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The Zionist Power Configuration in America and Israel’s War with Iran

By James Petras

18 July, 2008

“My strong preference here is to handle all this (US conflict with Iran) diplomatically with the other powers of government, ours and many others as opposed to any kind of strike occurring…From the US perspective, from the United States military perspective in particular, opening up a third front (Israeli and/or US act of war against Iran) would be extremely stressful to us.”

– testimony of Admiral Michael Mulligan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, July 2, 2008.

“If Iran continues its nuclear arms program – we will attack it. The sanctions aren’t effective. There will be no choice but to attack Iran to halt the Iranian nuclear program.”

– Shaul Mofaz, Israeli Minister of Transportation in Yediot Ahronot , June 6, 2008.

“The present economic sanctions on Iran have exhausted themselves. Iranian businesspeople who would not be able to land anywhere in the world would pressure the regime.” Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, speaking to US House Speaker, Senator Nancy Pelosi in favor of a unilateral, pre-emptive US naval blockade of Iran.”

– Haaretz, May 21, 2008.

“It was a triumphalist conference. Even this powerful organization (AIPAC), the most powerful group in the US Israel lobby, had never seen anything like. Seven thousand Jewish functionaries from all over the United States came together to accept the obeisance of the entire Washington elite. The three presidential hopefuls (Hillary went too) made speeches, trying to outdo each other in flattery. Three hundred senators and members of Congress crowded the hallways. Everybody who wanted to be elected or re-elected to any office came to see and be seen.”

– Uri Avnery, London Review of Books, July 3, 2008, page 18.

House Resolution 362 received unanimous support from all the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations including the 7,000 delegation attending the AIPAC Conference in Washington DC on June 2-4, 2008.

“Resolution 362 became our chief legislative priority.”
– according to AIPAC’s website, June 4, 2008.

“The President should prohibit the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products imposing stringent inspection requirements in all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains and cargo ships enters and departing Iran.”

– US House Resolution 362 introduced May 22, 2008.

Resolution 362 gained 170 co-sponsors or nearly 40% of the House and 19 co-sponsors in the Senate in less than a month.


Zionists and their allies in Congress authored, implemented and enforced sanctions against Iran, which hinder the ambitions of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies. Israeli war exercises and public declarations threatening a massive air assault on Iran has pushed petroleum prices to world records. This spring 2008, the most powerful pro-Israel Jewish Lobby in the US, AIPAC held their annual conference and secured the support and commitment of both major US Presidential candidates and the majority of US members of Congress for an Israeli initiative to impose extreme economic sanctions on Iran with threats of a US/Israeli military attack. In early summer 2008, the AIPAC operatives, who wrote this US Congressional resolution, successfully rounded up Congressional leaders’ support of an air and naval blockade of all critical imports into Iran – a blatant act of war.

Israel adopts a ‘peace policy’ designed to isolate Iran in preparation for an attack – and then immediately violates its terms. The entire spectrum of major Jewish organizations unquestioningly and unconditionally give their active support, as they have in the past, to AIPAC’s domination of the US Presidential candidates as well as to the twists and turns in Israel’s war preparations via military exercises and phony peace gestures.

In the entire history of US relations with oil and gas-producing countries, there is not a single previous case in which it sacrificed profitable investments by its major oil companies at the behest of a foreign power (Israel) and its “lobby” – the Zionist Power Configuration.

Israel’s Two Track Policy Toward Iran

Israel’s policy to obliterate Iran, in much the same war that the US has devastated Iraq, has followed a carefully planned multi-prong strategy. Israel has relied on direct military attacks, all out wars, economic blockades and the use of overseas Zionist front organizations to destroy Iran’s allies and strangle its economy.

The Israeli strategy is directed at undermining, weakening and enticing Iranian allies to politically and militarily isolate Tehran, in order to facilitate a full-scale massive air assault without having to deal with military fallout from Iranian allies on its borders.

In pursuit of this ‘isolate and destroy’ strategy, Israel launched a full-scale invasion and massive air and missile bombing of Lebanon knocking out critical civilian infrastructure in the hopes of obliterating Hezbollah, a staunch Iranian ally. Israeli preparation for its Lebanese war began a full year before its sneak attack, using a common minor border incident to invade Hezbollah strongholds in Southern Lebanon. Israel’s offensive against Hezbollah made no sense from the point of view of its border security. No Israeli military official ever envisioned Hezbollah being any kind of military threat to its national security. At most Israel saw Hezbollah as a serious counterweight to its anemic puppet allies in Beirut.

