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    Default President Of Iran His Letter To President Bush

    Editorial: Full Text : The President of Iran's Letter To President Bush

    Signs of the Times
    Translated by Le Monde

    Mr George Bush,

    President of the United States of America

    For sometime now I have been thinking, how one can justify the undeniable contradictions that exist in the international arena - which are being constantly debated, especially in political forums and amongst university students. Many questions remain unanswered. These have prompted me to discuss some of the contradictions and questions, in the hopes that it might bring about an opportunity to redress them.

    Can one be a follower of Jesus Christ, the great Messenger of God,

    Feel obliged to respect human rights,

    Present liberalism as a civilization model,

    Announce one's opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and WMDs,

    Make "War and Terror" his slogan,

    And finally, work towards the establishment of a unified international community - a community which Christ and the virtuous of the Earth will one day govern,

    While at the same time:

    Have countries attacked,

    The lives, reputations and possessions of people destroyed and on the slight chance of there being criminals in a village or city, or convoy for example, have the entire village, city or convey set ablaze.

    Or because of the possibility of the existence of WMDs in one country, it is occupied, around one hundred thousand people killed, its water sources, agriculture and industry destroyed, close to 180,000 foreign troops put on the ground, the sanctity of private homes of citizens broken, and the country pushed back perhaps fifty years.

    At what price? Hundreds of billions of dollars spent from the treasury of one country and certain other countries and tens of thousands of young men and women - as occupation troops - put in harms way, taken away from family and love ones, their hands stained with the blood of others, subjected to so much psychological pressure that everyday some commit suicide and those returning home suffer depression, become sickly and grapple with all sorts of aliments

    On the pretext of the existence of WMDs, this great tragedy came to engulf both the peoples of the occupied and the occupying country. Later it was revealed that no WMDs existed to begin with.

    Of course Saddam was a murderous dictator. But the war was not waged to topple him, the announced goal of the war was to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction. He was toppled along the way towards another goal, nevertheless the people of the region are happy about it. I point out that throughout the many years of the war on Iran, Saddam was supported by the West.

    Mr President,

    You might know that I am a teacher. My students ask me how can theses actions be reconciled with the values outlined at the beginning of this letter and duty to the tradition of Jesus Christ, the Messenger of peace and forgiveness.

    Page 2

    There are prisoners in Guantanamo Bay that have not been tried, have no legal representation, their families cannot see them and are obviously kept in a strange land outside their own country. There is no international monitoring of their conditions and fate. No one knows whether they are prisoners, POWs, accused or criminals.

    European investigators have confirmed the existence of secret prisons in Europe too. I could not correlate the abduction of a person, and him or her being kept in secret prisons, with the provisions of any judicial system. For that matter, I fail to understand how such actions correspond to the values outlined in the beginning of this letter, i.e. the teachings of Jesus Christ, human rights and liberal values.

    Young people, university students and ordinary people have many questions about the phenomenon of Israel. I am sure you are familiar with some of them.

    Throughout history many countries have been occupied, but I think the establishment of a new country with a new people, is a new phenomenon that is exclusive to our times.

    Students are saying that sixty years ago such a country did no exist. The show old documents and globes and say try as we have, we have not been able to find a country named Israel.

    I tell them to study the history of WWI and II. One of my students told me that during WWII, which more than tens of millions of people perished in, news about the war, was quickly disseminated by the warring parties. Each touted their victories and the most recent battlefront defeat of the other party. After the war, they claimed that six million Jews had been killed. Six million people that were surely related to at least two million families.

    Again let us assume that these events are true. Does that logically translate into the establishment of the state of Israel in the Middle East or support for such a state? How can this phenomenon be rationalised or explained?

    Mr President, I am sure you know how - and at what cost - Israel was established:

    - Many thousands were killed in the process.

    - Millions of indigenous people were made refugees.

    - Hundred of thousands of hectares of farmland, olive plantations, towns and villages were destroyed.

    This tragedy is not exclusive to the time of establishment of Israel; unfortunately it has been ongoing for sixty years now.

