees.
Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, New York: Pantheon, 1987, pp. 81-118. An excerpt (pp. 42, 83-84, 132):
In April 1948, forces of the Irgun penetrated deep into Jaffa, which was outside the borders of the proposed Jewish state. . . . Ben-Gurion, despite harsh pronouncements against the dissidents [i.e. the Irgun and other terrorist squads], waited until after the establishment of the state to force them to disband. He could have done this earlier had it suited his purposes, but clearly it did not. The terrorists were very successful in extending the war into areas not officially allocated to the Jews. . . .
Between 600,000 and 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were evicted or fled from areas that were allocated to the Jewish state or occupied by Jewish forces during the fighting and later integrated de facto into Israel. During and after the exodus, every effort was made -- from the razing of villages to the promulgation of laws -- to prevent their return. . . . According to the partition plan, the Jewish state would have had well over 300,000 Arabs, including 90,000 Bedouin. With the Jewish conquest of areas designated for the Arab state (western Galilee, Nazareth, Jaffa, Lydda, Ramleh, villages south of Jerusalem, and villages in the Arab Triangle of central Palestine), the Arab population would have risen by another 300,000 or more. Zionist leaders feared such numbers of non-Jews would threaten the stability of the new state both militarily -- should they become a fifth column for Arab armies -- and socially -- insofar as a substantial Muslim and Christian minority would challenge the new state's Jewish character. Thus the flight of up to 700,000 Arabs from Palestinian villages and towns during 1948 came to many as a relief. . . .
It wasn't until April 30, 1948, two weeks before the end of the [British] Mandate, that Arab chiefs of staff met for the first time to work out a plan for military intervention. Under the pressure of mounting public criticism, fueled by the increasingly desperate situation in Palestine -- the massacre of Dir Yassin, the fall of Tiberias, the evacuation of Haifa, the collapse of the Palestinian forces, the failure of the A.L.A. [Arab Liberation Army], and the mass flight of refugees -- the army chiefs of the Arab states were finally compelled to discuss the deployment of their regular armies.
Jon Kimche, Seven Fallen Pillars: The Middle East, 1945-1952, New York: Da Capo, 1976 (eyewitness report by a Zionist historian, also recounting the fact that well before May 1948 the Jewish guerrilla group Irgun and the Zionist military organization Haganah had driven most of the Arab population from Jaffa and from large areas of the proposed Palestinian state by force). An excerpt (pp. 226-227):
The battle of Mishmar Haemek [in the first half of April 1948] was an obvious sign of the turning tide, but the Jews were at the same time developing another tactic which, as we now know, made a far greater impact on the Arab population of Palestine. . . . Marching at night, they penetrated to Arab villages far in the heart of Arab-held territory. Occasionally they blew up a house occupied by an active Arab nationalist or by foreign Arab volunteers; in other villages they confiscated arms or plastered the village with warning notices. The effects of such nightly visitations soon made themselves felt throughout the Arab hinterland. They caused great disturbances and started an exodus from the areas lying near to Jewish districts. . . .
Plans were now laid for a crucial attempt to seize the ports of Haifa and Jaffa, and to open communications with the north by the occupation of Tiberias and Safed. On April 21st I noted in my diary: "Arabs increasingly leaving Jewish state area. Almost half have left Haifa. Villages in the coastal plains are being evacuated. Crowded boats also leaving Jaffa" (a predominantly Arab city).
And see Benny Morris, "Operation Dani and the Palestinian Exodus from Lydda and Ramle in 1948," Middle East Journal, Winter 1986, pp. 82-109 (on the expulsion of the Arab populations of Lydda and Ramle in July 1948); Erskine Childers, "The Other Exodus," in Walid Khalidi, ed., From Haven to Conquest: Readings in Zionism and the Palestine Problem Until 1948, Washington: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1987, pp. 795-803 (refuting as thoroughly baseless the claim that the Palestinian refugees fled on orders from Arab leaders); Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, New York: Pantheon, 1987, pp. 81-118 at p. 85 ("recent publication of thousands of documents in the state and Zionist archives, as well as Ben-Gurion's war diaries, shows that there is no evidence to support Israeli claims" that Arab leaders called for the exodus of Palestinian refugees. "In fact, the declassified material contradicts the 'order' theory, for among these new sources are documents testifying to the considerable efforts of the A.H.C. [Arab Higher Committee] and the Arab states to constrain the flight").
63. For the scholarship on the Arab states' reasons for intervening against Israel in May 1948, see for example, Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim, eds., The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001, especially chs. 4 to 8; Avi Shlaim, Collusion across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement, and the Partition of Palestine, New York: Columbia University Press, 1988. An excerpt (p. 193):
It was not only popular clamour for intervention, however, but the knowledge that Abdullah would intervene whatever happened that pushed the Arab governments, with Syria at their head, to the brink of war. From a military point of view, the Syrians had no illusions about their ability to handle the job alone. But from a political point of view they continued to see Abdullah as their principal enemy and were impelled to intervene, if only to prevent him from tipping the balance of power in the region against them.
Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, New York: Pantheon, 1987, pp. 119-152. An excerpt (pp. 126, 128-129):
The overriding issue was the revival of the Hashemite plan for a United Arab Kingdom in Greater Syria -- ruled by the Hashemites, supported by the British, and embracing Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and at least the Arab part of Palestine. . . . [T]he Arab governments were aware of Abdallah's contacts with the Jewish Agency and of his expansionist plans. They tried to persuade him to adopt instead a policy of cooperation with the Arab League. These attempts were without success. For Abdallah, the Greater Syria plan was not only a vision but a concrete political aim to be realized through the efficiency of his own military forces, with British and Zionist support. . . . Although Abdallah continued to be an active member of the Arab League, his real relationships with the Arab states and with Israel became the very opposite of the way they were represented. Officially Israel was the adversary, and the Arab states were his allies. In practice, the roles were reversed. . . .
Philip C. Jessup, acting U.S. ambassador to the U.N. between 1947 and 1952, cast light on the Syrian situation in a report to the secretary of state, in which he concluded that "the real fear . . . is not so much fear of Israel as reason [sic] of the expansion of Transjordan and an increase in Abdallah's prestige in the light of his former Greater Syria ideas. In other words, a fear that a settlement between Israel and Abdallah would only be a stepping stone for the latter -- his next step being attempted expansion into Syria."
Itamar Rabinovitch [later Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.], The Road Not Taken: Early Arab-Israeli Negotiations, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991, especially pp. 171f; Ilan Pappé, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947-51, London: I.B. Tauris, 1992, ch. 4; Ilan Pappé, Britain and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1948-51, London: Macmillan, 1988; Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World, New York: Norton, 2000, ch. 1. See also footnotes 62 and 64 of this chapter.
64. On Abdullah's and the Zionists' plan to partition the area that was to have been the Palestinian state, see for example, Yoram Peri, Between Battles and Ballots: Israeli Military in Politics, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1983. An excerpt (pp. 58-59):
[Zionist leader Ben-Gurion had] reached a tacit understanding with King Abdullah of Transjordan, which allowed the latter to move into the territories west of the River Jordan, which had been allotted by the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan to the Arab Palestinian state. This would limit the war on at least one front, leading eventually to peace; would absolve Israel from having to rule over about one million Arabs, and would pave the way for Israel to join the Western bloc by colluding with Britain's regional client, Transjordan. The crux of the arrangement was that Jerusalem, intended to be internationalized by the Partition Plan, should be divided between Israel and Transjordan. This plan was not revealed either to the Cabinet nor to the military command.
Avi Shlaim, "Israel and the Arab coalition in 1948," in Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim, eds., The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 79-103. An excerpt (pp. 82, 84):
King Abdullah of Transjordan was driven by a long-standing ambition to make himself the master of Greater Syria which included, in addition to Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. King Faruq saw Abdullah's ambition as a direct threat to Egypt's leadership in the Arab world. The rulers of Syria and Lebanon saw in King Abdullah a threat to the independence of their countries and they also suspected him of being in cahoots with the enemy. Each Arab state was moved by its own dynastic or national interests. Arab rulers were as concerned with curbing each other as they were in fighting the common enemy. Under these circumstances it was virtually impossible to reach any real consensus on the means and ends of the Arab intervention in Palestine. Consequently, far from confronting a single enemy with a clear purpose and a clear plan of action, the Yishuv faced a loose coalition consisting of the Arab League, independent Arab states, irregular Palestinian forces, and an assortment of volunteers. The Arab coalition was one of the most divided, disorganized, and ramshackle coalitions in the entire history of warfare. Separate and conflicting national interests were hidden behind the figleaf of securing Palestine for the Palestinians. The Palestine problem was the first major test of the Arab League and the Arab League failed it miserably. The actions of the League were taken ostensibly in support of the Palestinian claim for independence in the whole of Palestine. But the League remained curiously unwilling to allow the Palestinians to assume control over their own destiny. . . .
In 1947, as the conflict over Palestine entered the crucial stage, the contacts between the Jewish side and King Abdullah intensified. Golda Meir of the Jewish Agency had a secret meeting with Abdullah in Naharayim on 17 November 1947. At this meeting they reached a preliminary agreement to coordinate their diplomatic and military strategies, to forestall the mufti, and to endeavor to prevent the other Arab states from intervening directly in Palestine. . . . In return for Abdullah's promise not to enter the area assigned by the U.N. to the Jewish state, the Jewish Agency agreed to the annexation by Transjordan of most of the area earmarked for the Arab state. Precise borders were not drawn and Jerusalem was not even discussed as under the U.N. plan it was to remain a corpus separatum under international control. Nor was the agreement ever put down in writing. The Jewish Agency tried to tie Abdullah down to a written agreement but he was evasive. Yet, according to Yaacov Shimoni, a senior official in the Political Department of the Jewish Agency, despite Abdullah's evasions, the understanding with him was: "entirely clear in its general spirit. We would agree to the conquest of the Arab part of Palestine by Abdullah. We would not stand in his way. We would not help him, would not seize it and hand it over to him. He would have to take it by his own means and stratagems but we would not disturb him. He, for his part, would not prevent us from establishing the state of Israel, from dividing the country, taking our share and establishing a state in it."
