Gilbert Schramm: Where we are in the Middle East
Introduction: An overview of issues related to the Middle East. 60 minutes
East meets West (30 minutes)
A brief review of the troubled history of the long relationship between Europe and the Muslim world and the way the Islam is represented in misleading ways by Western academics, politicians, and media.
American Firsts (30 minutes)
Early US encounters with the Middle East from 1780-1920 are discussed, with special emphasis on America’s first war, US missionary activity in the Middle East and America’s role in the peace settlement after World War One (also known as the “peace to end all peace.”
Nationalism, Imperialism and WWII (30 minutes)
This discussion focuses on the European notion of the “nation” and nationalism. We go on to touch on 19th century European imperialism as a feature of nationalism. We then move to the rise of US global power, and how America’s experience in WWII, especially the holocaust, helped shape American views of the region.
American Power and Arab Independence (30 minutes)
We begin with a brief review of the region in 1945 and the problems of post-colonialism and move on to discuss markets, oil, Israel, and how the US fixation on the Cold War and communism helped create some of today’s problems in the region. We conclude with a few more observations on “the Clash of Civilizations.”
A Short Talk about Sources (30 minutes)
We take a short break to talk about the sources we are using—books, websites, films, etc., and to regroup before we go on to a country by country tour of hot spots in the region. A few observations on the durability of “Orientalist” stereotypes conclude the session.
Afghanistan: War Without Winners—Background Culture and History (30 minutes)
This talk centers around the British legacy of the 19th century, efforts at modernization, and the rejection of modernism, from about 1750 to 1979.
Afghanistan: Russian Invasion and Mujahedeen Resistance (30 minutes)
In this episode, we back track a little to explore the evolution of the Mujahedeen in the refuge camps of Pakistan and go on to discuss resistance to Russian occupation.
Afghanistan: Rise of the Taliban and US Invasion (30 minutes)
Here we discuss the nature of the Taliban and the post 9/11 US invasion: the premises it was based on and reasons why it has failed to stabilize or bring peace to Afghanistan.
Iran 1: Putting Down Democracy (30 minutes)
After a brief background starting in the 19th century, the focus here is on the democratic revival, the 1954 US coup against Mossadegh, the rise and fall of the Shah and the rise of the Islamic Republic in 1979.
Iran 2: Shia Revival (30 minutes)
We discuss some key features of Iran’s Shia version of Islam and some of its implications for Iranian politics and social structure, before going on to talk about the revolution of 1979.
Iran 3: Who Did What to Whom? (30 minutes)
Here we concentrate on the 1980-88 war between Iraq and Iran and America’s attempts to demonize the Iranian regime.
Iran 4: Nuclear or Not? (30 minutes)
The merits of the JCPOA (the Iran Nuclear Deal) and the history of Iran’s peaceful Nuclear
program and the many false charges surrounding the alleged existence of a secret weapons program are reviewed.
Iran 5: Conclusions (30 minutes)
The various reasons for America’s aggressive policy towards Iran are reviewed and a more balanced perspective on the regime is presented.
Iraq 1: The Rise of Saddam Hussein (30 minutes)
The British legacy in Iraq is reviewed and some general points about the Arab core
States (Egypt, Syria, and Iraq) are made. Saddam’s rise to power and the Iraq-Iran war are covered.
Iraq 2: The Background of the Basic Policy Problem (30 minutes)
General background of US Middle East policy/ declining effectiveness of US policy/ implications of Internal US debates on foreign policy from Nixon to Reagan
Iraq 3: Saddam’s Iraq as A US client state (30 minutes)
(4 minutes of fundraising notes) Seeing Iraq from 1980 to present as a continuity/ rise of the Neo-cons/ flawed intelligence policy/ Iraq in 1980 as a “model” Arab state (secular/modern/non-communist)/ Iran –Iraq War and US backing of Saddam Hussein/ invasion of Kuwait and lead in to the First Gulf War
Iraq 4: Saddam’s Invasion of Kuwait and the First Gulf War (30 minutes)
(3 minutes of fundraising ) Glaspies “green light”/ lack of planning/ the war and its messy end/ sanctions, inspections and no fly zones/lead in to 2003 US invasion.
