[AAARGH in English ] [AAARGH en francais ] [Thion]


European History and the Arab World

by Serge Thion


The text below [1] was intended to be the forward to the Arabic edition of the book, "Historical Truth or Political Truth?", scheduled to appear at the end of 1982. That publication project, and the translation into Arabic, was undertaken by a group of Lebanese militants, without the knowledge of the authors, except at the last moment, as the translation was underway. This forward was proposed by Serge Thion, and was accepted. The book was to appear in Beirut, when the Israeli invasion of Lebanon took place. The printing equipment was destroyed and the translation was lost under conditions that we have not been able to reconstruct precisely, since the small group that undertook the publication initiative was scattered by the turmoil.


A thousand times, it was repeated in the press, the courts and the radio that the Faurisson Affair was a machination against Israel and a roundabout way to promote the Palestinian cause. The president of LICRA, Mr. Pierre-Bloch, who sued Faurisson, said on the radio (Europe No. 1, Expliquez-vous Program of Ivan Levai, 17 December 1980) that he had on his desk, copies of Faurisson's work in many languages, including Chinese, and that all of this was paid for with Kadhafi's gold. In the logic of Israel's unconditional defenders, any difficulties encountered by Israel or the Zionists emanate from a single source, devoted surely since the destruction of the Temple to the destruction of the Jewish "people."

The devilish aspect of this source changes with time. But it is always possible to name it. It was Hitler, during his time. But since Hitler's death, it has been necessary to depict as Hitler, those who succeeded him in the devil's image: Abdel Nasser, Kadhafi [2]

Faurisson's attorney, Mr. Eric Delcroix, had mischievously requested through the courts that M. Pierre-Bloch produce the documents he pretended to possess. Silence was the liar's only refuge [3]. We have to say things exactly as they are. The Faurisson Affair, which started being talked about after 1978, had almost no reverberations in the Arab World until the writing of this article, in January 1982 [4]. The aim of this book is, hopefully, to make it known and thus provoke some reflection in Arab circles that are interested in the critique of contemporary ideologies, for reactions to this Affair illustrate several, rather important, ideological mechanisms.

I kept certain Arab friends informed of the developments in this Affair, just as I kept American, German, English, Japanese and other friends informed. I learned that my book was reviewed by some people at the Institute of Palestinian Studies, but nothing ever happened. A publisher in Beirut was interested and decided to publish the book. I am sorry to tell Mr. Pierre-Bloch that the transaction took place in a businesslike manner and that we never saw the devil's claws. It could have been an interesting encounter.

There was, however, a grain of truth in the paranoia behind the attacks launched against Faurisson and all those, like myself, who have contributed to make public the discussion of his theses. This grain of truth is that there is a link between the tragic lot of many European Jews during the Second World War and the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Arab countries. Since this book bears my signature, I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to describe how I understand the relations between these two issues, and also to talk about the uses to which I would like this book to be put, in the Arab countries.

I may be better understood if I tell how I have tackled the Palestinian question. I was nineteen years old. I was not forced to reflect on these nagging problems by events at that time, but I was rather led by a certain disposition to learn from life's encounters and circumstances. I wrote this little personal story in 1973 for a book about the Palestinians, which, as it turned out, never saw the light of day. I have used notes and souvenirs from that time. Here is my story.



Summer, 1961. Cairo lay flat under the scorching sun. War continued raging in Algeria and the French, like other tourists, were rare in Egypt. In Cairo, the air was full of a lingering odor of black fever. Agrarian reform, High Dam, Egyptian-Syrian Union were the subjects of Abdel Nasser's superb diatribes at the height of his glory. There were many beggars on the streets and they were roughed up by white uniformed cops. In the countryside, the stooped peasants went on repeating their millenarian gestures.

I had discussions with Dr. Adel Amer, the manager of a French language magazine, Le Scribe, put out by the Information Ministry. It reflected closely the official views, and I could read it in my own language. During a conversation where I expressed a rather superficial understanding of the Israeli problem, Dr. Amer offered to get me a visa for Gaza.

I shared then what I think was and still is in general the dominant view about Israel in France. European persecutions led the Jews to look for a land of refuge and a return to the promised land after nineteen centuries in the diaspora. With skillfulness and courage, the Jews knew how to foil British intrigues and Arab deceit. Driven by a spirit of solidarity, they built kibbutzim and made the desert bloom. The Jews, who suffered so much, deserve this, and Israel's enemies were antisemites, accomplices, Hitlerian butchers, whether they knew it or not. This is probably the core issue: one can only be pro-Israel, for anti-Zionism and antisemitism were one and the same thing. The proof was that the Jews themselves assert it. Weren't they, the victims, best qualified to designate the antisemites?

Certainly, some voices rose to say that Zionism was a colonial phenomenon, but basically, assimilation seemed abusive. Some elements, among others gleaned in Cairo, seemed to give comfort to my opinions. The speeches of Choukeiry, General Secretary of the Arab League, were clearly antisemitic. In secondhand bookstores near the Opera House, one could find anti-Jewish brochures, such as the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" (reissued in Beirut in 1973) that everybody knows to be a crude invention of the Czarist police. I even met a bizarre German living in Cairo who looked like a former Nazi. I was also told of the massacre in Deir Yassin, a small Palestinian village, whose inhabitants were liquidated in cold blood in the course of an Israeli military operation. But don't people get killed in war? Finally, I was told of the Palestinian refugees, but I suspected that this was a new propaganda ruse. The best thing was to go and see for myself.

The train went through the rich landscape of the Delta, the enormous market town of Zagazig, and reached Ismaïlia around eleven o'clock, following the Canal for about twenty kilometers. Ships' masts unfolded behind a continuous wall of dunes, the accumulation of dredging residue. They seemed to move on sand, hauled by invisible arms. Then the train followed the coast. The fine sand of the desert to the right covered the travelers like a white powder. The train would stop every once in a while by a lonely palm tree to pick up some emaciated Beduins, or women dressed in beautiful embroidered black and red dresses, decorated with silver coins, which I recognized as Napoleon III and the Ottoman seal.

As soon as we passed the last Egyptian city, El Arish, surrounded by a garrison, we entered Palestine and greenery slowly replaced the desert. I was surprised to see on the road a small white car with UNEF marking. Is this a French student delegation? (This was, at the time, the acronym of the French National Union of Students.) Then, there were two jeeps with the same UNEF marking, driven by big, bearded, armed and blue turbaned Sikhs. I would later learn that these were the famous blue berets and that UNEF means United Nations Emergency Force.

Gaza is a large oasis, a crummy town with a main street lined with rather dilapidated houses, sandy alleys and -- the camps. Eight camps, each of which holds between twenty and fifty thousand refugees living in monstrous barracks, tents and shacks planted in the sand. The crowd was dense, especially in the afternoon, after the heat had subsided. Men clustered together in cafes to play jaquet and listen to Sawt el Arab, the powerful Egyptian radio station, where the slightest news item was portrayed as a Homeric tale. Despite the crowd, I quickly noticed that I was followed. During the eight days I spent in the Gaza strip (which refers to the shape of this territory, which is devoid of a definite political status), the cops followed on my heels. I had a clear impression that they belonged to different intelligence services.

Only once did I succeed in shaking them off, during an afternoon I spent walking in a camp on the beach. Luck had it that some suspicious youths asked to see my papers, which I categorically refused to show. Surrounded by a crowd that swelled by the minute and became increasingly more hostile, I was taken to a police station where I could talk quietly to two young Egyptian officers. With a budding beard in addition to my unusual presence on the beach near the Israeli border, I was taken for an Israeli spy.

As for me, I found this episode rather funny, but as an apology, the Gaza police chief invited me for dinner. The man was worth seeing: an enormous barrel of fat with puffy eyes topped by a cap. The meal was for his size rather than mine. Some muttering and finger snapping brought a table loaded with a dish of rice covered with fried fish, amply sufficient to feed a dozen solid men. Despite my courageous attack, I could only make an insignificant hole in it, which brought upon me paternal but firm reprimands from my host. He seemed to expand further by gulping down the dish in rapid and precise heaps. The ordeal ended with hookahs that we smoked calmly, exchanging for the second time my few Arabic words and his few English words.

My contacts with the refugees were more meaningful. With the help of an interpreter provided by the local authorities, I soon developed frank and cordial relationships with some Palestinians. I forced myself to claim being French, which sparked off a lively discussion on the Algerian problem. Then they told me about their painful experience, how suddenly caught up by the military operations, they only had time to run away with some rags, and how they thought, in the beginning, that they would be able to go back to their homes in a few months. Some also spoke about demonstrations of refugees in the camps in 1949 and about bludgeonings by the Egyptian police.

They complained about the miserable life they had to lead ever since, the absence of elementary dignity while immersed in poverty and overcrowding. The Gaza region could obviously not meet their needs. This small fertile area fed about a hundred thousand people who did not flee. The influx of about two hundred thousand refugees required external intervention. This was in the form of an organization set up by the United Nations: UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency).

Quickly, UNRWA had to take charge of all the material needs of several hundred thousand people displaced in Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. In 1960, the number of refugees was well over a million.... Over four hundred thousand of them lived in four states bordering Israel. They were completely dependent on UNRWA, which spent half of its resources on food rations consisting mainly of flour. Fifteen hundred calories per person per day, which is not much. All the camps I visited in Gaza and elsewhere testify to nutrition deficiencies. As a doctor said, the sun is here to protect against rickets, but the hospitals are crowded with patients typically weakened by malnutrition.

UNRWA took care of health, education and the administration of the camps. From the outset, the refugees showed an intense desire to see their children go to school -- the only hope for a new generation that sought to make a living other than through agriculture, for the chance to recover their lands was almost nil. With great difficulty, UNRWA set up primary, secondary and technical schools for youth born in exile. This could not solve the problem completely, since local job opportunities were rare -- local commerce and UNRWA administration. One had to go into exile even farther, to Europe or the United States, to earn money to send to the family that remained in the camp. The vast majority of administrative and technical personnel in the Arab peninsula was made up of "temporarily" immigrant Palestinians.