    A regime has been established which does not show mercy even to kids, destroys houses while the occupants are still in them, announces befo*****d its list and plans to assassinate Palestinian figures and keeps thousands of Palestinians in prison. Such a phenomenon is unique - or at the very least extremely rare - in recent memory.

    Another big question asked by people is why is this regime being supported? Is support for this regime in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ or Moses or liberal values?

    Or are we to understand that allowing the original inhabitants of these lands - inside and outside Palestine - whether they are Christian, Muslim or Jew, to determine their fate, runs

    Page 3

    Contrary to principles of democracy, human rights and the teachings of prophets? If not, why is there so much opposition to a referendum?

    The newly elected Palestinian administration recently took office. All independent observes have confirmed that this government represents the electorate. Unbelievingly, they have put the elected government under pressure and have advised it to recognise the Israeli regime, abandon the struggle and follow the programs of the previous government.

    If the current Palestinian government had run on the above platform, would the Palestinian people have voted for it? Again, can such position taken in opposition to the Palestinian government be reconciled with the values outlined earlier? The people are also saying "why are all UNSC resolutions in condemnation of Israel vetoed?"

    Mr President,

    As you are well aware, I live amongst the people and am in constant contact with them -- many people from around the Middle East manage to contact me as well. They do not have faith in these dubious policies either. There is evidence that the people of the region are becoming increasingly angry with such policies.

    It is not my intention to pose too many questions, but I need to refer to other points as well. Why is it that any technological and scientific achievement reached in the Middle East regions is translated into and portrayed as a threat to the Zionist regime? Is not scientific R&D one of the basic rights of nations.

    You are familiar with history. Aside from the Middle Ages, in what other point in history has scientific and technical progress been a crime? Can the possibility of scientific achievements being utilised for military purposes be reason enough to oppose science and technology altogether? If such a supposition is true, then all scientific disciplines, including physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc. must be opposed.

    Lies were told in the Iraqi matter. What was the result? I have no doubt that telling lies is reprehensible in any culture, and you do not like to be lied to.

    Mr President, don't Latin Americans have the right to ask, why their elected governments are being opposed and coup leaders supported? Or, why must they constantly be threatened and live in fear?

    The people of Africa are hardworking, creative and talented. They can play an important and valuable role in providing for the needs of humanity and contribute to its material and spiritual progress. Poverty and hardship in large parts of Africa are preventing this from happening. Don't they have the right to ask why their enormous wealth - including minerals - is being looted, despite the fact that they need it more than others?

    Again, do such actions correspond to the teachings of Christ and the tenets of human rights?

    Page 4

    The brave and faithful people of Iran too have many questions and grievances, including: the coup d'etat of 1953 and the subsequent toppling of the legal government of the day, opposition to the Islamic revolution, transformation of an Embassy into a headquarters supporting, the activities of those opposing the Islamic Republic (many thousands of pages of documents corroborates this claim), support for Saddam in the war waged against Iran, the shooting down of the Iranian passenger plane, freezing the assets of the Iranian nation, increasing threats, anger and displeasure vis-Ă*-vis the scientific and nuclear progress of the Iranian nation (just when all Iranians are jubilant and collaborating their country's progress), and many other grievances that I will not refer to in this letter.

    Mr President,

    September Eleven was a horrendous incident. The killing of innocents is deplorable and appalling in any part of the world. Our government immediately declared its disgust with the perpetrators and offered its condolences to the bereaved and expressed its sympathies.

    All governments have a duty to protect the lives, property and good standing of their citizens. Reportedly your government employs extensive security, protection and intelligence systems - and even hunts its opponents abroad. September eleven was not a simple operation. Could it be planned and executed without coordination with intelligence and security services - or their extensive infiltration? Of course this is just an educated guess. Why have the various aspects of the attacks been kept secret? Why are we not told who botched their responsibilities? And, why aren't those responsible and the guilty parties identified and put on trial?

    All governments have a duty to provide security and peace of mind for their citizens. For some years now, the people of your country and neighbours of world trouble spots do not have peace of mind. After 9/11, instead of healing and tending to the emotional wounds of the survivors and the American people - who had been immensely traumatised by the attacks - some Western media only intensified the climates of fear and insecurity - some constantly talked about the possibility of new terror attacks and kept the people in fear. Is that service to the American people? Is it possible to calculate the damages incurred from fear and panic?

