WAR GUILT IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Introdução: Um texto de 1967, na publicação que por excelência deu (ou marca a) origem do movimento libertarian. Rothbard, começou a sua senda politica nos Young Republicans e no conservadorismo tradicional americano para passar a um dos responsáveis principais por um novo movimento ideológico, juntando o que tinha sido o isolacionismo conservador tradicional americano, que se opôs à WWI, ao New Deal e o envolvimento dos EUA na Europa da WWII (Roosevelt prometeu sob a biblia, no seu famoso terceiro mandato - será que Putin vai ser crucificado se fizer o mesmo que Roosevelt fêz ? - não envolver os EUA noutra "guerra dos europeus"), com as raizes neutrais dos founding fathers, e ainda as suas próprias contribuições anti-state e com o tempo, novas incursôes nas teorias do anarco-capitalismo. Rothbard, filho de imigrantes Judeus Polacos.
O texto é de Outono de 1967, na altura, a critica não-á-esquerda do intervencionismo no Vietname (desde as suas origens, não a meio) fazia dele uma voz isolada e por isso mesmo com tentativas de alianças estratégicas com quem, sobre um determinado assunto, na altura o intervencionismo da guerra fria, obtivesse algum contacto (de resto, mais tarde acabada por causa dos problemas crónicos de consistência e honestidade à esquerda). Sobre o Médio Oriente também. O que ele repetia muitas vezes era (citando o filme que admirava - O Padrinho) , "Esta foi a vida que escolhemos". (Mas sempre acompanhado pela sua discreta mulher). Não foi uma vida fácil, para quem, em todos os assuntos (quer os da pura discussão na ciência económica - acolhendo/adoptando/desenvolvendo a Escola Austriaca e o Miseseanismo, quer os da ardilosa discussão da actualidade política, a do revisionismo anti-intervencionismo da história das guerras, etc) tinha um especial jeito para escolher os motivos mais fáceis para se colocar fora do maistream que por um motivo ou outro acaba sempre por fazer a corte à corte estatista. Daí a alcunha de Rothbard, the Anti-Sate.
Murray N. Rothbard "Editorial: War Guilt in the Middle East (505KB), LEFT AND RIGHT: A Journal of Libertarian Thought. Volume 3, Number 3; Spring-Autumn 1967
"(...) let us examine the root historical causes of the chronic as wellas the current acute crisis in the Middle East; and let us dochis with a view to discovering and assessing the Guilty.
The chronic Middle East crisis goes hack--as do many crises--to World War I.
The Brittsh, in return for mobilizing the Arab peoples against their oppressors of imperialTurkey, promised the Arabs their independence when the war was over. But, at the same time, the British government,with characteristic double-dealing, was promising Arab Palestine as a "National Home" for organized Zionism.
(...) We must, then, go back still further in history: forwhat was world Zionism.
Before the French Revolution,the Jews of Europe had been largely encased in ghettoes.and there emerged from ghetto life a distinct Jewish cultural and ethnic (as well as religious) identity, withYiddish as the common language (Hebrew being only theancient language of religious ritual.)
After the French Revolution, the Jews of Western Europe were emancipated from ghetto life, and they then faced a choice ofwhere to go from there. One group, the heirs of the Enlightenment, chose and advocated the choice of casting off narrow, parochial ghetto culture on behalf of assimi-lation into the culture and the environment of the Western world.
While assimilationism was clearly the rational course in America and Western Europe, this route couldnot easily be followed in Eastern Europe, where theghetto walls still held. In Eastern Europe, therefore, the Jews turned toward various movements for preservationof the Jewish ethnic and cultural identity. Most prevalentwas Bundism, the view point of the Jewish Bund, which advocated Jewish national self-determination, up to andi ncluding a Jewish State & the predominantly Jewish areas of Eastern Europe. (Thus, according to Bundism, the city of Vilna, in Eastern Europe, with a majority population of Jews, would be part of a newly-formed Jewish State.)
Another, less powerful, group of Jews,the Territorialist Movement, despairing of the future of Jews in Eastern Europe, advocated preserving the Yid-dishist Jewish identity by forming Jewish colonies and communities (States) in various unpopulated, virginareas of the world.
Given the conditions of European Jewry in the late 19 than turn of the 20th centuries, all of these movements had a rational groundwork .
The one Jewish movementthat made no sense was Zionism, a movement which began blended with Jewish Territorialism. But while the Territorialists simply wanted to preserve Jewish-Yid-dishist identity in a newly-developed land of their own Zionism began to insist on a Jewish land in Palestine alone.
The fact that Palestine was not a virgin land, butalready occupied by an Arab peasantry, meant nothing tothe ideologues of Zionism. Furthermore, the Zionists,far from hoping to preserve ghetto Yiddish culture, wishedto bury it and to substitute anewculture and a new languagebased on an artificial secular expansion of ancient reli-gious Hebrew.