But they could not all go. Those I met in Gaza were waiting, in the irritating climate of the camps, for a hypothetical chance to work or continue their studies on a scholarship in an Arab country. For adults, there was no way out. Farmers or nomads, they knew how to make a living only from the land. Palestine under British mandate was not a desert, as some propaganda had it. It had its fertile regions and its citrus cultivated land. The Lebanese of the South remember the time when they were considered poor by their Palestinian neighbors.

The economic situation of the Arab world was not exactly thriving in the early l950's. The newly independent states had not yet sparked new economic currents. The Israelis, who never paid a penny to insure the survival of refugees, always accused the Arab countries of refusing the integration of Palestinians. But even a cursory study of the economic situation at that time would show that integration was impossible, assuming that the Arab states wanted it. With time and the relative development of Arab countries, two thirds of the Palestinians had found (prior to the Six Day War) some way of surviving outside the camps.

For the others, in particular those in Gaza and Jordan, where local economic resources were nonexistent, life consisted of forced idleness in the camps and a nagging desire to return to the native land. This was better grasped by walking with refugees along the demarcation line in Gaza. One of them, motioning to a group of houses in the distance, said: "This is the land of my family, the house where I was born. We planted tobacco until the Jews came and drove us out of our homes. When will we return? When will our children regain their home? We will retake Palestine because it belongs to us."

In one way or another, this was the basic view of all the refugees. A silent obsession, a violent burning desire, without concession. Sometimes, these statements came with a certain staging. When I arrived at the hospital waiting room in Bureij camp, I was greeted by a patient in pajamas, up on his bed, ranting about the miseries which burdened the Palestinian people. His vibrant speech was interrupted by applause and enthusiastic shouts. But beside this spectacle that was more flattering to its actors than to its lonely spectator, I met worried, confused, idle young people, going around in circles in their few square kilometers, worked up by the fervor of the return. They felt without a future, and the idea of dying for the homeland seemed to them more appealing than living like caged dogs.

Sometimes, a youth group would attack a Blue Beret patrol with knives, stealing their weapons. Some Swedes and Yugoslavs lost their lives. Armed with these weapons, the improvising Feda'yin would enter Israel and get caught -- which meant they never came back.

The 1956 Israeli occupation traumatized Gaza residents almost as much as the l948 exodus. While socialist Guy Mollet was sending his paratroopers to link up with the British over Port-Said, the Israelis were taking hold of the Sinai. Each had different and complex motives. The British were mostly interested in the Suez Canal that Abdel Nasser had just nationalized. The French believed that by hitting Egypt, they could sever the head of the Algerian uprising, which, Paris maintained, "was foreign inspired." As for the Israelis, they wanted to control Gaza, the already festering Palestinian sore on their side, and to secure strategic positions on the Canal and on the Red Sea straits of Tiran through which ships reach the port of Eilath. It is well known that frowning in Washington and in Moscow put an end to this pitiful Anglo-French escapade. But the Israelis did not want to let go of their piece. On November 5, 1956, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the principle of sending an urgent international force to insure and supervise the cessation of hostilities. The Blue Berets had to wait four months before the Israelis agreed to evacuate the Gaza strip.

The offensive and occupation resulted in hundreds of deaths among the population of the camps. They showed me photographs of mass graves uncovered after the departure of the Israeli army -- hostages, I was told, gunned down by way of reprisals. Where is the truth? In any case, accounts given by young Palestinians led one to think that Israeli military occupation was neither better nor worse than other military occupation. Occupation breeds resistance which breeds reprisals.

In the train taking me back to Cairo, I reflected on my trip. It suddenly dawned on me that this fabulous dream, the creation of a Jewish state, which could be a sure asylum for victims of persecution, had cost dearly. It was far from the self proclaimed oasis of humanitarian idealism. On the ground, history smelled of gunpowder and blood. Innocents paid the price -- not a handful of people, but hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. They were reduced to physical and mental misery in order to, we were told, give relief to the survivors of Hitler's persecutions. Obviously, European opinion had two measuring standards. Who cared about the fate of one million Arabs? What can be thought of the creation of a state based on the inviolable wrong done to its inhabitants? To accept the Zionist enterprise was to accept the dispossession of some by the force of others. This was to accept that might had precedence over right, an idea I had the weakness to oppose. History shows how far it can lead.

Even when wrapped up with incantations, the refugees' feelings were based on the experience of guns at their backs. Their fears were not without foundation, for since 1967, they had been living under the iron rule of the Israeli army. This time, the policy of collective punishment was clearly recognized by the occupation authorities.

What was the solution? For the refugees, there was only one: to fight. But everybody was opposed to it, the Blue Berets as well as the Egyptian army. At a mass meeting in Gaza, Algerian FLN leader Mohammed Harbi urged the Palestinians to follow the Algerians' example: count on themselves, take up arms, and take control of their cause. Egyptian officials got upset and never invited the Algerians to Gaza again. Lacking organization, there was no alternative to individual initiatives. It was from this ferment of shame and despair that Palestinian organizations would take root some years later.

Kept in the dark for a long time, Western opinion was surprised. Upon my return to Paris, I tried to publish an article summarizing my impressions of Gaza. Under various pretexts, I was turned down everywhere. Hector de Galard said that "France Observateur" had published an article on Israeli women the preceding week. François Maspero said that the article was not exactly in the style of "Partisans" magazine, etc.[6]

It had to wait until the 1967 Six Day War. Feda'yin's activities had noticeably increased. The material responsibility lay certainly with Arab governments, who provided the Palestinian militants with the means to fight. Arab governments' boasting increased. The Israeli government cried murder: the Arabs are about to annihilate Israel. This was absurd to anyone who knew even a little about the situation. The disproportionate balance of forces was too flagrant for Israel's existence to be in danger in case of a conflict.

Yet, the enormous Israeli propaganda lie, spread first by Zionist groups, then by the press, "took off" with prodigious speed. Public opinion in France (and elsewhere) was carried away by the Zionist tidal wave. To prevent threatening maneuvers by the Syrian army -- which was later contested by Israeli officers -- the Israeli army took the initiative, and in a few days of a lightening offensive, crushed all the Arab armies -- thanks to its absolute mastery of air space. In Paris, while Israel was brilliantly demonstrating its superiority on the ground, the hysteria reached the roof. Marching together in demonstrations were retired generals, former OAS generals ready to enlist in Israel, extreme left militants, and petit bourgeois who had never demonstrated in their lives.

I was alarmed to see many of my Jewish and non-Jewish friends struck by this wild feeling of guilt: Israel must not be destroyed. The simple fact of questioning this idea would quickly expose one to accusations of antisemitism, Hitlerism, etc. I found these accusations rather amusing, but I could not view without sadness the wavering of good sense in a number of people that I had thus far taken to be reasonable. A chasm of irrationality opened at my feet. Had the war lasted a little longer, one would have seen, side by side, the veterans of Algeria eager for the opportunity to "break wog," and militants who worked for the FLN during the Algerian war. I will not name names....

The dazzling victory of Israel's armies changed almost nothing in this atmosphere. These perceptions continued to prevail in a small coterie that prevented the French, for example, from realizing that, technically speaking, there was no difference between Israel's occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, and German occupation of France during the Second World War. Rare were those who, like Pierre Vidal-Naquet, saw by means of self criticism that Israeli politics, like the politics of any other state, was based on force. How many still believe that Israel is not a "state like other states" and are ready to blindly justify whatever it does. We will not be a party to these craven ideas.



I went back to the Middle East several times for stays too short to my liking. I had the opportunity to carry on discussions with many members of Palestinian organizations of various tendencies. I often gave the following talk:

You took up arms because the situation you are in has no solution. If it weren't for the Feda'yin of the 1950's, history would have forgotten you and left you to rot in the camps. You have taken your place among the movements that are struggling for national emancipation and liberation from the colonial yoke. You have learned the language of revolution; you were inspired by revolutionary struggles of other countries under other conditions. You have learned to organize, to mobilize the masses; to use weapons, to negotiate with powers -- big and small -- that have influence in your region.

Yet, from 1956 to the present, you have not advanced much. Despite your courage, despite the heroism of your combatants and of their families, hardened by mourning, return to Palestine has not come any closer. And many of your martyrs fell under Arab bullets.

I see an essential reason for this. Maybe I speak out of ignorance, but I have known many national liberation struggles. Some were defeated while others were not. There is more to learn from defeat than from success. To me, the essential reason seems to be the following. One has to be strong before taking up a gun. Guns alone decide almost nothing. In spite of the correctness of your cause, you were not the stronger and you have not won. You tell me it was impossible to take up arms inside Israel, even after 1967. It was necessary to take up arms outside and bring war to the enemy's bastion. But you have taken them up before being strong. A lot of political work should have been done inside Israel among both Arabs and Jews. This work of political persuasion had to be done quietly, without weapons, without warrior heroism, like ants, with an infinite patience, a patience even greater than the suffering born of occupation and exile. I know very well that you have undertaken some actions in this direction. But it is too little, for priority was given to violent confrontation, infiltration and commando operations, whose main outcome was to reinforce fear among the Israeli population. The stronger you have hit, the harder they have become, as reflected in their fanatic leaders, who dream of solving everything by increasingly greater violence. Maybe the conjuration of international interests will allow the formation of a state on some scrap of land, as it did in 1948 for the Jewish state. This would be a pathetic outcome for such a long and bitter struggle. It would solve neither the problem of Palestine, nor that of the Palestinians in other Arab countries. Your divisions are such that a good portion of you would be excluded from this state at the same time that the other portion takes power. A Pax Americana means that neither war nor peace would be favorable to you.

Believe me, I have no advice to give you, but I only repeat what I saw elsewhere: when a struggle gets underway, when the players take to the arena, the game is already over. No matter how long the battle, or how violent the blow, the winner is the one who was better prepared, the one who holds the crushing weight of the conviction that he knew how to win, well before taking the first step.