    American citizens lived in constant fear of fresh attacks that could come at any moment and in any place. They felt insecure in the streets, in their place of work and at home. Who would be happy with this situation? Why was the media, instead of conveying a feeling of security and providing peace of mind, giving rise to a feeling of insecurity?

    Some believe that the hype paved the way - and was the justification - for an attack on Afghanistan. Again I need to refer to the role of media.

    In media charters, correct dissemination of information and honest reporting of a story are established tenets. I express my deep regret about the disregard shown by certain Western media for these principles. The main pretext for an attack on Iraq was the existence of WMDs. This was repeated incessantly - for the public to, finally, believe - and the ground set for an attack on Iraq.

    Will the truth not be lost in a contrived and deceptive climate?

    Again, if the truth is allowed to be lost, how can that be reconciled with the earlier mentioned values?

    Is the truth known to the Almighty lost as well?

    Page 5

    Mr President,

    In countries around the world, citizens provide for the expenses of governments so that their governments in turn are able to serve them.

    The question here is "what has the hundreds of billions of dollars, spent every year to pay for the Iraqi campaign, produced for the citizens?"

    As your Excellency is aware, in some states of your country, people are living in poverty. Many thousands are homeless and unemployment is a huge problem. Of course these problems exist - to a larger or lesser extent - in other countries as well. With these conditions in mind, can the gargantuan expenses of the campaign - paid from the public treasury - be explained and be consistent with the aforementioned principles?

    What has been said, are some of the grievances of the people around the world, in our region and in your country. But my main contention - which I am hoping you will agree to some of - is:

    Those in power have specific time in office, and do not rule indefinitely, but their names will be recorded in history and will be constantly judged in the immediate and distant futures. The people will scrutinize our presidencies.

    Did we manage to bring peace, security and prosperity for the people or insecurity and unemployment?

    Did we intend to establish justice, or just supported especial interest groups, and by forcing many people to live in poverty and hardship, made a few people rich and powerful - thus trading the approval of the people and the Almighty with theirs'?

    Did we defend the rights of the underprivileged or ignore them?

    Did we defend the rights of all people around the world or imposed wars on them, interfered illegally in their affairs, established hellish prisons and incarcerated some of them?

    Did we bring the world peace and security or raised the specter of intimidation and threats?

    Did we tell the truth to our nation and others around the world or presented an inverted version of it?

    Were we on the side of people or the occupiers and oppressors?

    Did our administration set out to promote rational behaviour, logic, ethics, peace, fulfilling obligations, justice, service to the people, prosperity, progress and respect for human dignity or the force of guns.

    Intimidation, insecurity, disregard for the people, delaying the progress and excellence of other nations, and trample on people's rights?

    And finally, they will judge us on whether we remained true to our oath of office - to serve the people, which is our main task, and the traditions of the prophets - or not?

    Mr President,

    How much longer can the world tolerate this situation? Where will this trend lead the world to? How long must the people of the world pay for the incorrect decisions of some rulers? How much longer will the specter of insecurity - raised from the stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction - hunt the people of the world?

    Page 6

    How much longer will the blood of the innocent men, women and children be spilled on the streets, and people's houses destroyed over their heads?

    Are you pleased with the current condition of the world?

    Do you think present policies can continue?

    If billions of dollars spent on security, military campaigns and troop movement were instead spent on investment and assistance for poor countries, promotion of health, combating different diseases, education and improvement of mental and physical fitness, assistance to the victims of natural disasters, creation of employment opportunities and production, development projects and poverty alleviation, establishment of peace, mediation between disputing states and distinguishing the flames of racial, ethnic and other conflicts were would the world be today? Would not your government, and people be justifiably proud? Would not your administration's political and economic standing have been stronger? And I am most sorry to say, would there have been an ever increasing global hatred of the American governments?

    Mr President, it is not my intention to distress anyone.

    If prophet Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Joseph or Jesus Christ were with us today, how would they have judged such behaviour? Will we be given a role to play in the promised world, where justice will become universal and Jesus Christ will be present? Will they even accept us?

