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by Syarif Hidayat

America has always been trying to keep accusations of terrorism away from Israel, and this is perhaps the primary reason behind America’s refusal to discuss a universal definition of terrorism.

Israel has been a terrorist state from its beginning, and has its foundations in terrorism. Three Israeli prime ministers were or are terrorists!:

Menachim Begin took part in terrorist acts in the 1940s, including the attack on the King David Hotel which killed 91 people.

Yitzhak Shamir was the operations commander, and later leader, of the Stern Gang, a terrorist group which was responsible for a string of political assassinations.

Ariel Sharon initiated the Sabra-Shatila massacre in which between 1000 and 3000 people (mostly Palestinians) were murdered, and now leads a terrorist campaign against all Palestinians living in the occupied territories of the West Bank.

A terrorist state is a state which practices terrorism, even if it pretends (or rather, lies) to the world that it does not. It hardly needs to be pointed out that Israel is a terrorist state. Brutal repression of, and bloody attacks on, Palestinian civilians with the official Israeli aim of causing a change in the policies or actions of the Palestinian leadership is a clear case of terrorism.

Of course, the U.S.A.- the self-proclaimed and self-appointed world preacher of human rights and democracy, continues to support the terrorist state of Israel by giving it tanks, planes, rocket launchers and financial support to the tune of three to five billion dollars a year, with which Israel has built up the second or third-largest military machine in the world. Israel’s hegemony over the Middle East will continue, however, only as long as American money makes it possible.

Moshe Dayan, Israel’s most celebrated general, famously outlined the strategy he believed would keep Israel’s enemies at bay: “’Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.’ …our armed forces are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.”

You can’t take terrorism away from the terrorist

Abdul Sattar Qassem in his article titled “You can’t take terrorism away from the terrorist” published in the Middle East Monitor, 23 September 2014, wrote Nowadays, America is intensifying its efforts for what it calls combatting terrorism. It is working very hard to establish an international coalition consisting mainly of Arab countries to combat terrorism, especially the Islamic State organisation (ISIS).

It is apparent that America is speaking against terrorism extensively and is making many accusations against others of being terrorists, as if it is far from it; as if it has nothing to do with the spread of terrorism on a global level and always acts like a trustee for the world. America is continuously issuing decisions classifying others and describing them as either terrorists or supports of terrorism, and through its actions, America is sending the world a message that it is the innocent party and that the others are criminals.

The definition of terrorism

There has been a long debate over the definition of terrorism in the international arena, and America had always tried to determine the definition, refusing to hold an international conference to reach an internationally accepted explanation. Arab countries, such as Iraq under Saddam Hussein and Syria during the rule of Hafez Al-Assad, tried to push for holding such a conference, but America always refused, fearing that the definition would include the behaviour of other countries, mainly Israel.

America wanted to monopolise the definition of terrorism in order to remain in possession of the dominant political opinion in the world, refusing to discuss a scientific definition of the term. Therefore, internal American institutions, such as the State Department, Department of Defence, and the White House determined their own definitions, focusing on terrorism being a violent act committed by armed organisations in order to achieve political objectives.

The US’ definitions reflect the American perspective, which basically antagonises all liberation movements in the world, and seems to also antagonise the freedoms of nations and individuals. It usually resorts to political and philosophical grounds in order to justify this hostility, which quickly turns into armed action and wars.

Liberation movements constitute a legitimate target for America’s financial, military, security, and political attacks, and the definition of terrorism needed to be formulated based on American policies, as well as the policies of its supporters, both European and Arab. Therefore, the American definition is rejected and does not address or resolve the problem of terrorism in the international arena.

Terrorism is any violent or nonviolent act committed, either directly or indirectly, by a force that would deprive others of their rights or prevent them from obtaining their rights. Force is an essential element in this definition, but it does not have to be used directly in order to inflict physical or direct harm. It could be used to threaten, intimidate, impose economic or financial sanctions, or create an atmosphere of psychological fear that is in one way or another deterrent, with the ultimate goal of seizing the rights of others by controlling them, deprivation, or preventing them from taking the necessary steps to obtain their rights.

This definition excludes all actions that can be carried out by organisations or countries in order to restore rights that have been violated or riches that have been looted. Also, those defending themselves and protecting their rights have every right, while those who violate the rights and freedoms of others do not have the right to take such actions.