See also, Ilan Pappé, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947-51, London: I.B. Tauris, 1992, especially pp. 115-119, 131; Tom Segev, 1949: The First Israelis, New York: Free Press, 1986, pp. 11-15 (brief treatment of the covert relationship between Abdullah and the Zionist leaders); Simha Flapan, Zionism and the Palestinians, New York: Barnes and Noble, 1979, pp. 334-337 (detailing the interactions between Abdullah and the Zionists, including a Memorandum by U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk advocating the partition). And see footnote 67 of this chapter.
65. On Abdullah's plans for Syria and the Arab states' knowledge of them, see for example, Simha Flapan, Zionism and the Palestinians, New York: Barnes and Noble, 1979. An excerpt (pp. 331-332, 328):
[A Syrian report to the U.S. ambassador indicates that Syrian Foreign Minister Barazi:] "said seemingly fantastic story, now widely believed here, that Abdullah has made deal with the Jews 'not without foundation.' According story Haganah [the Zionist military] will counter-invade Syria after crushing Syrian Army then return quickly to Jewish Palestine as Abdullah rushes to rescue. Abdullah would receive plaudits of grateful Syrian population and crown of Greater Syria. . . . Barazi added Syria would not tolerate Abdullah with his royal airs and his black slaves. . . . [H]e added 'We must invade, otherwise the people will kill us. . . .'"
[The U.S. representative at the U.N. noted that the] real reason for present Syrian extremism is not so much fear of Israel as fear of the expansion of Transjordan and increase in Abdullah's prestige in the light of his former Greater Syrian ideas. In other words a fear that a settlement based on arrangements between Israel and Abdullah would be only a stepping-stone for the latter, his next step being attempted expansion into Syria.
Avi Shlaim, Collusion across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement, and the Partition of Palestine, New York: Columbia University Press, 1988, especially ch. 5 and p. 193. An excerpt (p. 424):
The Zionist leaders, of course, were well aware of Abdullah's long-standing scheme to make himself the ruler of Greater Syria. They knew about his family history, his thwarted dynastic ambitions, and his longing to break out of Britain's tutelage. They knew of his dream to make Damascus his capital and his feeling that Amman was no substitute -- a spring-board at best. Not only did they understand all this but they also professed themselves to be sympathetic and supportive. No doubt Abdullah's preoccupation with bringing Syria into his domain suited and was exploited by the Zionists as a means of diverting him from the equally burning preoccupation with bringing Palestine into his domain. Nevertheless, the Jewish Agency had always led the amir of Transjordan to believe that it looked with favour on his ambition to conquer Syria, and this was indeed one of the props of the unwritten alliance between the two sides. The Agency did not pledge its active support for the realization of this particular ambition, but it did promise not to stand in his way. An appeal by Abdullah to Israel to lend him military support for the long-awaited march on Damascus was therefore not as bizarre as it might seem at first sight.
Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, New York: Pantheon, 1987. An excerpt (pp. 151-152):
Even though the Arab Legion was a crack army, it had at most five thousand men and no air force or heavy artillery. It could hardly be expected to defeat the fifty-thousand-strong, well-trained, and well-equipped Haganah. What the Arab states actually feared was that the implementation of Abdallah's secret agreement with Israel would be the first step toward the creation of a Hashemite [Arab royal family] kingdom extending over Syria and Lebanon. This fear explains not only Egypt's intervention -- which was undertaken mainly to foil the plans of Abdallah and his British backers -- but also the overall logic of its military operations. The best of the units, nearly half of the invading force, did not attack Israel. They were sent to the Arab cities of Beersheba, Hebron, and Jerusalem to prevent Abdallah's annexation of these areas, which had been designated for the Palestinian state. The other forces moved along the seacoast northward to Tel Aviv, also in the area designated by the U.N. for the Palestinian state. . . .
Abdallah's first step after occupying Hebron and Bethlehem was to disband and disarm the Palestinian fighting forces and the Egyptians who remained in the area. One week after the signing of the Egyptian armistice, Israel was able to conquer Eilat without firing a single shot.
Itamar Rabinovitch [later Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.], The Road Not Taken: Early Arab-Israeli Negotiations, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991, pp. 15-16; Ilan Pappé, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947-51, London: I.B. Tauris, 1992, pp. 114, 121. See also footnote 63 of this chapter.
66. On Syria's and Egypt's 1949 peace offers, see for example, Itamar Rabinovich, The Road Not Taken: Early Arab-Israeli Negotiations, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991, chs. 3 and 5, especially pp. 108, 168-184 (asking whether Israel missed a "historic opportunity" for peace when the Syrian proposal was rejected in 1949, and briefly describing the 1949 Egyptian proposal which would have created a Palestinian state in the Negev desert and West Bank but would have let Israel keep other territory that was not given to it under the 1947 U.N. partition plan; also discussing Egypt's 1948 overtures); Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, New York: Pantheon, 1987, pp. 205-212.