I gave this talk even when it aroused only scepticism and irritation. And through the years, I noticed the serious development of militarization, an increased isolation of the organization from the Palestinian population, forced to survive under increasingly harsh conditions, a growing underground influence of old social formations: the notables and the grand families, village solidarity, the budding of a bourgeoisie nourished by money paid to the Resistance by friendly but rather interested states. All this, cemented by a morbid fascination with weapons and death, maybe inherited from old Bedouin traditions, leads to a profound depoliticization.

The intensity of political discussions must not hide this depoliticization, for these discussions are meant as short term balance of power tactics, rather than as long term perspectives toward the elaboration of a program. The larger the role of the Palestinian Resistance as a factor in the international diplomatic game, the smaller becomes its presence as a force capable of social change. In other words, there is room on the ground for revolution. Those who will occupy it, will not be able to make this revolution by remaining inside the Palestinian Resistance as it is, but rather by opposing what it represents, since its beginnings, which is the aspiration of the Palestinian bourgeoisie to run its own state.

Whether my reader likes it or not, it is clear that the seat of the revolution is empty. The small groups that are manipulating revolutionary rhetoric are much too busy posturing as future guides of an eventual phantom working class, to go into real action on the ground. To them, the concrete is in manuals. But those sterile inbred groups of theoreticians are disappearing everywhere in the world through simple exhaustion [7].

It is clear that I am neither in favor of a show of force and bloody confrontations, nor of false diplomatic solutions or dreams of a protector state. I rather feel a profound compassion for all those individuals, Arabs and Jews, of all languages and all religions, who for two or three generations have lived wars, exile, threats and repression on top of misery. Cosmopolitan and devoid of religious, national or cultural allegiance, I challenge parties, institutions and ideals, and I have no friends other than particular human beings scattered across this battlefield.

It is, therefore, with total personal independence that I approached the Faurisson Affair in 1979. It seems to me that it is undoubtedly related to Middle East affairs. It is not the subject of this book, but can be that of the following few lines.

All goes back to the Second World War. I mean the political, economic and financial infrastructure of the international order that prevails today. It was the object of consultations and decisions taken by the Allies sometime before the fall of Germany and Japan. The United Nations system and the special rights still held by the five victors of 1945 (the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, France and China), the Bretton Woods agreements on the international monetary system that led to the supremacy of the dollar, the territorial divisions between East and West, the political systems imposed on one or another country, etc. All this was planned and decided on in 1944-45 mainly to avoid the fiasco of the Treaty of Versailles, that everybody felt had generated the Second World War.

Even though these agreements did not generate a new world war, they nonetheless created permanent worldwide tension and a multitude of severe local conflicts, due essentially to the refusal of some local political forces to fit the mould set up for them by Yalta (I use the term Yalta in the general sense of the implicit and explicit inter-Allied agreements of 1944-45). The Greek left, the workers of Berlin, and the Vietnamese nationalists, among others, did not understand the lessons of Yalta. They were taught at gun point, from 1947-48 onward. The death throes of the old order gave way to the Cold War as a logical outcome of the principle set at Yalta, which consists in preventing direct confrontation between the Allied victors.

This common victory was part of the winners' ideological capital. Everyone had to exploit it in order to avoid direct confrontation, which would have been the natural expression of their antagonistic interests. The greater the mutual hostility between the Soviets and Westerners, the more they had to take stock of their participation in Germany's defeat as a justification of their presence in Europe and as a political cover in the regions under their military control.

That is why, when Germany was bleeding from defeat and in economic ruin brought about by aerial bombardment, and as the territorial carving out hurtled onto the roads millions of "displaced persons" in total misery, expelled from the territories of the East -- at this time, the Allies were conducting the trial of Germany and the Nazis. The latter had certainly behaved savagely towards populations under their control: hostage taking, massacres, deportations. It was a heavy toll. As they were giving Germans great lessons in diplomatic morality, the Allies reopened the concentration camps and filled them up with German civil servants, military personnel and Nazis [8].

As the German leaders of the Hitler era had embarked on an intense antisemitic propaganda campaign, and systematic persecution of Jewish communities under their control, the Allies had no trouble turning this propaganda against the defeated regime. It was easy to show that the Nazi regime behaved with extreme brutality, and that its racist doctrine manifested itself in massive disappearances. But a propaganda machine polished by years of war and encouraged by growing rivalry among yesterday's brothers in arms could not stop overnight and transform itself into an erudite institute of historic research. The more so that this anti-Nazi propaganda was taken over and amplified by a crowd of opportunists and bunglers of all sorts, who were yearning to finally bring their contribution to a victory won without them. The very real horrors of the Nazi regime snowballed and got transformed into an avalanche that submerged a public opinion already fed rumors and noises for years. During this time, the true victims, the survivors of the camps, resumed their lives with difficulty and, for the most part, remained silent, finding it too difficult to communicate the unspeakable horror they had experienced to people who did not care or who wanted to use them ... and who, anyway, knew much better than they did what had happened and what ought to be said about it There was, of course, the usual lot of those who for partisan reasons transformed themselves into professional witnesses.

It was in this atmosphere of cheap hysteria that the State of Israel was created. There is barely a need to say that, to its real promoters, and as part of a more realistic analysis of things, it had to do with the necessity of change in the structures of domination in the Middle East following the somewhat forced departure of the French and the exhaustion of the British, and the rivalries between these two blocs. Philanthropy was not a big part of it. There, too, a new era started and new elements appeared in the Western hegemony, henceforth mainly American, that would be perpetuated in the region. The creation of a Jewish state protected by America was part of these new elements, and these elements were of the same order as the changes intervening in Iran, Iraq, etc. The pressures of Arab nationalism, though geographically uneven, created some disorders in Western plans. Successively, Egyptian, Iraqi, Syrian, Sudanese, Yemeni, Libyan and Iranian regimes went through abrupt changes that were threatening to Western interests, if only by introducing a new giant partner.

All this means that the creation of the State of Israel had obviously nothing to do with what had happened between the Nazis and Jewish communities in Europe, and that considerations about the prewar legacy did not enter into the strategic calculations of the post-war era. But there was a fully functioning ideological construct at the disposition of the Allies, including the Soviet Union, namely, the culpability of Germany, charged with all wrongs. Because the Jews were persecuted, justice must be rendered them, and justice was to grant them the state they asked for, or rather, that the Zionists had been asking for on their behalf for the past fifty years.

In a certain way, Zionism was failing. The creation of the state of Israel was only the first step; it had to be made viable, populated and developed. Admittedly, after the war, a number of Jews uprooted by persecutions had come to settle in Palestine. But the movement soon dried out as the economic reconstruction of Europe got underway. The influx of Jews from Arab countries did not figure in the computations of Eurocentric Zionism that had superbly ignored them and was embarrassed by them. The creation of Israel and the victory of 1948 sparked almost no enthusiasm in a diaspora that no longer had reason to be attracted by adventure.

Zionism had its own ideological foundations and inflexible dogmatic articulations. Its nineteenth century style of nationalism was no longer profitable, it had lost its power of attraction as antisemitism became taboo. That is why it took some time, about a dozen years, to shift gears, and plunge into genocide ideology as a course of action in a diaspora unwilling to emigrate to a promised but hardly promising land. The Eichmann trial of 1960 was the "aggiornamento" of today's new style Zionism. It put in place a system of double guilt: First, the Jews are guilty of not paying the State of Israel a high enough price for their survival, then the non-Jews of the West are guilty of having been, willingly or not, accomplices of the Nazis.

It was the right moment because German guilt was the basic tenet. We have witnessed the development of what may be called the Holocaust religion brought about by allies eager to give themselves a good image and hide the atrocities they were to commit in defense of the good they are supposed to incarnate. If this religion did not attract immigrants, it was pushed by Zionists to attract capital, as well as political and military protection. It was naively accepted by a Western public ready to believe in its self guilt and its ability to commit such enormous crimes, as a cover for its deep seated racism, not recognized as such because it was cleansed from the absolute Nazi evil. This allows all the nonsense in declarations of all political parties of old Europe to parade as democratic, tolerant and acting essentially for the good of humanity.

Zionism is a harmful doctrine to Jews anywhere in the world and in Israel: those who feel integrated in their countries of residence and also those with deep religious convictions for whom return to the promised land is a symbol of moral life and eschatology. To them, Zionism is a travesty of the spirit of Judaism, a kind of absurd and sacrilegious pretension to prematurely realize the prophecies through human means.

There are people in Israel who oppose Zionism for various religious or political reasons. I will not list them here, but I mention that there is opposition to the official propaganda use of the Holocaust [9]. "It is dangerous for Israel to bet on the genocide, because Israel's raison d'être is not there," I was recently told by a friend who is a practicing, honorable Talmudist.

One of the best critiques of using the dead of the 1940-45 period for propaganda purposes was published in Israel. Entitled "Holocaust, a Danger for the Jewish People," [10] this article by the well known and respected journalist, Boaz Evron, appeared in the May-June, 1980 issue of the Hebrew journal, "Yiton 77." I quote the following passages from this rather long article, which deserves to be published in its entirety and discussed in detail.

"Two terrible things happened to the Jewish people during this century: The Holocaust and the lessons drawn from it. The non-historical and easily refutable commentaries on the Holocaust made either deliberately or through simple ignorance and their use for propaganda purposes among non-Jews or Jews both in Israel and the diaspora constitute a cancer for Jews and for the State of Israel [...]

"Antisemitism served as the catalyst, the core of the extermination system, but the essential part of this system, the constantly repeated "selection," was a central permanent institution of the Reich.

"Everybody agreed to blur the fact that the murder of European Jews was not only a proof that the Holocaust is characteristic of and specific to Jewish history, but that the murder of European Jews was a factor in the collapse of the whole European system. It was another historic example showing that the attempt to build a barrier between the Jewish people and the rest of humanity -- supported from one side by the Nazis and from the other side by our nationalists -- was in reality a manifestation of another principle: to separate a group from the rest of humanity by defining it as nonhuman prepares the ground for an attack against all humanity.

