Benny Morris is pathetic.
The once crowned prince of The New Historians, Morris is in no small way responsible for the advent of post-Zionism — a movement which Nobel Prize Laureate Robert J. Aumann said at last week’s Herzliya Conference is an even greater threat to the continued existence of the Jewish state than Iranian nuclear capabilities.
With rhetoric like that being chucked around, it of course makes perfect sense that Morris — seeing that the post-Zionist trip leads nowhere other than to marginalization and disenfranchisement — would do a 180 and come out all David Horowitz in order to win back the favor of American and Israeli money-power. Post-Zionism is a dead end for an Israeli academic: There’s no honor in being a “useful idiot.” There’s no money in it either. Not in the Jewish community at least. And shit, who wants to be in league with the likes of Ilan Pappé and Norman Finkelstein? I sure as hell don’t.
Thus Morris made his foray back into the good graces of “the dominant paradigm” in the beginnings of this decade, most notably recanting his supposed sins in a 2004 Haaretz interview, claiming ‘Hey, you got me all wrong! I don’t think Israeli ethnic cleansing went far enough!’
His latest act of crowd pleasing was a January 6 op-ed in Die Welt, called “The second Holocaust will not be like the first,” which Zionist hysterics jumped all over, proclaiming, ‘See, see, even the crazy Lefties think we should nuke Iran!’ And thus Morris has served his purpose, no longer a “useful idiot” for the powerless, but a “useful idiot” for those in whose hands rests the fate of humanity.
The second Holocaust will not be like the first. The Nazis, of course, industrialized mass murder. But still, the perpetrators had one-on-one contact with the victims. They may have dehumanized them, over months and years of appalling debasement and in their minds, before the actual killing. But, still, they were in eye- and ear-contact, sometimes in tactile contact, with their victims.
The second Holocaust will be quite different. One bright morning, in five or 10 years’ time, perhaps during a regional crisis, perhaps out of the blue, a day or a year or five years after Iran’s acquisition of the bomb, the mullahs in Qom will convoke in secret session, under a portrait of the steely-eyed Ayatollah Khomeini, and give President Ahmadinejad, by then in his second or third term, the go ahead.
The orders will go out, and the Shihab III and IV missiles will take off for Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa, and Jerusalem, and probably some military sites, including Israel’s half-dozen air and alleged nuclear missile bases. Some of the Shihabs will be nuclear-tipped, perhaps even with multiple warheads. Others will be dupes, packed merely with biological or chemical agents, or old newspapers, to draw off or confuse Israel’s anti-missile batteries and Home Guard units.
With a country the size and shape of Israel, an elongated 8,000 square miles, probably four or five hits will suffice: no more Israel. A million or more Israelis, in the greater Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem areas, will die immediately. Millions will be seriously irradiated. Israel has about 7 million inhabitants. No Iranian will see or touch an Israeli. It will be quite impersonal.
Are you fucking kidding me? What is this fear-mongering nonsense?
Yakov Rabkin, author of A Threat from Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism, took a stab at Morris’ bloviatings in this morning’s Jerusalem Post, giving him, in my estimation, way more credit than he deserves for what seems so evidently the panderings of a man whose countrymen view him as the progenitor of an existential threat greater than the nuclear annihilation he prophesies.
In his exquisite response to Morris’s editorial, Rabkin writes:
Morris’s fatalism is explicable. Zionism has been a rebellion against Diaspora Judaism and its cult of submission, humility and appeasement. It has been a valiant attempt to transform the humble Jew relying on divine providence into a intrepid Hebrew relying on his own power. This transformation has been an impressive success. Israel has acquired the mightiest military in the region, but this has brought her neither peace nor tranquillity.
Morris could have concluded his essay by quoting a Bible prophet: for it is not by strength that man prevails (Samuel I 2:9). Intimately familiar with the history of the creation of modern Israel, he could have proposed ways to recognize the injustice done to the Palestinians for the sake of establishing and expanding the Zionist state. He could have called on his compatriots to seek ways to correct the injustice and thus assuage the grievances of the Palestinians that have plagued Israel throughout her history.
Morris would then be pointing a way out of the violent impasse. As it stands now, his prophecy may only legitimize military strikes against Iran and further escalation of violence in the region. Once again Israel may come out victorious, but the Israelis will continue to live in fear of the next enemy.
I, of course, believe Rabkin to be correct. To stay the present course is naught but insanity.
But truth be told, lately I tend to agree with Morris — in so far as I believe there will be another Holocaust. Yet I believe it will be the Holocaust we are least expecting, and one, incidentally, that Morris himself is helping bring about.
