I agree with his depiction of the utter immorality of Zionist dispossession and occupation of Palestinians. However, I know from our previous conversations that we differ markedly on the Canadian state’s dispossession of its Original Peoples.
Greg Felton: These myths aren’t widely known because they are actively censored in our schools, universities and media. The subjugation of Palestine is so intricately bound up with deeper, official beliefs about the treatment of Jews under the Third Reich and the creation of Israel that a rational investigation of the subject would necessarily expose these beliefs as fraudulent. So much of our power structure owes its existence to these beliefs that the lies they harbour must be defended at all costs.
Unless we debunk these false beliefs, we will continue to be enslaved by them. The best way to do this lies in reading and supporting independent media, and challenging historical fallacies as much as possible. That’s why the Internet is the last bastion of free speech. Of course, net neutrality is under attack from armies of myth defenders.
KP: You wrote, “For the U.S., aiding and abetting Israel’s subjugation of Palestine and its neighbours supplanted oil security as the prime determinant of Middle East policy from 1980 onward. In the services of this foreign entity, the U.S. government freely squandered, and continues to squander, American lives, resources and self-respect.” You conclude the United States is not in control. If this is the case, why do you think the US government relinquished control?
GF: The U.S. did not “relinquish control” in any formal sense; the country was subverted from within by the Israel Lobby. This is the thesis of my first book The Host and the Parasite—How Israel’s Fifth Column Consumed America. Without recapitulating the entire book, a shorthand answer traces this subversion to 1980, when the U.S. public voted for religion over reason. Under President Ronald Reagan, Zionist Jews would infiltrate policy-making levels of government and proliferate like a cancer. When combined with the growing constellation of influential propaganda “think tanks” like AEI and WINEP, Zionists and evangelical Christians proceeded to turn the U.S. into a servant of Israel. Congress is now so thoroughly colonized that it cannot act in the U.S. interest.
KP: You state that myths used to prop up ideologies and false histories will ultimately tear a country apart. If true, should this deter the use of myths for ulterior goals? Given that the Zionists are creating facts-on-the-ground, could it not be that such myths will ultimately secure that dispossessed from others? And since some Zionists have been forthcoming about the dispossession (as Exploding Middle East Myths gives ample examples of), why do you believe it will tear Israel apart?
GF: If all Jews in Israel were rabid Zionists, I might agree, but the illusion of Israel as a legitimate, democratic country is at odds with its behaviour. Every country needs to have a governing ethos in which all citizens can see themselves. The disconnect between theory and practice, once deniable during the Cold War and the farcical Oslo “negotiations,” is now unbridgeable. Israel is now reduced to repudiating any pretence to democracy and even attacking Jews who support democracy and right for Palestinians. If Israel purports to be a Jewish state, it cannot long continue to be a living contempt of that idea.
KP: You apparently are against the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. You say that many Iranians consider him to be a “needlessly provocative buffoon.” You accuse him of something that many people would accuse you of: “anti-Israel bombast.” What is the difference between your opposition to Israel and that of Ahmadinejad?
GF: In fact, I support Ahmadinejad. He is a rational, well-spoken man who understands the Middle East better than most Westerners. Many Iranians may find him unnecessarily provocative, but I don’t. Our attitudes toward Israel are, in fact, similar but by no means could I be called bombastic or buffoonish. My writing is carefully researched and even my detractors cannot find fault with my facts. That’s why they have to resort to character assassination. My writing may at times be theatrical and satirical, but only a Zionist would dismiss it as bombastic.
KP: You criticize James Petras for not having looked at the 2009 Iranian elections from the “public’s point of view.” To substantiate this claim, you cite Richard Haass from the Council on Foreign Relations (arguably, an extreme establishment organization). With all due respect, I found such reasoning uncompelling, comparing the sources. Why should the views of the CFR be believed over that of Petras?
GF: I did not cite the views of the CFR. I cited a view that belonged to Richard Haass. It does not matter to me in the least who a person is or what agency he may belong to. All that matters is the accuracy and believability of the argument. If we judge the accuracy of an argument based on the arguer’s résumé or political affiliation we “credentialize” truth and fall into irrationality.
KP: You compare the “official” narrative of 9-11 to the Iranian government’s reactions to the protests of the 2009 elections and conclude that “it is logical to conclude that Ahmadinejad’s election might well be a fraud.” With all due respect, my logic did not come to such a conclusion. Second, you asked how an economist, Mark Weisbrot, “deemed himself competent to write on Iranian politics.” So I respectfully inquire how do you deem yourself more competent to write on Iranian politics than Weisbrot?
GF: I do not deem myself more competent than Wesibrot to write on Iranian politics. He may in fact be competent, but he gave no sign of it in his analysis of the Iranian election. In short, he had no evidence to back up his charge that the election was legitimate. He resorted to the same lazy guesswork that defenders of the official narrative of Sept. 11 did. Instead of making a case, he hides behind the hypothetical mood. To give the illusion that it was logistically impossible. “Indeed, if this election was stolen, there must be tens of thousands of witnesses—or perhaps hundreds of thousand—to the theft. Yet there are no media accounts of interviews with such witnesses.” An honest arguer cannot deny the validity of a cause by denying its effect, yet that is what Weisbrot did, and what numerous apologist for the official narrative of Sept. 11 do.
