The White Flag of Peace
In a move that caused relief for a global community concerned with nuclear arms build-up and weapons of mass destruction, Iran recently announced its willingness for a scrutiny into its nuclear program. There has been a rising uneasiness among Western countries that Iran’s development of its nuclear facilities included a secondary goal; the creation of depleted uranium weapons from the byproducts of the enriched uranium used for their nuclear reactors. Iran has repeatedly stated its nuclear development program was initiated only for peaceful purposes. According to the leaders of Iran, nuclear facilities were necessary to provide energy to a country that was reluctant to reduce its oil reserves for fuel and was concentrating on using them solely for oil-based products.
In February of 2012, the supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei stated during a meeting in Tehran with the directors and officials of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), “The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons. There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”
A month earlier in the same year, U.S. Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta had declared Iran was pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, but was not attempting to produce nuclear weapons. This, however, has not alleviated the fears of a Western population that feels that development of Iran’s nuclear technology could produce weapons of mass destruction that would upset the balance of power in the Mideast. The axis for this balance of power lies in Israel.
If the rest of the world is relieved that Iran has returned to the table to discuss the nuclear proliferation treaty, Israel is not. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected Iran’s peace talks, urging the International community to continue, and even increase, its sanctions on Iran until it completely dismantles its nuclear program. According to Israeli officials, Iran’s attempts to include Israel in the peace talks are nothing more than a cheap diversionary tactic to pressure Israel into revealing its own nuclear weapons capacity.
There are four countries in the world that have never ratified or acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; India, Pakistan, South Sudan and Israel. Israel neither denies nor admits to a stock pile of nuclear arms although there is strong evidence that its arsenal does exist. Israel began actively developing its nuclear capacity program from its earliest days as a fledgling country, when in 1949 it began a two-year geological study of the Negev desert in search of uranium reserves. Although no significant amounts were discovered, it did find recoverable uranium in the region’s phosphate deposits.
In the early 1950’s, Israel was ready to begin building a massive nuclear facility at Dimona. Under its chairman, Ernst David Bergmann, the country had not only perfected a method for extracting uranium from the phosphate deposits in Negev, but had developed a new method for producing heavy water, giving Israel the capacity for producing essential nuclear materials. For the design and construction of a nuclear power plant, Israel appealed to France, an ally in the Cold War that was rapidly making an impact on the Mideast. Bergmann stated at the time that the development of an Israeli (nuclear) bomb was the best way to ensure that “we shall never again be led as lambs to the slaughter”.
France agreed, signing the papers on October 3, 1957 that would begin construction of a 24 MWT reactor with cooling systems and waste facilities designed to handle three times the power. Not committed to the formal paperwork was a chemical processing plant. The entire complex was constructed in secret by French and Israeli technicians in Dimona.
The United States first became aware of the project in 1958 when two U-2 overflights took footage of the facility’s construction, but it was explained away alternatively as a textile plant, a metallurgical research facility and an agricultural station. In December, 1960, David Ben-Gurion admitted that the Dimona project was a nuclear research center, but stated it was built for “peaceful purposes”.
By then, France was already becoming nervous about the project and was pressuring Israel to make it public and submit to international inspections of the site. It threatened to withhold the reactor fuel if it did not. In a compromise, Israel promised France it would not make any atomic weapons if France would continue to supply the uranium and finish construction. In 1964, the reactor went critical and the Israeli nuclear weapons program became an established fact.
The United States has been aware of the possibility that Israel has been constructing and stock-piling nuclear warheads since 1968, but has been tactfully looking the other way. It was widely reported in 1967 that Israel had two bombs that were put on alert during the three day war. Alarm struck again in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War when it was reported that Israel had assembled thirteen twenty-kiloton atomic bombs. Although the actual size of Israel’s stockpile of weapons is uncertain, it is estimated that it now has at least one hundred nuclear weapons.
The Zionist Agenda
The early years following World War II garnished a lot of sympathy for the Jewish people, which was understandable considering the Holocaust. Not only was there shock and horror, many Western countries were plagued with feelings of guilt that they had not come to the aid to the victimized ethnic group sooner. Add to this, the movies and documentaries that poured through the media insuring this was a crime that would never be forgotten. Yet in the face of growing evidence that Israel has repeatedly been the perpetrator in Mid Eastern conflicts and refuses to disclose its nuclear weapons capacity, many have begun to wonder why the Western countries continue to support Israel’s aggressive tactics.
The history of the Zionist movement actually reaches back to a time period before World War II. It initially began with a pamphlet written by Nathan Birnbaum, entitled “Auto-Emancipation”, discussing anti-Semitism and the need for Jewish self-rule and the development of a Jewish national consciousness. A political scandal involving, Alfred Dreyfus, a young French officer wrongfully accused of treason, brought the issue of anti-Semitism to the forefront. The affair caused an Austro-Hungarian journalist, Theodor Herzl, to seek a Jewish state that would enable Jews to join the family of nations and escape anti-Semitism.
Along with Nathan Birnhaum, Herzl organized the World Zionist Organization. The objectives were to the promotion of a settlement in Palestine for Jewish farmers, artisans and manufacturers, the organization and union of Jewry as a whole, both locally and Internationally, the strengthening and fostering of Jewish national sentiment and national consciousness and preparatory steps toward obtaining the consent of governments to reach the goals of Zionism.