67. For early acknowledgment of the agreement between Ben-Gurion and Abdullah to partition Palestine, see for example, Jon and David Kimche, A Clash of Destinies: The Arab-Jewish War and the Founding of the State of Israel, New York: Praeger, 1960. An excerpt (p. 60):
[I]n November 1947, Abdullah secretly received Mrs. Golda Myerson as the representative of the Jewish Agency. They discussed the prospects of the resolution to partition Palestine which was then before the United Nations. The King told Mrs. Myerson that he would take over the Arab part of Palestine, for he would not permit another Arab state to be set up; he would then conclude a treaty with the Jewish State. Abdullah foresaw no exceptional difficulties in the way.
68. On the conflict between Allon and Ben-Gurion concerning the secret agreement, see for example, Yoram Peri, Between Battles and Ballots: Israeli Military in Politics, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1983. An excerpt (pp. 58-59):
Ben Gurion . . . had conceived a "grand plan" for the conduct of the war. He reached a tacit understanding with King Abdullah of Transjordan, which allowed the latter to move into the territories west of the River Jordan, which had been allotted by the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan to the Arab Palestinian state. . . . This plan was not revealed either to the Cabinet nor to the military command. The Haganah and Palmach commanders opposed a limited objective war on the eastern front; they wished to conquer the West Bank territories. On this front, military logic sometimes dictated actions that contradicted the political and diplomatic consideration in Ben Gurion's grand plan. . . .
The incongruence between the battle situation and Ben Gurion's intentions was most notably shown in October 1948, when, after the "Yoav" and "El Hahar" operations, the I.D.F. [Israeli Defense Force] forces realized that these two strategic successes . . . made feasible an expedition towards the Hebron mountains and even to the Jericho valley. The Southern Commander, Allon, sought permission to launch the expedition, but was prevented by Ben Gurion's refusal. . . . Allon, astonished at Ben Gurion's decision, asked Yadin, the Head of Operations Branch, for the reason and was told that it was a political decision, imposed by the Prime Minister.
Avi Shlaim, Collusion across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement, and the Partition of Palestine, New York: Columbia University Press, 1988. An excerpt (p. 332):
Ben-Gurion . . . veto[ed] Yigal Allon's plan to extend the gains made in the first stage of Operation Yoav by sending a force to capture or at least encircle Hebron and advance towards Jerusalem from the south. That such an expedition was feasible from a military point of view, no one doubted. . . . [T]he only conceivable reason for the veto of an exceptionally promising military plan is that there were overriding political considerations.
69. Ben-Gurion's view of the extent of "Zionist aspiration" and his proposals about Southern Lebanon appear in numerous sources. For example, in his memoirs, Ben-Gurion expressed his support for a 1937 British proposal to partition Palestine, explaining:
The acceptance of partition does not commit us to renounce Trans-Jordan; one does not demand from anybody to give up his vision. We shall accept a state in the boundaries fixed today, but the boundaries of Zionist aspirations are the concern of the Jewish people and no external factor will be able to limit them.
Quoted in Simha Flapan, "The P.L.O.: A Step Backwards or Forwards," New Outlook: Middle East Monthly (Tel Aviv, Israel), April/May 1977, pp. 2-3.
Similarly, Ben-Gurion's biographer notes that Ben-Gurion wrote to his son that:
A partial Jewish state is not the end, but only the beginning. . . . I am certain that we will not be prevented from settling in the other parts of the country, either by mutual agreement with our Arab neighbors or by some other means. Our ability to penetrate the country will increase if there is a state. Our strength vis-à-vis the Arabs will increase. I am not in favor of war . . . [but if] the Arabs behave in keeping with [their] nationalist feelings and say to us: Better that the Negev remain barren than that Jews settle there, then we shall have to speak to them in a different language. But we shall only have another language if we have a state.
See Michael Bar-Zohar, Ben-Gurion: A Biography, New York: Adama [the centennial edition], 1978, pp. 91-92 (emphasis in original). Later, in May 1948, quite confident of Israel's military superiority -- contrary to the common "David and Goliath" legend -- Ben-Gurion presented the following strategic aims to his General Staff (p. 166):
[W]e should prepare to go over to the offensive with the aim of smashing Lebanon, Transjordan and Syria. . . . The weak point in the Arab coalition is Lebanon [for] the Moslem regime is artificial and easy to undermine. A Christian state should be established, with its southern border on the Litani river [within Lebanon]. We will make an alliance with it. When we smash the [Arab] Legion's strength and bomb Amman, we will eliminate Transjordan too, and then Syria will fall. If Egypt still dares to fight on, we shall bomb Port Said, Alexandria, and Cairo. . . . And in this fashion, we will end the war and settle our forefathers' accounts with Egypt, Assyria, and Aram.
The biographer also recounts the story of Ben-Gurion passing through the Jordan Rift Valley in February 1949, accompanied by a young general whom he admired. Gazing at the Mountains of Edom beyond the Jordanian border, Ben-Gurion asked the general: "How would you take those hills?" The general explained the route that he would take and the forces he would employ, then he asked in astonishment: "Why do you ask? Do you want to conquer those hills?" Ben-Gurion answered: "I? No. But you will conquer them" (pp. 186-187).