Iraq 5: Setting the Stage for Invading Iraq (30 minutes)
Neocons and Vulcans/ infrastructure damage from the First Gulf War/ Precision weapons and Patriots/ rhetoric drives policy/ Israel/ Intelligence problems/ consequences of the First Gulf War that lead to the 2003 invasion.
Iraq 6: 9/11 and the Fallacious Case for War (30 minutes)
The absence of Islamic issues prior to 9/11/ Bush election and first mistakes/ 9/1 response/ Iraq becomes a target/ rationales for war—a campaign of lies/ ethnocentric arguments and how American cultural tendencies and values are used to justify the war/ a web of hypocrisy and projection. Creating a framework for a Fiasco.
Iraq 7: Election Invasion (30 minutes)
Discussion of 2016 election results/ Bush as a template for Trump/Reflections on the incoming administration/ 9/11—War with…. who?/A war looking for a target/ alternatives to war ignored.
Iraq 8: The War on Terror (30 minutes)
Iraq as a scapegoat/Pre 9/11 lack of Terror in the US / oxymoronic thinking and the false premises of the war on Terror/ fear-mongering/ no evidence of Iraqi link to 9/11/ building the false case for war—group think/ Edward Said vs. Bernard Lewis/ the Orientalist-neocon academic case for overthrowing Iraq/ The Israeli connection—“The Secret History of the Iraq War”/ Netanyahu’s false testimony for war.
Iraq 9: Evidence and Intelligence (30 minutes)
Intelligence gathering as intercultural research/ distorting lenses intelligence is filtered through/ Think tanks/pundits/ immigrant voices/ enterprise institute conference/ Spider marks-evidence follies/ drones and ricin/ 2002 inspectors allowed back into Iraq/ the real assumptions—stereotypes of “bad” Muslims and the idea we can’t lose.
Iraq 10: Actual Invasion (30 minutes)
First strike on Saddam fails/ Rumsfeld’s military blunders—not enough troops or supplies/ swift military success/ Iraqi army disappears/ no plan for follow-up/ disappearance of police/ not enough troops to secure country/ looting and chaos countrywide/borders, weapons and WMD sites not secured/ Jay Garner lasts 2 months/ Jerry Bremer / Iraqi army disarmed/ slide into chaos.
Iraq 11. The Folly Continues (30 minutes)
David Kay-weapons inspections and e-mail security/ / Desert Crossing/ Abu Ghraib/ Anthony Shadid and bad relations between US military and Iraqi police/ Blackwater’s low-water/ Ideology drives policy in CPA hiring and spending/ 2005 Haditha massacre/ Keane steps in/ Patraeus writes a new counterinsurgency manual/ Fallujah
Iraq 12. Counterinsurgency Reconsidered (30 minutes)
Counter-insurgency concepts/ translation follies-disbanding the Kurdish Peshmerga/ Main points of counter insurgency/ we finally decide to protect the civilian population/ the surge slowly restores a semblance of order/ regional blowback in Syria, Turkey, and beyond/ by any measure or foreign policy model the Invasion was a disaster
Iraq 13. Iraqi Wrap-up (30 minutes)
Review of Iraq from 1970 / US case for war built on ethnocentric psychological projections unrelated to Iraqi reality/ the Orient as a stage for playing out western fantasies/ George Kennan’s warnings about US policy tendencies/ US ethnocentrism as the fundamental problem/
Humanizing the situation/comparisons with Israeli occupation/ the basic attribution bias/
Syria 1: 1920’s Background and Mandate (30 minutes)
Intro-9/11 and Syrian cooperation/ negative ideas about Syria—broader, older stereotypes/ Syria as a Russian client and a foe of Israel/ Greater Syria and the 1920 French mandate/ Mardam Bey and Syrian nationalism/ divide and conquer/30s-50s pan Arab nationalism/ Rise of the Baath party through the 50s/ clique of Army officers/ religious tolerance
Syria 2: The Rise of Hafez Al-Assad (30 minutes)
Intro remarks-back to Iraq for a moment/ Attribution theory as a way of understanding the demonization of the Assad regime/ basic facts about Hafez and his regime/education/religious tolerance/peacekeeping in Lebanon/US Gulf war coalition/ Hama uprising/ the rise of Bashar Al-Assad
