I’m Afraid of a Zionist Holocaust: Alan Hart
Interview | Alan Hart | Muhammed Noushad
ALAN HART had been an author and activist on the West Asian geopolitical crisis, for several decades. He wrote books exposing Zionism and campaigned for a peaceful solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. A British journalist, broadcaster, scholar and activist, Alan Hart died in January 2018, aged 75. In this long interview, which was done by MUHAMMED NOUSHAD during Alan’s Calicut visit years ago, Alan Hart passionately talks about Zionist lobbying, the then President Obama’s incompetent West Asian policies, Hamas leadership, potential solutions for the crisis, his views on the Palestinian counter-violence etc.
How did the Zionist lobby respond to your well-researched book Zionism: the Real Enemy of the Jews?
They tried to frighten the publishers. Now they are trying to suppress me. I made my life difficult by writing this book. I will tell you a very short story. In London, there is highly prestigious debating society that debates at the Royal Geographical Society. The debate is on any major issue – either domestic or global or whatever. It has a paid-up membership, 90 percent of them are Jews. If you like it or not, the cream of the London’s intellectual business is Jewish society. Six months before my book was published, they agreed to have a debate on the title of my book, “Zionism, the real enemy of the Jews”. This was historic to have a largely Jewish group agreed to discuss this topic, it was a breakthrough. But it put the Zionist lobby on notice that this book is coming. One of my dear Jewish friends, Ilan Pappe – one of the leading revisionist historians, a very different man, whose latest book is called The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians – told me, “Zionism can suppress my book or any book, but your book will be a major problem for them, because its title ‘Zionism, the Real Enemy of the Jews’ is the truth in seven words. It is when the world understands that there is difference between Zionism and Judaism, the pressure starts to mount on Israel. What does a book do? Can books change history? I think they can, to a point. No government on earth is ever going to change any of their policies, be it the global warming or justice to the Palestinians, unless and until they are pushed to do so by informed public opinion. I have written this book for this purpose, to push the governments towards this.
For the first time a young African-American, Barak Obama, has assumed the office at the White House. How will this affect the West Asian policies of the US?
One can invest great hope in Obama. I was in a minority a year ago who thought he would win. I thought he would win because of one phrase he opted. He told his American fellowmen that he wanted to replace “fear” with “hope”. That was a magic wand with which he could win the election. Because all the Bush regime did for eight years was to make Americans frighten of everything in general and Muslims in particular. So, when Obama used this slogan, I told myself this would strike the right chord. But what has happened since? I think, we are all going to be very very disappointed with Obama. The man he has appointed as the chief of staff is basically a real, long experienced Zionist operator. As a student, he was one of the activists who campaigned for Zionist interests, he also served in the Israeli army, he is probably Mossad or whatsoever. He is the chief of staff for Obama. I have friends who know the Obama camp well, they tell me that he is virtually a prisoner of the Zionist lobby. This is not my judgment, this my fear.
Does it mean that the worldwide optimism on Obama is very naive?
It’s true that we are inspired by his rhetoric. It even moved me. But frankly, I am of the opinion that it almost doesn’t matter who is in the White House. There is so many powerful vested interests pulling the screws. And I think if he wants to step too far beyond their line, he can be shot. That’s not an outrageous thing to say. They do shoot presidents in America. They did shoot Kennedy. They did shoot his brother. They did shoot Martin Luther King. It can happen. I have been also told over months by people who know Obama well that he really does understand the essence of the Palestinian problem and knows what is to be done. But I think he won’t be allowed to act even if he wants to. I think the key is with the Jews of the world and the Jews of America in particular.
However, I think there is a new climate. There is the beginning of real information into the American system, there are awesome signs that Jews are beginning to speak out now, though not in large numbers. But they are beginning to speak out. No American president is going to call Israel into account unless he is pushed to do so by the public opinion. The more explicit statement is, he won’t do it unless and until he knows a majority of Jewish Americans want him to do so, to protect their own interest. There are signs that this could happen over time. But you have to understand why the Jews of the world are so silent. Because most the Jews have a fear in their gut, not in their heart, of another holocaust, the world turning against them. So they see subconsciously Israel as the refuge or last resort, the place they could run to. That is why they are silent. They say we mustn’t criticize Israel, we mustn’t harm ourselves as this is our last resort.
It is ironic that Israel’s behaviour is promoting Antisemitism which could bring another holocaust. It’s my view, and many thoughtful Jews share it, if Antisemitism really starts again, it might well start in America. Because, the Zionist lobby basically controls American politics as it is related to this problem.
During my several visits to America, I have spoken to lots of Congressmen. Privately they hate themselves for yielding to the Zionist lobby. But that is currently the American system. My point is if the time comes, when the Americans break free, they will want their revenge. And they may well be the first to turn against the Jews. This is a deep truth.