Based on this definition, colonialism is considered terrorism and the traditional colonial powers have violently colonised nations and looted their wealth, and continue to do so in a variety of creative means. The US is the greatest source of terrorism in the world because it acts as a bullying and thuggish official carrying its weapon on its back and causing death here and there without any sense of responsibility.

The United States represents the largest extent of Western colonialism in the form of cultural and intellectual control over nations and by using military and economic weapons against those who do not want to offer loyalty and obedience to it. The actions of the United States confirm that it is a Nazi state making silky humanitarian statements.

Hitler wanted to dominate the world using the force of arms and force the superiority of the Aryan race over the entire world, and the United States is doing no less in this regard, except that its military appetite is less than that of Nazi Germany. America went to Vietnam for no apparent reason and it killed people, destroyed homes, and burned trees and stones. Then it headed to Afghanistan and wreaked havoc, its actions resulting in the spread of jihadist Islamic organisations everywhere, and the reason it went to Iraq ended up backfiring.

Did the jihadist organisations – labelled as terrorist organisations – just emerge automatically or as a reaction, or did someone create, fund and arm them? History will answer this question, and the United States is in the defendant’s dock now. Who else created incitement amongst the Sunnis and Shias in the Arab and Islamic world and created a suitable environment for mass murder and crime other than the United States and its Arab agents?

Tyranny is terrorism

Based on this definition, political tyranny is terrorism because it uses forces against citizens in order to repress, extort and prevent them from expressing themselves and choosing the governing system as they see fit. Tyranny uses force, the force of its security agencies, to oppress people, terrorise them and strip them of their rights. Most Arab governments fall within this category.

The Arab governments have spread corruption, tyranny, defeat and humiliation in various parts of the Arab world, making the Arab states violated areas and their wealth looted. Even now, after all the suffering the Arabs are going through, the majority of Arab governing systems still do not recognise the freedom of their people, nor do they value their rights, and the peoples’ wealth is being squandered on the gambling tables.

Tyranny is the embodiment of injustice and injustice generates a reaction that gradually develops into violence, and of course, injustice breeds oppression, and oppression breeds vengeance, and there is no stronger expression of vengeance than bearing arms. The Arab regimes have oppressed the people so much that civil wars have ignited, and these wars are still coming to the Arab countries in which people still haven’t fought yet.

But, who sponsored these oppressive Arab governments and supported and encouraged them? It was the colonial powers, particularly the United States. The US is the sponsor of Arab oppression, and it provided all the support to the Arab security agencies in order for them to be able to continue to repress the people and keep them under control.

America has violated our countries, ignited strife within them, and recruited many of our children to serve it and the tyrannical regimes under the pretext of democracy and human rights. Given that I am a Palestinian, I see American’s policies take shape every day, as they oppress and disregard the rights of the Palestinians, carried out by Palestinians who loudly voice nationalist slogans.

Before its temporary military withdrawal from the Arab countries, the Western colonial powers entrusted the task of controlling the Arab peoples to agents that follow their orders, while the colonial powers monitor and supervise them from afar. The colonial powers found that the best way to keep the Arab peoples fragmented and weak is by appointing ignorant weak rulers who are influenced by their own interests and the interests of their tribes and put them before the interests of the Arab nation.

In the eyes of the colonial powers, the Arabs must be kept weak and marginalised so they do not rise and rebuild their civilisation and then pose strong competition to the Western civilisation. The West has been so successful in this that it even reached the point that the Arab rulers were not satisfied with merely fragmenting the Arabs into tribal fiefdoms, but they also took measures to hit the national unity within every Arab country in cooperation with the Western colonial powers. Thus, the hopes for Arab unity have been crushed and now all the Arabs hope for is that a single city or village remains unified.

The Sykes-Picot agreement fragmented Arab countries, such as Syria and Iraq, but the Arab dictators tore them apart and continue to provoke internal strife by failing to acknowledge the Arabs’ right to freedom and dignity.

Terrorism is necessary in order to keep the Arab individual terrified, cowardly, and afraid for their livelihood. Therefore, it was necessary to utilise huge budgets for the Arab security agencies in order for them to commit heinous acts against the Arab citizens. Israel also had to be supported in order for it to remain the greatest power in the Arab and Islamic region and in order to spread terror everywhere. Hence, the formation of the Arab-Israeli alliance was inevitable in order for the terrorist forces in the region to join forces. If I had to explain the reasons for the emergence of jihadist organisations in the region, I find that the Arabs’ defeats at the hands of Israel the greatest generator of such organisations.