Syria 3: Bashar Takes Over (30 minutes)
Review/ demographics/civil war about politics (not religion)/details on Hama uprising in 81/ Bashar’s early rule/post 9/11 cooperation/US threat of regime change/ 2003 Iraq War/ Iraqi refugees/ Is Bashar in charge?/ 2010 Arab Spring/ start of civil war/ Amnesty Int. reports of 2003
Syria 4: Civil War Begins (30 minutes)
Intro/false news and propaganda/ methods/ an alternative view of Hafez al Assad/ Yom Kippur War/ Start of Syrian civil war/ Obama’s big mistake/sides in the civil war/ Assad vs extremists/ no real alternative to Assad
Syria 5: The Civil War Goes On (30 minutes)
The goal of reconciliation/opposition has no interest in Syrian nation/ civilian casualties/ comparisons with Israel in 2014 Gaza attack/ foreign fighters/ Obama’s “red line”/ Chemical weapons/ Barrel bombs/ Hidden agenda’s for demonizing Syria
Syria 6: Media and the Demonization of Syria (30 minute)
Media coverage/ a Syrian family/ letters from Syria/ Op-ed on aleph/ blog from a Syrian woman/ International context for Bashar’s actions
Syria 7: Fictions, Contradictions and the Hidden agenda (30 minute)
Obama policy/ the fiction that we can fight ISIS without helping Assad and vice versa/revisiting George Kennan/ what is the civil war really about?—Kenneth Pollack—“A Path Out of the Desert” (Israel )/ Israel as a point of comparison with the Assad regime
Syria 8: Conclusion (30 minutes)
Obama’s comments on Syria as he left office/ sieges and Syrian neighborhoods/ Abraham Lincoln and the “March to the Sea”/ Geography/Aleppo/Why Russia and Assad didn’t concentrate on ISIS first/Russian motives for intervention/ Damascus water crisis/ The “Shia Crescent”/Obama’s blame of Syria
Palestine Part 1: Why Palestine Still Matters (30 minutes)
Destabilizing the region/ undercutting US values/ decline in US interest in peace/ A “balanced” approach vs. an honest one/ truth and reconciliation /how my views changed/ longest running conflict/costs to Israel and Palestine/ Human rights—humanitarianism/ Costs to all sides—Moral, military, rising anti-Americanism/ economic costs/ what we could do with $8 million a day/ 1973 oil embargo and nuclear war threat/ Zionism vs. Judaism
Palestine Part 2: Israel—Strategic Liability (30 minutes)
Cost Benefit review: Israel’s benefits and costs to America (reading from David Hirst’s “The Gun and the Olive Branch”)/ the cost to Palestine (Gaza). Description and damage from 2014 assault/ description of Gaza with reference to Lincoln County/ weapons and casualties/ rockets and indiscriminate violence / “Made in America”
Palestine Part 3:De-bunking Some Basic Myths (30 minutes)
Review/ Israeli rationales for the Gaza attacks—is Israel safer after the attack/ “mowing the lawn”/First level myths debunked—the problem is ancient, complex and insoluble/ we could have peace today(if Israel wanted it)/ The myth that Zionists ‘wanted to live sise by side with Arabs in peace”/ The myth that Palestinians are to blame/ The myth of Arab anti-Semitism/ The myth that America “shouldn’t get involved”/ The myth that Israel always wanted peace (but Arabs didn’t/ Terminology—Jews, Zionists, etc./ Anti-Semitism/ Zionism–the real source of violence
Palestine Part 4: Roots of European anti-Semitism (30 minutes)
Bad omens: Trumps early moves on Israel/anti-Semitism and Zionism as two sides of the same coin/ Op-ed on Zionism/ Zionism as a minority view/ Zionism as a response to anti-Semitism/ The roots of European anti-Semitism/ 19th century Jewish emancipation and assimilation/ late 19th century Russian anti-Semitism and pogroms/ Jewish immigration to US and western Europe/ Basic anti-Semitic beliefs—Jews are uniquely different(inferior), can’t assimilate or be trusted as citizens, and should go home.