"The Jewish side, particularly the Zionist leaders, had an interest in presenting Jews as the only victims, as a testimony to the sin of all nations.

"It is a sort of deflected satisfaction, an aspect of the traditional Jewish concept of the "chosen people," which, in its modern, nationalist form, resembles antisemitism by cutting Jews out from the whole of humanity. (Many have shown the similarity between Zionist and antisemitic writings.) [...]

"On the other side, most people cooperated with the Zionist ahistorical representation of the facts. First, the Germans. They had an interest in containing the feelings of hate, vengeance, fear and suspicion that the world, and particularly, the Slavs, had towards them. By concealing the fact that others, too, were targeted for extermination and by reducing the memory of the Holocaust to Jews only, all this business could be presented like madness, not just of the German people, but of an Austrian dictator who governed them and who acquired his antisemitic ideas in the working class neighborhoods of Vienna [...]

"Westerners, too, had an interest in subscribing to the "final solution," the memory of the Nazi extermination policy. They wanted to bring Germany into the "family of nations" in the fastest possible manner so as to use it in order to create an economic and military Atlantic alliance to serve as a counterweight to Soviet power. And Germany was to play in it the central role [...]

"The 'Jewish monopoly' -- if one can use this term -- of the Nazi phenomenon, presenting Jews as almost the exclusive victims, is negative in many aspects. As I have already said, it excludes Jews from the human race, as though they were different, by their very nature. It therefore leads to paranoid reactions in some Jews who feel cut off from humanity and its laws. This disconnection may lead some Jews with power in their hands to treat non-Jews as subhuman, thus actually repeating racist Nazi attitudes [...]"

Then Evron examines the function of the Eichmann trial as a boost to Israeli politics founded on the maximum use of the genocide question:

"It can be assumed that one of the main goals (of the Eichmann trial) was to renew and reinforce the Germans' guilt feeling in their own eyes and in the eyes of the whole world. It was to thwart the then prevailing atmosphere, that having paid a financial compensation, Germany had settled its debt to the Jewish people. The main political consequences of this affair were the opening by the Federal Republic of Germany of diplomatic relations with Israel, a considerable increase in reparation payments and the abandonment of discussions on "the end of debt payment." And, it is precisely here that nothing works anymore [...]

"The Adenauer government avoided having open diplomatic relations with Israel for practical political reasons: it did not want to risk its relations with the Arab world. It considered reparation payments as a legal question that was not related to political affairs, but was compensation for past damages, and should not tie Germany's hands in its current relations with the world. The trial forced Germany to abandon the framework of its principles, to act against its own natural interests and to give Israel special preference, without its having to reciprocate in kind, as is usually the case among states [...]

"Relations with Germany have served as a model for relations with most Western Christian states, chiefly the United States. These relations are not based on an objective common interest between Israel and those states but on a general guilt feeling among the leaders of the Christian world towards the Jewish people. Here are the results of these relations:

"1. The special treatment accorded Israel and expressed by unconditional economic and political support has created around Israel a kind of glass wall that, in a way, isolates it from international political and economic realities. Since its creation, Israel has never had to confront the world and adapt to it.

"2. Israel has developed economic and political systems that are cut off from international realities and that diverge from them further, because it is cut off from a reality in evolution, which means that the gap is widening. This causes a distortion in these systems in Israel itself, which gives them a pathological character and increases Israel's dependence on support from foreign countries, while separation from reality makes support from Israelis more difficult.

"3. It is from the Zionist point of view that the result is more paradoxical. The goal of Zionism was to normalize the condition of the Jewish people, to make it a political entity equal among independent nations, a political nation that acts within the framework of the international system. The political-economic glass wall erected around Israel through foreign support and the backing that Israel extracts from the guilt feelings of the outside world have prevented Israel from becoming a state like others. In fact, they have increased the symptoms of the diaspora [...]

"4. Another aspect of this moral blackmail is that the permanent relationship of the Holocaust, antisemitism and hatred of Jews throughout generations has created a strange moral blinding in the Israeli public and in its leaders, clearly manifest in double moral standards.

"While we base our appeals for justice on the world's duty towards "those who had been abandoned," we consider it our right to establish relations with the most oppressive regimes, to sell arms to the worse of nations and we do not refrain from oppressing non-Jews under our control.

"The Holocaust has served as a very powerful tool in the hands of Israeli leaders as well as Jewish leaders outside Israel, who are influenced by Israeli leaders to rally Jewish opinion in the diaspora, particularly in the United States. This is done by exploiting and cultivating two main elements:

"1. The guilt feeling of Jews in the United States for not having done more to prevent the Holocaust.

"2. The feeling of insecurity of some of them concerning the status of Jews in American society [...]

"Israel is presented in the same manner to the non-Jewish world in order to stifle critics of our policies, by always using the same argument: You, who did nothing to help us during the Holocaust, are not going to teach us now how to protect ourselves from another Holocaust [...]

"It is this identification of the Nazis with the Arabs in general, and with the Palestinians in particular through the continuous reminder of dangers of a Holocaust, which provokes a hysterical reaction in the average Israeli. This and the doctrine of "the Jewish diaspora as the only Israeli ally" leads to the following result: The Israeli political conscience becomes fossilized at a pre-state level to a point that it cannot relate to or understand real political forces. Israel's foreign relations are not determined by mutual interests, but on the basis of pressures exerted by American Jews, as though Israel were not a foreign country but an integral part of the American political system. This means that Israeli self-awareness is that of a sect rather than a nation in the political sense [...]

"These parallels have serious moral consequences. The choices offered to Israelis are not realistic: either "Holocaust" or victory. This frees them from any moral restriction, since any person in danger of extermination is free from any moral consideration to act in self defense.

"Thus, paradoxically, the consciousness of the Holocaust drilled by propaganda into Israelis' heads has become dangerous. The first condition for healing in Israeli society is a correct understanding of its own historical and political status." [11]



This is a remarkable though partial example of what the Old Mole had called the "deconstruction of ideological madness." What about the Arab World? During the war, Germany had inspired numerous sympathies in some nationalist circles engaged in a difficult struggle against British imperialism, for which the Middle East was a kind of preserve. Anwar Sadat, who became dear to the hearts of many Jews in the world after his trip to Jerusalem, had been jailed by the British because of his intelligence work for the enemy when Rommel's troops were close to Alexandria. This episode of his youth was omitted in the grand obituaries published in the Western press in 1981.

But Germany's defeat was obviously going to lead to a loss of influence for all those who had counted on its victory, like Hajj Amin Al Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, or Ahmed Choukeiry, the General Secretary of the Arab League at the time, whose racist and brutal declaration became the delight of Israeli propaganda [12]. In general, the Western version of WW II prevailed in the Arab world, quite removed as it was from the main theater of events. The enduring element for Arab public opinion is the injustice done to Arabs, in that the Arabs had to pay the price given by the Allies to the Jews as compensation for crimes committed in Europe. It is this feeling of injustice, regularly revived by Israel's territorial encroachments, that blocks all possibilities of extending to the Arab world the guilt feeling towards Jews, that Zionism wants to make universal. On the ground, the Arab side was the victim of lasting and growing spoliation. Moreover, the limits of this spoliation have not been reached yet, as is shown by the recent annexation of the Syrian Golan.

As for the Arab world, in addition to accepting the Western-Zionist vision of history, it internalized it. In many respects, the Palestinian Resistance tried to compare itself to the Zionist movement. After all, there was an important Palestinian diaspora, the project of return to the native land and the creation of a new state. Zionism, which seemed to reach its objectives, could serve as a model in a more or less conscious manner, including terrorist methods. In its turn, the Palestinian Resistance exhibited the bloody wounds of its history as a sufficient justification for its current actions. Deir Yassin became a kind of Arab Auschwitz with the same genre of symbolic charge.

This Zionist model, transposed for the first time by Palestinian militants, is going through a second reincarnation with the Armenians of Lebanon. The young militant generation has become aware of the potential contained in the connection, "genocide - reparations - reward in the form of a state." Having a sizable diaspora themselves, they are trying to mobilize it by reviving a somewhat waning memory of the 1915 tragic events, through terrorist attacks modeled on those of the Irgun. To construct an ideology that will lead to the creation of a state, they, too, must give a Manichaean presentation of history, where the Turks, and only they, are the absolute evil. One has to look at several factors, which would make the situation at the time more complicated but more intelligible. They include the dismantling of the Ottoman regime by European imperialisms; the rival ascent of dominated Arab, Kurdish and Turkish nationalisms; the manner in which Europeans have manipulated the Armenian question since 1880 and tried to obtain for their new Christian protégés a political status that nobody else had in the empire. Since 1818, Russia has been in control of a large part of Armenia, including Etchmiadzin, its political and religious center, and would take advantage of the war and of Armenian nationalism to expand its control over more territory. This ambition resurfaced in 1945, when Stalin claimed the transfer, from then neutral Turkey, of Kars and Ardahan Vilayet (provinces). A global study of the prevailing situation at the time when the "Young Turk" government made the criminal decision to deport the Armenian people of Eastern Anatolia, would obviously lead to completely different conclusions from those of the nationalist Armenian movement, which deems it more expedient to copy the Zionist ideological model.

But whatever was successful for some may not be for others. It is not ideology that changes the world, it is the real movement of people, goods and capital (reified human activity). Ideology intervenes only as a veil designed to hide real mechanisms.

If there was a lesson to draw from the Faurisson Affair, and in particular in the Arab World, it is that the effectiveness of political action depends on understanding the real mechanisms of social development, and that to reach them, one must first tear up the veil of ideology that masks them. But the veil is solid and the task difficult. The more violent the reaction to this rift, the better the indication that one is on the right path. There are risks that intellectuals almost always loathe to take because their basic social function, and very generally the way they earn their living, is to be the weavers of this veil.