The terrorism state

Since the 1970s, America has been trying to keep accusations of terrorism away from Israel, and this is perhaps the primary reason behind America’s refusal to discuss a universal definition of terrorism. America strongly suggested strange religious interpretations were behind the provocation of internal strife, especially amongst the ranks of Sunni Muslims, and therefore, it is not unusual for there to be Sunni jihadist organisations described as terrorists.

Arab countries have cooperated with the United States and promoted demonic religious ideas, causing Islam to be viewed by many nations in the world as a bloody and misguided religion. Instead of Islam being a key factor in unifying the nation, it has, in some cases, become a factor causing fragmentation. Israel is the biggest den for terrorism in the world, and if it weren’t for its existence, none of these wars in the Arab and Islamic region would have broken out, nor would there have been bloodshed, destroyed homes and perished souls. Israel is operating under the sponsorship and support of the United States.

Why are the Palestinian people still living in refugee camps under harsh conditions? Why does Gaza remain under siege? Why are some of the Palestinian people still under occupation? The reason for all of this is Israel and those who support it in the East and the West.

Occupation in itself is terrorism, and America, as well as several Arab regimes, provides various types and forms of support to the occupation. Israel’s actions on many levels, including its prevention of the Palestinians from moving freely, to depriving them of their rights to water, construction and reconstruction, are all classified as terrorism. If the world wants to combat terrorism and eliminate the presence of terrorist parties in the region, it must first start with Israel, followed by the Arab regimes loyal to Israel.

America, along with those participating in its most recent terrorist campaign, all have the wrong address and the wrong target. Israel is the first address for terrorism and such terrorism wouldn’t be able to go on if it weren’t for the support of America. Would America begin with combatting itself and its protégé before addressing ISIS and the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance groups?

There are Arab and Islamic countries in the region now looking for American support to confront the organisations classified as terrorist organisations, and to these countries I say that you are replacing one form of terrorism with another more severe form of terrorism; it is like wanting to forcefully get rid of one criminal by using the master of all criminals. I also say to these countries: Stop. America is not an assistant or a helper, it is dependent and a burden, and those who support terrorism will not eliminate it.

If the Arab countries are going to get rid of terrorism, they must first recognise the freedom of Arab citizens and change their political situations as required by such recognition. Secondly, they must stop supporting Israel which will never stop igniting sedition and wars, Abdul Sattar Qassem concluded his article.

Israel is a Terrorist State

What is the difference between State terrorism and individual terrorist acts? If we understand this difference we’ll understand also the evilness of the US policies in the Middle East. – Dr. Lev Grinberg, a political sociologist, Director of the Humphrey Institute for Social Research, at Ben Gurion University in his article: “Israel’s State Terrorism.”

“Terrorism” is here taken to mean the practice of the deliberate inflicting (either directly or indirectly) of harm, injury, death and/or destruction upon a civilian target sufficient to cause horror, revulsion or despair among civilian populations and/or their political leaders, with the goal of causing those populations or political leaders to act in a way desired by the terrorists.

When Yassir Arafat was put under siege in his offices and kept hostage by the Israeli occupation forces, he was constantly pressed into condemning terror and combatting terrorism. Israel’s State terrorism is defined by US officials as “self-defense”, while individual suicide bombers are called terrorists.

At the same time, Sharon’s responsibility for Israeli war crimes is being completely ignored. Who should be arrested for the targeted killing of almost 100 Palestinians? Who will be sent to jail for the killing of more than 120 Palestinian paramedics? Who will be sentenced for the killing of more than 1,200 Palestinians and for the collective punishment of more than 3,000,000 civilians ? And who will face the International Tribunal for the illegal settlement of occupied Palestinian Lands, and the disobedience of UN decisions for more than 35 years?

Suicide bombs killing innocent citizens must be unequivocally condemned; they are immoral acts, and their perpetrators should be sent to jail. But they cannot be compared to State terrorism carried out by the Israeli Government. The former are individual acts of despair of a people that sees no future, vastly ignored by an unfair and distorted international public opinion. The latter are cold and “rational” decisions of a State and a military apparatus of occupation, well equipped, financed and backed by the US, the renowned World Preacher of Human Rights and the only superpower in the world.