Palestine Part 5: Zionism as a response to anti-Semitism(30 minutes)
Review/ anti-Semitism not a Muslim or Arab phenomenon/ Shlomo Sand—roots of Zionism/ religious Zionism/ political Zionism/ Zionism as an inversion of anti-Semitism/ Basic Zionist beliefs—Jews are uniquely different (superior), can’t assimilate or be trusted as citizens, and should go home/ Racism as fundamental to Zionist thought and practice/–Birnbaum, Nordau, Jabotinsky, Rupin/ Racism entitles Zionist Colonization of Palestine/ Demographics of Palestine in 1880
Palestine Part 6: Zionism in action– early days—1880-1917(30 minutes)
Review—anti-Semitism, Zionism, and racism/ new myths—Arabs can’t be trusted/ Denigration of Arabs/ early clashes—Palestinian Jews vs. Zionist settlers/ the choice of Palestine (over Uganda, Egypt, Argentina, etc.)/ no early claim that Zionists had a “right” to Palestine/ early attempts to acquire land/ Herzl and the Ottomans/ Jewish land Agency (Buy but never sell policy)/ Balfour ; reasons Britain supported Zionism (British needs help in WWI)
Palestine Part 7: Balfour and the early British Mandate (30 minutes)
1917:WWI and British need for help from Russia and US/ British belief in Jewish influence around the world/ Reading from John Buchan—anti-Semitism in British leadership/ The Balfour declaration/ interpretations/ text of Faisal-Weizmann letter as evidence of initial Arab good-will/ the idea that Arabs can’t be trusted/ self serving Zionist interpretations of treaties—a basic pattern/ Britain invades Palestine/Arabs fight for British—Zionists fight for Turks/ 1920 and the British Mandate/ development of Zionist shadow government/ 1920—first Serious violence—Zionism is blamed
Palestine Part 8: Old Myths and New: Racism as a factor in Zionist and British policy (30 minutes)
Review of old myths/ old lies require new lies—a new set of myths/ racism as a basis for the Mandate / nonviolent resistance in the first 40 years/ Lord Balfour on the rights of Arabs/ Who is honest?—Weizmann’s lies/ beginnings of Jewish militarization/1920s—Palestinians try non-violence again/ violence in 29/ a Zionist recalls the harassment of Arabs in the mandate/ Zionists never intended to assimilate into local culture—they were there to replace it
Palestine Part 9: The Remarkable Transfer Agreement (30 minutes)
Cause of violence in 1929 riots/ demographics after 40 years of immigration/ immigration slows in the 20s/small beginnings of Arab armed resistance/1933—the rise of Hitler/Henry Ford and the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”—and Jewish boycott/the transfer agreement/ results of the agreement—economics/ cash from transfer goes to “strategic settlements/ human costs of transfer/ Arab revolt of 36-39/ British suppression of Arab revolt—enormous Palestinian casualties
Palestine part 10: Arab Revolt to Partition Proposals and the 1939 White Paper (30 minutes)
Implications of the transfer agreement/ use of the Holocaust to control any discussion of Nazi policy as it reflects on Zionism/ Zionist leadership/ Ben-Gurion/ Jabotinsky and revisionist Zionism/–connections to the modern Likud party/ Ben-Gurion on immigration from Germany/ Avraham Stern and Irgun/ Zionist service in the British army/ false offers and the myth of Arab “rejectionism”/ the first “Islamic” resistance (after 55 years of Zionist provocation)/ (Haavara money already being spent to build a line of “strategic” kibbutzim)/ Strikes of 33 and 36 / partition proposals/ 36-39 Arab revolt / Zionist surveys of Palestine/ the 1939 British white paper / Zionist terror
Palestine part 11: Zionist Terror (30 minutes)
Review—British White Paper of 1939/ Zionist War on British rule/ 1945—British casualties and capitulation /King David Hotel bombing/enter the UN/Partition palns and demographics/ US pressure for partition/ Typical Zionist narrative/ Arab trust in Britain/ start of violence in 1947/ ethnic cleansing and Deir Yassin massacre/ Al Nakba (the catastrophe/
(NOTE: With our apologies, there are several mis-statements here—900,000 Arabs and 100,000 (not 10,000) Jews in Arab sector. Israeli independence was declared on May 14, 1948 (not April). Some 700,000 Palestinians displaced in the first phase of ethnic cleansing (not 900,000).