There is a lot to do in the West, and the corrosive agonizing questions stirred up by this minute Faurisson Affair will make their way. There are obviously others. Similarly, in the Judeo-Israeli-Zionist world, some unveiling and critique of the dominant ideology is taking place, an example of which was cited above.

But it is not sufficient for the Arab World to passively watch the deconstruction of its adversaries' dominant ideologies and remain silent about critiques of the Soviet universe. It must make the same move and return to the roots of its political systems and their supporting ideologies. I am not in a position to judge what has already been done in this domain, but I don't think I am getting far enough by saying in this Arab world, crossed by multiple currents and tensions, there remains an enormous amount of work to be done in order to dig through tunnels and layers of ideological sediment to reach the hard rock of theoretical and practical truth. It is the work of a mole this old mole, which knows so well how to dig underground and suddenly appear: revolution.

Beirut, January 11, 1982.

[End of the intended preface]



Under Israel, Palestine



I believe that it is possible here to dwell at length on the origins of Israel's sudden appearance and the Palestinian question created by the establishment of Israel. There exists a vast literature of varying quality about the subject, often marked by strong apologetic tendencies [13]. I would only like to underline some points to focus the discussion.

The first is obviously that Zionism and its territorial claim ("a land without a people to a people without a land") had, at the outset, nothing to do with the Middle East, at the time of the Ottoman Empire. The latter was in crisis due to increasing pressure to carve it up and split it: the famous "Question d'Orient." From the moment the industrial revolution started, there was no reason for this vast multiethnic edifice, standing in the way between Europe and the East, not to be remodeled and put at the service of European interests. Mechanization provided the material means to dominate the Ottoman Empire. Since the Crusades, Europe had lacked those means, and it took close to a century of using them to attain its aims after the First World War.

The situation of Jews in the Muslim world was certainly not as rosy as some publications would like us to believe, when they try to highlight a sharp contrast between a tolerant East, and a West that was relentless in the persecution of Jews. There is exaggeration on both sides. A religious minority in a profoundly religious world, the Jews had a "protected" status with its high and low points according to the circumstances and moods of local authorities. Compared with other religious minorities, Christians, Pagans, Manicheans, schismatic (Ismaelis, Druzes, Babists) or Sectarian (Dervishes, etc.), Jews were relatively privileged in the land of Islam. Communications with Palestinian sources (where the Talmud and Targum were elaborated) remained open. Those expelled from Spain chose to settle everywhere in the Ottoman Empire, with no noticeable or particular attraction to Palestine. In 1800, there were 6000 Jews in Palestine, living mainly in the four "sacred cities" of Jerusalem, Hebron, Safad, and Tiberiad. It is mainly from Russia that waves of immigrants, animated by Messianic movements, arrived in the nineteenth century. Around 1822, as modern Zionism was being developed, the Jewish community in Palestine, called the Yishouv, had about 30,000 people.

The Ottoman Empire could not be shielded from the repercussions of European pressures. The "Nationalities Question" that shook Europe around the mid-19th century infiltrated into clearly non-national structures of the Empire: pulling away the Greeks (a part of them), agitating the Balkans populations, igniting a national Armenian movement, with a lot of outside encouragement, throwing the Maronite mountains into some kind of alliance with Second Empire France, but leaving Jews alone. The arrivals in Palestine had nothing to do with the movements of other Jewish communities in the Empire, those from Syria, Iraq, Istanbul or Salonika, converted to French culture under the impulse of the Universal Israelite Alliance. Each minority was more or less clearly looking for a foreign protector. This encouraged rivalries among Powers. Practically until 1948, Oriental Jews did not stir, were almost completely ignorant about Zionism, and were seeking contact with modernity through assimilation in European cultures. For example, in Algeria, Jews chose to become French when the Crémieux decree offered them the opportunity (1870); or they acquired the most diverse nationalities in Egypt, when it fell under British rule in 1882.

Zionism is, therefore, a movement that agitated essentially Yiddish speaking Jews in central and eastern Europe, where those who dominated, possessed the German culture, the matrix of Jewish expansion toward the east. The term "Ashkenaz", refers in the Bible to the northwest of Babylon, which is the state of Ourartou on the Armenian plateau. In medieval Judaism, it became Germany par excellence (as "Sepharad" means Spain in the golden age of Andalusia). The end of the old regimes that recognized particular statuses to some categories of subject, whether or not in the ghettos, profoundly disturbed the functioning of traditional communities as they progressively entered the industrial world. As protection by the monarch was no longer assured either by statute or custom, the Jews had sometimes the feeling of losing on the deal. According to the French Revolution, they were to have full rights as individuals, nothing as a nation. This situation weakened community links and slowly liberated an increasing number of individuals who could free themselves harmlessly from the heavy constraints of communal life, with its rites and authority frozen into archaic pietism. Ancient statutes often relegated them to money manipulations, and naturally, with the development of banks, financial speculation would attract elements freed by the weakening of community constraints. An imitation of the Enlightenment shattered the eastern European communities in the 19th century, fragmenting them and triggering their dispersion through emigration. A nationalist movement borrowing its conceptual equipment from Germanic nationalism was established under the name of Zionism [14]. It revealed the refusal of assimilation under the influence of the Enlightenment. And since religion was no longer capable of maintaining closed communities, it proposed the reconstitution of a universal ghetto in Palestine in order to save the "race" from the threat of dissolution by modernism and its trail of destructive germs. It quickly developed into a totalitarian ideology, whose ambition was to transform the Jews and to empty Palestine of any non-Jewish elements. Initially, there was a tremendous resistance to Zionism by Jewish intellectuals, both in eastern Europe and in the West. But the sarcasms of Karl Kraus and many others are forgotten today. However, the warnings were prophetic.



"The goal of Arab attacks against Zionism is not theft or terror or a halt to Zionism's growth, but the total destruction of the Yishouv. These are not political adversaries, but students and even masters of Hitler, for whom there is only one way to solve the Jewish question: total annihilation."

David Ben Gurion, Zurich, 1947


The above citation by the "founding father" of the Hebrew state, from a speech to the Zionist Action Committee, traces the logic of events: any act (or word) hostile to Israel will be regarded as the ultimate menace, the death of the Jews. Any other ideology based on such a paranoid vision of the world, on such a desire to crush the adversary under a moral weight before crushing him under the weight of arms, would have been ranked high among the totalitarian monstrosities of the 20th century, if it weren't for the self-censored media.

A more accurate biography [15] of Ben Gurion, the charismatic leader of a vague socialism, referred to him as Benito Gurion. A straight line connects his statement to that of Begin who, at the height of the offensive on Beirut in 1982, described the Arabs he was burning with phosphorous bombs as "two-legged animals thirsty for Jewish blood." This straight line transcends Israeli political cleavages and has basically one goal: the elimination of the Palestinians. Methods change only according to circumstances and the international environment. They are successively and concurrently: expulsion, land confiscation, murder, torture, massacre, deportation, exile -- in a word, the "final solution" of the Palestinian problem. As illustrations, I could cite hundreds of confirmed facts mentioned in the Israeli press (much freer in this respect than the Western media).

I have been observing this situation for the past quarter of a century, since 1961, as I mentioned above. Books that would fill entire libraries have described it with tiresome monotony. I have often traveled to the Middle East and I have talked with the most diverse people, and yet, I have written very little. The main reason is precisely that there is on this subject abundant literature in French, and even more in English. The facts are solidly established. Anybody with the desire to find out can do so. Existing analyses may be subject to discussion, but it is not difficult to find excellent ones. There is certainly a vast hidden dimension of Israeli politics (armaments, nuclear, omnipresence of the Mossad and other intelligence services) but even in this domain, one can get a reasonably clear idea of the situation. For example, I wrote the following brief review of a book written by a former Israeli secret agent [16]:



This book by a cynical Mossad agent, was dictated to an ignorant journalist, translated by incompetents, and arrived with a whiff of New York scandal [17]. Books on secret services belong to a very profitable, hence very prolific literary genre. Countless memoirs have been written by former agents of the CIA, MI 5, KGB, etc. or dictated by secret services to disinformation mercenaries such as Louise Sterling (Bulgarian Trail) or R. Seagrave (Yellow Rain) in the United States, Dominique Wolton (KGB), Kaufer and Faligot, and many others in France. All these publications, more or less inspired by these services' desire to have a good image, and especially to justify their existence, contain the good and the bad, a little that is true and a lot that is false, and it is not always possible to sort out truth from falsehood. "Veil," Bob Woodward's book on the CIA, is interesting. But the only completely authentic book with systematic in-depth description of a large secret service's operating procedures is Philip Agee's "Inside the Company: CIA Diary," Penguin, 1975.

Mossad has a somewhat particular status. It fosters, as a protective shell, the myth that it is "the best service in the world." Yet, side by side with its spectacular "successes," mainly political assassinations, it has committed considerable blunders. Its analysis capability of its Arab adversaries is not very impressive, and going by the judgment of a qualified user like Jacques Chirac, in his famous interview in the Washington Times of November, 1986, its services are "without any value," "all are infiltrated" and have no use except in "wartime." The originality of Mossad and other Israeli secret services is that they are of a small size (1500 to 2000 people) but that in each country, it can count on an extensive network of local collaborators provided blindly by chosen elements in Jewish communities, those the Mossad calls sayanim, "Jewish volunteers of the diaspora" (p. 321).

It is rather curious to realize that neither the press nor, it seems, the administration were ever interested in these networks of French citizens who volunteered in the service of a foreign power, determined to acquire, at any price, military and industrial secrets and to carry out attacks against people and property in the name of its war in the Middle East. The communists, who did not do as much, were stigmatized as "foreign agents." Only Vincent Monteil, in Dossier secret sur Israel, (Israel's Secret File) attempted to lift a corner of the veil from these secret networks that operate with complete impunity. As to the recruitment methods of Israeli agents in Arab countries, they are simple: money, a lot of money, enough money. That goes very well.