We have little to fear of Iran. I think it’s fairly clear by now that this whole thing is a setup: Ahmadinejad wants this war. He’s punching our buttons so that we’ll give him this war, counting on our propensity for post-Shoah hysteria to act irrationally. And in the end, we stand to gain nothing, and he stands to gain the world. Every time he says “The Zionists will be their own undoing,” he is simply revealing his hand. Lebanon was just a test run for his own “Nasrallah is the Muslim Che Guevara” moment.
No… We have much more to fear of ourselves — our own worst enemies.
It doesn’t matter whether it actually was, or it was not: At this point, it would appear that the accepted wisdom is that the war in Iraq was cooked up by Zionist neoconservatives willing to sacrifice American lives and American interests for the sake of Israel. It may not be the accepted rhetoric playing on the five o’clock news, but it’s only a matter of time.
You can talk ’til you’re blue in the face about all manner of economic interests which created the pretext for this failed war. Hell, I could go on about peak oil and the Project for a New American Century’s plans to secure “American global preeminence” for a week. I can provide all manner of evidence and legitimate, rational argument to support the contention that the Bush administration played the Jewish community to advance a war that simply wasn’t in our interests. It don’t matter. Because no matter how solid your case is, some smart-alecky Zionist turd will simply come along and throw a “George Bush is Israel’s best friend” monkey wrench into your whole defense, and in the process give legs to every crackpot antisemitic conspiracy theory within earshot.
So where are we at? AIPAC is in the dock. Congressional junkets to Israel have been nixed. The US is about to feed Israel a shit sandwich for deploying clusterbombs in Lebanon (which has already resulted in a suspension of arms shipments). Walt and Mearsheimer’s abortion of a working paper is making its rounds through the Pentagon, and retired military brass are penning op-eds about how Israel’s free ride needs to come to an end. The most high profile scandal to rock the administration thus far revolved around a visibly Orthodox Jew. Mel Gibson and David Irving are getting played up as heroic voices speaking truth to power. Antisemitism is on the rise, rise, rise. And the series of tubes is all abuzz with anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiments spanning from the far Left to the far Right, steadily creeping towards the center from the edges.
The canary gave its fatal gasp and its chirp went silent at least a year ago. But the Jewish community simply doesn’t know when to call it quits.
Bad enough 3,000 American soldiers have come home in boxes draped with stars and bars (something that’s not even our fault) and 30% of the Jewish community (including its wealthiest 1%) are out there cheerleading the shit. No… Now we’re asking for a war. Demanding a war. With who? An army infinitely more ruthless, more committed, and more resolute than any in the entire western world. (The Revolutionary Guard simply don’t fuck around. Plastic keys anyone?) You throw one more invasion of a sovereign Middle Eastern state into that mix, and you’ll see Sunnis and Shiites putting their differences far, far behind them, galvanizing a mass resistance that will shift the power balance in the Middle East in favor of Islamic fundamentalism ’til the end of eternity. And when that happens — when the war with Iran falls to utter shit and America gets its ass handed to it and the country collapses economically from a military debt it couldn’t repay with the next 100 years of projected GNP — guess who’s taking the fall?
Whereas the Iraq war may have the ambiguous appearance of being advanced in Israel’s interests, the American Jewish community and the Israeli government are taking the charge in driving America into yet another unwinnable and unsubstantiated war. And this time they will be held accountable. And there will be hell to pay.
Scott Ritter writes in The Nation:
I would strongly urge Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate, to hold real hearings on Iran. Not the mealy-mouthed Joe Biden-led hearings we witnessed on Iraq in July-August 2002, where he and his colleagues rubber-stamped the President’s case for war, but genuine hearings that draw on all the lessons of Congressional failures when it came to Iraq. Summon all the President’s men (and women), and grill them on every phrase and word uttered about the Iranian “threat,” especially as it has been linked to nuclear weapons. Demand facts to back up the rhetoric.
Summon the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), or any other lobby promoting confrontation with Iran, to the forefront, so that the warnings they offer in whispers from a back room can be articulated before the American public. Hold these conjurers of doom accountable for their positions by demanding they back them up with hard fact. See if the US intelligence community concurs with the dire warnings put forward by these pro-war lobbyists, and if it doesn’t, ask who, then, is driving US policy toward Iran? Those mandated by public law and subjected to the oversight of Congress? Or others, operating outside any framework representative of the will of the American people?
If a real case, based on facts as they pertain to the genuine national security interests of the United States, can be made for a confrontation with Iran that leads to military conflict, so be it. America should never shy away from defending that which legitimately needs defending. The sacrifice expected of our military forces, while tragic, will be defensible. But if the case for war with Iran is revealed to be as illusory as was the case for war with Iraq, then Congress must take action to stop this conflict from occurring.
Keep pushing, kids. Keep pushing.
When the angel of death passes over the city next time around, at least my forehead gets a ‘Ãº’.