From the perspective of Israel’s regional hegemonic perspective, an attack and destruction of Hezbollah would isolate Iran and allow Israel to develop a strategic Middle East client in Beirut, facilitating an air attack.

Hezbollah’s defeat of the Israeli invasion seriously weakened Tel Aviv’s military based strategy to ‘isolate Iran’ and strengthened Hezbollah’s power in Lebanon, raising its prestige immensely among the Arab and Muslim populations.

The second prong in Israel’s strategy was to destroy the democratically elected Hamas government in Palestine by financing and arming a coup attempt by its Arab clients in the Palestinian Authority,Abbas and Dahlens. Hamas successfully routed the putschists and proceeded to consolidate its rule in Gaza. Israel turned toward a destructive blockade to starve the 1.5 million Palestinian civilians in Gaza into revolt against Hamas. Israel’s allies in the US and EU poured hundreds of millions of dollars and euros to prop up the corrupt Israeli client regime in the West Bank. Once again Israel failed to militarily or economically destroy Hamas, but that didn’t prevent the Jewish state from turning to its third target – Syria.

In 2007 Israel launched an air invasion of Syria, bombing what it described as a ‘military target’, a low-grade non-military nuclear facility in order to intimidate Syria and weaken the Assad regime’s ties to Iran. While Israel demonstrated its military capacity to violate Syrian sovereignty with impunity, its action did not have any major impact on Iran-Syrian ties.

In response to the repeated failures of the Israeli military strategy of undermining Iran’s allies, Tel Aviv turned toward a different ‘divide and conquer’ approach. Israel, through its Turkish ally, began ‘peace negotiations’ with Syria, offering to discuss the return of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The trade off for Israel takes the form of peace talks over the Golan in exchange for lessening Damascus’ military dependence on Iran. Since the Israeli public and most of the Knesset are overwhelmingly opposed to returning the Golan, the peace talks are not intended to end Israeli occupation, but to give the Assad regime a certain credibility among the Western imperial powers and lessen its isolation. The Israeli regime had no trouble selling its new line on Syria to its highly subservient and disciplined supporters among the Presidents of the fifty-two leading American-Jewish organizations. They are well practiced in following the zig-zag of Israeli policy, switching policy of demonizing Syria one day and acknowledging its pragmatism the next. French President Sarkozy followed up the Israeli initiative by inviting Syrian President Assad to Paris with all the pomp and honors of a chief of state.

Two years after its failed military invasion of Lebanon, Tel Aviv sought and pursued negotiations with Hezbollah to exchange prisoners (and/or their remains) as part of a tactical mini-‘détente’. Once again, the US Zionist Power Configuration, after years of denouncing Hezbollah as a mere tool of Iran, accommodated the new Israeli line of recognizing Hezbollah as an independent political interlocutor.

At about the same time (June 2, 2008), Israel finally and perhaps temporarily recognized it could not militarily or economically destroy Hamas, or prevent its military retaliation against Israeli attacks or undermine its mass base of support and signed a military truce to end armed incursions and open entry points in exchange for the end of retaliatory rocket attacks on Israeli towns.

While the new Israeli turn toward peace negotiations, cease fire agreements and prisoner negotiations seems to augur a less belligerent and more realistic assessment of the Middle East balance of power, in fact the new policy is linked with a more extremist, aggressive and war-threatening military policy toward Iran. In late May and early June 2008, while Israel was proposing a more conciliatory approach toward Iran’s allies, it engaged in a massive military exercise, involving over a hundred warplanes and thousands of commandos in an unmistaken dress rehearsal for an offensive war against Iran. Top officials from the Israeli military command, cabinet and Knesset publicly pronounced their intention to bomb Iran if it proceeded in its entirely legal and non-military uranium enrichment program. Israeli officials secured the tacit and overt approval of US and European Union for its military posture. More important Israel practically dictated the terms of debate in the United Nations Security Council by insisting that it would launch a war unless the harshest economic sanctions (and even a military-economic blockade) were not implemented and enforced by the United Nations.

Israeli policy was operating on several parallel and reinforcing tracks: The ‘peace track’ to engage and neutralize Iran’s Middle East allies, to isolate Iran and polish up its image in the Western mass media; the ‘military track’ to prepare for war, which remains its defining strategy in order to destroy an isolated (from its allies) and economically weakened (by US/EU/UN sanctions) Iran. In pursuit of its relentless drive for Middle East supremacy and the implementation of its two-track strategy, the Israeli state depends on the power of the major American Jewish organizations to promote the policies of the Jewish state in the US.