Ostrovsky talks about these "sayanim," but always vaguely. This officer in Israel's navy was trained for two or three years before he was commissioned as a "case officer" of the Mossad in 1985. He resigned from his post after five months because of internal conflict, of which he gives a hard to believe version. He gives an incoherent account of various stages in his training and then relates well known stories that are probably textbook cases, gone over during his training sessions. It is more than probable that these stories were arranged prior to being submitted to the sagacity of spy apprentices.

In September, 1990, the state of Israel asked a New York judge to ban Ostrovsky's book because it threatened the life of certain agents. A reading of the book belies this affirmation, since the author conforms strictly to the Israeli rule of not naming active agents. Others were widely covered in the Israeli and foreign press. There is no better way of authenticating a fabrication.

This book, launched with great noise, tells us nothing, absolutely nothing. Everything, and even more, has already been said, repeated, written and annotated in the press, especially the Israeli and American press. Several versions of these stories are known. They either differ in some detail or complement each other. For example, Ostrovsky tells us that the French technician killed in the bombing of the French reactor, Osirak, in Baghdad was paid by the Mossad to install a guidance signal for airplanes. But Ostrovsky does not give his name, Damien Chaussepied, given by Derogy, who tells us that the young man was "working overtime" [18]. So, no revelation, even though the book is full of details, for the most part insignificant.

The picture the book gives of the Mossad is partial and banal. The author is surprised that secret agents like money and sex! Deep down, the real scope of the book is a sort of criticism. A close up image of the Mossad does not resemble that drawn up by gullible fools. The knights of heroic times have been replaced by cynical, corrupt manipulators, using dirty tricks to impose their own views on Israel's destiny and, through the best means, to insure its security. Poor Ostrovsky does not see, or pretends not to understand, that politics and secret services in Israel are in total symbiosis, and that a good part of the political establishment started their career in intelligence, and that the whole history of Israel's establishment, since the maneuvers to get the Balfour Declaration, is based on a very particular mixture of tricks, lies, dissimulation of real goals, absolute cynicism and deadly violence towards the Arabs. No power in the world is so racked by suspicion and deceit as a compulsory component of clandestine procedures, because those who exercise them were formed by them and govern through them. "Israeli democracy" is mostly a closed confrontation field of small clans, hell-bent on destroying each other but forced to compromise and coexist. But he does not push his analysis far enough to describe the unbelievable intertwining of the military-industrial complex, where former intelligence agents become representatives of weapons manufacturers, whose mission, in South America, Africa and elsewhere, is to manipulate local conflicts, sell "security" and weapons to all the protagonists, at the risk of losing in increasingly doubtful combinations, as in the case of the Singhalese government and Tamil guerillas. Between arms shipments to Iran in the war against Iraq, and providing services (security, arms, training, mercenaries) to the Medellin Cartel -- well documented in the press outside France -- the line is less tortuous and the blunders well controlled. What is needed is another book on the Mossad, and this one should be added to the long list of the series, "Praise for the Mossad," or more precisely, praise for what should be the Mossad.

If you want to know more about the Mossad, read the more authentic novel, The Little Drummer Girl, by John Le Carré. If you want to understand the genesis of an ordinary Nazi chief, of a brutal and intelligent manipulator, read the Memoirs of General Sharon.



Through the years, I did not feel that I had so many new and original things to say, that would have justified speaking out. However, some writings testify to a deep feeling of horror, not so much of the expansionist politics by terror, as of its blissful and passive acceptance by a West that cannot resolve to offer more than half-hearted criticism.

It can be said in this respect that if it is ridiculous to speak of a "Jewish conspiracy" in world affairs, as the prewar antisemites did, one can and must see that it is almost impossible, both in the press and in political circles, to measure Israel by the same yardstick as other countries [19]. Everybody, with more or less hypocrisy, calls for sanctions against South Africa, but is careful not to do the same against Israel, which is closely tied to this same South Africa and pursues the same politics. This impunity is not due to an organized conspiracy. It is made of a generalized connivance with the Jewish establishment, which on this point, deploys all its political, financial and electoral resources in what Americans call a lobby, and the French a "pressure group" [20].

I shall come back to this, but in the meantime, I would like to share with readers the report on a visit to a Palestinian camp of Fatah in Jordan in 1968, prior to the large massacres of "Black September." I sent this article to Eric Rouleau, who dealt with these questions in Le Monde. He answered, saying that he had just commissioned an article on the same subject, which, I might add, was published a little later.




Amman, September, 1968. The city is poor, of striking poverty. This meager oasis, surrounded by dry hills, invokes immediately the British artifice that promoted it to the rank of an independent capital. The bedouin emirate, that the 1948 war had transformed into a superficially modern kingdom, lost the West Bank that, thanks to the war in Palestine, it had annexed. Today, the country has practically no economic resources of its own. To subsidize the bedouins, who form the rampart of the throne, the state allows a little trade, of which Amman is the miserable showcase. To travel its dirty streets, constantly crowded with idle men, bedouins wearing jackets or young men dressed with questionable elegance, to see the pathetic stalls, one understands that the highest level of the Jordanian economy is the production of junk.

One also notices in the crowd women in loose traditional dresses, embroidered in vivid colors, and men in various military uniforms. Some in camouflage fatigues without insignia differed from the others by their busy pace: they are the Fatah commando members who patrol the city, doubling the rather relaxed Jordanian police.

This is a matter of great concern: the emergence of an organized force independent of royal authority. Since twenty years, the Palestinians are lumped together into a very active group which more than once forced the king to take measures he disliked.So far, pressure has been exerted through political means or, at worst, by street demonstrations, harshly repressed by the police. Now there is Fatah, a large, organized army, which enjoys the unconditional support of the vast majority of Palestinians, and which is ready to project its fighting spirit.

Alert at 100%

At times, the king tried to react. At the beginning of the year, he had surrounded the Karameh refugee camp, where part of Fatah commandos were located, by his bedouin troops -- the old Glubb Pacha Arab Legion. The commandos were ordered to surrender and to give up their arms. They agreed to leave the camp, with their weapons, and asked the camp residents to show their solidarity by joining the combatants. The residents complied immediately. However, other alerted Al Fatah units took positions behind the bedouins. The latter retreated, probably more convinced by this maneuver than by the political demonstration. The camp would be destroyed a few weeks later by an Israeli raid, which led to fierce fighting.

Having momentarily given up on a frontal attack, the palace did not seem to have dismissed the military option. There was no evening in Amman when gun shots were not heard. These were the troops of Sheriff Nasr, the King's maternal uncle, who would sometimes attack an isolated commando or a passer-by and put the responsibility on Al-Fatah. It is worth mentioning here that these men are paid 30 dinars a month by the central intelligence agency of a great Western power that has many connections. Some Fedayin were detained. Jordanian security has the sinister reputation of beating prisoners and giving them intravenous pepper injections. It is true that part of the population of Jordanian origin recriminates silently and takes the King's side. The conflict may remain unresolved for an indeterminate period [22].

The country lives at this moment under the threat of an Israeli aggression (Jordan is not in a position to attack its very powerful neighbor). Incidents multiply on the cease-fire line and military concentrations have been spotted west of the Jordan River. Arab armies are on alert, and Palestinian commandos, who know that they are targeted, are on 100% alert.

"Youth" Camps

Having been unable to get to the training center near the border, they wanted to show me a "youth" training camp. It was near a refugee camp, a pile of overpopulated tents, surrounded by dubious greenery. Two silhouettes came out from behind the rocks and motioned for the car to stop. A kid with short hair and shiny eyes, dressed in washed out rags, clutched an old English, loaded submachine gun. No entry. He sent his friend, a little black boy bearing an enormous sword, to get information. The adults accompanying me approved by smiling and joking with him, but he watched us and remained tense [23].

When we arrived, two groups of children were sitting in camouflage fatigues in a circle around a monitor. They were eight to fourteen years old, and were attentively following explanations. One would have the impression of attending a boy scout meeting, were it not for the presence of an imposing Soviet machine gun in the center of the circle. Then, it was physical exercise punctuated by lineups and fictitious alerts triggered by a whistle. "We fear shelling. It can happen any moment. Yesterday, Israeli planes flew low over the camp several times. They can do whatever they want. They use napalm and phosphorus bombs to attack women and children, as they did in Salt and Irbid [24]. Nobody in the world criticizes them. They feel they have a free hand," said our interlocutor, with sadness.

Then the instructor gave a brief speech on the causes of the June, 1967 defeat (the Palestinians were not in the vanguard), on the autonomous and popular Palestinian Revolution, on the struggle, which will be long and will require a lot of courage, on love of the homeland, on the necessary sacrifices, and on the rejection of hate of Jews, as individuals. "It is very important," commented one of my escorts, "because the young often have ignorant parents, who tell them: the Jews took our homes and our lands. We must rid them of these ideas and explain things from a political viewpoint. Zionism is the enemy." It's all very good, but I don't believe in this kind of idealism. And several times when the interpreter translated "Israeli," I heard "Yahudi," Jew. I don't see why not.

A Long Political Gestation

After the visit to the "Youth" camp, the conversation continued. I posed questions on the history of the organization.

"Like all revolutions, ours stems from the suffering, humiliation and hope of a people. Ours has been through many trials since 1948, both in Palestine and elsewhere. We slowly formed the idea that what was done by force can be undone by force. After the 1956 tripartite aggression, a vanguard got together and decided to put this notion into practice. The point was to form a purely Palestinian organization. Our action was to be a part of three "circles": the Palestinian circle, the Arab circle and the international circle [25]. The organization must not have a class character because our Palestinian society has been crushed; classes no longer exist. There are bourgeois Palestinians in Beirut, Kuwait and elsewhere; there are Palestinian workers in Lebanon and in Syria; there are no longer any Palestinian peasants because the lands were taken. In the camps, there are no longer any classes [26]. As for knowing whether this is a leftist or a rightist organization, it is sufficient to ask whether taking up arms to struggle against imperialism is a leftist or a rightist action. Our goal is not to fulfill UN recommendations on the 1947-48 partition, but to destroy the Israeli state. We have no animosity against people. On the contrary, we have stated, we state and we will always state that Jews who will accept to remain in a Palestinian Arab state will have exactly the same rights as all other Palestinian citizens, irrespective of their religion. We will be happy to accept them. Therefore, our struggle will accept no compromise short of the total liberation of our land [27].