    My basic question is this: Is there no better way to interact with the rest of the world? Today there are hundreds of millions of Christians, hundreds of millions of Moslems and millions of people who follow the teachings of Moses. All divine religions share and respect one word and that is "monotheism" or belief in a single God and no other in the world.

    The holy Koran stresses this common word and calls on an followers of divine religions and says: [3.64] Say: O followers of the Book! Come to an equitable proposition between us and you that we shall not serve any but Allah and (that) we shall not associate aught. With Him and (that) some of us shall not take others for lords besides Allah, but if they turn back, then say: Bear witness that we are Muslims. (The Family of Imran).

    Mr President,

    According to divine verses, we have all been called upon to worship one God and follow the teachings of divine prophets.

    "To worship a God which is above all powers in the world and can do all He pleases." "The Lord which knows that which is hidden and visible, the past and the future, knows what goes on in the Hearts of His servants and records their deeds."

    "The Lord who is the possessor of the heavens and the earth and all universe is His court" "planning for the universe is done by His hands, and gives His servants the glad tidings of mercy and forgiveness of sins". "He is the companion of the oppressed and the enemy of oppressors". "He is the Compassionate, the Merciful". "He is the recourse of the faithful and guides them towards the light from darkness". "He is witness to the actions of His servants", "He calls on servants to be faithful and do good deeds, and asks them to stay on the path of righteousness and remain steadfast". "Calls on servants to heed His prophets and He is a witness to their deeds." "A bad ending belongs only to those who have chosen the life of this world and disobey Him and oppress His servants". And "A good and eternal paradise belong to those servants who fear His majesty and do not follow their lascivious selves."

    Page 7

    We believe a return to the teachings of the divine prophets is the only road leading to salvations. I have been told that Your Excellency follows the teachings of Jesus, and believes in the divine promise of the rule of the righteous on Earth.

    We also believe that Jesus Christ was one of the great prophets of the Almighty. He has been repeatedly praised in the Koran. Jesus has been quoted in Koran as well; [19,36] And surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, therefore serves Him; this is the right path, Marium.

    Service to and obedience of the Almighty is the credo of all divine messengers. The God of all people in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, the Pacific and the rest of the world is one. He is the Almighty who wants to guide and give dignity to all His servants. He has given greatness to Humans.

    We again read in the Holy Book: "The Almighty God sent His prophets with miracles and clear signs to guide the people and show them divine signs and purity them from sins and pollutions. And He sent the Book and the balance so that the people display justice and avoid the rebellious."

    All of the above verses can be seen, one way or the other, in the Good Book as well. Divine prophets have promised:

    The day will come when all humans will congregate before the court of the Almighty, so that their deeds are examined. The good will be directed towards Haven and evildoers will meet divine retribution. I trust both of us believe in such a day, but it will not be easy to calculate the actions of rulers, because we must be answerable to our nations and all others whose lives have been directly or indirectly effected by our actions.

    All prophets, speak of peace and tranquillity for man - based on monotheism, justice and respect for human dignity.

    Do you not think that if all of us come to believe in and abide by these principles, that is, monotheism, worship of God, justice, respect for the dignity of man, belief in the Last Day, we can overcome the present problems of the world - that are the result of disobedience to the Almighty and the teachings of prophets - and improve our performance?

    Do you not think that belief in these principles promotes and guarantees peace, friendship and justice?

    Do you not think that the aforementioned written or unwritten principles are universally respected?

    Will you not accept this invitation? That is, a genuine return to the teachings of prophets, to monotheism and justice, to preserve human dignity and obedience to the Almighty and His prophets?

    Page 8

    Mr President,

    History tells us that repressive and cruel governments do not survive. God has entrusted The fate of man to them. The Almighty has not left the universe and humanity to their own devices. Many things have happened contrary to the wishes and plans of governments. These tell us that there is a higher power at work and all events are determined by Him.

    Can one deny the signs of change in the world today?

    Is this situation of the world today comparable to that of ten years ago? Changes happen fast and come at a furious pace.

    The people of the world are not happy with the status quo and pay little heed to the promises and comments made by a number of influential world leaders. Many people around the wolrd feel insecure and oppose the spreading of insecurity and war and do not approve of and accept dubious policies.