The Centrality of the ZPC in Israel’s Pursuit of the Destruction of Iran

The Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC), through its dominant role in making US-Middle East policy, plays a central part in the implementation of all aspects of Israeli foreign policy goals in the region. Israel’s principle goal over the past five years is the destruction of Iran, to end its opposition to Israel’s domination of the region. In pursuit of the Israeli agenda, the ZPC led by AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) has exploited its control and influence over the US Congress and Executive branches. AIPAC has leveraged the presence of highly placed Israel-Firsters in key positions in Treasury, the Pentagon, Commerce, the National Security Council, the Justice Department and Homeland Security to design and pursue economic and military policies in line with Israel’s war policies toward Iran. AIPAC, through its media and economic leverage undermined domestic opposition. Israel’s power over US bellicose policy toward Iran is so complete that even critics of Washington’s military posture toward Iran refrain from mentioning the powerful role of the ZPC in designing and implementing that policy.

Zionist power was on open display at its annual conference in Washington. At the 2008 AIPAC Conference, over 7,000 delegates representing 100,000 members, met to discuss how to force Washington to implement Israel’s Middle East priorities, overwhelmingly focused on the Jewish State’s stated objective of militarily destroying Iran. Over 300 US Congress members attended (over 60% of all members of both houses) along with the three major presidential candidates, major cabinet members, including the Secretary of State, Vice President Cheney from the White House and a host of Hollywood celebrities, media moguls and prominent financial and real estate billionaires from Wall Street and its environs.

Presidential candidates competed with each other in swearing their total and unconditional servility to Israel, swearing their utmost to back any and all past, present and future Israeli military attacks. Hillary Clinton promised to implement the equivalent of twelve holocausts against Iran’s 70 million citizens in her rant to ‘obliterate Iran’ if it endangered Israel. Obama backed the ultra-orthodox Jewish demand to give Israel sole control over Jerusalem, and joined John McCain and Clinton in promising to bomb Iran if it continued its uranium enrichment program (which they equated with a nuclear weapon – despite the objections of the IAEA and the US intelligence community). All endorsed Israel’s starvation of Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants and rejected any concessions or negotiations with Hamas, Syria and Hezbollah – even as Israel was already engaged in negotiations for tactical reasons. AIPAC’s entire agenda has been endorsed by the US Congress, the Executive and both parties, including a military blockade of Iran, harsher world sanctions against all global oil and gas corporations, banks and industries dealing with Iran, the immediate transfer of the most advanced missile and attack technology to Israel to facilitate an attack on Iran, and a substantial increase in yearly US military grants to Israel totaling an additional $30 billion dollars over the next decade. The top Israeli officials present, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Olmert took the opportunity to reiterate and re-affirm their will to use military power to force Iran to submit or face destruction, to standing ovations and wild cheering from the ecstatic AIPAC delegates, deriving delirious pleasure from these blood thirsty calls for US military and economic sacrifice!

Nary a single word of dissent was heard from the entire Congressional entourage in attendance; the Presidential candidates assured the zealous Israel-firsters that for the next 4 years Israeli interests would be the centerpiece of US Middle East policies.

The AIPAC conference was no simple ‘show of force’ nor an exercise in ‘group think’ meant to keep the faith of the zealots. It was the kick-off to a full-scale ZPC campaign to implement a series of measures designed to accelerate a US and Israeli military assault against Iran.

The Congressmen and women in attendance at the AIPAC were there for a purpose: to be instructed on what Middle East policies Israel and the ZPC would demand of them. Their presence at the AIPAC conference was not just a courtesy call intended to ‘network’ with wealthy Jewish campaign fund contributors. They were there because of long-standing and intense relations with the ZPC, which made it obligatory to show up and pay obeisance to demanding paymasters who shortly thereafter visited their offices and presented them with proposals and resolutions for immediate action.