Back to Obama, it has been reported that in one of his campaign addresses, he delivered some outright pro-Israeli speech.
Oh, he was doing more than that. In one of his conferences, he made a dreadful statement on Jerusalem, that it must remain the undivided capital of Israel. Everybody in the world knows that Israel’s invasion is illegal, it is against the international law. That includes the occupation of Jerusalem. Almost everyone who has run for American presidency has had similar opinions, but they never delivered on it. But he actually made the great error of talking about it. However, there was an effective correction from either himself or from his camp about this statement. Still it was a monumentally stupid thing to say. But most American presidents tend in elections to kiss the backside of the Zionist lobby. They tend to sing whatever song the Zionist lobby want them to sing. It is tragic.
It is also said that the American establishment has always been in support of the Zionist nation. Is it merely because of the powerful lobbying? How far conducive is the existence of Israel for America’s West Asian policies?
Your statement is not quite correct. The establishment has not always been pro-Israeli. There was one president, and he was the first and the last to stand up to Israel and asked it to get out of the occupied land without conditions, that’s Eisenhower. He was the president for two terms. In 1956, Briton and France collided with Israel to invade Egypt to claim back Suez canal. Nasser came to power in a coup in Egypt in 1951, he was the first real Arab nationalist leader. He wanted to restore the dignity of the Arab world. He wanted to unite the Arab world. But he was the first Arab nationalist leader and one of the things he did in 1956 was to nationalise the Suez canal, which he had every right to do. And the British wanted to take it back. So they colluded with France and Israel to attack and take back the Suez canal and to topple Nasser – that was the plan. President Eisenhower didn’t know about this, someone around him knew about it, but he didn’t. And he was extremely angry. He threatened to cut off all funding to Briton. And he told the Israelis, you get the hell out of these occupied territories. He said if the world ever allows this kind of behaviour, then the international law is inefficient.
But he was the first and the last. He was succeeded by President Kennedy, who was assassinated. If Kennedy had lived to have a second term, there is absolutely no question that he was going to call Nasser to Washington for a dialogue with Nasser and Israel. John F Kennedy understood what has to be done. And he was going to tackle the problem. I am not saying that he was killed by Zionism. I merely say that if he had had a second term, he was going to take it seriously. But he was succeeded by President Johnson, who was preoccupied with Vietnam. He had an emotional tie with the suffering of the Jews in Nazi camps. From President Johnson onwards, all of them have been too frightened of offending Zionism.
Last year or so, the Iranian President Ahmadi Najad was reported to have made an undiplomatic statement that Israel has to be wiped out from the world map.
He has been so seriously misquoted. He was inaptly and completely misquoted. This speech has been seriously anlaysed on tapes. What he actually said is not different from what I am saying or Ilan Pappe is saying. What he actually said to be ended and wiped out was Zionism. He was saying the Zionist entity, the colonial Zionism has to be ended and wiped out. He was not saying that he wanted to drive all the Jews into the sea. He didn’t say that. He was saying the Palestinians must have their justice.
What is the take of Hamas leadership on dealing with the reality of Israel?
Hamas, Hizbollah and Iran are all very firmly on the record as saying that they will accept whatever the Palestinians will accept. That is the bottom line reality. The Hamas leadership is, I think, intellectually of a higher quality than the leadership Palestinians have ever had before. Their leaders are very intelligent, least stupid. If tomorrow Israel said we are now ready to negotiate seriously a two state solution with Jerusalem the capital of two states, Hamas leaders would immediately say let’s do it. But Israel is not going to say that. Anyway the two state solution is dead, but it is not buried. But because of the ongoing expansion, of the Israeli settlement, there are now half a million illegal Jewish settlers including in West Bank. It may be that half of them would leave in turn of money and would be ready to settle somewhere else in Israel. But half of them would fight. And they would fight to death.
You have been engaging in the Israeli Palestinian crisis for long. There are various solutions put forward. Where do you stand?
In my view there is only two way out now, as it is already too late. The first option is one state for all, in which the Jews now living there and the Palestinians have complete equal rights. That’s one possibility, the genuine one-state solution. The other is catastrophic for all. My fear is of a Zionist holocaust. Right now we have a government headed by Mohammed Abbas, whose government has become an effective tool of American foreign policy and Zionist interests; it is useless, but even it will not accept the crumps the Zionism will be offering. My fear is that there will come a time when Zionism says, ok, we force the Palestinians to accept the crumps, it’ll invent a scenario to drive the Palestinians off the West Bank into Jordan or wherever. And there will be slaughter and massacre. That’s what I call Zionist holocaust. I think that could happen. But the implications of that would be profound.
I think the whole Arab world has a revolution that is waiting for the time to happen. What the people in the west don’t understand is that the Arab world is two things. It is the masses who are anti-American and they want justice to Palestinians, and it is the leaders and the ruling elites who are politically impotent and corrupt. The masses basically hate them. So if Israel would have to do something terrible, that might be the trigger for the masses to bring down their leaders. Arab exiles say me that the Arab world has been longing for this revolution for 60 years. I think it will happen.