Ben-Gurion also made similar statements to an aide at the Egyptian/Israeli armistice talks in Rhodes in 1949:
Before the founding of the state, on the eve of its creation, our main interest was self-defense. To a large extent, the creation of the state was an act of self-defense. . . . Many think that we're still at the same stage. But now the issue at hand is conquest, not self-defense. As for setting the borders -- it's an open-ended matter. In the Bible as well as in our history there are all kinds of definitions of the country's borders, so there's no real limit. No border is absolute. If it's a desert -- it could just as well be the other side. If it's a sea, it could also be across the sea. The world has always been this way. Only the terms have changed. If they should find a way of reaching other stars, well then, perhaps the whole earth will no longer suffice.
See Tom Segev, 1949: The First Israelis, New York: Free Press, 1986, p. 6.
In internal discussion in 1938, Ben-Gurion explained:
[A]fter we become a strong force, as the result of the creation of a state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine. . . . The state will only be a stage in the realization of Zionism and its task is to prepare the ground for our expansion into the whole of Palestine by a Jewish-Arab agreement.
See Simha Flapan, Zionism and the Palestinians, New York: Barnes and Noble, 1979, pp. 265-266.
See also, Yigal Elam, "'Zionist Methods' In P.L.O. Policy," New Outlook: Middle East Monthly (Tel Aviv, Israel), April/May 1977, pp. 14-16. An excerpt:
Zionism never gave up its "vision" of the whole Land of Israel. No Zionist leadership ever admitted its abandonment of the Jewish people's right to any part of the historical Israel. ("Who am I to cede any right of the Jewish people," Weizmann used to say.) Even after the East Bank of the Jordan was severed from the area promised by the British as a national home, the Zionist leadership continued to amuse itself with ideas and even conducted negotiations for Jewish settlement in Trans-Jordan, Syria and Mesopotamia.
For additional discussion and ample similar quotations from Ben-Gurion, see Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, New York: Pantheon, 1987, pp. 13-53. See also, Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World, New York: Norton, 2000. An excerpt (p. 21):
Although Ben-Gurion accepted partition, he did not view the borders of the Peel commission plan [a 1937 recommendation of a three-way partition of Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state united with Transjordan, and districts under British Mandate] as permanent. He saw no contradiction between accepting a Jewish state in part of Palestine and hoping to expand the borders of this state to the whole Land of Israel. The difference between him and the Revisionists was not that he was a territorial minimalist while they were territorial maximalists but rather that he pursued a gradualist strategy while they adhered to an all-or-nothing approach. . . . Both his mind and his heart told Ben-Gurion, "Erect a Jewish State at once, even if it is not in the whole land. The rest will come in the course of time. It must come."
Note that some other Zionist leaders did not even accept partition as a temporary plan. For example, Menachem Begin declared (p. 25):
"The partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized. . . . Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for ever."
71. For the U.N.'s partition recommendation, see General Assembly Resolution 181 (II), Concerning the Future Government of Palestine, of November 29, 1947, in John Norton Moore, ed., The Arab-Israeli Conflict, Vol. III, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974, pp. 313-342 ("Plan of Partition with Economic Union").
72. On the genocidal population decline in the Americas following Columbus, see for example, David E. Stannard, American Holocaust: Columbus and the Conquest of the New World, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992, Appendix I. Stannard cites population estimates for the Western Hemisphere at the time of Columbus of as high as 145 million, with approximately 18 million people in the region that now constitutes the United States and Canada. He reports that even extremely cautious and conservative demographers now concede that the total population of the Americas before 1492 was at least 75 million, with 7 or 8 million people in the region north of what is now Mexico. An excerpt (pp. 120-121):
Between the time of initial contact with the European invaders and the close of the seventeenth century, most eastern Indian peoples had suffered near-annihilation levels of destruction; typically, as in Virginia and New England, 95 percent or more of their populations had been eradicated. But even then the carnage did not stop. One recent study of population trends in the southeast, for instance, shows that east of the Appalachians in Virginia the native population declined by 93 percent between 1685 and 1790 -- that is, after it already had declined by about 95 percent during the preceding century, which itself had followed upon the previous century's whirlwind of massive destruction. . . .
As a result, when the eighteenth century was drawing to its close, less than 5000 native people remained alive in all of eastern Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana combined, while in Florida -- which alone contained more than 700,000 Indians in 1520 -- only 2000 survivors could be found. Overwhelmingly, these disasters were the result of massively destructive epidemics and genocidal warfare, while a small portion of the loss in numbers derived from forced expulsion from the Indians' traditional homelands.
Kirkpatrick Sale, The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy, New York: Knopf, 1990. An excerpt (pp. 315-316):
[T]here is now a rough academic consensus, quite sharply at odds with figures conventionally accepted earlier in this century, that the total number of Indians in the New World at the time of the Discovery was between 60 and 120 million people. (That compares to a population for Europe outside Russia of 60 to 70 million.) Estimates for North America alone similarly range from about 40 to 56 million, the bulk of which -- perhaps 25 to 30 million -- occupied the area of the Mesoamerican state systems south of the Tropic of Cancer and 8 million more the islands of the West Indies. That leaves from 7 to 18 million people north of Mexico, the majority of whom were probably in the mixed horticultural-hunting belt in the Mississippi basin and along the Atlantic coast to Maine.