Washington is the real ‘chickenshit’

Finian Cunningham in his article titled “Pro-Israel Washington real ‘chickenshit’” published in Press TV website, October 31, 2014, wrote “So, an anonymous White House official dared to call Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a chickenshit this week. And the media is full of it, pondering on whether the vulgarity foreshadows a strategic rupture between Washington and its favorite client regime.”

Come off it. The frisson of excitement amounts to nothing except in the imagination of American critics of the Zionist lobby and their fantasy that US foreign policy might one day break free from slavishly indulging the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv.

First, there was the unseemly, pathetic rush for damage limitation from the White House and the State Department. Spokesmen for President Barack Obama and his foreign secretary, John Kerry, immediately denounced the “disgraceful and inappropriate” loose language denigrating poor Bibi.
Washington was at pains to distance itself from the crude comment about Netanyahu being a coward, and proceeded to bend over backwards as usual to reassure Tel Aviv that it in no way reflected official US thinking.

Secondly, in the same week, Washington performed its usual service to Tel Aviv by blocking any sanction at the UN Security Council over yet more new Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem (al-Quds). Yes, there was the token platitudinous tap on the wrist to Tel Aviv from the State Department about how the latest proposal for 1,000 new illegal settler units in the Palestinian contested capital would be harmful to the comatose peace process.

But Tel Aviv knows very well by now that Washington’s admonition is just so much hot air, and that without the backing of any punitive sanctions, it is effectively a green light to proceed with the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem (al-Quds). Not even the outrageous Israeli closure of al-Aqsa Mosque – Islam’s third holiest site — elicited a meaningful response from Washington.

Thirdly was the scarcely reported gift to Israel this week of 25 more F-35 stealth fighter jets worth around $4 billion. The new generation warplane has yet to come into service and some critics say that it is an over-hyped piece of hi-tech junk. Be that as it may, the F-35 nevertheless represents the Pentagon’s presumed finest killing machine and is shrouded in secrecy.
Yet Israel is to be entrusted with this futuristic fighter jet in a way that no other foreign country is. That speaks volumes of the integral and inviolable relationship between the US and its Israeli client regime.

This largesse is on top of the $3 billion that Israel receives annually from American taxpayers and on top of hundreds of millions more dollars for new missile defense systems – even after two months of slaughter against Palestinians in Gaza earlier this summer. So put the derogatory epithet for Netanyahu in context. There may be some personal umbrage from the White House towards the odious Netanyahu and his insolent Likud ministers over their insults to John Kerry in recent months.

That acrimony seems to have manifested last week when senior Obama administration figures snubbed Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Moshe Ya’alon during his visit to Washington allegedly because of his rude dismissal of Kerry earlier this year when he called Kerry “naive and messianic” in his so-called peace mission.

But don’t kid yourself. These petty gripes aside do not portend any strategic rupture between Washington and Tel Aviv. The Israeli regime is Washington’s imperialist platform in the strategically vital Middle East. As US vice president Joe Biden said obsequiously last year: “If Israel did not exist then the US would have to invent it.”

No crimes against humanity or international law by the Israeli regime are too great for Washington. American hegemony in the oil-rich region rests full square on the continued existence of the Israeli regime. Its genocidal usurpation of Palestinian land is fully indulged, shielded and supported by Washington under the cover of a dead-end peace process. American critics of Washington’s indulgence of this regime delude themselves by thinking that America has been “hijacked by Zionists.” In their view, if only the good old US of A could wake up to the Zionist scam and shake it off then America might be redeemed as a noble nation with normal relations to the rest of the world.

Hence the excitement this week over the anonymous Obama official’s putdown against Netanyahu. Some wishfully see this spat as a sign of the US finally cutting its ties with Zionist usurpers and corrupters of America. That notion fails to understand that the US is at root an imperialist entity that relies on war and foreign domination to assert its capitalist hegemony in the world. Removing Israel will not change that systematic fact. Only a fundamental overhaul of the US from within, breaking its warmongering capitalist system, will produce a law-abiding, peaceful nation.

Until then, Washington will always indulge the criminal likes of Israel as part of its global empire. Calling Netanyahu and his ilk “chickenshits” is only a small part of the truth. The bigger truth is that Washington – hiding behind this criminal regime – is the real chickenshit, concluded Finian Cunningham, a columnist on international politics for Press TV and the Strategic Culture Foundation. (HSH)


1.International news agencies
2.International online media

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