"Conceived in 1956, this political work took place under very difficult conditions. Some Arab countries did not accept the existence of a purely Palestinian organization that was not pledged to any of the big Arab parties. Then we succeeded in launching our first military operation in occupied territory. The First of January, 1965, a commando of our military organization, Al Assifa (the storm), blew up a diversion channel of the Jordan River at Aylabun. The choice of the location had a symbolic meaning. This Christian village had been the victim of a real butchery in 1948. Women and children who took refuge in the village church were massacred by the Israeli army. Since then, we have not ceased launching such operations, sometimes under very difficult conditions. Combatants are killed sometimes in enemy territory, sometimes on the border by Arab armies hostile to our actions."

Then we got to the Six Day War. I reminded him that one of the reasons given by Israel was the intensification of operations by commandos. Israelis call them terrorists:

"In fact, these operations had been going on for two years. The real cause was Israeli aggression. It is a state founded on aggression. There has not been a single year since 1948 that the Arab world did not suffer from its continual aggressions. If Israel struck in Gaza when the Arab countries refused to join the Baghdad Pact [28]; if Israel struck in Khan Younis (Gaza) when Abdel Nasser took power in Cairo; if Israel struck in 1956 shortly after the nationalization of the Suez Canal; then Israel had to strike at the moment when the United Arab Republic (Egyptian-Syrian Union) launched its seven year plan to build heavy industry. It is for this type of reason that imperialism created Israel and maintains it in the middle of the Arab world.

"After the 1967 aggression, our people understood that it must take up arms. Other organizations were created at that time. It was for us a kind of tacit popular legitimization. Arab attitudes improved. Some countries started helping us.

"We stuck to our hit and run tactics, avoiding confrontation, until the attack on the Karameh camp on March 21 (1968). Commandos of Al Assifa were in this camp. The Israelis believed that our military command was there. They entered Jordan with their air force, two armored battalions and infantry -- in all, 12,000 men. We had anticipated the attack and decided to resist. Fighting was very fierce and Israeli losses were substantial. They had to use helicopters to quickly recover the paratroopers dropped behind our lines that did not make their linkup. For us, the battle of Karameh was a political victory. We proved that national liberation fighters can resist a crushing superiority in numbers and equipment. The masses understood it; they came to join us in great numbers. We were virtually overwhelmed by this popular enthusiasm.

"We continued to concentrate our actions against the Israeli military system. The Israelis respond by terrorizing the civilian population and multiplying their bombing raids on Jordan. We warn that we, too, can attack Israeli cities. Then bombs exploded in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. We can escalate. It is up to the Israelis to choose."

I wanted to know more about operations carried out in the "interior." A man of about thirty was introduced to me. Like veterans of these operations, he spoke in a steady and confident manner. I don't know his exact military functions, but he knows what he is talking about.

"Operations are determined by the leadership according to a general plan. The political commissar prepares the unit for its mission. It must be remembered that they all have freely consented to the suicidal character of the mission. The attack takes place always in a very precise location, but the real problem is in the retreat because of the enemy's high mobility. We have no fixed fighting theory, so that the unit on the ground has complete freedom of assessment. We have introduced the principle of free discussion of the project before the operation, which led to some turmoil in the organization.

"Like all struggles of this kind, we avoid fighting during the day because of our reduced mobility, but the night is our domain. Along the Jordan, they have a system of fairly flexible dams, with fixed posts, projectors and ambushes that do not prevent us from passing through. But in the occupied territories, they do not patrol at night. When we attacked the Eilath oil installations on the Red Sea, we travelled back and forth 450 km in enemy territory. The border there is very near and very protected; we arrived from the back.... This also means that we have effective support from the interior. We have permanent military forces in residence in the interior. We send equipment and they participate in operations, or they conduct them alone. This was the case in operations against Shur in Galilee, the Chrysler plant in Nazareth, the cannery in Hodeira, the attacks in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv."

He said "Tel Abib," the Arabic pronunciation. It seems that some commandos are given Hebrew courses. We asked if they fight in uniforms. "More and more. We noticed that peasants are wary of armed civilians. But they spontaneously help us when we are in uniform. Furthermore, our perspective is to build a popular liberation army. At the moment, the response from the interior is massive. Our military development is extremely rapid -- too rapid, maybe. It is possible for us to give the enemy a pounding, but we still lack support from a part of international opinion. We would like a parallel development of our actions in the three circles around our revolution."

Under these conditions, how does the political problem of the Israeli population get tackled?

"We want to make them understand the meaning of our actions. Many Israelis have no clear idea about the political significance of their presence in the Middle East. We use all available means, a ten minute radio broadcast in Hebrew every hour, newspapers, indirect contacts through international third parties. The Sofia Festival was positive in this regard. The problem is to win Israeli opinion to our cause. Many Jews are hostile to war against the Arabs. After June 5 (1967), we sent small groups to villages occupied in 1948. They went to see the Israelis who are living in their former homes in Jaffa, Acre, Tel Aviv and elsewhere. They were well received. We have studied the reports. The conclusion is that it is absolutely possible to gain the sympathy of a certain number of people. All our supporters know that the solution is not to slaughter the Jews, as some irresponsible people have said. When a comrade goes on a "civilian mission," that is, for an attack, we explain to him the gravity of his act; he knows that this is going to alienate the sympathy we were beginning to benefit from, and that the road will be long in restoring bridges between Arabs and Jews. But it is very important that Israelis understand the true nature of the politics conducted by their government junta. The results are really still meager, even though voices are rising to denounce war, as a road that will lead to catastrophe. But we cannot wait until all have understood."

Are there Israelis who support your struggle and participate in it?

The question is annoying. After some quiet consultations:

"We cannot answer. But Moshe Dayan said that if he were Arab, he would do the same thing we are doing. There are wiser people than Moshe Dayan."

(September, 1968)



Twenty years later, I summarized Israel's existential situation as follows [29].



When Claude Sarraute wrote (Le Monde, February 6, 1988) "Symbol people" referring to the "Jewish people," she did not think, in view of the current use of the term, that the former usage referred to a group of the faithful of a religion. Similarly, the "Christian people" did not come under any political identity. Still, these far away times were bathed in a sort of mystical union between faith and power. We are far from that. In our time, the word "people" applies to populations who live, voluntarily or not, within the framework of a state, or who claim the dubious privilege of having their own, for themselves. Under these conditions, one wonders what semantic contortions one has to go through in order to formulate a definition of the "Jewish people" that would not be immediately challenged by a large part of those it claims.

If, as can be seen, the phrase, "Jewish people," is not devoid of problems, that of "symbol people" is even more extravagant. To limit Jewish history to one dimension, that of suffering, dispossession and massacre is absurd reductionism. As history, it has its dark, tragic hours, as it has its moments of happiness and jubilation. Thousands of other peoples, a great part of whom have already disappeared, body and soul, throughout the centuries, have also lived this alternation of darkness and light. I am well aware that such comment may sometimes be considered sacrilegious: no one has the right to compare the fate of the Jews to that of any other human community. And if we don't accept that this right be refused to us in the name of some divine election that concerns only those who believe in it, they will refuse it to us in the name of Auschwitz, the symbol of barbarism in our time. Thus, a symbol is guaranteed by another, which is a peculiar logic but which is also a desperate effort not to face reality .

Confronting the symbol with reality is generally a painful operation. Images coming out of Israel are even twice as painful because they reverse the symbol -- as an idol is brutally brought down -- and because they show the savagery of bludgeoning, the desire to kill, the racist hatred of an occupation army that is intensely living the feverish fear of the colonized, who are awakening (as in New Caledonia) and who are throwing stones at their oppressors. Far from symbols, this atmosphere is reminiscent of Algiers under the OAS, Rhodesia under Ian Smith or South Africa from Verwoerd to Botha. The same apartheid, the same brutal and bloody repression by a privileged minority of a native mass that rejects submission and shakes off its servitude.

Israel is founded on force and only on force. The theological-historical justifications (based on a crude travesty of history), the resolutions of the UN, which in 1948 assumed the right it did not have to dispose of the fate of Palestine, the "symbol" of suffering during the war in Europe -- this composite mixture of "justifications" for the creation of Israel, good for consumption by European consciences, was never translated on the ground by anything else than the brutal force of guns, torture and generalized terror. Arabs did not consent to any of these justifications. Israel, the only modern state with neither a constitution nor legal boundaries, cannot, for a single moment, let go of its three instruments of founding terror: namely, guns and beatings for Arabs under its control, aerial bombardment of those around it and nuclear weapons to put pressure on great powers. The well known secret of Israel's nuclear arsenal testifies to the "perversity" of the symbolic, which is forced to always present Israel as weak and threatened.

In reality, the only weakness of Israel is precisely this force, or rather its exclusive confidence in force. Soviet or Arab missiles do not shake Israel. What shakes Israel are the naked chests of Palestinians, the small stones that recall the biblical story of David and Goliath. Founded on force, incapable after forty years of making itself welcome in a Middle East that it severely drenched in blood and fire, Israel is condemned to disappear. Westerners should be well inspired to vote a new Law of Return, giving Israeli citizens the possibility of emigrating to lands where their existence would no longer be based on the denial of that of others. Many are already doing that. Let us welcome with solicitude those who refuse to be accomplices to this new barbarism.