Francis Jennings, The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest, New York: Norton, 1975, pp. 22, 30 (the "ratio of 90 percent [native population] decline within a century after European contact has been confirmed by other researchers in Spanish America, where work in the field is advanced far beyond anything yet done for the region north of the Rio Grande"; "a relatively conservative and meticulously reasoned estimate . . . has calculated a total aboriginal population for the western hemisphere within the range of 90 to 112 million" before European contact); Michael A. Dorris, "Contemporary Native Americans," Daedalus, Spring 1981, pp. 43-69 at p. 47 (citing figures that the Native American population was reduced from 12 to 15 million people north of the Rio Grande in 1491 "to a low of 210,000 in the 1910 census"); Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present, New York: HarperCollins, 1980 (revised and updated edition 1995), ch. 1, at p. 16 ("The Indian population of 10 million that lived north of Mexico when Columbus came would ultimately be reduced to less than a million"); Ronald Wright, Stolen Continents: The Americas Through Indian Eyes Since 1492, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992 (on genocidal population declines of the Aztecs, Mayas and Incas in South America, and Cherokee and Iroquois in North America).
On the nature of these population declines, see also, Francis Jennings, The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest, New York: Norton, 1975, ch. 13. An excerpt (pp. 164-165):
Virginia was not exceptional [in genocidal actions]. Puritan New England initiated its own reign of terror with the massacres of the Pequot conquest. David Pieterszoon de Vries has left us an unforgettable picture of how Dutch mercenaries acted, under orders of New Netherland's Governor Willem Kieft, to terrorize Indians into paying tribute.
"About midnight, I heard a great shrieking, and I ran to the ramparts of the fort, and looked over to Pavonia. Saw nothing but firing, and heard the shrieks of the Indians murdered in their sleep. . . . When it was day the soldiers returned to the fort, having massacred or murdered eighty Indians, and considering they had done a deed of Roman valour, in murdering so many in their sleep; where infants were torn from their mother's breasts, and hacked to pieces in the presence of the parents, and the pieces thrown into the fire and in the water, and other sucklings being bound to small boards, and then cut, stuck, and pierced, and miserably massacred in a manner to move a heart of stone. Some were thrown into the river, and when the fathers and mothers endeavoured to save them, the soldiers would not let them come on land, but made both parents and children drown -- children from five to six years of age, and also some old and decrepit persons. Many fled from this scene, and concealed themselves in the neighbouring sedge, and when it was morning, came out to beg a piece of bread, and to be permitted to warm themselves; but they were murdered in cold blood and tossed into the water. Some came by our lands in the country with their hands, some with their legs cut off, and some holding their entrails in their arms, and others had such horrible cuts, and gashes, that worse than they were could never happen."
Lenore Stiffarm with Phil Lane, "The Demography of Native North America," in Annette Jaimes, ed., The State of Native America: Genocide, Colonization, and Resistance, Boston: South End, 1992. An excerpt (pp. 34-36):
By the mid-19th century, U.S. policymakers and military commanders were stating -- openly, frequently and in plain English -- that their objective was no less than the "complete extermination" of any native people who resisted being dispossessed of their lands, subordinated to federal authority, and assimilated into the colonizing culture. The country was as good as its word on the matter, perpetrating literally hundreds of massacres of Indians by military and paramilitary formations at points all over the West. A bare sampling of some of the worst must include the 1854 massacre of perhaps 150 Lakotas at Blue River (Nebraska), the 1863 Bear River (Idaho) Massacre of some 500 Western Shoshones, the 1864 Sand Creek (Colorado) Massacre of as many as 250 Cheyennes and Arapahoes, the 1868 massacre of another 300 Cheyennes at the Washita River (Oklahoma), the 1875 massacre of about seventy-five Cheyennes along the Sappa Creek (Kansas), the 1878 massacre of still another 100 Cheyennes at Camp Robinson (Nebraska), and the 1890 massacre of more than 300 Lakotas at Wounded Knee (South Dakota). . . .
Sherburn F. Cook has compiled an excruciatingly detailed chronology of the actions of self-organized white "militias" in northern California, mostly along the Mad and Eel Rivers, for the years 1855-65. The standard technique was to surround an Indian village (or "rancheria," as they are called by Californians) in the dead of night, set it ablaze and, if possible, kill everyone inside. "Much of the killing in California and southern Oregon Territory resulted, directly and indirectly, from the discovery of gold in 1849 and the subsequent influx of miners and settlers. . . . It was not uncommon for small groups or villages to be attacked by immigrants . . . and virtually wiped out overnight. . . ." Thornton has observed that, "Primarily because of the killings -- which some scholars say had been . . . over 700,000 -- [the population] decreased almost by two-thirds in a single decade. . . . By 1900, the combined native population of California numbered only 15,377.
See also, Mark Cocker, Rivers of Blood, Rivers of Gold: Europe's Conquest of Indigenous Peoples, New York: Grove, 1998 (excellent overview focusing on case studies of the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs in Mexico, the British extermination of the Tasmanian Aborigines, the U.S. dispossession of the Apache, and the German subjugation of the Herero and Nama in South West Africa); Hans Koning, Columbus: His Enterprise -- Exploding the Myth, New York: Monthly Review, 1991 (original 1976)(exceptional brief summary of the real history of Columbus's life and voyages); Andrée Collard, ed., Bartolomé de las Casas, History of the Indies, New York: Harper and Row, 1971 (first-hand account, written at the time of Columbus by one of the very few churchmen to protest the savage treatment of the local populations of the Americas by the Spaniards).