Section 2 1948-present
Palestine part 12: The Power of Myth (30 minutes)
Trump’s recent statements on Palestine/ major changes after 1948/ US replaces Britian and France as the major power in the region/ UN enters the scene/ Conflict between Zionists and Palestinians shifts to state violence between Israel and Arab states/ Arab states become independent/ The Power of the Zionist Myths/ false narratives—a review of Anti-Semitic and Zionist myths, myths about Palestine and myths about Zionism/ a look forward
Palestine part 13: New Myths for a New World (30 minutes)
Review/ preview of new myths/ mental frameworks that persist today are now put in place/ myth: 48 war was a ‘defensive response to an existential threat/ Arabs actually fought a defensive war along UN partition lines/ Israel didn’t acquire more land by accident/ Herzl quoted on plan to capture land and clear it of “wild beasts”/ destruction of 400 Arab villages/ Myths that Arabs started the 48 war and attacked Israel with ‘overwhelming odds’/ Myth of the “purity of arms”: Israel intentionally targeted civilians/ Myth that Arab leaders asked Palestinians to flee as a military tactic/ Myth that refugee return is an “attack on Israel/ Myth that Arabs rejected all peace offers/ myth that by saving itself, Israel did “the west” a huge favor/ Myth that brutal, excessive retaliation was “necessary”(Arabs ‘only understand force’/ Myths to sell America; Using Mark Twain; Israel is a ‘plucky underdog; self reliant “pioneers”; Jewish humanitarianism; “the only democracy” in the Middle East; policemen of the world; builders of a “new Jerusalem/ allies of Christianity against Islam; the “experts” on counter-terrorism.
Palestine part 14:Zionist Myths for an American Audience (30 minutes)
Review: Tailoring Zionist myths to an American audience/ language tailored to American Protestantism both left and right/ remapping gospel names on Israel/using the Holocaust/ Who taught brutal tactics to Israel?/rising levels of violence through the mandate/ the extreme violence used to put down the Arab revolt of 36-39/ Orde Wingate—brutal interrogations and executions/ A modern parallel/ Jewish Terror—approved by Zionist leadership/ Irgun and Stern Gang on Rampage/ US responses: Ben Hecht’s letter to Zionist terrorists ‘we are with you’/ Joseph Heller and “the Pledge”—glorifying gun runners/ Hardening of ruthless attitudes among Zionists/ Ben-Gurion: no longer any need to differentiate between “innocent and guilty”
Palestine part 15: Ethnic Cleansing Revisited (30 minutes)
Ilan Pappe/ Husbara—a unique term/ 1947 timeline: partition and its aftermath/ comparative strength of forces/ New indoctrination of Israeli troops—not retaliation but an ‘offensive action’/ Ben-Gurion rules out peace moves/ Arabs unprepared for combat/ Milton Bennet’s three ethnocentric stages and the Kfar Etzion “massacre”/ Kfar Etzion not equivalent to Deir Yassin/ dissent among Zionists—deliberate orders to kill civilians at Deir Yassin/ “an ocean of lies”
Palestine part 16: Enter the UN Peacemakers (30 minutes)
Review—Israeli war crimes “ in every village in Palestine/ May 14 (Israeli Independence Day) New patterns of behavior that remain until today: almost unconditional US support for Israel/ US pressure for partition ‘bordered closely on scandal’/ Truman’s electoral politics/ Arabs learn to distrust the US/ Zionist pressure in US—US press and public attitudes/ the myth that Palestinians left “willingly”/ Truman’s second thoughts (rejected by Zionists)/ Arab nations call for reconsideration of UN minority plan (a one state solution)/ Israel’s declaration of Independence—a litany of myths?/ the UN’s first negotiator—Count Folke Bernadotte/ Bernadotte’s initial pro-Zionist inclinations and his change of heart/ Stern gang assassinates Bernadotte/ and demonizes the UN ( a new and lasting pattern)/ Shamir (one of the assassins who later became Israeli PM) a member of the Stern Gang/ Netanyahu’s ironic false claim that Israel does not glorify terrorists.