The degree of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe during the late eighteen hundred’s and early part of the twentieth century drove Jewish immigration into the United States and England. By 1920, Jewish immigration into these two countries had increased ten times over, with an American Zionist membership of 200,000. In 1917, British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, drafted the declaration that stated the government’s favor for the establishment of a national home in Palestine for the Jewish people, emphasizing that the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities should not be prejudiced. With the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, the League of Nations endorsed the Balfour manifest.
Much of the early favoritism toward the Jewish state was initiated by Edmund de Rothschild, heir to the Rothschild fortune. A supporter of the WZO, his main investment was in the creation of settlement towns in Eretz Yisrael. The result was the creation of twelve settlements under Rothschild’s Jewish Colonization Association. At the time of his death in 1934, his efforts had resulted in reclaiming 500,000 dunams (amount of land that can be plowed in one day) and thirty settlements.
Growth of the Zionist Nation
When Britain announced its intention to withdraw from Palestine in 1947, the United Nations proposed dividing the country into a Jewish state and an Arab state. Although the Jewish state accepted this, the Arabian communities did not, initiating the long, drawn-out war that continues to this day. The issue concerned immigration. The Jewish people needed a place to ensure they would never again be persecuted, and the Arab coalition could not afford a break in their solidarity.
By then, Israel had gained the support of the International community. A massive defense fund was created by both Jewish and non-Jewish sympathizers. Although border clashes were the primary issues, much of the early motivations were political, involving the rights over who controlled the Suez canal, and the tapping by Israel of the water in the Jordan River for irrigation in the Negev desert.
In 1967, Israel abruptly changed from a defensive stance to aggressor. In what was to be known as the six day war, Israeli forces attacked Egypt. The element of surprise guaranteed Israel superior air power. They advanced quickly, seizing the eastern half of Jerusalem, which included the Western Wall of their ancient temple, the West Bank from Jordan, the Gaza Strip from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria. The control of the West Bank and Gaza placed them in the position to control a large population of Arab Palestinians.
Currently, forty percent of the world’s population of Jews live in Israel. The financial instrument of the Zionist Organization is the Bank Leumi, originally known as the Jewish Colonial Trust. Its earliest transactions included land purchases, imports and gaining concessions. It provided loans to farmers and to the Ahuzat Bayit association, which built the first Jewish settlement in Tel Aviv. Today, Bank Leumi holds $85 billion in assets and reports a profit margin of $289 million for the first half of 2013. It has 13,500 employees with subsidiaries in twenty countries, including the United States, Great Britain and Switzerland.
Oliver Stone, a prominent Hollywood director, claims a Jewish population dominate the US media, making it difficult to gain an accurate perspective pf the Mideast crisis. Stone claims the influence of powerful Jewish lobbying in US foreign policy has distorted the American view for years, adding that he felt US policy toward Iran was “horrible”. “Iran isn’t necessarily the good guy”, stated Stone, but added that America did not know the full story.
Certainly Jewish executives are prominent figures in the media. Michael Eisner who was CEO and chairman of Walt Disney Productions until 2005, is a Jew. The huge conglomerate includes several television production companies, two video production companies and its own cable network with 14 million subscribers. Warner Brothers was founded by Jewish immigrants and continues to be dominated by Jewish executives. Warner also owns Time magazine. Viacom Inc., headed by Sumner Redstone, who was born as Sumner Murray Rothstein, is the third largest megamedia corporation in the United States.
Can We Give Peace a Chance?
The Zionist movement is well-funded and has created a nation that appears to believe it is untouchable. It has operated in secrecy since at least the early 1960’s, extending its boundaries, refusing to participate in the non-nuclear proliferation act, and systematically persecuting the people of Palestine. In 2012, Holocaust survivor, Yaoz-Gist published a poem in which he stated, “if you force us yet again to descend from the face of the Earth to the depths of the Earth – let the Earth roll toward nothingness”. This has been interpreted as a strategy echoed by the former prime minister of Israel, among others, as the use of nuclear weapons by Israel to take out Israel’s enemies with it, possibly causing irreparable damage to the world.
The Zionist ideal is not shared by all Jews. Although there is a general opinion that the Jewish people should have a state to retreat to in the even of persecution, many believe Israel has gone too far. Among the religious, there is a great deal of lamentation that Zionists is neither cultural or spiritual, and that Israel can only be reclaimed with the coming of the Messiah.
Iran has agreed to sit down and talk about its nuclear program, but insists on its right to uranium enrichment, denying it has interest in weapons development. It has already had experience with the deployment of weapons of mass destruction. Over 100,000 Iran troops and civilians were victims of chemical weapons during the Iran – Iraq war.
Israel continues to criticize Iran’s campaign, stating it sees little reassurance that Iran would not eventually threaten the Jewish state with nuclear weapons. U.S. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said he would pursue tougher Iran sanctions when the Senate reconvenes following the holiday season. President Barrack Obama has urged Congress to hold off on any new sanctions to avoid derailing diplomacy in Geneva.
The crisis in the Mideast represents the longest war ever fought in modern times. It has been a war involving political aspirations, economics and religion. It is a war that has taken us closer to a nuclear winter than the power struggles during the Cold War. It is a war that has created double standards, refusing the rights of some countries to develop their technology and others, such as Palestine, the very right to existence. In a global society, we need global answers. We cannot afford to choose what simply feels the most comfortable. We cannot choose alliances based on religious or political preferences. We must put aside our prejudices in favor of moral and ethical decisions, and we must insist that Israel, which has ignored global council, be held accountable for its actions.