Because of the Arabs resident in Palestine, Zionism had to become in practice an ideology of conquest. After World War 1, Great Britain seized control of Palestine and used its sovereign power to promote, encourage and abet the expropriation of Arab lands for Zionist use and for Zionist immigration.
In 1903, the British offered territory in Uganda forJewish colonization, and the rejection of this offer bythe Zionists polarized the Zionist and Territorialist move-ments which previously had been fused together. Fromthen on, the Zionists would be committed to the blood-and-soil mystique of Palestine, and Palestine alone, whilethe Territorialists would seek virgin land elsewhere inthe world.
Often old Turkish landtitles would be dredged up and purchased cheaply, thus expropriating the Arab peasantry on behalf of European Zionist immigration.
Into the heart of the peasant andnomadic Arab world of the Middle East there thus cameas colonists, and on the backs and on the bayonets of British imperialism, a largely European colonizing people.While Zionism was now committed to Palestine as a Jewish National Home, it was not yet committed to the aggrandizement of an independent Jewish State in Palestine.Indeed, only a minority of Zionists favored a Jewish State,and many of these had broken off from official Zionism,under the influence of Vladimir Jabotinsky, to form the Zionist-Revisionist movement to agitate for a Jewish Stateto rule historic ancient Palestine on both sides of theJordan River. It is not surprising that Jabotinsky expressedgreat admiration for the militarism and the social philosophy of Mussolini's fascism.
At the other wing of Zionism were the cultural Zionists, who opposed the idea of a political Jewish State. In particular,the (Unity) movement, centered around Martin Buberand a group of distinguished Jewish intellectuals from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, advocated, when theBritish should leave, a bi-national Jewish-Arab state inPalestine, with neither religious group to dominate theother, but both to work in peace and harmony to build theland of Palestine.
But the inner logic of Zionism was not to be brooked. In the tumultuous World Zionist convention at New York's Hotel Biltmore in 1942, Zionism, for the first time, adopted the goal of a Jewish State in Palestine, and nothing less.The extremists had won out. From then on, there was to bepermanent crisis in the Middle East.
Pressured from opposite sides by Zionists anxious for a Jewish state and by Arabs seeking an independent Palestine the British finally decided to pull out after World War II, and to turn the problem over to the United Nations.
As the drive for a Jewish State intensified, the revered Dr. Judah Magnes, President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and head of the movement, bitterly denounced 'Zionist Totalitarianism", which, he charged, is 'trying to bring"the' entire Jewish people under its influence by force and violence. I have not yet seen the Zionist terrorists calledb y their rightful names: Killers--brutalized men andwomen . .. All Jews in America share in the guilt, eventhose not in accord with the activities of this new paganleadership, but who sit at ease with folded hands . . . "
Shortly afterward, Dr. Magnes felt it necessary to exile himself from Palestine and emigrate to the United States. Under unbelievably intense pressure from the United States,the UN--including an enthusiastic US and USSR--reluctantly approved a palestine partition plan in November 1947, aplan that formed the basis of the British pull-out and the Israel declaration of existence on May 15 of the followingyear.
The partition plan granted the Jews, who had a negligible fraction of Palestine land, almost half the land area of the country. Zionism had succeeded in carving out a European Jewish State, over Arab territory in the MiddleEast. But this is by no means all. The UN agreement had provided (a) that Jerusalem be internationalized under UN rule, and (b) that there be an economic union between the new Jewish and Arab Palestine states.
These were the basic conditions under which the UN approved partition.Both were promptly and brusquely disregarded by Israel--thus launching an escalating series of aggressions against the Arabs of the Middle East.
While the British were stillin Palestine, the Zionist para-military forces began to crush the Palestinian Arab armedforces in a series of civil war clashes. But, more fatefully,on April 9, 1948, the fanatical Zionist-Revisionist terrorists grouped in the organization Irgun Zvai Leumi massacred a hundred women and children in the Arab village of DeinYassin.
By the advent of Israel's independence on May 15 the Palestinian Arabs, demoralized, were fleeing in panic from their homes and from the threat of massacre.
The neighboring Arab states then sent in their troops. Historians are wont to describe the ensuing war as an invasion of Israel by the Arab states, heroically rebuffed by Israel, but since all of the fighting took place on Arab territory, this inter-pretation is clearly incorrect.
What happened, in fact, ist hat Israel managed to seize large chunks of territory assigned to the Palestinian Arabs by the partition agreement: including the Arab areas of Western Galilee. Arab west-central Palestine as "corridor" to Jerusalem, and the Arabcities of Jaffa and Beersheba. The bulk of Jerusalem--the New City--was also seized by Israel and the UN inter-nationalization plan discarded.