Palestine part 17: Israeli Settlements as an Instrument of War (30 minutes)
Review/ New patterns: AIPAC US position, settlements(Kibbutz) as a strategic weapon/ Ilan Pappe on early settlements/ Israeli settlers as “human spears”/ Kfar Etzion as a strategic settlement/ Independence Day and the attack of other Arab states/ Balance of forces/ reading from Israeli military historian on Arab military strength/ Another new pattern: the shameless use of ceasefires as a military tactic/ the patter of Israel ignoring UN resolutions/ The guilty conscience of some Zionists/ Account of a Palestinian refugee on going back to his old village/ Israel’s unconventional weapons program—biological weapons research/ right of refugees to return denied despite UN 194.
Palestine part 18: Post-war Israeli Consolidation (30 minutes)
Review: Chaim Weizman stresses Israel’s desire for peace—Israel had ‘no designs to acquire more land’/ Using the Holocaust—a new pattern/ refugees a new and lasting problem/ Martial law and the bizarre ‘Present Absentee” laws/ reading from Kathleen Christison on justifications for the “present absentee” laws and US support for Israel/ Mitt Romney’s 2014 comments on flaws in ‘Palestinian culture’ as a reason for their impoverishment/ Arab poverty a sign of the superiority of Israeli culture/ breaking ceasefires again: new truces –“the Israelis violated every one of the agreements”/ Um Rashrash become “Eilat”/ refuting the Zionist claim that other Arabs treated Palestinians badly/ Identity crisis: What is a Jew?/ the problematic issue of dual citizenship/ empowerment of Israeli religious establishment/ no constitution because of religious issues
Palestine part 19: Israeli consolidation and operation “Magic Carpet” (30 minutes)
Review: lack of border demarcation/ How big should “Zion” be?/ More from Israel’s declaration of independence/ More uses of the holocaust/ Demonizing Amin Al-Husseini (the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem)/ A measured historical assessment of Husseini—not a Nazi/ The Myth that Arabs universally rejected peace proposals/ Ben-Gurion’s problematic “to do” list/ Israel’s quest for separate peaces: Jordan/ Syria’s generous proposal and Israel’s rejection/ Operation “Magic Carpet/ Yemeni exodus: appalling conditions—culture shock—impoverishment and exploitation/
Iraqi Jewish exodus—(with a little help from its friends—i.e., Zionist skullduggery)/ Manufacturing “Arab anti-Semitism/ The beginning of Israeli “false flag” operations
Palestine part 20: Propaganda work: the Myth of Arab “anti-Semitism” and the genesis of Leon Uris’s “Exodus” (30 minutes)
Review: “false flag” operations and “Magic Carpet”/ Debunking the myth of “Arab anti-Semitism/ The real status of Jews in Iraqi/ Occasional Jewish collaborators with western imperial powers/ the fate of Iraqi Jews in Israel/ a recent “false flag” operation under Trump/ lead-up to the Suez crisis (the 1956 Israeli/Egyptian War)/ disarray in Palestinian society and a vacuum in Palestinian leadership/ Arab states search for identify/ Palestinians marginalized and used by politicians/ the ironic idea that the remainder of Palestine is not big enough for a “viable” state/ Eisenhower’s lukewarm interest in Israel and Arabs/ the status quo suits Israel/ US responses to new developments: Abba Eban (Israel’s ambassador to the US)/ the growth of Zionist influence in the US/ the creative propaganda use of popular fiction and Hollywood films to promote Zionist myths/ The impact of the novel and movie “Exodus”/ the quaint Koranic injunction that Muslims must protect Jews—Bahrain’s response to “Magic Carpet”
Palestine part 21: A Hardening of the Heart: Zionist Attitudes Grow Harsher (30 minutes)