The Aftermath of the AIPAC Conference

Under AIPAC tutelage, if not actual authorship, a Congressional resolution was introduced, which called for a naval blockade of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a deliberate act of war. H. Con. Res. 362 calls on the President of the United States to stop all incoming international shipments of refined petroleum products from reaching Iran by any means. By the middle of June 2008, three weeks after it was introduced, the resolution had attracted 146 co-sponsors. In the Senate in two weeks time a similar measure secured 19 co-sponsors. The Congressional resolutions use almost the exact wording of an AIPAC memo issued just prior to the Congressional action. AIPAC got its cue from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who, in early May 2008, told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that sanctions were not enough and called a US naval blockade ‘a good possibility’1 The loyal AIPAC servants made their Israeli masters’ wish a reality – in a matter of days. (Who says critical issues get ‘bogged down’ in Washington?)

In late June 2008, under AIPAC leadership and direction, the US Congress added $170,000,000 dollar increase in military assistance to Israel as part of a 10 year, $30 billion dollar war commitment to the Jewish state. AIPAC was instrumental in drawing up the bill and openly declared that the addition was designed to maintain Israel’s military dominance and superiority in the Middle East but specifically designed for its war preparation against Iran and the Palestinians. AIPAC pointedly emphasized that, “The US commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge is the cornerstone of American (sic-ZPC) policy in the region…This year’s package holds heightened significance…as the US and Israel face new challenged from Iran’s drive to acquire (sic) nuclear weapons…”2

At a time when the US government faces a major financial crisis and refuses to refinance millions of Americans facing loss of their homes through foreclosures, AIPAC secured a 25% increase in military handouts to Israel. Olmert praised his US Zionist agents for improving Israel’s take. The 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations and their million members and affiliates successfully pursued AIPAC’s proposal to increase economic sanctions on Iran via its captive US Congressional bloc, its appointed agents in the Treasury Department and in the UN Security Council via its influence in the White House. Each and every sanction introduced by the US representative in the United Nations is a thinly veiled copy of memos and resolutions written and powerfully pushed in the Executive branch by AIPAC. They are backed by several hundred professional lobbyists and scores of pro-Israel PACs (political action committees) and ten propaganda mills (the so-called ‘think tanks’) with tight links to AIPAC. Through their influence in the US, the ZPC has successfully secured the acquiescence of other members of the UN Security Council.

Throughout 2008, a presidential election year, the ZPC has successfully engaged in sustained interrogation and pressure on the major candidates, securing pledges of unconditional support for every aspect of Israel’s murderous policies in Gaza and the West Bank, including its policies of starvation and assault. All major candidates have echoed the ZPC-Israeli line of labeling the elected Hamas movement, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria as ‘terrorist’ organizations and states and pledged to attack or back an Israeli offensive war against Iran.

In so far as the Middle East is the center of US foreign policy, the ZPC has ensured that the next President of the United States will continue the bellicose pro-Israel policies pursued by George W. Bush. The ZPC’s influence over the next US President guarantees that the issues of war and peace will be dictated by a minority of a minority ethno-religious group, comprising less than 3% of the population and loyal to a foreign state. Whichever party wins the Presidential election or controls Congress, the ZPC will set the Middle East agenda, the head of which is the destruction of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

During the entire run-op to the November 2008 elections, not a single political leader has raised the issue of the catastrophic consequences of a war with Iran for the world economy, the astronomical rise in oil prices, which will result in the conversion of the US recession into a depression, the killing of hundreds (if not millions) of Iranian citizens and the loss of American lives. In other words, the greatest of all ZPC successes is their ability to focus the entire political elite and mass media on the advantages of launching a preemptive war for Israel and to distract public and political attention away from any reports relating the world-shattering destructive consequences.

Zionist Power: Big Oil and Liberal Obfuscation

One of the most salient issues in the run-up of oil and gas prices has been the power and policies of the ZPC. Iran possesses some of the most potentially productive and rich oil and gas fields, which are not yet exploited. Iran possesses 15-17% of the world’s supply of gas. It is number two in the world. Israel, and therefore the ZPC, has been the leading voice in blocking all investment and financing in Iran by the world’s leading public and private gas and oil multinationals. Thanks to AIPAC authored Congressional legislation, any and all oil and gas companies investing more than $20 million dollars in Iran are barred from the US market and subject to criminal investigation and fines (if not imprisonment of executives). AIPAC authored Congressional legislation, which labeled the Iranian National Guard, the so-called ‘Revolutionary Guard’, as an international ‘terrorist organization’, subject to military attack by the Pentagon.