For some further perspective on the ferocity of the European conquerors' war methods, see Geoffrey Parker, "Europe and the Wider World, 1500-1700: The Military Balance," in James Tracy, ed., The Political Economy of Merchant Empires, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1991, pp. 161-195. An excerpt (pp. 194, 163-164):
Cortés conquered Mexico with perhaps 500 Spaniards; Pizarro overthrew the Inca empire with less than 200; and the entire Portuguese empire from Nagasaki in Japan to Sofala in southern Africa, was administered and defended by less than 10,000 Europeans. . . .
[T]he Narragansett Indians of New England strongly disapproved of the colonists' way of making war. "It was too furious," one brave told an English captain in 1638, "and [it] slays too many men." The captain did not deny it. The Indians, he speculated, "might fight seven years and not kill seven men." Roger Williams, a colonial governor, likewise admitted that the Indians' fighting "was farre lesse bloudy and devouring than the cruell warres of Europe." Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the peoples of Indonesia were equally appalled by the all-destructive fury of European warfare. The men of Java, for example, were "very loth to fight if they can choose."
73. On treaty violations against Native Americans, see for example, Charles Joseph Kappler, ed., Indian Treaties, 1778-1883, New York: Interland, 1972 (reproducing the texts of 371 ratified treaties with Indian nations); Ward Churchill, Struggle for the Land: Indigenous Resistance to Genocide, Ecocide and Expropriation in Contemporary North America, Monroe, ME: Common Courage, 1993, p. 46 ("Well before the end of the nineteenth century, the United States stood in default on virtually every treaty agreement it had made with native people"); Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present, New York: HarperCollins, 1980 (revised and updated edition 1995), ch. 7; Angie Debo, And Still the Waters Run, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1940 (updated edition 1991)(on how the "Five Civilized Tribes" in what became Oklahoma were deprived of their land and autonomy by the U.S. government). See also, Vine DeLoria and Clifford M. Lytle, American Indians, American Justice, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983, p. 34 ("treaties with Indians stand on the same footing as those made with foreign nations").
74. On Hitler's use of the treatment of the Native Americans as a model, see for example, John Toland, Adolf Hitler, New York: Doubleday, 1976. An excerpt (p. 702):
Hitler's concept of concentration camps as well as the practicability of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history. He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the wild West; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America's extermination -- by starvation and uneven combat -- of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity.
Joachim C. Fest, Hitler, New York: Harcourt Brace, 1973, p. 214 (Hitler's "continental war of conquest" was modeled "with explicit reference to the United States"); Richard L. Rubinstein, "Afterword: Genocide and Civilization," in Isidor Wallimann and Michael N. Dobkowski, eds., Genocide and the Modern Age: Etiology and Case Studies of Mass Death, Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1987, p. 288 ("Hitler saw the settlement of the New World and the concomitant elimination of North America's Indian population by white European settlers as a model to be followed by Germany on the European continent").
Hitler's attitude was far from unique. Comparing the Arabs in Palestine to a dog in a manger, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill remarked (Clive Ponting, Churchill, London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1994, p. 254):
I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger, even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit, for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race, or at any rate, a more worldly-wise race, to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.
See also, Theodore Roosevelt [U.S. President, 1901-1909], The Winning of the West, New York: Current Literature Publishing Company, 1905 (original 1889), Vol. IV. An excerpt (pp. 54-56):
No other conquering and colonizing nation has ever treated the original savage owners of the soil with such generosity as has the United States. . . . It is indeed a warped, perverse, and silly morality which would forbid a course of conquest that has turned whole continents into the seats of mighty and flourishing civilized nations. All men of sane and wholesome thought must dismiss with impatient contempt the plea that these continents should be reserved for the use of scattered savage tribes, whose life was but a few degrees less meaningless, squalid, and ferocious than that of the wild beasts with whom they held joint ownership. . . .
Most fortunately, the hard, energetic, practical men who do the rough pioneer work of civilization in barbarous lands, are not prone to false sentimentality. The people who are, these stay-at-homes are too selfish and indolent, too lacking in imagination, to understand the race-importance of the work which is done by their pioneer brethren in wild and distant lands. . . . The most ultimately righteous of all wars is a war with savages, though it is apt to be also the most terrible and inhuman. The rude, fierce settler who drives the savage from the land lays all civilized mankind under a debt to him. . . . [I]t is of incalculable importance that America, Australia, and Siberia should pass out of the hands of their red, black, and yellow aboriginal owners, and become the heritage of the dominant world races.