    The people are protesting the increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots and the rich and poor countries.

    The people are disgusted with increasing corruption.

    The people of many countries are angry about the attacks on their cultural foundations and the disintegration of families. They are equally dismayed with the fading of care and compassion. The people of the world have no faith in international organisations, because their rights are not advocated by these organisations.

    Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems.

    We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards a main focal point - that is the Almighty God. Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teachings of the prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question for you is: "Do you not want to join them?"

    Mr President,

    Whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating towards faith in the Almighty and justice and the will of God will prevail over all things.

    Vasalam Ala Man Ataba'al hoda

    Mahmood Ahmadi-Najad

    President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
    Comment on this Editorial

    Editorial: Ahmadinejad Sends a Futile Letter

    Kurt Nimmo
    May 9, 2006

    Iran’s president Ahmadinejad never said Israel should be "wiped off the map," although Shimon Peres did say "the president of Iran should remember that Iran can also be wiped off the map." As Anneliese Fikentscher and Andreas Neumann note, Ahmadinejad was deliberately misquoted as part of an ongoing propaganda campaign against Iran by the neocons, in particular the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), founded by Yigal Carmon, who served time in Israeli military intelligence, and Meyrav Wurmser, a neocon that had a hand in crafting the neocon document "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" presented to then Israeli president, Benjamin Netanyahu. MEMRI is known for selectively quoting and distorting Arab and Muslim news reports and editorials.

    Shimon Peres was simply using the distortions of Ahmadinejad’s comments to make excuses for the long-held Israeli and later neocon plan to not necessarily "wipe off the map" Islamic countries, but rather reduce them through "Lebanonization," or balkanization, a plan sketched out by Oded Yinon, an Israeli diplomat attached to the Foreign Ministry. Oded Yinon’s "A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s" document, according to historian Stephen Sniegoski, "undoubtedly reflected high-level thinking in the Israeli military and intelligence establishment. The article called for Israel to bring about the dissolution and fragmentation of the Arab states into a mosaic of ethnic groupings."

    Of course, Israel realized it did not have the power or resources to pull off this massive undertaking. Israeli foreign policy expert Yehoshafat Harkabi reflected on Yinon’s critique "to impose a Pax Israelica on the Middle East, to dominate the Arab countries and treat them harshly" and hoped that "the failed Israeli attempt to impose a new order in the weakest Arab state—Lebanon—will disabuse people of similar ambitions in other territories." Sniegoski comments: "Left unconsidered by Harkabi was the possibility that the United States would act as Israel’s proxy to achieve this goal," a fact partially realized a decade later when Bush Senior invaded Iraq and, more than another decade removed, his son finished the job.

    In the wake of Bush Senior’s invasion and merciless attack on Iraqi civilian infrastructure, octogenarian British "Orientalist" Bernard Lewis wrote for the premier globalist periodical, the CFR’s Foreign Affairs, that most "of the states of the Middle East … are of recent and artificial construction and are vulnerable to such a process [balkanization]. If the central power is sufficiently weakened, there is no real civil society to hold the polity together, no real sense of common national identity or overriding allegiance to the nation-state. The state then disintegrates—as happened in Lebanon—into a chaos of squabbling, feuding, fighting sects, tribes, regions and parties," a miserable and violent condition preferred by the Israelis and the Straussian neocons (see British Svengali Behind Clash Of Civilizations, Scott Thompson and Jeffrey Steinberg).

    Meanwhile, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s feeble and somewhat absurd letter sent to Bush through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran—an effort to stave off the impending destruction and "Lebanonization" of his country—was received in a predictable fashion. "US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dismissed Iranian President’s surprise letter to President George W Bush, saying it did not seriously address the standoff over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program," reports NDTV. "This letter is not the place that one would find an opening to engage on the nuclear issue or anything of the sort. It isn’t addressing the issues that we’re dealing with in a concrete way," declared Secretary of State Condi Rice. "Rice’s comments were the most detailed response from the United States to the letter, the first from an Iranian head of state to an American president since the 1979 hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran," ABC News adds. "She would not discuss the contents in detail but made clear that the United States would not change its tack on Iran."