The Arab armies were hampered by their own inefficiency and disunity and by a series of UN-imposed truces broken only long enough forI srael to occupy more Arab territory.
By the time of the permanent armistice agreement of February 24, 1949. then, 600.000 Jews had created a State which had originally housed 850,000 Arabs (out of a totalPalestinian Arab population of 1.2 million).
Of these Arabs.three-quarters of a million had been driven out from their lands and homes, and the remaining remnant was subjectto a harsh military rule which, two decades later, is stillin force.
The homes, lands, and bank accounts of the fleeing Arab refugees were promptly confiscated by Israel and handed over to Jewish immigrants. Israel has long claimed that the three-quarters of a million Arabs were not driven out by force but rather by their own unjustified panic in-duced by Arab leaders--but the key point is that everyone recognizes Israel's adamant refusal to let these refugees return and reclaim the property taken from them.
From that day to this, for two decades, these hapless Arab refugees, their ranks now swollen by natural increase to1.3 million, have continued to live in utter destitution in refugee camps around the Israeli borders, barely kept alive by meagre UN funds and CARE packages, living only for the day when they will return to their rightful homes.
In the areas of Palestine originally assigned to the Arabs, no Palestinian Arab government remained. The acknowledged leader of the Palestinian Arabs, their Grand Mufti Haj Aminel-Husseini, was summarily deposed by the long-time British tool, King Abdullah of Trans-jordan, who simply confiscated the Arab regions of east-central Palestine, as well as the Old City of Jerusalem. (King Abdullah's Arab Legion had been built, armed, staffed, and even beaded by such coloni-alist British officers as Glubb Pasha.)
On the Arab refugees, Israel takes the attitude that the taxpayers of the world (i.e., largely the taxpayers of theUnited States) should kick in to finance a vast scheme tore-settle the Palestinian refugees somewhere in the MiddleEast--i.e., somewhere far from Israel.
The refugees, how-ever, understandahly have no interest in being re-settled;they want their own homes and properties back, period.
The armistice agreement of 1949 was supposed to be policedby a series of Mixed Armistice Commissions, composed of Israel and her Arab neighbors.
Very soon, however, Israeldissolved the Mixed Armistice Commissions and began toencroach upon more and more Arab territory. Thus, theofficially demilitarized zone of El Auja was summarilyseized by Israel.
Since the Middle East was still technically in a state of war(there was an armistice but no treaty of peace), Egypt, from 1949 on, continued to block the Strait of Tiran--the entranceto the Gulf of Aqaba--to all Israeli shipping and to all trade with Israel.
In view of the importance of the blocking of the Gulf of Aqaba in the 1967 war, it is important to remember that nobody griped at this Egyptian action: nobody said that Egypt was violating international law by closing this "peace-ful international waterway."
(Making any waterway open toall nations, according to international law, requires two con-ditions: (a) consent by the powers abutting on the water-way, and (b) no state of war existing between any powers onthe waterway. Neither of these conditions obtained for the Gulf of Aqaba: Egypt has never consented to such an agree-ment, and lsrael has been in a state of war with Egypt since 1949, so that Egypt blocked the Gulf to Israeli shipping un-challenged from 1949 on.)
Israel's history of continuing aggression had only begun.
Seven years later, in 1956, Israel, conjoined to British and French imperialist armies, jointly invaded Egypt.
And oh how proudly Israel consciously imitated Nazi blitzkriegand sneak-attack tactics. And oh how ironic that the very same American Establishment that had for years denounced Nazi blitzkriegs and sneak-attacks, was suddenly lost inadmiration for the very same tactics employed by Israell
But in this case, the United States, momentarily abandon its intense and continued devotion to the Israeli cause, joined with Russia in forcing the combined aggressors back fromEgyptian soil.
But Israel did not agree to pull its forces outof the Sinai peninsula until Egypt agreed to allow a special UN Emergency Force to administer the Sharm-el Sheikhfortress commanding the Strait of Tiran.
Characteristically, Israel scornfully refused the UNEF permission to patrolits side of the border. Only Egypt agreed to allow access to the UN forces, and it was because of this that the Gulf of Aqaba was opened to Israeli shipping from 1956 on.
The 1967 crisis emerged from the fact that, over the last few years, the Palestinian Arab refugees have begun to shiftfrom their previous bleak and passive despair, and begun to form guerrilla movements which have infiltrated the Israeli borders to carry their fight into the region of their lost homes.