Andrew Jackson [U.S. President, 1829-1837], "Indian Removal and the General Good," in Louis Filler and Allen Guttmann, eds., The Removal of the Cherokee Nation: Manifest Destiny or National Dishonor?, Boston: Heath, 1962, pp. 49-52. President Jackson stated in his "Second Annual Message" of December 6, 1830:
Humanity has often wept over the fate of the aborigines of this country, and philanthropy has been long busily employed in devising means to avert it, but its progress has never for a moment been arrested, and one by one have many powerful tribes disappeared from the earth. To follow to the tomb the last of his race and to tread on the graves of extinct nations excite melancholy reflections. But true philanthropy reconciles the mind to these vicissitudes as it does to the extinction of one generation to make room for another. . . . Nor is there anything in this which, upon a comprehensive view of the general interests of the human race, is to be regretted. . . .
The present policy of the Government is but a continuation of the same progressive change by a milder process. The tribes which occupied the countries now constituting the Eastern States were annihilated or have melted away to make room for the whites. The waves of population and civilization are rolling to the westward, and we now propose to acquire the countries occupied by the red men of the South and West by a fair exchange, and, at the expense of the United States, to send them to a land where their existence may be prolonged. . . . Rightly considered, the policy of the General Government toward the red man is not only liberal, but generous.
David E. Stannard, American Holocaust: Columbus and the Conquest of the New World, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. An excerpt (p. 120):
[T]he surviving Indians later referred to [President George] Washington by the nickname "Town Destroyer," for it was under his direct orders that at least 28 out of 30 Seneca towns from Lake Erie to the Mohawk River had been totally obliterated in a period of less than five years, as had all the towns and villages of the Mohawk, the Onondaga, and the Cayuga. As one of the Iroquois told Washington to his face in 1792: "to this day, when that name is heard, our women look behind them and turn pale, and our children cling close to the necks of their mothers."
[President Thomas] Jefferson . . . in 1807 instructed his Secretary of War that any Indians who resisted American expansion into their lands must be met with "the hatchet." "And . . . if ever we are constrained to lift the hatchet against any tribe," he wrote, "we will never lay it down till that tribe is exterminated, or is driven beyond the Mississippi," continuing: "in war, they will kill some of us; we shall destroy all of them. . . ." Indeed, Jefferson's writings on Indians are filled with the straightforward assertion that the natives are to be given a simple choice -- to be "extirpate[d] from the earth" or to remove themselves out of the Americans' way. Had these same words been enunciated by a German leader in 1939, and directed at European Jews, they would be engraved in modern memory.
For a comparison of North America and Palestine, see Norman G. Finkelstein, The Rise and Fall of Palestine: A Personal Account of the Intifada Years, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996, pp. 104-121.
75. For the German book, see Bruni Höfer, Heinz Dieterich, and Klaus Meyer, eds., Das Fünfhundert-jähringe Reich, Médico International, 1990.
76. For Morison's statement, see Samuel Eliot Morison, Christopher Columbus, Mariner, Boston: Little, Brown, 1955. The exact words (p. 129):
By 1508 a census showed 60,000 of the estimated 1492 population of 250,000 [on Hispaniola] still alive, although the Bahamas and Cuba had been raided to obtain more slaves. Fifty years later, not 500 remained. The cruel policy initiated by Columbus and pursued by his successors resulted in complete genocide.
The book's final paragraph states (pp. 198-199):
He had his faults and defects, but they were largely the defects of the qualities that made him great -- his indomitable will, his superb faith in God and in his own mission as Christ-bearer to lands beyond the seas, his stubborn persistence despite neglect, poverty and discouragement. But there was no flaw, no dark side to the most outstanding and essential of all his qualities -- his seamanship.
One notable exception to the tradition in early scholarship on Native Americans that is described in the text is the nineteenth-century writer Helen Hunt Jackson. See Helen Hunt Jackson, A Century of Dishonor: a Sketch of the United States Government's Dealings with some of the Indian Tribes, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995 (original 1880).
77. On the Mexican War, see for example, Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present, New York: HarperCollins, 1980 (revised and updated edition 1995), ch. 8.
78. For media depiction of Israel as having a unique moral quality, see for example, Nat Hentoff, "The Compassionate Pilot and the Awkward Corpses," Village Voice, September 14, 1982, p. 6. An excerpt:
From the start of the Jewish state, there has indeed been a tradition, tohar haneshek ("purity of arms" or "morality of arms"), in the Israeli armed forces. Until now [i.e. Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982] Israeli soldiers had to be very, very careful about injuring civilians, let alone killing them.
Editorial, "Israel and torture: A case for concern," Sunday Times (London), June 19, 1977, p. 16. Commenting on the paper's report on torture in Israel -- which is cited in footnote 38 of this chapter -- the editors remark:
The subject merits such intensive treatment . . . because Israel occupies a special place in our world. Israel itself has always made justice, the rule of law and the fair treatment of Arabs central to its claim to nationhood. It was founded in idealism following oppression and this is one of the emotional obstacles: few people are prepared to believe that Israelis, as members of an ancient community which has for centuries been victim of persecution, are capable of persecuting others.
Editorial, "Harshness, and Hope, in Israel," New York Times, February 19, 1988, p. A34. This editorial notes: "As Israel suffers, so do its friends. What are they to think, and feel, when this tiny nation, symbol of human decency, behaves unrecognizably?" The phrase "as Israel suffers" in this case refers to the reported killing of 59 Palestinians, and accusations of Israeli soldiers inflicting "bone-breaking beatings" and "burying four young Palestinians alive with a bulldozer."