Regarding Petras, he offers no evidence to support his claim that Ahmadinejad’s opponents were pro-Western, or that there are Western protégés in Iran. Mir-Hossien Mousavi, who many argue really won the election, is in fact more liberal, but he is not about to undo the Islamic nature of Iran. Petras’s arguments seemed more reflexive than researched.
KP: You note that in 1947 the United Nations voted to establish an Arab and Jewish state in Palestine. Given that it has already been established by a UN vote, what effect do you think this will have on the current Palestinian attempt for UN re-recognition of statehood?
GF: First of all, the UN did not establish Israel. That is a popular myth. The 1947 Partition Plan that ostensibly carved out a Jewish State out of Arab Palestine was never ratified in the Security Council, and therefore does not exist. Israel has never had legal, moral or political legitimacy, and this is the reason that Israel and its client states are so desperate to sabotage UN recognition of Palestinian statehood. Inasmuch as the Partition Plan was illegal—the UN has not right to take land from one people to give it to another—there was much reference made to an Arab state. The very idea of partition implies two parts, yet Israel has never recognized Palestine’s right to exist. To do so would expose the utter criminality, not only of the incessant Jewish colonization, but the illegitimacy of Israel itself. As I said in my first column on this topic: “We can have peace in the Middle East or we can have Israel; we cannot have both.”
KP: You write that overseas media like BBC, the Guardian, Al Jazeera (the latter accused by many critics of disinformation abetting the NATO coup in Libya) as keeping Canadians “well informed about the Middle East,” contrary to what many independent journalists contend, e.g., Media Lens and other writers at Dissident Voice. Should readers regard such corporate/state media sources as reliable, especially compared to independent media sources?
GF: All media should be judged critically. The British and Arab sources mentioned above do a comparatively better job than North American sources, but have their own particular problems. Al-Jazeera has lost some credibility since the Saudis bought into it and the station got into North America, and the BBC is largely zionist house-trained; however, it is more likely to broadcast an intelligent Palestinian perspective than anything over here. The Guardian is by far the best of the lot, and I would place it in the first rank along with Le Monde Diplomatique and Press TV’s international service. Generally speaking, independent sources are more reliable because they are not as vulnerable to financial and political pressures. But what matters the most is the way the news is reported, not who reports it.
KP: Anarchist professor Noam Chomsky holds (and I agree) that people should focus on the actions of their own states: “My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one’s actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences.” [Noam Chomsky, On Power and Ideology: The Managua Lectures (South End Press, 1987.)]
Your focus, however, seems to be very much on criticism of Zionist crimes against Palestinians and criticism of Canadian government complicity in Zionist crimes. If there is substance to what Chomsky says, why do you not write more frequently about colonialist crimes against Canada’s Original Peoples, given that non-Indigenous Canadians (similarly to Ashkenazi Jews) live on a land gained through war crimes and dispossession?
GF: I dissent very strongly from Noam Chomsky. He is of the opinion that the U.S. is the dominant partner in the U.S. relationship, and for this reason he directs so much of his criticism towards the U.S. However, I find no support for this position. In fact, the ease with which Israel humiliates U.S. presidents and causes deliberate harm to U.S. interests should be enough to show Chomsky has it backwards. He does not appreciate that the U.S. has no government; Congress and the White House has been so thoroughly colonized by Israel that any discussion of U.S. national policy is a polite joke. I see little merit in the quote you cite. Given the overwhelming zionist influence on U.S. (and Canadian) policy, protesting the actions of one’s national government makes as much sense as treating the symptoms of a disease rather than the cause.
Since I find no substance in what Chomsky says, I see little reason to write about colonialist crimes against Canada’s original peoples. In fact, I go out of my way not to conflate this issue with the zionist destruction of Palestine.
First, I reject the parallel between Ashkenazi Jews and European Canadians. Though there are superficial similarities, the magnitude, duration and sadistic ferocity of Jewish war crimes against Palestine are orders of magnitude beyond what Europeans did to the natives.
Second, the European colonial period is history, and cannot be changed; the Jewish colonial period is current, and can be changed. (I think Chomsky would appreciate this point.)
Third, zionists use Canada’s colonial past to deflect criticism of Israel, such as: “Why criticize Israel when you did the same thing to your natives? You’re nothing but a hypocrite!”
Fourth, Canada’s native leadership is only too happy to suck up to the Israel Lobby and identify the persecution that suffered with Jewish persecution. This puts Canada’s natives in the position of giving propaganda cover for zionist atrocities.
- I wrote almost 6 years ago: “Nonetheless, in 1950, the UN General Assembly granted membership to Israel but under certain conditions. UN General Assembly Resolution 273 decreed that Israel must implement UN General Assembly Resolution 181 that defines the borders of Israel and Palestine and Resolution 194 that recognizes the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Israel has so far refused. UN General Assembly Resolutions, however, are not binding under international law.” “Anti-Israel?” Dissident Voice, 27 October 2005. [↩]