Emerging attitudes fossilize in Israel: ruthlessness and aggression/ Border issues: “massive retatlition” as a policy/ UN 194: the right of Palestinian refugees to return/ Richard Forer: a Zionist who changed his mind/ Intercultural implications of Forer’s attitude change/ Forer quoted on Ariel Sharon/ the term “infiltrator” as the language of demonization/ cross-border raids/ Moshe Dayan on massive “retaliation”/ Martin van Creveld (the Sword and the Olive” on cross-border raids/ and the motives of “infiltrators”/ Stats: 200-300 Israeli deaths between 1949 and 1956 as opposed to 5,000 Arab deaths/ massive retaliation as collective punishment of civilians(a war crime)/ political pressures on Arab states: their inability to enforce Israeli demands for interdiction of “infiltrators”/ massive “retaliation’ doesn’t work/ (Correction: I incorrectly stated that the 2014 Israeli assault killed some 2,700 hundred civilians—2,700 was the approximate number of total casualties –only some 70% were civilian) / units 101 and 202 in cross border raids: Kibiya/ escalation of raids in the mid 50’s/ The Lavon Affair—Israeli espionage ring and its massive “false flag” operation in Egypt/ Egyptian raid on Israeli Bio-weapons research facility/ David Hirst on the Israeli attacks in the Lavon affair/ the operation exposed
Palestine part 22: The Nefarious Machinations leading up to the 1956 “Suez Crisis” (the Israeli/Egyptian war of 1956) (30 minutes)
Review: the big picture; since US involvement in 1947, things have always gotten worse/ Israeli policy to ignore and shut out Palestinians—the “real” problem is neighboring Arab states/ interrogating the term “retaliation”/ Demilitarized zones—part of the border problem/ Israeli encroachments and violation of DMZ rules/ Israeli provocations on Syria’s Golan Heights/ Plans for the Suez War/ background of motives: Israel, France and Britain/ the rising tide of independence movements worldwide/ France and Britain—the empires try to strike back/ Nasser’s Egypt as a threat to empire/ Russia’s role/ Frances empire/ Avi Shlaim—readings from “The Iron Wall”—pre-war calculations/ Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez Canal.
Palestine part 23: Finally the crisis—The 1956 Suez Crisis (30 minutes)
Why Israel, France and Britain wanted a war with Egypt: deterrence and regime change in Egypt/ French and British motives/ debate between Ben-Gurion(hawk) and Moshe Sharret (dove)/[note: there are three misstatements in this episode, see asterisks and notes for details] the French plan to sell a reactor to Israel*/ Ben-Gurion’s remarkably arrogant plan for reorganizing the Middle East: big plans for redrawing borders, Israeli land grabs, and regime change to make the Middle East better for Israel/ serving western imperialism**/The French Israeli nuclear deal/ Plan shows Israel was never in “existential danger” from Egypt***/ The absurd French/British call for both sides to withdraw from the canal zone (even though Israel was still 30 miles from it)/ International shock and disgust/ Eisenhower demands that the British and French withdraw/ Eisenhower forces Israel to withdraw/ Israel obeys (with some important exceptions)/ outcomes: political victory for Nasser; disaster for Britain and France; growth of Arab distrust of the west; Ben-Gurion claims that the war ‘ensured peace’—it really set the stage for the next war; defeat for moderate “peace wing” in Israeli government/ 58 Mid-east crisis: coup in Iraq, unrest in Jordan and Lebanon.
* the text should have stated that France agreed to sell “Nuclear technology” not “nukes” **I mistakenly attributed this plan to “Nasser.”It was Ben-Gurion’s plan. ***I said that the “Israeli” army managed to withdraw from Sinai. I should have said “Egyptian.”