There has been a joke going around for some years now about a phantom project of an international conference which would miraculously settle the problem. This is but an elegant manner to gain time in order to reinforce Israel's arsenals and bail out its coffers. Militarily and financially, Israel is but the armed extension of American power. The difference between the Likud and the opposition is only a divergence in tactics over means and timing of annexation and domination. Unfortunately, the pacifists' voices remain inaudible. Besides, negotiate what? Even if the Arab dictatorships are made to ratify the status quo, even if a rump state is granted to a Palestinian bourgeoisie whose dreams are built on political chatter, what would be resolved? It is the whole system of Western domination over the Middle East, of which Israel is the advanced impregnable bastion, that is the source of all these convulsions. [30] To those who do not want to draw the appropriate lessons, the Iranian example shows that domination generates resistance which will fight to the end.

It is not only since December 1987 that this helmeted oppression rules and that the resistance manifests itself. Blood has been flowing for forty years. It is in this bloody quagmire that Israel is inexorably sinking. One day, there will be nothing left and future generations will no longer understand the why of this long ferocity. They will wonder how a symbol could have concealed its opposite for such a long time.




1) The first part of this chapter was published in the Annales d'histoire révisionniste, No. 1, Spring 1987, pp. 109-135. Notes for this edition are between brackets.

2) [This thesis is still borne by the demonization of the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein as Hitleroid. There are others.]

3) [This slander was picked up again by propagandists without scruples like Pierre Vidal-Naquet: "It is well known that Arab money, notably from Saudi Arabia, serves for the dissemination of revisionist theses," (Le Nouvel Observateur, 18-24 September, 1987.]

4) During the summer of 1981, some articles in the Lebanese press and in the magazine, Doha, published in the Gulf, reported on the suit filed against Faurisson in Paris. It was also mentioned briefly in the influential weekly, Al Hawades (January 1, 1982), published in London, with the comment: "After this, one is not surprised by Claude Cheysson's declarations in Israel."

5) [Discovering the world, I looked for guides and teachers. So I spent time with Dr. Adel Amer, now deceased, the communist journalist Lutfi Al Khouly, and a young professor, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who was in charge of the economic supplement of the newspaper, Al Ahram, now [1996] Secretary General of the United Nations. I am very grateful to them.]

6) This fairly short text, discussed with a group of friends and redrafted, was published under the title, "Introduction au probleme Palestinien, Etudes anticolonialistes, No. 1, November 1962. It was reprinted in June, 1967.

7) [Since writing these lines, this function of "promise for a better future" was picked up again by what the press calls "integrists," also called "islamists." They do not possess, anymore than their predecessors, disciples of a popular Marxist sclerosis, the keys to a true global reform of Muslim societies. In my opinion, their power is only transitory.]

8) [On certain French aspects of this question, see my review of a book by James Bacque, Other Losses, Toronto, 1989, reproduced in the present book as an annex, under the title: "Vae victis." It can be seen at:


9) There were direct reactions in Israel to the Faurisson Affair. But the answer came in June, 1981 in the form of a gigantic gathering of Nazi camp survivors whose mission was to testify in a definite manner for use by younger generations. For many weeks, the American network television channels dedicated an hour a day to reports on this demonstration. The French committee that participated in this gathering was presided over by Simone Veil and led by a little known personality by the name of Georges Wellers, propelled by newspapers, radio and television for the distinguished part he played against Faurisson.

10) Evron mentions in his title,"the Jewish people," even though in his article, he seems to rather mean the "Jewish Israeli people." I put "people" in quotes in the first lines of the present text. The word leads to analysis problems with serious consequences in political understanding. It obviously has its origins in the political-religious concepts of antiquity. The contemporary ethnographer would rather speak of "tribe" to describe the Jewish people of antiquity, despite the fact that this term also covers very diverse sociopolitical formulas. The notion of a people in the diaspora context, refers rather to a religious notion. This ancient sense still holds, for example, for the Church, which can speak of a Christian "people." The modern notion of people, which originated from the revolutionary period, is completely inadequate and many Jews certainly do not feel that they belong to a Jewish "people" in the modern and Zionist sense of the term. On the contrary, one can speak of an Israeli people. To get into the details of this and many other important aspects of these questions, the reader is referred to the very rich and remarkable collection of articles by Maxime Rodinson, Peuple juif ou probleme juif?, Maspero, 1981. Some of these articles have already appeared in Arabic. It is quite interesting that Rodinson put a question mark in his title and does not define what he means by "Jewish people." Such a term is too full of subjective considerations to be of any use in serious analyses.

11) Boaz Avron's full article was published in English in a small journal, now defunct, called "Israleft" and then in French in No. 2 of Revue d'études palestiniennes, Paris, Winter 1982, pp. 36-52. [Evron is a former member of the Stern gang. See clarifying commentary by Israel Shahak, in the same number, pp. 53-63, that gives of the evolution of the Goy (gentile) concept an historical analysis that I believe fundamental.]

12) [See, for example, the very bad book, Le Croissant et la croix gammée, by Faligot & Kauffer, a sample of this sub-literature written in the style of spy novels by "journalists" who are either hacks in the pay of the police or policemen making extra money in the literary world. Dominique Wolton is another beacon in this calculated distillation of police archives, a vast terrain open to all sorts of occult political maneuvers. Too bad the salt mines were closed.]

13) The Birth of Israel. Myths and Realities, by Simha Flapan (NY, Pantheon, 1987), is a useful book in this respect. Based on Israeli archival documents, he dismantles the main political myths, which are still current today, about the creation of the Jewish state.

14) It would be correct to consider that some Zionists, like Herzl and others, who were immersed in the racist ideas of the period, contributed to the formulation of this völkisch -- i.e., "protofascist" -- set of concepts where Nazism and the dominant currents of Zionism took root. See, for example, the reference to the manifesto of "Der jüdische Volkssozialismus," the Jewish National Socialist Party of Victor Arlosoroff, published in 1919, in the short but penetrating essay, "Chambre à gaz, enfer sacré de Faust," (Gas Chamber, Faust's Sacred Hell) by Mondher Sfar, Revue d'histoire revisionniste, May-June-July, 1990, pp. 38-50. Visible at:


15) For example, that of Michael Bar-Zohar, Ben Gurion, NY, Adama Books, 1977.

16) Appeared in Maintenant le communisme, Paris, No. 1, Spring 1991, pp. 34-36.

17) Victor Ostrovsky and Claire Hoy, Mossad, un agent des services secrets israeliens parle, 1990, 324 pp. (English original: By Way of Deception. The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer, St. Martin's Press, 1990.)

18) Jacques Derogy and Hesi Carmel, Israel ultra-secret, Paris, Robert Laffont, 1989, p. 86.

19) Today, the best account remains that of Noam Chomsky in The Fateful Triangle, The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, Boston, South End Press, 1983.

20) See The Zionist Connection, a classic work by Alfred Lilienthal. There exists a second larger edition. The literature is considerable. See "American Jewish Organizations and Israel," an inventory by Lee O'Brien. On the penetration of the American political system, see They Dare to Speak Out, by Paul Findley, former congressman from Illinois, and the book already cited by Seymour Hersh. See also commentaries in the American press about the Pollard affair (spy for Israel).

21) I went back 15 years later. The West has spent a lot of money to modernize this bazar. But modern junk and the longevity of the crowned butcher in power did not convey more reality to this byproduct of colonial carvings.

22) In September, 1970, King Hussein ordered an attack with heavy weapons on the camps, resulting in eight to ten thousand dead.

23) This Palestinian universe was much better described by Jean Genet in his last book, Un Captif amoureux, Paris, Gallimard, 1986.

24) At the moment, I had not given full credit to this assertion, In fact, phosphorus use is forbidden by all international conventions in force. It had not been used since the massive Allied bombardments of big German cities. However, during the siege of Beirut in 1982, Israel's airforce made massive use of this prohibited weapon in full view of the international press. I don't remember any western government -- so worried about a hypothetical Iraqi chemical attack -- blink an eye about Israel's indisputable war crime.

25) This "theory" of three circles was outlined by Abdel Nasser in Falsafat ath-thawra (The Philosophy of the Revolution), a booklet widely circulated in the Arab world.

26) This assertion is a mental construct, as I found out during an investigation in the camps in Lebanon in 1973. Not only were social classes very tangible, but clan and large family networks were also present. Traditional rivalries among large families were translated into allegiances to rival political organizations, whose clashes, sometimes bloody, expressed these power struggles, as much as rivalries between various Arab countries that financed them. Under nationalism and propelling it, there are always groups who intend to appropriate exclusively the eventual power of the state. But it is in their interest to keep as discrete an existence as possible. That is why I was not able to conduct this inquiry any further. I am one of those who totally support the Palestinian cause, without having the need to idealize those involved in it. On the contrary, the severe criticism that can be directed at them has been expressed for a long time in private in the camps and elsewhere. Development of the Intifada and of the so called fundamentalist movement, Hamas, are consequences of this critique. There are others.

27) There is a large proportion of Christians among the Palestinians. It is decreasing under Israeli pressure on Christians to emigrate. Note that the position expressed here by Fatah representatives has been abandoned by the PLO, which ended up accepting the principle of partition. Personally, I think that these enormous concessions will lead to nothing, that they are immoral and incorrect to convince the occupier. Those who applaud when the Palestinians give up defending themselves and accept the partition, should have applied such noble principles in 1940-44 and proposed to the Germans a partition of French territory.

28) Organization, similar to NATO, that the Americans set up in the Middle East during the cold war, in order to encircle the Soviet Union.

29) Appeared under this title in Annales d'histoire revisionniste, No. 4, Spring 1988, pp. 60-62.

30) My deep scepticism on what could come out of such an international conference since February 1991, as Basra was still smoking in ruin, was expressed in "L'idée d'une conférence internationale ou la grande mystification des peuples," Gazette du Golfe et de banlieues, No. 2, March 1991, pp. 16-22.

The reader may wish to see the original text: Une Allumette sur la banquise -- Ecrits de combat (1980-1992) published privately in 1993 by Le Temps Irréparable, in France. See the chapter five.

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