By extension, any multinational corporation, which signs economic agreements over Iranian oil assets, is considered to be financing terrorism. Huge quantities of Iranian gas and oil are not coming onto the world market and lowering the price of gasoline, solely due to US Congressional policies authored and enforced by the ZPC. According to the Financial Times every major US, European and Asian oil company is eager to invest in Iran but are blocked by Zionist authored legislation: “American companies are prohibited from any involvement in Iran’s energy sector. Those non-US international groups that have invested in Iran are for now going slow. They are trying to avoid pressing ahead with investments that would anger Washington, while also trying to avoid pulling out; which could annoy Tehran.”3

The US Treasury Department houses the most influential enforcement agency for policing the behavior of Big Oil, Big Banking and Big Construction companies, which would normally invest in Iran, given the world historic prices. According to investigator Grant Smith: “In 2004, AIPAC and its affiliated think tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), lobbied for a new separate US Treasury unit to be created – the ‘Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence’ (OTFI). It is headed by AIPAC vetted leadership and many OTFI briefings are delivered directly to WINEP. OFTI’s secretive financial operations that target Iran and its trading partners are tightly coordinated with Israel’s leadership.”4 Stuart Levey, sub-secretary of the Treasury and a zealous Zionist, who runs OTFI, and his staff have successfully pressured many of the biggest multi-billion dollar public pension funds in states like New York, Florida, Texas and California to disinvest in any company investing, trading or engaged in any economic activity with any Iranian public or private enterprise. Secondly, it has arbitrarily labeled any humanitarian organization dealing with Iran as a possible ‘terrorist conduit’. Levey has made frequent visits to Europe and Asia, threatening US reprisals to any country or corporation trading or investing in Iran. Levey and the OTFI have formulated Treasury policy memos which have decisively shaped US sanctions policy and proposals to the United Nations. It is clear that Cheney, Bush and the Democratic Congress make decisions largely drawn up, promoted and enforced by AIPAC and its key operative in Treasury, who in turn openly coordinate policy with their mentors in the Israeli foreign and financial ministries and the office of the Israeli Prime Minister.

Clearly the power of the ZPC is as much from its capacity to leverage malleable non-Zionist Congress people, public agencies, private financial institutions as it is to apply direct control over public policy. In other words for every dues paying member or leader of AIPAC, and of the 52 leading Jewish organizations in America, there are a multiplicity of state and civil society leaders and organizations who are influenced to initiate and implement pro-Israeli policies. The surprise expressed by some critical overseas Israeli observers, like Uri Avnery, over how a tiny minority of American Jews can dominate US Middle East policy, overlooks their leverage, access, and power to shape the agenda of vast sectors of US public and civil society policy makers.

While the oversight of foreign observers is understandable, what is absolutely inexcusable is the behavior of liberal critics of US war policy toward Iran. Bill Moyers, ignoring the abundant evidence published in all the major financial media on the economic sanctions against the oil companies spearheaded by the ZPC, argues that the Middle East wars are “about oil.”5 Citing as evidence for Big Oil’s role in Middle East wars, they quoted a number of former top Zionist officials in the US government (Greenspan, Wolfowitz and others). They argued that the signing of oil contracts in Iraq eight years after the start of the war is evidence that US policy was a product of Big Oil. Instead of examining Wolfowitz and over three dozen pro-Israel top policymakers in the Bush Administration who designed and executed the policy to invade Iraq - and the current all out push by the ZPC toward war with Iran – Moyers and Winship cite obscure meetings between Cheney and the oil companies. Instead of discussing the public overt campaigning for war with Iraq and Iran by the 52 leading Jewish organizations in the United States and the public policies of leading policymakers in the government, Moyers resorts to individual conspiracies between Cheney and the ‘oil industry’. Moyers admits he knows nothing about the content of the meetings and why the secret meeting did not lead to any direct lobbying for war by Big Oil (in contrast to AIPAC and its affiliates). Moyers’s article in Counterpunch totally avoids making a single reference to the massive, sustained and successful Zionist war campaign in the Executive and Legislative offices as well as in the Op-Ed pages of all the major daily and weekly newspapers and magazines.