Since last year, Syria has been under the control ofthe most militantly anti-imperialist government that the Middle East has seen in years. Syria's encouragement to the Palestinian guerrilla forces led Israel's frenetic leaders to threaten war upon Syria and the conquest of Damascus--threats punctuated by severe reprisal raids against Syrianand Jordanian villages. At this point. Egypt's premier,Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had been an anti-Israel blowhardfor years, but had concentrated instead ondemagogicstatist measures that wrecked Egypt's domestic economy, was challenged by the Syrians to do something concrete to help:in particular, to end UNEF control--and hence continuing Israeli shipping--in the Gulf of Aqaba.
Hence, Nasser's request for the UNEF to leave. Pro-Israeli griping at UThant's swift compliance is grotesque, when we considerthat the UN forces were there only at Egyptian request,and that lsrael has always adamantly refused to have theUN forces on its side of the border.
It was at that point.with the closing of the Strait of Tiran, that Israel evidently began to set the stage for its next blitzkrieg war.
While giving lip-service to peaceful negotiation, the Israeli government finally knuckled under to "hawk" pressure withinthe country; and the appointment of the notoriously war-mongering General Moshe Dayan as Minister of Defense was obviously the signal for the Israeli blitz attack that came afew days later.
The incredibly swift Israeli victories; the press glorification of Israeli tactics and strategy; the patent unreadiness of the Arab forces despite the hoopla; all this indicates to all but the most naive the fact that Israel launched the war of 1967--a fact that Israel scarcely bothers to deny.
One of the most repellent aspects of the 1967 slaughteris the outspoken admiration for the Israeli conquest by almost all Americans, Jew and non-Jew alike. There seems to be a sickness deep in the American soul that causes itto identify with aggression and mass murder--the swifter and more brutal the better. In all the spate of admirationf or the Israeli march, how many people were there to mourn the thousands of innocent Arab civilians murdered by the Israeli use of napalm?(...)
When this war began, the Israeli leaders proclaimed that they were not interested in "one inch' of territory; their fighting was purely defensive.
But now that Israel sits upon its conquests, after repeated violations of UN cease-fires, it sings a very different tune. Its forces still occupy all ofthe Sinai peninsula; all of Palestinian Jordan has been seized, sending another nearly 200,000 hapless Arab refugees to join their hundredsof thousands of forlorn comrades;it has seized a goodly chunk of Syria; and Israel arrogantly proclaims that it will never, never return the Old City of Jerusalem or internationalize it; Israeli seizure of all of Jerusalem is simply 'not negotiable.
'If Israel has been the aggressor in the Middle East, therole of the United States in all this has been even moreunlovely. The hypocrisy of the U. S. position is almost unbelievable--or would he if we were not familiar withU. S. foreign policy over the decades. When the war first hegan , and it looked for a moment as if Israel were indanger, the U. S. rushed in to avow its dedication to the"territorial integrity of the Middle East"--as if the bordersof 1949-67 were somehow embalmed in Holy Writ and had to be preserved at all costs.
But--as soon as it was clear that Israel had won and conquered once again, America swiftly shed its supposed cherished "principles." Nowthere is no more talk of the "territorial integrity of theMiddle East"; now it is all "realism" and the absurdity of going hack to obsolete status quo borders and the necessity for the Arabs to accept a general settlement in theMiddle East, etc.
(...) The one thing that Americans must not be lured intobelieving is that Israel is a "little" "underdog" against its mighty Arab neighbors. Israel is a European nation with aEuropean technological standard battling a primitive and undeveloped foe; furthermore.
Israel has behind it, feedingit, and financing it, the massed-might of countless Americans and West Europeans, as well as the Leviathan governments of the United States and its numerous allies and client states .Israel is no more a "gallant underdog" because of numerical inferiority than British Imperialism was a "gallant under-dog' when it conquered far more populous lands in India, Africa, and Asia.
And so, Israel now sits, occupying its swollen territory, pulverizing houses and villages containing snipers, outlawingstrikes of Arabs, killing Arab youths in the name of checking terrorism. But this very occupation, this very elephantiasis of Israel, provides the Arabs with a powerful long-range opportunity.
(...) But for the long-run, the threat is very real Israel, therefore, faces a long-run dilemma which she must someday meet. Either to continue on her present course, and,after years of mutual hostility and conflict be overthrown byArab people's guerrilla war. Or--to change direction dras-ically, to cut herself loose completely from Western imperial ties, and become simply Jewish citizens of the MiddleEast.
If she did that, then peace and harmony and justicewould at last reign in that tortured region. There is ample precedent for this peaceful coexistence. For in the centuries before 19th and 20th century Western imperialism, Jew and Arab had always lived well and peacefully togetherin the Middle East.
There is no inherent enmity or conflictbetween Arab and Jew. In the great centuries of Arab civilization in North Africa and Spain, Jews took a happyand prominent part--in contrast to their ongoing persecution by the fanatics of the Christian West. Shorn of Western influence and Western imperialism, that harmony can reignonce more."