Wagging Hillary to Blunt Criticism of Israel

Zionists and their American apologists have objected strongly to Hillary Clinton's "weak" protest of Mrs. Suha Arafat's recent criticism of Israel. In typical fashion, they have used their attack on Hillary to scare other American politicians who might dare to listen to Palestinian criticism of Israeli atrocities.

On November 11, 1999, when Mrs. Clinton was at the dedication ceremony of a U.S.-funded health program in the West Bank, Mrs. Arafat condemned "the daily use of toxic gas" and chemicals by Israel. She charged that Israel's use of toxic gas and chemicals has fouled 80 percent of water supplies in Palestinian areas and led to higher incidences of cancer. That very evening, according to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, President Clinton sent Yasser Arafat an angry message, harshly protesting the fact that the Palestinians had embarrassed his wife.

Poor Arafat had no defense for his wife's right to free speech and his Palestinian Authority issued a face-saving statement that Mrs. Arafat did not intend to embarrass Mrs. Clinton. It said Mrs. Arafat did not mean "poisonous gas" but rather tear gas, referring to the Israeli army's use of such gas in dispersing Palestinian stone throwers.

Although muted by the U.S. government pressure, Mrs. Arafat's allegation about Israel's use of poison gas may not be utterly baseless. Israel has carried out the world's most advanced germ warfare program at the Nes Ziona bio-warfare laboratory near Tel Aviv. Last year, Dutch authorities revealed that an Israeli cargo plane that crashed in Amsterdam in 1992 was secretly carrying chemicals used to produce the deadly nerve gas, Sarin, for that laboratory. A U.S. company provided the chemicals under full U.S. government export approval. The Nes Ziona project provoked protests in Israel and the Israeli government was later caught red handed using poison gas in a dishonest attempt to kill its political opponents in its most friendly country Jordan.

Anyway Mrs. Clinton explained that her lack of instant outrage at Mrs. Arafat's remarks was due to "translation difficulties" that didn't give her the full meaning of the remarks. But this didn't save her from attacks. The television, radio, and newspaper commentators still continue to excoriate her for not being loyal enough to Israel. The latest fad in this scare campaign is a television commercial that suggests Mrs. Clinton hugged Mrs. Arafat and didn't walk out in outrage despite her so called anti-Semitic remarks.

The Zionists smell anti-Semitism in anything that is critical of Israel. As Haifa University Professor Bejamin Beit-Hllahmi explains in his book Original Sins, "Anti-Semitism is an ideological complex directed against Jews. It is not aimed at 'Semites,' since there is no such group." It has become a Zionist obsession to cry "anti-Semitic" to intimidate critics of Israel because of its unique and special role in Western consciousness -- a guilt born of centuries of discrimination and atrocities against Jews.

The eminent rhetorical theorist, Kenneth Burke, argued that guilt spurs redemption and is the source of all human activity. Accordingly, the guilt of anti-Semitism is so intense in the Western mind that it makes Israel a holy cow beyond criticism. The Zionists have exploited the intensity of this guilt to turn criticism of Israel into a big American media and political taboo.

For American media and politicians, the state of Israel can do wrong in as much as it claims the legacy of the historical Jewish suffering. That is why, as Prof. Beit-Hllahmi describes, "Everyday, Jewish immigrants landing in Tel-Aviv airport enjoy a warm welcome, watched over, and sometimes financed, by the whole world. They are regarded as refugees deserving a homeland, and that is the realization of the Zionist vision. The world tends to forget the innocent victims of this great vision, Palestinians who are still being made homeless because they are expected to make room for the new immigrants. Palestinians, in turn, are judged to be less than deserving."

That is why, the U.S. government has refrained from criticizing Israel despite its violations of 69 United Nations Security Council resolutions and has used the veto power to protect Israel from 29 other U.N. resolutions condemning Israeli atrocities and violations of international law. For example, when Israel killed 101 refugees in its 1996 bombing on a U.N. shelter in Lebanon, the United States vetoed the U.N. resolution to criticize Israel. Outrageously, the United States has become an eternal shield against criticism of Israel.

Yet in the midst of widespread hypocrisy of American politicians, there is hope. Many Americans are waking up to reality. After knowing the truth, many are hanging their heads in shame and speaking out. And the human voices are waking up in Israel itself. Volumes published by Israel Shahak, the former Hebrew University of Jerusalem Professor who survived the Holocaust, graphically shows how cruel, ugly, and horrible the state mechanism of Israel is in inflicting repression, torture, killing, or other punishment on the Palestinian people.

Even Sunday's article by Gideon Levy, "Days of Peace," published in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reveals that it is the state of Israel that is poisoning peace. Even in the last week, as the media pundits remained preoccupied with the tempest over Mrs. Clinton's delay in showing allegiance, Israeli bulldozers continued demolishing Palestinian homes to make room for Jewish immigrants from anywhere in the world.

Levy writes, "Nothing has changed in the occupied territories. The sun shines, homes are demolished, olive trees are wrenched from the earth, mobile homes of settlers are installed in Palestinians' groves and Israel rules with a hard heart. Governments come and go, but the hand of the occupier is always brutal."

Mohammad A. Auwal is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at California State University, Los Angeles and is a regular columnist for iviews.com

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