A similar kind of liberal cover-up is found in the July 17, 2008 issue of the New York Review of Books, entitled “Iran: The Threat,” by Thomas Powers who puts the entire burden for war policy toward Iran solely on Bush and Cheney, overlooking the intense and successful economic sanctions and war resolutions authored by AIPAC and implemented by the Democratic Congress. Powers omits the entire war propaganda campaign which appears in the mass media written by academics from Zionist ‘think tanks’, the entire groveling for Israel exercises by the US presidential candidates and three-quarters of the US Congress and Senate at the AIPAC conference, (which took place just prior to the Powers article). Powers says nothing about the entire political class’ blind support for Israel’s promise to go to war with Iran. Powers, a supporter of killer sanctions as an alternative to an air and missile attack, doesn’t even mention the fact that the ZPC is the leading advocate of sanctions. His research didn’t include the crucial fact that the implementation and enforcement of sanctions are in the Treasury Department (OTFI), which coordinates with Israeli agencies and is run by Stuart Levey, an Israel-Firster.

Noam Chomsky has long been one of the great obfuscators of AIPAC and the existence of Zionist power over US Middle East policy. One of his most blatant examples of cover-up occurred during the AIPAC conference in early June 2008. In answer to a question on what it would take to change US unconditional support for Israel, Chomsky ignored the servility of US Presidential candidates to Israel and the AIPAC at the AIPAC conference; Congressional approval of AIPAC authored sanctions resolutions and their implementation by Treasury Department Under-Secretary Levey; the role of the ZPC in shaping media demonizing of Iran, Palestine, Hezbollah and Syria. Instead Chomsky engages in vacuous circumlocution. With reference to US support for Israel, he claims, “We have to consider the sources of support. The corporate sector in the US, which dominates policy formation, appears to be quite satisfied with the current situation. One indication is the increasing flow of investment to Israel by Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and other leading elements of the high tech economy. Military and intelligence relations remain very strong. Since 1967, US intellectuals have had a virtual love affair with Israel, for reasons that relate more to the US than to Israel, in my opinion. That strongly affects portrayal of events and history in media and journals.”

Chomsky deliberately omits the elementary step of actually looking at the process of ‘policy formation’ and noting the role of the AIPAC lobby in shaping US Middle Eastern policy, a point noted by every major expert, Congressional staffer and observer on and off the scene. He mentions ‘the corporate sector’, a vague entity without mentioning how the Zionist lobby has successfully blocked the major oil companies from investing billions in Iran and who undermined US investment agreements with pre-war Iraq. None of the high tech investors he cites has ever lobbied to shape US policy in the Middle East, least of all pressured the US to support Israeli occupation and eviction of Palestinians, the invasion of Lebanon, its military attack of Syria. To suggest that Microsoft’s Bill Gates has been lobbying for Israel, as Chomsky does, is the height of silliness. But the Presidents of the 52 Major Jewish Organizations in America have. No conference organized by high-tech companies have ever drawn 65% of the members of Congress and the Senate and all major Presidential candidates to pledge their allegiance to their corporate interests in Israel. But the AIPAC conference in June drew a huge majority of Congress members and McCain, Obama and Clinton who pledged their unconditional support for Israel’s policies and interests.

Chomsky’s claim that the US has a love affair with Israel omits the systematic repression by pro-Israel and mostly Jewish professors of any critics of Israel, including the firing, smearing and censorship of critical fellow academics. What makes Chomsky’s simple-minded and blatant cover up of Zion-power in shaping US policy so grotesque is that it occurs at a time when it is at its highest point of power – when AIPAC has presidential candidates publicly swearing unconditional support to Israel at its major conference in Washington even as two top officials of AIPAC have been indicted for espionage for Israel.

Chomsky, Moyers and Powers (and a host of liberal critics of US threats to bomb Iran) ignore the power of US Zionists backing of Israel’s overt war exercises and naked threats to bomb Iran. By covering up the role of the ZPC, who are the principle Congressional and Presidential backers of sanctions, embargo and war, the liberal critics undermine our efforts to prevent a catastrophic war.

Intellectuals silently complicit with the main purveyors of war for Israel are abdicating their responsibility to speak truth to power – in this case Zionist power. At some point intellectual abdication becomes co-responsibility for a Middle East catastrophe. In the face of the complicity of our political leaders and their Zionist mentors in pursuit of Israel’s apocalyptic war strategy toward Iran, the American public becomes of utmost relevance (contrary to Chomsky). To argue otherwise is to become complicit with the great crimes committed in our names, by leaders and ideologues with foreign allegiances.

To continue to masquerade as ‘war critics’ while ignoring the central role of the Zionist Power Configuration makes pundits like Chomsky, Moyers and Powers and their acolytes irrelevant to the anti-war struggle. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co-author of Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). Petras’ forthcoming book, Zionism and US Militarism, is due from Clarity Press, Atlanta, in August 2008

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