The War Between Israel and the Neo-Cons: Can Muslims Save the Jews?
by Dr. Robert D. Crane
Professional long-range global forecasters look for straws in the wind, because one cannot see the wind, but one can see straws once they start flying, and then one can better see which way the wind is blowing.
For those who debate whether the NeoCons are wagging their Israeli tail, or whether the Israelis are manipulating the NeoCons, two significant articles have appeared recently that would seem to eliminate both possibilities. They indicate that the relationship between Israel as a state and the NeoCons as a non-state actor is the single most important issue behind the scenes in both Israeli and American politics.
From the wisest and one of the most influential insiders we have this statement now blowing through the halls of Washington. Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President Carter’s National Security Adviser, has warned that, “Eventually, if neo-con policies continue to be pursued, the United States will be expelled from the region and that will be the beginning of the end for Israel as well.”
In his talk quoting this statement, Alan Hart said the same thing on August 10, 2006, at the British International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), which ranks with the Aspen Institute as one of the world’s two most prestigious think-tanks of the permanent foreign policy establishment, now that the CSIS, Heritage, and AEI have been bought off by private ideological interests. This quote was part of Hart’s contribution in his talk, entitled “The Beginning of the End for the Zionist State of Israel,” at the IISS’s colloquium on “New Civilization.”
A second possibly much more important article began making the rounds in Washington two weeks later on August 25th, though it was written before the first one. This article, by Professor Hussein Solomon, entitled “Global Security in an Age of Religious Extremism,” is a product of the world’s leading center for the analysis of Muslim extremism, the Project for the Research of Islamist Movements (PRISM). This is the action arm of the GLORIA Center, in the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel, headed by Reuven Paz.
Throughout the American government’s professional cadres of experts on terrorism and counter-terrorism, Reuven Paz is regarded as a demi-god, the last word on the subject, partly because he has memorized the thousands of details about people and events that mark the true expert, but perhaps more importantly because in his analysis of extremist Muslim movements he appears to be objective.
His conclusions, of course, for internal political reasons must support overt Israeli foreign policy as practiced by the extremists in government. The real point is what he is saying by indirection. Furthermore, we should respect any true expert on anything, regardless of whether we agree with him.
The important aspect of the article linked below disseminated by Reuven Paz is not its apparent justification for attacking Iran, but its comparison of President Bush with Ahmadinejad as twin threats to the world because their beliefs in the end times and in their self-perceived roles to bring this about derive from and can only result in clerical despotism and global destruction. We can disagree with Professor Solomon’s analysis of either Bush or Ahmadinejad or both of them, but this again is not the point.
The significance of the dissemination of this article, which will reach every person in Washington with any role in homeland security and counter-terrorism, is that it was sent at all and sent now.
Specific points in this article may be subject to quibbles. For example, Solomon arguably is prejudiced in ascribing the authoritarian mentality to the Shi’a from the time of Khalifa Abu Bakr (r.a.) and ascribing the pursuit of democracy and justice to the Sunnis. He is also off the mark in pointing to Imam Khomeini’s anomalous concept of wilayat al faqih as proof of his arguments. This is part of the standard rhetoric used to justify an attack on Iran. It provides the password to access the Washington’s inner circles.
Similarly, we may quibble with his description of America as a secular country. From its very inception it has been the world’s most religiously inspired society and system of governance. Professor Solomon’s assessment of America derives, first, from his use of the Indian definition of secular, which means without bias either for or against any religion. Secondly, and more importantly, it derives from the truly secular opposition in Reform Judaism to any religion in the public square. This most vehement force for secularism as hostility to religion was considered until recently to be essential in order to prevent revival of the religious pogroms against the Jews that marked European history from the earliest days to Hitler’s greatest pogrom of all, which Hitler very openly based on a deformed version of Christianity.
This aversion to religion in public life has been greatly modified during the past decade or so as intellectual Jews have come to see Christian-Jewish cooperation as the most reliable protection for the Jews in modern America and throughout the world.
Why then is a stalwart of the Israeli regime reviving virulent anti-religious secularism at the present moment, especially by comparing Bush with Ahmadinejad, and then disseminating it throughout the U.S. government?
This is spectacularly out of character. One hypothesis is that the Neo-Cons in Washington have ordered the Israelis to reoccupy Gaza and attack both Syria and Iran before the November elections, so that the Republicans can bask in the glory of war and yet escape the blame for further foreign policy failure. This vicious attack on President Bush could portend a shift in the Jewish vote toward the Democratic Party as a more reliable ally, just as reportedly the general American public is shifting dramatically toward opposition to any religion as the basis for foreign policy.
Now is the time for Hamas to accelerate this trend by adopting hudna as a new foreign policy of “shock and awe” by formally recognizing the State of Israel. Such recognition, based not on acceptance of the morality of political Zionism but on international law as it governs sovereign states, would deliver a cruel blow to the global pretensions of the NeoCons, who are convinced that their very existence depends on global conquest to destroy the “axis of evil.”
Now is the time for hudna to drive a nail through the heart of Neo-Conservatism. The countdown is on, and only hudna can stop it. There is little time, however, for Jews and Muslims, with Muslims taking the lead, to transform their identities so that they can appreciate the centuries of cooperation when Jews and Muslims were each other’s most reliable friends.
This common story, which should be taught immediately from the same textbooks in both Muslim and Jewish schools in the Holy Land, has been beautifully told by Edward W. Miller, in his table-top extravaganza, Vision of Abraham: The Intertwined Stories of Islam and Judaism Told Through Images, Amana Publications, 2005, 203 pages, http://www.amana-publications.com .
In the summer of 2006, a New Middle East arose in which Muslims must save the Jews or both will die. This mutual support saved both Muslims and Jews during the Spanish Inquisition centuries ago. This is an essential part of their history. It can do so again, in sha’a Allah, as a model for their common future in the Holy Land.