    In short, the shock and awe campaign against the people of Iran—a beginning fusillade in the process of balkanizing Iran into several more easily digestible pieces—is on. Now the question is when this will happen and what the response will be here in America and across the world. Of course, for the neocons, this response is hardly important and may be safely ignored, as opponents will once again be dismissed as a "focus group" (as Bush called those of us opposed to his invasion of Iraq) and the process of splintering the Middle East will move forward, closing in on its ultimate goal, as described by Bernard Lewis, of delivering the Muslim world "into a chaos of squabbling, feuding, fighting sects, tribes, regions and parties."
    Comment on this Editorial

    Editorial: Book Review: The Case Against Israel

    Raymond Deane
    The Electronic Intifada
    9 May 2006

    Michael Neumann is the US-born son of Jewish refugees from Hitler's Germany, and Herbert Marcuse's stepson. He now teaches philosophy at Trent University in Ontario, Canada.

    A tireless advocate for the Palestinian cause, Prof Neumann has consistently de-bunked conventional wisdom, more often than not in the online newsletter CounterPunch. In August 2002, in an essay tauntingly entitled Protect Me from My Friends - Pro-Palestinian Activists and the Palestinians, he wrote

    "The enormous, ignored fact of the Palestinian story is that America is not, as the left loves to think, pursuing some vital interest in its alliance with Israel. On the contrary, America is acting against its vital interests."

    Apart from its pertinent critique of the left, this, of course, pre-empts aspects of the recent Walt/Mearsheimer article The Israel Lobby by several years. So why didn't it stir up the same controversy as the latter? There are two possible answers. Firstly, Neumann's impeccably Jewish pedigree makes him a difficult target for those whose only weapon is the "anti-Semite" charge. Secondly, Counter/Punch is a leftie website from which attacks on Israel are "only to be expected" and hence can be safely ignored.

    The same factor precludes the kind of response that one might have expected had The Case Against Israel been issued by a major publishing house such as John Wiley & Sons, who published Alan Dershowitz's best-selling The Case For Israel in 2003. Publication by CounterPunch was a sure guarantee that The Case Against Israel would not be reviewed in the mainstream media and would not be the focus of the kind of concerted vilification to which the ultra-establishment figures Walt and Mearsheimer have been subjected. Given Neumann's formidable capacity for rational riposte, this is regrettable.

    Although the title of this little book gives the misleading impression that it is conceived as a reply to Dershowitz's lamentable screed (Dershowitz gets only one un-indexed look-in), its thrust is rather similar to Norman Finkelstein's Beyond Chutzpah, which is so conceived. Both authors maintain that "the Israel/Palestine conflict is not so complex as it has been made out to be" (Neumann), and set about cutting away the thicket of obfuscation with which it has been deliberately surrounded. The historian Finkelstein marshalls a massive array of evidence that utterly disproves that adduced by Dershowitz, while the philosopher Neumann's preferred weapon is Ockham's razor, a logical procedure for stripping away layers of assumption.

    Neumann's main argument is rapidly sketched:

    "The Zionist project... was entirely unjustified and could reasonably be regarded by the inhabitants of Palestine as a very serious threat, the total domination by one ethnic group of all others in the region. Some form of violent resistance was , therefore, justified..."

    Describing his focus as "moral and political...not legal", Neumann quickly disposes of international law, which "has no central authority to enforce it. The UN... is unavailable because the most powerful countries can veto any sanction they dislike..."

    A few pages later, the "right of self-determination of peoples" is dismissed as a tool for either side, being equated with "advocating the political supremacy of an ethnic group." He later elaborates that the Palestinians "could appeal, not to rights of ethnic self-determination, but to rights of self-government within a sovereign geographic area."

    A historical account (for Neumann by no means shuns history, just as Finkelstein doesn't shun logic) demonstrates that Zionism always intended to establish a sovereign state in Palestine, however cunningly it sought to dissimulate this end. The indigenous Arabs were perfectly well aware of this, hence "they would have been irrational not to resist..." Neumann's verdict on Zionism is uncompromising and devastating - "It was wrong to pursue the Zionist project and wrong to achieve it" - and from this he draws the conclusion that "much that is said in its defence, and in Israel's defence,... is irrelevant."

    By now the pro-Palestinian activist is feeling smug and elated. However, Neumann's logic inexorably leads him to the less comfortable conclusions that Israel does indeed have a right to exist, however illegitimate its foundations, and a concomitant right to self-defence.

    "Israel's existence is tainted, not sacred, but it is protected by the same useful international conventions that allow others... to retain their ill-gotten gains. ...The more your actions, right or wrong, put your life in danger, the more you are justified in defending yourself."

    Hence Neumann is even prepared to concede that "'the occupation itself', in the narrowest sense of the word, was no great crime." Indeed he believes that the 1967 war, which "liberated" the West Bank from Jordanian tutelage, gave Israel "a chance to make handsome amends for the crimes on which it was built...Israel could have sponsored...the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state..." Instead, largely spearheaded by the USA, the settlements made a bad situation infinitely worse, and it is the settlements and the brutal military regime instituted to defend them that bear the brunt of Neumann's often eloquent disgust.

    When he comes to the options available to Palestinians for countering Israel's race-war, Neumann is brutally consistent: there are none, save violence. This part of his argument will be unacceptable to the fainthearted, but it is up to them to refute it. He does not content himself with dismissing passive resistance as an option in the Palestinian context, but denies that it has worked in any context where the powerless faced the unscrupulously powerful. Gandhi "cannot be said to have won independence for India", Martin Luther King's civil rights movement had the backing of the US establishment, indeed "was practically a federal government project", and South Africa's ANC "was never a nonviolent movement but a movement that decided, on occasion, to use nonviolent tactics".

    As for "terrorism", which he defines as "random violence against non-combatants", he distinguishes it from "collateral damage" with the assertion that the latter "involves knowingly killing innocent civilians" while "Terrorism involves intentionally killing innocent civilians", concluding that "the moral difference is too academic even for an academic." Why, then, is "terrorism" considered to be particularly morally repugnant, while "collateral damage" tends to be taken in our moral stride?

    "Imagine trying to make such a claim. You say: 'To achieve my objectives, I would certainly drop bombs with the knowledge that they would blow the arms off some children. But to achieve those same objectives, I would not plant or set off a bomb on the ground with the knowledge that it would have that same effect. After all, I have planes to do that, I don't need to plant bombs.' As a claim of moral superiority, this needs a little work."

    The Palestinians, he repeats, are without options. Israel has all the options, principally that of unilateral withdrawal from the Occupied Territories, but refuses to use them. Hence he refuses "to pronounce judgment on Palestinian terrorism."

    So why does Israel still command such support from the US? Neumann deftly dismantles the notions that there are either "shared values" or a "confluence of interests" between the US and Israel, or that Israel is anything but a hindrance in the pursuit of America's nefarious oil politics. The US/Israel alliance is analysed historically as a relic of the cold war perpetuated by inertia: "Stale ideology has enshrined a counter-productive alliance at the heart of American foreign policy." Neumann calls for the US to change sides, and itemises the obvious benefits that would accrue from such a U-turn:

    "It would instantly gain the warm friendship of Arab oil producers and obtain far more valuable allies in the war on terror: not only the governments of the entire Muslim world, but a good portion of the Muslim fundamentalist movement! The war on terror, which seems so unwinnable, might well be won at nominal cost, and quickly... Perhaps most important, switching sides would revitalize America's foundering efforts at non-proliferation."

    Neumann's final verdict: "Israel is the illegitimate child of ethnic nationalism." While it is not his brief to "formulate specific strategies" leading towards a solution, he advocates "vigorous anti-Israeli action" primarily in the shape of "the most extensive international sanctions possible", undeterred "by the horrors of the Jewish past."

    The Case Against Israel is, in my view, the most comprehensive and devastating critique of Israel in print. Its value as a campaigning tool consists primarily in the icy precision of its logic, and its independence of quibbles about international law or historical responsibility. Following its elegant arguments requires a concentrated application of the reader's own reasoning faculties - but the exercise is worth it.

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    This hypocrite talks about human rights?
    This is what they live by:
    "The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree" (cited by Bukhari and Muslim).

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