I think it has to be said, we have to define anti-Americanism of Arabs and Muslims. Arabs and Muslims are not anti-American or even anti-America. They are anti-American foreign policy. If Barak Obama had a magic wand, he could change the region of this world overnight. If he had this magic wand and if he wades it to get Israel back behind its 1967 borders to bring about the two state with Jerusalem city the capital of both, he would immediately have the respect and thanks and support of 95 percent of the whole Arabs and probably most of the overwhelming majority of Muslims. So he could change it. Because I know Arabs and Muslims hate what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan and that is part of the problem. But it is Palestine and the injustice and double standards it represents, it is the real symbol of the Arab and Muslim hatred of America.
In Palestine, we can see a lot of despair, gloom and frustration. It appears in the form of terror strikes and suicide bombings. How do you understand this?
I don’t actually support it, I’ll try to explain it. It is despair and lack of hope among people that breeds terrorism. What terrorism gives its fuel is despair. When life in this place becomes absolutely hopeless it is unfair. I’ll illustrate it another way. In America there are hundred million Christian fundamentalist mad people, the Armageddon. So I ask why this hundred million turn to this obscene nonsense called Christian fundamentalism? It is because there is a hole in their lives in terms of meaning and purpose. They try to fill it with religion hoping that it will satisfy them. They tried worshiping the god of materialism, it didn’t satisfy them, so they have a hole into which all the junk comes pouring in. It is a similar mechanism. When you are in Palestine, you have been betrayed by the Arab regimes, now they feel more or less betrayed by their own leaders, and the world doesn’t care. This leads to loss of hope, despair and this leads to supporting terrorism. And the truth is when Black September happened in Munich Olympics that was the major operation that drew the attention of the world to their problem. It was terrorism for public relations. After that moment the media didn’t give a damn. I am not seeking to justify terrorism, I am seeking to explain it. Ehud Barak, the former Prime Minister and currently the Defense Minister of Israel once said “if I was a Palestinian, I would be a terrorist”.
When media cover Palestinian violence and the Zionist atrocities, there is serious bias and complete double standard.
Israel has become the exception. Basically there are two set of rules in the world. There is one set of rules for the behavior of states for all states with the exception of Israel. And this one set of rules is for Israel. You can argue that in recent years, the Briton of Tony Blair and the America of George Bush have started behaving by the exceptional rules. But essentially Israel has always been allowed to break every rule in the book. It was mainly out of terrorism and ethnic cleansing that Israel came into being. Israel has used state terrorism time to time. Still, it was only recently that BBC got around talking constantly of occupied territory. The media is just absolutely terrified of offending Zionism too much.
Apart from commercial pressures of Zionism, another element is the public myth behind the creation of Israel. You see, I am an example. When you are born in the west, of my generation, you can’t come out of your mother’s womb without being conditioned by Zionism’s version of history. I couldn’t find out the truth until I came close to the Arab leaders partly for the secret diplomacy I had to play. It was only then that I began to understand that there is another version of history.
The Zionist conditioning uses the tragedy of holocaust. However, there is a group of historians who say that though the holocaust did happen, it didn’t happen in the magnitude as it has been propagated. What do you think?
I completely condemn holocaust denial. I believe it is criminal as the crime itself. Six million Jews were killed and Nazis would have killed even more. They could have eliminated the whole Jews. But it is true that had there been no holocaust, there wouldn’t be any Israel. It was Zionism’s apparent justification. All real experts of Zionism agree this. There are two denials – holocaust denial which all Jews condemn. But there is also, Zionism’s own denial of ethnic cleansing. There are not just one denial in the world, there are two denials.
You have been brought up in a Judeo-Christian culture and have been very close to Islamic culture as well. How do you estimate yourself in your religious views?
Among the world’s three great religions, I think Christianity is dying, in spite of American fundamentalist groups. Christianity is preached but not practiced. Zionism is destroying Judaism. One of my dearest Jewish friends, Hajo Meyer, a holocaust survivor now based in the Netherlands, has written a wonderful book – The End of Judaism: An Ethical Tradition Betrayed. That leaves for Islam. I personally believe that Islam is in a great mess. I think if Islam is not to be demonised forever, Islam needs its very best souls to take the Quran and start giving some new definition to say it means this and it doesn’t mean that. These people would have to deny all the extremist groups, who say we can do this because the Quran says this. I think that is a major challenge as Muslims are being demonised again and again whenever the extremists misinterpret the Quran. I personally don’t believe in a god in hell or heaven. I believe god is inside each one of us. I think god is the name you can give to the potential of goodness inside each one. God is now a prisoner inside us, now we have got to liberate it.
[Originally appeared in Thejas Fortnightly; all photographs from the internet]