Palestine part 24: Background and lead-up to the 1967 “Six Day War” (30 minutes)
Review: corrections from previous program/ Suez war puts Israel in a bad light/ problems of new Arab states/ the mindset of new Israeli leaders—borders don’t matter/ founding of Fatah and the PLO/ Nasser’s plan for the PLO/ Nasser’s accomplishments in Egypt: reading from Wikipedia article*/ Demonization of Arabs in the US press (both left and right); reading from Kathleen Christison’s “Perceptions of Palestine”/ Who is more to blame for the conflict?: reading from Richard Forer’s “Breakthrough”/Background as we head into the Six Day War/ David Hirst on the Suez war as a dress rehearsal for the Six Day War/ A crisis of Zionism—why Israel wanted war again/
* Correction: the raid I briefly describe here is not the one in Gaza—but the Gaza raid was another disproportionate response
Palestine part 25: (30 minutes)
The 1967 ‘Six Days War”/ Israeli threats against Syria ( invasion and regime change)/ Egypt reacts in solidarity/, mobilizes and asks UN to withdraw peacekeepers from the Sinai/ The Straits of Tiran/ Full withdrawal from the Sinai by UN Secretary U-Thant / Closure of the Straits of Tiran/ Nasser did not intend war/ Nasser’s moves driven by political realities in the Arab world/ Us viewpoint: Nasser is “Hitler on the Nile”/ The myth of an existential threat to Israel: David Hirst quotes Israeli General Peled/ Israel knew that Egypt lacked both the means and intention to attack Israel successfully/ Israeli army presses for war/ Nasser tell his generals not to fire the first shot/ Reading from Jeremy Bowen’s Six Days/ US greenlight for Israeli attack/ Egypt overwhelmed—Jordan and Syria next/ Seizure of West bank (Palestine) and the Golan Heights (Syria)/ Major war crimes.
Palestine part 26: (30 minutes)
April 10 : Review: aftermath of the 67 war/ effects on neighboring Arab States/ Biased academic accounts still persist today—Kenneth Pollack’s “A Path Out of the Desert”/ New problems: land/ Jordanian and Syrian Fronts/ New refugees/ occupations and settlements/ Arab distrust of US increases/ / actions of the Johnson administration/ The truth about the “blockade” of the Straits of Tiran/ Who fired the first shot?/ Israeli influence in Washington grows/ Israel’s victory is seen as a “bright spot” in the context of the growing quagmire that is Vietnam/ Kathleen Christison quoted on Israeli influence on President Johnson/ militarization of Arab states partly a result of Israeli policy
Palestine part 27 (30 minutes)
Review/ American response to the 1967 “Six Day War”/ Response in Israel—empty peace gestures/ misunderstanding of the Arab “3 No s”/ The myth of Arab “rejectionism” and Arab PR problems/ Quotes from King Hussein of Jordan on his conversations with Nasser/ Israel’s strategy of stalling UN peace initiatives/ the Myth of the “Good War”/ Readings from Body of Secrets by James Bamford/ Crimes in the desert—US NSA declassified data on Israeli war crimes/ Israeli atrocities against UN troop and Egyptian Troops and POWs/ Attack on the USS Liberty/ the cover-up and new facts/ implications of the Liberty attack
Palestine part 28 (30 minutes)
Review—further fallout from the “Six Day War”—finishing up on the USS Liberty attack/ motives for the Israeli attack/ Cover-up-reading from James Bamford’s “Body of Secrets” Israel attempts to delay and avoid paying compensation/ a final note—“no mistake”/ The durability of false narratives/ Israel’s nuclear program –not just Nukes, but a ‘first strike” policy/ Christison on the CIA assessment that nuclear capability would make Israel more resistant to making peace/ the red herring of “Israeli security”/ Martin Van Creveld on how the 67 victory made Israel “more stupid”/ Creveld and Sylvain Cypel on the corrupting moral influence of occupation/
Special Report on Syria- Part A (30 minutes)
Background for Trump & attacks
Special Report on Syria- Part B (30 minutes)
Review of Syrian chemical weapons
Palestine part 29: (30 minutes)
Israeli occupation 1967/ new ethnic cleaning/ government in occupied territories
Palestine part 30:
The roots of Palestinian armed resistance/ late 60s and 70s
Palestine part 31:
Resistance grows/ hijackings
Palestine part 32:
Palestine part 33:
1970s/ political background/ Nixon and Kissinger years/ OPEC
Palestine part 34:
Lead up to the Yom Kippur War/ the war of attrition/ the propaganda front
Palestine part 35:
Yom Kippur War/ Sadat/ Mossad miscalculation/ outline of the war/ Kissinger’s cease-fire games Missing episode— Special Report: Trump in the Middle East part 1:
Special Report: Trump in the Middle East part 2: